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Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:58 pm
Max would give her a look, first being inquisitive but before he spoke a word it shifted to understanding. If this place has the potential to corrupt Aki, then a much younger mind is all the easier to leave a dark taint upon. Kumo was a dark place, under the control of a powerful man with a sinister past full of violence and manipulation. Having Arata here would only make Mortarion’s grasp upon her complete. Any act against the Raikage could – and likely would – result in the punishment of her through her child. Max would look at the tactic, not from a parent’s standpoint, but from a strategic one. It would be a very effective way to control Akihana, not allowing her to stray from the path Mortarion had lined up for her. Akihana was cleverer than Max had originally thought. And just maybe, her faith in Mortarion wasn’t as complete as her words let on…
 
Napa was older now, and his frame would likely weaken with time. Looking over the puppet, he would give a sigh. Akihana was right, he would need to be maintained better and repaired a bit here and there. Of course, that is also why he kept so many spare parts around his home.  Home... What he had wasn’t much, but was it really a home? As Max pondered this, Akihana asked him where he had lived. As soon as she had asked him, all doubt fled from his mind. His shack was his home. It was his little piece of Kumogakure, something that nobody could take from him, and if they had tried, he would defend it with everything he had. If a place like that couldn’t be defined as home, he wasn’t sure what could be.
 
“I live here, in the cemetery!” Max would say with a bit of excitement in his voice, “Here, let me show you!” If he would take Akihana by the hand and almost pull her as he dashed further into the heart of the graveyard. Quickly coming into view was a small shack leaning against an above ground tomb. The shack itself looked rather ragged, made of what had looked like scraps of material that the youth could find. “The attacks left a lot of places in ruins, so I gathered what I could in the aftermath. This is my home”, the boy would say with pride in his voice. The shack wasn’t very big, maybe ten feet or so in a rough square. There was a battered door hanging by a single hinge with ‘KEEP OUT’ written on the front with some type of dark paint. At least, one could hope that it was paint. “I work on my puppets here. And I sleep here, too.” he would say as he opened the loose door gently. Inside the stench of decay was terrible, and various limbs and body parts lie sprawled about the floor. A lone table stands in the center of the shack, a rather large corpse laying atop it. Upon closer inspection, it appears as though the large brute of a body was stitched together at various seems. “If he begins to fall apart, I can fix him up in no time. Plus, I have other more combat-capable ‘friends’ in the works. This here is Stein, and he will be my protector.” The youth heads over and hugs the grisly puppet, clearly proud of his work. “I have some interesting innovations in the crafting of this friend.”


"More combat friendly? I'll show you combat friendly you little..."  Napa would mutter under his breath, though Max wouldn't seem to hear it. The puppet seemed to be annoyed, but deep down he knew that Max was right.


If Max was allowed to go on, he would detail all the work put in to the puppet, from the complex series of chakra conductive wiring and a powerful energy storage device that he had designed in order to store up power in a “battery” of sorts made out of spare parts that he had found. 

Max would smile, "I have some finishing touches to put on him, but he'll be complete soon."
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:11 am
Surprised as she was to learn that little Max lived in the cemetery, Akihana nonetheless allowed herself to be steered by the boy toward what looked like little more than a shack. Max may have grown up differently from her own son but wanting to show something with an air of pride in one's voice was a universal gesture, one she knew very well how to oblige. Her smile remained warm and kind as Max explained how he had gathered tings from ruins to make his little refuge out here amidst the dead.

"Oh wow, you must be really good at building things," she complimented, entering the shack and straight into a cloud of decaying scent cloying her senses. A kunoichi used to filtering naturally between poisons and noxious gasses, the smell didn't affect Akihana as much though internally, her nose had already started the process of auto filtering, ensuring the process did not reflect on her face. Beyond the smell, it looked like just the one room where Max slept, ate and worked, and all very sparsely.

"What do you do when it gets cold though?" she asked, looking around and seeing no source of heating. "Winter's going to be here soon and then you'll need blankets and fires no? Or will this be your first winter in this home? Maybe we can work out a way to make this place warmer. I'll have to rely on your judgement though, I'm not very good at these things." It was true, beyond creating fires, Akihana had no clue. Den was the one who had helped with the planning and building of most of the structures in Hoshigakure, Akihana lending her services where she could. Mostly, she had dealt with people while Denkiteki dealt with plans and architecture, it was an arrangement that suited the city well so it had continued. She briefly wondered who was taking care of her people now that she was here.

"Or would you like to move out for the cold months, just until spring. We can find you, Napa and your other creations a nice, warm place complete with all the supplies you'll need. That way you can spend all of winter working on your friends without having to worry about things like food and heating and whatnot. Does that sound like a good plan to you?" She hoped the child would agree but honestly, she wasn't sure. As much as she wanted to get him out of these poor living conditions, it had to be his choice.
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:36 pm
Max would nod when asked about his skill at building things. He was able to make many things, his mind constantly thinking about ways to improve upon the design of both his puppets and the equipment that he uses regularly. If he lacked skill in this field, the art of puppetry would likely be far beyond his grasp. He had many designs and schematics already working their way to completion within the confines of his brain.
 
He hadn’t worried too much when Akihana had asked about the cold. The shelters were fairly open to the public, even if they would all give him strange looks and mutter to themselves and their friends about his presence. He could eat there and stay warm in the colder nights. “Unless it gets really cold, I can just stay here and bundle up under blankets and such. Plus, I have been considering building a heating unit on the side of the shack. It’ll be like a little furnace by utilizing an outdoor fire pit and…” It was then that Max had realized that he might have been rambling a bit. “I should be alright for the winter, though. Thanks for worrying, but I’ll be fine. I’ve pulled through the cold season before by bundling, I can do the same again. Plus, I have no qualms about salvaging things from the houses of dead folks. If they have any living relatives I won’t take stuff, but an abandoned building normally has a bunch of goodies that the new tenants won’t want to keep anyhow, like beds, clothes, and such. Good for burning or bundling.”
 

Looking over at Akihana, Max would ponder before asking “You won’t likely be here through the Winter, will you Lady Akihana?” 
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:47 am
Akihana nodded as he mentioned putting in some kind of heating system. On any other child, the task may have seemed too ambitious but she had faith Max could pull it off. After all, he had built himself a serviceable shelter that, regardless of how ill equipped it was for a child like him, he was proud of regardless. And that meant she was proud of him too. If he didn't want to leave, than they could easily work to make this place more comfortable.

"Well, until we cab get a heating system in place, how bout these?" she asked with a grin, extending a hand and right on cue, a bright orb appeared floating on her palm. Immediately, the orb was streaked with red, taking in all the negative energy around the area and staining the pure orb with reddish darkness. As the orb darkened, the room around them lightened, grew warm, grew... happier. One orb was not enough of course, this was a place for the dead. A second orb joined the first, this time, remaining more bright as there was little negativity to effect it. With a swift motion of her hand, Akihana banished both orbs to the corner of the shack where they would glow quietly, bathing the area in light and warmth.

"There, that should do for now. The orbs follow me but they'll be here as long as I am and that should warm up the place for a few days." Max didn't need to know the full extent of the jutsu, and she was just glad she was able to help in some way. As he thanked her for worrying, the blonde wanted to hug the child once more. Someone his age should never have to thank an adult for worrying about him, they would be entitled to it and take others worrying about them for granted. For a moment she wanted to take him away from Kumo, take him back to Hoshi where he would be treated with great respect and reverence, be given everything he could ever want.

But Kumo was his home, it was her home too. And the only thing she could do now was to make sure that it was restored to what it used to be, a welcoming home for all. When he asked if she would be around for the winter, her mind was made up. "Why ever not, I can't leave Kumogakure in the coldest time fo the year." Even as she said it, she knew it was true. She may return to Hoshi one day but she would see the winter through. "There's a lot of work to be done here, honestly, and I don't think I'll finish that very soon, not unless I have a lot of help. Besides, I'd miss you too much if I left," she added with a bright smile at the young ninja.
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:07 am
Watching in wonder as Akihana would generate strange little orbs, he would feel the warm both generated by the orb and by the kindness of the Kunoichi. She would just continue to astound him with how kind she was towards other people. She didn’t seem to be doing these things because she wanted Max to be indebted to her, nor did she seem to have any ulterior motives for being so kind. She was a genuinely good person, which made Max’s earlier thoughts all the more painful. He would hope that he would be wrong. He hoped that she would come out of New Kumo unscathed and unchanged.
 
Max would move over to inspect the orbs a bit more, curious to what exactly they did. They radiated warmth, but why was it that his mood had lifted a bit when they were cast? They were strange indeed, but neat nevertheless.
 
Hearing her speak of staying through the winter had lifted Max’s spirits even more. Despite his initial thoughts towards Akihana and how out of place she was here, his selfishness had kicked in and a big smile would form. Despite this place likely being toxic to the well being of the kind kunoichi, he was happy to have made such a kind friend among those that had an actual pulse and not just the pulsing of his own chakra within their lifeless bodies.
 
Makinng his way back over to Stein, Max would start to stitch together and tighten the seams on most of the limbs of the dead brute, leaving the large holes in the stomach and chest open. “Can’t sew that up yet. Still gotta put the battery in and then wire everything together.” Max would then grab a semi-large block of something from the corner of the room. The object was roughly the size of a car battery, and the boy would set it in the open cavity in the gut of the puppet, resting it in a holder built on to the pelvis bone of it. Hands now covered in… mess, the boy would frantically begin to look around the room, shifting through parts both mechanical and biological.
 
“Shoot…” Max would say, obviously upset that he couldn’t find whatever it was that he was looking for. “I have to go back into the village to find some more of this wiring. I won’t be able to connect the battery to Stein otherwise. Would you like to go with me? I am actually enjoying your company. I would understand if you had other important things to do though.” Max would say as he gathered up a few things and stuffed them in his pockets. “Come on Napa, you gotta go too!"



Ready to head out the door, he would wait for her answer. If she would agree to tag along he would wait for her and match her pace. Should she have more pressing things to do, he would let her know that he appreciates all the time they had spent together today before running into the village as quickly as possible.
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:02 am
As the child walked around the shack, looking for parts to use for his latest creation, Akihana took another opportunity to assess the room, deciding what it would need to keep Max safer throughout the winter. Now that she had decided to spend the cold months here, she might as well also add an inspection of the local shelters to her list of things to do. There were children like Max all over Kumogakure, children with perhaps not as many resources or as much creativity as the young puppet user in her presence. But that didn't mean they shouldn't get a safe place to stay. She wondered if she could even get Max involved in this project, it might do him good to see the result of his kindness as opposed to the result of cruelty he had grown up with.

When the young ninja declared he had to go into town to get more material for his puppets, Akihana readily moved to his side with a warm smile. "Funnily enough, I was planning on heading in that same direction later," she confessed with a slight shake of her head. "We can walk over together and I can help you pick out your material, and then maybe you can help me with soemthing too?" she asked, waiting to get his reaction before continuing.

"You mentioned going to the shelters if it gets too cold but I haven't sen many shelters. What if we made it our secret mission to go check out all the popular shelters in the village and make sure they're up for taking in everyone that needs a warm place for the winter? You can be Mission Leader since you know the specifications of our mission more than I do." The Kunoichi raised a hand in salute to the child, a grin on her face. "What do you say, Captain Max? Vice Captain Napa?"

While Akihana was trying to get the boy involved in the village more, there was an intrinsic truth to her assessment. Max would perhaps be the best candidate to inspect these shelters and identify problems as he had likely had experience with such places. He had slept on floors, in the cold, likely gone hngry, known the despair that came with loneliness and being shunned. And now all his experiences could be sued to better the lives of others. Though the blonde didn't expect him to grasp the meaning of it all so quickly, in fact it was better if he didn't think on it much, simply enjoyed improving living conditions for others. Akihana had faith that he was a kind soul at heart, and seeing the result of putting some of that kindness out into the world would only do him and Kumo good.
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:30 am
Max would gladly walk into town with Lady Akihana, but she had seemed to have a plan for them after gathering the materials. He would think briefly before answering, making sure that he had no pressing concerns. The final steps to completing Stein could wait until he got back. It’s not like Stein was going to walk off somewhere… at least Max hopes that he doesn’t. “Uhm…. Sure. What did you need help with? I can repay you for being so kind.” Max would say as he walked, happily strolling beside the Lady of Kumo.
 
“A secret mission? And I can be the mission leader? Neat! You hear that Napa?” The puppet shakes his head, knowing full well that this wasn’t a mission, nor anything for him to be overly excited about. Still, the moody puppet would have little choice but to follow along with the plan, reluctant or not. Akihana would easily be able to see the excitement in his eyes at the thought of the ‘mission’ and Max knew exactly where to start the inspections.  “If you don’t mind, I would like to start the mission immediately. The wires can wait until afterwards.” He would say with enthusiasm. If there was one way to truly bring the kindness and selflessness of the boy out, it was through the other orphans of Kumo. He would do pretty much anything for them, seeing them as the future of the village and worthy of any investment or sacrifice on his part.
 
“There are only a few shelters now. Two if I remember correctly. One for the younger orphans and the babies that don’t have homes, and another for the older folks and their children. We can start at the one for the orphans, as I am very familiar with that one.” The boy was happy to be able to help the people that regularly fed him warm meals. They might not have been the fondest of him, but they never turned him away. That meant a lot to the boy, even if he wasn’t completely aware of how much.
 
He would head through town towards the orphanage, as it was the primary source of shelter for those kids without any. From the outside, it could be seen as a building that is clearly very old, and it hadn’t been the biggest of buildings either. Stepping inside, the first thing that Akihana and Max would walk into was where the babies were kept. The happiest look could be seen make it way to young Max’s face and he just lit up when he stepped in. Almost forgetting the mission, he would immediately start to say “hi” to all the babies, tickling their tummies and such.
 

Then he got to the crib where Azura had been and his whole demeanor changed. He turned around and slowly walked back over to Akihana, “Maybe I’m not the best person for a mission. I already failed one person here, I wouldn’t want to fail another. I promised Mister Vaneda that I would watch over his baby, but now she is…” Tears would roll down his cheeks as his voice trails off. The boy was able to watch as criminals or rebels to Mortarion’s regime were cut down by the dozens. He was able to accept many of the horrors that he saw here as just how the world was, but the thought of that poor baby being gone was just too much for him.

Napa would shake his head at the boy, "Crying? Your tears can't fix anything, boy. People die. That is just the reality of the world. Some leave sooner than others, and while it may be unpleasant there is little to nothing that you can do. Nobody can escape 'The Reaper'." Napa wouldn't seem to be trying to be hurtful with his words, instead trying to further harden Max to the fundamental truths of the world. 

"Maybe *sniff* not yet...*sniff*, but one day..." Max would say, trying to stop himself from crying.
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:39 am
The two walked side by side into the bustling main streets of the large village, Akihana stilll clean and pristine despite her stay in the graveyard. One solitary orb followed the two, the other two remaining in Max's little home where they would brighten the area until she was out of reach. Even Max looked better than he had earlier that morning, happier certainly and much more approachable somehow even with Napa. The medic was only beginning to discern the effects of the orbs she created but it seemed they not only took away pain and suffering but also let her personality shine through towards those affected. If only there was a way to make all the children of Kumogakure this happy.

As they walked, Akihana made sure to take the most crowded of streets, trying to make it as clear as possible that Max was with her without saying a word. As the child went on happily about where they could start and how they could make improvements, the Kunoichi merely nodded, at times reaching out to hold his hand when it ame to crossing the street. Word would travel fast enough through the village and the child would hopefully be treated a lot better the next time he was in town without her.

When they arrived at the first shelter, Akihana felt her heart melt a little as Max grew over excited at all the babies, rushing over to each one to stay hello while the blonde stayed back to speak to the care taker, an over worked elderly woman who confided that they indeed were running out of both funding and manpower and that there was always an influx of infants left to their care in the winter. It was as Akihana was sorting out the logistics with the caretaker that she heard a distressed sound from Max and excused herself to go to the little boy.

"Oh no, what's wrong sweetie?" she asked, sinking down to her knees and opening her arms for Max should he need a hug. As the child confided that he wasn't the best for this mission, Akihana was all set to comfort him, until she caught the name of her blessed friend.

"Oh no, Max, honey, it's okay," she soothed even as Napa told him to move on. "Sweetie, look at me," she coaxed, lifting his small face to hers so he could see directly into her golden eyes. "You're thinking of little Azura, aren't you? She's fine, I promise. In fact, she's better than fine. She isn't here because Vaneda took her home with him, he couldn't bear to be away from her either."

The young woman would continue to hold the child and comfort him as she told him the truth behind why the baby girl was missing. "In fact, I think you are the very best person for this mission because you made Vaneda see that his baby didn't belong here, she belonged at home with him," Akihana added sincerely, trying to make Max feel better. "And he's so happy now that he has her. We just went shopping for a lot of baby stuff a few days ago. Azura is perfectly happy and safe thanks to you."
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:12 pm
Hearing the wonderful news from Akihana, Max would wipe away his tears with his sleeve and feel a great sense of relief. The child had been safely taken away from this place, which was a happy thought for the young boy. The thought that he had been the reason she had been taken to a home had made Max warm and happy inside. It wasn’t often that he seemed to have a direct positive influence on those around him, and so this was very heartwarming news. He would manage a smile at the kind Akihana before nodding and continuing to inspect the area as the ‘mission’ called for.
 
He would walk over to a nearby window and point it out, “When it gets cold, the winds blow and air makes its way through here. The windows aren’t sealed very well, and there aren’t always enough blankets to go around, especially on the really cold nights when everybody wants them.” He would recall some of the colder nights and couldn’t help but worrying about the well being of these folks. The older kids would likely manage, but as the age lowered so did the likelihood of them managing the cold. “This place could also use more beds. Sometimes a bunch of us might need to huddle up on one bed under a single blanket. It helps us keep warm, but it is hard to sleep with that many people shifting around on the bed. Even then, some folks still have to sleep on the floor, and the flooring was very cold,” as Max remembered his own times sleeping there.
 
“I could probably seal up the windows with something that would keep the heat in and the cold out.” The boy would begin to think of materials and such that he would be able to do this with. Plastic comes to mind, as it would help keep out the drafts and was relatively inexpensive compared to trying to replace the whole window. It was a quick fix, not a permanent one. Once winter had passed they could worry about replacing the windows and such. “And the cold floors can be alleviated a bit with some throw rugs or blankets so that you aren’t on the cold tile floor directly. Those coupled with another source of heating should help keep folks warm. I can start thinking about ways to actively heat the place and work on some designs.” Sadly, there isn’t always enough room for everybody to be comfortable, and that wasn’t something so easily fixed as keeping the cold out was. The shelter couldn’t really turn anyone away.
 
Heading back over to Akihana he asks, “How about you? Do you have any ideas as to how we can help? Those neat little orb things were warm, and they are calming as well. Soothing the worries of the children while keeping them warm sounds like it would work wonders, but I am unsure whether or not you would be able to make a more permanent orb. I’ve never seen anything like it. Of course, more mundane methods could work equally well should you have any ideas.”
 

He wouldn’t know much about the financial aspects, as that wasn’t something that he would have been told or saw on his own. Luckily the care takers had known and were informing Akihana of the situation. With their combined efforts, they could likely solve many of the issues the shelter had.
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki] - Page 2 Empty Re: A Chance Encounter with the Flower of Kumo [Aki]

Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:12 pm
Akihana mostly took mental notes as the child pointed out one improvement after another, it was clear she had chosen well in making him the lead for this particular mission. As he spoke, the caretaker too nodded along, apparently familiar with all the issues Max pointed out. The blonde wondered at first why no one had looked in on these shelters earlier, it wasn't just the winter this place was ill equipped for. This place seemed to barely be standing, and they hadn't even gotten to rations yet, merely looking at a comfortable way for the kids to sleep. Then again, she doubted this would have been Kumo's priority six months ago.

"You're right, these orbs are pretty nifty," she agreed with the Genin as one floated right up to him, circling his head playfully before landing on his shoulder. Streaks of dark ran through the golden surface but they were small, which could only mean that despite the lack of funding, the caretaker did try. Akihana could always appreciate someone trying their best under less than convenient circumstances. "But I'm afraid they follow me for the most part so i can't leave them here. And i can't teach someone else these same methods either because they're part of a special jutsu taught to e by the Raikage. However, i can do something to help."

Turning to the caretaker, Akihana thanked her profusely before motioning for Max to follow her outside. Once they were safely out of the building, she spoke. "We can get teams together and have them bring in beds and blankets, and what do you think of assigning ninja with fire nature chakra to take shifts at the shelters? They could keep the lace warm and comfortable for the others, what do you say?" It was certainly help with the cold if each place had a shinobi well versed in a few rudimentary fire based techniques to keep the hearth warm and the stoves glowing even the worst time of the cold season.
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