Although born into a shinobi clan Ayumu received only the most rudimentary training in the arts before disappearing into the arid wastes of the Land of Wind for a time. He would later resurface and travel the world as a merchant, hired gun, and even a handyman, evolving with his experiences into a jack-of-all-trades. Although originally governed only by casual whims, desires, and the rare promise that would keep the Iga bound only to the road, his course would forever be changed upon meeting a Ei.
Ayumu was born during the Clan Wars under what amounted to the branch family side of the Iga Clan. They, unlike their fellow kinsman, chose to roam the farthest reaches of the Land of Wind's arid wasteland for several reasons. One of the few reasons however known to the vast majority of Iga was the fact that branch family sought to ‘preserve a way of life’. The day of his birth also marked the creation of a truce between the Iga Clan and Koga Clan, settling for the time being there most age old dispute regarding nomadic life and old claims to one of the few safe zones within the harshest area within the Land of Wind. This new truce would allow both to share these zones, but only under two certain conditions. The first condition called for the merging of both clans through marriage; solidifying a true alliance. The second condition required the first born child of each clan’s head be wed. This naturally meant that Ayumu, thus far only child of the clan leader, was to be immediately selected for the arranged marriage.
Aside from a few possible time altering events by certain unknown individuals dabbling into the forbidden, time passed as it should for the most part. Ayumu grew into an adept user of the clan's kekkei genkai under the tutelage of his grandmother. It was also through her that he foundation for his own style of combat that could incorporate the usage of his clan's blood limit. During the earlier years the main driving force and infatuation with seals was his desire to make his parents proud of him as well as garner their attention. Sadly, such attempts proved futile if not outright pointless due to both of his parents being sent away often as ambassadors between the branch family and the main branch along with special missions outside the Land of Wind. Eventually, there came a time in which no reports were given back by them to either branches of the clan; and thus they were considered M.I.A with the need for hunters of the clan to be immediately dispatched to find them. It also reinforced and solidified the idea to put in place a complex series of seals on branch family members with their primary function being to act as a tracer. All branch family members of course complied due to the alternatives meant either to join the main branch in Sunagakure or having spies sent among them. The process of sealing was by no stretch of the imagination painless or short. Ryoji was only five years old when it finally came down to his turn to receive it…
Three almost uneventful years pass by in the blink of an eye before disaster finally stricken on the day Ryoji would finally be allotted to meet his bride to be. During the celebratory event that took place on this day, an unknown tension pervaded the background and set both sides on edge so much that all it took was casual mentioning of the past to set them at each other’s throats, literally. The children of both sides, by mere luck alone, were able to snap their elders from their rage, but not in time to stop the first few casualties of their descent to insanity. Nor prevent the original cause of it from continuing with the ambush upon their camp throwing everything into near complete chaos. Throughout it all Ryoji was the only one who seemed immune to the potential trauma that would normally scar a young individual. If anything he began to marvel at his first time witnessing of one of the more violent types of social events that plague humanity. 'This blend of so many things is… its lovely!' These thoughts and more continued to run through his mind as he waded through the battle as if it were a dream; narrowly avoiding death either by the aid of his kinsman or by abrupt changes in his visual fixation. The only thing that actually managed to put a damper on his "joyful" expedition is the brief sighting of his father observing the fight from afar. In that exact moment everything went dark…
When the young Iga came to, he had been dragging along his bride-to-be after the rest of the children who were being gathered for the mass retreat from the battle. Before they all could reach relative safety, a wayward earth Ninjutsu split the ground between Ryoji and the rest. It was at that time he came to realize that a crossroad had revealed itself to him that would ultimately force him to decide between compliance with the past or finally being set free. In the end and without a hesitation, he threw his betrothed, Haruna Mizushima, across to the others before turning back and disappearing into the chaos of battle, grinning ear to ear.
When morning came around, Ayumu would awake to find find himself alone, but unharmed upon a dune. Despite knowing of some of the the deserts many dangers, and with no supplies to speak of on hand, despair never entered the young Iga's heart. He was free from responsibility, and many adventures awaited him over the horizon. It would not be until some time later that the youth would be proven wrong to some degree. The Fukui brothers, traveling merchants of the unscrupulous nature, chanced upon the young Iga. Although they knew not the full value of the child at the time, they nevertheless provided the succor the youth had been steadily requiring more of during his brief travels. But in exchange, he would serve them in whatever capacity they deemed him fit. To their disbelief, Ayumu vocalized his acceptance of their slyly worded terms.
Although very much a slave to the brothers in title — except during times in which they deemed it "inconvenient" — Ayumu would prosper under their care after a fashion, and that of their contracted bodyguard, Kuma. From methods of obtaining information and exploiting unseen opportunities to the honing of martial arts meant to better him as a self-sacrificing guardian, the child grew over the years in sometimes unintended ways. Life was not so easy that he avoided harsh punishments for both success and failure, but Ayumu always endured without much complaint. This life had not been what he originally envisioned, but the Fukui brothers did an admirable, if albeit incidentally, job at satiating the youth's one main drive: Curiosity.
Ryoji, the name his masters eventually gifted him with for his strange nature, eventually garnered freedom, though by no action on his part. What he at the time could only surmise at the time as the end results of too many poorly managed competitors, the Iga found the brothers dead, and their long time guardian Kuma gone. Contrary to what would have been the safer path to follow, Ryoji was surprisingly inspired to remain upon the path set by his predecessor. Between the Land of Earth and the Land of Wind, he made a life for himself as a merchant alongside a few like-minded traveling companions; blissfully unaware of his clan's watchers. By the age of fourteen representatives of his clan finally stepped forward with a proposition. One in which he couldn't refuse if he wanted to avoid facing the same consequences of a rogue. An end the tracer seal completed insured should he have managed to escape the encounter.
In exchange for being allowed to wander freely from Sunagakure control within reason, Ryoji would act as a "spy" for the clan in monitoring the going ones of forces outside the Land of Wind as well as repair the "old lines" hidden throughout the world. In addition to this, he would also have to keep a look out for his parents with the strict orders to gather in information they may be holding before returning them to Sunagakure by any means available.
Bereft of any other options, Ryoji agreed to their terms and set out to the lands beyond his birth country. And also despite this setback he still aspired to make the most of situation by using his travels to fulfill his old time dreams of witnessing events such as the one that granted his freedom, mastering his self-made style of combat and researching seal work. The last of these goals was something that was restricted to members of the main family.
Ayumu is without a doubt an odd ball. This is a fact that he seemingly exploits at every possible turn regardless of the consequences; especially when engaged in social interactions. He is also, like any true Iga, as curious as he is obsessive about information. Though unlike his fellow clan members, Ayumu often disregards straight-forward logic when pursuing and/or understanding any given topic. This is in part because of a personal belief that such ways of thinking is "simply boring" and do not account for the "more subtle details". It is this very same way of thinking that also fuels the pursuit of even the most insignificant of information and ideals.
As a result of these ideals and distrust of others without knowing as much as possible about the individual, barring an exceptional few, Ayumu is difficult to get close to without a love-hate relationship forming as a barrier to help keep most at arm's length. Those exceptional few on the other hand are given his heart, though, the gift can be a double-edged sword if the right conditions are met. Naturally, these conditions varies from person to person.
Beyond his odd view of reality, AYumu is both masochistic and, albeit rarely intentionally, a manipulative person. In the case of the former it is in the sense that for the sake of his pursuits the Iga will more often than not shelve his ideology despite the emotional pain if not physical variety promised when all is said is done. And following it, taking great pleasure from the 'unique' flavor distilled from such negative actions. In regards to the later, Ayumu tends to operate by tiers when it comes to personal limits in satisfying his desires, and will VERY rarely hesitate in going beyond these limits once originally enticed. As far as dislikes go on the other hand, these are only vocalized in regards to a deep-seated hatred of 'short cuts' regardless of everything else entailed with them. This being of course given how they tend to contradict his very ideology. Overall on the surface Ayumu is a contradictory and stubborn individual; who is well aware of the vast majority of his faults and flaws, but refusing all the same to change completely for the greater good!
|Likes||Fujiwara Ei, Licking People, Wandering, Personal Hobbies, Gambling, Recording Data, Bad Puns|
|Dislikes||Shortcuts, Grudges, An Over-abundance of Order|
|Hobbies||Reading, People Watching, Gambling, Studying various Subject Matters|
|Strengths||Assertive, High Perception, Honorable (when seemingly convenient)|
|Weaknesses||Selectively Perceptive, Protectiveness, Low Morale Standards, His family|
The man before you stands at around five feet eight, and bears the lean figure not unlike a boxer. His skin is fairly bronze from a lifetime out in the sun or traveling, and yet managed to retain the smoothness of youth with but one exceptional spot. Most often noticed first upon seeing this man is brick red hair most often associated with the Iga or Uzumaki clan. It frames out his face, hanging down over it in places with long blonde bangs, and would cascade far down his back if it weren't so tightly bound braided into a crisis-crossing ponytail. Even so, the low hanging 'tail' is kept wrapt loosely about the neck.
Stranger perhaps than the off-colored bangs is perhaps the natural spikes his hair tends to form. Shadowed by blonde bangs are a pair of faintly sea green eyes set above a narrow nose. Instead, they are typically held slit, further enhancing the image of the man being fox-like due to an absent-minded grin usual present as well.
Although years have long since healed the original wound, the upper right side of the man's face retains deep scarring from a fire. If ever exposed, his back is scarred in a similiar manner, though fortunately not to the point of impairing movement. His perhaps most distinguish mark besides the burn scars is a rarely seen seal inscribed towards the back of his tongue.
On this day a dark grey Chinese style robes with the sleeves rolled back past the elbows, sea-green sash wrapped about the waist, and matching loose black pants adorns his frame. A tan cloak overlaps his body, hiding much of his form and the red umbrella on his person. Although just why would an obvious desert dweller bear such an item however is a mystery. Callused hands and feet equally are left bare for reasons unknown. Except however during special occasions. In which case, white tabi and black slippers adorn his feet, and weathered, black finger-less gloves enclose his hands.
The man before you stands at around five feet eight. His complexion is fairly tan, not unlike something expected from a traveler. Loosely spiky, brick red hair adorns his scalp, and falls as far down as the back of the man's knees, overshadowing his backside completely in a thick curtain. Where bangs frame his face the tips are blond. Though rarely seen due to a nigh-permanent squint, milky sea green eyes reflect the world. In combination with a relatively smooth, yet angular facial structure, narrow nose, and thin lips turned typically upwards in a smile of amusement, the man possess an appearance not unlike a fox.
Beneath what appears to be a navy blue blazer with matching pants, and a white button-up long sleeved shirt is a build a few steps short of buff, but well above just being simply "well built". Difficult to say either way on account that none of the material fits the man well enough to avoid seeming strained by any sort of pressure. Last but not least, a thin, light blue ribbon tie, peculiar black goggles, and a pair of dark blue dress shoes.
Officially began training both in ninjutsu and taijutsu under his grandmother.
Recieved the Tracer Seal of the Iga Clan.
Witnessed his first shinobi battle and broke away from the clan through the chaos created by it.
Enslaved by a pair of merchants the following day of his escape.
Dual apprenticeship as a merchant and "body guard" by former enslavers.
Set free once more following the mysterious death of former employers and disappearance of Kuma.
Undertook a special mission set forth by his clan elders.
Joined the ranks of the Takokujin.
Re-established one-third of the “Old Lines”.
Meets Ei, and takes her under his apprenticeship.
Secretly participates in the Promotion Exams held in Sunagakure.
Re-takes his original name, Ayumu.
Miyu is born; daughter of Ei and Ayumu.
Joined the ranks of Sunagakure.
Joins the ranks of the reborn Takokujin; Hanpa.
Leaves Sunagakure's service under amicable terms.
"Retires" from information brokering to try rebuilding his general trade business.
Ayumu, like most of his generation, underwent training in the shinobi arts as an apprentice to an elder clan member. And while under his grandmother Atsuko's watchful eyes Ayumu's proficiency in taijutsu, when used in combination with his inherited kekkei genkai, flourished to the point that his own peculiar Youkai-like combative style began to develop around the age of six. Although his abduction by the Fukui brothers and subsequent life on the road limited his options in acquiring new techniques, a natural keen ‘eye’ for details and quick assimilation of information have aided in honing the Iga’s talents in regards to innovation. The greatest proof of this was shown during the First World Ninja Promotion Exams, when in order increase his odds of survival during the second round Ayumu transformed his sensory organs into bait for both competitors and the local wildlife as seen fit.
As Ayumu grew older and more spiteful of his clan’s methodology, he began to focus his talents completely towards hybrid techniques. The most notable to date is the enhancement of his physicality through chakra and the manipulation of hair to better reduce the strain behind chakra shaping by channeling it through a readily available as well as extremely, flexible physical structure. Ultimately, all techniques developed over the course of his life were made with the intent to be versatile and discouraging. In this way the preferred use of whatever environment is at hand can be exploited, and to simply minimize conflict. Despite these advancements, life as a merchant along with the budding affections to a certain someone resulted in a return to the basic teachings in the use of Shiryoku.
|X||Wind Manipulation||Iga, Atsuko|
|X||Earth Manipulation||Iga, Atsuko|
|X||Chakra Taijutsu Style||Self-Taught|
|X||Chakra Absorption Technique||Self-Taught|
|B||Shadow Clone Technique||Self-Taught|
|B||One Handed Seals||Self-Taught|
|A||Multi Flesh Clone||Self-Taught|
Although exposed at a young age to ninjutsu like most shinobi, it was not until Ayumu’s curiosity led to his being a spectator at the World Ninja Competition and subsequently provided the opportunity to truly garner a respect for Ninjutsu. As a result, Ayumu began focusing more on the purchase and trading of any scrolls (via the black market or otherwise) that offered any potential towards better understanding this style. He also for a short time traded in the life of the merchant for that of a mercenary in order to work alongside (if not fight against depending on the circumstances) various shinobi. In doing so, he attempted to indirectly glean further clues regarding finding a specific style that could best fit his preferred life style. In time his ‘studies’ eventually led to the self-discovery of expelling and shaping of chakra into, within reason, whatever form imaginable.
Following this self-discovery, Ayumu primary focus shifted towards experimenting with Chakra Shaping and the development of techniques the best suited whatever situation cropped up during odd jobs, missions, and occasionally everyday survival while on the road. By happenstance, Ayumu’s return to the Land of Wind and ‘observation’ of puppeteer street performers inspired the development of transforming his hair into an extension of his experimentation with Chakra Shaping.
Ayumu’s temporary return to the Land of Wind for the First Promotion Exams consequently meant being conscripted into Iga Atsuko’s direct services and training to asses rather or not he was still fit to carrying out the sole mission put forth by the Clan Elders. Once it became clear that very little progress was made in capturing or even discovering his father’s whereabouts over the past five years, the majority of his time under Atsuko’s tutelage was devoted towards elemental training and honing his control over the Shiryoku Kekkei Genkai.
- E-rank Offenses
- E-rank Defenses
- D-rank Offenses
- D-rank Defenses
- C-rank Offenses
- C-rank Defenses
- B-rank Offenses
- B-rank Defenses
- A-rank Offenses
- A-rank Defenses
- S-Rank Offense
- S-Rank Defense
|D||Mane of Pain||Self-Taught|
|D||Wind Release: Wind Sharp||Self-Taught|
|D||Whistling Chakra Bullet||Self-Taught|
|D||Chakra Minor Lance||Self-Taught|
|D||Mesh Hair Shield||Self-Taught|
|D||Wind-Release: Wind Barrier||Self-Taught|
|D||Wind Release: Wind Dash||Self-Taught|
|D||Basic Sensory Array||Iga, Atsuko|
|D||Thought Servant's Gambits||Self-Taught|
|C||Sensory Point Array||Self-Taught|
|C||Mesh Hair Barrier||Self-Taught|
|C||Wind-Release: Wind Step||Self-Taught|
|B||Shadow Clone Stealth||Self-Taught|
|B||Shadow Clone Technique||Self-taught|
|B||Vacuum Sphere||Iga Ryou|
|B||Pressure Damage||Iga Ryou|
|B||Deep Screening||Iga Atsuko|
|A||Attack Prevention Stealth||Self-Taught|
Despite what many in the world at large consider a weakness that can only cripple Taijutsu user, Ryoji’s early devotion, naturally high reflexes and perceptive abilities, and assistance with the additional aid of Shiryoku have ensured that the lack of sight is not a hindrance, but at times even an advantage in his regard. And while training under his grandmother, Iga Atsuko, provided the means to learn to better trust his intuition, it was not until a year after his abduction by the Fukui brothers, and subsequently their body guard ‘Kuma’, did his Taijutsu truly began to improve through the latter’s instruction. By the time his training came to an abrupt end due to the death of the Fukui’s brother he was able to readily perceive flaws or weaknesses of most adept taijutsu users and counter attack through a still unrefined Youkai inspired taijutsu style.
Through continued practice over the years that followed this informal training period, Ryoji continued to hone his Taijutsu during his travels, more so for the sake of self-defense above all. Thus, the only steady improvement in Taijutsu for a few years entailed bolstering his endurance and learning to better predict an opponent’s intentions ahead of time and strike at their weakest points versus relying on raw speed or power.
The fear left behind from his encounter with Satsukiyami and the destruction of his right arm, as well as a more pressing feelings of uncertainty in protecting Ei, drove Ryoji towards striving to better taijutsu by combining it with his studies into Ninjutsu at the time. Over the months that followed Ayumu became capable of laying down the foundation for personally mastering Chakra Taijutsu.
|D||Chakra Physical||Iga, Atsuko|
|D||Point Break||Iga, Atsuko|
|D||Tricky Sharp Throw||Iga, Atsuko|
|D||Inuitive Dodge||Iga, Atsuko|
|Ryou||Father||Ryoji has only glimmers of memories and rumors absorbed through his travels regarding this man. None of which provide a solid image for the present day Iga to regard this man as no more than illusion. An illusion he feverently desires to draw out into reality for reasons even /he/ does not fully understand, but out of paranoia suspects may be a part of a larger conspiracy best kept to him for the time being.|
|Emi||Mother||The last memory Ryoji has of this woman is seeing her as little better than his father for disappearing without a word. However, as much as he'd like to lump her completely into the same category as Ryou, the warmth in his gut that always come to the surface whenever her name is so much as mentioned conflicts too heavily against the notion, confusing him.|
|Shun||Cousin||They have always, even before Shun was officially assigned to be Ryoji's retainer, been at odds with each other. And yet, nevertheless, inseparable whenever Ryoji was required to make his reports or journey into territories that the Clan Superiors refused his going alone. Melting Ice and Blue Fire.|
|Sachiko||Cousin||Their few short meetings offered little for Ryoji to make of her beyond interesting, ‘soft’, and overall, the polar opposite of Shun, her elder sibling.|
|Atsuko||Grandmother||Even before Ryoji's parents had disappeared the boy always had this woman to rely on; beating into his skull the hard lessons of life and to never look away from the truth just out of negative emotions dampening the thrill of discovery. Much to his personal chagrin he has long since outgrown the basics of most of Atsuko teaching, and to his mission is kept typically far apart from the elder. He is nevertheless always on the watch even when in other lands for Atsuko springing lessons on him to. Be that to simply torment him and/or to help him keep growing. Overall Ryoji still admires, respects, and is extremely afraid of this woman.|
||Significant Other||What started out as another impulsive offer meant to help further his studies in understanding what made people tick, quickly grew into something Ryoji had long since disregarded. Now next to Atsuko, She is the only person that Ryoji would genuinely say that he loves as well as the only person the Iga would willing give his life to protect and more..|
||Lord||Wary Devotion. As much as the Iga tries to stick to this man like glue while devoting whatever waking time he has to serving needs, the bloodline of his kind kept him wary of Rain's ultimate goal among other things. Even so, for some inexplicable reason since first meeting the uchiha or better yet getting a 'taste' of his being, Ryoji remains loyal to the cause of the original Takokujin despite the risk of whatever possible delusions he has being shattered in time.|
||Boss||Ryoji does not know much about this man given that they were assigned to two different branches originally within the Takokujin. Thus until recently their relationship was practically non-existent. However, with the fall of Takokujin an opportunity had arose to build it up to the point in which both regard each other as acquaintances bound to one another by a need to rebuild what has fallen. Regardless for the time being how much one tries the others patient while the other is entertained.|
||Boss?||Simply put they tolerate each other as much as they can for their distinctive personality always clash in one way or another.|
||Friend||As far as Ryoji(Ayumu) was concerned given their limited interactions before the Takokujin were dissolved, they both only vaguely regarded each other’s as friends and at worst thanks to Ryoji's 'experiments', fire and water.|
||Frenemy||To Be Updated|
|Satsukiyami||Enemy||This man took his arm, and worst yet, tried to steal away his Ei. Thus, Ryoji can never truly bring himself to even consider forgiving him.|
||Mortal Bane||Shiro-sama. He is in Ryoji's eyes too law abiding for his own good… and Ryoji's. Thus, resisting the urge to flee at the sight of this man or intentionally infuriating him is a battle that always must be fought.|
|Imota||Rival/Antithesis||Law-kun. Yang-san. In a nutshell Imota is regarded as the only living representation of his polar opposite in every way except one, and the only person besides his own father sorely hunted for whenever possible.|
||???||Ever since being told of their relationship between the Iga Clan and the Kazekage, or at least as much as his grandmother was willing to say, Ryoji is extremely suspicious of this man. The very fact alone that the clan went to great strides to make sure that Ryoji kept his meetings with the elders as discrete as possibly only served to increase his paranoia in regards to this man. But perhaps this view will change now that the man has stepped down as Kazekage…|
Thoughts on Different Lands
Ah, Iwagakure. Lovely place to buy rare gems, rock candy, and nearly get robbed every ten minutes on the road to and from. Despite that tid bit of negativeness, I still truly hope to do business with them again someday. I just need to make sure my companions are ready for the trip before we go.
Brutes, Brawlers, Psychos, Wackos, Monsters, Killers, the list just goes on and on and on when it comes to the people here! At least as far as rumors go to which after staying here a couple of times I honestly had to agree with at least one of titles on the list. Even so, there's a side of them that most people refuse recognize, and thus may be the root of the reason why they are so 'driven' to maintain a title that others have forced upon them.
I smell more research afoot… Or I could be wrong like I have soo many times before.
My feelings and memories about this place are splintered at best since my initial unintended entrance into the village. Even so, it is the place that my mastere still had his eyes on, and thus by extension, I too kept a watchful eye on them as well. It is always the village where my sweet and sometimes confuse dear Ei-hime was born and raise. Or, should I say bound, but that is neither here nor there. All I know is this village is a place of many contradictions for me that I hope to avoid visiting directly if at all possible.
The Motherland. Well, it is /in/ the motherland so I suppose… but I digress. Sunagakure, as much as I hate to say it and /maybe/ my judgement is a little askew due to certain kinsmen making it difficult to look at this village any differently; but as far as I'm concerned this village is the home of hypocrites and cowards in the sense that they keep too many of their ambitions restrained.
A Choice Made - Unknown
Unmasking the Shadows - Unknown
Too Old - Unknown
The Aftermath - 2/21/14
Fresh to the World - Unknown
My name is Iga “Wakahisa” Ryoji, and what I shall right down upon these pages from this point further shall act as a record of my past so that I shall never truly forget. Nor allow any past mistakes to be fully forgiven until death claims me after a life time’s worth of making amends: Be they small deeds or great accomplishments. I would also like to note before I truly begin this journey (of sorts), that I swear to make sure Journal san the second’s existence will not be compromised unlike its predecessor. The blame for your predecessor’s destruction rest solely upon my shoulders and for that I am truly sorry. Even so, and perhaps you could somehow take pride in this, the secrets held by your predecessor was not betrayed in kind thanks Katon Jutsu meant to take my life. Just perhaps. Despite what may seem contrary to my earlier declaration I am afraid that any record regarding the events revolving around your predecessor will not inscribed upon your pages due to the soreness in the pit of my heart restraining any attempt to do so. Once again, I beg your forgiveness and shall now proceed forward with the second point of this first entry.
While it still remains unclear to me exactly what happened after my failure to obtain information regarding the information my ‘retainer’ gathered on Tsuyoshi. I can at least record the key events that led up and after my break down. And yes, I did just admit to actually going crazier than usual, but do not fear. My sanity has thus far returned to me along a few additions I never even consider I could possible acquire even with time on my side.
It all officially started after I made two major mistakes that I shall never fully forgive myself for. The first mistake was listening to my ego at an inappropriate time. The second mistake involved ‘testing’ the strength of my bond to Ei by leaving her behind with her parents. It was inexcusable and honestly the only event in my entire life in which the experience was not worthwhile. Not in the least, despite Obaa-sama’s lessons. And as I said before, a lifetime’s worth of amendments will be paid before I shall ever truly forgive myself for this.
My time however grows short with this caravan however so I shall digress again. Gomen, neh? After that event I can only vaguely recall heading north for awhile. At first I found myself traveling towards Miata forest where I first felt my father’s presence, strangely enough, then onwards to the borders between the land of rain and fire. A new level of despair almost consumed me as I stood out in the most bitter, cold water I have ever had the ‘pleasure’ of enduring. Fear kept me alive during this time just long enough to see sense in leaving such a depressing territory and press westward. I think for a short instance I went even crazier considering the conversation I seemed to have had with Sunagakure’s counselman (and a royal pain in my side if memories definitely serves me right) Kuroki Kuoroke during my short stint in the Land of Rice. Strange and Unsettling but interesting at the same time. In anycase, I leave things there for the time being Journal-san the second, so
Onwards & Sideways - Unknown
Dear Journal-san the second,
Did you know that there are really sand sharks in the Land of Wind? If so, it would have been nice if you had warned me before I stumbled into their territory a couple of weeks prior. Thankfully I at least survived. Although that little event has made me begin to question just how knowledgeable I am about the one territory I’ve spent the vast majority of life in. ( - -)
I pretty much died out there since I what little common sense I possess was used up in producing the necessary paper work in order to cross the border in the first place. Genuine paper work might I add and probably the very thing that ultimately saved my life. At least, that is what I prefer to believe versus presuming Lady Luck happened to be on my side at the time. Because really, what kind of caravan ends lets some new guy lead the group on a risky new route through the desert? Just, Really?!
BUT in any case, for several days I slept thanks to their merciful act, but there was to be no peace for me even unconscious. For the first time in my life I endured the one thing I at one time fervently wished for in place of feeling or sensing nothing at all as I slept beyond reality: Nightmares. Besides a few subtle details from what I can vaguely recall those nightmares were always the same heart-wrenching images and sounds. In every one of them Ei was in them as well. Ironically despite her appearance alone rubbing being the salt on an open wound her presence provided a strange point of stability amongst the maelstrom. By the time I finally awoke I was still in no real condition to travel on my own. Even so, I dared not linger amongst the inhabitants of the caravan at the time. Too much guilt was simply weighing me down to even consciously endure even the most modest of comforts further. Unfortunately their leader – a vaguely familiar elder ‘gentleman’ that saw plenty an unkind seasons – refused my offers to share knowledge as well as what little I had on my person as repayment for his kindness. My attempts to likewise slip away were also rebuffed at every turn by seemingly inconvenient obstacles. Truly that man was a shrewd one without a doubt. In fact, some of his methods even reminded me of those that slavers tended to use.
Peculiar perhaps, but nothing I was overly concerned about at the time. Plus it helped that within a fortnight my ‘jailer’ was willing to finally cut me loose as soon as we reached Sunagakure. And although it was never mentioned again, I still owe him a debt.
Bonds & Bondage - Unknown
Dear Journal San the second,
Home at Last - Unknown
Dear Journal-san the second,
First off I would like to apologize for ruining your other page just now with that last experiment. Blood really does not make for good ink. Although I must say that experience was definitely worthwhile. Plus it –did- put me and Honta-kun here (aka the Black Sands Lieutenant) on closer terms with one another. Granted, I may be projecting a little since I what I said was kind of a double entendre of sorts. What with me sitting on his broken and bloody form as I recovered from the ordeal that led to this peculiar predicament. Perhaps one day I’ll even go as far as to fully disclose I progressed from being a captive in the Land of Wind to a man who just transformed a small valley within the Land of Fire into a small warzone. Once again granted, it is not as if I did this by choice nor was I without help.
But there I go getting carried away again. Sorry. Let just get back on track on where I left off for the most part. Aside from dealing with the Black Sands Troupe for the first time in a long while the rest of the journey was uneventful. The only thing truly noteworthy was the brief reunion with my old merchant nakama after stopping at a town just a few miles short of the border. Unsurprisingly they were not entirely pleased that I refused to get back in the game, but alas, it could not be help. What with all those familial and romantic issues that were still unresolved. Of course that little meeting paled in comparison to what is really invigorating these hands today. After what felt like nearly a months’ worth of searching, retaining my insanity through the occasional distractions (like that whole rat piper incident at Tsuchigawa Harvest Festival), bearing the increasing weight of ACTUAL doubts about something for a change, I –found- her. I found my hime simply resting in a tree without a care in the world. No, the antonym of that from what I heard upon the wind before we were truly reunited. The undertone still sometimes echoes in the back of my mind whenever I have to consider listening to old advice or present worries. My restraint was nearly lost once I had her in my arms again; but by some miracle I stayed We stayed like that for some time. Merely enjoying each others warmth, or better yet presence is more like it. It had to be put on pause though for a while because there were only so many things a man can keep restrained before exploding. So, we talked, and to be honest I found myself surprise with how wrong my predictions were and how pessimistic I had truly been up to that point. Still our exchange was a little bittersweet. Then very much more sweet then bitter as time dragged on and we became more preoccupied with settling old concerns, old hungers.
Division - Unknown
It has only been a few days since myself and Ei were forced to temporarily part ways again and yet I have not fully regain control. I can scarcely concentrate at all without drifting back to that day. Without wondering, Should I have gone with her despite how possible personal her task under JUMP were? Should I have tried to stop her?
Shun Returns - Unknown
Good News Journal-san, I found Shun-kohai! Bad news is, she still seems mad at me about the whole trying to kill me self last time. Well, trying to do that intentionally where as those other times it all came down to a series of unfortunate events that just so happened to coincide with certain personal preferences and what have you. But I digress.
Momentum - Unknown
Greetings Child of the Woods, I is Ryoji and there be a story I needed telling.
Disillusion - Unknown
"Nothing ever really goes as planned."
Kudos to the being who came up with that phrase. And with that out of the way minor little inkling out of the way the nitty gritty can gain clarity. It is strange being back in the motherland. Stranger still to feel the pulse, every shiver through these shifting sands, and to know still as intimately as before. So very surreal in a lot of ways… but that is change for you. It cannot be escaped, put off, or dismissed. Typically those who try end up at the business end of the stick. Guess that is why I'm here though, light yet heavy, bruised yet healthy, sad and happy. By the Kami these contradictory feelings really will tear me apart at this rate. Probably the fate that deserveth by this o' so humble one.
This coward who couldn't even face up to the fact that he's afraid. So very afraid of wandering aimlessly knowing that his heart is in another's hands. Just wanna tear it free again sometimes. But why? This can't be what love is? An illusion. Life is an illusion.
Sorry Journal-san, but I can't go on further today. Tomorrow, perhaps. I'll be more settled then at Fort Zaru. Then onward to Sunagakure. Won't the elders just be happy. Especially with the news I got in store for them.
I just can't wait.
Playtime - Unknown
Chitose-chan. Interesting girl, or should I say young woman seeing as how she's a chuunin. A freshy by the smell of her, though I'd need a taste test to be absolutely sure. Chances of that happening are slim to none, naturally. But perhaps that will change in the coming months. The latest catastrophe to hit Sunagakure certainly hinted at future opportunities. Silly Sou-sa-kun and his wacky experiments. One would think that such a 'brilliant' man would have his laboratories guarded against every possible type of intrusion. Best not say that around him now that I think about it. Even if the Kazekage is relatively mellow in person, he is still a human. Contradictory little things they — we are.
Silly things too, to allow gremlins to run amok so easily. Speaking of which, the question still remains as to where the heck did those little demons, "Mogwai" if I recall correctly, came from. The southern lands perhaps? Or mayhaps they have something to do with the incidents popping up all over the world. If that is the case then — but I'm getting ahead of myself. Curious though I am to find the truth, as always Journal-sama, I can't go gallivanting off to some far off lands on a whim. Not anymore. This brings me back to that other thing I meant to get into last time. But should I really do that now?
As it turns out I must depart again before I can play those sour notes. But rest assure I won't runaway from freeing those words from what remains of my heart.
Honor is Dead, and So am I - Unknown
As I sit her, thinking back to that moment so very, very long ago, I wondered if any of it was truly from the heart. Or was it just me seeing another chance to sate my wretched sense of curiosity. Odds are in favor of it being fifty-fifty. Something I wish was significantly less the case. Alas, the choice and its consequences must be bear to this day.
When I gave Ei, my hime, Watashi no ai (my love), my heart on that day it was to keep.
When I first cast her aside after meeting with her parents… I meant to.
When I saw her again and confessed what our time apart has done, and what I desired I was overjoyed.
Our first hug. Our first kiss. Our first time. Am I so broken inside that these things ultimately mean nothing to me? Or perhaps better yet, am I that hollow? I must be that or incredibly foolish to think that it would be an actually conceive of any idea that would involve us parting for more than a day. But then again, what choice do I have? Blood knows blood too intimately. If I had remained upon my path they would've found some way to play puppeteer again. Not that they really needed in more hooks in me to get me dancing. But still, Why couldn't I just accept those hooks and pray that they never tugged me away? Hope that I would never be forced to risk shattering both of our hearts beyond repair by playing the part of a demon? Why?
There are no answers to my question. None that our truly genuine in my case. In the end, I must remain true to my sordid little nindo. In the end, I must keep marching onward upon this glass filled path, bare-footed but undaunted by what each shard and jolt of pain means.
There will be retribution.
Family Woes - Unknown
I found something rather interesting. Call it an epiphany if you will. I always knew that with the right prodding, the real Shun would shine through someday. What I didn't realize was how much I would come to regret seeing this new Shun. I do not hate her mind you. Perish the thought! I am a little conflicted though. It kind of feels that our roles have been switched in a way. Once upon a time it was always her worrying about me when I was about do something particularly reckless. It was always her being the eye of my storm. It was always just… her. But things have changed recently and I cannot say for the better.
Where at first she was always quiet, aloof, and basically the perfect shadow. Now she's, well, she still kind of the same, though she's more open about her feelings and much less willing to take any crap for anyone; especially me. In fact, given the opportunity she pretty always takes a chance at getting at me for using my whole 'choose your words carefully' rule. Fun-ny. e.ea
All of that aside (technically, I suppose), these recent changes have left me oddly concerned. Despite my personal concern I still allowed her to depart my person and focus her talents elsewhere. Namely finding that wayward sister of hers before the elders are forced to take drastic measures to ensure that she returns to Sunagakure. Truth be told, I'm almost suprised they didn't send me along with her. At least this way they could put off my plan to join Sunagakure. But I guess they have something else up there sleeves already. Meh. Regardless of whatever the case may actually be, I trust Shun to handle the situation as she deems fit. I just hope that whatever happens doesn't have unforeseen consequences.
Kind of funny coming from a guy who once (and kind of still) reveled in chaos.
Change is a Heck of a Thing - Unknown
It seems that no matter how hard one tries to change, they'll just find themselves back at square one again. I know that I have on more than one occasion. Now, while I do confess I've never really made much of an attempt to try an alter my nature beyond whatever fancy manage to take root in my heart required, that does not mean that there have not been moments. Moments in which change was truly a desired thing. Times in which I simply hated myself and everything that this world has had to offer…. Where was I going with this again, Journal-san?
Probably nowhere really. Just like now, in a way. Even after mustering the courage to quit the desert in favor of slightly less warmer climates, find the one who held my heart, and confess one of my many sins…. Again, I lose my place. It must be happening again. Problematic that is. Thankfully, the cure should still be potent enough to stave off this affliction. In the meantime, I'll try to recount my steps and say what I meant to say here.
Nothing. Sort of. The point, dear journal, that I do believe I was trying to make is the fact that 'it' may not be in me to truly change, to adapt, and to evolve as I should with age. Not in the right way at least. This oh so humble one hopes that this is not the case… but, history does not lie. Nor do the whispers that echo within even now.
Musings of the Liberator - Unknown
Funny what flits into the mind when given a moment to wound down from a good exercise. For instance, while I should be spending this time trying to figure out just what I'm going to say to the Fujiwara's once we've made our way back behind the gates of Konoha, instead I find myself musing over one of my side quests in Sunagakure. Just the thought elicits a chuckle no matter how hard I try to contain the desire. Thus, I hope that by recounting that time that this one will be able to move on. Not likely, but… hopefully.
Depressed, destitute (at the time), and just overall devastated by my own folly, I turned to common thievry, breaking & entering, plus a few minor other things just to try and cheer myself up. Or, you know, die in the process. The only thing uncommon about the whole ordeal is the targets that I chose. That's right. In what can only be described as utter madness at the time, I actually concieved and followed through with the idea of retrieving certian unmentionables from none other than a Suna Councilor! Before I go on, for the eyes of those that this journal does not belong to, please note that just because I have regained some sense of sanity (in spite of what I have to say might in turn be seen as incriminating), this does not mean that I will simply let a slight like this (i.e You stealing and/or reading this without my permission) lie. Even in death. With that little nugget out of the way I shall move on to the nitty-gritty as it were.
Naturally, It was night when I made my move. Too late for the normal to be out without the deeds in mind being none at all, the bad, or handed down by some higher order. Getting inside was easy enough since this was a project set in motion earlier that week. And after a bit of minor difficulty in the begining, maneuvering around undetected was relatively easy as well. In all honesty, things probably would have gone off without a hitch if not for lady lucky determine that the moment I was otherwise occupied with assembling what I would take from what must remain, said councilor was to be disturbed. A comforter having shifted, giving her senses greater access to the room at large… or so I surmused the last time I reflected upon this event. In anycase, one thing essentially led to another, and in time I found myself wrapped up in her bed, bound not only by her tail, but also by a few unbecoming desires that arose as we conversed upon my discovery. The things that were said… I just, found it all amusing. Not once did I lie about my intentions or try to cover things up. Somewhat. Inadvertantly I did, sorta, distract from the main point by confessing things I probably should not have done so in such an uncontrolled environment. Though then again, there were other desires inolved, as I had mentioned before.
Loneliness… and hate. I loathed myself so much so for what I have done in the past that I was actually grateful for the opportunity that could have led to my 'untimely' death at Itami's hands, a woman that I — while still relunctant to openly admit at times — had respect for and even a minor dashing of kinship somewhere in there. I was… am tired. But, once more lady lucky decided that this particular event would be something to humble the spirit, rather than release it from its mortal coils. Am I happy about how things turned out? Yes and no. One of the many great things about being human is the fact that we are living contradictions. So, yes and no. If I were to weight the pros from the cons however I would say that the pros outweighed the cons by 1. Again, funny thing that is.
In short, while I may have inadvertantly started a chain of events that may end with many a hearts being torn asunder, I cannot deny its worth. My one wish is that the nature of this so called 'man of the people', wanderer extrordanair, the man known as Ryoji Wakahisa to some and Ryoji Iga to others, will be discerned in the future. Because truth be told I grow weary of trying to make genuine sense of it all now that that one box was opened.
Chance Meetings #1 - Unknown
Genzai Tsumi? That should be correct. Interesting girl she is. Tasted kind of funny though. Well, funnier than most florist tend to test to me, but then again I was under a bit of stress the day that the official record was taken. That aside, I do hope to meet this individual again; especially given her connection with a newly annoited Daimyo. Keep in mind dear Journal-san, that my intentions are truly pure when I make this admission.
Alright, I'll admit that my intentions aren't THAT pure. Just pure enough not to be miscontrued as a desire to somehow manipulate said Daimyo for unseemly goals and what have you, neh? Granted, the woman in particular remains the greatest source of my curiosity. The first tend to have that kind of effect. Questions? Naturally their are plenty swarming about. However, for the time being I will not let this urgings get too out of hand. Plus, how can I resist wanting to get to know her a bit better? One cannot possibly thank another for their assistance as a guide without knowing more about how they tick now can they?
Chance Meetings #2 - Unknown
Rare be the moments in which this Iga finds himself genuinely impressed by the abilities of others. This, I say in all truthfulness. So rare in fact does this be that I fine myself unable to contain the desire to do a more thorough examination of things. Asano Soren, or he called himself. Impressive fellow. Powerful too. A wonder it is that though I find the name familiar, the man behind it is elusive to me. Well, to the memory of this humble one.
I digress. With a single stroke of his sword the man decimated a forest in no small way. Hashi-chama is not gonna like that when she's finds out later. If, I suppose might be the better word, though not an unlikely thing, ya know? … Anyways, for feeding me such a wonderus thing I felt it best to repay ol' So-so-kun with a bit of advice. Things didn't quite go over as well as I had hoped and because of prior business, he took off pretty darn quickly. He did say he would try and take my advice to heart. T'iz all this humble one can really ask for in the end; especially given that said technique might have other properties behind it.
Antsy - Unknown
Know what I discovered today? Every, single, rice-picking, Land seems to breed giant everything!? While this is not innately a bad or good thing alone; when it comes to the living, giant things breed giant messes. Case-in-point, Sunagakure's ant infestation awhile back. While I cannot claim just yet if this was the source of some new insect clan's experiments gone wrong or some other such madness, I can definetly atest to the fact that thost things most definitively…. Wait, where was I going with this again? Something about poo and certian touchy feelie comerades?
Mah-ee~ Not a problem. Simply put, the next time I see about testing out personas and suits I'll have to consult the clan's augers in regards to the days event. Personally I detaste the idea of using such a 'shortcut', BUT at the same time I can't keep affording to replace suits! Much to pointless and counter-productive to my 'Get me and hime settled down somewherez quick scheme!'
Not that it is much of a scheme in itself as well, but still, ya get the general idea. Right, Journal-san?
Nakama? - Unknown
I'm not sure rather or not I should be disappointed in the shocking lack of understanding of such a simple word or the fact that my understanding up to today has been more twisted than I ever realized before. Without Ei at my side, welll, I can't help but wonder I suppose if… I can't help but wonder who the real me even is? Odd thing to be worried bout now after all these years, though, perhaps not completely unexpected.
Ah, but of course I've gotten what one might call 'off-topic' again. Oh, and of course only to a certain degree. The purpose of this, I suppose you could say, is… no, that isn't right either. I'm I really this detached, or should I say, have been this…
Nada, huh brain? If that truly be the case, then I suppose I'll just have to do whaqt I can about as I am now, though, perhaps tweak my approach abit to that newly all consuming question of what is Nakama, eh?
Always More Death - Unknown
There is always room for doubt, or so the old me would say, though, not quite as straight-forwardly. But can the truth be anything more than what stands to the fore, or must it be as-is? I found myself wondering this following the most recent 'disposure' of a new gang that recently cropped up in Sunagakure. The 'Murky Soup Gang' to be exact. To say that I was both pleasantly suprised and disappointed would be an understatement.
Suprised because of the variety of its gang members head honcho's persona and abilities was delightfully satisfying, but… disappointed in how focused on eliminating the bandits my collegeaus and I were. I'm well aware of what our orders were at the time, and given the level of the threat it was understandable. However, according to the logs in regards to Sunagakure's roving gang of bandits, every month without fail a new one has sprouted up with the potential that stresses the need of chuunin and higher on the field close at home. Odder still is the last two. Both of which were centered around the wrecked remains of San-Sara Datura. A place previously known to attract such ill-kind and the like in the past, but… why now?
Vulture it? Rebuild? The former is much more likely and all, but my heart and mind can't help but wonder, wonder, wonder some more. Knowing it the way I do, this would in turn mean that without the proper sating at the home front, this oh humble one and Shun must take a return to the outlying lands again of Suna. Not sure how Ei is gonna take that.
Not even sure what side of the fence I'm on, on rather or not what may be will stir the old Ryoji again at the price of last.
Eternal Rain - Unknown
Introspection is a terrible thing. Wonderful and enlightening at times too, but terrible nonetheless. It makes a man — half-man, to be frank, wonder if there really was a great design. That is to say, /if/ there is one, then it would explain in part why we are given more moments to think back or just think then most will ever realize. Such a dreary line of thinking that is though, and far from the main reminder I'm trying to convey this day.
A 'sane' man would blame this seemingly eternal rain. Good thing I am not, nor shall ever claim to be one without it being the butt of a joke. Or some such nonsense at least.
My — and by 'my' I mean 'our' as in Shun and I — most recent endeavor to find out more regarding the recent upsurge of bandit activity has resulted in more consequences than what was expected. Unexpected ones, to be exact, and… welcome, in a fashion. It all started with my having fished out one of Kumogakure's fallen, and — much to Shun's chargin upon discovering this — accepting her into our company for a time.
It was one of the few rare times that I withheld the truth from another. Odd for an Iga, no? But it happened, and I don't think I can forgive myself for the white lie. Hopefully, being remiss about knowing her name and suspecting her of being what she was before it was spoken does not sour any future encounters.
I now laugh, for that is a lie in itself too. Seems I'm still gripped by 'them'.
As I was, things quickly spiraled out of control from there, for within a couple of weeks we found ourselves with the face of one of darling Misaki's many woes: former boyfriend, KRD member, and a pup I challenged in Kumo with one my sordid little tests. His name is Yotsuki Hiei. Imagine my suprise when the pieces not only fell into place but also to see how much he's grown since then. Quite frankly, I found myself somewhat disappointed with my own growth over the years in comparison. Later, not then. Then it was simply a drama in which in spite of my nature to play the part of only the observer, the circumstances whispered to me, reminded me of my own past and its similarities to Misaki's plight. While her attitude and the full truth behind her 'escape' from the northern lands certainly strained my willingness to commit myself beyond my prefered role, my body dismissed such things and acted accordingly. The mind became a slave to the heart. Wholly and utterly.
It would see me dead or dying before it allowed another to be stripped of their freedom — no, of the time the needed to reflect and choose which path they would walk without constraints placed on by another being. I'm tired of asking why. I grow sick of the questions that spawn endlessly from the depths of my being. But, knowing my luck I will not be allowed to rest for some time yet. Rather or not that is a pity… I shall humbly wait and see.
Chi Time - Unknown
Yamauchi Chitose, Jinchuuriki of the eight tailed — tentacle one. It was never my intent to be so easily drawn into the same orbit of this being. She is a curious thing like humans are too me, but without the cure to the mask I forged we clashed more often than I would've prefered… in a matter of speaking.
She is headstrong, confident, and steadfast when it comes to her beliefs. I have no doubt that she has settled well into the path of shinobi despite the circumstances, or should I say, the price of a Jinchuuriki's continued existence. But that is not enough for me. I admit now that without Ei at my side like in days gone past that I feel myself slipping down the wrong side of a slope. The void demands to be fed and I know not no other means to do so then with the stories of others. So as I said before, the surface is not enough. She has garned my curiosity, prodded without intending, a sleeping devil. It will have its due, or certainly break me in the attempt to do so. My 'spar' with her to feed it proved as much given a lack of restraint on techniques and the like.
Unfortunate… but not unwelcome.
Mending Bridges - Unknown
Habits truly take their time to die; especially the bad ones. I say this, for during this one moment to pin by pen and reflect, it has recently come to my attention just how true that saying is. While it may be understandeable to have left the investigation in Shun's capable (as well as the care of Misaki's situation), forsaking ones duty for the sake of satisfying an old whim is simply a deplorable thing. At least, that is what most could agree upon. I still find myself on the fence in that regard oddly enough.
What I fear may be the start of the rapid consumption of favors in the future, I used the old lines to hasten my arrival at a village that a recalled had housed an old merchant buddy of mines. His name… Senjiro something. Forgive me journal but it has been some years. Despite my endeavors I failed to make contact with him, though I did still luck out in finding a family member with similiar tastes, literally and figuratively. He intrigued me with the possibility of a more potent cologne to help erase my sent. Unfortunately at the time I lacked the means to nab a sample without potentially spreading bad blood. The most I managed was the promise of a future introduction to some more willing customers, though, it may take some convincing in the future.
That aside, there was something else I garned from him. The toll was rather high since it meant absolving the informat of certain future obligations of the family to me. A reminder of my main goal and a possible solution however prevented the deterent from having its due. As deplorable as the situation was in terms of initial ease given what was sacrificed well prior. The challenge offered was suprisingly satisfactory. I did miss out on a free meal though, to which, I shall lament eternally for it. There still exists one bothersome problem though…
How in the world am I going to unlock this scroll!?!
Forging New Ones - Unknown
I am uncertain if I should be happy that my self-recrimation has pushed me further on the path that all Iga yearn to walk, or disappointed. I suppose it is a mixture of both. I cannot really say in this moment however, due to the excrutiating amount of pain I find myself in. Regardless, I do not, nor will I ever regret the course. The closest thing I feel to regret is having invoked the name of my clan to punish a swindler and see to it that he will tread more softly within Sunagakure. The latter is only a hope, for there is never any guarantees in life. On the lighter side, I may have also just secured the means of finding a perfect median for the revival of the one thing I knew and enjoy without losing myself to the dismal. Not to mention a means that will allow me to retire as a shinobi of Sunagakure.
It is a hope. No more, No less.
In the Name of a Hunter - Unknown
Still no luck finding a connection between the bandits and some outside force intent on doing whatever it is their trying to do with the lands. Could it be an internal problem? A possiblity, for certain. Regardless, I will seek out more proof, hoping and not that by the end of this month I'll find the trail I seek. If not, there are always better game to seek out and deal with; such as those involving puppet masters from far off shores. In one sense it would be more prudent to deal with the known, but then, since when have I ever err'd on such a side?
Next to never if not outright never, right?
Shadow Games - Unknown
Ryou Iga, the disgraced son of the Iga clan, and then me, the son of such a man that desired to know and understand this man — to become the idol in the eyes of a child by even going so far as to brandish a derivative of the man's name, Ryoji, only to flounder at the crossroads with only the true name brought to bear to provide some guidance. As much as I would like to say that by retaking my name I've accepted the path I was meant to walk. I would like to say a lot, actually. Ultimately, I remain bound to the past like any other human. Bound to make the same mistakes, but bound also to triumph over them so long as there is courage and belief in my heart. Or some such nonsense like that.
Ayumu may just have what it takes since allowing maturity to begin flourishing in his soul. However, can it be said that a man with Ryoji as his past is bound to lighter half, or ultimately to succumb to the darkness in his heart. Regardless of which, I will observe. Just like the man that went to such lengths as to plot his son's advancement in skill level with the addition of Shadow Clones to his repertoire.
That does remind me of an experiment that needs to be carried out soon as well.
Shun - Unknown
Either the elders are something big, or I've rubbed off on Shun big time, because that girl just doesn't seem to know how to keep her feet still in one place for longer than a day. I've hardly seen her since enlisting, though I cannot say that I'm all too surprised by that. Her mission was only to play watcher while I was out in the world on my lonesome. Now that I'm back, well, duty done and all that jazz. Still, you'd think old habits would at least lead her to hanging about every once in awhile or something. Ah well though, guess I'll just have to stay waiting and seeing for the time being.
Inquiry - Unknown
I may not be of the vengeful side of the story, and yet, I find myself being driven towards it by others. To be more exact, those that were granted the privilege of handling interclan laws have recently taken upon themselves the task of placing blame for a recent break in on my head. Rebellious I may seem, but not once have I dared to go so far as to see such an act committed against the clan. Nevertheless, they sought me and tried me, only for obaa-chama to deliver the proper smack upside their collective heads for behaving so childishly.
As much as I wanted to be swept up in elation at their misfortunes, the fact that they saw me as a viable source of their wrath did not escape me. Atypically, giving a damn about clan politics would be a laughable thing for one such as I. However, if I am to see my dream reach fruition then I'm gonna have to make another one of those darn sacrifices again it seems.
Resolution & Consolation - Unknown
In hindsight, it was perhaps not for the best to have exhausted certain favors so hastily. But then again, the surprise that resulted in my oversight was… tantalizing. Painful, but worthwhile. Ei would probably disagree of course given the circumstances. I do not blame her. Or should I say, I will not when the scars adorning my back eventually come to light.
That particular matter aside, the movements of the Shinegakurens shall no longer be so easily dismissed; especially due to personal prejudice on my part in regards to religions in general (an odd and too long a story to retell in one go). The same obviously goes for Sunagakure as a whole, seeing as how they have taken strides to use poor pretenses to serve deeds that I suspect have little to do with following in the same foot steps as their predecessors, and more to do with something else all together. Seems that way to me at least from a first hand account.
Turning their dead into engines of destruction and twisting the mind — perhaps even the souls of the wind's people dictated as much. Naturally, I've managed to talk myself into circles. A step back to clear the air should be taken, neh?
Gran-gran - Unknown
How best to describe my meeting with Obaa-chama with Ei in toe? To be frank, I do not have a definition for it since the majority was spent with my having been bustled out of the room for one reason or another, setting things up only with a new reason cropping up for my leaving again. Unsurprising really and an obvious ploy for her to talk with Ei alone and do whatever it is she wanted to do with my lady.
Bothersome. Agitating. But in the end, it would seem to have been worthwhile for the moment. At least, that's how I shall take it for now. Honestly though, I really hope Obaa-chama didn't pull any of her more unusual tricks on Ei…
Danger - Unknown
I'm not entirely sure if it simply a matter of her position within Sunagakure or a deeper matter behind it, but the Shippodoku seem to have some sort of thing for Itami-chan. Either way, the latest attempt by one Kongo Shippodoku left her weaker than I have ever seen her. Not for the first time I've felt murderous desire nearly override even my ability to compensate for distracting feeling while invoking my clan's more intuitive state of being.
It should not have happened to begin with, and the only other possibility suggest something that should not even be. Not after what I've done.
May haps it all has to do with 'that'?
Disharmony - Unknown
I have always been of the curious sort, which is bound not to change any time soon… or so I thought. Ever since the protection mission over a silly little bird, there's been a shift internally. My dreams have been plagued by what I once considered, mostly as a matter of entertainment than anything beyond that, but nevertheless, a comedic fantasy.
I would kiss passionately, and she would return it… only to slap me and call me a jerk. Yes, quite silly. Unfortunately, the dreams did not follow the old formula. Not the last part at least. And while I am a believer of there being multiple truths to ever thing, this 'dream' feels all-too-tangible, like a memory.
But why can I not recall it?
Death of a Jinchuuriki - Unknown
I can still feel scorching sand beneath my feet. My body has more than grow used to the feeling, and at the time, it was only for scant seconds at a time. A repeating pattern constantly reminding me that in a moment of cowardice I turned my back on a friend (though she hardly saw me as such) with the thought that what would follow could hardly amount to much fallout save a very severe reprimand for her later.
I was wrong and several fronts, and even after realizing my mistake I allowed a mere miniature sandstorm and a few guards to hold me back from returning to the field of battle. It was not the first time such has happened to me. Out of necessity growing up it became simply apart of the price of continuing my existence upon these lands. But that is the far distance past. Back when what power I held was merely my wits and luck.
I will not allow what happened to Chitose happen again. It matters not how close I am to the person. I will do what I must to ensure that they are not so coldly discarded at the whims of a panicked people. If I must sacrifice myself in the process to maintain this goal then… so be it.
Funny, how much I've seem to change…
Fatherhood - Unknown
All this time I thought that when I first heard the news I would be a little more prepared. Strange, I know, but it is in fact the truth I profess. Despite how much I've changed, some things remain inescapable. It really doesn't matter, in any case. No one is ever truly prepared for it.
Fatherhood will be a most strange and interesting adventure. Perhaps I'll even gain insight that talking to the old man just will not reveal to me. Frightening thought. Especially if afterwards I find myself considering following in his footsteps, thus subjecting my son to years of abandonment issues, followed swiftly by the delightful tang of a bitter reunion that entails offers no explanation as to why things had to be the way they are.
Ryoji - Unknown
Every breath I take is another he takes as well. It should not disturb me nearly as much as it does, and yet I find myself, during these somehow rare quiet moments these days, wishing I had never don the mask in the first place. Understandably, it was the lesser of three evils. A persona that could never truly grow beyond his perception of the world and the way things are. Sometimes I wonder if it would've been better to allow myself to become completely broken. Then of course I recall that I would be dead, and not enjoying all the pleasures my memory and the present offers.
Ryoji cannot be sated by simply offering him a corporeal form. Eventually, we will have to come to better terms, or be forced to act on some silly drama. If not for Ei carrying for that half (which ironically without we would not be together in the first place) the end would be sooner.
May so long as fortune favor us that what one side believes may not come to pass.
Best Intentions - Unknown
I find myself confused. Shocking, I know, but bare with me for a few moments. The very same woman who I, well, “bothered” in one of the most terrible manners requested my assistance in what can be summed up as a revitalization project. A noble ideal, and most definitely of the sort that I would like to take part in for the experience. But still I find myself most befuddled by the request for my aid given are history. Any of my half-way decent Kin would have done well enough. If not for that same shared history I could suspect not having to pay me for my services to be at the root of it all. But that is most definitely not the case.
Regrettably, dear journal-san, my head has begun to ache without my express decision, leaving me with but no choice except to sleep on the thought.
Game of Deals - Unknown
As improbable and insane as it might be, I do not believe I would've agreed to such a deal. It reeks to heavily of it favoring the enemy more than it actually does us. Not to mention that it jeopardizes whatever influence we — Sunagakure (and I suppose by extension the other greater shinobi villages) — have in those lands that did not fall under the deal. Then, there's the whole making the assumption that the other greater shinobi villages would've fell in line with the deal without even being given a chance to discuss things.
Or perhaps more accurately, debate incessantly amongst themselves, furthering the divide the silence seems to wish increase between us. Or mayhaps — just maaaybe — a more fruitful solution would've been found? The cynic in me cannot concur, and yet there exist a shred of lingering hope in what is now impossible. Even with the means to change the past with marginal consequences, /I/ at least would not bother. Rare is it that running away solves more problems than it creates (says the resident expert). Enough with the cynicism. Now that the village at large at least is on this course, I must do my part to see to it that it wasn't a mistake. Here's hoping the elders or the 'head' mind my easing back on my word to ensure this…
Chasing Shadows - Unknown
(OOC Note: The following entry seems to have been hastily written. Some of which was blurred together due to haste, resulting in some parts being indecipherable. What is below is all that is clear enough to read.)
I've been chasing shadows so long that they've begun to chase me in turn. The void. I cannot escape this ephemeral enemy of mine. Grounded. Every time they ground me, but every time the fear grows stronger. Still, I would not forsake them, my lovely Ei, and darling, darling Miyu. So peaceful she is. Her scent — their scent — their very being keeping me together. I must not lose them, yet I risk all by staying so close.
Past Reflections Pt.1 - Unknown
I've been looking towards the past more and more lately even during the waking hour. I do not believe it is a request of memories, but simply one of the many tolls that must be paid to time, bothersome though it is. If it'll help with the cost, what has troubled me — no, come to life again shall finally be inscribed. Some of it, at least. And who knows, perhaps this may be the only means in which I can communicate with Miyu in the future after a fashion. I do not — cannot expect her to understand all of her foolish father's crazy ramblings, but if some peace of mind or… something comes out of reading these entries, then it would've been all the more worthwhile to have taken this pause. Now…
To this day I do not understand what it was that happened. The reasons behind the why are as obvious as they are varied, but the exact what escaped me. There was to be finally be peace between my kin and the Koga clan, this much even then I understood. To a lesser extent, I understood what was to be my purpose from then on at the time. Admittedly, while fair Haruka may have very well turned out to be a lovely companion for the rest of my years, I cannot say that my heart would've been it from the start, ensuring that the day in which both of us achieved happiness could be. Not without an odd series of moments set in our path. As deplorable as it is to consider, perhaps the future may yet bring us together. If so, truly would I hate and love such a perspective.
So much chaos do I remember on that day. The fires still burn as clear as day in my mind, paling in comparison only to the collection of emotions that filled the air. Chief among them, ironically enough, was not hatred between clans rekindled, but fear, anger, and — that one something I just can't put my finger on still! Maddening! But not nearly as the one being within that oh so rosey picture in mind. Ryou.
Either my mind simply could not process it in full — understand just why he was there — or that day was the start of his little game with the clan, because the moment I felt him, the world disappeared out from under me. I had to have been out of it for a few minutes at best, because there was still chaos around by the time I came to. I also must've been quite the sleep walker back then, because I don't even remember seeing Haruka since the banquet first started. And yet, there she was being pulled along behind me as we made a break in the same direction as all the other kids. Tiny legs, tiny bodies, rushing ever to the unknown as a river of bedlam sweeps about, always seeking to drag one in. After running for what felt like a small eternity, at last we came to the crossroads. Well, more like a ravine opening before us that with a hovering sign on the other side that said leap of faith.
Alright, fine brain! It wasn't that dramatic, but close enough. Rather it was impulse, destiny, or something else entirely, the lack of hesitation still haunts me sometimes. How I just tossed her to the otherside with the rest of the kids before allowing myself to be finally taken by the river. Such a difficult thing to navigate it was, and remains so even to this experienced mind.
Past Reflections Pt.2 - Unknown
Rather than fall forward since my last drift to the past, I dive instead further back this time. Back to those dreary times that yet shine brightly to me even now. It is an especially odd feeling looking back as far, and seeing the me before the fracture occurred. Perhaps in a way, those time was the start of it all. If so, did I ever really have a chance? Hah! A lovely lie to beguile this ones mind further, and one I shall endeavor not to entertain too much. I do so enjoy this level of sanity, or at least, I have in my own little way so far.
The first few years are always the worst. If not for the desert being so positively devoid of obvious life, we might not have survived without insanity inevitably finding us first. Some mayhaps, but most definitely not all. Before we are even talk to speak or walk, we learn to feel nothing at all, or chose what to feel. I envied my main branch kin back in those days. Always at 'HOME', always guaranteed the succor of one of the few drugs that may ease our suffering, always safe — oh how I envied them indeed, as did most of us in the branch family. But through harshness we grew stronger, and over time did we realize who the weaker half was. The question at times was begged still why we bother listening to them at all, only to be silenced by one truth or another.. or another. In short, we had to accept it and move on.
The funny thing about being apart of a more nomadic family is how easy it became to do such; a boon of our chosen prison, or so I at least saw it. It was easier to seek the aid of one another back then too given our circumstances. Like wolves, the strength of one was the strength of all, and vice verse. Without such reliance and reinforcement of that reliance, we would all have perished eventually. The early year'd ones most definitely, 'less life saw fit to saddle them in the company of those that walked outside the path of the clan.
There was this… aversion. We all had it in our core, though not all listened to it as readily as the elder ones. With perhaps the rare few exceptions, at some point in our lives we are expected to face this aversion to perceiving the world as those not of our blood do. Even after taking advantage of this forced acceptance, I still find myself wondering about the point from time to time. Then, I see her. The one I defied all else for the sake of ensuring that she would be the first I saw. Long, platinum hair framed a heart-shaped face, and though unkempt by most standards, there was this… I lack the words for it now except save the fact they made her all the more unique to me. Sky blue eyes radiated such warmth and affection that I had a hard time looking directly at them without feeling faint. Pale, smooth skin refused to yield to the desert. Obaa-chama would later remind me that I had her nose, unruly hair, and whenever the mood hit me, mischievous nature. Although I remember her smiling, it is far to vague for me to be certain of just how true that last bit was.
My heart is now far to heavy to continue on this trend or any other, so good night, dear journal, and may fortune be with me in dreamland. While I expect no nightmares for diving so far deep, there are other things to fear… and things I still do not have within me to speak to Ei about in regards to it all. Soon, I hope, but not yet.
Past Reflections Pt.3 - Unknown
The wheel turns again and again and again, twisting the turf, tormenting those rare but scattered individuals that once were on some level content with their lot in the dirt. Though denied a future, what remains tries again, heedless of the impossible, and blissfully — in some ways — ignorant of any doubts. In a matter of speaking, my thoughts have been like so, trying again and again to send me back to the past, and a present that can no longer be changed in the conventional sense. Troubled once more, I put my thoughts to paper, uncertain if it is some vague hope I'm after, or merely acceptance that the maddness that gripped both heart and mind has decided to evolve with me.
Kuma. No Clan name of any sort. It was just "Kuma" (Bear). I knew of the word, but not once before I met that individual did I see one for myself. And yet, the poor description on the matter provided during my studies conveyed a strong enough image for me to know that the name fit the man. They were vehemently against my being trained by him; my masters at the time. A servant that could defend them was all well and good, but a slave learning how to fight to fit that same roll? One that — though I tried my best not to provoke the image too much — was so unbalanced, so chaotic, so curious tapping in the martial arts filled them with an understandable amount of discomfort and dread. Sadly, there were places that required a certain sense of tact. Inviduals and groups who would not have looked upon the ownership of flesh so kindly. It was rare for them to venture outside circles that would require tact on their part, but not so rare that they did not learn early on to make compromises here or there.
What did he say to convince him? I wondered offhandedly time from time. I could not have shown that much of a warrior's promise to prompt it, nor do I recall demonstrating what little I did know. The pessimist in me would say that his actions were nothing more than the long arm of the clan acting to protect their interest, or manipulate me down a path that would ultimately suit their goal. It would not be the first time as it later turned out, but I digress. Kuma did more than just teach me how to defend my masters, and by extension myself. He was the closest thing I had to a friend back then. An unfortunately stoic wonder, which made many conversations one sided by all appearances, but a friend nonetheless. Obaa-chama tried to teach me patience before, but it is Kuma that truly gave me the chance to learn for myself what it meant to be so. It still feels as if I have sand in my ears whenever I think back to that lesson. He was my counter balance, and as I suspect now, my first crush. Then again, what does one with a twisted persona know of such things, neh?
Once I was freed of my masters service, I never saw him again. No hints as to where he went, or whether or not he had anything to do with their untimely departure from this plain of existence. Do I still hope to see him again? No. Whatever part he does, did, shall continue to play will be as life dictates. Knowing this, it is better that my energy remain elsewhere; such as finding an effective means to keep the ravenous from my precious Miyu in the future!
A Match to Remember - Unknown
And by delectable, I mean the exact opposite for once. While to some extent I deserved having to reminded what it means to be a true masochist, what with my heaving actually used one of my stronger wind abilities to uproot Keiji, to use such devastating and just plain deadly poisons in a spar… It should've been anticipated. If a shippodoku ever accepts a spar, it is rare for it not to truly press one's resolve, or for the end results to be anything less than excruciating for their opponents. Yes, I know, black sheeps and what not, but still… That was far too great of a risk to start. As much as it is desired to see just how much I've progressed, it does my little good to risk death while so rusty. At the same time, it was better that I learned — relearned this lesson within the walls of Sunagakure. Less messy, and less painful when pride dictates that one should seek aid elsewhere in place of the one that placed one in a rather precarious position in the first place.
On another plus side, the whole debacle did provide me with some insight into Keiji. It has been at least.. six or seven years since we last met face-to-face. Unsurprisingly, the boy I knew then flourished greatly in that time. My only regret is to have in some small way failed him. I do not fully undestand it myself. It is a peculiar feeling however, and one I may continue to find difficulty enduring for some time.
Shadow Training So Far - Unknown
Color me mildly impressed with the youth my dear Sunagakure has contained within its walls. Either that, or simply ignore my odd sentimentality. To each his own, neh? But right, I should honestly move on to some sort of point.
A… I wish to see roughly a month ago I came into contact with a individual. Take note that I did not bother with adding the "unique" adjective in front of that, because we both know at this point just how I perceive the residents of this world. She had the spark of a child without a doubt, but actual focus as well. Praise be to this Ping-san she keeps referring to for managing such a feat in regards to a child so young. Then again, perhaps that is in fact some inherit trait of hers. I should no for certain, and yet for whatever reason, failed to find out in the usual fashion for me and my kin. Perhaps in my old age I've decided to take my time processing things, or maybe… I just haven't bothered to get around to it.
No matter. The child — Arika-chan not only sought me of all folks for my knowledge (though it was the more mundane portion of my library), but has also picked it up quite nicely so far. Her stamina and vigor aside, she patient, intuitive when it came to actual building a shadow clone, and curious. Oh so very curious. If not for Ping and my other duties, I might've just rashly offered a more steady tutelage in other matters. There was also the matter of Shun. She most likely would not have allotted it at the time. My sparring session with Keiji did leave quite a mark on my system. It is a wonder that I managed to recover as quickly as I did. A boon of the masochist spirit within? Strangely enough, I sincerly hope not, and in any case, it is time for me to retire early again.
Past Reflections Pt.4 - Unknown
I mentioned before having a crush on a certain individual, well, technically there were references to at least three or four I believe, but to more exact, I'm referring to Kuma and my stunning lack of depth in regards to that. Such failings I suppose is another facet of Ayumu, and one to keep in mind in the future. It certainly wouldn't due to confuse Miyu or whatever reader may come across these less guarded sections overly much now would it? Mad I am with a pinch of mischievousness, but even I have certain limits, though undefined and malleable.
It honestly does concern me how poorly I defined it before. There were of course a number of excuses (one or two of which was mentioned then), yet what I write now is my looking past them. At the same time, I must acknowledge the possibility that it may not have been infatuation, but instead admiration of the man. A troubling ball of yarn, I know, yet no less the truth. For a man of such great stature, he tended to move with a soft step. Combined that with his quiet demeanor and one would never know he is even in the room even if one were to be standing straight in front of him. It is that quite grace that made me all the more willing to suspect him to be a hired hand of the clan. In time however, I completely forgot about such accusation. I became mired not just by the mystery — an ever dangerous bait for those of my blood — but by so much more. It is hard to put in words even now, but the effort must be made. Or does it? Fear compels me to do otherwise or risk diminishing the memory. The poison of nostalgia I suppose.
He taught me more than just how to survive and to protect. He did more than hone my sense of patience and perseverance. Through him I was able to 'awaken'. Because of him, I sought for something that in the end meant very well going unsatisfied in regards to curiosity, but never carrying that I forsoke it. It was an opportunity, though not one I regret having missed. There is no one right way to live, and the route I have taken has plenty of its own merits. Things that I sometimes fail to cherish properly, but always shall I seek to try again with each passing day. And who knows, maybe someday I'll actually succeed.
Careless - Unknown
Rikuto Miira, aka Shiro-kun #2, is well on his way in ensuring that Sunagakure is in safe hands in the future. I do not jest by saying this, or at least not entirely. It would be wrong of me to say that he is too inflexible as of yet. His reasoning was… relatively sound. Mostly. And it is not as if he could've known of my peculiar standing without having been born of the same blood as I, or by sheer dumb luck. In any case, the matter was resolved after a fashion. At least that is what I would like to say, but not in good conscious.
In the end, that meeting left me with a rather sour taste in my mouth. Which is something in the near future I intend to remedy. It is not likely to be fated to happen all that soon however. Far too many things are left undone or in need of doing first. The highest priority being to see to it that I'm allowed to use the jounin section for training in the future. Otherwise, how else am I to advance?
Apprenticeship - Unknown
I've been sought out once again. While this is not something unprecedented, it /is/ growing to be somewhat disconcerting, considering how so much Ryoji remains intact. The optimist in me would say that my seeker is granting me the opportunity to make up for the past; my cowardice and foolish betrayal of her predecessor. Either that or this is how reality has dictated I will experience a reoccurring nightmare in regards to that event. If so, the kami have quite a sense of humor. A greater one still for instilling me with the will to actually accept Arika's apprenticeship, informal though it will be.
Never before would it have been wondered the why, or any feeling of doubt and regret lingering behind. And yet, that is just the case. There is little doubt in mind what kind of sacrifices the debt may — /will/ require of me. The most I will dare aspire for is the assurance that what needs to be passed on will be done so properly. And what should never taint those closest to me. My fear grows, making me wonder more and more if someday the mask will be donned again. Ryoji was not so terrible a being, nor can I hold on to any false sense of pride in having peeled him free of me even now. It’s just… I've grown accustomed to this lifestyle, twisted in many ways it is.
Movement - Unknown
Eyes will not leave me, but still I must move.
Fingers contort in agony, yet still their work is done.
Tongue liberally applies nothingness, STILL progression is made.
May you read this and understand someday that what was done could not be so easily escaped. And should there had been a way, forgive me not, for the foolish deserve no quarter, let alone a man driven by flimsy passion. We all have our choices to make, graves to dig, illusionary though some of them may be, it remains up to the individual. Truly do I hope that whatever has driven a conclusion of this sort is not nearly as bad as my wild imaginings?
Practice Makes Perfect - Unknown
I'm pleased to say that the experiments have been thus far successful! Why? I'm… not entirely certain myself. At every turn it is expected that something goes wrong when the touch of these sensitive fingers are involved, and yet, fortune continues to smile upon me. The closest thing to trouble that has been experienced honestly is amassing the sheer amount of chakra necessary to keep them adhered to a coherent form. One would think having a similar technique under their belt would be enough, but no, no, no, no! That is not the case at all, unfortunately. Still, what little can be gleamed from the one has aided me in some ways. That and all of the sensitivity training my predecessors have placed many and mine through for the sake of the future. The after-effects are weirder this time. Even though I've become used to looking in two directions at once (three to four on a good day), it feels different when it comes to this technique. It feels more as if I'm truly seeing through another perspective.
Perhaps I am doing just that, or will in the end. Oh did that send a shiver down my spine~ But in all seriousness, it does explain why Obaa-chama was so hesitant to divulge much. Speaking of which, just how badly will she have me suffer for my insolence? I mean, it wasn't as if she didn't expressly tell me /not/ to look into the technique, let alone practice it myself. Well, expressly in the way that those of the blood tend to warn away others of like blood. A system /specifically/ designed to keep such things from happening. Alas, another abnormality within this one it seems. That aside, regardless of whatever punishment I may face in the future, my curiosity has be tantalized far too much to ignore such an interesting technique. Soon enough, I will finally be able to taste the other perspectives.
Hanpa-ning Again - Unknown
It is starting to feel as if every turn hides more misfortune. Not an oddity in itself, especially considering yours truly habits, but nevertheless, the feeling of being besieged remains. It has made working towards any goal difficult to say the least. I've adapted the best I can, and will continue to do so no matter what. I will not lie and say that it would be very much appreciated if what feels like the truth was not so much so anymore. Again, I reiterate, Ryoji be not me fully any more. His joys linger at the finger tips, his sorrows dance on my tongue, and his ears continue their incessant hunt for that one thing or more, but ultimately, we are parallel.
This is the way things need to be…
The 'Main' Man - Unknown
Through a certain puppeteer who I shall leave nameless in this today's entry, I've relearned that humans can be truly audacious. Truly! This man in question had the nerve to hit on my love without so much as a warning beyond his scent. While I do appreciate the fact that the world is so diverse that such a man exist at all, it does not change the fact that I remain irritated over the whole incident. At the very least there should have been /one/ probing question about her status. It is not as if he was not aware of Miyu's presence at the time, or my own for that matter. Then again, I have to remind myself in the latter's case, this puppeteer possessed a single-minded focused when it apparently comes to attractive members of the opposite sex.
I must also grudgingly admit that he cannot be fully blamed for his actions. My lovely Ei is… just that. No matter how cruel of a day is experienced, merely being her company revitalizes me. And while I do not possess the same facilities as most, I've "seen" more than enough to recognize her beauty, both physical and otherwise. This will never change with time, this much I know as well. My fondest wish remains the same. I never wish to become so possessed by the tides of my fragmented psyche, or these surprisingly troublesome feelings.
Student Report Card - Unknown
Arika has been… progressing well? There remains quite a number of tests for her in the future, but overall, she has managed to meet my expectations. At times I find myself genuinely wishing there was more time to help her along. Do you recall that jutsu I've been working on? Well, I believe it to be the key to accomplishing this goal. It would mean a great deal of greater fatigue in the future, and embracing a side of my blood that I have for so long denied or twisted for other purposes; but still, I will do what I must.
Now if ONLY I can come up with more entertaining lessons then simply getting used to the odd conditions, neh?
Thirds of Me - Unknown
I'm not sure If I should consider myself a mad fool for having /finally/ mastered a second kinjutsu, or a freaking genius. They both dance on each others' borders, so I suppose both titles suffice, neh? Hah! But anyways, it just so weird, this feeling that is to say. With the exception of perhaps three people in the world, I have never felt so close to another. On the one hand, the use of this technique can be quite therapeutic. On the other, it can be damaging. Ah, the lovely twisted fate of looking oneself in the mirror. One that is and not you. In any case, the only thing left is to do a few more experiments with my newfound friends before doing some real field tests.
Thirst - Unknown
It would seem as if my left hand has gone rogue. For the past fifteen minutes now, it has continued to tap against this table, drumming some beat that even I have not the faintest clue as to what inspired it. Truly, what could it mean? Ryoji is not nearly so subtle, and it is not as if things are not progressing as fast as they can. Could it be in anticipation of things coming to fruition? If only things were so simple. No, I believe it is something more profound than that. A rhythm to match the tempo of my life as a whole, mayhaps?
Resignation - Unknown
Sousa-dono has resigned, and Itami-chama is to take his place. She deserves the seat without a doubt, its timing in a sense could not be more unfortunate. That is life, however. You either take advantage of every opportunity, or you don't. Besides, it is not as if all is lost. Itami-chama may not provide the same challenge, but… our future interactions may yet be interesting.
It is more unfortunate that such a thing will not be for some time. I can no longer divide my loyalties for the sake of sampling everything life has to offer. While working under the constraints provided by the two forces would've netted an interesting experience, the risks far too outweigh the rewards. I also rather not put Itami-chama on the spot. We may not have been exactly what I imagined, but nonetheless, I care enough for her and those in Suna that I will be leaving behind for awhile not to cause trouble. An oddity, I know, and yet that is the genuine truth. To think, a rogue such as myself would come even that close.
Final Ties - Unknown
What may perhaps be the most difficult part of my leaving Suna will have to be dealt with soon. So many things remain left undone. Lingering, however, is not truly an option for this one. The longer I stay, the more likely the sand will consume again. Though I find myself not minding this happening, I cannot intentionally allow it. I repay my debts, no matter what the personal cost. Being a man of the mad word is — may be, in the end, all I have left to me.
Journey Bound… Sort of - Unknown
Some rather interesting discovers have been made recently, though admittedly, the where to start made imparting this knowledge to you somewhat difficult. In accordance with the usual rules, this mad man shall simply start from wherever his mind wonders to first. Oh, such as my whole meeting with Shiryou-san! Lovely lady, by the way, though a bit lacking in the life department. As much as I'd love going into details about it, keeping this one in the old noggin may be for the best.
That aside, a few nagging questions were answered after this third meeting. Second in her current persona, assuming my memory hasn't failed me as it seemed to have done before the little impromptu meeting. Such an interesting being this one is, mature, surprisingly kind in a way, and misfortune. Resistance is futile. Now that the beast has awoken, I believe I'll be pursuing her for awhile, trying to make sense of it all. Perhaps someday, what accursed gift she has obtained might yet deter the others from walking the line. Doubtful, but one can hope, neh? Certainly I am allowed to hope that enough is learned during I future time in the Land of Fire that a more thorough warning can be given. If not, then I'll trust Obaa-sama to handle it.
Tourney Examinations! - Unknown
Things have, to say the least, not gone according completely to plan in the Land of Water. While not necessarily a bad thing, certain experiences will be put on hold for the time being, to say the least. One of these being another near death experience. Now, I don't actually know what your thinking journal/person-who-some-how-managed-to-get-a-hold-of-said-journal, three is enough, ain't it? Not quite true. There really isn't a solid number of 'enough' when it comes to a topic like that. Now, tempted as I am to ramble on and explain this notion, the original point must come back about!
I've resigned from the tournament a day before it began. Of all the reasons that come to mind, only true soul searching has helped me discern the truth. I… don't regret the decision I made that day, or the days after, though this pain in my chest hints at otherwise. Someday soon, this man will be whole again. If not, I'll accept the next closest thing as pittance or what not. It would not be as if I didn't deserve to become a jigsaw again, what with my having left my heart and future behind in another land.
Speculation - Unknown
My apologies for this backwards forwards thing that's been going on, but one cannot fully help their nature. Plus, fair warning was given too! Now, here is the thing. You know that whole resigning thing mentioned earlier? Well, a part of that had to do with my little spar with the wife of a former seven swordsman and a rather young Tokubetsu Jounin of Kumogakure. Both of which I met before, though only one of them I am certain about that being true.
That reminds, did I forget to mention how much being set on fire is unpleasant? No? Well I say it now. It is very, very, /very/ unpleasant, as my history certainly has proven to me. Now, why would I mention such a thing so out of the blue you ask? (not that /that/ isn't the norm for me) Simply put, I had the pleasure of not facing one, but TWO fire spitting ladies! Can you believe it!? Now, had I realized this from the begining I don't think it would've changed past Ayumu's decision to have a three way spar with them. After all, past Ayumu doesn't have to deal with future Ayumu's seared flesh. And now before you eloquently point out that Akane (the wife mentioned early) has some medical understanding (the extent of which I would not find out until after the fact), it doesn't change the fact that it'd take quite a bit of time to recover from being set on said fire. A lot.
In all honesty, I'm complaining for no good reason, as well as exaggerating a thing or two. Sensing impending doom, I made certain to surrender before things got too out of hand for me. Oh yeah, one more thing. While I'm not quite 100% sure just yet, both of them seem to possess rather… unique abilities. Through the course of the match, I picked on both the familiar and the too odd to be simply a matter of basic enhancements. With that in mind, and knowing myself far too well, keeping an eye on them will be something of a priority in the future.
??? - Unknown
Forever and a day
Speak to them soon, child. They will not wait forever. And soon, neither will we.
Infection - Unknown
One might think that given the resources that villages such as Konohagakure has at its disposal, any — well, most past threats would be easy enough to see removed in a more permanent fashion. One would be wrong. Or at least, they would be wrong about a good chunk of the time. Never underestimate the persistence of humans. This is doubly so for diseases and parasites, as our ancestors know all to well. Now don't get me wrong. This one is more than well aware there are just too many interesting things in the world to make a guarantee out of anything. Plus, there is that simple possibility that my initial observations were off. Not by much mind you, but certainly enough to warrant some doubt.
All of this aside does not change the fact that it would be best if this issue is settled sooner rather than later, and preferably with me being the least involved. As much as I would like to hide behind my usual sense of enjoyment in all things, once was definitely enough for me. That suffering the poor clone went through just to buy us time. So tragic. But his sacrifice was not — has not been in vain so far. My only hope is that Sunagakure takes my warning to heart. There's something more of course, but this I shall save for another time. Until next time Journal-san!
Tales of the Selfish Sensei - Unknown
While I do not believe what has been done was not without its merits, inflicting such binds upon another goes against much of the old me. My prior struggles and reconciliation with my younger half aside, it stung a lot worse than I expected. A masochist I am, but this feeling of having committed yet another betrayal removes all sense of enjoyment from it. The matter is of the serious nature as well. Even without her circumstances in place, even I understand that constraints set in place when it comes to the movement of a village's shinobi is for the benefit of all.
This world is not so stable that such constraints can be already considered archaic and pointless. Even so, at the very least I should've talked with her one last time first before going over her head. Responsible or not, as her former sensei, it is the least that I could've done. I'm too old for the reason to have anything to do with fear. But then, one is never too old to fear something. If anything, our fears only grow worse with time, doesn't it?
So Much For Guilt - Unknown
There are a number of things I feel guilty for, but few trump those tied to betrayal. Today however, I found myself reconsidering my feelings on one particular incident. Though later I would discover the reason behind the incident to have more to do with surprise and lack of training on Arika's part, the fact remains that the girl has given too much to a side of her that should never should it be offered this without — But I get ahead of myself.
As had been anticipated, Arika needs greater binds. Everything from her youth to the simple matter of her circumstances demands it. If things were different, or worst yet, like the last time fear compelled me to flee, only my other connections would provide the means to my recovery, scarred heart but still functioning. I dare not tread further on this painful subject.
New Work Out Plan - Unknown
I, have, a, plan! Honest! Now I know I’ve said this about a thousand times (maybe even more? I don ‘t keep track of these things well enough), but this lowly one does not lie this time. It will take a great deal of doing, some elbow grease, and a healthy dose of the Ryoji-ness, but I am at least 96% certain that all will go according to plan. Worst case scenario is just another regression. A big deal, mind you, but life has conspired to show me that there are far worse things then simply being reset to zero.
Now, this plan isn’t so much as some super extreme purposeful mission. Those tend to blow up in my face more often than not, and I just really need some sort of a win. Wow, ego much there? Hahah! Something like that, I think. Anyways, the regime won’t start until tomorrow. Largely because a rather convenient sighting of a nearby bandit camp has come to my attention, which is kind of a required thing for this new work out plan. Did I forget to mention it was that sort of thing? Well, now you know. I still haven’t quite figured out what combination of moss and pond scum will most effectively allow me to blend it, but I’ll keep working on it.
Kid Magnet - Unknown
It would seem that no matter where this one goes, it is the younglings that embrace his presence, as one might say. Then again, there was that one time in Kirigakure, though a select instance does not make for a strong case to the contrary. In the end, I do not fully understand how this… circumstance about. What youthful vigor this one once possessed has quickly dulled with the passage of time.
Impossible? Hah! If only such were not the case, and yet it is so very much true. I have for the most part managed to live up to my kin's elusive nature for the vast majority of my life despite my insatiable curiosity. Even so, this did not mean I always came out unmarred by these events. My back and face hold the sharpest proof, though the same can be argued of the mind as well.
Through the wily antics of a clone, I have for a time garnered something of another apprentice. Malik, the ambitious hatchling, seeks the path of shadows, secrets, and silence. Despite my own personal aversions and what assisting another on that dark path might lead to, this one shall ignore these misgivings. The clone is a reflection of myself, after all, and once it secured a promise of sorts, I am duty bound to fulfill. It is strange, you know. Sometimes, this one talks of it in a personal sense, yet find myself struggling as of late to follow up on such promises.
Either way, he will learn from me what little I can afford to offer. The rest, however, I believe will be more fitting for one far more steeped in the shadows to fulfill. It is a very fortunate thing that my dear clan head has found himself in a position in the light. I did not relish the idea of trying to seek him out.
Unmasking the Shadows - Unknown
My mind is a buzz again with a number of thoughts. While not the most unaccustomed to discomfort, these thoughts — feelings really behind it all — have things quite twisted on the inside. Of the two events they are tied too, only one I dare entail in full. The other will require a great deal more of sorting out before I dare put it to pen… if I bother to, anyways.
The brief note first. It seems another would challenge myself and Ei (heheh, punny) to a game of wits for the leftovers of my long dead masters. What possessed me to reject it outright remains beyond me. The one thing I know is that Ei seemed — was most definitely upset by my response. Or mayhaps more surprised then anything. Once more, I found myself in a position in which words failed me, so I rejected the idea of counsel. Some primitive instinct told me this was the wrong move. I agree, but she did not pursue, and I was far too stubborn to think on it further even after we returned to Sunagakure.
To think, I started with the intent of only glossing over that incident, only to rant on as usual. Such impulses must be restricted in the future, or so some part of me believes. This division is growing taxing, but I must press on in this entry. The other 'incident' of note is what came of Malik's first test. His initial lesson was to gain a better feel for his village in hopes in time he would learn on his own instinctively how to — and to naturally — case in location he enters. I meant to add a bit of an added challenge to the test, but… that is neither here nor there. He made a discovery following my clone about in the form of a most peculiar individual. Their signature tasted familiar on the air, and yet I could not quite place how or why.
No matter. If they were so interested in stalking me before, then I see no reason why they will not ultimately come into my company in the future. Ah, and before I forget, he did pass my test, though I cannot say it was with flying colors. The hatching has much yet to learn, and so very little time.
Too Old - Unknown
Is it a strange thing or a foolish thing to believe in the saying "You possess an old soul"? In hindsight, that may have been written a bit awfully, but the main point is clear enough. One might argue that I've spent far too much time introspecting, and very little time attending to things at present. They would be right, too. Again, I found myself abroad without the company of my family.
Perhaps it is the torment of it that I enjoy too much. If it is true that the heart grows fonder as the distance between those attached grows physically, then it is certainly a type of torture in itself. This idle thought aside, it could not be helped. If I am to truly return to the mercantile business, than relearning the ropes is a necessary evil. I know that it could just as well be accomplished in the mother land of course. It is, however, not in my nature to look a step further into the beyond to try and better understand the nature of any subject.
There is of course another price to be paid. Whereas my heart aches because once more I fail to feed it properly, so too does the rest of my body. My past injuries and exploitation truly have done a number on this body. It is a wonder at times that rising out of a bed is in itself not a greater challenge to me. A frightening thought in itself.
The Aftermath - 2/21/14
No words can properly express my feelings at the moment. Anger, guilt, frustration, depression, hopelessness, fear, anguish, confusion, hatred. They are but strings knotted together to form something far greater than the individual within this lowly one. Why you might ask does he ramble on this time without any frame of reference one might ask?
Sunagakure was nearly destroyed again… with my darling daughter with it. Obaa-chama did an admirable, wonderful, stupendous job keeping her safe both during and after the event. It is a debt I cannot never in several life times repay. I feel as much deeply in my bones without fully understanding the reason why. She sensed as much, I'm most certain of that, but knew well enough not to try and assure me of otherwise. The other elders may call her a soft touch for behaving like so, but neither of us care.
I'm not sure if I should be disappointed in her on the other hand. She never kept me blind to any trouble that might've plagued the clan at any one time when I was raised her, yet she did so with Miyu. Perhaps she wanted to send me a message this way. To reinforce what should've been far more than just an idea, concept, whatever word you wish to use. A parent may not always be able to be at the side of their children, and a child may yet be raised by a village. Even so, if it is within the progenitor's power to do be their for their offspring, to protect them, to teach them, to learn from them, and to grow with them then they should do just that. With the exception of the truly insane or the misfortune, our time is very limited on this world. Wasting it flitting about as I have…
There are far worse things and few better things then silver shackles.
- The Storyteller
- Technical Pacifist
- Blue And Orange Morality
- Improbable Weapon User
- Blind Seer
- Chaotic Good
|"Crazy"||Gnarlz Barkley||What a mad world we live in! And the people, oh, the people are just so deceptive! Its marvelous! Really! Its just lovely, and I can't get enough of it all~|
|"New Low"||Middle Class Rut||"There a few greater pleasures, and fewer greater pains experienced than the path of the wanderer. I should know having walked it for so long, forgetting often the beginning and the silent provoker — a thought, or perhaps a dream — ever pushing me forward. Weary as these legs are, and despite knowing what I know, in the end, I march on. I've come too far already to do otherwise.~|
|"Beautiful Disaster"||Kelly Clarkson||The Outside and affectionate looking in~ Courtesies of Ei|
|"Smoke and Mirrors"||Gotye||Even the bard has a story. There's always a second side to all the tales. While I'm no bard, at the heart its all the same when it comes to this one. Or is that another tale — another lie?|
|"Roots"||Imagine Dragons||Uchiha Rainos|
|"Can't Hold Us"||Macklemore and Ryan Lewis||Watanabe Itami|
|"It's a fine day(remix)"||Miss Jane||Ikitara (Miira) Arika|
|"Honor for All"||Jon Licht and Daniel Licht||Hayato Malik|
|"Daisy"||Brand New||Uchiha Narasugawa|
|"It's Just Me"||Escape the Fate||Well, if there's gonna be violence anyways, why not take an inkling of guilty pleasure in it. Sickening? Perhaps. But fortunately, your in a position to remove this sickness from your sight!|
|"Burn My Shadow"||Unkle||There is no 'One Day', and no 'Tomorrow' for this one's wretched soul. Once presented an edge, what else is there to do, but to dance upon it? And dance WE shall, telling our stories in the way of our ancestors thought best.|
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