Running Minds [Open]

Kiri

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Kiri scratched the back of his head as he looked at the script on the pages of the book. He squinted his eyes and then pinched the bridge of his nose before slumping back against the chair. He looked around at the rather empty section of the large library of Kumogakure and wondered for a moment. He still can’t believe how marvellous the architecture was from the inside. Then again, there were still places in Kumogakure that he has yet to explore. This was probably just his fourth time visiting, and most of the time he was at a more lively section, if only the students would always be searching along the fundamentals.

Today, however, he was browsing along the historical section as he was trying to piece out information on some medical issues. In particularly, he was trying to trace the medical practices of certain operations from the early years. Of course, he knows that he would never be able to fully trace the origin back to the beginning of Kumogakure, but he had a feeling there were some knowledge that were imported. So perhaps, some of the international affairs books and records would be able to point him to the right direction.

Ah, but he was getting nowhere. And in the end, he ended up slumping over the books on the wide study table as he was willing for sleep to come over to him.
 

Ryujin Karasu

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Just like any other day Karasu is found perusing the shelves of a library. But this was the first time that he would be visiting the great library of Kumogakure. It was much bigger than the one in his school, and of course even bigger than the one at his family’s mansion. With his hands in his pocket he looked around at the large columns and shelves. Although his face was still stoic and calm, his cheeks partially blushing from his excitement. He made his way to the history section to find another book about his clan. Usually he read up on their old ways and beliefs so that he could be as true to them as possible. “Why not see what the inner city had to say about the Ryujin clan.” He shrugged to himself while walking up to another bookshelf.

He grabs a couple of the books on old Kumogakure agriculture, and makes his way to a studying table. He stops momentarily when he sees another kid sitting at the table with his head down. He waits to see if the kid is just relaxing his head or his eyes. He hopes it’s his eyes because Karasu would prefer to read in the silence, and not be bothered or interrupted. He notices that boy still hasn’t moved and begins to spread himself out on the opposite end of the table. Karasu, placing his books to the left of him and sitting back in the chair, makes himself comfortable. He cracks open one of the books and takes a deep breathe. He is hit with the smell of old and worn paper and aged bindings. He smiles a little before he begins to read.
 

Watanabe Ai

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Thump! Thump! Thump! Something was bumping the table, and who could it be other than Komora. She had snuck her without the two of them noticing and now she had bumped her head on the table, not once, but three times. She looked around at the two pairs of feet that were underneath the table. Curious about Kiri’s feet she reached over and grabbed him by the ankles while she began to remove his foot gear while humming innocently to herself. She then looked over at Karasu’s feet and decided that she wanted to look at both pairs of feet at the same time, and grabbed his ankle as well. Losing interest she crawled out from underneath the table and looked at the two boys who were present. She knew both of them.

“Kiri.” She pointed at Kiri. She then looked over at Karasu. “Karasu.” She pointed at him. Yes, even though he was a twin she was able to them apart. Komora didn’t rely on her eyes when it came to such things. Even though she was looking into the faces of either boy she couldn’t actually see the face. To her, their faces seemed blurred… like a strange kind of black hole where no features could escape into her sight. Instead, she could feel their chakra. Yes, it was very distinct. She pulled out a piece of bread from her pocket as she looked at the books on the table and put it in her mouth. She held the bread with her teeth, while she non-chalantly held up a book by one end of its cover and looked at the pictures that was on it.
 

Kiri

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Kiri was so absorbed in trying to get some rest that he had somehow did not notice when another had sat beside him. In addition, he had also failed to notice that a certain person had crawled under the table. Not until there were thumps and he jerked wide away, sitting upright. Just then, he would looked to the side and find a blonde who was reading. He didn’t dare speak as he was still unsure if he had simply dreamt about that strange sound.

Just then, something would grab his leg and start to remove his shoes. He made a short yelp before his cheeks turned red and he quickly looked down to see who it was. Lo and behold, it was Komora. “W-what are you doing there?” he asked in surprise but the girl would simply ignore him before proceeding to get and then point at them as she called their names. At that, Kiri looked at the boy sitting next to him and nodded before glancing back at Komora and pulling the bread out of her mouth. “No eating in the library.”

He then pulled out a clothe from his pouch, often for emergency patching, and wrapped the bread there and the set on the space on the table. He then looked back at the boy next to him and said, “You okay?”
 

Ryujin Karasu

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Karasu’s mind now completely filled with mental pictures of the land years ago. After becoming used to the perspective of his elders, it was refreshing to hear another side to his family’s history. Becoming completely content with this find, Karasu begins to run his left hand through his scruffy blonde hair. But his happiness is quickly stripped away when he hears a series of bumps under the table. The sound is soon followed by the sensation of someone gripping his foot. He leans forward in his chair to shake his foot free, but not before whatever had it let go. Karasu quickly looked under the table to see who or what it was, but they were gone. When he lifted his head he was greeted by Komora pointing at him and saying his name. At this point she had woken up the other guy, and said his name too. Karasu looked over at him and nodded as well before sitting back in his chair.

While thinking about it, Karasu was a little surprised to see that human without her dog. But honestly he didn’t care enough about it to ask. He cracked his book back open and continued to read. The words on the page beginning to come alive again, until the sound of someone speaking distracted him. He clenches his teeth together while only letting his eyes be visible from behind the book. “I will be…” Karasu says before lurking back behind his book. It was a shame Karasu couldn’t check this book out. Anywhere else would be a better place to read right now. Even home would be okay, at least there the only person that would bother him would be his twin. Karasu goes back to reading occasionally looking from his book to observe Kiri and Komora, hoping that they will distract each other and not him.
 

Watanabe Ai

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There were a lot of emotions inside of Komora. She was hungry, and now that her bread had been stolen she felt something like indignation. Kiri had wrapped the bread up and set it on the table. She looked at the bread and back to Kiri with her blank expression while internally there was something akin to turmoil inside of her that was being blocked but a mental wall. Kiri had something else that there should be no eating in the library, but she wasn’t able to hear it. She was focusing all of her effort to push the words from her mind to her mouth. In the end the only thing she was able to get out was “No!” She practically shouted it. She dropped the book she was holding to the floor with an unceremonial ‘thump’. “No taking Komora’s bread.” She said in a more normal tone of voice. She snatched the bread from the table.

She unwrapped the bread and took a big bite out of it while staring into Kiri’s eyes with a muted expression. Her cheeks puffed out slightly from the mouth full of bread she had as she chewed it without a care now that she had her bread back. She then looked over at Karasu. His facial expressions were lost on her. She tilted her head to the side so she could read the title of his book. She walked over to Karasu so she could hover over his shoulder while she looked at the pages he was reading. She took another bite of bread and rested her head on his shoulder. “Nom. nom. Nom nom. Nom.”
 

Kiri

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Kiri was glad that the boy next to him, apparently called Karasu, was alright. He didn’t want to bother others, and though he didn’t want to speak badly of Komora, he had some experiences with her that may need him to be in alert. Just then, Kiri had just noticed that Komora was holding the book and before he could get it from her, she shouted.

Surprised by the sudden shout, Kiri was paralysed where he sat as he looked back at Komora, wide-eyed. Then before he knew it, the girl would drop the book without so much of a care and Kiri quickly got out of the stupor. He looked back and between Komora and the book on the floor before he finally answered her as well, “Look, now, you just can’t–“

Ah but Komora was quick and was already on to reach for the wrapped bread. He grabbed the book on the floor with a defeated sigh and placed it back on the table. Inside, he could feel a swirling of his inner beast. His days of fatigue and unexpected encounter today was building up inside. And to make things worse, she was already eating again, and quite frankly, perched on the boy’s shoulder.

But instead of an irritated grunt or a reprimand, Kiri would let out a long sigh before he began close all the books he had and stack them properly on the desk. Then he would sit back on the chair and lean over the table, a hand propped on the table to support him as he ended up observing Komora and Karasu. He figured this was a good opportunity for him to try his hand at observing alone.
 

Ryujin Karasu

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The table shook as the two Kiri and Komora scuffled over the book that had now made its way to the floor. Despite the rather loud out bust by Komora it didn’t disturb Karasu from reading. There were often times he would train and read, so the sounds of someone yelling were something he could cope with. Especially seeing how he had to stay in the library to read this book. He watched on and chuckled a little bit seeing the now defeated Kiri nearly resume his posture on the table. But then he noticed that the girl with the red hair had disappeared.

Almost as soon as he noticed, he felt her head on his shoulder. Karasu was not only surprised by her silence and quickness, but that she was touching him. He couldn’t help but admit this was a new one for him, seeing how the only girl that had been this close to him was his mother. His young cheeks began to blush while he tried his best simply to ignore her. He pulled the book closer to him and to the girl to try and focus in on the words on the pages again.

Karasu tried his best to express his discomfort with her resting on his shoulders with body language. He looked at the book then at the girl. But when he peered over his shoulder to look at Komora, he was actually able to study her facial features a lot better than before. He could clearly see her eyes weren’t the same as his. Really they weren’t the same as anyone Karasu had met before. So he assumed his silent speech wasn’t worth it and began to speak up. “I don’t mind if you look on with me, but can you not be so close.” Once again his voice was flat.
 

Watanabe Ai

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Komora only briefly gave Kiri a second look as she was oblivious to the sudden redding of Karasu’s cheeks. She looked back down at the book that he was conveniently pulling closer so that she could read it easier it seemed. But Komora had lost interested in the book with the strange stirring of strange chakra inside of Kiri. She had felt that uncomfortable chakra before. Of course she couldn’t understand what the chakra meant but it felt dangerous and bestial to her. Like another predator and it had marked Kiri as its territory. There were a lot of thoughts running through her mind. She had fought bears and the like in the forest but this was something much different from that.

Should she try and defend her territory? Well… was this even her territory? How had she forgotten about the strange chakras inside of this person. The swath of things in her mind that wanted to come out at once made her pause as she tried to figure out what she wanted to say. In the mean time Karasu said something to her that she ignored as her focus was elsewhere.“No.” She shook her finger at Kiri. “Bad.” She continued. “Komora doesn't like it. Stop it.” She continued. She held one hand behind her back, palming a handful of shuriken, and wrapped her other arm around Karasu’s shoulders so that she could bite the piece of bread.

She turned the page with her pinky and looked at the words on the page. To her it was like some kind of maze. The words didn’t have meaning. They were just fun columns. She turned the page again and again looking for pictures. She then offered her bread piece to Karasu by holding it temptingly in front of him so that he could bit a piece of it if he wanted.
 

Kiri

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Perhaps in his observation he had forgotten about the rousing of a beast inside his soul that he was so concentrated at watching over the two. Perhaps he was simply too tired. But when Komora suddenly got his attention with her brief words, Kiri suddenly put two and two together and realised he was letting off a bit of the demon’s aura. He chuckled a bit as he straightened his sit, no longer leaning towards the table. “Oh, forgot.” he would then tell her but he didn’t seem to be remedying the situation. He had gotten used to it, after all.

“If you don’t like it, then stay away,” Kiri added with a bit of a frown as he went to open one of the books in front of him and flip the pages. He didn’t know why but it somehow irritated him now. Why does he have to keep a part of him in check? He knew he was getting stronger by the day, but why were people around him reminding him often. It’s not like he was inherently evil. “Besides, aren’t you the one sneakily planning something over there?”

He flips another page before shutting the book. The beast’s own annoyance was getting to him now. And with that, he knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere with reading at all. “Where’s Akio? Shouldn’t he be watching over you?”
 

Ryujin Karasu

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Despite what was happening at the table Karasu continued to calmly read his book. He was no longer looking over the top of the book; instead, his eyes became a slave to the words on the pages. He read on, trying to focus on the chapter about his family’s economic growth. Every once in awhile, his eyes would light up when he would read something that he either didn’t know. At this point he was trying to hard to focus on the book to care about the demonic chakra leaking from Kiri. However, despite trying to ignore the things around him he jumps a little when Komora screams in his ear.

Her statements are met with attitude from Kiri, who now seems to be upset for whatever reason. Karasu now caught in the middle tries to move his head away from Komora, but stops moving when she locks him in place by wrapping her arm around him. His head presses up against her as she takes a bite of her food. Whatever thoughts of moving away are halted momentarily when Karasu hears the distinct sound of shuriken being drawn behind his back. His mind is filled with the vivid image of Komora raining shuriken down on the rabbit during class, and how precise her aim was. But this doesn’t change the growing frustration welling up inside.

As Karasu watched the girl with red hair thumb, or pinky, through his book; his calm demeanor began to completely evaporate away. Whatever hesitation he had before was gone; as he watched the pages fly past his face. The final straw being her placing the piece of bread in his face. “Enough!” He screamed his red eyes now squinting menacingly at the girl who was truly the only one standing in the way of him reading. Completely cutting her off from answering Kiri’s question he raises his voice again as he begins to stand up and face the girl. “Why did you come to a library, if you can’t even read?” Although his tone is loud it is also one of true curiosity and desperation.
 

Watanabe Ai

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Karasu had started to scream at her, but understanding tone was not something she was capable of. His facial expression was also lost on her because she couldn’t read his facial expression, and despite his attempt to cut her off from answering Kiri, that was all she could think about. Even though she was now looking at Kiri due to his movement which had drawn her attention she looked at him without understanding anything he had just said to her. Instead she said “People are angry when hungry. Komora knows because she saw it in the forest. Komora doesn’t want to be food though. Komora wants to know why your chakra is angry?” She looked at Kiri as she finished. Despite the bitterness and the yelling.

Suddenly a librarian rounded the corner and glared at the trio. Between Komora’s exclamation and the writhing scream of Karasu - they had raised their voices a tone too loud for the library to the staffer’s liking. “With the greatest possible respect, shut the fuck up.” The staffer had both hands on her hips. As she glared at the table. “If you don’t know how control yourselves maybe you should pick up a self help and learn!” She grumbled at Karasu. “They’re on shelves 158. Look it up.” She scribbled a list of books and the system for book number in which she could find it and slapped it onto the table in front of them. “Keep your voices down. “Last and Only warning.” With that the librarian stomped away.

“Noisy.” Komora muttered under her breath. She looked back at Karasu and tilted her head at him. She was actually reading the spine of the book he had been examining. “Ryujin reading about Ryujin. Komora doesn’t get it. You must be dumb.” She walked over to the other side of the table. Mysteriously her hands were both free. She sat next to Kiri and looked at him without saying anything. “Komora will share her bread with you.” She pulled out another piece of bread. “Eat it and don’t be angry okay?”
 

Kiri

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Kiri was mildly aware that his beast was stirring inside of him, but he didn’t think that Komora would say those words. He simply chuckled at the thought and turned away, now facing the books as he began to run a finger along the spines and pick out the necessary one he needed to finish reading that day. “He’s not angry. He’s just hungry.” he answered, using the same logic that Komora had just said. He figured that was the only way to make her understand. Though “hungry for what” he didn’t have to say. His beast was of a different type altogether after all. And even he could sometimes fail to abate such hunger.

And to make the scene interesting, the librarian appeared. Kiri could only hold in his laughter at the scene. Even though he may have been part of the reason they were in such a mess, he still found it rather amusing. Perhaps he’ll take note not to infuriate the librarian in the future, just for the sake of avoiding being led to self-help books.

Surprisingly, however, Komora would approach him and even shared the bread. He simply smiled and patted her on the head. “No. It’s okay. I’m not the one hungry. I’ll just probably visit the forest tonight to make sure he’s not hungry as well. But you need it more than I do.” He was already flipping the pages along the section of cases of chakra-allergy which was the point in one of his recent classes with Osu. He thought for a moment before he closed the book again as he recalled how that child had to be put to sleep in order for her to finally rest as she was both allergic and a well of chakra.

“In any case, is there anything you want to read or learn to read? I guess I can spare some time. I’m getting bored with medical journals and records,” said Kiri as he leaned on the table again and faced Komora.
 

Ryujin Karasu

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Caught caring more that he got his point across than everything else around him, Karasu looks intently at Komora to see her reaction. But in the middle of him yelling, not only had she not been paying attention but instead was having a full conversation with Kiri. His jaw nearly drops to the floor while he was coming to the realization that neither of them were paying attention to him. Karasu rarely spoke to people, and even rarely yelled at people. So for him to speak in such a manner and it not be taken seriously caused Karasu to nearly freeze in confusion.

The situation for Karasu was made even worse when the troubled trio was visited by librarian. She starts with a blanket statement telling the three to be quiet, but then singles out Karasu. This day literally could not get much worse for him. As she begins to tell him off, he decides to go for broke and argue back for the sake of his own pride as a fellow book reader. “I understand the tranquil environment necessary for book reading. I was telling them to quit talking.” He points his finger at both Komora and Kiri. But this is to no avail, the librarian continued to be firm with him before walking away.

Karasu turned back around to now see both Kiri and Komora sitting at the other end of the table. He glared over at them before realizing that it would be a lost cause. He shivers as Komora’s words seem to wash over him like cold water. “This is how I learn about my family’s history.” He explains insipidly trying to keep his voice down. Everything about this was not something that Karasu enjoyed, especially the fact that this was all stopping him from reading his book. Speaking of he read the spine of the book Kiri was reading and was a little intrigued. “What are you reading Kiri.” He said nodding his head a little as if to use it to point at the book.
 

Watanabe Ai

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Komora nodded along with Kiri’s explanation about the hunger. Komora looked back and forth between Kiri and Karasu as he went from explaining his own reading material to asking Kiri what he was reading. Komora put her bread in front of Kiri in case he changed his mind. She figured she would let Kiri answer Karasu’s line of questioning about the books. She of course would make sure that she explained herself to Kiri before she would let him do so. “Komora is here because Kiri is here.” She nodded. Absently she reached out her hand and steadied a girl who almost tripped that was passing their table. “Huh? Oh thank you.” The girl bowed and then continued walking, but Komora didn’t make any move at all to acknowledge her other than the gesture she performed moments ago.

“Books are hard for Komora to read.” She coninued. Although she couldn’t expalin further than that. It was impossible to describe the way that the letters only formed words for her out of necessity. They felt so slippery at times. Most of all boring. She just couldn’t focus on them long enough to get anything useful from them. Still she sighed and put her head down on the table. She quietly palmed two handfuls of shurikens as she spun them on her fingers secretly beneath the table. She lifted her head up so that her chin was on the table and so that she could look around at Kiri and Karasu.
 

Kiri

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Kiri was slightly aware that Komora was being too generous today, especially as he placed the bread in front of him. Well, not one to refuse a good offer, he lean closer and bite into the bread before he glanced at Karasu and blinked. He thought a bit on how to respond, especially the reason that led him to this situation wasn’t entirely pretty. “Just stuff. I need to study for the mednin exam after all.” Then he would glance back to Komora who answered him and he teased her, “Oh, so I’m your keeper today? Or is it the other way around?” complete with leaned his head on her arm.

He would not fail to notice Komora’s quick instincts to save a woman from tripping but he did wonder if Komora had other friends. “You should try and make more friends of your sex. I mean, isn’t it a bit boring when you’re just hanging around guys?”

He would then smile and pat Komora’s head as she seemed to lean over the table. “You know, I can always teach you how to read. In fact, Mister-I-Want-Read-Books over there could too, I’m sure.”
 

Watanabe Ai

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"You're not a keeper." Komora inclined her head at Kiri as an answer to his first question. "Komora is not a Keeper either."

"What is sex? Komora doesn't know." Then she looked at Kiri with about as much of a smirk as one could get from Komora. "Boy's are pretty. Komora likes them." She answered his question.

"Komora knows how to read." She answered. "But its boring. The words blur together because Komora is bored." she returned to her blank look as she answered his question. "Komora is bored now, so she is leaving." She answered plainly. She slapped a paper tag onto the table and then vanished leaving a log in her place. The tag was designed to look like an explosive tag but it was actually just a fake one.

[exit]
 

Kiri

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Well, that was rather sudden. He didn’t think Komora was the type to ask such a question. But before he could even explain the concept to her, the wild one was already gone. Something about being bored. Well, that was always the mystery with Komora. He would never really be able to tell what was on her mind. Sighing, Kiri would look at the other and say, “Don’t mind her. Have fun with reading. I better get back to work.” With a heavy sigh, Kiri would stack up the books he took and then leave the library.

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