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Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Guardian... (Open) Empty Guardian... (Open)

Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:57 am
Vaneda was there when the woman had given birth to her child, the one preventing him from doing the entirety of his duty. He watched, stoney-faced among the doctors as she gave a new life into the world, the one that denied him the satisfaction of a full days work. It was only a few weeks later did she disappear from the world, leaving her child in the local orphan edge. There was no gallows walk, no beheading, no exile or ceremony. The moment the little tyke could live without it's mother, she was gone, as if she was never supposed to exist to begin with and no one was the wiser. The priest supposed he should take some solace in the fact that his job was now done, what with the warehouse destroyed and mopped up, the last of the traitors eliminated and a good few were sent to Jashin. And then there was the baby. The Raikage himself had put him in charge of looking after it. HIM! A PRIEST OF PAINFUL DEATH! A harbinger of the omega! One who knew nothing but deception, pain and doom! The Raikage had put this being in charge of secretly monitoring the progress of an infant who was as disgustingly pure as the morning sun. Vaneda found himself wondering what was going through the Raikage's head when he elected for this decision. Was he just tired of work for today and decided to make a quick decision that SEEMED correct? Did he decide that watching the little one grow up would serve as some kind of life lesson for the priest? Did he want this creature's softness to ingrain itself into Vaneda's soul so he could adapt it into his personal being? The last one may have been a stretch, but with him, a crazed fanatic and assassin being put in charge of a baby, anything was possible.

And so, Vaneda found himself at the nursery where all the little homeless babies lay in their cribs, as helpless as a mouse in a trap. Probably just as uncomfortable, too. He ducked into the female ward, where his alleged baby lay asleep in the crib. It was mid-afternoon, most of the attendees were off having lunch or something, leaving the priest alone among the group of sleeping infants. Vaneda stood at the end of the crib, looking down at the untouched chalkboard hanging from the bed-posts that was supposed to have a name written on it. The mother wasn't in the correct state, nor did she have the time to come up with the name for this baby. As nameless as the bed it slept in. The baby had nothing to call its own, not the clothes on its back nor the food in it's gut. Not even a name belonged to it. The baby was effectively nothing. Might as well not exist. He was bound by his oath and the mission now strapped to his back like a boulder, the weight restraining any sense of mercy Vaneda would normally conjure up. And so, instead of his hands going to the baby's neck, one went to caressing the side of it's head, the baby's eyes twitching as his hand touched it's skull. He could feel the soft-spots in it's head where it was still coming together, the place where the fortress was still under construction. He could sense the weakness emanating off of it's body, just as the rest that surrounded him. They were all glass, one wrong touch and they shatter. A bull with it's neck nailed to the floor in a china shop. Vaneda took the chalk from the board, twirling it between his fingers. Apparently, he was going to be the first to give the creature something to call it's own: a name. What it will start identifying itself as. He will be giving the baby a purpose with this chalk, a purpose that would bring with it motivation and the will to live. He was giving it life. The priest frowned as he toyed with the thought in his head. At first glance, this meant that he was depriving Jashin of a soul, but then, it wasn't worth much of anything the way it was. If she grew... flourished... she would have more value. Not only to the village, but to Jashin as well... Any way he could slice it, it was still heresy, but one that surely would be forgiven... Jashin's sake... he needed to go pray after this...

"Azura" The anbu scratched into the green board at the end of the post, feeling more dirty than he had with day-old blood and guts covering him. Defilement of his purpose, a splotch of white sand among an ocean of black. Disgusting what he had to do for the pleasure of his lords. One wanted this for practical reasons, the other for a higher cause. He reached down and plucked the baby from it's crib, mimicking the hold he saw other mothers do for their infants as they walked down Kumo's streets. The baby seemed aware of this change in placement, but instead of opening it's eyes and crying out for dear life, it simply gurgled and went back to it's nap. As he cradled the unfinished human female to his chest, he stared at it judgmentally, as if deciding whether or not to blame it for his unfortunate task. He looked at the hands that held the infant, stained with the blood and gore of countless victims. He then looked at it's, pure and soft as the clouds. He stared his reflection in the metal post, features hard and drawn, torn and stitched. Defined and Made. He then looked at the baby he held, a glob of flesh on a skeleton, capable of becoming anything. He had seen it's eyes when they first opened on the day of it's birth: As red and deep as blood itself. He stared at the sleeping form in his arms, his expression a twisted mix of a smile and a frown. He said not a word and he just stared.
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:58 am
Finishing up a hard day worth of training, Maximillian would wipe the sweat from his brow with the sleeves of his long coat before making his way back into the village. People avoid the boy and his friend as they walk, but this much was to be expected by this point. To them Max was too strange a creature to bother with. He was too far gone, his clothes smelling of rot and decay while he spoke to a corpse he always had nearby as if it were an actual person. The citizens of Kumo looked down on him, disgust and judgement filling their eyes. Max wouldn’t pay much mind to them, as he never really did. They only saw what they wanted to see. They saw a monster, not a dedicated protector of the village. Their opinions weren’t all that relevant, though it did generate an odd feeling within Max. Knowing that the people he cared about cared so little for him upset him on some deep level, though he didn’t consciously recognize it.
 
Wandering about the town for a little normally cheered the boy up some, but today felt different. Max decided to head to the orphanage nursery, hoping the sight of the babies would help lift his spirits. They were too young to judge him, instead just happily making silly baby noises when played with. These children brought a smile to young Max’s face. This is what he was protecting as a shinobi. These represented next generation of Kumo civilians, those that wouldn’t have to grow up with the same turbulence that he had to endure. Standing Napa up at the door in order to not frighten them, Max would head in closer to the children.
 
Lightly rubbing his index finger along the belly of a smiling child, the young Genin looked around. One of the medical staff would shoot him dirty looks, but he would not allow them to spoil this for him. A glare from one so young was normally not something that could be backed up, but with a single motion of his fingers the skeletal puppet leaning in the door way would creak a little, its motion being heard by those that felt the need to try and make him feel unwelcomed. The nurse that had been the cause of this particular incident had broken eye contact and stepped into some back room. Napa (the skeletal puppet) would reassume his leaning position at the door and Max would continue to play with the child.
 
It wasn’t long before Max noticed someone who had looked rather out of place here, not that he was much of one to talk. The man would take chalk and write something near the child. From here, Max wasn’t quite able to see. Then he had picked the baby up while trying to gentle hold it. The man had looked as though he wasn’t quite sure what to do with the little bundle of life he held, his motions seeming unnatural to him as he rocked it back and forth.
 
Max hadn’t seen this man around here before. As a matter of fact, he hadn’t seen the man much at all. One of his appearance and stature would stand out. He wasn’t wearing the standard attire given to the civilian population, which would cause Max to think that maybe he had been a shinobi, likely one of Kumo as Max wouldn’t expect a non-Kumo ninja to get through the village defenses and last very long without notice of the Raikage and his agents. Still, Max could not see any signs of his allegiance. No headband to show his village meant that he very well could have been a rogue of some sort. It was Maximillian’s duty to protect the village no matter the cost, so he would reposition himself closer to the strange black-garbed man. He was now in position to see the name scratched into the board. It said ‘Azure’. He had given the child a name? An enemy wouldn’t likely be in this situation he had seemed to be in now, but Max couldn’t be completely sure and would still carry on with caution.
 
“Azure. That is a nice name for the baby.” Max would say as he approached a little closer, now only two or so meters away. The youth would look up at Vaneda, his small frame and stature seemingly even smaller standing next to this tall dark figure. The boy’s grey-blue eyes look up and gaze directly into those of the man standing before him. His coat was old and stained and the stench of death was heavy from the boy, even at this distance. A Kumogakure shinobi headband was hung around his neck like a necklace.
 
“So what brings you here? Do you just like playing with the babies, too?” Max would ask, feeling that he knew the answer to this question. This man felt very out of place here and uncomfortable in the setting, though he looked as though he was trying to fit in. A lone weed hidden amongst the flowers around it. If not looked at too carefully it could go unnoticed, but as a fellow weed he couldn’t help but notice. 
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:58 am
In his arms, Vaneda held a little ball of heresy, almost repulsive to his eyes. He felt like one of those janitors he kept constantly busy, picking up and treating the garbage found on the side of the road so it could be used later. Whatever trace of a smile was on his face collapsed in on itself, leaving only a hard, judgemental frown. The priest nearly jolted when he heard an unexpectedly young male voice behind him. Sure, he was expecting an attendant or someone similar to call him out for being here, but a little kid? Quickly, yet gracefully, the priest set the baby back down in it's crib before turning on his heels to face whoever decided to interupt him. Much to his surprise, it was a kid of only 8 or 9 observing him, with something large and bulky on his back. Well, there Vaneda couldn't judge. He carried a large staff on his back given to him by his order before going out into the world. The kid's eyes seemed to judge him with those grey-blue cloudy-day eyes of his. They seemed to probe the priest, suckling as much information they could from his general appearance to form a conclusion. Appropriate for someone his age, he supposed. Kid didn't know much better. He spoke again, asking why he was here at all and if he liked playing with babies. To that, Vaneda's frown deepened a bit more as his attention was drawn back to the crib behind him, but not exactly his eyes. He took a deep breath, mainly to suppress his own frustration, before even attempting an answer. Were he try to talk the way he was, it was likely to come out as tight-lipped grunts and snarls rather than a simple conversation between comrades.

"No... To be completely honest." Vaneda conceded, turning his head to look at the burden in it's cage. It was all he could do to keep his eyes from igniting again. He kept his composure and turned back to the boy before shrugging his shoulders and offering him a tired smile. "My friend gave birth to this child. She died due to complications and her husband left soon after that. Didn't even have time to give the little thing a name... so I did. I guess I felt kind of guilty to let it live here all on it's own." He smiled sadly. "Unfortunately..." Vaneda sighed. "I can't really do anything about it...." Vaneda's eyes would refocus back on the kid and his smile would change from sad, to one of polite curiosity.

"And what about you?" He asked before gesturing to all the little sleeping infants with his hand. "Are you looking for someone in particular? Or could it be you are here to make every one of these children's days just a little bit better? If so, I'd recommend you get in and out nice and quick. Its late afternoon when everyone's fed." He'd smile widely and wink at the little kid, emphasizing his joke.
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:13 am
Listening to the man speak about the child Max would simply nod. Bringing the child here was all that one really could do. He didn’t look like the type of person to stop everything in order to take care of an orphaned child. With all of the turbulence in the village, one thing they seemed to have an abundance of was orphans. The facilities set up to take care of those children without families wasn’t exactly well-funded, but they still managed to do a decent job despite this.
 
“You managed to grant this child a second chance on life, something not everyone is granted. It now has the chance to grow up and become a useful citizen of Kumogakure. It may grow up to be a simple farmer, providing food for the land. It may grow up to be a house servant, tending to the needs of the wealthy. It may even grow up to be a powerful shinobi, able to drive away the enemies of Kumo.” Max would say to the man, his expression barely changing. He hadn’t been one to become overly excited while talking to others, though it could be heard in his voice that he had deeply rooted care for Kumo, the last words spoken ringing with a passion that he couldn’t quite hide. The only reason Max had put this together so easily is because it was something that he would have to tell himself every night after that fateful night.
 
The man had asked what brought Max here, and the boy thought about it for a moment before speaking, trying to think of what to say. It was a rather simple question with a lighthearted joke at the end, but Maximillian hadn’t had the most experience actually interacting with other people besides Napa. With a slight grin he found the words he was looking for. “I’m here for no person in particular. I only seek to cheer myself up by seeing the children, the youngest of the future of Kumogakure…” He wouldn’t go into any further details about why he was here, mostly because he didn’t know how to express any more verbally.
 
“Can I take a look?” Max would ask. If allowed he would step up and peer into the crib, gazing at the child that this man has essentially granted life. He may not be the father, but without him the child wouldn’t exist. Looking at the sleeping child, Max would smile internally. His face didn’t express it much, but he was happy to see yet another sibling to the Kumo family he had been a part of.
 

“You won’t have to worry too much about your friend’s baby. The people here do a good job of taking care of the children. Plus, I’ll be able to help look after it while you are away. I am normally here once a day to eat.” Max would say as he placed both of his hands on the crib and stared at the child now known as Azure. "Although you don't even know me, so I guess that wouldn't mean much to you. My name is Maximillian, but my friends call me Max."
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:12 am
Vaneda listened to what the boy had to say. Did he have much of a choice? The smallest of frowns etched itself into Vaneda's face as the boy commended him for his efforts. This wasn't something he wanted to do nor was it something he thought he SHOULD do. The only reason he spared the tyke at all was because the Raikage demanded it of him. On top of rubbing in the shame of having the headman's axe held RIGHT above the target's head, Vaneda was assigned with WATCHING OVER it. He was a killer, not a nanny and yet, here he was, standing over that crib with the vile reminder he had given that baby life instead of stealing it like the others. The kid's smile was a taunt, he was sure of it. Whether he knew or not, that little grin of his was nothing more than a jab in the side that told him how utterly worthless a decision he was forced to fall under. Why have an infant be protected by an executioner? Why protect a princess with a dragon? It didn't make sense! Even if it did, it didn't. Vaneda took a mental breath before calming his demons. He knew that whatever the Raikage had planned, he wouldn't have set this up without some importance attached to it. He knew this, but he still didn't like it. No, he hated it. He felt like he was going to be sick. But that was his opinion and he was the man's right hand. There was nothing to be said or debated. He followed orders and that was that.

"I know what I've done." Vaneda said with an almost flat tone. Even though he attempted to keep the facade happy and upbeat, just the tiniest bit of darkness bubbled below the surface. His distaste for the entire situation barely beneath the mask he decided to put on this afternoon. And then there was this kid. He was a little one and appeared to LOVE talking as that was what he was doing since he walked in. The priest stepped out of his way as he looked over Azura, the happiness in his eyes contrasting with Vaneda's extreme disapproval. Of course, if the boy was more mature than Vaneda gave him credit for, It was likely he could see the glare wasn't meant for him. Whether or not he saw it and/or decided to make his observation known, he introduced himself Maximilian, but his friends call him Max. Yeah. He was sure they did.

"Vaneda." He said quickly, dropping the pleasantries. "I appreciate you're offer of watching Azura. Can't have her going off and getting hurt." Vaneda sighed, trying to relax himself and APPEAR casual. Despite his best efforts, his muscles stayed the smallest bit tense. "You said you come here to cheer yourself up. What happened to you?"
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:26 am
Max listened while his elder spoke, taking it along with all of the minor body language signals that Vaneda was putting out there. He seemed to be unhappy about something, though Max couldn’t be sure about what. Scratching his head, he just shrugs. “I sometimes just get sad, that’s all. I lost my family during the attack a few years ago.” The boy would say while tickling at the child’s tummy. “I have friends like Napa, but I want to make sure these orphans have someone to care for them as well.”
 
Maybe he was making the man uncomfortable? He did have that effect on people, but this man didn’t shoo him or leave immediately, nor did he seem unpleasant or hostile towards the boy. Maybe there was something else that he didn’t know about. Everyone had something that they had preferred not to speak of, maybe this was Vaneda’s.
 

Max would briefly look up at the man, locking eyes for the smallest of moments while giving a quiet, “Thanks.” He would break the hold and look back down at Azure, no longer prodding at the child for fear of waking it up. “It isn’t every day that someone is willing to actually hold a conversation with me. You are the first stranger to do so.” Thinking as to the reasoning behind this Max adds, “Might have something to do with you being the first ninja I’ve encountered outside of the Academy. You are a shinobi, yes?” Max would question innocently, no longer much concerned of the possibility of Vaneda being a rogue ninja.
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:59 am
Vaneda had little to no idea what this kid was actually thanking him for. Talking to someone wasn't much to ask for ANYONE and in that way, didn't really require any amount of thanks in his mind. Regardless, the boy explained that he was the first real stranger that ever bothered to talk with him for this long. Vaneda found this hard to believe. Even in a place such as this where there was fear in the air about as thick as evening mist, people still chatted with others, especially if they were strangers. Perhaps Max was just using this phrase as hyperbole to get his point across. Vaneda didn't know. Max suggested that it might have been because he was the first ninja he'd ever talked too outside of the academy, then proceeded to ask if he was, in fact, a shinobi. Vaneda looked down at the kid, a little confused at his choice of question presentation.

"Priest. Actually." Vaneda corrected, gesturing to the staff on his back. He had not a headband on his person nor any real indication he belonged to the village beyond the fact he was standing here. The kid must have made the assumption based on his rather.... seasoned appearance or something similar. Perhaps he just assumed that just about everyone that looked tough had a headband somewhere and was a ninja or something. He just didn't know. In all honesty, he was surprised someone so young wasn't terrified by the long gashes running up and down his face and arms. Sure, he implied he was fresh out of the Ninja academy, but he was still a child. He supposed Kumo children were either born with more open minds, or he was just ignorant to these markings. Either way, he made for a very confusing specimen.

"I am not a ninja. I am a priest..." He held up a hand suddenly. "...and before you even ask, no. We don't shave our heads nor will I attempt to convert you. I don't work that way and neither does my order." With the practically prerecorded response out of the way, Vaneda continued, putting his hand down. "I'd ask you don't look too deeply into that. My faith isn't something I like to share."
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:26 am
“You are a priest?” the boy would say just after he mentions it, before Vaneda can utter the words to not press for information. This was something unexpected indeed, to say the least. This wasn’t anything even close to what he had expected a priest to look like. The outfit, the demeanor, everything. It all seemed to be so off.
 
Hearing the man ask for him to not press, he merely closed his mouth for a moment, holding back some of the questions that Vaneda was sure he would ask. He even went as far as informing young Max on some of the questions he must have heard a lot. The boy would suddenly start to talk to someone, though Vaneda would likely be unable to see anybody around that he would be talking to. “I know that. I did see it. I’ll mention it, don’t worry. Now shut up. Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?” He clearly wasn’t talking to the priest, as this speech seemed, different. His tone was much more relaxed, like speaking to an old friend opposed to an unknown stranger.
 
“One thing though.” The boy would say before turning to the man and pointing with his fingers. To the man’s clothes and smiling. “Those clothes are awfully dirty. Looks to be dried blood maybe, and the scent of death hangs on you like a corpse. A little odd for the priests that I’ve read about. But you aren’t one of the priests I read about.” Max turned around and looked over some of the other children, not wanting to spoil this one with all of his attention.  “So? What does that matter? I mean, maybe. Fine, I’ll tell him. Now shush!” Max says, raising his voice just barely but enough to sound like he means business, or at least as much as a young child can do so. He was still talking to what had seemed to be nothing, the only people capable of speech in this room being himself and Vaneda.
 

“My friend thinks you are hiding something, but I told him to be quiet.” Max would say, speaking of a friend that didn’t seem to actually be around. “He says that ‘you don’t normally get scars like those and live to talk about it’, yet here you are. Don’t mind him though. He tends to be a bid odd at times, especially in front of new people. He isn’t even talking loud enough so that you can hear him.” Max would say as he simple moved from crib to crib, smiling at babies. They normally just smiled back, nonjudgmental and pleasant. They seemed to enjoy his company as much as he enjoyed theirs.

(OoC: I quickly read over your "Appearance" section and thought I saw that you wore a cloak over most of your body which is why I didn't RP the scars thing earlier.  Smile)
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:47 am
Was this kid nuts or something? In response to Vaneda's confession that he was, in fact, a priest, they boy started mumbling something over his shoulder. Of course, being right there, he was able to pick up everything the boy said, but whoever or.... whatever he was talking too wasn't talking back. He glanced around the boy, looking for anything that passed for a living, breathing and talking human, but there was no-one there. Yup. Either this kid and a VERY strong fantasy world, or he is plain-and-simple crazy. Ignoring Vaneda's request, The kid probed him further, much to the priest's frustration. He commented on the state of his gloves and the air that seemed to swim around him, that which smelled like death. Vaneda was about to respond when the boy went into another round of mumbling.

This was very uncomfortable for the priest, talking to someone who could very well be completely insane.  Eventually, reality brought Max back to this point in time, declaring that "his friend" thought that Vaneda was hiding something, then went on to say that this "friend" made a comment on how he couldn't survive an event that created such scars. The priest stared down at max, confused. It was effectively like walking up to a stranger and referring to yourself in the third person for the whole conversation.

"Well, tell your friend this," Vaneda said, surprised by the twinge of irritation in his voice. "The world is far bigger than you might think. What you think is impossible to survive, I might with ease. What you think is strange dress for we religious folk, My order wears this outfit proudly. As or the blood... Well... Being a priest doesn't spare you this misfortune of muggers, thieves, etcetera, etcetera." He winked, desperately trying to reign in his irritation. "Just because I'm a priest doesn't mean I don't know how to protect myself, friend. We can't simply go out into this world of ours and expect to be safe. And as for the smell..." Vaneda paused. "We live in a village surrounded by death on all four sides. I really can't help it if the smell soaks into my clothes, now can I?" He watched as the kid moved from crib to crib, smiling down at the babies with a loving gaze. Vaneda imagined himself in his place, smiling down on the little tykes with a grin that made both life and death crawl back in their holes. The image left a small grin on his face.
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Guardian... (Open) Empty Re: Guardian... (Open)

Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:59 am
Hearing all of that come in, Max would simply listen silently. All of Vaneda’s remarks in regards to Max’s observations had made perfect sense, and Max wouldn’t question him on it any farther. He didn’t really think too much into some of the things that Napa had told him, and the irritation in Vaneda’s voice would announce that it was not a topic that he wished to speak of, though he had already stated this. Max didn’t want to pester him with these remarks, but he knew that if he did not Napa would bother him about it for the rest of the day at least, though likely even longer than that. That was the last thing he wanted, to be annoyed all day long by someone that Max wasn’t able to just walk away from.
 
Upon reaching for one of the babies, it grasped his finger and held tightly, making silly noises at Max. A soft smile towards the child was replaced with a more emotionless look when he turned to the priest. He had no distaste for the man, but he couldn’t help his facial expressions. “Well, my current work here is done. Each of the children have been played with now, and as you said I should not linger. Don’t wanna be here during feeding. Nice meeting you. Since you are from around here, feel free to find me if you need anything I can help with. I normally hang around the cemetery, so look there first. Well, it was nice meeting you Priest Vaneda. Enjoy your day.” With this said, Max would start to head out of the building, muttering “He didn’t seem so bad. Interesting fellow.” Again this was said to the “friend” that could not be seen, but this time in a distinct voice different from Max’s own actually responds, “Be careful, boy. He was hiding something, I know it.” Max seems to just shake his head and shrug, “So what? What business of ours is it even if he were?”
 

Once Max reached the doorway he would turn back and wave to the priest, before leaving the hospital and starting a walk around town.
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