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 It Happened One Night [Flashback/Private/Training]

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Shinku

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PostSubject: It Happened One Night [Flashback/Private/Training]   Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:23 pm

A lone figure trudged along the deserted dirt path leading to the village cemetery. Dawn was approaching its break, and the first hues of red and orange had just begun to usher away the starry night above. The figure, his face concealed with a mask and his body draped in a black cloak, relented at the graveyard's entrance, but ultimately entered the elegiac rows of glistening tombstones. His stroll ended in front of a set of five such stones, shielded from the sun's first rays by one of the many pine trees idly swaying in the breeze.

"Five years already, huh?" Shinku murmured wistfully, addressing no one in particular.

He set down a bouquet of flowers for each of the five graves as he let his cloak's hood fall to his shoulders, revealing black waves of hair protruding from his reverse bandana, framing his colorfully-adorned ANBU mask. The moment his eyes met each of those five names on those stones, it was almost as if nothing had changed. That buffer zone; that five-year cushion just seemed to wilt and melt back to that one fateful night, where everything did change. Come to think of it, the stars twinkling above him today weren't much unlike the ones which loomed over him on that night five years ago. Shinku's expression darkened.

***

[Five years ago]

"The man we're looking for is Hakkyō Yamanaka, a jōnin of seven years hailing from the Leaf's Yamanaka Clan, and a now ex-member of the Konoha Torture and Interrogation Force."

Dozens of teams of various ranks and sizes had assembled upon summon in the rain on the roof of the Hokage Tower. A mission of this nature would normally be assigned to more experienced shinobi, but the ANBU were stretched thin as it was on various other duties, and, in their lieu, the Hokage saw it fit to employ the use of various chūnin, miscellaneous special jōnin, three-man genin squads let by a jōnin, and whatever straggling previously-off-duty ANBU were still available. The jōnin commander, briefing the ragtag union of flak jackets, ANBU masks and preteens, continued.

"As you are surely aware, the Yamanaka Clan specializes in mind-related jutsu, and could easily use techniques such as the Mind Body Switch Technique to impersonate one of your comrades. Through use of the Psycho Mind Transmission Technique, he would be able to sift through your minds to find codenames which we could have used as a means of identification. With this in mind, a Yamanaka Clan member has been assigned to every unit taking part in this mission."

Shinku glanced to his left. A young green-eyed man no older than 23, with a crop of straight platinum blonde hair, had quietly joined Shinku and his squad, and was exchanging low murmurs with his sensei.

"Additionally, keep in mind that Hakkyō is a very experienced shinobi holding the rank of jōnin. He is considered armed and dangerous, and is attempting to defect to another village. Stop him before he leaves the Fire Nation's borders. Stay alert."

The jōnin commander raised his hand.

"Scatter!"



Sharingan (1st Tomoe) - 1/10


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PostSubject: Re: It Happened One Night [Flashback/Private/Training]   Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:36 pm

It wasn't just rain, it was a downpour as heavy as Shinku had ever seen. Walking though a waterfall couldn't get any wetter. The drops struck the already wet tree branches, pitting the surface like they were bullets from above. Shinku and his squad had adopted a single-file formation: his sensei, Shio Uzumaki, helmed the line. Shinku always liked him. The middle-aged man had his quirks, but he was ultimately a shinobi of fine calibre willing to give away everything he had for the sake of the village. For that, Shinku respected him.

The Uchiha boy was directly behind the Uzumaki jōnin, and directly behind himself was Kirameki Sarutobi. Kirameki was alright. She was a member of the Sarutobi Clan, one of the Leaf's most famous, and also was a fire-style user, in accordance with her clan's traditions - meaning the two already had two points in common. Shinku found that she behaved a little skittishly or frivolously around him for some reason, but he didn't mind.

After Kirameki, was Kisei Shimura. In terms of personality, Kisei and Kirameki were stark opposites - for as long as Shinku could remember, Kisei was always a little gloomy, an exponent of a more aggressive form of Shinku's aloofness, which manifested itself through easy irritability and overall coldness. It was the general sentiment of Kisei's peers that he was waging an inner war against society as a whole, but truthfully, Shinku knew that he was a good person and ultimately a devout shinobi of the Hidden Leaf.

Finally, guarding the rear was Ishi Yamanaka. He was the Yamanaka Clan's attaché to Shio Uzumaki's Team Six, and was meant to counter Hakkyō's mind jutsu with his own to protect the squad (he ultimately managed to protect 3/4 of it). He had only just introduced himself moments before their departure from the village, and  Shinku did not recall ever seeing him prior to that night, but he seemed friendly enough and he was from Shinku's village, so he had to be one of the "good guys".

In Shinku's mind, things were much simpler back in the day - if you were someone from the Hidden Leaf, you were good. If you were someone trying to harm the Hidden Leaf in any way, you were bad. This Hakkyō he was chasing was trying to harm the Hidden Leaf - so he was bad. To rectify this, it was imperative that he either rejoined the village so he became good once again, or if that was not possible, that he be killed. Conveniently enough, that also happened to be the general doctrine of the mission.



Sharingan (1st Tomoe) - 2/10


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PostSubject: Re: It Happened One Night [Flashback/Private/Training]   Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:12 pm

[From the perspective of Hakkyō Yamanaka]

The rain was making it hard to even see. Nevertheless, Hakkyō soldiered forward. It wasn't like he had a choice. Getting caught by the search party would inevitably result in imprisonment, if not death. His eyes abruptly darted ahead, scanning the branches immediately in front of him. The defector sensed a unit of three shinobi. Refocusing on the branches, faint hues of white and red were barely visible on the boughs in front of him.

Paper bombs, huh?, he pondered, making a curt stop to his jumps on the last safe branch. The halt, however, was much too sharp to negotiate the wetness of the branch. Hakkyō slipped, falling through the branches before meeting the leafy ground with a thud. The Leaf shinobi had heard him, and were rapidly advancing towards the fallen Yamanaka. He cursed under his breath. To think a jōnin from the Hidden Leaf's Torture and Interrogation Force, of all people, had made the mistake of an Academy student? To have slipped off of a branch on a rainy day? Hakkyō cursed again. The Hidden Grass, who he was attempting to reach, would not have taken him seriously if they had seen that. He needed to get his act together.

His attention was redirected to his three former comrades, who had momentarily paused in a triangle surrounding him, probably assessing their target. Hakkyō's eyes darted about, reciprocating the Leaf ninjas' inquisitive gazes. There were almost certainly only three of them - in any case, Hakkyō didn't sense any more in the immediately surrounding area. All three were wearing flak jackets, meaning that they were at least chūnin... not jōnin yet, if Hakkyō were to judge by their demeanor. He would probably be able to take them on, but - shoot! Hakkyō jumped to action as the three Leaf shinobi rapidly began attacking Hakkyō with weapons of various sorts.

A combination of close-range and long-range Bukijutsu, huh? Hakkyō thought. The jōnin reached for his butt pouch, producing three small purple spheres, before hurling them at the ground. At first glance, they appeared to be regular smoke bombs, but they served another purpose entirely. The distinct smell of smoke began to permeate the air around the four shinobi. It was smell-based genjutsu, one of Hakkyō's specialties - and particularly discreet in the fact that the people under it would likely not suspect much as they were smelling what they were seeing - smoke.



Sharingan (1st Tomoe) - 3/10


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PostSubject: Re: It Happened One Night [Flashback/Private/Training]   Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:14 pm

[From the perspective of Shinku Uchiha]

"Listen up." The rain was still pouring, and the night was now in full swing.

The Uchiha obligingly looked up to his sensei, who had propped himself up with Kirameki on the branch of one of the Fire Nation forest's many trees.

"A team about a kilometer north of here bumped into Hakkyō, but he managed to get away. He's supposed to be heading in this direction now. Here's the plan. Kirameki and I will remain on this side of the tree-line. Shinku, Kisei - you and Ishi will camp out in a tree on the opposite side of the tree-line. Signal me if you spot him - but do not engage him in combat. If we fight, I start. If Kirameki or I spot him first, we'll signal you. Good luck."

"Oh, wait - one more thing, Kisei, no bickering." he added. "You might compromise the mission."

Kisei snarled in a mixture of sarcasm and acknowledgement before the trio jumped away. The overall mood of the team had noticeably grown austere in anticipation of Hakkyō's potential appearance.

"We humans process and interpret individual details within 80 milliseconds, and we interpret continuous events in three-second increments."

Shinku looked up confusedly. It was Ishi, squatting a couple branches above the Uchiha.

"The trick is to reduce that increment to a minimum by giving your undivided attention to the task at hand."

The boy nodded, and he turned back to the ground. The rain fell strong as ever, but, attempting to reduce this increment he was now taking into account, Shinku's unfaltering gaze still scanned every inch below him. Naturally, that prevented him from noticing what was happening above him. It was ephemeral - the softest whoosh and thud of Ishi falling through the forest canopy and hitting the ground, an oomph which marked Kisei getting punched into the tree - masked both visually and auditorially by the storm - and then the briefest shock of pain which Shinku registered before everything went black.



Sharingan (1st Tomoe) - 4/10
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