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The search for something beautiful in the unknown.... (Plot Mission) - Closed 53-FOU1568673033

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    The search for something beautiful in the unknown.... (Plot Mission) - Closed

    Genkumaru
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    Post by Genkumaru on Fri May 15, 2020 12:58 pm

    Mission Details:
    Name: Collecting Blood Crystals
    Rank: C-Rank
    Participants: Moon Village, Sun Village
    Type: Plot Mission
    Reward:
    Solo: 20 EXP
    Group: 25 EXP, 20 Ryo
    Details: A merchant has been roaming the land selling rare ruby red crystals, unlike anyone has seen before. These crystals are about the size of a golf ball and brilliant in color, selling for a pretty penny. However, something seems off, and many seers say there is an evil vibe from the gems. Despite this, many are now out looking for the gems, in the hopes to sell them and earn some extra cash. It is said these crystals can be found out in The Bloodstained Mire, and the rumor is they are a byproduct of the blood soaked soil.

    Once completed, you can choose to do two things with the crystals.
    -Sell them for an extra 10 Ryo as a reward.
    -Or turn them into your Kage.
    Requirements: Solo must make a 600 word post.
    Group- Each person must post at least once, with a 500 word post.

    The search for something beautiful in the unknown.... (Plot Mission) - Closed Latest?cb=20130827154000

    Most explorers of the area would have been traveling for days before the mornings light highlighted the rocky shores before them., marking that they had finally arrived at the Warriors pit. It's name hinting to its  history as an ancient battle ground that encompassed a whole region of mountainous and rocky out jutting earthen spires and ravines, its flat land marred by horrendous environmental damage no doubt caused by Shinobi of the past. Most in the world had been taught that the Scorched lands were the most desolate place in the world, but this region utterly destroyed any and all notion of that once seen. It was bleak and a testament to the destructive nature behind human motivation. Nothing could ever compare to the feeling of dread and unease that settled over travelers as they crossed over and into the rocky hill line and deeper into the region, the first glimpses of the Bloodstained mire forever registering into their minds.

    The marshland section of the region held uniquely colored flora and beasts meandered about it aimlessly, their forms occasionally visible through the dense foliage and plant life that was growing out of the bog before them. The clouds high above were numerous and caused limited light to filter down, giving the swamp an almost permanent sundown like atmosphere. In the center of the bog laid a great tree with crimson glowing baubles, that was clearly visible from the hill that had crossed over to enter into the area. As travelers encroached further into the area they would notice that the ground became sanguine in nature and the streams even ran the color of blood. A clear sign of the high iron content in the soil poisoning the water table, causing it to run red.

    It was here that Genkumaru and Kannagi had reached after a somewhat stable journey on the Kataki road. The day of travel having been more or less comfortable for the two of them, or at least Gen thought so. As they entered into the region it was hard for him to describe just how awful it began to make him feel. The very air felt... heavy and as if some for of crushing weight was being placed on his shoulders just from being here. Stepping down into the ravine and making his way downwards into the bog land, he looked up to Kannagi with words of encouragement, "This place can't be nearly as scary as it looks can it?...  I am sure this will just be a routine cut and dry harvest operation... That tree though.", Looking off into the distance below the winding paths of the mire could be seen to all culminate in a single spot. A grand tree that looked to be both lifeless and not at the same time, strange luminescent crimson orbs hanging from its branches that cast a sanguine glow upon the surrounding bog land. Stranger creatures flitted about periodically as Gen watched, during his descent.

    The cliff face was steep and bending as it dropped into a flat spot on the ravines floor, the bog splayed out in front of them now like a twisted enchanting forest of terrifying sounds and images. A nightmare more then a dreamland, biting his lower lip he spoke again, "
    Okay maybe it is just as scary as it looks...", as he finished speaking, the ground quaked with a pulsing and building crescendo almost as if to say yes, and the source of the quake became audible as a guttural and terrifying roar came from something  deep inside the bog that pierced through the valley like ravines walls and echoed back around, surrounding the area in its dread filled wail.


    Last edited by Genkumaru on Mon May 25, 2020 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total



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    Post by Kannagi on Mon May 18, 2020 8:15 pm

    Kannagi and Genkumaru had entered the mire cautiously; she had sent Cirilla back home early on when the grassland become wet and unstable. Bogs were incredibly dangerous and although Kannagi had never been to one, it was presumed naturally that a name like Bloodstained meant that too many had entered the bog without the precautions. Over a hundred years after vanishing, corpses had been returned accidentally discovered and largely preserved over the times from places like this. The grasses grew thicker and denser, and to her surprise, trees too. Adventitious roots, she assumed from her reading, having inspected them silently on their walk.

    Kannagi hadn't said much on the ride, preferring to feel only the wind around her and Cirilla below her. The ride was shorter than she would have hoped but they had a mission to do and she wasn't going to race around for the joy of it. She had stepped carefully, some places in the mire deep and watery just by sight, others were as solid as ground but jiggled with each footstep. Where they had stopped now, it had gotten rockier and there were many more sturdy places to stand than on the walk here. The large tree and the floating orbs of opalescence made Kannagi frown deeply.
    "I suppose I must scrap my knowledge of mires for this place. What I see practically defies nature."

    Kannagi walked around, her sandals squelching in the muck. These crystals were rumored to come from the soil itself and for that she felt a bit concerned. Her wet and muddy feet, tiny bits of weeds clinging to her ankles and toes, were safe enough walking with the sandals over rock and goo. However, if the muck disguised large or sharp crystals, Kannagi might be prone to infection from a cut in a place like this. She bent over at the waist and shoved her fingertips into the soil slowly, feeling around.
    "Silt, stone," Kannagi withdrew her hand to show a clump of dense material dripping with  red liquid, "Some red clay. I've got a sour feeling that we'll have to descend towards the tree in order to locate what we seek. Should we be concerned with those animals out there? I can only make out some of their shadows." The blue haired woman tossed the clay to the side and rinsed her fingers in the red pool by her feet. She shook her hands dry and shuffled towards the cliff side, assuming the next step would be to go down if Genkumaru was in agreement.

    WC: 426

    Genkumaru
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    Post by Genkumaru on Mon May 18, 2020 10:42 pm

    Still rattled from riding a horse for so long and the Roar that had echoed out towards them from below, Gen was very uncertain about continuing this mission as it was, but he knew he couldn't let down Kannagi after getting this far. Taking the first steps down the winding cliff face he would continue forwards to the bottom as he spoke to Kanna, "Kanna... Promise something as we delve deeper into whatever this place has in store for us.", pausing for effect so as to put emphasis on the heaviness of what he was about to say, "If this goes sideways I want you to turn back and run like hell to the village. We were sent to figure out what was the deal with these crystals but... Its not worth our life. I would never be able to forgive myself if my poor decision to come here gets you hurt or severely injured. So please promise me if something happens you will get as far away from here as possible?", he would let the statement sink in and regardless of her answer he wouldn't touch on it again. He needed her to know how important it was to him. 


    As they reached the ravines bottom and the crimson bog water was about mid shin height at this point, Gen would begin sloshing forward deeper into the bog land. His goal in sight if only his feet could take him there. The tree was still leagues away but due to its immense size it could be seen through the winding thicket. Calling out to Kanna he spoke softly this time, hoping he hadn't ruffled too many feathers with his request, "Kannagi I want you to know I didn't ask you such a selfish request as you fleeing out of any notion that you are weaker then myself or anything negative in general, its quite the opposite. I think you are stronger then me in so many ways, and I don't want you to be a hero for my sake.", the conviction and serenity in his voice would be met with a look of intense worry that he had flashed towards her, staring into her eyes with his own unabashed and without any trace of sympathy but only that of fear. 


    It was at this moment that another ground shaking roar would be heard causing the very ground they settled on to quake making their footing unstable. Thousands of crow like creatures with two sets of wings and spiked beaks rose from the thickets twisted foliage and squawked with fear as they scattered to the cardinal directions haphazardly. Their vast exodus leaving their purplish red feathers to cascade down into the surrounding area like a colorful explosion of confetti. Silence is all that followed in their wake, the ground quieting as its shaking tapered off slowly. Within moments the sound of insects picked back up and the void like feeling faded. Taking longer strides forward it seemed that only a single twisting path laid before them as the thicket naturally parted ways into a wagon sized "road". 



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    Post by Kannagi on Tue May 19, 2020 9:48 pm

    Genkumaru's words were rife with quandaries and a myriad of mistakes. Kannagi's mouth went dry at first, so in surprise was she. Her wide eyes trained on the cliff before her as his words rattled through her mind, shaking her sureties to the core. Genkumaru was a friend, he had vowed to help her train, to become a better shinobi, to strive with her towards greatness! He was her only friend thus far, beyond Cirilla, and she felt cutting tears stinging the corners of her eyes. How could he let her down so enormously, how he could he speak to her thus and be so unaware of his damage? She had thought they were equals. She had helped him by teaching him the very basics of yoga, encouraging him to face his fears, helping him in all the ways to grow more powerful and develop into a person worthy of the title of shinobi. His pathetic attempt to repair the damage, asking her to abandon him instead of playing the role of a hero, it only drove her to an anger lined with madness.

    She was non-responsive for a while, Genkumaru working down the cliff's edge and waiting for her at the bottom. From so high up, he had to have been able to see her face now and it was not a pretty sight. Every alluring and beautiful curve in her had tensed to a sharpened point. Her upper lip twitched once and her blue eyes glowered down at him like the hottest of flames. She looked like a warrior queen, full of righteous eminence and daunting fury.
    "You want me to run. You want for me to not get hurt. You say I should not be a hero for your sake, and this mission is not worth my life," her words were deliberate and slow, as if repeating what he said would help his betrayal to sink in.

    Her eyes were filled with sudden fanaticism as her outrage caused her to bark out a chilling laugh. She allowed a paper to form from her right arm, blade like in appearance and certainly as sharp. She showed it to him and demanded,
    "And what will you do if I get hurt? Will you save me, I your damsel, your stepping stone to your own herohood?" Kannagi drew the paper made blade over her left bicep, creating a clean thin line of blood that drooled down her arm. Her paper blade receded and she looked her arm over, glancing down at Genkumaru. "What shall you do? About this? You desire to try and control me?" She stomped a foot on the cliff top and pointed down at Genkumaru, "I am not a shinobi for fun. Shinobi are sent on missions to help their village, risking my life is part of the job. If I died here, it would be an honorable death. I would not leave a friend, nay- a partner behind! I would not flee like a roach in the sunlight. I am not afraid to fight and die to protect the village."

    Kannagi shook her head and paced at the cliff top, her madness seeming to come and go; her angered face, so beautiful and terrifying, faced at Genkumaru. Had he dared to actually speak, she might have simply jumped from the cliff's edge, and Kannagi had hoped his need to protect her would have kept his mouth shut.
    "You cannot control my life or my death. You cannot take away my honor or my will. I am not a little girl... I am a capable ninja!" She looked pained then, less angry and more mournful. Her brows dropped and she shut her eyes tight, "I trusted you. I thought you considered me an equal, a real friend. Even Cirilla liked your company. Oh how you had grown with me by your side." When she opened her eyes she touched her face, her bloodied hand smearing a streak on her cheek. She didn't seem to even notice. "You think you're better than me. You think its ok for you to die here, its ok for you to die on a mission, but I am too precious for that. Y-youre just like them."

    "Women take care of the mind and soul, men take care of the body. I helped you with your chakra and your fears and in return you want to send me home so you can face any dangers alone. You're a hell of a man, now aren't you?"
    A single tear managed to escape her eyes and exhausted, Kannagi just it fall. "I trusted you. I trusted you. I trusted.." Her jaw set firmly and she made a few seals with her hands. In a quick motion, Kannagi's entire body become like two dimensional paper. She leapt off the cliff edge and floated all the way to the bottom. She transformed once more, ending the jutsu, standing a few feet away from Genkumaru.

    "I wouldn't abandon any of my other partners on a mission, and you have my word that I won't leave you either,"
    her blue eyes looked him up and down. "And my word should be enough for you, since I have never broken it." Kannagi didn't know what else to think, what else to do. Her anger started to simmer down but the pain was still there. Genkumaru couldn't undo the damage or unsay what he had said. She knew he wasn't a mean person, she knew he wanted to look out for her because of his kindness. He was as careless as he was kind, accidentally tripping over his emotions and shattering the trust between them. Such a careless, stupid, idiot. He should consider himself lucky that she had her emotions and her mind under such great control. Her jaw quivered once before her posture straightened again, Kannagi's body facing the tree. Her arm still bled, but it was light in comparison.

    WC: 990

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    Post by Genkumaru on Tue May 19, 2020 11:11 pm

    Gen's expression of whatever it was that he had begun to feel for Kanna had come out in the worse way imaginable to the woman that he had grown to care for deeply. His personal insecurities and tainted past had now colored his future too as the woman he felt closest to, now weeped and seethed with anger at the very notion that he wanted her to save herself if things went awry, that his intent was that he wasn't worth saving when it came down to it at the end of the day. He believed that no matter what everyone else came first and his life mattered very little. He didn't deserve love, friendship, family or to even be liked after all of the accidents that had followed him in his life and led to the loss of others, but in this moment his heart shattered. How could he hurt Kanna so? She was right she had trusted him and now it was gone in the blink of an eye, another precious thing lost to him forever because of his own lack of control. As she approached him she would notice that even though he stood firm and stoic, tears rushed from his eyes and moistened his beard.

    Their cerulean orbs locked onto each other he felt the biggest well in his stomach that he had ever felt in his life up to this point. How could he have done this? He prided himself as a shield and how could he, if he couldn't even do the job correctly with that which he had cared most for? His mind officially fractured and given in to darker impulses, he gently touched the blade of her paper sword and sliced his own palm open deeply, causing his blood to trickle down and into the mire, lost among its sanguine waters. He deserved all of the pain that he had begun to feel, the emotional and physical as he noticed the full extent of his words on Kannagi Irezumi...

    Trying to find the words to speak to his intentions, he knew that none of it mattered now, his voice barely croaked and was inconsistent, gone was the smooth and kind tone of the man who laid before her, and all that remained was the raspy croaking of a broken boy, "
    Kannagi.... Your right.... Your absolutely right about everything... Except I don't think we are equals Kannagi... I think you are my superior, in every way, and as my superior it is my duty to ensure your survival is not infringed by my incompetence....", he would let that sit for a brief moment before leaving her gaze to turn sideways and stare off into the distance, tears still streaming down his face. Clenching his bleeding fist the blood would drip down into the mire once more before he talked, "This blood that flows through me, the blood of an Iwamura... Is that of the legendary vanguards. They were strong yes, but their true strength was always making sure everyone else was safe first before themselves... It cost my clan everything but I don't think it was the wrong choice. My parents died while on a mission together with other Sun ninja Kannagi, and in a way that was my fault too... I had kept them up for two whole days before they left on that mission... My father and mother tried their hardest to save all of their comrades when what was supposed to be a routine sweep and clear of a bandit outpost turned into an ambush and a slaughter. My mother was the lookout when they camped for the night, hoping to assault that outpost in the early morning, she fell asleep while on watch because I had denied her with my infant wailing. While she slept the bandits had amassed on their position and assaulted them. Two Nara clan members, and an Akimichi died because of her. My father awoke to a blade in his side before blasting his way towards her, only to find her defending those that remained standing of their assault group. They fought for hours but to no avail as they were outnumbered and rogue shinobi were present at that bandit camp. Finally my father gave the order to flee and regroup, and acted as the distraction. Out of love or fear or duty my mother stayed behind and they both perished. Them calling the retreat and not being able to speak for themselves harmed their reputation as Shinobi in memorial. I wound up in that orphanage because no one wanted to touch the child of the man who failed his men, who failed his duty... And I had no mother to care for me to make it even a little better, because she died a shinobi and chose not to live as a mother.... Kannagi I cannot live with another death on my hands because I am too weak to protect anyone... Too weak to call myself an Iwamura.... I am so sorry that I couldn't even protect your trust in me... I am worthless...".

    His heart weighed so heavy in that moment, death and pain are all that he could ever manifest in this world, and their was no stopping it was there? He would always just be the man who couldn't control himself so what was the point to keep trying? In his anger... In his frustration.. In his sadness, he pointed the bleeding palm outwards off into the distance and released it all, everything that he had felt from the moment he was old enough to remember. Old enough to know what it means to be the Orphaned shield... The raw unhindered explosive power emanated forth from his hand and off into the valley wall with a cacophonous boom of massively explosive force. The field of devastation was greater then he was normally capable of, but in this moment he had lost all semblance of control, he had let all of his feelings go free as he no longer wanted them... He no longer wanted any of it. The continuous wave of explosive chakra that flowed forth from him cauterized his palm with its fury. His hair fluttered about as the ribbon holding it in a bun tore off into the distance, his clothes billowing about he must have looked terrifying.



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    Post by Kannagi on Wed May 20, 2020 7:51 pm

    Kannagi heard him speak, his words reaching her as if through a misty veil. She no longer felt that emotional connection, she no longer felt much of anything. Her anger unleashed had taken a toll on her mind. He had a tragic story to be certain and she felt pity for him. His life couldn't have been an easy one. It was no excuse to say and act as he had. In Kannagi's eyes, his weakness, his lack of confidence, both had built him to an inevitable conclusion. If he wasn't able to fight for himself and let go of all the burden that he carried, Genkumaru would put himself in danger more than necessary. He would risk himself, others and the missions at large with his clouded world view. If she didn't stop him, who would? Of course, she could merely report the issue and leave it to someone else; being part of his mental breakdown here in the mire however made her obligated to see it that he didn't endanger himself or others. It was just her way; even if she was angry and hurt and even if their friendship was in such danger.
       
    After significant debate, the woman turned to face him in time for him to release a large explosion into the walls. A shrieking from the large tree gave out as a massive cloud of creatures emerged and made their escape. Birds, bats, and insects rushed through the area and passed the two of them. Kannagi ducked and covered her head, feeling the hard carapaces and scratchy claws sliding over her and around her. She was unlike most girls in that she didn't so much as scream. After almost a minute, the cloud of creatures had finally left and she stood back up. Kannagi didn't even think twice, she had to nip his self-loathing in the bud before it killed the both of them. The blue haired woman walked towards him and open hand slapped him hard across the face.
    "Enough! If you're not the person you want to be, then by suns and stars, change it! You have the power to do that!"

    Kannagi took a step back, her sandals squishing in the thin layer of mud atop stone.
    "You have the power to do that," she pointed at the blast crater, "You have the power to change yourself. Attend to your weaknesses before you get us both killed." She shook her head and moved away, walking towards a large wet pool that she could see the shine blinking off, from the light of those orbs floating around. Those bloody crystals would shine on their own if they were out and obvious; so the prime place to search was going to be in those hidden places. As she walked away, the ground trembled and groaned. The explosion and her subsequent footsteps had been too much for the ground nearby and what had seemed solid a moment ago became thick with mud in a single second.

    The ground fell through, an opened sinkhole filled with the stench of the acidic bog and just as dangerous. Kannagi tried to assert her chakra with swiftness in her feet, but the mudslide moved too swift. The blue haired woman slipped into the rush of brown muck, one hand sticking out, grasping. The ground continued to split and crack, the hole widening all the way towards Genkumaru. Kannagi has lost sight of him rapidly and her hands were jerked around too forcefully to put out any hand seals. Something hard compressed her foot and ankle, twisting. With an agonizing tug, Kannagi freed herself in the dark and her body was swept once more into the churning turmoil of bog water and clay. Her head surfaced several times, letting her catch a breath and spit out the dirt from her lips. She felt the pelting of a few rocks as she tumbled down, riding the disaster out and focusing on staying calm.

    With a sudden slam, Kannagi landed on something solid and smooth, and she felt outwards with her fingers. It was some sort of stone floor. She couldn't see but she could hear the echo of the room and feel the way the mud splashed around and away from her. She had fallen into a large cavern. Kannagi choked and coughed, trying to crawl out of the force of the mudslide. She dragged herself through the dark until she came to a wall covered in something shaggy, perhaps the underground root systems of the reeds and weeds far above. Kannagi took a cloth from her pouch and dabbed at her eyes, nose and lips before taking a hearty breath. Fortunately, she didn't smell sulfur or any other toxic gases down here and simply rested there against the stone wall, her pulse still in overdrive with adrenaline.


    WC: 805

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    Post by Genkumaru on Wed May 20, 2020 8:57 pm

    The pain, the rage, the sadness had all left him. He was hollow, half the man he was when they came in to this godforsaken place. There was no going back to who he was anytime soon, or so he thought for ever the brief moment. Like everything in his life even that feeling of finality was fleeting, as Kannagi stepped towards him and slapped him across the face, forcing his head to follow her slaps motion. Stumbling for a minute, he reached up to caress his flushed cheek. She hit him? Kannagi really hit him. Everything was in fact gone between them then... or at least that what raced through his mind. The realization that he was right caused the pit in his stomach to reform.

    As she yelled at him further, berating him for his actions like a teacher would a delinquent student, it only made him feel worse about himself. She couldn't be right could she? This power was not meant for changing his stars, only others, violently. Looking towards the area he had destroyed his eyes widened for a moment, panic evident on his face as he spoke normally, "
    I did that?...", the panic crept across him but only for a minute as the ground quaked with earthen rage and the mud beneath them began shifting. Looking towards Kannagi he saw her walking away from him before she too lost her balance, as the ground gave way beneath her. In that moment he stopped caring about what had just happened, as he slowly realized what was unfolding before him.

    Seeing the sink hole open under her, and watching her begin to fall down and into it he panicked, knowing this was his fault too. Without a second thought he performed a swimmers dive after her with no thought for his own safety, shouting at the top of his lungs as he dove in, "
    KANNAGI!!", his dolphin like approach ended up saving him from being dragged into the mud flow, as he saw Kannagi topple around and heard her slam into something. Judging the distance he leaped and that they were at when she fell, he tucked and rolled just in time to let his left shoulder hit the stone and roll into a standing position. A bruise began forming from the experience, as his large frame had collided with solid stone at a rather fast speed, pain not evident yet due to adrenaline.

    He couldn't see her, and all he heard was the sound of the bog water trickling down from over head onto the stone flooring.  The light above could not illuminate their position as they were maybe thirty feet or more below the surface now. Thinking quickly he held his right arm aloft and towards the ceiling and began channeling his Bakuton chakra in small controlled intervals to cause a firework like effect almost like strobe lighting. Seeing her form leaning against a stone wall with roots grown over, he locked on to her position and began moving. The light he was casting would let them see that they were in some sort of shaped stone lined hallway, of undeniable human construction. Everything from before didn't seem to matter to him as he saw how vulnerable Kannagi looked, rushing to her side he stopped releasing small bursts with his right hand and now kept a constant small scale explosion going, making it look like he held a torch lighter. Kneeling next to her he looked over her frame for any injuries with a look of utmost concern, "
    Kannagi! I am so sorry, I should never have done that! It was so wrong of me to treat you the way I did, your not just some damsel, you are a wonderful Shinobi of the Sun through and through, and I should never have let my feelings for you cloud my judgement. You are strong, capable and oh so kind...  I promise it will never happen again for as long as I live!", the exasperation evident in his face as he was acting purely off of his concern for her. It was almost as if most of what had transpired was forgotten in lieu of the thought of losing her for real.

    He wasn't medical trained and didn't know if she was injured or not, but by god he was glad she was alive and so he would immediately move to hug her with a warm and deep embrace despite that his left shoulder started hurting quite badly, the torch light effect having switched from his hand to his left foot the output also increasing ever so slightly to maintain the light level,  "
    I thought I had really lost you when you fell in... I know I don't deserve it, but if you could find it in your heart to forgive this foolish man for his foolish words, I promise I will not let you down ever again Kanna, I don't want my stupidity to be the end to our friendship, and if I have to make penance every day of my life to prove to you that I will not betray you again then so be it. That is a small price to pay compared to the cost of losing you in my life... I think your presence in my life is worth all the horses in the world...", He didn't care anymore, she had seen his best and worst moments now. His embrace was tight and probably held more force then necessary given his lack of experience with any form of interaction like this, but it was full of care and worry. If she held the embrace or pushed him away he would cooperate with either, and if she felt his back with her hands for any reason she would notice that his left shoulder blade was pushed up and out causing a ripple in his flesh that was evident of a dislocation and traveling bone from muscle slippage. He also was not thinking about anything but Kannagi and her safety, and as such was subconsciously controlling his chakra flow and release perfectly without any hiccups. He also would not realize that even in a round about way he expressed his growing feelings for her, even though he didn't know what to call it or even if it was quantifiable yet. He just knew he didn't want to be in a world without her right now, and that was good enough for him.

    Something was clearly down there with them though, as after a minute or two of them having landed in the complex. The soft thumping of large footsteps in the distance could be heard ever so often.


    Thunk..... Thunk.... Thunk... Thunk..



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    Post by Kannagi on Thu May 21, 2020 10:23 pm

    The shinobi leaned against the wall without a sound, resting and recovering from the adrenaline shock of the mudslide. She was lucky to not have drowned or been sucked deep beneath the bog to die and be preserved for decades to come. Her heart raced and her breath was labored, she spared no ounce of energy to stop Genkumaru from his speech or his embrace. She waited until he had held her a moment too long and gently pushed him away. "Yeah, all the horses, Genkumaru. You're more emotional than my grandmother." She stretched her body a bit, feeling everything inside of it out, testing to be sure every limb and bone functioned. Judging by the tense agony in her right ankle, Kannagi knew it was probably broken. The blue eyed woman showed no pain on her face, an expert at hiding her hidden emotions when she wanted to. Yet, Genkumaru could not hide his pain from her.

    She reached forward and touched his shoulders then, pulling him in for a tight hug.
    "This place is not the place for reunions and melodrama. Did you notice your chakra control is currently good enough to maintain that light? You have been doing your exercises, well done. Now," She paused and whispered delicately in his ear, "Deep breath," Kannagi ordered before suddenly grabbing his injured arm and snapping it hard into place. She had done it several times before for the men in her village growing up. Repairing a dislocation was incredibly painful, but a well practiced basic medic as herself knew the first step was a sincere distraction and a quick action. The distraction was the hug and her whispers in his ear, which given his confession should have been plenty. If he had let her sudden embrace take place, so would her shoulder-fix. Afterwards, she spoke like a doctor, strange given that she was coated in mud and hardly looked the part of a professional, "Just be gentle with it, it will heal."

    Kannagi pulled away from him and gave him a soft smile. His confession of feeling a connection to her did not fall on deaf ears, but Kannagi was mostly all business at the moment. Marriages where she had come from were about helping the family, economic growth, two people well matched to successfully raise a good family of their own. Dating was fairly rare and his confession was an odd one of her to try to consider in the moment. She hadn't even known him for very long and had doubts of the truth behind his feelings. Considering all of the help she had been giving him, Kannagi was certain it was one of those situations she had heard of happening for some women in the Irezumi family. Men and boys falling for women after becoming emotionally vulnerable to them was common enough, but normally people recognized the signs of infatuation and helped the victim through it.

    Kannagi wasn't sure where their friendship even lay at this point. Despite being at the bottom of this dark cavern, the woman knew he sought out answers to quell the surge in his heart. The only way she would get him to be focused on the task at hand was to give him some sort of answer.
    "If you don't believe in yourself, why should I believe in you? You have to go through a lot of growth and get a handle of your affectivity before you have my interests," Kannagi swallowed hard and made a face, spitting to the side. "Sorry still have mud in there."

    "I can still hear the trickling from above. It sounds as if the slide is mostly over, but we can't risk any sudden motions releasing the roof over our heads. "
    She gestured her hand around, "Can you give it a look? I still feel a bit winded," Kannagi lied effortlessly, hiding her broken ankle.

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    Post by Genkumaru on Fri May 22, 2020 5:56 pm

    He was relieved when she let him hug her, and stayed in his embrace for any amount of time, and as she pushed him away he complied without any resistance. As she chided him for being emotional he chuckled softly as he didn't care. She was the only one who could and would see him like this so it didn't matter to him anymore. As she stretched out and took claim of her senses she had looked towards him and pulled him in for another embrace utterly shocking the man. He hugged her back despite his left arm now pinging in agony, trying to do his best not to show it and ruin what he thought was a moment, until she commented on his chakra control, which panicked him and caused the torch lighter effect to flare into a jet engine like stream for but a moment before extinguishing, setting flame to the nearby roots on the stone walls.

    The mud kept it contained to a five foot patch, which also gave them a now consistent torch essentially. In a slightly confused and panicked tone he spoke up, "
    What do you mean I was controlling it? I guess I was huh? Maybe what we have been doing is work-", and just as she said deep breath in that instance and yanked his arm into socket he screamed out with a tone she would more then likely not hear from him often, its body being deep and like a lion's roar in nature, "KAMI DAMMIT KANNA!...", he would breathe heavily for a moment before calming himself, slumped over into her embrace, before she pushed him away softly once more and told him he would be okay.

    She then gave him a look over it seemed before speaking again in that teacher like way, telling him about a lack of belief in himself and speaking of that would have to come before he could speak of affections again. It was that part that then made him as red as his hair in the face, he didn't realize what he had said was so open about his growing intentions! Her spitting didn't even matter to him as he stammered and backed up quickly standing to his full height, "
    Kanna I.. umm.. uh... umm I didn't realize I had unloaded that on you! I mean... I did but... I... Yeah.. Yeah! Let me go scout it out! That's a great idea!", sheer crimson embarrassment surrounding his entire being he took some of the roots off of the neighboring wall and crafted a torch with them, before scurrying off and down the path behind them or to their left depending on perspective.

    As he traveled maybe sixty feet or so down the hall it looked like it led into some kind of assembly hall? He couldn't see much down there from just the torch light, but a strong and  deep orange hue reflected back off the ceilings surface as it looked like massive tree roots had grown through the ceiling of the room. The general layout from what he could tell was that of a standard amphitheater and as such was half circle shaped, with plunging depths from each subsequent row of stone seating that went downwards to where ever the stage lay. It looked like there was some sort of entrenched troughs that lined the rows of seating going straight down towards where the stage must start. There was a strange and viscous liquid that accumulated in them. Turning back around, he headed back to debrief Kannagi on what he found, choosing not to explore this room any further without her. A faint red glow beginning to pulsate on the ceiling of the room as he left it, unknown to Gen.

    Going back towards Kannagi he would stop in front of her and kneel down to be eye level with her out of respect, "
    Kanna, there is some type of amphitheater like room down there with tree routes growing through the ceiling. What was this place?", his arm still pained him, but he was fighting through it because he knew she needed him to be confidant and in control of himself now, and that meant a great deal to him. He was the Crimson Lion of the Sun! A noble and Gallant Shield! AN IWAMURA!... or so his mental pep talk kept repeating to him with limited success. Who was he kidding? He was nothing right now, but maybe... if Kanna was right, he could be that who he wishes to be.

    From the tunnel untraveled came the
    THUNK..... THUNK.... THUNK... THUNK.. again, but louder and more resounding this time. Even the floor began to quake from it. Turning to her he offered her his hand as he had risen to standing once more, "
    Can you walk? I think we might need to be going from here sooner rather then later!", if she took his hand, he would pull her up effortlessly and gently for someone of his physical size. He had a lot of experience with children and so he knew how to lift someone up with a gentle touch at this point.



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    Post by Kannagi on Sat May 23, 2020 4:32 pm

    From where she sat, Kannagi considered the fall around thirty or forty feet. Her head felt sore also now but she waited until Genkumaru scrambled away before touching it with her palm. A bump there indicated she got hit at some point but she felt lucky there was no blood. Kannagi had to do what she needed to do in a hurry, not wanting Genkumaru to take notice. She opened her medical pouch and pulled out some wrapping cloth. Her sandals were in terrible condition but to not wear them down here might get her feet torn up. Using the fire Genkumaru had made as lighting, she created another paper blade from her arm, cutting two dense roots to act as sticks. Between the wrapping and the sticks she had, Kannagi patched her ankle into a makeshift splint. Then, she coated it in the mud to let it blend in with the rest of her dirty body.

    The shinobi couldn't trust Genkumaru to treat her as an equal or want to care for her and she had no intention of being carried around like a broken porcelain doll. This way his focus would be on escape instead of her, and they could partner together well to get themselves out. Of course, that still left the mission incomplete but Kannagi held off hope that they might be fortunate enough to locate one down here. Genkumaru returned to her quickly and she addressed his findings with an astute exclamation,
    "An amphitheater? By the sound of those roots it sounds like this area was probably something other than a mire at one point. Succession and time caused the place to change, many seasons of flooding perhaps. It could be an ancient temple." Kannagi looked up at him, "Did you see a way out or--?" The loud sounding coming through the cavern made her stop altogether.

    Kannagi took Genkumaru's hand and let him pull her up. She placed most of her weight onto her good foot but kept a straight back and a straight face.
    "That sound is malevolent. Its agitating the ground. We don't need another collapse before we can escape. Maybe we can chop some of those roots and apply them to get back out." Her blue eyes shifted in the dim firelight to look to the faint red glow from the surface. Going towards this discovery of his meant moving away from the only way they had known was a certain way out. While a sunken temple was innately fascinating, those loud clamors only made Kannagi more pressured, as if they were closing in on an underground bomb. "If you have reason to believe this is important enough to investigate, then let's do so swiftly. That sound reminds me of funeral chimes this far below.." Her voice trailed off and she started walking without a limp towards the place Genumaru had come. She would let him lead her all the way there, her blue eyes dark and intense and her face held a stiffness and a tension that made her feel like a boiling kettle on the brink of screaming.

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    Post by Genkumaru on Sat May 23, 2020 10:16 pm

    Bounding down the tunnel, assuming Kannagi was close behind and no longer babying her, he bolted towards the amphitheater. Their footsteps echoing through the halls like the pitter patter of rain on a tin roof. As they reached the entrance to the chamber, he looked around for torch holders,  braziers, anything to help light Thais room as to illuminate the terrain they had retreated to from what ever was bounding towards them deeper in the unknown complex they resided in currently. While looking around he didn't see any of the obvious signs of something that was meant to bare light sources, until it hit him. That liquid from earlier must be some kind of oil. 


    Taking the torch they had, he lit as many of the fire lines as he could fine, ending with five lines of fire that fully illuminated the amphitheater from the first row of seating near them all the way down to the stage, with a cracked stone lectern that a stream of red liquid poured directly into the center of, causing it to look like some heavenly stream of blood. The ceiling had been partially covered in thick roots that had pierced through long ago. Orange luminescent moss like formations covered large swathes of the roots reflecting back down a faint vibrant glow from the torch light caused by the fire troughs. The roots had all seemed to lead back to the same spot that the stream of liquid poured down from. 


    Curious as ever, he crept closer to the lectern as sense of dread and wonder washed over him, where the stage had laid, and the lectern had hidden, was a deep crystal clear blue reservoir of liquid, the stream of red liquid seemed to travel through the lectern and feed into the reservoir accumulating in to tiny crystal like formations at the bottom of the reservoir, with some of them sifting out near its far edge into a stream of sorts. That must be how they leave into the surrounding area. Reaching a hand into the liquid it felt ice cold and made his right arm tingle, but he was able to grasp a small handful of the gems and bring them to the surface. 


    Returning to Kannagi he showed her the beautiful little sanguine crystals he held in his hand, "They are stunning Kanna....", looking up to meet her eyes he would smile gently before putting them away, having taken roughly seven crystals in total. Looking around the room he had noticed that they were stuck in a dead end now that it was fully illuminated. Scrambling for an idea on how to at least get Kanna out of this mess he finally thought of something... but he was unsure if it would even answer him all the way down here. Shaking his head he found the resolve to mention it at least, for he had to do something,"Kanna if you trust me... I have an idea how to get out of here, but we need to go back to the hole. I promise it doesn't involve explosions!", he gave her a pleading look to hopefully pull at any heart strings that may exist, to trust him on this. 


    The steps had grown louder, and out of fear for their safety Gen then left at full speed to head back to the hole they came from, he had a plan and hopefully Kanna would trust him, and follow him there. Once he got there he stood his ground positioning himself right under the hole, "Kanna I need you to grab on to me when I say when! Please just trust me in this!", he would take a defensive stance in case whatever was bounding towards them showed up before Kanna was in position. 



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    Post by Kannagi on Sun May 24, 2020 1:14 am

    In outward appearance, Kannagi rested nonchalantly against the wall of the cave as Genkumaru dashed around filling the place with dim firelight for them to see by. He hadn't been overreacting; this place was exquisite and ancient in design causing Kannagi to wonder about the plants and their perfect placements within it. What natural or unnatural phenomenon had done all of that collusion? Her ankle throbbed and she leaned harder into the wall, taking a deep breath. When she looked back up, Genkumaru wasn't staring worriedly at her as she had thought he might be. Instead, it was she who stared worriedly at him as he reached his hand into a pool of liquid. It was risky and there was no reason to believe it was a safe idea. Especially if this place was sacred, it might even have been an act of desecration. "Take heed," Kannagi began lifting a hand toward him.

    He didn't seem to hear her, digging his hand in and pulling out a handful of crystals. Red crystals. She stared at them intently when he brought them back to her. Kannagi touched them herself, feeling a coolness to the crystals and an evil intent as well.
    "Well, mission complete I suppose. I don't like the feel of these. You won't mind if I seal them away, lest something else happen down here and we lose them." Her real reason was she wanted to seal these evil crystals out of sight and away from body. She drew out a piece of paper from her pouch. It was stained but not torn; she made her seals and pressed the paper atop his hand until all the crystals were sealed and the paper was left in his hand. "You should hold onto them because you unearthed them."

    When he stated that he had an idea to get them both out of here, Kannagi gave him an uneasy smile. She was having a harder time hiding her pain, but filtered the expression organically into her words,
    "If you have another idea, then let's get started. It is perilous to remain here much longer." Kannagi lifted her head at the sound getting closer and furrowed her brow. It might have been an aftershock, but it moved with a shambling rhythm that gave her the feeling it was artificially sourced. Genkumaru turned and raced back towards the hole, leaving Kannagi behind. She liked being treated as capable and allowed herself to limp after him. She made agonizing faces and soft whimpers as much as she was allowed until Genkumaru was back in hearing and sight range. Then she stabilized herself and forced her legs forward. She had to stop once, helpfully timed to where he stood beneath the collapsed hole and called out to her.

    She gave him a brief nod and then waited while he took a position there. As soon as he looked away, Kannagi doubled over and touched her splint. The sticks were moving around and the wrapping was sliding betwixt the grime, grinding the sticks into the swollen area. She felt nauseous when she pressed on the wrapping to adjust it but returned to standing as quickly as she was able.
    "Sorry, I thought I saw another crystal on the ground. I am advancing now!" The woman cried out to him in a single breath of fast talk. Kannagi walked forward with a clenched jaw and fists and stopped just behind Genkumaru. Sweat dripped from her neck and face, leaving clean streaks where the mud stain was trickled away. Her hard breathing was evident and she whispered, "Yes. I trust you, If you have something which isn't an explosion, I am anticipating it now." The shinobi didn't wait until he said 'when'; the banging sound was nearly deafening in the cavern, with no other sounds to focus on except the dripping of the mud and the racing of her heart as adrenaline started to pump back through her blood to help her deal with the injury. Kannagi latched her hands around his neck and good shoulder and waited.

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    Post by Genkumaru on Sun May 24, 2020 1:56 pm

    He had seen no reason to deny her the chance to seal the crystals and let her do so without any hesitation, when she said he should keep them for now he smiled softly and put them in one of the pockets of his flak jacket. As the left and went off back towards their path to freedom he noticed she had lagged behind for a moment, but he tried not to look away from the direction the sound was coming from, afraid that he would miss a critical moment in defending them.

    As she latched on to him, he looked into her eyes gently and spoke softly, "
    Thank you Kanna. Your faith in me means more then you will ever know. Hold on tight.".

    He would wait just a brief moment too long to do what he was planning on. Closing his eyes he made a verbal prayer that was soft and possibly could be heard by Kanna if she focused, "
    Please... Hear me and come to my aid, O-Ancient Guardian of the Heavenly Temple... Misused by Shinobi past... Please help me defend what I care for most... Come to me Rashōmon!", as he made the prayer he made hand seals behind Kanna's back before slamming his left hand into the neighboring wall.

    At first nothing happened and he fought the urge to panic, this was his last plan to save them both. He knew he couldn't show it to Kanna now though... she wanted him to be able to control himself and be confidant in his motions. He would be, even if only for her sake. Within moments the ground would begin shaking and a wave of relief washed over him, however the ground was shaking not for the reason he thought, a creature almost twice the size of a grizzly bear with rows of sharp bladed scales covering its hide, and two folded wings, its head reptilian in nature, came bounding towards them. As it came within twenty meters of them it would stop and let out a horrifying roar that was ear splitting. Grabbing Kannagi in a tight embrace his only thought was please... As the creature opened its mouth once more, it released a torrent of blue flame towards them, and it was in this moment that Rashōmon rose up from the ground and lifted them rapidly out of the complex, causing the ground to shift and collapse on itself in parts, burying the complex and creature in its wake.

    As the dust settled, Rashōmon stayed standing leaving them perfectly unharmed and topside. Still holding her in a tight embrace he spoke again, "
    I am so glad that actually worked!...", He would transition to the land around them and lean against her slightly if she would let him, his mind exhausted at this point, of course he would also let her lean on him in this instance if she so wanted too, "Kanna-chan... We made it. I hope I didn't give you too much of a scare. I have never used that before...", he would smile down at her head and exhale deeply, a mental prayer once more - Thank you Rashōmon.



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    Post by Kannagi on Sun May 24, 2020 5:26 pm

    Kannagi held tightly to Genkumaru as he made some sort of a prayer. She wasn't sure what or who he was praying to, but luckily for him, Kannagi knew how powerful faith and the spiritual world was. If she hadn't, her skepticism might have put her in enough doubt to instead take a defensive stance as the crashing sounds moved ever closer. The monster itself came from the room that they had left, which meant that there were more places, perhaps deeper places to unearth and explore. The creature looked like a massive winged reptile, the sort of beast from children's horror stories and ancient mythology. The creature roared louder than she would have thought possible for a reptile, sounding more like a mammalian predator. "Genkumaru..?" Her voice came expectantly. Whatever he had done, even if she could not see it, better to have been enough. A hefty sense of vertigo overthrew her concerns swiftly; it was a good thing also considering she could feel the heat of those blue flames from just before their ascension.

    The creature paced below them in the darkness, illuminated by a second shot of fire in their direction which blinked out before reaching them. Kannagi let go of Genkumaru and walked off the wall and towards the mire, already needing to fight the soggy ground as it threatened to slide her back down. Once she had walked about ten feet away, she addressed Genkumaru.
    "I don't know how you did that particularly, but it was very well done. Commendable," her stiff nod and smile were aimed at Genkumaru, whether he had followed or stayed upon the wall. She could hear the roars from the bottom of the chamber and started walking again. The sticks had moved again on her ankle, the mud she had used to hide the wrappings had done damage in that the whole splint kept rotating and grinding into the injury. She took a deep breath and the pain scrambled her thoughts. Kannagi excelled in controlling her emotions but with the adrenaline tampering out and the agony worsening, it was only getting more challenging by the second. Kannagi full on limped over to a dry looking spot with a mossy boulder and a dead tree.

    "That monstrosity has wings so we can assume it has the ability to use them. If it was down there so deep, it must be seriously hardy. We opened up a gateway from his underground temple to this mire and without knowing its capabilities, we risk imminent danger for ourselves and the villages."
    If something like that had wings, it was not a far assumption to think it could use them. And with that assumption in mind, how had it gotten stuck in that cavern? With a sigh, Kannagi pulled her canteen out and took a big drink before pouring the rest purposefully over her wrappings and ankle. The mud slid away and she reached her hands down shakily to take the splint apart. It would need to be rebuilt and there was no real requirement for her to hide the fact any longer. Her hands trembled as she pulled the parts away and finally saw the swollen and bruised area. Nearly her entire foot was shades of blue and purple, trickles of blood present from the scraping of the splint but it would appear that the bones had not pierced her skin from the inside out. Her stomach turned as she tried to rework the splint and with a deep inhale she lay back against the dead tree and closed her blue eyes.

    "It's broken. Just give me a minute to rest and then I'll patch it up and we can get moving,"
    Kannagi groaned as her fists tightened and released. She steadied her breathing and added, "We have no idea how long it will be before the beast follows us. I'll be as brief as I can manage."

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    Post by Genkumaru on Sun May 24, 2020 9:22 pm

    "I have no Idea how I did that either Kannagi... Roshomon is a sentient wall that can be summoned when needed most. I read about it in my clan's texts, and figured maybe it would come to me? Its very selective on who it helps and binds for life. SO in a way I am glad.... If it hadn't come, I lied. I would have used explosions from my feet to vault out of that space, risking everything to save us in the process as I don't know if we could have both escaped with that maneuver. ".

    Seeing her limp away from him as she careened towards the wall to fix whatever splinting she had done. As Kanna revealed her wound to him he actually got a little made at her, like bonafide angry towards her for the first time since they met. Knowing he should remain calm and choose his words carefully now, he spoke with kindness but sternly to her, "
    Kannagi that looks really bad. Did you get injured from the fall? Walking on it this whole time could have made it worse. As a warrior your body is just as important as any of your weapons and must be cared for properly and don't mistake me, you are a warrior. Please let me help you? It is not out of pity either, I don't want you to make that injury worse, especially for when we spar next. Honor demands that you must be at full strength, or I will need an equal handicap.", he had hoped that by addressing her as she was, that Kannagi would capitulate to him and let him help her.

    He would turn his back to the woman and offer his arms as he spoke, "
    My shoulder may not be in the best place, but I know I can carry you out of here. It'll be faster and we can go before that beast goes free and comes after us or poor Cirilla.", if she clambered on he would hold her gently and deftly, his years of helping the orphanage had given him an unnatural skill with piggy back rides. He then would bail up the cliff face's inclined path to escape this god forsaken place. Speaking to his new ward with only kindness and gratitude, "I can't wait for our next adventure Kanna. This one was... Enlightening.", his tone ended on a cheerful note as he continued to flee from this place.



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    The search for something beautiful in the unknown.... (Plot Mission) - Closed Empty Re: The search for something beautiful in the unknown.... (Plot Mission) - Closed

    Post by Kannagi on Mon May 25, 2020 2:02 pm

    "It's wonderful that I put blind trust in you then. Serves you well enough if I am dead and cannot scold you for lying," She joked but her face was intent and serious looking upon her ankle. Proper healing would be necessary but she wouldn't have access to that for awhile, travel took time. The next best thing was ice, elevation, and a proper splint. A deep frown creased her lips as she considered that she did not carry any pain killers with her and icing and elevating would have to wait. As Genkumaru reprimanded her, Kannagi let out a loud and genuine laugh. "I am aware of the importance of my body. This isn't the best time for a lecture." She took his comments as light hearted or brotherly, not detecting his anger with her focus being mostly on her ankle. Her hands worked shakily as nausea started to come over her. All the energy she had put into the last couple of hours and the cooldown from her adrenaline rush demanded at least basic replenishing of energy with sustenance.

    Once they got back to her horse, she would eat and feel better. A proper splint wouldn't be placed until she could stop shaking.
    "I do need your assistance. Travel carefully, and thank you." Kannagi collected the dirty wrapping and sticks in a bundle in her left hand and used the boulder beside her to help pull herself up. She leaned forward and boarded Genkumaru like a great over-sized child, the woman just a few inches short of six feet tall. She rested her head against his shoulder and tried not to groan in pain from the adjustment. "I might fall asleep. Just... wake me up when you find Cirilla. Whistle and she will return. Just in case, maybe wake me up so I can do the whistling part." He called this mission an adventure, an enlightening adventure. With blood crusted on her arm, her whole body coated in a layer of moist muck, and a broken ankle, somehow she still found Genkumaru to be more crazy than she was.


      Current date/time is Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:06 pm