Swords, man. How do they work? [Open]

Eishi

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It wasn't often that I found myself out in a training field, but ever since I decided I was going to take a trip on out of cloud, I had been somewhat anxious to brush up on the techniques I hadn't been using in the last year or so. Many had been tougher maneuvers, but the majority of my time had been relearning nanjirou moves I didn't use as often. I had been in a funk for a while now and the constant lack of motivation had been driving me a bit insane, so this had been a time consuming distractions as I waited for the fateful date to go. At least it would've been, but at the moment I was constantly getting unwanted advice from my fucking tsukumogami spear who wouldn't shut the hell up.

"You didn't set your feet correctly. Like this," Akane said as as she did the maneuver like it was second nature. I hated being shown up by my own weapon spirit, but I really didn't need to hear this when I was already aware of what my issue's were,

"I am well aware, Akane. Please let me concentrate without your input," I said in my calmest voice I could muster as I reset my feet and did a few more flash steps successfully. If this had been done using my affinity it wouldn't have mattered, I could've levitated the spear and fight, but the entire point of why I was here was to adjust to using my body like a normal shinobi. As the day had gone on, I had unrusted my muscle memory as I went about transitioning to target dummies and moving targets. It wasn't until about a good couple hours into the grind that I finally decided to take a break as I grabbed out a light beer and some trail mix from my bag. The area had been pretty devoid of people, but to be fair it was an awkward time in the day. I had already gotten off my shift at the hospital a few hours before and if I wanted a semblance of a sleep schedule, I was going to need to stay up for at least another eight. Akane had been keeping herself busy reading her smut novels while I had been hard at work. I didn't exactly care as long as she wasn't disturbing me while I was concentrating. I just had hoped someone other than her had come along by this point. It was a bit strange how empty this place had been over the last few hours.

"Hey Akane, have you seen anyone around?" I asked her as I munch away on some food.

"Nada, been dead from what I've seen," She responded as she flipped her page and gasped at it's contents. As a thought invaded my mind through our link, I gagged as I got a mental image of some BL bull, that I did not need to visualize.

"God damn it, keep that shit to yourself," I scoffed as I went back to practicing.
 

Siu

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The brisk wind gently brushed away a few charcoal-black strands of hair while the tremulous, viridescent grass merrily danced to tunes from soaring creatures above. Whether by Chance or Fate today, the Chuunin had also found herself departed from the village—though, for an entirely different reason than the training shinobi sharing her terrain.
Marsh had indeed left its impressions upon the kunoichi—for the young female felt herself more at home in the open wilds than her own hometown now; Seemingly plagued with overcrowded streets and perpetual commotion. The experience of her involuntarily-extended expedition had gifted her a deeper appreciation for the natural and simple; There was something liberating for the soul in nature, which developed-society could in no way offer despite all its convenience.

A veil of smoke incensed from the hazel-brown cigarette lazily settled between two lips. The traversing female's hands languidly rested behind her head as she indulged in her reverie; pupils glittering in the radiance of the afternoon sun as they gazed into the turquoise sea above.

"Hello Uncle! Hi Aunti! It's a wonderful pleasure to meet you again!"

"....No, they'll still ask where I've been."

"I do apologize for my long absence—I desperately desired to see you!

"....No, sounds too traumatic; Then they'll ask why I couldn't visit."

"Uncle! Aunti! Have some of that amazing strawberry-pie leftover?!"

"....No, it's been too long—that's just rude."

"Hrrrrng," the female groaned between two teeth, a hand forcefully rubbing the back of her head in frustration, ruffling her hair. A thicker concentration of tobacco smoke emitted from her lungs as she pinched the cigarette away from her lips. "There's really no unawkward way to go about this, is there?"

Reaching into her jacket, the Chuunin would rummage through her back pocket. Unfolding the shabby, rather large sheet, her brows furrowed in concentration as she examined the contents.

"It's," the female murmured, slightly peering over the map, "over there...somewhere?"

...Yup—she was lost.

"Oh, c'mon!" complained the kunoichi, stomping her foot against the ground. "I couldn't have strayed that far, could I?!"

Returning the calming substance back to her lips, taking another drag, the female released a forceful exhale which clearly communicated her growing frustration. Her other hand dropped to her side, heedlessly sagging the map against the grass. Listlessly scanning her surroundings, the young woman paused, narrowing her eyes even further. Two dark pupils gradually widened with surprise, as a stroke of luck seemingly appeared to manifest from afar. Her features illuminated with hope as she ripped the cigarette from between her lips once again.

"Oiiii!" echoed the excited exclamation as the female eagerly waved towards the two spotted figures in the distance.

"Are you from Dali?" she shouted —"I'm looking for some relatives!"

If she were lucky, these two would be native to the nearby settlement.
 

Eishi

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It seems I had spoken too soon. A girl around my age seemed to be coming on up to the two of us and if the look of confusion was any indication, was going to be quite an easy mark. She looked like a shinobi, but that didn't mean she was immune to a certain charm. That though get me to let my inner intent slid right off my face as I gave my most predatory friendly smile at her approaching form. After she had asked her question, I knew Akane was about to answer her honestly, but I was rather abrupt to jump in before then.

"Yea I can help ya. Got another smoke by the way? Seems I left my pack at home," I started in, but before I could get deeper into the scam, Akane had already grabbed me by the back of my collar and threw me out of the way. I didn't miss a beat in my recovery as I rolled into a standing position. I was no worse for wear, but now I was pissed at the sudden interruption.

"Don't mind him. He has eyes, but doesn't know how to see. Otherwise, he would've noticed you weren't just another minnow," Akane said with a derisive tone as she looked over at me. I made her regret that decision as a kunai tinked across the side of her head as soon as she turned her head. It was enough to make her flinch and take a half step backward in recoil as I didn't soften the blow and I was glad I made the point.

"You little fucker," She responded as she held her metallic head up for a moment before recovering.

"It's a million years too soon for you to talk bad about me like that, Akane," I shouted at her from about fifty meters away now as I sent more kunai launching at her from under my coat using my magnetic affinity. Akane seemed to catch on faster than I had expected as she began throwing out her own set to battle in the air between us. The kunai went about crashing into each other as we tried to get a glancing blow on one another. It seemed to mostly be a stalemate between the two of us, though, Akane was on the defense more often than not and I was quick to catch onto that fact. I had already forgotten about the girl asking for help at this point and so did Akane it seemed. We were both too caught up in moment and way too hotheaded to stop now. This was now a battle of wills between two stubborn minds.
 

Siu

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The older female's features illuminated upon hearing the prospect of help. She'd already been reaching for her shinobi-pouch to fulfill the similar-aged male's request, before suddenly witnessing his body go tumbling across the grass, her eyes somewhat widened.
"Er..." was all she'd managed to vocalize, her countenance bearing an expression of "What the...?" before a lone kunai could be witnessed soaring for the head of the newly appeared female before her. Siu herself also winced; Not out of fear for her own life, yet out of fear for the life of the woman afront of her. Her face shifted into perplexion, however, as the weapon tinked against the woman's head akin to the way it might versus solid steel, rather than producing the expected horror scene of injury and blood.

There wouldn't be much time to muse over the matter, though, for events escalated so rapidly afterward that it was rather difficult for her to clearly comprehend all which had passed within this short, chaotic timeframe—if they could even be comprehended at all. She'd somehow suddenly find herself a front-row spectator of war as steeled weaponry barraged through the air, loudly resounding as they rebounding against one another. It wouldn't take a genius at this point to confidently assume she'd approached shinobi.

"Guys..." lowly murmured the female with a tone of great concern.

"Please..." she'd sheepishly continue to protest.

"You two!" A Ram seal was formed while the exclamation traversed, a tightly-condensed wall of paper infused with chakra rapidly forming into being, kunai either rebounding or impaling into the barrier as it absorbed assaults from both sides.

"Stop fighting!"—the female's foot angrily stomped against the ground, her face burning red—"Aren't you two friends?!"
 

Eishi

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"Pff, no. More like siblings if I was being honest," I said in response to her question as the sudden paper wall broke my concentration long enough to let my anger cool down. It seemed to have done the same for Akane, but she was still staring daggers. Fuck her, she started this and the damage was already healed on her head, so it's fair game. I sniffled at Akane as I commanded my kunai fly back over in disappearing back under my cloak. Once she had done the same, I hopped on over to our arrival deciding to try to reintroduce myself now that I was over trying to scam her. I pulled out my own cigarette and zapped it, taking a moment to create a stool out of the ground so I could make myself a seat. I thought it over a moment and decidedly tossed the spear for Akane to handle as I got comfortable sitting.

"Names Eishi," I introduced myself as I took a puff and Akane came over.

" And I'm Akane, his parole officer," She afforded a hand stiffly to the girl and got at least a good nostril flare of amusement out of me from that response. She wasn't wrong in that assessment, that's for sure.

"Now, whatcha looking for, doll?" I flirted as I offered a Cheshire smile.
 

Siu

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The conflict had come to a cease, and that was relieving. The young woman observed the quarreling pair gather their weaponry; seemingly having regained their senses. After the now-revealed shinobi had lit his cigarette, she'd discover herself somewhat impressed from his skill in earth-element; appearing so knowledgable in shape-manipulation that he'd even been able to mold a seat for himself from earth seemingly without much effort. However, that wouldn't be the only surprise he had in store for her it would reveal.
As the teenage male officially re-introduced himself, the kunoichi's eyes largely dilated in response—the world completely stopped.

...Had she heard that correctly?

"Ei..." murmured a low repetition, "...shi?" The shock upon her face looked similar to trauma—as if she had just suddenly experienced live-murder.

A flood of memories immediately burst forth, violently torrenting throughout every crevice of the young woman's mind: memories of childhood—the more innocent days of her life and profession; an exam, a dinner, a team—a close friend.

The hand-extending woman would, unfortunately, have to tolerate an unreturned gesture; For, there was obviously something significant brewing within the young kunochi's mind. She'd remained stationary—frozen as if she'd just experienced a ghost.

Something was obscuring her vision, something hot, and she could in no way restrain it. The transparent fluid began to trickle down her cheeks.

What followed next was a collapse upon the similarly-aged male; an emotional embrace. Perhaps, Siu may have appeared like one of those emotionally-unstable, seemingly-bipolar female's at this point, considering Eishi likely had no idea who in the world this stranger was whom had just suddenly dared to uninhibitedly embrace him. How he had grown, how his features had matured—so much, in fact, that she hadn't even initially recognized him the slightest bit enough to make a comparison before he'd mentioned his name; which she felt guilty concerning.

"Eishi!" reminded the voice through stifled whimpering as she eventually pulled away from the seemingly spontaneous embrace.

"It's me,"—the kunoichi sniffled and rose a hand to wipe away further incoming tears—"It's Siu!"
 

Eishi

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I hadn't expected a hug, and my cigarette flew from my mouth as I crashed to the ground at the sudden embrace. At first, I thought I was going to get lucky, but it felt too easy, and she was crying so that couldn't be right. It wasn't until she introduced herself that I registered the name with the face and her emotional outburst. I wasn't so much in shock, but I was surprised to see her again. I wonder if she had seen Suika yet? Whatever, that was her business and not mine, though I bet Suika would be happy.

"That one of your old girlfriends or something?" Akane asked me derisively, seemingly a little bitter over being ignored. Knowing her she was probably just hot about the kunai to the head, still. The cheesy smile I had before the tackle resurfaced at her comment.

"Yeah, something like that," I commented cheekily as I got the two of us to our feet before I placed the overly emotional creature on my recently created stool. I made sure Siu was good and detached before I picked up my fallen cigarette from the ground and got comfortable at duplicate stool for myself. leaning on my knee, I sat there silently for a moment just letting our meeting for the first time in a few years sink in. I didn't really care for most people, trouble forming attachments and all that, but I had a soft spot for a few, and the naive girl I was beginning to remember was one of them. I saw the resemblance the more I stared at her face.

"It's good to see ya again, Siu," I offered as I watched Akane awkwardly lower her arm in the background behind Siu. I snickered at her denial before refocusing back in on Siu.

"So where've you been?" I asked bluntly enough as I let her catch her breath and get her thoughts straight.
 

Siu

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Eventually gathering her senses, Siu sniffled away the remainder of her whimpers, wiping leftover tears away with her palm and sleeve. Reaching behind her, into her belt pouch, she'd unravel a thick brown paper and handmake her own cigarette; sprinkling the dried tobacco leaves inside the object, licking it shut, and sparking her lighter. After the emotional flood, she'd definitely require another—especialy to explain her story.

"You have no idea how much I missed everyone..." The kunoichi would inform rather sombrely. "I was so happy to hear from Ikko that you and the others were still alive after so many years."

A drag of the cigarette would prepare her for the next transition—the main question. The kunoichi appeared hesitant.

"I've been in Marshlands," she'd resume somewhat vaguely. "It's.....very different there. So, sooo much different from Kumogakure and Lightening." The Chuunin's eyes drifted upwards as if the turquoise sea would provide her the necessary words to continue. "I cannot tell whether it made me more tolerant of being a shinobi or even possibly grateful towards it." Her lungs would expand themselves to welcome a deeper inhale as if inbreathing smoke to fog her very memories. A prolonged, lengthy exhale would release the pollution before her as if to hide her very countenance. It felt as if all the stress of the moment had been concentrated into that single drag. "And...how have you been, Eishi? What do you do now?"
 

Eishi

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I was slightly impressed by her skills as she quickly and smoothly went about rolling her cigarette. I generally just bought mine as a pack and called it good, but I couldn’t just let a valuable skill like that go to waste.

“Mind rolling me a fresh one, too?” I asked as I pointed to the one in her mouth,

“Shits hard with one hand and I don’t trust Akane over there to do a good job,” I stated plainly as I thought something else over for a moment. I let Siu go on about her time away in the swamp pits. I didn’t envy her, and I’m bewildered she even had a functioning nose after that hell, but at least it seemed to have tempered her a little from her childlike innocence.

“Sounds rough, doll.” I commented to her as she finished her tale. I was a bit taken aback when she asked about my time since she had been away. Usually I’d just lie on the spot and roll with the lie for most, but Siu wasn’t just anyone and I didn’t feel like trying to hide it. So, fuck it.

“I indirectly run a number of underground fighting rings, dog fighting pits, prostitution houses, drug dens, strictly off-the-book gambling holes, and facilitate a number of black markets deals around the country and keep most of my crooks in line. I also got my doctorate and am currently a year or two away from making med-chief of my own division,” I spoke rapidly and only breathed in afterwards before taking another puff of smoke.

“Basically same old, same old,” I gave her a cheekily smile as I finally got back to my thought at hand.

“Anyway, you caught me at a bad time for a reunion. I’m planning on heading off to leaf village in the next month or two for about two years,” I stated as I quickly got to the point.

“Would you roll me a carton, Siu? I’ll buy you dinner and pay premium for the packs,” I offered with a friendly enough smile.
 

Siu

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"Leaf?" the kunoichi repeated back, evident surprise within her tone. Her demeanor lingered in thought for a while. "It's...a long time," —eyes drifted downwards—"....Why are you going there?" It was ironic that Eishi's planned departure had been more surprising for the Chuunin than his current activities.

"And I hope...child-trafficking isn't including in that?" Her tone somewhat stern, one considered whether it had actually been an inquiry at all or an expectancy to cease had that been the case. While Siu had become quite tolerant of a number of morally questionable practices from her experiences within Marsh, aware there were far worse sins than simple fighting-rings, prostitution-houses, and gambling-holes, one thing the kunoichi did not tolerate was child-trafficking; both a witness and first-hand victim of its operations now.

A motion towards her pouch would provide a nonverbal answer to the male's request. A few birds nested themselves upon a nearby tree, its branches quivering from the burden. Siu would manage to roll about seven cigarettes before a frown suddenly appeared upon her face while rummaging through her pouch again.

"Hrm..." the female pouted, "you'll have to make do with these for now," Two opened palms extended outward, cupped like a bowl to eagerly offer the handiwork. "Come visit me before you leave for Leaf....I'll make you a bunch of packs for your journey, okay? Keep the money—it's a gift." A warm smile was visible upon her features.

"Would you like to come to Dali with me?"

[OOC: Siu also leaving after Eishi Exits]
 

Eishi

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“No” I said bluntly at her question.

“Slavery is literally the only thing I won’t tolerate. The world is vicious and mean enough as it is. People die for stupid reasons like religion, ethnicity or simply because they were unlucky,” I said with what I assumed was a somber voice.

“I do a lot of things society would deem as abhorrent or evil, but all the illegal businesses I operate fundamentally are by choice and free will of the consumer. Prostitutes will always be around, so why shouldn’t I at least keep them safe from their old pimps for a cut? If I don’t control the drug dens and most of the supply lines into Kumo, the addicts will just go back to the street and end up dead within a year from withdrawals because I own most of their networks. Hell, we’re both one degree away from a murderer for hire, are we not? If I didn't have a band that gave me a pass to kill in the name of Lightning, I'd likely be a war criminal along with a crook” I offered as I got to the point after a sigh.

“No... To me, the idea of taking away the one liberty all humans should experience is truly evil. Anything beyond that is just part of the carnival we call life.” I concluded as I began leading the two of us out of the area.

"Now let's get some dinner to celebrate your return and my upcoming departure," I said changing the subject. I was definitely in a better mood now that I had a date with a cute girl right before leaving town.

[EXIT]​
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