Naruto RPG
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Naruto, Naruto Shippuden
© Masashi Kishimoto

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Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:08 pm
“Where am I?” Nobutoshi wondered as he walked through field after field of rice. He had never been very far from his town before, so when he ran off into the woods that fateful night, he had no idea where he was going. The slight breeze rustled the rice plants on either side of him and also blew his hair and coat. A few birds flew overhead, idly gliding by. It was a beautiful day all in all, the sun shining with only a few clouds in the sky. As Nobutoshi wandered down the path he was on, he started planning what to do next. Judging from the abundance of rice fields, he assumed he had crossed the border into rice country, making him safe from any possible pursuers. 
“I need to find a town to get some supplies,” Nobutoshi thought. “But then what next? I suppose I could try to find some other jashinists, though that will be quite a challenge. Also, the place to find other jashinists would have been back in the land of hot water. That’s where most of the followers are. Though I’m sure some have moved to other lands. In any event, I have only a bit of ryo on me, nowhere near enough to live on, even for a little while. I’ll have to find work of some kind to earn some more money. Then maybe once I have a bit more money and there’s been time for the murder to blow over, I can return to the land of hotsprings and look for some fellow jashinists.” Content with his plan, Nobutoshi let his thoughts wander to unimportant matters like why there was seemingly nothing in this country but rice, or how he hadn’t seen a single person yet. 
After walking for the better part of the day, Nobutoshi thought he heard a sound besides the constant rustling of the rice, or the occasional screech of a bird. As he strained his ears harder, he could detect the sound he was picking up. It was people! The sounds of civilization, just what Nobutoshi needed. As he grew closer, Nobutoshi could make out a sloping hill with a cliff face, and as he got even closer he could see a small village atop the hill. Nobutoshi continued walking along the road until he entered what appeared to be the residential section of the town. He wasn’t sure what the top two layers of the village contained, but he decided it would be best not to try entering them. All he needed should be on the bottom layer. As Nobutoshi started passing people, he got nervous. 
“What if they heard about my sacrifice, and saw a poster with my face!” He thought nervously. “Oh calm down, I’m sure it’s fine, but just in case, I probably shouldn’t be flaunting this,” Nobutoshi thought as he tucked his necklace bearing the symbol of jashin into his shirt. “I’m sorry that I can’t show my pride of being one of your followers right now lord jashin. I promise that I will make it up to you. Now I should find a place to sleep for the night.” 
Nobutoshi continued wandering the streets, looking for an inn where he could find lodging for the night as well as a dinner.
[WC=551]
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:04 am
Where am I?

Tanbogakure's residential district grew by the day thanks in large part to the energetic efforts of Lord Kita. The Rice Country native's connections extended across the land and spanned society from peasant to petty lord, making him the perfect ambassador for the fledgling village. Each day new faces arrived bringing with them their traditions, trades, and tales of the vile Zukumiki whose power continued to build in the south. To accommodate the steady flow of newcomers, buildings sprang up in a matter of weeks creating a navigation nightmare even for Yasahiro who'd overseen the progress from his perch high in Okada Castle.

Was it a left at Taika's place or a right?

Cloaked in all black and sporting a messy beard, the Komekage looked like any other sellsword that one might find in the employ of daimyo the world over. He wore neither the trappings of power nor the vestiges of a kage, though a peculiar sword did hang tellingly from his left hip. Many people passed by him without a second glance, and more than a few forced him to yield his forward progress to an oncoming caravan bound for somewhere deeper in the village.

With the rapid growth of the village, Yasahiro made a point to stay as in touch with the people in the residential district lest he become another Zukumiki in his own right. Whether this meant hosting tea for the latest local headman to arrive or, in this case, taking his meals in the residential district, the samurai went out of his way to integrate with those he was tasked with defending. Of course, it did occur to the man that in a larger village such solo excursions may have been frowned upon by merit of the security risk they presented but, frankly, Tanbogakure lacked anyone close to him to do the frowning, let alone a security force to protect him if he wanted it.

Ah, here we are—it was a left, after all.

Mimi's Kitchen, little more than a hole in the wall smashed between two larger buildings, came recommended by one of Tanbogakure's latest shinobi recruits, Felix Sato. Somewhere between being run through drills and a live combat test by Yasahiro the young man mentioned that Mimi's had, in his opinion, the best dim sum in the growing village. How could the former exile ignore such a glowing endorsement?

Allowing another caravan of building materials and tatami mats to pass by, he darted across the narrow street and into the source of the sweet smell of steamed buns and cooked meat or, rather, he would have had a strange figure not caught his eye. Struck by the white hair, lilting form, and meandering pace, the Komekage paused at the entrance of Mimi's. Maybe three weeks ago he would have shrugged and gone on his way, but he now had a duty to the village to show some common decency, even if that only amounted to helping someone else navigate the mess of streets in the residential district.

"Excuse me," he sidled up next to the white-haired boy. "Can I help you find anything? Getting around can be a bit tricky with all the new construction."

The samurai's left hand rested on the hilt of his blade out of habit, not necessarily caution.
---
TWC: 553
Luujin
Luujin
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Ryo : 500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:13 pm
Nobutoshi halted as yet another caravan of building materials.
“What’s up with all of this construction?” Nobutoshi wondered as he looked around the town. He could hear the sounds of construction coming from the outskirts of the village, but couldn’t see anything from where he was.
“Perhaps the village is being extended,” Nobutoshi thought as he crossed the street. “Though the amount of materials being carted through the village is far more than just a little extension. This village is developing quickly, far more quickly than an ordinary rice farming village should. I’ll have to be careful.” 
Nobutoshi then caught a whiff of cooking meat. “Food,” he thought as he looked around for the source of the aroma. The scent didn’t appear to be coming from any shop on the street he was on, so Nobutoshi rounded a corner and continued looking. 
“More building supplies,” Nobutoshi noted as he watched another cart go by. “Perhaps I could get a job as a carpenter and earn some money that way, though I have no experience with carpentry.” As Nobutoshi crossed yet another street, he felt someone coming up behind him. Nobutoshi turned to the man as he spoke, outwardly calm, but inside he was starting to panic. 
“Why is he talking to me? Does he know what I did? No, it’s impossible, he must just be trying to help me.”
“Would you know of anywhere I could get a room for the night and something to eat? I’m afraid I don’t have much money, so somewhere inexpensive would be best.” Nobutoshi smiled as he asked this, though it was slightly forced. Nobutoshi noticed that the man’s hand rested on the hilt of the sword, though he didn’t seem to mean it in an aggressive manner. Even so, Nobutoshi was on edge, ready to bolt at any minute.
“Lord Jashin would be upset if I ran from a fight,” Nobutoshi thought. “But I don’t have any way of fighting this man.”

But unless the man made any hostile action, Nobutoshi would remain friendly and respectful towards the man who was helping him.


[WC=350]
[TWC=901]
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:56 pm
"Why don't you join me?" the words fell out the samurai's mouth before he could reign in his better nature "For dinner that is."

He jabbed a thumb over his shoulder towards the shabby building.

"Mimi's is supposed to be pretty good," he shrugged. "And decently cheap. I can show you around afterward; Inosaki's Inn is just a few streets over."

Without another word, the Komekage turned away from the white-haired boy and back towards the small restaurant. He certainly wasn't about to press him for an answer one way or the other. In fact, he thought to himself, if he were lucky the boy would continue on his way without indulging him—he preferred eating alone, after all. Allowing a young couple to exit the restaurant, Yasahiro then slipped into the dimly lit establishment.

With its less-than-ideal real estate Mimi's lacked any natural light save for that which came streaming in the door as it swung open and closed behind hurried customers. Instead of windows, the building relied on flickering lanterns to light the way to the seating area. Situated around a central open kitchen the restaurant's patrons could sit around and watch their meal take shape right before their eyes. Or, if one preferred a bit of privacy, they could take one of the booth seats that lined the diminutive room. The samurai, for his part, took a seat in the far booth with the wall at his back and the door readily in sight; he had no intention of finding an errant blade in his back.

Keeping one eye on the gently swaying door and one on the rather simplistic menu, Yasahiro waited to see if the boy cared to join him.  Around him, the business whirred about with a pair of waitresses going this way and that,  divine smells drifting off the sizzling grill, and the incoherent murmur of the few other patrons. If nothing else, Mimi's was a good place to lose oneself and leave the troubles of everyday life behind.
---
TWC: 888
Luujin
Luujin
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Ryo : 500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:37 am
Nobutoshi was surprised by the invitation to dinner with the mysterious man.
“This is a bit of a tight spot,” Nobutoshi thought as the man turned and started walking away. “If I decline I’ll have to keep searching for somewhere else to eat, but if I accept I continue to run the risk of being discovered. But I also might be able to get more information from this man. If he doesn’t already know about me chances are he won’t find out while we’re eating. I just have to make sure not to let anything slip.” By the time Nobutoshi made up his mind, the man had already entered the restaurant, but Nobutoshi saw him enter, so he was easily able to find the place. 
“This definitely isn’t the nicest place in town,” Nobutoshi thought as he approached the building. “Though that’s probably for the best. The worse the place the cheaper it will be.” Nobutoshi pushed open the door and entered the dimly lit building, his eyes scanning the place. 
“No windows,” he noted. “That means the only way out is the front door. But it also means if all of the lights went out, it would be easy to slip out without anybody noticing.” 
Nobutoshi was relieved to find that the man had chosen a booth in the far corner rather than one of the seats centered around the cooking area. Less people would see them this way. Nobutoshi walked over to the booth and sat across from the man, picking up a menu as he did so.
“Thank you for the invitation,” Nobutoshi said, “but I don’t think I ever caught your name.” While he chatted with the man he also scanned the menu for something he could afford. There wasn’t much but he could pay for a very small meal. Nobutoshi then waited for a waiter to come take their orders while he subtly scanned the restaurant for any threats.
[WC=324]
[TWC=1225]
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:58 pm
“Ah, apologies,” he flashed a slim smile. “Please, call me Yasahiro.”

The door on the far side of the room swung inwards bathing the establishment in a fleeting glint of natural light before plunging it back into the simulated twilight of the lantern-filled interior. A single figure slipped in carrying a sword much like the Komekage himself and took a seat at the open kitchen in the center of the room. Perhaps it was the dim ambiance, but the way the shadows fell around the figure it was impossible to discern any identifying features—something wasn’t right.

“Hi,” the voice of one of the waitresses interrupted Yasahiro’s thoughts. “What can I get for you two? Today’s special is spicy Har Gow made with shrimp right out of the bay and a side of pickled plums.”

“Oh, that sounds amazing,” the samurai pulled his gaze from the unknown figure and back to the bubbly, brown-haired waitress. “I’ll have the special and cover whatever he wants as well.”

He gestured to his newfound companion, and the waitress’s attention shifted over to the white-haired boy expectantly. At the center table, the unknown figure’s gaze flicked this way and that looking for something or, perhaps, someone.

“So,” Yasahiro continued once the boy finished his order and the waitress went on her way. “What brings you here?”

Though the former exile’s face remained a pleasant mask of the consummate host, his mind raced elsewhere. Asahi would have called him paranoid, but he found himself unable to shake the presence of the shadowy figure just a few tables away. Perhaps they were sent by his family to avenge the killing of his brother? Maybe they represented Zukumiki and his latest attempt to undermine the fledgling village? Or, possibly, Asahi would have been right—he was just being paranoid.
---
TWC: 1184
Luujin
Luujin
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Ryo : 500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:21 am
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Yasahiro,” Nobutoshi said with a smile. “My name is Nobutoshi.” Nobutoshi decided it would be best that he didn’t share his last name.
“If I remember my history right the Chinoike was a ninja clan long ago. It would be best not to make him think I’m a shinobi, even though I don’t have the kekkei genkai of my clan.” At least, Nobutoshi didn’t know of his powers yet. He had been raised away from ninja his entire life, he had no idea of the power that lay dormant inside him. 
Nobutoshi’s attention was suddenly drawn to a figure who walked through the door. Nobutoshi eyed the shadowy figure suspiciously as he took a seat around the open cooking area. 
“Hey that sword is like the one Yasahiro wears on his back,” Nobutoshi noticed. Nobutoshi considered asking Yasahiro if he knew the man in question, but after glancing over and seeing how he was eyeing him suspiciously as well, he decided it was best not to. Both of them were suddenly shaken out of their thoughts by the arrival of a waitress who asked for their orders.
“Yes, I’ll have that as well, thank you,” Nobutoshi said to the waitress, flashing her a smile. 
“Alright I’ll have those for you soon,” the waitress told them before turning around and walking into the kitchen. As she walked away, Nobutoshi felt someone’s gaze upon him, and it wasn’t Yasahiro. No, it was the shadowy man. As he subtly looked over, he saw the man quickly turn his head back to the chefs, making it impossible for Nobutoshi to tell if he was watching Yasahiro or himself.
“Could that man be a bounty hunter or ninja who was sent after me?” Nobutoshi wondered nervously. “Damn I wish I was in the other seat, that way I could watch Yasahiro and the man at the same time. But no matter, I’m sure Yasahiro chose that seat for the same reason. Hopefully he’ll let me know if the man makes a move.” Nobutoshi’s attention was brought back to his host as when he was asked why he was here, though his mind never fully left the strange man.
“Well I left my small town a few days ago in search of work and a new place to stay. This was the first place I happened across.” Nobutoshi told Yasahiro, choosing his words very carefully. “I can see this town is growing exponentially, far faster than an ordinary rice farming town should. So, is there another industry here? Perhaps I could find some work in it, or at least, there should be some job openings somewhere with all of this growth.” Nobutoshi truly couldn’t guess what it could be making the town so much money. He hadn’t seen anything on the way through the village, though he had only been on the civilian level. Perhaps it had something to do with the upper levels. Nobutoshi hoped the man wouldn’t inquire more into his background, but if he did, Nobutoshi intended to tell no lies, only partial truths. At least to a certain extent. He wasn’t about to confess to sacrificing a person to the blood god. In any event, Nobutoshi would watch and listen to Yasahiro carefully, both trying to find answers to his questions and try to discern if the shadowy man was up to anything through Yasahiro’s body language.
[WC=571]
[TWC=1796]
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:37 pm
"I don't know about exponentially, but it is growing," the samurai shrugged. "And I can't rightly say it's due to any single industry, though that could very well change in the future. Rather, people have been driven from their homes in the south, and they end up here—there's not much beyond this point save for Gaikotsu Bay and so they stay."

Every day more and more people streamed into the village from the south each carrying stories of Zukumiki's growing power in the south. Some told of small grievances like an increased tax burden, while others spoke of fates much worse and of lives lost, but all of them came together in Tanbogakure with a unified disdain for the growing shadow of the warlord. It was a unique position to be in for a new village, but a shared disdain could only sustain unity for so long—it was what came next that worried the Komekage of late.

"Two specials," the waitress returned food in hand. "Please be careful, the Har Gow is still quite hot."

"Thank you," Yasahiro said, giving a nod.

"Of course," the waitress gave a half bow perhaps a bit too formal for the situation. "Please let me know if you need anything else."

With that, the woman melted back into the darkened back room, and Yasahiro's attention was left to linger on the figure at the bar. For a few tense heartbeats, their two gazes met in the dim light before the one at the bar looked away in a hurry leaving the hair on the back of the samurai's neck to stand up.

"Nobutoshi," the Komekage's voice hardened as his attention returned to his new companion. "It isn't my place to pry, but would someone be following you for any reason?"

Picking at his meal, the samurai gave a half nod to the center of the room where the shadowy figure still sat. Perhaps whoever it was wasn't there for Yasahiro at all.
---
TWC: 1513
Luujin
Luujin
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Ryo : 500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:05 pm
“So this place isn’t necessarily growing because it’s got something particularly good. People are just fleeing from places particularly bad. But what is it they’re running from?” Nobutoshi wondered. As he was about to ask this question to Yasahiro, the waitress arrived with their meals. 
“Thank you,” Nobutoshi said eagerly. He hadn’t had a real meal since he had run away from his town, only a few berries he had found before entering the land of rice patties. 
As Nobutoshi took his first bite of the meal, he heard Yasahiro’s stern voice.
“Damn, he’s come to the same conclusion as me.” Nobutoshi thought as he finished chewing. “Oh well, it was bound to happen eventually.” 
“Well yes, there's definitely a reason that this man would be following me.” Nobutoshi said in a low voice, making sure nobody could overhear them. “I can’t confirm that he is here for me, but the chances are high that he’s been hired to capture or kill me.” Nobutoshi would then take a pause, waiting to see if Yasahiro would inquire further into why the man was after him. After a few moments, Nobutoshi continued to speak. “I think it would probably be best if we finished eating quickly so we don’t cause a scene inside the restaurant.” Nobutoshi would then start eating faster while trying to think of a way to defeat or escape the man. 
“There’s now way I could take him down in a fair fight,” Nobutoshi thought. “I have no combat experience whatsoever. The only way I’m making it away from him alive is if I run and hide, or if Yasahiro helps me. Though he has no obligation or reason to do so. Therefore, I need to plan an escape route. Let’s see, if I take a winding route through town then into the building area, I might be able to lose him.” Nobutoshi continued to scarf down his food as he plotted, every so often glancing back at the man, hoping he wouldn’t get up.
[WC=336]
[TWC=2132]
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500
100%

Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:03 am
"Mmm," Yasahiro hummed his agreement—starting a fight was a surefire way to be barred from a restaurant. "I'll keep an eye on them."

Keeping an eye on the shadowy figure, the Komekage continued his meal with his free hand hovering over the sword by his side. Making a break for the door would surely end poorly for all involved as it would force a confrontation. Far better to wait it out and, at the very least, defer any such confrontation to a more appropriate location. Of course, all this depended on the unwitting cooperation of the figure, something that could very well deteriorate at a moment's notice.

Across the room, the figure's meal arrived, and they fidgetted around with their wallet before pulling out a larger than expected amount of ryo. In the dim lantern light, the figure's hand emerged from the shadow handing off the ryo. Slim, slight, and meticulously manicured, the hand of the figure withdrew back into the unnatural shadows once more—an interesting twist to be sure, the figure's build appeared to be more masculine in nature, and yet their hands told a different story. Perhaps they wore armor?

Such thoughts had little time to develop further, however, as the figure stood up from their table and seemingly vanished into thin air. The unnatural shadows around where they once sat disappeared, replaced by lantern light once more. This detail fell from the fore in a flash as the shadows behind the latest arrival to Tanbogakure bent and morphed to reveal the figure from before—a wild-eyed woman sporting bulky armor and a drawn sword ringing through the air right for the back of Nobutoshi's neck.

"Nobutoshi, behind you!"

Sitting across from his newfound companion, Yasahiro lacked the speed to block the blow or even draw his blade, the attack had come too suddenly. Nobutoshi, on the other hand, had a heartbeat or two to react within if he wished to avoid his grim fate. Everything seemed to move in slow motion as the blade swung ever-onward, all the samurai could hope for was for Nobutoshi to react in time.
---
TWC: 1867
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Wandering Through the Rice Fields Empty Re: Wandering Through the Rice Fields

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