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 I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]

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Damon <3
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PostSubject: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:33 pm

The grey eyes of the Uchiha shot open as the boy used his arms to propel himself forward, his upper body resting on the ground to elevate his upper body. His breaths were quick, his eyes scanning the room for threats or anything dangerous. Sweat beaded across his body. The blanket that had been covering him slipped down to the floor as Damon relaxed somewhat. Sunlight beamed through the windows, casting a natural light throughout the room. Yurei seemed to be missing, probably training elsewhere or something. Damon’s breathing slowed down to a normal pace as his eyes relaxed. They fluttered shut as he fell back asleep.

-------

Some time later, the groggy chuunin tried to stand up, but he must have looked like a young horse learning to walk for the first time. He struggled to his feet, using the wall as support as he leaned against the wall with one arm. He began to try walking more down the hall towards the front door. He did not want to overstay his welcome, and besides, he was having much too problems with his weakened body… if he was ever going to make jounin, he would need to train, especially with a tournament coming up soon. Damon was unsure whether or not the prizes could only be achieved by one person… Would I have to face Yurei? After all we’ve been through… Damon hated to lose. If I want to stay true to myself… to becoming a legendary shinobi… I need to win Damon walked outside the house and looked around at the flora.

It was still beautiful: occasional flowers of several different colors, trees of all shapes and sizes. But then he cast his gaze towards the scar. A blackened patch of grass surrounded a circular patch of dirt. There were few sakura leaves remaining on the ground, as many of them had burned to nothingness. There was no ash where the tree had been, just nothingness, as if the fire had consumed even the remains. The smell of smoke lingered in the air. Everything dies

Damon hung his head and directed his gaze at the ground. A splash of red in the blackened grass caught his eye, causing him to stoop down. Cherries. They must have fallen off naturally sometime before the black fire had consumed their parent tree. He grabbed the small bundle of three and planted them where the other tree had once been. Hopefully, a sapling would spring from these. I’m sorry, Yurei Damon turned his back to the tree and began walking towards the street.

-------

“-FISH FOR SALE! GET YOUR-“
“-WEAPONS SOLD HERE! KILL YOUR ENEM-“
“-FOR YOUR LOVED ONES! THE FINEST GEMS-“

The marketplace was rather busy today. Merchants shouted at customers to buy their wares while the massive crowd of people pushed each other, everyone too focused on themselves to care about anyone else, striving to find whatever it was that they were looking for. There was scarcely a headband to be found amongst the crowd, as many vendors chose to either not sell to shinobi, or to charge them more than the item was worth. For this reason, Damon had kept his headband hidden in his pocket dimension. He was not even going to particularly buy anything, but he did not want to be targeted by the anti-shinobi hate groups. His father had died to one, and with Akio’s recent death, Damon found it hard to trust anyone. Yurei seemed to be the only one in his life he could rely on. And as for Kenshin… as far as Damon could see, Kenshin was honest. But he was a killer. Is Kenshin just a result of the system? Of the flawed ways of this world? It was not hard for the teenager to wrap his head around just how cruel humanity could be when it was faced with something it could not understand. People can lose their minds in their own fear of the unknown.

The Uchiha walked through the crowds, looking at the different goods that were on display when his stomach growled. The chuunin had not eaten much since Akio’s disappearance, and he had not eaten at all since the encounter with Kenshin. His body was weakened and needed nourishment. He instinctively grabbed his coin pouch of ryo, making sure that it was still there. Looking around, he found a booth that seemed to belong to a butcher of sorts. He approached the free counter where he was met by a burly man with a bloodied apron that covered his chest and legs. The bald, bearded man looked at him with little interest, “What do you want?” In his hand, a butcher’s knife glistened. Damon looked at him, unintimidated, “Give me a good cut, cooked thoroughly, please.” The Uchiha reached for his pouch of ryo, grabbing out the correct amount. The man took the money and simply began to cook on an open grill. Of course, the thorough cooking needed a rather long amount of time to prepare. Due to this, Damon sat down bored on a stool next to the counter, waiting for his meal to arrive. His eyes danced around the streets, looking around at the numerous amount of bystanders. That was when he seemed to notice an all too familiar face.

WC: 886
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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:54 pm

Yurei closed his eyes as wind rushed against his face. The rapidly moving air swelled his eyes, recalling water to his temples and Kogarashi, the Illusionary Owl cut through the clouds in the skys. Yurei struggled to keep his eyes open, but could not help but gaze at the sky around him. It appeared as he did, cyan and white in tandem, working together. Yurei extended his hand, feeling the cloud as Kogarashi flew through it. It was as if a thick fog or cotton candy, disintegrating with moisture. The pale Uchiha coughed lightly, inhaling the water within the clouds.

“Ok?” Kogarashi asked in his deep, yet comforting voice.

“Yeah,” Yurei replied. He tightened his grip on the owl as the pair traversed through the sky, weaving in, out, and between the clouds. It was colder up here, and the air was thinner. The scene reminded Yurei of that night with Kenshin, the frigid air, and the thinness of it. It had been exhausting, and now the alabaster Uchiha felt as if he could not breathe. It was too similar, even with the beating sun on his white skin.


“Kogarashi,” Yurei yelled, leaning forward to the owl’s ears. “Can you descend?”


“Of course,” the owl replied, slowly dipping toward the ground.

Yurei sat in silence for a moment, shifting chakra to his hands as the two flew down. Adhering to the owl in the same way one might use chakra in their feet, the Uchiha held on, clinging to the owl as he thought. The day he was to earn his position as a jounin was slowly coming closer and closer, but, for the first time in his life, he almost didn’t want to rise in the ranks. This village – it disgusted him. Every breath he took within its borders angered him.

Imagine dedicating one’s life to something – only to have it betray you when you need it the most.

Rising through the ranks here meant one thing – he was closure to Kenshin and those like him. Where the cynicism would take root, the emotionlessness. Yurei retracted one of his hands from the owl, clenching it into a fist. This village was evil, and it wanted to use the Uchiha.

The young man huffed. To think he wanted to save this place with a uniting genjutsu. No, that was no longer an option. Too much was a risk with that plan, and the aftereffects were not in his control. No, he needed something else. Something more real. Something practical.

Yurei grimaced, the owl now reaching the City Blessed by the Stars. In order for him to gain this power he desired, he’d have to become Jounin. Even if it meant beating Damon.

The dark-haired Chuunin was the only man Yurei truly trusted, but his goal to become famous was a petty desire that, while Yurei strove to help him achieve, could not compare to the white-haired Uchiha’s goals. They were far too vital, and the prospect of him losing to a man desiring fame appalled the young man.

I won’t ask for you to go easy on me if we end up fighting, Damon. I’ll win if I have to. If that’s what it takes to fix this world.
Yurei stopped, gritting his teeth. No, that was selfish. Or was it? The young man truly cared for Damon’s goals, but this… this was just too important. And if he needed to train even harder to succeed, then so be it.

Kogorashi, his massive wings like a shadow over the city, flew to the section of Hoshigakure adjacent to the center of the village. He flapped his wings once, landing in a road with no one around.

“That will be all, Kogarashi,” Yurei would say, climbing off of the owl’s back. “Thank you.”


The owl nodded, disappearing into a cloud of whirling smoke.

Yurei closed his eyes once more, relieving them of the stinging caused by the wind. He sat alone for a moment, allowing them to adjust as he leaned against a building. This section of the city was relatively quiet, but the pale Uchiha could hear the sounds of yelling customers are the nearby market. The Uchiha took a deep breath, the very thought of the villagers irritating him. He clenched his teeth, his cheeks protruding as he seethed in his anger.

All of them trampling over one another for scraps… Not a single one helping another.


Yurei opened his eyes, glaring at his hands before him. He stood, opening himself up with chakra. For a moment, he felt something. The mark seal he had placed on Damon, and his chakra signature. He must be up and about.

The Uchiha thought of that night, if not only briefly. He touched his eyes for a moment, thinking to flare his chakra within them. The Mangekyou Sharingan… This was the price of his emotions, his attachments. But there was strength in that. His sharingan was manifested proof that Kenshin was wrong to abandon his feelings.

Though now Yurei wished he could abandon his. The pain was great, and simply thinking of Damon reminded him of Akio’s passing and the circumstances of it. However, as he said before, that emotion made him stronger. Yurei’s fire burned brighter – hotter. His power was growing, and, if Damon had unlocked more power with his Mangekyou Sharingan, perhaps Yurei would, too.

Yurei picked himself up and began to walk, now headed for the marketplace where Damon’s chakra signature was located. The Uchiha weaved himself throughout the traffic of the many villagers, headed for the restaurant Damon had stopped to go to. Before he entered, however, Damon had spotted him through the glass. The Uchiha stopped, met with a flood of memorized as people passed between he and Damon. He extended his hand and waved with a light smile, offering what warmth was left inside of himself.

The Uchiha could feel the tears swelling in his eyes, but he quickly suppressed them. He knew then what he had to do. If it came down to it, he had to beat Damon. But even so, he had to make sure Damon was a jounin too. That’s what friends do. They were in this together.

Until the end.

Yurei stepped inside, waving at the cook behind the counter. “Hey, Mr. Agumishi,” Yurei said, smiling. “I’d like a roll of sushi after you’re done, please.”

The boy sat down next to Damon and rested his hand on his brother’s back, gripping his shoulder. “How are you holding up, Damon?” he said, his voice hushed.

 
WC: 1094


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:37 am

Yurei

The chuunin looked at the white haired Uchiha as he arrived, waving back at him across the sea of people. However, he did not notice the suppressed tears or the stiff body language. It is hard to notice something small if you are not looking for it. Although his chakra sensory was always active, so he managed to feel the new surge of power coming from Yurei. Yurei’s chakra… just feels more powerful. How far have you come? Yurei stepped inside and spoke to the burly shopkeeper/butcher with a friendly greeting before sitting down to wait on their food next to him, followed by a friendly grasping of the shoulder. “So, I take it you’ve been here before?” Damon took a sip from a cup of water while he waited on his food. “I’ve been better,” he said rather plainly, but he gave a small smile as he said so. “Just realized I hadn’t eaten in a while, you know?

The two waited at the counter, with Yurei’s boring sushi being delivered prior to Damon’s juicy, mouth watering cut of steak. Damon grabbed a knife and fork and began to hungrily dissect his meal, putting each piece of steak into his mouth, chewing while cutting another piece, only stopping occasionally take a sip of his water. “This is good for us," another bite of steak, “if we’re going to become jounin,” he paused going for another bite before swallowing the steak and continuing, “we needed to bulk up a bit.” Damon looked over the albino rather analytically, taking in his rather thinner nature. Damon himself was athletically built, but not any more than what was necessary. He was capable of performing more taijutsu techniques than the average genin but nothing too flashy. After all, ninjutsu was his speciality, and he had vowed to learn the arts of space and time in remembrance of his adoptive father. Damon took another bite, where Yurei would be able to add anything if he wanted.

WC: 1243


A lot of legends, a lot of people, have come before me. But this is my time.
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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:57 pm

“So, I take it you’ve been here before?” Damon asked as Yurei maneuvered to comfortably in his chair.
Yurei nodded, giving a thin smile. “Yeah, my family and I used to come here every week. I haven’t been since, well, it’s been a while.” The white haired Uchiha’s smile quickly faded, but was rekindled when he looked at his Uchiha clansman. He nodded in response to Damon’s feelings, and gave a small huff of hot air from his nose at the eating remark. Yurei hadn’t eaten either. The very thought of food had been sickening for quick some time now. “Yeah… I know.”
As the food came to the counter, Yurei bowed his head for a moment in thanks. He took a pair of wrapped chopsticks and punched them through their small package, revealing the wooden tools. Taking them in hand, Yurei took up his first slice of sushi, popping the seaweed wrapped delight into his mouth. It appeared as though he were a chipmunk, his cheeks protruding with food. He looked over at Damon and chuckled, trying to chew his meal before swallowing. He smiled in laughter before nodding at Damon’s assertion. “Yeah, but you know me. I’ve always looked like this. Physical strength isn’t really my strong suite.”

Yurei was of course very skinny, almost skeletal in his appearance, but he was healthier than he gave himself credit for. It just never really seemed to show, no matter how much he ate, but a meal in the belly did make chakra manipulation somewhat easier. No one wanted to spit fireballs on an empty stomach.

WC: 1340


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:19 pm

It’s alright. It’s not like either of us are really favoring taijutsu.” It was not long before Damon finished off his meal, savoring every last bite. He was going to go ahead and let Yurei suggest what they were going to do next. Truth be told, he had totally forgotten what he was going to do, so it looks like Damon will be riding shotgun.

WC: 1311


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:31 pm

Yurei smiled thinly, blowing hot air from his nose at Damon’s remark. He popped another bit of sushi into his mouth before speaking, this time chewing it quickly. “Listen, Damon,” he said, quietly. He eyed the cook, waiting for him to go in the back before speaking. “About this tournament… listen, if we end up fighting one another, and I hope we don’t, I won’t hold back. I want to help you achieve your goal, I do, but I can’t give up on mine. I want you to try your hardest if it comes to it because I will be too. And if I can’t beat you, then I wasn’t strong enough to change this world.”
The Uchiha sighed, taking in a deep breath. “I hope we both get to fulfill our dreams. I th- no, I know we’ll be able to.” The Uchiha gave a thin smile then returned to his food, taking another slice of sushi and placing it onto his tongue.

He paused, sighing. Fighting Damon wasn’t ideal, but neither could afford to go easy on the other. That would only serve to weaken them, and Yurei’s plans required they both be strong. As did Damon’s.

WC: 1541


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:49 am

Now it was Damon’s turn to blow hot air out of his nose in a borderline scoff. Now it was his ego’s time to shine. “Don’t worry, brother.” Damon gave him a large smile. “I don’t plan to lose, no matter who I have to face. It can be you, or any other chuunin in this village.” He used his thumb, pointing to his chest. “If there’s only one winner of this tournament, it’ll be me.” He winked at the white haired Uchiha before turning towards the crowd. “That, you can count on.” It had been a while since Damon had felt excited for something. But the idea of entering this tournament excited him, as it would allow him to test his skills against others of his level, some of whom may be out in this sea of people now. He still had a bit of training to go, but he was feeling rather confident, even if it might be misplaced. He stood up from his stool with a clenched fist, this time not in anger or emotion, but in sheer determination.

I have to do this.  I need to get strong so I can honor Akio’s memory, fulfil my own dream, and help you realize yours.

He smiled down at Yurei for what felt like the first time in a long time, and even let out a small laugh. No friends of mine will die as long I still live. This I promise. Damon left his empty plate and the money owed for the meal on the counter, nodding to the shopkeeper as he did so. “So I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for kicking your ass.

WC: 1611


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:20 am

“I don’t plan to lose, no matter who I have to face. It can be you, or any other chuunin in this village.”
Yurei gave a thin smile, resting his elbows on the counter. He placed one hand over the other and pressed them parallel against his lips. His eyes seemingly drifted off, watching the wall before him.
“If there’s only one winner of this tournament, it’ll be me.”
The Uchiha looked down, gazing at the hazy image of his hands, his eyes trying to adjust to focus on them.
“I have to do this.  I need to get strong so I can honor Akio’s memory, fulfil my own dream, and help you realize yours. So I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for kicking your ass.” Damon finished, brimming with confidence.
Yurei gave a huff of air through his nose in another smile, but it quickly subsided. Damon was always more competitive than Yurei, but the Uchiha was not the same boy who fought against Damon on the rooftop. There was a change, and it was more than a simple power boost. There was something else – something in his eyes.
I’m sorry, Damon. But my dream comes first. You can be famous when this world doesn’t kill anymore of my friends.
Yurei shifted his eyes to Damon, looking up at the boy from his resting hands. “Are you sure about that?” he’d ask smiling behind his hands. This smile quickly faded too, and Yurei continued looking at the wall before him, but his mind was elsewhere.
Ambition, emotion. These things drive the Uchiha. Which of us is willing to go farther?  Yurei felt the urge to tightening his hands, but he resisted it. I want you to achieve your goal, Damon. I do. Yurei looked down at the floor behind the counter, his eyes softly narrowing. But you won’t take mine from me. No matter how long I’d have to wait. It’s too important.
Yurei placed the final slice of sushi in his mouth before standing up. The Uchiha reached into his pocket, placing some ryo onto the counter.
“We need to go, Damon,” Yurei said, his tone shifting from somewhat playful to a somber, quiet voice. “I know your excited, and you want to prepare for the tournament, but this needs to come first. We need to do something for Akio. At the cemetery.”
Yurei’s hands tensed, knowing that his friend would never be given the burial his deserved. But anything was better than the hell Kenshin put his body through. He deserved more, some closure. Some respect.
The alabaster Uchiha clenched his teeth, glancing away from Damon if only for a moment. Anger boiled within him, and his stare became cold. With each passing day, it seemed pieces of the bright, white-haired boy were stripped away, leaving something else in his wake.
That’s what this world does to people. That’s what it did to Kenshin. But there was a question not being asked here. Was the world doing this to Yurei?

Or was Yurei doing it to himself?

WC: 2052


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 am

Well that sure killed the mood. Damon’s smile faltered, his face turning more neutral. But it was necessary. He appeared more focused, more understanding, more mature even as he nodded to Yurei. Death has a habit of forcing those experienced by it to cope with it and grow up. Even though Kenshin said he had disposed of the body, Damon was on board with what Yurei had suggested. But it could be said that the two Uchiha had not fully come to terms with it, yet. At least in Yurei’s case. He must have thought that he was hiding it well by averting his gaze, so that Damon could not see the look in his eyes, but the raven haired Uchiha studied Yurei once he turned. His body language gave every indication that he was struggling. That he was battling something inside of him. But if he did not want to come to him about it, there was nothing for the chuunin to do. The two would begin to walk out of the shop, cutting off to the side as to avoid the crowds. Instead, they were taking a different route so they could be able to talk more privately.

Yeah...” he said rather weakly at first, so he straightened and reasserted himself. “Yeah. We should. I haven’t been to the cemeteries lately anyways. I…” He paused as he looked at Yurei, his face softening. “I think I’ve been avoiding it.” He sighed heavily. “It’s just… easier to pretend someone isn’t dead. It’s easier to forget about them than to acknowledge it.” Now it was his turn to avert his eyes. His eyes looked to the side towards the edges of the streets, his head sinking slightly. “I don’t think I’ve ever visited my dad.” Of course, this man was not Damon’s father by blood, but he had been in every other sense of the term. He had raised him, nurtured him, and taught him much about the world. He was the reason Damon had traveled so much, the reason Damon had ended up in Hoshigakure. The reason he had met Yurei and Akio.

WC: 1980


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PostSubject: Re: I Just Wanted Some Steak [IO]   Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:21 am

As the two made their way out of the shop, Yurei released some of his anger, instead becoming more somber, He took his left hand and placed it on his right arm, rubbing it nervously as the pair walked outside. He wanted to prolong this, but it needed to be done.
“Yeah. We should. I haven’t been to the cemeteries lately anyways. I…”
Yurei nodded in understanding. Saying you were holding up was one thing. Practicing it was another obstacle entirely.
“I think I’ve been avoiding it. It’s just… easier to pretend someone isn’t dead. It’s easier to forget about them than to acknowledge it,” Damon continued.
Yurei’s eyes drifted once more as he compiled his thoughts. “I understand, Damon,” he replied, clearing his throat. “I understand wanting to walk away from it all. But that’s what Kenshin did. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my father – the repercussions of it. I… I’m not even sure what my mother thinks of me, anymore. She probably thinks I’m a monster…”
The alabaster Uchiha fell silent for a moment, collecting his thoughts with a quick sniff before continuing. “I’d like to pretend that he’s alive. That would be easier. But I can’t live in a lie like that. It doesn’t help me; it makes me weaker. The pain is a good thing. It’s a reminder of your mistakes.”
“I feel that same pain with Akio…”
Yurei glanced up at Damon in time for him to say his last words, something Yurei had not anticipated.
“I don’t think I’ve ever visited my dad.”
The pale chuunin pursed his lips in thought. “I’m sorry, Damon, I-“ he started, shaking his head. “I didn’t know. If you want, we can visit him. Together. Or you can go alone. Maybe that’s what you need.” Yurei looked at his palms for a moment, closing them softly. He looked back up at Damon with a sympathetic somberness on his face. “You can’t keep running away from the past, Damon. It will catch up with you."

WC: 2395


Health:25  Chakra:100  Stamina:60 (+119 AP) Speed:100  Strength:40
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