Date: April 26, 2013
Yamamoto studies zoology in the Inuzuka Village and Atsuro joins him for some serious self-reflection. Also, the RP restriction of putting a cat or dog related pun in every pose was enforced.
"Study in Inuzuka Village"
Konohagakure Inuzuka Village
Inuzuka Village [Konohagakure]
The entrance to the Inuzuka village is denoted by a small cherry blossom orchard that leads to the entrance of the front gates. Closely guarded by it's guards and nin-dog's that are on patrol, the village itself is a stronghold that can defend itself from all sides if needed. Further inside, you can see the residential area that are filled with children and puppies playing about the area making the formidable exterior fade into the background. Also noted in this area are the markings on the main houses about the area denoting what branch that family belongs to.
At the center of everything is the mansion-like structure of the Founder's Clan where meetings and the like are held and where the young Inuzuka's rite of passages are initiated. Further into the village the barracks can be seen as well as the dojo where they practice their clan techniques and also the storage house where they store extra food. There's also a merchant's square where they trade, produce and market goods for barter. Another thing to note is that every branch house seems to have a particular tree that grows only in it's surroundings that makes recognition more notable.
A young man in his late teens with ochre coloured skin. He is tall and muscular. His eyes are opal. He wears a dark red vest open in the front and dark red pants which are baggy, but brown wrappings cover the shins and calfs of the pants and keep them tight to the skin. Brown tabi cover the feet. Around his waist a thick bright yellow sash is tied to leave a pair of foot long tails hanging, and a matching yellow bandana tied in a skull cap covers his hair and bears an Iwagakure forehead protector. From the edges of his bandana spills thick shoulder-length black hair.
Looking to be around twenty, Atsuro stands around 185 centimeters tall. He has a powerful, athletic build with strong, defined muscles. His cheeks have the red fang markings of the Inuzuka clan. Should one see him without a shirt on, he has a tattoo of the Leaf insignia on the left side of his chest, as well as several others on the back. He also has the prominent canines typical of an Inuzuka, though his eyes have normal blue pupils. His hair is auburn, short to medium length, and styled somewhere between messy and spiky. His face is handsome with a strong but slightly rounded jaw, evenly spaced features, and narrow, arched eyebrows. He is lightly tanned with minor scars scattered around his body.
His jounin vest is left undone, allowing it to fall open. Beneath the vest, he wears a dark green paisley dress shirt, which is left untucked and unbuttoned (except for a single button above his navel), allowing part of his bare chest and abdomen to be seen. His pants are brown and made of thick, rugged material. He wears a kunai holster and equipment pouch, each strapped to one leg with athletic tape on the outer thigh. He wears a pair of dark ninja sandals. His forehead protector is tied around his head with a strip of dark green fabric.
Usually seen with Atsuro is his nin-dog partner, Taizen. Taizen is very large, with a bulky, solid build and well over a meter in height. His coat is black, shaggy, and thick. Despite his immense size, his appearance is not very threatening, with his big brown eyes, droopy face, and the trails of drool that leak out from his jowls. With his webbed feet and a waxy appearance to his coat, Taizen appears to be a water dog. Taizen is most often seen with a leather vest. It's something like light armor, but also carries a number of swords.
It is shortly after dawn in the Inuzuka village of Konohagakure. The overcast skies and the humidity make it feel like its going to rain and so many people are out and about taking care of business and errands before the weather turns wet. One person in the Inuzuka village is not an Inuzuka, however; he is an Iwagakure Chuunin. He would not be here without escorts, of course, and so two ninja dogs are across the road from him watching him lazily. One of the dogs is laying down, one of them is sitting up.
They don't have much interesting to look at, as Yamamoto is merely reading. He has gotten a round table from somewhere complete with a large umbrella coming out of the middle of it in case it rains. He has two chairs sitting beside the table, and both of them are indoor lounge chairs that seem old and thoroughly worn out. None of the furniture seems practical for having as portable furniture. On the table there are three stacks of books. On closer inspection one of them is a stack of books on zoology and pet care, one of them is a stack on botony, and the third stack - a mere puppy beside the other two - has one book on botony and one book on zoology. The book that Yamamoto is currently reading is "Cats, Cats, Cats, and How to Care for Them." It is, of course, the purrrfect book to be reading in the Inuzuka village.
Yamamoto sits in one of his lounge chairs quietly reading. The other chair is positioned not across the table from the first, but only a third of the way around the table. Both of the chairs are turned slightly towards one another and are not too close to the table itself, giving them a friendly feel to one another. On the table sits the oddest thing for the Inuzuka village: a sleeping kitten.
As a dog, Taizen cannot cook breakfast for himself. Normally, Atsuro has something ready for him (preferring to sleep-in in the mornings), but he had a busy day yesterday, and today he's paying for that. Taizen hounded him until he woke up. Now he's fixed a dog's breakfast, Taizen has gone off to take care of business, and Atsuro is left tired and, yes, a little hung-over. He's thinking of going back to bed, but he happens to glance out the window.
He pauses, wondering just what it is he's seeing outside. He decides to investigate. He quickly showers and changes into his clothes for the day, then leaves the apartment. He can always nap later. He frowns a little to himself as he walks up to Yamamoto and the… display? He looks over everything for a second. Then he shrugs and looks to Yamamoto. "Sorry," he says, "I guess I just don't get modern art."
Yamamoto looks up from his book and smiles to Atsuro. "Ah, greets, Inuzuka-san," he says, then laughs. "I can say that to anybody here and it still works." Yamamoto then looks over the furniture he has assembled. "Uh… Modern art? Its… not? No. Its not modern art. Its just furniture. I thought about bringing the folding chairs I traded some umbrellas for yesterday, but I remembered how uncomfortable those things are to sit in, so I traded the folding chairs for these lounge chairs. The guy said he was planning on throwing them out anyway, and he would be happy to take some folding chairs for them. Can you believe it? He said he was gonna throw out these beauties." Yamamoto gestures towards the empty chair next to him. "They are worn in great and don't have any of that discomfort that you get with the new chairs where they act like they don't really want o you to sit in them. I guess it made the guy happy, though, and happiness is good."
Yamamoto looks around the area, then leans forward and nudges the sleepy kitten on the table with a finger. "Where is Taizen? Too early for him too?" The kitten on the table is a orange tabi-cat kitten and doesn't seem to mind Yamamoto's pawing. It just rolls over and goes back to its kitty-nap.
When Yamamoto gestures, Atsuro sits down in the empty chair, adjusting its position slightly so that he's kitty-corner to the other man. "I was just kidding," he explains, "I'm kinda tired. You expect me to have my best material this early in the morning?" He shakes his head. "Nah," he says, "It's too early for /me/. Taizen's fine. He just had some stuff to do. Our training schedules don't always match up perfectly."
He looks back at the kitten and table and books. "So," he says, "This isn't some art display. We've ascertained that. What is it then? You're selling some books… and a kitten?" He pauses and looks at the title of some of the books. "Cats, Cats, Cats, and How to Care for Them…" He looks around the village. "You… know where you are, right?"
Yamamoto chuckles a bit. "Yeah, I figured that if I wanted to think about animals I ought to go to where the animals are, right?" He looks over at the two ninja dogs across the street, then back to Atsuro. "I'm trying to learn about them, since there are a lot of ninjas who use animals or pair up with animals and all. Plus some of them have really good effects, like this toad in the Land of Rice which can be rubbed on a wound as an anticeptic, or at least the oil or slime or whatever it coats itself with can."
Yamamoto gestures towards the other chair. "Sit down if you want. Grab a book or something," Yamamoto says. "I have got to figure out what exactly I should feed this guy over here." Yamamoto points at the kitten on the table. "And what to call him. I guess I just figured I could learn a lot more while I was at it. The trick to this animal stuff, I'm figuring, is to get your hands on the right tails. There are a lot of hairball writers out there that make things up, but there are also the really good ones that write about really useful things."
"So," says Atsuro, "Basically you wanna learn about animals in the ninja life?" He glances at the kitten, "Because you have a kitten, but… where did the kitten come from, exactly?" He reaches over to pet the kitten, though a sudden thought gives him paws. His hand probably smells like dog. Then again… he looks around the village. And he should know perfectly well that just about everything here smells like dog. "So you're going to rub cat slime on your wounds?" he teases.
"I think cats eat meat only," he says, "But I'm not exactly an expert on cat diets." He grabs a book. Because, well, Yamamoto told him to. "Really though," he says, "Still seems a little weird that you'd come to the dog village to learn about cats. And that you'd set up your… cat research center in the middle of the street."
"Hey now," Yamamoto says. "Its on one side of the street. Mostly." He looks at the kitten. "And I'm not looking just for information on a kitten. Or information on using the kitten in shinobi missions, since… well, its just a tabi-cat, and… well, I guess I don't like anybody being forced into being shinobi, even though I realize it happens. It happens a lot." He looks at the book in his hands, then up to Atsuro. "I'm mostly wandering right now, and while I've been in this village for a little while, I figure I'll be moving on soon, and there are a lot of places I'd like to go that aren't necessarily on the beaten path. If I know more about what I'll see out there and know how to get along better with what I find, then when I have trouble I can land on my feet."
Yamamoto puts his cat book down on the table and rubs his eyes. "Awe, man, now you have me being all serious." He begins pushing the kitten around with his hand, which is something that the kitten doesn't seem to like and it bites Yamamoto's hand. Yamamoto doesn't seem to care and keeps pushing the kitten around for another few seconds. "I am really just hoping that I can bounce a kemari ball off of a giant scorpion or something, right? Or play chicken with a giant chicken. Maybe get my paws on some sort of rare bird to sell somewhere."
While he's obviously a little catty in this state, Atsuro still has his sense of humour. He chuckles a little. "It was more the 'street' part that had me curious. I wasn't worried about the 'side' so much." He glances at the cat. "That's actually kinda a relief," he says, "I was worried what sort of situations this one might be in." He pauses. "So you're wandering, but you still go on missions?"
He smirks a little as Yamamoto doggedly continues to play with the kitten. "So it's just a general animal thing you've got?" he asks. "I guess your brother — he was your brother, right? — doesn't have it, otherwise he'd be studying up with you. I know a guy who summons nin-pandas. Maybe you could… eat bamboo with them? And there's another guy I know who summons foxes for you to… outfox?"
"My brother has his own way of going about things," Yamamoto says. "And yeah, I still go on missions, for the most part. Its more like I'm on an extended mission, but I do other missions every now and again." He stops playing with the kitten and picks up the cat book again. "As far as summons… I don't think summons are really what I was talking about. I want to go howl out from the highest places, roll through the lowest places, lay in the quietest places, and sit in the darkest places. There are a lot of living things out in those places and on the way. And if the game gets a little hairy, I'd like to be able to shake things off and keep bouncing my yarn until its a great tail."
"Fair enough," says Atsuro, "It just seemed like you two travel together, so it'd make sense if your animal-seeking kinda… sucked him in?" He shrugs. "Anyway. You're on an extended mission? I'd feel like I should be worried since you're travelling to foreign lands on this extended mission, but I assume you wouldn't be that obvious." He points to Yamamoto, "Unless that's what you /want/ people to think, eh?"
"Usually if you're dealing with a giant animal it's a nin-animal," he points out, "And the best way to get a nin-animal to hang out with is to talk to a summoner." There's a brief pause, "I think. I don't really need to summon anything. I've already got a nin-animal friend." He grins and looks around. "Oh, right," he says, "Well, he's not /with/ me. I guess I could learn to summon him, but that doesn't really seem necessary." He rubs his chin. "That's a lot of stuff to do, though. The whole kitten kaboodle. So you mean you're going to go out and find those animals, then? How does the kitten play into that?"
"What do you mean how does the kitten play into that," Yamamoto says. "He doesn't. Hes just a cat," Yamamoto says, then grins. "I'm just pulling your tail. But he is just a cat, and I don't expect him to do much. I'll probably leave him in whatever inn or village I'm working out of when I go on adventures. I don't want him accidently getting caught up in a… well… a fight. And I'm still not getting what you aren't understanding. Hanging out with nin-animals isn't the point. Talking to a summoner about it is almost entirely opposite to the point."
For a second, it seems like the cat has Atsuro's tongue. Then, slowly, he pushes through his sleepiness (and hangoveriness). "Ohhhhhh," he says, "I thought it was just a sightseeing sort of thing. I think I get it now." He points to Yamamoto. "You don't want to just do it for fun, you want to learn from them? Or learn to be them?" he asks. "You could almost say my clan does that with dogs… which definitely explains why you're here. And why you're reading up on the different animals." He points to the kitten, "And that's completely irrelevant to the whole thing, until you wanna get into being a cat." He grins. "Am I close?"
Yamamoto lets out an exasperated sigh. "No. If I just wanted to learn from them, I would just ask summoners to introduce me. I don't even necessarily want to go interact with just ninja related animals. And I definitely am not aiming to become a ninja animal," Yamamoto says. "I am interested in the journey. I want to test my limits and see how far I can go, literally as well as figuratively. I want to see all of the great places and all of the great things of the world. I want to lap up life." Yamamoto looks at the cat, then at the book, as if he is starting to read some of it again. "Maybe Taizen can explain it to you later. He seems a bit more adventurous for some reason."
"Hey," says Atsuro, "I just woke up. Gimme a break." He smiles wryly, "Of course, I guess I can't claim that zero for… however many guesses is very impressive." He shrugs. "And the conclusion was still amazing and brilliant. You know how many people ask me if we're actually living like dogs? There's a whole pack of 'em. Still though, that's pretty cool. Experiencing as much of life as possible." That last comment only gets a sly smile from Atsuro. "You wouldn't be saying that if you'd seen me in the bar last night. What makes you think he's so adventurous though?"
"I would say that its because when I see you swim I see you swimming and other people swimming as well," Yamamoto says. "And when I see Taizen swim I see him swimming with other people. I just figure that the kind of person who enjoys doing things with the people around him is more likely to enjoy doing things with the world around him too. And if you were to say that other people do things with him more naturally because he is a ninja dog, then I would say that he is more naturally involved in the world for the same reason. Really, the diference between the two of you from an outside perspective is like the difference between a cat and a dog. I never hear Taizen talk about how amazing he thinks he is. Not that I'm saying the both of you haven't earned it, its just that he seems to be the dog wearing the boots when it comes to the rest of the world."
Atsuro thinks about that. "Maybe," he admits, "It's a pretty keen observation. I mean, it was just the one time you saw me. But I think you've made some fair points. I think part of that is just that Taizen doesn't mind… well, a lot. He doesn't get upset at much, so he's open to just about anything. Oooof course, I suppose you could still say that's a type of adventurousness. I guess I /do/ have to work a little harder to experience new things. I have a friend who I… how should I put this? We trade experiences. I take him out to a club, he takes me out to the gardens at sunrise. I guess what you're saying is that I shouldn't need someone doing that if I'm already adventurous?" He pauses for a second as he realizes that was a doggone speech. "Wow," he says, "You've got me /thinking/ all of a sudden."
"I know, right? Me talking all serious, and you thinking. If this keeps up we are going to have bad memories of this place," Yamamoto says. "And after I got so cunning getting all of this stuff together. It was a real game of cat and mouse for a while, but the table and the chairs and everything just fell-in-line." Yamamoto looks up towards the horizon. "And its such a nice day, too. I figured that if I were to ever experience the smell of wet dog, I might as well experience the full effect, right? How else could you do that than to be in the Inuzuka village when it rains?
"On an associated note, I think its great that you share experiences with someone. That is more like experiencing things, but I would say you would be more adventurous if you shared experiences with everyone. Like right now, I am sitting here reading a book about cats while in the doggy-est place on earth. I've got two comfortable chairs. I've even got a great view of whats going on in the Inuzuka village AND a big umbrella to keep me dry when the rain starts falling. THIS is an experience, but all you want to do is wonder why. Maybe stopping to smell the dog-weeds is worth doing just because its worth doing, and not any other reason."
Atsuro grins, "What have we unleashed?" He thinks back for a moment. "I thought you said you were the serious one," he says, "Or was that your brother? I think I called one of you serious and it turned out the be the one I didn't call serious…" He pauses and thinks about Yamamoto's whole experiencing thing. "So it's not just about experiencing things, but sharing the experience with others. You're… a complicated guy."
"I can be kinda a private person," Atsuro admits. "It doesn't /seem/ like you're saying all this just to make me feel bad, but if you are, you're brilliant. What do you consider sharing an experience to be? A bunch of my friends never drank before, so I drank with them. And a bunch of them never dated before, so I — " He pauses as he realizes where it might sound like that's going. "I didn't date them. Just gave them advice. Do you think that enriches my life any?"
"Do you think it enriches your life any? Does it make you happy?" Yamamoto looks over at the kitten on the table. "Its not wrong to not be adventurous. But so far as taking your friends out drinking is concerned, or maybe giving them dating advice…" He looks back at Atsuro a for a long moment, then Yamamoto looks back to the book in his hands. "I guess drinking with your friends is a way to share an experience. I don't drink, so I don't really know about that. Giving them advice on dating is more just trying to help them out, I'd think. But I'd still say your focusing too much on things you've already done. That taking your friends out drinking with you is your example… well, its more like you are trying to get your friends to conform to improve your experience… or like you are sharing an experience with them, but its something you are already comfortable with and they are not comfortable with, so its more like you are the least adventurous one in the group in that situation."
"Right," says Atsuro, "I guess that's a good point. A little too 'outward-focusing.' I need to focus on my own experiences more. Well, I mean. If I want to be adventurous. I suppose you're right about that. No point in doing different things all the time if it doesn't make me happy. But I like to think I /am/ that kind of person. I dunno. There are already too many squares around.".
Then he grins and points to Yamamoto. "You know," he says, "If you wanna start drinking, I know some good places around here. Now, that would be a pretty familiar experience for me, it's true. But it would be all new for you, eh? And you could get some bar food to sink your canines into."
"How is this," Yamamoto says, turning his book down for a moment so that Atsuro has Yaamoto's full attention. "I will go to a bar with you, but I would want to dress it up some and really have something to celebrate. So I will go to the bar with you as soon as we have something significant to celebrate. Something more than ordinary. Something extra-ordinary! Then I will go with you AND Taizen in a bar somewhere because I want to know if he can still talk when he is drinking. With any luck it will be a catastrophic time."
"You want catastophic?" Atsuro asks, raising a brow, "Worrying. But given some of the things I've done while drunk, maybe I'm being a bit of a scaredy-cat." He glances off into the distance for a second, thinking. "What sort of celebration are you looking for?" he asks, "I'm not sure what you mean, actually. You got a birthday coming up or something like that? Are you subtly hinting that today's your birthday?" He shakes his head. "Dogs don't really do much drinking though. I think they're more susceptible to alcohol poisoning than humans. So… I dunno if you're gonna get to see that. He does come to the bar with me sometimes, though. He does like the bar food."
"No, its not my birthday for a while yet," Yamamoto says. "Its kind of funny to me that out of everything a person could do for their birthday people make a big deal out of going to a bar." Yamamoto begins reading his book again. "Its less of a scheduled thing and more of a when it happens kind of thing."
"No, its not my birthday for a while yet," Yamamoto says. "Its kind of funny to me that out of everything a person could do for their birthday people make a big deal out of going to a bar. I mean, isn't the bar the same place people go when they are in the dog house?" Yamamoto begins reading his book again. "Its less of a scheduled thing and more of a when it happens kind of thing. Its a bit more ruff."
Atsuro shrugs. "Bars can be pretty fun," he says, "The common thread with birthdays and people in the doghouse is that bars have booze. I don't consider myself to be much of a stress drinker though. When I'm drinking, it's usually for fun. Not that I have to go drinking on my birthday." He puts down his book back on the table and pets the kitten a little. "Anyway," he says, standing up, "I should probably get back home. I could use a cat-nap." He yawns a little. "See you later, man."
Yamamoto waves a paw at Atsuro as he leaves and gets back to his reading.