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Protectors Empty Protectors

Sat May 27, 2017 10:23 pm
The bright, warm sun was obstructed by numerous clouds in the sky. It was a darker day in Hoshigakure, and the rare clouds were often seen as a blight upon the village, as they covered the numerous stars in the night sky. This was perhaps the reason Yurei was just now waking up. It was almost an hour until noon, but the typical morning sun did not hit the pale shinobi’s vulnerable eyes as it usually did. Yurei fluttered his eyes open and rose his hands to them, cleaning his eye lashes and tear ducts. What time is it?  Yurei’s rubbed his eyes with his fists and then opened his bedroom blinds. The young boy stared out at the horizon, only to find the amber sun and its warmth absent and replaced with dreary clouds. Yurei found himself wishing for rain, however, as the sun had become unbearably hot as of late.

The days felt as if Hoshigakure had taken a vacation to Sunagakure, which was odd because the weather was usually quite fair. Perhaps it was just Yurei’s imagination, or maybe the transformation technique that turned his hair black simply made him hotter. Or perhaps it was the baking sidewalks. Yurei had often thought about cooking an egg on the asphalt. The young boy had convinced himself that it was an excellent way to cook if one were homeless or without a stove. Well, maybe if it was disinfected. It would still no doubt cook the egg, however.

Yurei rose from his brown bed and turned his feet onto the floor. The cold morning floors had faded into room temperature. Despite the lack of a visible sun, Yurei had surmised that it was almost noon, as there was a very faint breakfast smell, nothing fresh or presently cooking. The floors were not as cold, and the candles within his orange lanterns had lost more wax than usual. Yurei rushed to blow out each candle. The wax was very expensive for Yurei, especially now that most of his time was dedicated to learning jutsu rather than helping out the villagers for a small fee. Yurei didn’t feel comfortable asking for anything from his parents, especially now that he had been almost avoiding them. The genjutsu practice was going well, but it had put a major damper on his relationship with his parents, and they, Yurei assumed, didn’t even know about it. And they wouldn’t know so long as the white-haired shinobi could keep it up. It was a very difficult thing to keep secret, especially from those he loved so much. But they wouldn’t understand. They could even punish him, and the young genin wasn’t too keen on that.

Once Yurei had blown out all of the candles, the residing smell of smoke replaced the fresh cinnamon smell. It was disgusting. Yurei walked to his bedside a bent down to the floor, looking underneath and grasping his next genjutsu scroll: Temple of Nirvana. The jutsu was simple enough, it acted as a sleep agent, and put everyone under its effects for an extended period of time. It was incredibly useful for covert operations, sneaking out, or simply putting a person to bed.

Yurei spent much of his time devising scenarios in which the jutsu he learned would be applicable. Most of that came from his long-awaited aspiration to become a shinobi. The pale boy had often fantasized about how he could use jutsu, or how he could use them against an attacker. It was a dream that had long been in the making.

Before the boy could slide the scroll into his pack, his door opened briskly. The young boy kicked it back under his bed and turned, greeted by the face of his father, Roshi. He stood in the doorway and smiled down at his son. “Whatcha got there, Yurei?” he said smoothly.

Yurei tried to calm himself before he spoke. “Nothing, sir, just some magazines.”

“Magazines you say?” his father smiled, raising his fingers to his chin. “I remember when I was your age. I had plenty of magazines of these-“

“No! No! Nothing like that,” Yurei chuckled nervously.

Roshi smiled, leaning on the door frame. “Breakfast is cold by now. We figured you’d be up earlier.”

“My alarm clock isn’t out today,” Yurei said, looking out at the clouds.

“I see,” Roshi said. “Well, there’s still food in here, but don’t expect it to warm you up. Your mother and I are done cooking,” he chuckled.

Yurei laughed and smiled as his father left his room. He took a deep breath and exhaled, biting his bottom lip. “Dad,” he called out.

Roshi entered the doorway once more, eyebrows raised and smiling. “Yes, Yurei?”

Yurei glanced at the scroll underneath his bed, and bit his tongue. I need to tell him. He’ll understand, won’t he? He has to. If I have the chakra to do ninjutsu, then he should too, right? Why won’t he tell me. Why won’t I tell him?

“Nothing, I forgot what I was going to say,” Yurei chuckled.

Roshi smiled and nodded, heading out of Yurei’s room.

The young boy sniffed and wiped his nose before he reached back under his bed and slid the scroll into his pouch. Yurei rose from the wooden floorboards and closed his blinds. He took a deep breath and felt the tears swelling in his eyes, but he didn’t allow them to fall. He couldn’t.

The young boy reached for his kimono and slid it onto his arms. He tied his sash around his waist and traveled into the kitchen, closing his eyes and raising his eyebrows to give his eyes a stretch. He entered the kitchen and grabbed a rice ball.

“Good morning,” Takia said warmly, her voice like morning coffee, inviting and energizing.

“Good morning, Mom,” Yurei said, taking a bite of the rice ball.

“Slept in late, today, didn’t you, Yurei,” she chuckled.

Yurei nodded, smiling with bits of rice in his teeth. “I told Dad that my alarm clock disappeared. Usually the sun wakes me up.”

“Then maybe I’ll run by the market and pick you up an actual alarm clock,” she laughed.

Yurei smiled and walked towards his door leading to the sidewalk.

“Where are you going?” Takia asked.

“Just going to walk around for a bit,” Yurei said, adjusting the scroll in his sack. “I was going to meet up with a few friends.”

“Friends?” Roshi spoke up, leaning against the wall.

Yurei looked at his mother and then his father. “A few, yeah.”

“They’re not shinobi, are they?”

“No, no sir. Just village kids. No one special.”

Roshi nodded slowly, glancing at his wife.

Yurei paused, looking at the both of them. “I’ll be going now,” he said, sliding his bamboo shoes onto his feet.

“Be safe,” Takia said.

Yurei nodded, shutting the door behind him. Once the wooden obstacle had closed, he let out a deep breath. His chest untightened and he felt free again. I’m not sure I can take much more of this. I want to tell them so badly, but… Yurei moved his lips to the side of his mouth and blew stifling air out of his nose. He walked down the sidewalk towards the training grounds, but Damon was nowhere in sight. And neither was Akio or Esu. Yurei placed his thumbs in his belt loop and strolled down the concrete path, kicking a bundle of trash.

Takia stirred milk into her tea as her husband rambled on inside their home. “Mhm,” she said.

“I don’t want to take any risks, Takia. That’s why I moved us here, so he wouldn’t feel pressured into becoming a shinobi.” Roshi said, taking a puff of his cigarette.

“You don’t know that he is one, Roshi,” she said before taking a sip of her tea.

“Well, he’s definitely fascinated with them. I just don’t want him getting mistaken for one and getting hurt. These villagers,” he said, looking outside the front door’s window, “they’d kill him. Didn’t you see what happened to that shinobi boy’s house? They burned it to the ground. Killed the poor bastard’s father. I don’t want that happening to you or Yurei, Takia.”

“I understand, but don’t you think this is hurting him, too? He already looks different than everyone else, he has so few friends…”

“Because if he gets close to someone and something happens, he’ll activate that damned Sharingan.” Roshi exhaled his cigarette smoke and coughed for a moment. He pounded his chest before stopping.

“But if we tell him about it he’ll trust us more. We’ve already lied about his chakra. He doesn’t even know his last name, Roshi. Imagine if you grew up without knowing who you or your parents really were. If we keep lying to him and he finds out, we’ll lose him forever.”

“At least I’m alive. Can you say the same about your brother? Your sister?”

Takia fell silent, rubbing her arm above her elbow. “No.”

“I don’t want to risk another caravan accident. Shinobi deserve to die out, and I won’t have my son becoming one of them. You said the same thing, Takia. Don’t get lenient now.”

Takia took a deep breath and nodded. “You’re right.”

Roshi exhaled, extinguished his cigarette, and hugged his wife. “It’s going to be ok,” he said, taking her in his arms and kissing her cheek. “This is for the best.”


As the many houses of Hoshigakure passed by, Yurei looked up at the dark clouds rolling into Hoshigakure. He checked his bag once more for the genjutsu scroll. It was like a pattern now. Paranoia had set it, and losing that scroll could be disastrous. It was a nervous tick of sorts. Something that comforted him. Yurei walked on, now naming the color of each house he passed. “Blue,” he said, disinterested. “Brown. Yellow. Red. Orange. Brown. Brown. Blue. Brown.”

Yurei yawned. Everything seemed to have a grey scale now. Usually, the sun did more than just wake him up. Despite the heat, it kept him awake. It made Hoshigakure seem brighter, not in lighting, but it mood and tone. This was somber.

The pale boy couldn’t help but think of his friends’ advice. Telling his mother and father than he had been a practicing shinobi, was still one, and now genin, was so tempting. But he didn’t have all the answers. Yurei wondered how different this morning would have been had he told his father about his shinobi status. Certainly, not like this. Not free. Not with Damon, Akio, or Esu. Not with anyone. Not learning anything. It wouldn’t be like this. Would it?

Yurei’s parents were a mystery, and still he could not build up the courage to ask them about shinobi, their reasoning, or what his last name was, let alone tell them what he had been up to. So he lied.

He had been lying for a long time. It was almost second nature to him at this point. He certainly didn’t like to, but it was a necessary evil. One that protected he and his family. He had heard things from the villagers – heard what they had done. It was terrifying what so many of them would do, could do.

Yurei looked off to his side. The houses had faded into crisp, green trees. The begged for the sun, but their vibrant green was one of the few colorful things left this morning. Soon the trees faded into more buildings, and the quiet of birds, wind, and the occasional villager cutting their grass transitioned into an uproar of people in the market. It was just as active as it was with Akio and Damon, only, he hoped, there would be no butt-biting.

Yurei maneuvered through the crowds of people of all shapes, sizes, creeds, and color. Merchants reached out to people who passed their stations, asking them to buy goods: clothing, fruits, vegetables, nick-nacks, necklaces, bracelets, shoes, gardening tools, dumplings, the infamous dangos, and more.

Yurei knew this place for more than just goods, however. It was an excellent place to alter his appearance, and people would be too distracted to know otherwise. Yurei brought his hands to just under his chest, focusing on his chakra. “Here we go,” he said, forming the handsigns. Dog. Boar. Ram. Transformation Technique. Yurei rushed through the crowd, as smoke exploded in the middle of it. There were a few screams and a bit of shock, but it provided the perfect cover. His white hair had become charcoal black, his eyes a dark grey, his skin tanned, and his kimono a jumpsuit. The perfect disguise.

Yurei walked through the crowd, lightly pushing most people aside and worming his way through others. From the marketplace, he could go directly to the training grounds. The tanned genin moved on past the people, the marketplace, the busy streets, and the bargaining and into a quieter part of town. Most of the Shinobi liked to hang around here. It was close to the training grounds and the academy, and most civilians had no real reason to come here, as it offered little to the common person. Also, coming to the most popular place for people you hated wasn’t exactly on many minds, unless they just wanted to trash the place, spray graffiti, litter, etc. Still, the shinobi, or at least Yurei, tried his best to keep it as clean as possible. The young boy ran to a can, kicking it into a trash bin. This portion of the city was rife with “art” from civilians. Crude words, busted windows… It wasn’t pretty, and, frankly, it made Yurei uncomfortable, but it served its purpose.

The delipidated buildings grew smaller and smaller, eventually becoming grass and trees. Yurei passed the Academy where he had received his headband signifying him as a genin. That felt like a long time ago, but, in actuality, it was only a few weeks, if that. The stress of keeping everything a secret had warped his perception of time, and it was difficult for Yurei to keep his happy go lucky attitude his parents had grown fond of. It provided a nice contrast to the somberness of the village, and if anything, he felt like he cheered Damon up. He tried his best to, at least.

The dark haired genin moved forward, finally reaching the training grounds. No one was in sight. In fact, most of this part of the village seemed like a ghost town. Poor, unkempt conditions, few, if any, people in sight… the lack of sunshine didn’t help either.

Yurei came to a stop in the far end of the training grounds, next to the forest. For now, Yurei just wanted to practice with his chakra expulsion and better maintaining a constant, focused amount of chakra for now. Yurei sat down in the grass and ran his hands through it, thinking. He closed his eyes and brought his hands to rest on his knees. He reached deep inside of himself, feeling his chakra. It was like a cool fire, not too hot, but kindling deep within him. Yurei took a deep breath and channeled his chakra out of himself and outward. He held it, keeping it constant. It was more difficult when using it against a person, as one had to had to work against another’s chakra more often than not, unless the target was weak.

Yurei opened his eyes and, grasping the scroll out of his sack, laid it out in front of him. The Temple of Nirvana Genjutsu. On the scroll was all the information one could ask for pertaining to this specific genjutsu. It made it appear as though hundreds of white feathers were descending from the sky, and it trapped everyone caught it in a sleeping state. The only way to avoid this is to have a massive chakra pool and will, or to initiate a genjutsu release before it takes effect. It was effective, to say the least.

Yurei read further, finding that the only hand seal required was tiger. Relatively simple. This was the second genjutsu he had learned with only a single hand sign or gesture. And these were really advanced techniques as well. Yurei wondered if this was common with all genjutsu, because, if it was, he could easily create multiple genjutsu in rapid succession.

The dark haired genin stood up and was prepared to try the genjutsu when he heard a rustling come from the bushes. His heart stopped as he turned swiftly and drew a kunai. He could see nothing. The genin took a step back from the foods. And then another. And another. The grasses rustled again. And again. There was a low growling coming from the dark forest. Yurei’s forehead dripped with sweat. It ran down his headband and into his eyes. It was cold, as was he and his hands. He took a breath. They were shallow. His sweat dripped down his nose and onto his lips. It tasted of icy salt water.

Yurei could feel his heart beating in his chest. Each pump beckoned for some sort of release from the forest. He gripped his kunai tighter and tighter, until the sweat had reached it from his palms.

Yurei readjusted his footing, put his right in front of his left. He dug his foot into the ground and took a deep breath.


A massive bear leapt from the forest and toward Yurei. He leapt backward, avoiding its massive claw. Yurei planted his feet into the ground behind him and jumped to the side as the bear charged. The enormous grizzly bear stood up at eight feet and let out a blood curdling roar. Its hot breath cut through the air as it swiped with its paw once more. Yurei brought up his kunai to defend himself from the attack. The bear’s strength was immense, and it launched the small boy into the dirt, dirtying his jumpsuit. The young boy picked himself up as the bear stood tall above him, bringing down its paws. Yurei flipped backwards, and threw his kunai in front of the bear.

“Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my,” he repeated, leaping backwards. The bear backed up and let out another roar. Yurei looked over to his scroll and narrowed

Yurei his eyebrows. He smiled and gave the sign. Tiger. The bear sniffed the air and looked around as Yurei projected his chakra at the bear. White feathers fell from the sky like light snow in winter. The grizzly bear’s nose switched and its fur convulsed. The came to all fours and stumpled. Yurei slowly backed away as the behemoth collapsed into the dirt. There was a brief moment of silence, and then, there was nothing but the bear’s snores.

Yurei let out the trapped air within his lungs. He could finally breathe. This whole time he had been holding his breath, but now the bear was fast asleep. The genjutsu had actually worked, and he had successfully projected his chakra into the pair. “Fantastic!” Yurei said leaping into the air. The bear’s stomach rose up and down as it snoozed. Yurei released his kunai from the ground and wiped off the dirt. He placed it in his weapon pouch and he grabbed his scroll, rolling it up and placing it in his sack.

Before Yurei left the bear, he heard a soft cry come from the forests. Yurei paused and turned to face it. He eased forward past the bear and peaked inside where the light did not penetrate. To his surprise, three bears cubs had climbed a tree and remained together. Their soft eyes stared solemnly at Yurei. It was a mother. A parent. Yurei turned back to the sleeping bear, and then back at the cubs. The dark-haired boy released his chakra from the bear and stopped the genjutsu. Yurei rushed off past the bear and watched as the three bear cubs lowered themselves from the tree and rejoined their waking mother.

Yurei stopped to watch. The mother bear was protecting her cubs the entire time. That was love. It was to keep them safe. But was keeping the shinobi way of life from Yurei protecting him as well? Or was it all just a facade? Were they truly trying to protect him as this bear was her young?


Yurei looked up at the sky. The sun had disappeared completely and in its wake were dark, swirling clouds. It was to be a starless night. Thunder boomed and echoed throughout the land. Lightning illuminated the clouds and it began to roll in. Yurei looked back at the bears who had begun to retreat from the incoming bad weather. They fled back into the woods, and the sky became darker and darker, clouding their escape.

Yurei began to run home as rain descended from the sky. Lightning cracked and sliced through the air, electrifying the rain in the air and scorching the ground with its immense heat. It was power, and it was motivation to run.

The wind had picked up by the time Yurei reached the academy. All that was left was to go through the marketplace and then through the houses until he reached his home. Yurei ran through the abandoned section of the city and into the marketplace. It was still lively, only now people had umbrellas or coats. Most of the merchants were closed aside from the food vendors that had let their vegetables and fruits suck up the natural, moisturizing rain. The markets rang with busy voices and Yurei tried to force himself through them, worming his way through and slipping through all of the wet raincoats. Yurei watched as people grabbed fruits and vegetables and exchanged them for soaking wet money.

The tanned boy took a deep breath and exhaled, releasing his chakra once again. His jumpsuit transitioned into his silver and indigo kimono, his dark hair became white again, and his tanned skin became as pale as the moon. At last Yurei felt like he could focus. He quickly moved in and out of the people in the crowd, leaving behind a cloud of smoke. His transition was seeming seamless and without flaw. Yurei broke through the crowd at last, and then walked amongst the few coming and going to the market. The sound slowly got quieter and quieter, and the noise generated by the crowds of people faded into roaring rain and howling winds. The pale boy walked working, soaking wet now. Street lamps illuminated the sidewalks, as well as the lightning that erupted in intervals, always followed by a roaring thunder that flooded the city blessed by the stars.

Yurei coughed as he trudged through the puddles that were now ankle high. His home wasn’t far away, but it was hard to tell with all of the muted colors of the houses in the darkness of the storm. Yurei looked around, squinting his eyes. Most of the houses looked the same. He moved on grabbing his arms, now freezing, and on contrast to the summer heat Hoshigakure had been producing. Yurei coughed and sniffled as he moved to a bench to sit down. His legs ached from walking across the village twice and the bear fight. And now he was trudging through water that was steadily rising.

Yurei groaned in pain and rubbed his thighs and then his calves. Yurei couldn’t stop thinking about the bear and how it had been protecting its cubs, despite appearing to be vicious, but he wasn’t sure his parents were doing the same or simple hated Shinobi. But did anyone hate anything without a reason? Did his parents even hate shinobi? Did they agree with their neighbors or were they simply trying to shield Yurei from the tragedies the villagers could bring. Or perhaps both. Perhaps they hated shinobi and they hated how cruel the villagers could be. But they themselves had to possess chakra if Yurei did. That was simple genetics. There were too many things he wasn’t being told. Or there were more lies. That was almost indisputable. But was it to protect him.

Yurei sighed, and he released himself from the bench. The rain swirled around him with the wind. Lightning struck in the distance as he pushed himself further. “’m almost there,” he said to himself. Yurei looked around trying to find his home when he came across a small red light on the porch of a house. Despite the cooling smell of concrete, Yurei could smell it. Cigarette smoke. It was his father, waiting for him.

Yurei walked to his porch and looked at his father, who said nothing. “Dad?” he said, looking confused.

His father inhaled his cigarette smoke, burning the tobacco. The cigarette receded, illuminating his phase in red. He removed his cigarette from his lips and exhaled. His face was rife with anger. Roshi exhaled hot smoke from his nostrils. It stung Yurei’s eyes. “Get inside, Yurei.”

“Dad, I need to go dry off and-“

“Get inside.”

Yurei paused for a moment and stared in bewilderment. He nodded and entered his home, finding his mother sitting on the couch. Her eyeliner had run down her cheeks, seemingly due to crying. “What’s going on?” Yurei asked.

Roshi entered the living room, shutting the door behind him. His boots echoed across the room as he circled the room, finally ending up next to his wife. “I followed you, today, Yurei.”

Yurei paused in astonishment. “I-I.”

“We know you’re a shinobi.”

WC: 4256
21 stat points
Temple of Nirvana
Kobayashi Senshi <3
Kobayashi Senshi <3
Remove Ryo : 8700

Protectors Empty Re: Protectors

Sun May 28, 2017 10:38 pm
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