On the way to the Monastery [Contract Search]

Junan

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A thick fur was wrapped around him as he left the village heading towards the monastery. There hadn't been many travellors this way from the village for quite some time, but there was information there that he wanted to attain. Or at least he hoped there would be. They had a library there, probably the oldest library in Lightning Country, older than that of Cloud's though it wasn't updated like other libraries. The only information that the library there would have would be the information that the monks who lived there found.

The path was difficult and Kushin knew this, only through stories of course, but the road would go from being a gravel path to climbing rocks, to walking along edges no wider than a mans foot till they reached the summit. This was what he had prepared for, and being a shinobi none of this sounded all that difficult. What was going to be the main issue would be the time it would take to get there and the freezing cold of the weather.

The Thunder mountains weren't known for their hospitality. The crunch under his boots wasn't simply that of some pebbles on other pebbles, but snow and ice. His breath didn't only blow out before him, but lingered long enough for him to walk through it like it was a small fog. Living in the mountains hardened the Cloud shinobi, or that's what he thought anyway. They lived in a high atmosphere, getting used to an oxygen deprived state. That might also account for the number of people with multiple personality disorder as well of course, but it was what it was. Those who survived the training and survived the weather, those who kept a sharp mind and didn't lose their focus in the spartan lifestyle that the mountains forced on those who lived there, they were the strong.

Perhaps that was why he loved his village so much that he would sacrifice his own soul to aid it. He didn't rightly care what happened to the weak, they should die, that was natural selection. If the strong lived with the strong they would only get stronger, if the strong had to continue to look after the weak they would lose the ability to reach their peak. The weak bludged off of the strong and fed from their strength. Kushin had found easier alternatives for those he deemed strong. But those who were weak... he had to be careful about how he went about culling them. If he was caught and jailed, or forced to flee his home then he couldn't help them quite so easily, though he would always try.

The pathway was narrowing and each step was almost down to luck. Would the earth give way under his feet or would it hold him. He wasn't a heavy man, a slender shinobi build, but he knew that that wouldn't matter up here. If the earth gave way, what would he do. He had to have a plan for it. Using chakra to simply stick himself to the stones wouldn't help if they gave way and fell. So what else was there.

Forming seals stone ripped from the earth down the cliff face, forming an easier passage. Yes he knew it was cheating, but he didn't care, he'd have them move back into the stonework afterwards so that the next people to attempt to gain access to the monastery would have such an easy way around such a potentially dangerous part of the walk.

For the next part there were trees and bushes, some harsh grasses and more stone. It would be here that he would take a bit of a rest, pull the boiled potato and egg from a pouch which was beneath the cloak to lend him their heat, not they would lend him their energy and give him strength. He had more food with him in his pack, but he was hoping to reach his goal before nightfall, and it was only lunchtime.

As he sat there eating his potato he looked off across the peaks of the Thunder Mountains and marveled at the views. Then would look up the direction he had to walk and know that there was still far to go.

[Searching for any of the choices in this area. Randomize it.

Word Count: 712]
 

Keiji

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Deep minds are what corrupts the easiest, they tend to either think too much, or too little, their paths are easily diverted, and distracted from their original mindsets, their plans are always folded over and carefully structured, but when the slightest little prick breaks the glass, their minds can be subjected to breakage. It's all about breaking it at the right time~

Upon the platform Kushin had placed himself to devour his little potato the plans of a rather curious life form was falling into place, ever since Kushin had approached the mountain he had been watched, with ever all seeing and plotting eyes.
A rather unique life form approaches one of the domains of the winged demons of the skies. The chakra is almost to die for, his eyes filled with plans and goal, oh yes~ Quite the goal indeed, his mind is one of many theories and plans, his mind is ready for feasting, ready for it all, we must begin upon the first break of his trek, he's bound to make a mistake..

A slight shimmer of life was easily sensed behind Kushin, had it always been there? Maybe he didn't notice it before, or it might have just appeared by itself, questions able to fill ones mind of doubt towards ones own sanity.

A sound of whimper could be heard from the being behind him, a weak, frail looking little girl, with white hair and closed eyes, cuddling up against the side of the mountain, her arms looked thin almost as chopsticks.
Her closed up cheek lines resembling that almost of a ghost-like figure.

Her whimpers were ones of weakness, of uncertainty, her clothes was torn, dirty, practically looking like bags from the very potatoes Kushin he himself was currently eating as his little snack.
Her clothes wasn't covering the upper part of her body except for right at the upper arms revealing part of her petite chest, further revealing her bones being almost visible through her very skin.

In the midst of her whimpers a slight rumble was easily distinguished as her stomach, craving for the luxury of food. It sounded grave and deadly as if she hadn't eaten for weeks, if not months.
Will Kushin confront this tiny speck of human existence, or will he simply ignore it, and leave it be?
 

Junan

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The potato held little in the way of flavor, he wasn't going to be carrying anything stupid like a sauce up all this way. Yet there was movement behind him. His head turned enough that he might see what was going on. His brow frowned and his eyes watched as a young girl. She was in a fetal position, curled up protecting herself from the elements, probably trying to get warm. His eyes examined her with a doctors perspective as he could see all the signs of starvation. Bones showing through, a bloated stomach. Her clothes were torn.

He looked back from where he'd come from. A young girl like this couldn't have made her way up the mountain. Not through those passages, not without dying. And in her state, with her clothes, she'd have been dead before reaching the difficult parts. It was a miracle that she was living at all and he knew she was as his bloodline tuned into her heartbeat.

She was weak, and most likely stupid. The only place for her to have come from would have been the monastery itself, which was Kushin's objective. His mind ticked over his options while she sat there freezing and starving. A few moments for him to consider his options wouldn't hurt her, and if they did then that wasn't his problem, that would simply settle the issue.

If he helped her perhaps it would allow him to gain more favor amongst the people of the monastery, if he left her it certainly wouldn't hinder him in any way shape or form. If he were to bring her with him then would she pose an issue. There were still many difficult crossings, but she couldn't weigh much, and he could carry her if needed. The answer should have been simple, especially to a medical sennin, but he didn't care for her life, he cared only for what he could gain from it.

The monks up there weren't rumored to be the easiest to get along with. He needed to confirm something.

Where are you from girl? He said loudly so she could hear, yet uncaring in his tone or manner.

He stood, ready to make his leave should she not give him the answer that would save her life.
 

Keiji

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The bewildered fool seeks information, truth is where the heart is, so they say.
Your truth is what you make of it, we say.

What matters this to him hm? Power, capacity and strength, his soul reeks of it.

The girl cuddled up closer in reaction to Kushin's words, her white, blank hair fell to the side as she shivered, revealing her eyes.
Her dark grey eyes riddled with torment and pain staring into Kushin's eyes.

"I-I-I'm from the monastery further up.. I have been trying t-To.. Get up there.. Back home.."
Her words echoed with fear, depression, and lack of any form of determination.

The girl leaned forward slightly revealing both her eyes and her short white hair. She extended her hand forward, a slight smile appeared on her lips, resembling that of an attempt at being sincere and distraught.

"Please.. Food.. I need.. Food.." Her words were fading word by word..
Her words seemed like it was close to being the final words she would be capable of saying.
 

Junan

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She was weak, scared, and had no willpower to drive herself onward. If he ever saw this look in his apprentice he'd kill the boy. But this wasn't a case of survival of the strongest. This was a case of would helping her make it worth his while at the other end of the trip.

Sighing he stood and looked in his pack, pulling out some cured meats, cheese and a sweetened bread. They were things his wife had packed for him, but they were unnecessary. He went to hand the food to the girl but then pulled it back again.

You will walk on your own strength and you wont complain. He waited for her to agree before he passed it to her, if she didn't then she simply wouldn't get the food. He didn't care either way.

Once that situation was sorted he would wait for her to finish eating and would then head off in the direction of the Monastery. If she hesitated he would slap his thigh and say Come on. like a master calling his dog. Of course if she hadn't agreed then he would leave her there to die, slowly, pathetically, probably food for some other animal.

She was nothing to him, she was simply a possible means to an end, an end which he would reach with or without her.
 

Keiji

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She nodded and grabbed the food, she took a quick and deep bite into each item Kushin had handed her, there was little to no chewing and then a deep and loud swallowing. After which she quickly stood up, she seemed strangely invigorated and quickly energized, her smile had grown a little to the sides as she seemed slightly less sad and more happy towards having a companion, even if in her eyes he seemed like a grunting, stubborn old man.

As Kushin began to make his way further up, with hastened steps she suddenly stood in front of Kushin facing forward.
She continued taking bite after bite of the food, her swallowing noises was the loudest, as she almost never chewed any bits of the food.
He seeks what once was lost, what time fades through generations, what ripples and embroils through each tongue it is spoken
There are words for travelers like him.

After a few steps up, she suddenly turned around and looked at Kushin, deeply in his eyes. If Kushin were to look back, he would notice that her eyes emanated emptiness, if one was knowledgeable in the spiritual world one would recognize should eyes as that of an empty husk, a body with no soul. There existed naturally, people whom had eyes like these and did indeed have souls, but there were rare.
"Tell me, sir.. You seek the knowledge up there don't you?"
She nudged her head upwards in reference to the Monastery.
As she spoke she were taking steps backwards ensuring that she did not slow the pace Kushin would be walking.
"The big old and dusty books up there?"

Her words wasn't as faltering or weakened as they were before, quite the contrary they sounded more intrigued and relatively normal.
 

Junan

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She agreed to the conditions of the food and wolfed what he gave her down. He didn't truly expect her to make so fast a recovery, but she did, which only made him suspect her of effectively lying to him. Had she truly been on deaths door only moments before? It didn't actually matter. Good on her for fooling him if she hadn't been, she clearly had some survival instincts if that was the case and he would always see that as a strong attribute.

As he walked she passed him, taking the lead on the way to the Monastery. Again he didn't care, this was the way they needed to go, and that was all he cared about. If she were in front of him at least he'd know she was walking and it also demonstrated to him her eagerness to return home.

They walked a short distance, barely a few steps before she turned around and looked into his eyes. He looked back, though his face was immediately a frown. Was she about to complain? Maybe he should have worded his conditions differently. Maybe he should have told her to not speak at all. Yet her eyes were different. Dull, void, something was missing. He'd seen the look before, working with shinobi such as Shiranai, they dealt with souls and this girls eyes look similar to something he'd seen during that time.

He was still frowning though.

At least she was still walking backwards and wasn't slowing the pace much.

Her questions were voiced in a way that confirmed Kushin's idea that she'd been playing him for a fool. Though he'd moved past that and simply ticked a box in his head.

He answered her questions with an answer which could have been indoctrinated as a way to answer such questions for centuries. An answer which only Kushin could say in such a glorious and majestic manner.

Yes.
 

Keiji

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The silence he so craves, the peace of mind, the uttering of a single word, yet his mind screaming a million sentences.
An interesting sight. This one plots and schemes as was it naught but pure and simple.

A smile on her lips was widened as Kushin finally uttered his reply.
"You got me curious, sir." She continued walking backwards as she talked.
"What information is it you are seeking then?"

As she awaited another reply she took another bite of the meat he had handed her. Her bite was large and resembled that of a carnivorous beast taking a bite on its prey. Her teeth was yellow and looked to be the victim of misuse and little to any care at all, for anyone knowledgeable in teeth would practically find it a miracle alone that she didn't squirm or scream in pain through ever chew.
 

Junan

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If he had cared enough he might have noticed the teeth, but his sight was fixed on her eyes. Someone's teeth could tell a story, one of dietary and cleanliness habits. One's eyes however told a much more interesting story. That was the story his mind was more focused on.

She seemed keen on having a conversation with him, and was now interested in what it was that was interesting him. She asked about what it was he sought in those books. Keeping his eyes on hers his frown did not subside even for a moment.

The library there is an old one with many books which were not printed. Have you given consideration to the fact that I might not seek anything in particular? It was just knowledge that he sought. There was knowledge there that wouldn't be known anywhere else. He didn't know what it was, but whatever was there was what he wanted.

If I knew what it was that I wanted to learn, then why would I travel somewhere to learn it when I already know what it is? He watched for any reaction, anything to give away the girls true intentions.

He was beginning to doubt her. Her potential life span just dropped a few decades. There was something about her, something which made him uneasy. Things that made him uneasy had a tendency of ending up in the mortuary.
 

Keiji

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Her lips grew even wider in their smile, she seemed self assured in a way.
"You seem interesting. If it is knowledge you seek, what would you say.." Her eyes scanned across his body as she licked her lips.
"..If I told you I could show you more knowledge, and older knowledge even, than what is hidden up there in their dusty archives?"

Her eyes cherished every bit of his reactions, she stared deeply into his eyes as she awaited a reply.
Her eyes emanated with desire for something, something that couldn't quite be placed on.
It was sure that she was lustful, the question would be for what? And who?
Not only that, but what reasoning would she have for her words?

"I can show you a different path, only be a small detour."
What he seeks is what he will get.
If he can be a nice boy and behave.
 

Junan

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A proposition for him. What was there about this girl that there was to know? People had always told him not to judge a book by its cover, and he'd never truly taken that for its word. After all when someone is stupid they often have a look about them, when someone is weak they show it after a short time. The girl had captured his attention, and it wasn't through her promise of knowledge, or at least not whatever knowledge it was that she was offering him. An external sort of knowledge wasn't what he wanted from her. But knowledge of her.

Her eyes told him that there was much to learn, that he could gain much, yet, her lifespan still didn't increase.

His eyes broke from hers and darted around the landscape. He'd seen no evidence of human travel, not recent anyway, along this passage. If it was a trap then it'd come from the other direction, or at least originated from that direction. For all he knew he was surrounded, but then where were their heartbeats. He closed his eyes and focused, he couldn't feel anyone elses blood nearby. Even the girls was excited, but not nervous. There was much to be told by blood.

Yet was it confidence which stopped the nervousness, or was it genuine. He looked back to the girl and nodded.

Show me then. But... he felt the need to warn, to see what response it would receive ... if this is a trap of some sort then you should say as much now and I'll let you live. He had known children shinobi who were strong, who were confident in their powers. He'd fought those children and crushed their strength, destroyed their egotism, smiled as they recognized their weakness and reveled as they showed their true colours.

Kushin knew he himself wasn't unstoppable, that was why he sought knowledge. Knowledge was the only power he could never have enough of.
 

Keiji

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Her wicked smile grew slightly in size as he closed his eyes.
As they remained closed she took an extra step closer to him, then as he opened and spoke she took a step back and snickered, her laugh made her breath escape her mouth, the stench of rotten flesh produced from her mouth was foul and wicked. Like a rat that had been in a cupboard for months, with flies, worms and all that one associates with that of the dead.

As she closed her mouth her eyes stared at him, another quick examine, from top to bottom, her lips wide from the laughter.

"Y'know." She said as she closed her eyes as she turned to the side facing the rocky walls.
As she lifted her hand forward her eyes opened again and looked to the side at Kushin's lower parts "We'll just have to see.. Won't we?" Her tongue stuck slightly out of her lips after she said it.

Her hand touched the rocky walls, which suddenly vanished, revealing an opening in the side of the mountain.
"Follow." She said with a smile as she began to step forward and into the cave opening.
 

Junan

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He didn't like this, but he had confidence that there wasn't a power in the world that could stop him if he needed to escape. Removing the side of a mountain wasn't difficult, one of his many earth jutsu could do that, now that he knew there was something behind it. She smelled of death which made him question where she was actually from, though death wasn't something he was uncomfortable with. Killing, torturing, these things came with the territory of his research. With this girl it could simply have been a case of eating some rotting carcass to try and survive.

He followed her into the cave, his left hand performed some seals as they moved, he wasn't sure if it was secret enough, but either way it'd work. Part of the cave to his left would move out of the wall, a small arrow pointing up the corridor towards where the cave began. This was in case the girl led him into a trap and so he knew where to perform more destructive jutsu to make an escape should the cave mouth close again. He'd do this at even intervals along the path.