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    Post by Genkumaru on Mon May 25, 2020 5:11 pm

    Their journey thus far was getting progressively more difficult as they transitioned through the warrior pits terrain, going form the desolate area to some of the more hospitable treks of the Kataki road, all the way to the dry lands them self. He had the best travel companion he could think of in Kannagi. Any weakness he had she made up for in spades. As the rode on, a messenger hawk delivered to them mission details, saying they were to go to a forest area marked on the included map to rendezvous with Sojiro Sakura of all people.

    He was one of Genkumaru's closest friends other then Kannagi, so he was actually excited to be doing something with both of them this time around. Kannagi's ankle had proven to be tricky as they had made a stop earlier in the day to wash off in a shallow oasis, and re-splint her ankle properly. His biggest job was helping her off and on to Cirilla, as well as dealing with her tough as nails personality and stubbornness. In a way she reminded him of Sojiro so much. He also greatly admired her dedication and will power.

    He was wearing his standard attire consisting of dark brown leather boots, lighter brown pants that were looser in the crotch to allow him full movement of his legs and his  flak jacket rested unzipped on his torso, his dress shirt had been torn and used as bandages for their wounds, as well as for binding on the splint made of his extra Kunai, that he blunted with explosions. Their linen make made them good for binding after they had washed it at the oasis. What was left of his gear was tucked away into the pockets of his jackets. His well muscled and defined body coupled with his height usually made him imposing, but he tried his best to always have a smile, which was even easier given his current company, as Kannagi brought out something else in him that had never been explored previously. His left arm was in a sling also made from the fabric of his dress shirt and hung tightly at mid chest height.

    They sure had been beaten up during their last experience and had barely recovered before receiving this mission. However, both he and her knew that neither of them could ignore their duty now, and a mutual understanding had been reached. In this regard they held the same view about honor and duty, and Gen wouldn't shield her from that ever again, instead he had decided that he would be by her side through anything life through at them, for if he couldn't stop her, he would be their to assist her then.

    As they approached the targeted area and the cabin grew in sight, he finally spoke for the first time since they left the barrens, "
    Kanna, are you ready for this? Know that I am here for you from now on, no matter what we face, I will be our shield if you will be our sword? Kami knows your fury alone is something to be reckoned with.", poking fun at his own earlier misstep, he gave her a hearty laugh full of warmth and sincerity to show her that his silence this whole time had been with purpose. His introspection had given him a renewed resolve to stop second guessing himself. During their journey he even fed and brushed Cirilla when they stopped, facing his fears for the sake of his desires, hopefully showing to Kanna he truly had taken her words to heart.

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    Post by Kannagi on Tue May 26, 2020 3:24 am

    Kannagi rode along, reins in her hand, ever a leader quality present notwithstanding the injury in her ankle. She would need a real medic, something beside her own basic knowledge and Genkumaru's insistence on helping her. Granted, she needed the help but tearing his clothes seemed redundant given that she carried an extra roll of medical wrapping cloth. He had proclaimed that his clothing would be stronger material and would take no risk and seeing how much her ankle had swollen over the past couple of days of travel, the kunoichi had been in no place to argue with him over it. Her clothing had been marred and stained by the mudslide's destruction, her tight white, sleeveless shirt now a mottled brown and red colored. It looked like a tie-dye job done by a camel or something. Her black shorts were spared and still comfortable, her sandals were still in decent condition, though there were pieces of the smooth wooden sole from her right foot that showed the evidence of the powerful rocks which had crushed her ankle. Her skirt, still tied up in the front by her hips, was no longer a pale color but matched her top in brown and red shades with bits of clay and muck that refused to be removed by a douse in the water a day back.

    The blue haired woman looked tired, kept awake between the riding and the pain, but her eyes were still vigilant. A mission was a mission, and her duty was of grave importance to her. It brought her some amount of contentment to realize that they were meeting up with Sojiro. They had parted on generally neutral terms but after seeing him in action, Kannagi was grateful he would be joining them on the mission today. As idiosyncratic as Sojiro was in the field, he did have enough knowledge to still be successful. Kannagi had to respect him as well for the way he had handled her misplaced temper. As the gray horse slowed near to the crumbling cabin, Genkumaru made his vows and it resulted in the usual response. The woman shook her head and gave him a wave of her hand dismissively,
    "Yes, I know. Sojiro is here as well, though. We will all be fine. It should be a painless mission for us all, in a manner of speaking." Her voice was full of reassurance and confidence.

    She put effort into not looking at her ankle, realizing her words had led herself there by accident.
    "Don't worry, Sojiro also knows of the power of my rage. With all of our abilities, our team should be unstoppable." Kannagi could see Sojiro sitting upon the steps outside with a strange looking winged rabbit creature upon his lap. Given that they were easily no more than 10m away, Cirilla slowed even farther, moving with a steady clop-walk towards the cabin's stairs. The woman had faith that at this distance, their waiting partner had heard her, considering that she hadn't tried to speak low or hide the words from him. "Greetings Sojiro, it is nice to meet you once more. I hope you will forgive our appearance, we recently finished a mission that didn't go as planned. Have you met Genkumaru?"

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    Post by Genkumaru on Tue May 26, 2020 11:36 pm

    As he watched Sojiro come towards them he answered Kannagi’s question, “Sojiro is actually my best friend. We are brothers as we made the warriors oath.”, he wasn’t sure if she knew what that meant but he didn’t want to explain it just in case she did. He wanted her to know that he knew she was capable. His good arm still had a hand on Kannagi’s right hip, as he had now gotten used to holding on to her while riding, something that had taken him a good amount of time. He valued that she was at least a tall woman as his hand didn’t dwarf her torso in comparison.

    At the mention of them both being injured and being referred to as only being one whole ninja together, he actually chimed up sternly, “
    I gotta tell you Soji… I would take Kannagi as my partner any day of the week at this point. Her passion and honor are boundless I have learned.”, he would flash her a quick look before looking away, and into the surrounding area, just observing the locale before him. It was semi dense forestry that surrounded the derelict cabin in front of them. As Sojiro praised him for the patch job he chuckled lightly, “It helps when you have a good patient that guided me on what to do. Kannagi here is the real Medic, I am just good with my hands and had someone else to guide me.”, his voice was only sincere and held no pride, it was more of a matter of fact tone.

    As Sojiro finished with healing Kanna’s ankle, he just whistled and spoke while Soji approached him now, “
    Damn man, you are good at what you do! Mine is just dislocated, or rather was. I could totally use some relief for the ligament and muscles though so work your stuff.”, he capitulated and rotated his arm for Sojiro as he handled him, telling him wherever it would hurt during the exam. Once it was fixed with whatever technique Sojiro used, he would hold it in the air and fire off a small blast of Bakuton chakra. Discovering that he felt no discomfort, and if anything that arm felt better then his right now!

    At the mention of them coming back from a mission together Gen hopped off Cirilla and extended an hand to Kannagi to offer her aide nonchalantly knowing that she didn’t need it, but offering it regardless. He would turn to look down and into Sojiro’s eyes as he responded, “
    Kannagi and I have been seeing a lot of each other as of late. She is helping me control my chakra flow and learn to be a proper Iwamura! And in return I am helping her learn how to use her body better, when it comes to movements and strength. Our symbiotic relationship is actually quite pleasant, despite certain faults. I wouldn't trade her for anyone at this point Sojiro. She even calls me out on my problems.”, pausing for a moment he continued realizing Sojiro might misunderstand him, “I would say in terms of helping me grow as a person and Ninja, you and her are top tier.”, and with that he would clap Sojiro on the right shoulder with his left arm.

    After Sojiro decided to head back to the cabin, he would follow looking around its decrepit frame to ascertain how long it had been abandoned for. It looked like it had been quite awhile since anything called this place home, but it would have to do as their staging hut for now. Speaking once more to Sojiro he would be both kind and confident, “
    So tell us about our target and anything you have learned about the area. Knowing you, you have already done some sort of scouting.”, he would look for a nearby place to sit, and finding nothing he thought suitable for his size, he leaned against a wall. His frame was still radiating off heat even though he was missing his dress shirt, so hsi flak jacket is all that covered his top half. He would tie his hair up into a man bun as he leaned against the wall, taking his hair away from his vision. Reaching into one of his pockets he grabbed a protein bar and began eating it, knowing he had to keep his frame well nourished or he would start being lethargic. He would toss a protein bar to Kannagi and Sojiro as well, not knowing if they might need energy, but offering it all the same.

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    Post by Kannagi on Wed May 27, 2020 1:51 am

    The gray horse stood steady and allowed Sojiro's hand to glide over her coat. She leaned her shoulder into him, enjoying the petting even. Atop the saddle, Kannagi had to chuckle at his greeting; two injured shinobi for partners probably weren't ideal. Considering Cirilla as part of the team lent her much respect and the kunoichi enjoyed that as well, though not as much as the intelligent horse did. He began to insult them both, which with a sigh, Kannagi had to acquiesce as inevitable. His greeting was too kind for him not to add something to detract from it. Yet, she didn't really feel fully insulted. Sojiro barely even looked at her as he suggested he slap the two together to make a better partner. Kannagi chose to let it go as the sigh had left her.

    It helped to let go of his words when he suddenly took her leg and then foot in hand. Her blue eyes widened and she delivered her shock with swift words, "Wait, you didn't even ask! Please, it hurts!" Genkumaru and Sojiro's friendly banter and the declaration of their friendship didn't surprise her as much as the way Sojiro touching her without her permission did. He didn't even stop to consider her! Sojiro asked about rolling around in a hill and Genkumaru responded with more flattery for her. By now, Kannagi was used to his forthright embellishments. What she wasn't used to was being touched by someone who didn't have any permission to put his hands on her. She frowned as he unraveled the wrapping and looked over her ankle. She might have tried to argue or warn Sojiro but even his ginger touch on her was agonizing. Instead of crying out, wincing, or jerking away, the kunoichi used her energy to stay resolute and calm in the face of such pain.

    After a moment, Sojiro pressed his chakra into her foot and healed her ankle. It twinged a bit, the nervous tingling and the swelling reducing. She felt like a balloon slowly deflating as the warmth of his healing hand repaired the damage done. Sojiro left her side and moved to Genkumaru and she took the opportunity to rotate and inverse her ankle around, getting the motion and feeling back. As Genkumaru continued with his flowery flattery and bestowed many words of honor upon the kunoichi, Kannagi was literally faced with a creature she had never seen before. It was some sort of winged rabbit: it looked harmless but she was unsure if it was native to this area. It had been curiously friendly with Sojiro, maybe he had shared lunch with it. She directed her comment towards Sojiro.  "Thank you, Sojiro. Your medical jutsu is well trained. Maybe you will share how you procured such knowledge sometime." Kannagi Irezumi could tell by observation that the two were good friends and it was nice to see the easy going relationship they had. It made her miss her family but in a good way, for once.

    "I just do what I can to aid others, Genkumaru. It isn't so special,"
    the blue haired woman humbly interjected. What kind of shinobi would see a compatriot and choose not to help them if they could? How would such a lackadaisical attitude help the overall village? Before Genkumaru could speak again she answered Sojiro's question, "I am ready for a mission now, thanks to your assistance. Our last mission included a terrible reptilian beast, a giant magic wall, and falling over 30 feet from a bakuton-induced mudslide. I conclude that it could have fared better, but we still completed the goal necessary." It was then that she came down off of Cirilla and waited for Sojiro to answer Genkumaru. If they were good friends then it was true that the man might have scouted ahead for their mission. That would have been excellent preparation she reflected.


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    Post by Genkumaru on Thu May 28, 2020 1:46 pm

    He listened intently to his friend, as Sojiro explained what he had witnessed and gathered from his patrols of the area, the amount of men he noted, and the terrain itself. Taking a moment to think about the possibilities of a more clandestine assault, he finally spoke, in a much different tone than either of them had heard from him before. It was serious and to the point, no trace of the usual kindness or warmth he carried, “Sojiro that was some fine scouting. I agree about targeting their forward units first, and as long as we are allowed to completely destroy the supplies then I will have that task completed in spades. I have been working on something that I think will help us wipe that supply depot off the map. All I need is to get close enough.”.

    He rose to his full height and stretched his arms out as he looked off into the distance, “
    Sojiro, how far away and in what direction does their depot lay?”, He would turn away from them, seemingly focused on some unknown concept in the distance. Usually this would be a problem for the Shinobi but they were the people he trusted most. Letting out a strong exhale he refocused himself on the task at hand, “I have a new technique that will cause a larger more focused explosion, but I was too afraid to use it in the tunnels with Kannagi. Luckily I didn’t have too as a certain something answered my prayers. If you guys get me close enough, I can handle the building, but it's going to take all that I have, so I may need some defensive muscle.”, It might have seemed like an awkward statement to come from Genkumaru of all people, but he trusted that Kannagi and Sojiro would have his back if they agreed to his plan.

    As Sojiro had them take a pause at the bushy area, he found a nearby overturned tree that would better hide his hulking physique. Once the patrol was within striking distance of all three of them he counted their targets. It was roughly five men of differing builds and specialties that he had determined by just their appearances and gear. He would use standard Shinobi hand signals to Kannagi and Sojiro to signify he was going after the back two, if they could grab the other three. Without a second thought after relaying his intent, he vaulted his body over the tree and rolled to a standing position behind the two rearguard members of the patrol. As they were turning around to see what had landed behind them, he reached his massive arms out to the sides and grabbed their skulls, smashing them into each other like watermelons, as they collapsed to the ground.

    As he had crushed the two men's skulls in using each other he dropped them to the ground and roared at the other men with bestial fury, either to egg them on or make them fearful. Either way he was ready. He took a defensive Taijutsu stance as he expected one of the members to come towards him, but also to distract them into thinking he was their only combatant and confident enough to do it on his own. A smirk proud on his jaw, he was truly alive in this moment, as he was anytime he engaged in combat, the blood lust of the Iwamura clan was strong in him whenever he fought and belayed his normal personality. It also helped that he knew Kannagi and Sojiro would be on top of the other three in no time.


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    Post by Kannagi on Fri May 29, 2020 7:21 pm

    Kannagi allowed Auggie to land and relax about her shoulders, especially give that he felt so cool to the touch in this heat. It was strange for Sojiro to give the wild beast a name, but it was awfully friendly. Maybe Sojiro had bonded with the creature or more likely it was a summon of his. Contracts were a challenge to make, but it would explain the creature's presence and personality quite well. Kannagi muttered to Sojiro when he said Genkumaru would have the upper hand, "You haven't seen half of what I can do, wolfboy." Still, by and large she let his comments slide. The mission was far more important than her feelings right now and he had healed her ankle in miraculous fashion without asking for anything in return.

    Kannagi let Sojiro lead them in the direction of the building. Neither had asked for her opinion and neither had given her a moment to suggest an idea of her own. When the came upon the patrol, Genkumaru attacked with more life than she had ever seen in him. She made a face, uncertain how she felt about killing the men who obviously stood no chance against a team of shinobi. The bloodlust that was evident made her uncomfortable but instead of getting in the way Kannagi chose to enact her own plan. "Those last three are for you, Sojiro. Make us proud huh?" As she started to slink away, Auggie let out a chirp and shiver causing the kunoichi to stop. She looked back at the two men and lengthened her arm, "Go to them, Auggie or stay with me. But you will need to be silent." The animal blinked, tilting its head and then scampered onto the ground.

    Without another word, though in hindsight she should have said something, Kannagi darted off between the trees. The compound was easy to find and just as Sojiro had explained, it was guarded by two people in the front. She bit her lip for a moment and then nodded slowly to herself, creating a plan by herself in her head. She walked to the back of the building in the shadows of the trees and discovered an open window as she had hoped that she would. If they had no information on what was inside of the building, now was her chance to get that information. If Kannagi could get in, get out, before her team joined up with her, then they could handle whatever they had in store as a group. The blue haired woman crouched low and moved swiftly towards the window. She heard nothing and so jumped high into the air, making her hand-seals as she fell and transforming into a two dimensional paper version of herself. Paper Kannagi floated in through the window and slid down the wall behind a shelf covered in boxes.

    There were two large carriages in the center of the building. Beside her window in the back of the building there was a singular row along the wall of shelves filled with crates and boxes of scrap metal, armored boots, helmets, and reinforced jackets. There was enough to create a private army in here! From where she hid, staying flat in between the wall and the shelving, completely out of sight, she could peer into the room and see more details. There were eight men inside, armed with katanas, daggers, and several with crossbows. One sat on a chair near the front speaking to another standing beside while twirling a kunai over his fingers.The other six sat at a skinny table in the middle of the two parked carriages. They had plenty of cover and plenty of weaponry upon them. Still, they looked inattentive as they played with a set of cards and a pile of random shining items in the center of the table. On each of the side walls were two windows, then two parallel rows of shelving and crates sealed up. It was impossible to see what was inside from here.
    The blue eyed woman slowly and silently slid down the wall until reaching the corner and moving to the wall on the right side of the building, hoping to snake around and get a look of the content in the crates.


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    Post by Genkumaru on Sun May 31, 2020 3:33 pm

    Gen hadn't even noticed that Kannagi had left their group as he was too busy giving i to the thing he hated most about himself. Watching the carnage unfold in front of him and seeing what he had come to learn was a transformation technique that Sojiro used with Auggie due to the chirping he chuckled lightly and spoke with passion as they walked towards the depot, "As always, you are something else Soji. I think this mission will be a piece of cake between the three of o- Where is Kannagi?", he would look around the area to see where she had went and couldn't see tail of her.

    It was then that he heard Sojiro tell him she had went ahead, "
    She is so stubborn! Why didn't she just stick to the plan?...", realizing that she had never seen him dip into the blood rage before though he looked at the ground solemnly, "We should go and support her then if she has some other plan. I won't blow up that depot with her in it. Report me if you need to Sojiro but I can't...", the story of the Gen's parents was pretty well known to a lot of people in the village, and they had also refused their duty in a sense, and so Gen was sure that Sojiro would probably look down on him for that statement, but he didn't care. Kannagi was not a sacrifice he was willing to make.

    As they approached the depot Gen chose to channel his rage more efficiently this time, he would give Sojiro an extremely determined look before he blitzed out of the tree line and crashed into the first man, grabbing him by the neck and under his left arm, plowing through the wall of the depot using the body of the guard as a battering ram. It was in that moment that time seemed to slow down as he saw what laid inside the building. It was an armory of immense size and was clearly important hence them having to destroy it, however he had bigger concerns as the wall gave way with him and the mans body bursting through it, splinters and debris showered the room, disrupting a card game being held by the eight men inside.

    Taking a brief moment to analyze the situation he knew he was in for a fight now. As his momentum carried him through the wall and into the center room, he spun his body in a circle and threw the man in his arms at the men at the table knocking them prone and sending the cards and chips flying all over the room. He would let out a bestial roar at the men before speaking with the utmost authority and vim, "
    LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS AND I WILL LET YOU GO PEACEFULLY! IF NOT YOU FACE THE CRIMSON LION OF THE SUN NOW!!!", his voice had a booming fury to it as he let off a flare of explosive energy as a show of force to the men even though it was only a visual effect.



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    Post by Kannagi on Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:31 pm

    The box she managed to peer into dropped her jaw several inches, or it would have if she weren't in two dimensional paper form. She needed to get back to her team and fast with this information, or they would risk killing everyone here and their own selves in the process. The crate was easily a foot deep and filled to the top with carefully organized explosive tags. She could see by looking at them that they were all raring to go, with just a small amount of chakra, any D Rank child could turn this building into a self destructible crater. Kannagi had to hold her breath and keep herself calm to make sure she silently slithered back around the edges of the room without detection. Being so close to such a dangerous box, she had to wonder if the men inside were even aware of it's existence or if only one or two of them knew the truth.

    Kannagi hurried over to the window. She was almost there. In just another beat of her heart, she would have slinked outside and been able to give the information to Genkumaru and Sojiro both. She had been uncomfortable watching them kill the bandits, uncertain of her moral response, and in an effort to get more information and help them out, she had forgotten to tell them what she was hoping to do. They probably had thought she had abandoned them or the mission and her stomach churned at the implication of her besmirching her obligations. A lurching sound accompanied by the crushing of wood and the bending of metal came before Genkumaru's sudden appearance. Her blue eyes widened and she was floored by the sight of him. How could he be so stupid? Sojiro himself admitted he didn't know anything about what was in the building. Why would a shinobi throw himself into a mystery without an information, any plan! She hesitated by the window, trying to decide if she should go find Sojiro for help. Genkumaru booming voice suggested that he was going to be the one most at risk out of the three of them. Kannagi grew increasingly worried for their safety.

    With a sigh she reverted her jutsu and stood there beside the window. Nobody was looking in her direction, because her partner was a big enough distraction. Some of the men had started to lower weapons but from behind she could see a couple of them making hand seals. Without any way to prove who was harmless and who would blow the entire compound into dust, Kannagi had to act brashly for the first time in a mission. "Sojiro!" She called out, pointing at the box upon the shelf, hoping he was close enough to hear, close enough to see. Then she enacted her seals with a single step forward, raising a strong gust of wind which in turn lifted and swirled a choking amount of dust and dirt particles from the floor. It would give her and her partners some cover.

    After doing this, she dashed towards one of the two men she saw making seals, not discounting that mor than two could still be capable. She ducked down and spun her leg in a sweeping motion, knocking him to the ground with ease. The surprise attack was not complete until the leapt upon him, his stomach upon the floor. She pinned his arms behind his back and called paper from her hands to bind his wrists tightly there. Once locked in place, a single swift elbow to his head knocked the man out cold.

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    Post by Genkumaru on Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:24 pm

    The situation was quickly going side ways adjacent after the off the cuff exploits of both Gen and Kannagi, more so Gen now however. After witnessing the vaulting and tackling act that Kannagi performed, gen refocused, knowing that she was in sight and they were all accounted for now at least. Seeing Sojiro's swift action and handling of the oncoming foes in such a resolute manner, pushed gen even further into controlling himself now. The enemy force didn't have to die it seemed.

    Pushing off with his right foot he launched his massive frame forward with explosive speed, rotating into a spinning kick that hit the left most man square in the jaw forcing him to lift off the ground and spin into the nearby wall, slumping over from the sheer force of it. Not stopping after the first kick, he leapt at the middle man and punched him straight in the forehead with a superman punch, decking him on the spot, as his knees buckled and he collapsed backwards.

    Stopping his non-lethal rampage Gen looked down with the most intimidating stare he could muster at the man in front of him, "
    Leave.", and just as the words left his mouth, the man bolted out of the warehouse as if he had seen a ghost. Gen didn't care where he left too, just that he had left. He was done with the destruction for now, he lost his cool and for all he knew this could have gone even worse given that he charged in with no thought to his own safety. Also what if Kannagi was on the other side of the wall he had burst through? The very comrade he was trying to assist he could have harmed.

    Wordlessly he went outside through the hole he had created and leaned against the building, staring off into the distance as he contemplated his actions. How was what he just did right? How could he really have justified being a maverick?  He could have both injured his allies, and failed this mission for them, just as easily as what had ended up transpiring. His ideals were beginning to seem counter to his actual actions. He would need to channel his emotions and need to help in a more conducive way from now on. Whatever Sojiro would have to say to him after this was over, paled in comparison to what he was saying to himself right now.



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    Post by Kannagi on Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:03 pm

    Bulldozing a monstrous hole through the wall was one way to damage the property. The deposing of the people next made it seem like there was little else to do. Kannagi saw that the box of explosive tags were missing but all of the men that had been inside the building were accounted for. She let out a breath of mostly relief in seeing that the immediate threat was handled regardless of the antics Genkumaru had decided upon. The kunoichi realized she hadn't ever really seen him fight and thus far he acted with all brawn and no brains. It was a drastic change from their conversations where it had seemed he was all heart and no brain. That wasn't to say she thought of him as stupid, but today's actions and others pointed that he acted on his emotions. That was something that would endanger himself and others for sure. He needed to work on his meditation more, she thought to herself.

    Kannagi walked across the room towards Sojiro and pointed at the place where the box of explosive tags had been. The dust from her jutsu had settled down and visibility returned. In her teacher-like tone she asked, "Certainly you noticed the box of dangerous explosives. What have you done with them? I did not see the details among the fray." Through the clearing of the dust, Kannagi saw Genkumaru departing and scratched her cheek. "You two finished swifter than I had assumed. I planned to return to you with the information you had not accessed prior. Do you both distrust me so that you would risk yourselves and launch into the unknown? I would not recklessly abandon a plan or try to put you in danger. I merely placed myself in the best possible position to secure a safe destruction of this building. We would all be dead if I had not." Using Genkumaru's exploding jutsu would have detonated that box of tags and left nothing but a bloody hole in the ground for some other shinobi to find.

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    Post by Genkumaru on Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:36 pm

    He listened to Kannagi and everything she had said through the hole, she was right and he was wrong. What he held for her was dangerous and made him abandon all reason. The pain in his chest grew with each passing moment as he realized what he should do because of his duty to his village, even though that is something he really didn't want to do. The sound of the explosion immediately knocked him out of his emotional stupor. Looking around to make sure everyone was okay, he noticed Augustus was near them, not Sojiro. Turning to Kanna he shouted, "Sojiro? Where did he go?", panic settled over him as he quickly radiated chakra to his feet and ran up the side of the building and tried to look out into the are for signs of smoke from the explosion, spotting a smoke trail in the tree line a good distance away.

    Hopping down from the top of the building with a superhero landing, he slowly stood before steeling himself to speak, "
    There is smoke rising from the tree line over there. Lets go and make sure Sojiro is okay. Do whatever you want with him... And Kannagi... I think we should have a conversation later.", he had enough of killing for one day, and with that he would be off at a fast pace, trying to get to Sojiro before it was possibly too late.

    Whatever Kannagi decided to do with the pleading man meant little to Gen, as he was more concerned about his best friends life at the moment. Why didn't he just follow the plan and do what Sojiro had asked? It was eating away at him as he bulldozed his way towards where the smoke had come from. His feelings and want to have things that should be out of his reach had caused this situation to spiral out of control. He was resolute in one thing as he charged onward, he had to master himself before he could think of serving his personal needs.



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    Post by Kannagi on Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:04 pm

    Kannagi blinked as the scene unfolded strangely before her. The missing box, the chirping, Auggie, the man with the seals... slowly the pieces all clicked into pieces. She tensed, understanding now too late what she should have already figured out for herself. She had made the best logical decisions. Going out to collect intel to help the team. It should have been safer this way. How had it gone all wrong? Kannagi was in shock when the sound of the explosives went off. The disruption was there in her mind however; nothing had ever rattled her confidence so. She had done the right thing, she had helped her team, she had gotten the information. So why did it feel like this was all her fault? Like the explosion in the distance and Sojiro's disappearance were partially her own responsibility? "Impossible," She murmured, trying to convince herself with a sudden shake of her head. She stepped forward, her right fist driving hard into the man's head. Instantly he collapsed and Kannagi had no idea if he was dead or unconscious, and she didn't care which normally also would have concerned her.

    "He asked for death,"
    She explained out loud, reaching for some ropes off the nearby shelf. She tossed the ropes upon his body and knelt, then began tying his limbs tightly together. For good measure, she broke both of his index fingers to prevent him from using seals if he did survive. She noticed cracks in the back of her hands when she got back to her feet, paper flaking from her arms. She examined them for half a second and touched her face, feeling a thin crack in her skin there as well. What was normally a side effect of using too much chakra was causing her skin to peel off into paper without her having used scarcely any.

    It was a change in her mind-chakra connection, the natural flow she had built up over years. The independent analysis of missions that had saved many of her partners in the past but had earned her no friends. She had been mistaken some how, some where. The guilt blocked the easy control she had over her jutsu and the cracks in her skin made it an obvious feature. She heard Genkumaru before he departed, as if background noise mentioning a talk was necessary at a later time. What a strange thing to say in a moment like this, Kannagi thought.

    The kunoichi stepped outside, and moved at her fastest physical pace to get to the tree line where the smoke was rising from. She approached swiftly, but more cautiously upon arriving, burned and split tree trunks surrounded the area. Kannagi noticed then that Auggie had ridden around her shoulder to the scene, taking to flight once they were among the trees in order to seek out his friend.

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    Post by Genkumaru on Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:03 pm

    As he bolted through the tree line, trying his absolute hardest to reach Sojiro in time, he blasted several fallen trees out of his way. Tearing through the landscape like a roil. His fury and self loathing vanished into the distance as he was solely concerned on reaching his best friend. He wasn’t a medic nin, but maybe just maybe he thought he could do something. However, as he reached the massive screen of smoke, Sojiro’s limping form came forth from it like a survivor of a raging inferno. Tears of joy at his best friend being alive and mostly well, wept forth from his eyes as he watched on. He made a motion to hug him, but saw that Sojiro kept walking past him and stopped halfway through the awkward motion.

    "Come with me."

    Once the three of them were together again, Sojiro had positioned himself so that he was looking at the two of them and then knelt for a moment before healing himself minimally and then standing to talk to them, "Both of you have failed me on this mission today." His voice was stern and immediately jarring to Gen. He knew he had failed them, and that Kannagi was not to blame in this mess, she was stealthy and could have very well gotten back to them in time to have gotten out of that mess. He has been the one who made it more dangerous than it needed to be.

    Sojiro’s following words would be piercing to Gen in a way that would be unable to describe with mere words, he had no reason to be so mad at Kannagi, she was doing her best to be an equal member of their team and a Kunoichi in her own right, and in many ways she was more valuable and dependable than Gen had shown himself to be.


    "And you, are you so head-over-heels 'in love' that you would act like a fool? Disregard the fact that I am your superior on this mission, but are we not closer than that? 'rEpOrT mE iF yOu HaVe To'! Not a 'Sojiro, we need to go in there and save her, what's the plan' or a simple, 'Man, what do we do?'... No, just like Kannagi, you decided that you knew best. You let your feelings get the best of you, your own personal pride, and disregarded everything around you. If Kannagi had not thought to point that box of explosives out to me, then we'd all be dead right now because you wanted to save a girl.”

    Sojiro was right…. Gen loved Kannagi Irezumi, or whatever else was the word to describe the feeling of serenity and closeness he felt when near her. Every fleeting thought consumed by hopes and dreams of a life he thought he would never be capable of having. These feelings that he couldn’t escape were driving him to be irrational and even less controlled then he was before, yet… he didn’t want to live without them either. He hadn’t felt this… accepted his whole life and it was something he did not want to give up easily. But Sojiro was right, he needed to figure his shit out and fast, or it would get someone killed.

    When he said he wouldn’t report them it actually made Gen feel worse… He had failed his duty and was deserving of punishment right? He would pause for a brief moment before he spoke finally, Sojiro already leaving, “
    Your right Sojiro, but I feel that the blame for this rests more on my inability to handle my own problems then on anyone else. Kannagi would have gotten out of there without trouble or our help, I see that now. She would have rendezvoused with us before I went ballistic, avoiding all of this mess. I couldn’t help but think she could have been in grave danger, and I couldn’t live with myself if something had happened to her. She is an extremely capable Kunoichi who doesn’t need me to save her, and I know that, and you yourself are a strong Shinobi that I look up to and should have emulated today. In this team of fantastic talent and skill, despite my size and inclination I am actually the weakest link.", he would pause for a minute before looking up into the sky and closing his eyes.

    Reaching into his flak jacket he would retrieve a kunai from inside it. It looked simple, if not old fashioned. The only significant marking on it was the Iwamura family crest in its hilt. Sojiro had long separated from them, as he looked towards Kannagi, unsure of how she felt right now, but he had to say it, it didn’t matter if the thought that it might end their friendship became reality, “
    Kannagi… Kanna, Sojiro is right. I think I do love you, or whatever this feeling in my heart is that makes me want to be my best for you, not just when I am around you. It also has made me irrational and unable to see beyond the present. Every moment I am with you all I want is to be the one you lean on, and not because you need me, but because you want me there. I have been trying to think about these feelings for a short while now, and after all you have done to help me be better it would be a disservice to hide it. I cannot deny them any longer, with that in mind it's not healthy, and that in it of itself is counter to what you have shown me., he would take a deep breath before speaking again, “You don’t need to reply to me, or even share in these feelings… But know that I will try and make myself worthy of your affections one day, this I swear.”.

    With that last word he would slice his palm open with the kunai and hand it to her, bandaging his palm afterwards, “
    I want you to keep that as my vow to be the best I can be, and Kanna…. I will shelf my feelings for you for now. So don’t be worried that I won’t be able to control myself going forward. I will be a man of duty and honor and control, this I swear.”, and with that he would leave her where she stood, slowly making his way back to the road to travel home. He wasn’t moving fast enough that she couldn’t stop him, but that he was clearly intent on leaving.



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    Post by Kannagi on Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:21 pm

    Kannagi wore no real outward expression of emotion. Other than the splitting cracks along her cheeks and nose, her face was as plain as it always looked; though her blue eyes were stoic, not betraying sadness, anger or any other feeling within, they were focused on Sojiro's words. Why had she done what she had? There was some soul searching going on in her mind already and his demands for an explanation, though possibly rhetorical, did make her think. Her independence had given her great strength. She needed no one, especially not since she had left the Irezumi. Wrapped up in proving her worth and enjoying her freedoms, Kannagi hadn't made any friends. After four years in the village, she hadn't a single person to rely on and with the ties to her family severed, the woman always stood for herself.

    In a mission, she generally took over. Not because she was a leader at heart, but because Kannagi couldn't rely on her partners to do their jobs. They looked down on her, thought of her as less capable, not just for her womanhood but because of her late start to the shinobi in general. She couldn't count on them, that is what she had always thought. Sojiro's words made a contest of that. Had he been in charge? Well, yes, probably, but such a ruling had never made a difference to her. The kunoichi was so careful and competent that often she had the ability to ignore any plans in place or set up private plans of her own. Always, they had resulted in a successful mission, but maybe it was her that was unreliable. How could other genin trust her if she had never trusted them? Had she ever truly given them a chance? And even now, knowing how capable both of her partners were, could she still justify her actions as helpful to the mission at large? If she had placed her trust in Sojiro and Genkumaru, then maybe it would have worked out better. Maybe Sojiro was right about some of the things he said. She didn't do it to feel special, to put her own or anyone's life at risk. Kannagi had done it because she did not trust these people. She didn't trust anyone, she thought to herself with a sad realization.

    Still, her blue eyes betrayed no hint of her thoughts. She remained silent as she considered Sojiro's words and he headed away after reprimanding Genkumaru's emotional reactions on a mission. When Sojiro turned back and addressed her as a friend, her eyes finally grew wide with disbelief. After everything they had done, he wanted a relationship with her? A relationship built on trust? She was made speechless, though this time not by choice. Her actions had indeed done Sojiro a disservice and she owed him. Some day, she would settle those accounts, but for now, Kannagi let him go.

    The blue haired woman turned to Genkumaru who had defended her, which was also strange to her. It was clear some of his words were correct, but in this situation, she had indeed made a mistake. His confession of his reaction to her leaving the group on her own reconnaissance mission disturbed her. He had betrayed and ignored his partner and his friend. He put himself and the whole group in danger. Kannagi had done so as well, but it was a cold calculated mistake that she planned now to learn to rectify. This wasn't the first time Genkumaru had risked himself and made a mistake because of his emotions. It wasn't even the angle of her being a woman, perhaps. She had often pointed it out to him in an attempt to help him find a way to better respond to his heart's first temperamental reaction. It seemed that her powerful argument with him just days earlier, before the mudslide had even occurred, was already lost on him. His words out loud guarded her honor and capability, but his actions just continued to show how weak he was afraid Kannagi was. He saw her as a damsel, over and over. Her hands tightened into hard knots at her side when he defended her mistake to Sojiro. Even now, he was trying to protect her with his emotional ties to her presence. Could she not handle the sharp words of Sojiro on her own?

    Her blue eyes closed as she breathed slowly in and out, calming herself. However, it seemed Genkumaru's confessions would not stop there. As Sojiro departed, he outed himself in a passionate declaration of his love for her. He claimed irrationality and that Kannagi could not refute. As he made a bloody vow with his hand and his kunai, Kannagi allowed a frown to slip into her porcelain visage. She took note of his promise as he handed her the kunai. She held it until he started to walk away. With a deep inhale, Kannagi called after him in a stern voice. It was the first thing she had said this entire time. "Your impulsions warrant comment. I will still act as a friend to you, I will still assist you if you require it," The kunoichi hurled the kunai then, aiming to strike the earth besides his feet. "But keep your vows and your sentimentality. Your words, promises, blood covered vows... Genkumaru, they show that still you are fickle and overwrought by your heart's desires. You risk your life and mine by being blind to this, my friend."

    Kannagi ran a hand through her blue hair, looking at the aftermath of the explosion all around them. "You certainly risk your life by continuing to discredit me. I am not an accolade, a trophy upon your shoulders that you can sport to buff your insecurities. I suggest your focus is to work on yourself. I have my own personal flaws to attend to." Her words might have been harsh, but she had always been blunt in her truthfulness with Genkumaru. It made no sense to take his kunai and his vow and enable him to use this moment for dramatic motivation. What Genkumaru needed was genuine and real change. Only time would tell if he could reign in his emotions and be his own shinobi. It was an ironic opposite to what Kannagi needed; she needed to learn trust and dependence, at least enough to follow the orders of a leader. Genkumaru needed to learn independence and inner strength; his muscles needed a stalwart heart to match.

    Kannagi was unsure how this might change their dynamic, understanding her words might not be taken well. Sometimes, honesty was painful but she was devoted to a life without lies, a life where she didn't have to hide herself ever again. The blue haired shinobi would pause and watch him, hoping he wouldn't break down again right there. She was uncertain that if he did that her help in relieving his mental pain would be good for him in the long run. Briefly after, she followed after Sojiro. She would make sure the mission was complete and if Sojiro asked her to leave him, then she would. However uncomfortable it might be, Kannagi was still ruled by her duty.


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