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 Men of Culture. [P]

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Ryūka
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PostSubject: Men of Culture. [P]   Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:32 pm

"And that's why, anybody who doesn't know how to wield a blade is not a real fighter.". Ryūka kept his giant pipe, his dagger and his katana on the table. They were sitting on top of every single piece of weaponry he owned. The other people sitting at the table collectively went. "Ah...". Some were more sarcastic than others. Ryūka shook his head. "You wouldn't understand beauty if it hit you with 300 speed.". He was trying to make the most of his time in the gates, being assigned the boring mission of a gate guard.

It was a cloudy day, as most were in this part of the world. It wasn't raining though, so it almost looked like it was a summer evening instead of the 1pm October weekday it was. Ryūka breathed out smoke, as he watched the gates for anyone leaving or coming in.

Ryūka shook his head again, as he sheated his 3 main weapons back into the giant metal flower that was floating behind him, putting the Kunai, Shuriken, etc. into his pouches. He just left out one kunai, that he kept spinning in his hand.


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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:52 pm

Gate duty, a task beneath like that was beneath an Anbu, generally given to lower ranked shinobi. Something Nobunaga always felt was mundane, especially in a village surrounded by filth and rot. Although less of it remained now that leadership had changed, it was still in the air, its wretched scent and vacuous fumes. Easy motivators to keep people away from this village therefore gate duty in Kumo was more mundane than any other ninja village for visitors were rare here. Despite never being assigned gate duty, what made it boring was what interested the Hiyu about it and why he voluntarily performed usual checks at each of the village's entry points. It allowed him to venture around the village in solitude, with nothing but his own thoughts and occasionally those of the demon caged inside of him. Despite this not being his home and never feeling like his home, he felt it was his duty to protect and watch over those within the village who could not. It was his duty as a shinobi and as a man whom held power. Patrolling the gates constituted as watching over people.  

Therefore Nobunaga found himself on this cloudy afternoon making the rounds through the village, checking every outpost and entry point, making sure all was in check and in order. Leaving his Anbu mask at his quarters for the public could not know of his status, he patrolled the village with the rest of his shinobi gear present. After all, if there were a disturbance, the brute needed to be ready did he not? Thus, he donned his armor that bonded to his flesh and above that he adorned a black cloak that was zipped up from his waist to his neck with a flap that went down the back side of his legs revealing the red cloth lining its interior. Last but not least was a brown strap circling under his right armpit and around his torso which hoisted the massive great sword hooked to his back.

Arriving at one of the outpost, the Hiyu caught wind of a conversation coming to its end. From an open window at the base of the guard post, someone made mention of how only real fighters wielded blades. Despite the fact that Nobunaga himself was a master of weaponry combat, it was not his forte for he was more skilled in Taijutsu and therefore had to disagree with the man's comments. Tall and sturdy as always the Hiyu casually made his way around the corner and into the open doorway of the outpost, revealing to himself the man who made the remarks, a girly man at that but a man none the less. The silent sentry watched as he receded his equipment into some floating flower like device behind him. He was clearly gifted when it came to using weaponry, but was it all a show, a facade put on to hide his lack of skill? Nobunaga was not as easily fooled by his display as the rest of those stationed here.

"You know how to wield a blade." Interjected Nobunaga, his coarse voice now grabbing the attention of all those who were not already aware of his presence. "But that does not make you a fighter. Many a men can learn how to wield a blade. Tricksters, fools, criminals, but that does not mean they are fighters. There are better men than them whom are fighters yet carry no blade." Trying to make a point as quickly as possible, the Hiyu wanted to show that you did not need a weapon to be a fighter. "Do you fancy yourself a fighter?"
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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:57 pm

The man that approached set off every alarm in the Genin's head. He was tall, buff, and obviously armed. Armed with a massive sword, no less. "Impressive sword..." Ryūka said, "Is that a bastard blade, a great sword?". The weapon enthusiast kept his eyes on the weapon a little longer, and continued, "A claymore? Looks like a fine weapon.". He stood up. Bowing gently, he greeted the man, but he kept his eyes on him just in case he was a danger, "Ryūjin of Kumogakure, at your service.".

He waited for a few seconds to see if the man returned the favor of a name. After that, whether he introduced himself or not, Ryūka continued. "I'd argue none of those things you mentioned make a man not a fighter. Using your brains as well as your strength is inherently a part of fighting. It's unfair to label one a trickster for that. Fools, the opposite end. If neither smart nor dumb people can be fighters, who do you even call a fighter, just those with extremely average minds? And say what you will, I've seen many honorable, good men, be labeled a criminal for petty reasons. A fighter is just a person who fights.". He waited for the man to give him an answer if he had one. Apart from the giant sword he was carrying, and the bluntness of his interjection, Ryūka didn't have much to judge him by.

"But... No. I do not consider myself a fighter. Not as of yet. I am barely at the start of my journey in fact... I'm eagerly waiting for a chance to improve, and when I do, I'll be looking for my chance to prove.".


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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:15 pm

Of course the first thing noticed was the Hiyu's sword. The kid speaking seemed proficient in the use of weapons therefore it made sense for someone like him to notice the blade at first glance. It was also to be expected considering its size, the long bandaged wrapped handle stretching out behind his right shoulder for easy access, the tip of the slab of metal that was the actual blade protruding down behind his left ankle made it easy to see even if it was strapped to the back of such a large man. Technically the kid was right when he called it a great sword but he was not entirely right. This was no ordinary great sword, it's sheer size and weight put it into a category of its own, a massive great sword would be a more suitable description of the blade he had become so proficient with. However he was not about to argue technicalities with a stranger. "Aye, a great sword of sorts." would be the Hiyu's response, keeping his speech simple, as always. Sternly, his eyes slightly descended as he watched the stranger bow and introduce himself. With his stoic, unwavering gaze the Hiyu would nod in response and continue the formalities. "Greetings Ryujin. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Nobunaga, Jounin of Kumogakure." Nobunaga hated hearing the name of the village beside that of his own but he felt he had to do it in this case for its seemed Ryujin was unable to tell whether he was a threat or not. Intrigued by the flower shaped device floating behind him, Nobunaga would offer a question of his own. "What is that... device that you have following you?"

It seemed the Genin missed the Anbu's point. Nobunaga had only brought up that simply wielding a weapon is not enough to make one a warrior. That was it. His point only pertained to weapons, nothing less and nothing more. He made no mention of what it actually took to be a warrior, which is what Ryujin appeared to be delving into. The silent sentry listened to his words as he went on about something Nobunaga did not talk about. The Hiyu could have retorted and corrected the individual before him but he was not a man of many words and did not want to engage in a useless confrontational debate with him. Therefore he simply grunted in response and let it slide, not making it clear to anyone whether he agreed or disagreed with the words of the Genin. But alas, he finished by saying he did not consider himself a fight. Why? Did that mean he believed himself not to have any of the qualifications he just went on about that a fighter could have in order to be one? But he had ambitions and appeared determined to achieve those ambitions. 

What did he mean by prove himself? Did he mean impress the higher up's in the village the same way he was attempting to impress those around him before the Hiyu arrived, with his array of items and weaponry and slick words? Or did he intend on proving himself with his skill and feats, performing task and expeditions that would make the village proud of him? But first, he wanted to improve himself, as every aspiring shinobi wanted to do. "What improvements do you seek to obtain?" Asked the Hiyu, wanting to know what techniques and skills the kid wanted to master, however before he could answer he would finish with "And what kind of shinobi do you wish to become?" Did he want to be a shinobi for the glory of it, or did he want to serve and protect those who could not? It was a question all shinobi were eventually asked for it was an answer every shinobi should already know.
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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:07 pm

Ryūka nodded after hearing the blade was a greatsword. "Pleasure to meet you too, Nobunaga... So. What do you consider yourself, then? A ninja? A swordsman? A fighter?". He then addressed the giant metal plate following him. He was surprised at first that Nobunaga had noticed. "It's called... I'm gonna try not to butcher the name here... Yōiku-sha no Te. Hands of the Bestower... It's basically a sheath for 12 swords. I'm currently only using 3 of those slots.  And as for your other question, one day I'd like to fill this thing with swords that each have history behind them, each their own stories of valor, written by me.".

He waited for a little bit, before speaking again. "What about you, Nobunaga? You're one of the first Jounin I've met. Do you consider yourself an accomplished person, one that has no more goals, or do you still have any?".


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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:56 pm

Despite not showing his reaction to the question for his facial features remained stern and stoic as every, Nobunaga was caught aback by Ryujin posing the questions. This was for a couple of reasons. First was because he honestly did not expect the kid before him to ask such a question. Usually around the presence of adult and higher ranking shinobi, people were not as comfortable around them as Ryujin currently was. Their behavior would change, they would act more proper, become less talkative and listen more, as if the Jounin was about to teach them something simply because they were there and of a higher rank. Second, Nobunaga had never considered such a question. It seemed simple enough, did he consider himself a fighter? But delving deeper into the question made it a much more complex one at heart for what did Nobunaga consider himself? He was once Suna's hidden shield. Acting in the shadows to protect the Hidden Sand Village against all manners of threats, both domestic and foreign. But when the village needed him post he had failed it and now, his home was no more. Now, he found himself being part of the very same village that destroyed his home. What did that make him? A turn cloak, a traitor, a failure? 

For a split moment he had lost himself in though, musing over the events of his past and the uncertain possibilities of his future. "What do I consider myself?" The Hiyu repeated, restating the question to bring himself back to the present moment. "I am a protector, a hidden guardian. I use my swordsmanship and shinobi training to defend those who are unable to do so themselves. I fight for the common folk and the weak to bring some sort of peace and calmness to their lives. I fight for the sake that other's do not have to." Raising his cloaked right arm, Nobunaga would scratch the scar that ran down his face from his left temple to the bottom right of his jaw before finishing "I am whatever I need to be to do what is right by those who need it most." Was Nobunaga lying to himself? He did not know. Being the protector for those who needed his help was who he wanted to be but could he faithfully say that the life he lived was one that lived up to that standard?

"Hands of the Bestower?" Thought the Hiyu to himself. What an interesting item, a piece of equipment that could shield 12 blades within it and followed the user wherever they went. How intriguing. Nobunaga was thinking of increasing his own arsenal of weapons. Where as originally he was just going to strap them all to himself and carry them either under his cloak or over like his massive great sword currently was, an item such as that which could store multiple weapons without ever changing it's shape or size was genius. Nobunaga would remember that unique sheath of sorts. The current owner of the sheath wanted to fill it was an array of swords, each of which he would use for his own means. What there means were were left unanswered however it was clear that this kid wanted to be a master swordsman. Being able to sheath 12 blades put him on the right path.

Did Nobunaga consider himself an accomplished person? Depends how one looked at it. He never knew his parents. He was raised by a brutal company of mercenaries, almost died in the deserts of the Wind Country, saw his best friend get murdered but still managed to become a high ranking shinobi and live on to this point. But did that make him accomplished? What goals did he have? So faithfully serve under Kyson and watch him bring this village to prosperity or to see the village that destroyed the only home he ever had fall to ruin? Such a simple question yet one Nobunaga did not know if he had an answer for it. He needed to answer the kid, perhaps something related to what he already said. "I have come a long way since I was a Genin or your age. But there is always more for a shinobi to do, no matter their rank. There will always be a reason to fight, whatever that reason is." Shifting the attention away from him for he was uncomfortable with the current sitation, he would bring the focus back to Ryujin. "You may fight to become a master swordsman, in order to do so you will have to make a name for yourself. Defeat the world's greatest swordsman and defend yourself against those trying to prove themselves as well. Is this something you're prepared to deal with young Ryujin?"
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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:18 pm

A shield? Interesting. Ryūka had never met a shield before. Some hammers, some axes, and a single other paint brush. But mostly dull knives. A lot of what Nobunaga shared with him went over the Genin's head, mostly due to a lack of experience and knowledge; and partly due to his ideologies not allowing him to truly open his mind, and possibly understand.

"You fight so others don't have to? I... I can respect that. But I don't see the good in that. I think you're fighting will help, of course; but the idea you spread works against you... Or would work against you, I imagine. I've never been in a war, and you look like you have at least seen some real battles, if not that. I just know, that when I fight for Kumo, I will not fight so others don't. I will fight, and hopefully inspire others to fight beside me. The children, the old, the weak I get. But there is no woman or man of my age I expect less of than myself. If I fight, I will expect them to fight beside me, against enemy forces. But of course, I will not depend on them.".

"Also, the world's greatest swordsman? Does that title come with a name, or is it purely a concept? Would you put your name next to that title, perhaps? Where do you rank, Nobunaga, among Kumo ninja, among those you have faced outside of it?".


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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:57 pm

Everyone in the room seemed to remain where they were, seated in awe at the conversation that was going on before their very eyes. A Jounin appearing out of nowhere having a unique dialogue with a fellow comrade who was not hesitant on giving his point of view. It showed that this young lad had confidence himself and was not stricken by the presence of someone simply because of their rank for that was a foolish thing. It was a good first impression, one that Nobunaga appreciated in the kid, one that the Hiyu could respect. But these two were clearly men of different times for their views did not fully align. Standing tall and silent, he listened to Ryujin retort Nobunaga's point about fighting so that someone else would not have to. He wanted someone to fight along side him, to inspire others to join him in the fray of battle, side by side, brother's in arms. "You are not wrong young Ryujin. If you are going to have a companion fighting alongside you, you can only hope that they fight with the same vigor as you for you are only as weak as your weakest link." But Ryujin probably never experienced war, he probably never watched one of those companions die fighting beside him. Perhaps such a thing would one day shape and change his perspective. "But battle is not as glorious as it seems. Not when you have to watch those same companions get struck down and die before your very eyes." Nobunaga fought to make sure other's would not die and if that meant they would not fight alongside him then so be it. Their life was far more important the experiencing battle.

It seemed Ryujin was interested in the idea of the greatest swordsman title for upon bringing it up there were several questions posed. But was this because he wanted to interrogate Nobunaga on the idea of the greatest swords because he found it ridiculous or because it was something he one day aspired to be? Whatever the case, he posed a lot of questions that got the Anbu thinking. What name came to mind when thinking of the greatest swordsman? It was a tough thing to categorize someone in since technically all the swords men would have to fight each other to know. But one name did come to mind. His infamy was known across the land, his conquest of Konoha and his calling of the Kage Summit being his most recent actions. That man was the Mizukage Xyxer, who sported a massive bandaged blade and was no stranger to wielding weapons, which was made very clear at the summit. "There is no official titled that is given but its more of one earned through reputation." Answer the Hiyu. "The Mizukage perhaps but no not me. I care little for petty titles and acclaim. I hone my skills for my own and those I am tasked with protecting and nothing else."

Ryujin's mentioning of his ranking among the Kumo nin made Nobunaga realize that Kumo possessed many skilled weaponry users. Between him, Komori and Komon, alone the village had three very skilled swordsman. But they were all too high of a ranking to take on students such as Ryujin, to help them hone their swordplay as well. "Do you have a master young Ryujin or are you self taught in your swordsmanship?" Nobunaga had time to kill, perhaps he could assist him in his sword training on this fine day. "You are one who possesses a unique sheath and already wields 3 weapons. Where have you learnt to use such distinct weaponry?"
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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:24 am

Battle is not glorious as it seems. The words shook Ryūka to his very core. Not only because they were said with sincere belief, but also because he was unable to deny it. He had not seen real battle yet. Real war. They were mere fantasies in his head. They were stories in books he had read. Visualizing Zyxis, Hoshi and Natsume as lifeless corpses in a sea of many others, covered in blood. Ryūka felt sick to his stomach. But he tried, he tried not to let anyone else know of his inner thoughts. His fears. These were his secrets, one he would take to his grave, hopefully not soon, and hopefully not in the Raikage's Chambers. That was probably the room Ryūka would have hated to die the most. Especially if it was in front of more than 3 people. 3 people was where Ryūka drew the line. 4? Now that was a death that would have haunted him for all eternity.

"I have not seen battle yet." Ryūka said, "I take your words as the truth. If they are not, I will see it myself. War, I wish to see not. But it is not in my control to stop one from brewing. If one does break out, I will suppress my emotions about the horrors of it and be as efficient a sword to my village as I can."...

He was quite surprised to hear Nobu mention the Mizukage. Where did that come from, out of nowhere? "The Mizukage? I'm afraid the reference goes past me. What kind of a man do you label him to be, that you speak of him this way?".

He would wait for an answer, or a few seconds if there was none, before answering Nobunaga's other questions, "I didn't have a master, not that I know of... Not in this life, I should say. I happen to be a victim of memory loss, so I very much could have had a master in the early years of my life. But whatever they could have taught me, I had to relearn myself either way. What about you Nobunaga? Were you traditionally trained here in Kumogakure?".


"So Nobunaga..." he said then, "You seem honorable. Just saying, if we ever happen to be in a room with a tense atmosphere, where it feels like a fight may break out, I'm your friend.".


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PostSubject: Re: Men of Culture. [P]   Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:10 pm

Ryujin had that right. Whether a war started or not was entirely up to men who wielded more power, far more power than both him and Nobunaga possessed. Men such as Xyxer and Maku, who both had such power and the intentions to use it. In the case of these two men, war was inevitable. It would only be a matter of time before both Nobunaga and Ryujin were plunged into another war with these two men at the helm of quite possibly the two greatest forces into the shinobi world at present. What Ryujin said next was a proper response if ever there was one. The Hiyu would not in agreement so the Genin wanting to serve his village in a time of war. "That is all the village can ask of you. To be there when you're called upon." Nobunaga would have done the same with Suna without a moments hesitation. But would he do the same for Kumo? Would he lay down his life to fight for the village that destroyed him home, the village that deep down inside he despised? He truly did not know the answer to that question. Only time would tell, unfortunately. 

It appeared the name of Konoha's conqueror was unknown to the Genin. His lack of knowledge in the Leviathan left him wanting to know why Nobunaga considered him the way he did which made the Hiyu think. Prior to the summit, what little the Hiyu knew about this man came from his infamous reputation and his old friend Kinzoku, a former Suna nin now Konoha nin who survived the Mizukage's conquest of the Hidden Leaf Village. At the Kage Summit, as Komori's guard Nobunaga finally met the man in question and there was something about it. Quite frankly, the entire summit revolved around him. He held all the power, he commandeered everyone's respect, he dictated every action and response that took place. He was a king among men and he knew it. Such power and knowledge would not go unused. Nobunaga feared it was only a matter of time that such a man make his next move. The only question was when and where? Would he come looking to conquer Kumo? Perhaps Ryujin would have to fight in a war sooner than he thought. 

"I must admit, I know little about him." Said Nobunaga as he began answering Ruijin's question. "But I've heard stories of him and once encountered him. I've heard what he is capable of and seen the blade he uses. He was the first that came to mind, but not because I know him but because of his reputation." The Hiyu's stern gaze would lock onto Ryujin's, now wondering why they were focusing on the Mizukage so much. The title of best swordsman was hypothetical and mattered little to the Hiyu. "Let us move on." He would say as talking of such things would get them nowhere.

"Memory loss." He thought to himself in silence. What an unfortunate thing to have happen to you. Or was it? Perhaps some memory loss would do Nobunaga well. Forget about the torturous past he endured, the living hell he went through due to the men that stole his childhood, used and abused him for their own gain. Forget that he ever served and failed Suna, so that he could move on with his life. A few moments of silence would pass as he thought about this before answering Ruijin's next question. It was an odd question, most automatically assumed Nobunaga was from here seeing as he was a Jounin. "Nay, I received my training elsewhere. In a place that was once my home, but now it lays in ruin. A place now long forgotten." He was a child when he arrived to Suna and from that moment on made his way through the ranks, gaining the favor of the Kage and training under him to be one of the village's Anbu. All of that felt like someones else past, a hazy past that did not belong to him. A deep rumble began to stir within the Hiyu has the sorrow and misery of his past were being revisited, a deep anger that fed the beast within him and awoke it from its dormant slumber. 

Nobunaga's train of thought was thankfully broken upon Ryujin making the most awkward of statements, one that actually got the Hiyu to look quite confused. Slightly raising his right eye brow in question, the Anbu would wonder why he would say such a thing, out of the blue? Was he simply telling the Jounin of his village that he would be loyal to him, that he would be loyal to the village, trying to gain some favor with his superiors? Or was he up to something else? "Is that so?" Rhetorically asked Nobunaga as his facial expression relaxed back into its usual stoic form. "Tell me young Rujin, what if the enemy standing across the room is your friend or an acquaintance of yours, maybe a former companion? Can I trust you will listen to orders? Can I place my trust in your skills?"
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