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Naruto, Naruto Shippuden
© Masashi Kishimoto

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Natsuki Hashimoto
Natsuki Hashimoto
Ryo : 0


Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:01 pm
Shien’s thin eyes fluttered open to a blurred, brown image. An irritating ring blasted throughout the hallways, shaking him from his warm slumber. His bed called to him like a mother’s embrace. His sheets were as if duct tape, holding him in place as he stretched his legs and curled his toes. It was blissful, but the alarm soon beckoned him from sleep. He shut his eyes tightly, allowing them to adjust before opening them. They focused on the wooden ceiling, noting every crevice and wave as his mind wondered elsewhere. His razor like pupils drifted, falling onto the alarm clock to his right. It was almost painful to listen too, throbbing, really.

The Doku exhaled in frustration, slapping the clock as the last tile flipped, reading the time as 6:46 A.M. Breakfast had to be ready soon, and, of course, Hakai had assigned him to work the early shift with Boru. Shien wasn’t sure but he felt like the white-haired sensei hated him. It was likely just a teaching of discipline, but the thought never crossed Shien’s mind, especially this early. He was too focused on willing his almost limp body to move from the warmth of his sheets.

Shien pursed his lips, his cheeks extending out and dimples forming on them, like slightly darker green spots on either side of his face. He thinned his eyelids and irritation, the flick of the tile on the clock echoing in his head. The genin flicked his sheets from his body, the chill immediately setting in. The contrast was substantial, especially with the chill mountain air seeping into his room. It was like he had been tossed into the freezing snow. Begrudgingly, Shien leaned upward and twisted his feet from his cot, setting them onto the wooden floorboard below his bed. Another sharp chill ran up his spine, his blood turning to ice and his feet recoiling in the pain of a thousand needles puncturing either foot. He clenched his teeth, standing up. When the chill and dissipated, he began the tedious task of getting dressed, slipping on a nearby shirt and his pants. His hair hung over his face like a mop, making it difficult to see where he was going.

“Where did I put…” he began to say, feeling around his room like a freshly blinded man. When at last his hands found the cut cloth he called his headband, Shien thrusted his head backward like something of a rockstar, coaxing his hair to stand up. He tied the cloth around his head, fixing the viridian mess into a standing position.

With the quick equipment of his sandals, Shien was ready to go, at least appearance-wise. Emotionally, physically, and mentally, he felt like death. His eyes ached with a desire to shut, as if something heavy were weighing his eyelids down, a barbell tied to either. He rubbed them vigorously as he pulled open his door, yawning. He fluttered his lashes, stretching his back as his groans echoed softly throughout the rooms.

This was nothing to be eager about. In fact, he resented the decision. This was far too early to be getting up to prepare food. Who the hell eats breakfast this early anyway? Damn psychopaths… His blame extended beyond just Hakai. If he needed to get up this early for breakfast at 8 AM, there was only one explanation - Ikigai’s appetite. The sheer amount of food Iky ate meant preparations had to be made earlier and earlier. That kid fit every teenage stereotype in the book. He ate like a whale rather than a shark, and his temper would make even the sturdiest of mothers recoil in their son’s sudden change from supposed innocence. It wasn’t all bad, though. There was something to look forward to in running the breakfast work, Boru in particular. Shien was rather fond of the man, more so than anyone else in the academy other than Iky. He had a certain warmth that reminded Shien of his own father. Knew how to cook too. He’d probably be fun to hunt with. Maybe they could get some fresh meat together one day. Few things would make him prouder. It was already an admiration of sorts, his feelings toward Boru. Shien respected him when few had been given the opportunity, and he had barely been shared a sentence with the man. The Doku felt odd handing out his respect so easily. It was just that Boru felt so real - so down to earth. He was a noble man of sorts, Shien could tell that much just by first impressions.

He only hoped Boru thought as positively of him.

Shien opened the doors to the mess hall, stepping into the darkness. The entirety of the cafeteria was blanketed in darkness, save the kitchen, from which the rumbling and clanking of pots and pans echoed outward. Shien slid the door closed behind him, stepping into the showering lightlessness. With the click of the door in its place, the clattering stopped, if only for a brief moment. A silhouetted figure stepped into the kitchen doorway, casting a long and wide shadow that extended to Shien’s feet.

“You’re just in time,” the booming voice bellowed, much like a large drum.

Shien stood confused, narrowing his eyes. It had to be Boru.

“Well, don’t just stand there,” the burly man said, “Come on, come on, come on.”

Shien’s eyes shook in place for a moment as his head twitched around the mess hall. His feet finally made a move forward, carrying him into the kitchen where Boru was getting to work. The man’s strawberry blonde hair flared in the kitchen’s lights much like a flame. “Glad you’re here, Shien,” the man said, stepping into the storage closet. “Time to put that cooking skill of yours to work, eh?” he chuckled, eyeing the Doku before losing himself in the next room.

The kitchen itself was incredibly clean, barely a speck anywhere. No doubt Boru cleaned it every night. In fact, the faint smell of cleaning supplies littered about the air, tickling Shien’s nose with a slight burn. Everything was spick and span. Any metal in the kitchen shined with an unearthly glow and the wooden cabinets and counters appeared as if they had just been installed despite behind in the academy for years. Pots and pans filled the ceiling, each easily accessible for the stove and counter underneath. Knives and cutting boards lined the walls, and various cooking oils stood by each eye on each stove.

“So, Boru-Sensei,” Shien said, actually smiling. The kitchen was a marvel. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.

The reddish-haired man poked his head out of the storage room, smiling with a raised eyebrow. “‘Boru-Sensei?’” he repeated, chuckling upon hearing the words he spoke. “Can’t say I’ve heard that for a long time.”

“Well, I assume I’m gonna be learning some stuff from you?” Shien said, straight-faced as ever.

Boru nodded, going back into the room. “I thought he were already great with food, Shien,” he said, loosely referencing what the Doku had said.

The genin followed the man inside, but he was immediately met with shock. The room was massive, much more extensive than Shien had thought. It was like a library of foods, spices, and all other sorts of ingredients. No meals had been baked or cooked, however. Most things were raw, and nothing was frozen.

“We only believe in fresh meals here, Shien,” Boru said, pulling a step-stool to his feet. He climbed the ladder to its highest point, reaching for a rather large bag of rice. “Here, hold this,” he said, tossing the bag off of the shelf.

The Doku’s face sunk, his arms frantically reaching for the woven bag. The bag itself mirrored an anvil in weight, crashing onto Shien like some kind of cartoon. The Doku was pretty strong, however, grasping the bag without losing his balance. A short groan left his mouth, the newly added stress releasing whatever hair he housed in his gut.

“There ya go!” Boru said, laughing. “We don’t actually keep the rice up here. I just wanted to see how strong you were. Looks like you get to be my mule, Shien!” the bellowing giant cackled, reaching for more ingredients.

“Uh-huh,” Shien managed to get out, setting the bag down to the side. He swallowed, taking in a deep breath soon after. “So, what are we making, Boru-Sensei,” Shien said, scratching his head.

“I like the sound of that, Shien. Keep doing it,” the man said, grasping a bottle of soy sauce. “Here,” he said, tossing it down. The Doku caught it with relative ease, his heart momentarily skipping a beat in the moment of pressure. “Just a traditional breakfast. Soup. Rice. Fish. A few vegetables. I have to make a lot extra for Ikie. Man would eat my whole kitchen if I let him. You didn’t hear it from me, but I caught him eating dry rice out of the bag one time. Don’t tell him I said that. I’ll have to kill you,” he laughed again.

Shien joined in this time, actually able to relate to one of his jokes, especially with the small tethers of anger he still had for waking up so early.

“Ahh…” Boru sighed, his face straightening. “I’m not joking. You will die.”

Shien’s face grew pale as he nodded with a frantic understanding. He gulped, though he tried to suppress just how loud it was.

Boru, of course, took utter amusement in the situation, letting out another bellowing cackle as he tossed down a cucumber and pickle jar. The green-skinned boy quickly set aside the soy sauce, grasping the cucumber and pickle hair with a quick flow of chakra to his hands. He had previously only used the technique to scale buildings or even trees, but he had never thought to apply it like this. It was a pretty nice jutsu to have when essential ingredients were being hurtled your way. “Huh,” Boru said, raising an eyebrow at the young shinobi. “Never thought about using surface walking like that. Remind me,” he said, bringing his mouth into a tight ‘n’ shape with pursed cheeks as he nodded.

Shien, flattered, raised his eyebrows with a smile. “Oh, well, uh, ok,” he said, a hint of pride in his voice. Next came the bonito flakes, kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms, and, lastly, the sardines. The Doku was familiar with the ingredients, having worked with them back home. “Dashi?” he said, eyeing each of the ingredients.

“Mhm,” Boru said, nodding firmly. “Warms the body up in the morning. I’m sure you’ve felt just how cold it can get here.”

Shien nodded, agreeing. He’d never actually had the soup for breakfast though. Still, it was a clever idea, even if it was commonplace. Next came the miso paste, onion, stock powder, and potatoes. Shien was beginning to start a rhythmic pattern to catching the ingredients. However, he noticed something odd about the ingredients. “Miso soup?” he asked.

“Right,” Boru answered, fiddling around with the shelf. “Never made it before. Figured I would give it a try.”

“Well, what’s this other stuff for?”

“Miso Soup,” Boru answered, turning his head to Shien in something of a confused look.

“My mother always made Misu with just sardines. Not the mushrooms or the kelp or…”

Boru narrowed his eyes, shifting between Shien and the ingredients. “You’re sure?” he asked, lowering his dark irises.

Shien gave a small nod, but his face was plastered with seriousness.

“Alright, toss the mushrooms, kelp, and flakes back up here,” he said. “Actually, wait. Not the flakes. Everything else, though, yes.”

Shien’s lips clasped to the side of his mouth as he tossed the ingredients back up to his sensei. “Those flakes are for the omelette.” he said, stepping down from the stool. The burly man shifted directions, parting to the other side of the storage room. “Go ahead and get started on the dashi. I’ll meet you out in the kitchen in a moment.”

Shien nodded, grasping the sardines as he rushed out the door. He found himself at the center counter, grasping a measuring cup and bowl. He measured out a fifth of the sardines for every cup of water, approximating just how many mouths he was going to have to feed. “Boru-Sensei,” the Doku called out, dunking the sardines into a massive bowl of water. The dried fish plunged into the bowl like torpedoes, almost clanking at the bottom. “These are going to have to soak for like a half-hour. What else do I need to do?” the Genin called out, tilted his head to have his ear face Boru’s room.

“Get back in here, Shien,” the man replied, followed by a loud bang.

The lizard-like boy rushed forward, leaning into the door frame. “Yes, Sensei?” he said, smiling.

“Take these ingredients and start with the fish. There’s a lot in there, so get ready to work,” the burly man said, tossing a sack at Shien. It was heavier than anything he’d handled before, including the rice.

The Doku simply nodded. Rehydrating and seasoning water was one thing. This was entirely different. From what he could tell, the fish was the main portion of the meal, especially for someone like Ikigai or even himself. The weight of the world was on his shoulders. “Uh, alright,” he muttered to himself.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” Boru said rushing into the kitchen. He clearing his throat and clasped his hands together with a thunderous roar. “Wind Release: Vacuum Surge!” he shouted. Wind picked up in the kitchen, filling it with an air that swirled around both he and Shien. Each of the pots clambered and shook as the wind cut around and against the appliances. When at last the ruckus stopped, Boru spoke up. “I rarely get to shout out the jutsu. Doesn’t really make sense to do it in real combat, mind you. Even if they don’t know your moveset.” He winked, clearing his throat once more. “Alright, well, that should have cleared out the smell of chemicals in here.” He patted Shien on the back with such force it nearly took his breath away from his lungs. “Get to it, then!” he said, Shien choking.

Frantically opening drawers in the kitchen in search of a recipe book. He went from cabinet to cabinet, looking, searching for anything he could use. He saw paper after paper, but no recipes. Only small notes and kitchenware, lattes and spoons.

“I don’t hear sizzling!” Boru shouted from his ingredients room, his voice both harmonic and sickening.

Concern plastered over Shien’s face. He began to shake. He couldn’t upset the students, or, more importantly, Boru.

“There!” Shien shouted, clasping onto a cookbook and thrusting himself at the middle counter. He swung it open, turning to the recipe for fried salmon. His eyes darted to the bag, reaffirming that’s what had been given to him. It detailed as follows:

Boru’s “Defishous” Salmon

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 5-oz fillets of salmon
Mix the ginger, spring onion and soy sauce together and pour over the salmon fillets. Leave them to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Pour a little boiling water into the grill pan and place the fish on the grill rack above the water (this keeps it moist while it grills). Grill the fish under medium to high heat for about 5-6 minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook it.
Upon reading the title, Shien groaned. It was like a pun from a nightmare. The recipe, however, seemed simple enough. If a bit too simple.  “Alright, alright, alright,” Shien said to himself. I just have to make this one little recipe. Twenty times over. Great.”
“What was that?” Boru called out. He no doubt heard Shien, but instead feigned failure, though this was unknown to Shien.
“Nothing!” the genin replied sharply, rubbing either of his temples. “Alright,” he concluded with a nod, rushing over to the sink. He bathed his hands in soap and water, dried them, then returned to the counter, placing a pan on each of the eyes. He rushed each salmon onto a plate and got to work on cutting each of the fresh seasonings, laying them on top of each fish and roughly timing how long they had marinated. His mind began to twitch, darting from one point to the next. He was like a sporadic machine, slowly growing more and more stressed.
This intensified when Boru entered the room, eyeing each of the fish Shien had set out. Were he able to, sweat would have sizzled onto each of the pans by now. Instead of offering any complaint or praise, however, Boru said nothing, which was almost worse than if he were yelling at the Doku.
Shien swallowed, moving the first fish he had seasoned onto a grill rack over a pan filled with boiling water. He did this for the next 29 fish, the smell permeating the room. It was a strong scent, one the made Shien water at the mouth. That was a good sign, right? Or maybe he was just really hungry and his standards were low. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Boru getting to work.
With boiling rice in hot water.
Shien’s expression fell flat. He resisted the urge to speak up, but decided it best not to say anything. He woke up at 6:45. This would be his success, dammit! Shien began to work harder with more vigor now, storming about the kitchen like thunder. He shook the pans and turned the salmon, grilling each side with a steaming vapor that kept the fish moist.  
“Err,” Boru said, his face showing that of concern. His teeth were visible between stretched lips, and his eyebrows were arched. “Everything ok, Shien?”
“Yes!” Shien shouted, darting from one end of the kitchen to the next. “Everything’s perfectly fine! Dandy!” he yelled, panting as he took fish from the pans.
“Oh, well, alright,” Boru replied. Those were his only words, and, frankly, he was beginning to piss Shien off.
The Doku’s eyes twitched slightly, then he shook his head, maintaining his focus. This was torture. A hellish stress test. But then he realized something. Something terrible.
There were other dishes to cook.
Shien’s eyes widened as he darted back to the sardines. They’d soaked for too long, but it was too late to start a new batch. The fish had to go out hot. His eyes flashed to Boru, who had finished cooking the massive batch of rice. Thankfully, he was moving onto the omelettes, but he was working at a snail’s pace. Stress boiled the Doku’s blood, his breathing intensifying.
“You sure you’re ok,” Boru said, glancing over to Shien. “I don’t see you working. You need to go?”
Shien blinked, flabbergasted. “N-no. No. Everything’s fine,” he said, returning to the sardines. If Boru had run the kitchen for this long, he knew what he was doing. Right?
Shien’s body was now trembling. The Dashi had been brought to a boil, but he still had fish to worry about. He rushed to first, taking it off of the grill. It was done, perhaps overdone. He’d have to give it to Yokai. He darted to the side, taking the concoction off of the eye and draining the fish juice into a massive pot that raised to his eyes.
“Ok, Dashi’s done,” Shien said to himself, returning to the cookbook. He took the second and third fish from the grills as he read, each cooked better than the last. “There,” he murmured, finding the Miso soup. It was just as his mother made it - simple. Piece of cake. Again he flashed his eyes at Boru, who had just now retrieved the eggs. He felt lighter, as if he were about to faint. This was made worse when the Doku looked to the clock. It was 7:45. Breakfast started in only fifteen minutes!
“Shit!” Shien yelled, reading over the ingredients for the miso soup.
“Language, Shien,” Boru said, bobbing his head to a made up tune. The genin issued a quick and hastened apology, rushing through the cookbook’s instructions.
1 tbsp instant dashi (Japanese stock) or vegetable
Stock powder
2 1/4 cups boiling water
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 spring onion, very finely chopped
Put the instant dashi stock in a pan with the boiling water. Add the potato and simmer over medium heat for about six minutes, or until the potato is cooked.
Ladle some soup from the pan into a bowl and dissolve the miso in it. Gradually return the miso mixture to the soup. Stir the soup gently but don't let it come to the boil once you've added the miso. Turn off the heat and add the chopped spring onion.
Serve hot in small bowls.
“Ok, ok, ok,” Shien said to himself, chopping and adding the potatoes into the mixture. He’d only moved this fast when he was on his own. To a normal person, he must have looked like a blur he was moving so quickly. In-between the cutting and the dumping of the potatoes, Shien took off more fish from the grill. The first was beginning to cool already. He was running out of time, and only ten minutes remained on the clock.
Akin to that of a woodpecker, Shien’s cuts against the potato and board echoed throughout the kitchen. He was moving even faster now with an unnatural speed, throwing the potatoes into the pot. He skipped ahead, placing some of the soup into a bowl and dunking the miso into it, dissolving the cube. He then returned to the fish, taking some off and flipping others. His thin eyes darted to Boru, who had now all but finished his portion of the work. The omelettes were beautiful.
Shock filled Shien’s face. “H-how?” he muttered. Boru shot him a jokingly callous look, pointing to the clock. The doku swallowed, sprinting back to the pot of misu. He poured the miso back into the pot, flipping another fish with his free hand. “If only I could clone myself,” Shien said, to which Boru would chuckle for some unknown reason. He couldn’t afford to think much of it, anyway. Cooking had to be finished! As such, the Doku began to stir the miso. It was almost done.
2 minutes left.
Shien burst forward, extending each of his kunai to his hands, properly cleaned of course. He flicked the fish from the grills onto plates, flipping the others like a metal whirlwind. He turned backward, his eyes darting to the onion in his bag. He lunged backward, impaling the food with his kunai and launching it into the air. With a torrent of slashes and diced, the onion fell to the counter, evenly cut  with the ends falling to either side to be disgarded. Shien holstered each of his weapons, going back to his soup. He stirred it, resisting the tempation to form a violent vortex of liquids, miso, and vegetables. He swallowed, swirling it around gently.
1 minute left.
The Doku switched off the soup from the heat, lunging for the last of the fish. His hands lunged for the cabinets above his head, pulling from them five plates. With meticulous skill, the Doku pick up each of the fish, pairing each with their own plate. He slid them to the end of the counter were all of the other fish had been prepared.
30 seconds.
The Doku returned to the cabinets, grasping dozens of bowls. He ladled each with the miso soup, sprinkling onion on top. Boru came to his side, reaching a spoon into soup. Shien paused, terrified. The burly man brought his spoon to his bearded lips, smacking them as if to get a stronger taste. His eyes widened, and the man darted forward, hastily grabbing the soy sauce. He poured most of the bottle into the soup, then rushed to each of the bowls Shien had prepared, pouring it into them as well.
The genin took a double take, noting the omelettes on each of the plates. His eyes almost fell from their sockets with how wide they were. This man was insane. He swallowed, returning to his soup. He stirred in the soy sauce then continued, filling each and every last bowl.
Then the clocked ticked. It was 8 AM on the dime. And he was finished.
The young man trembled, clenching his hands into a fist. The cafeteria doors slid open with thuds and booms, ushering in the clammer of several voices. Boru sat out each of the trays to the coming students with a smile as Shien sat on the floor, panting. He sat there for what felt like ages before he felt something touch his shoulder - Boru.
“How’d I do?” he asked, looking up at the strawberry-blonde man.
Boru’s expression was blank. “Soup was bitter as all hell,” he said, flatly.
“So the Soy Sauce…?”
“To get rid of the bitter taste, yeah.” Boru nodded, lifting Shien up by the hand.
“I’m sorry, Boru,” the Doku said, sighing.
“Save it,” the man said, his flat lips turning into a smile. “It was your first time. And I wasn’t supposed to help you.”
“Help me?”
“Well, yeah,” Boru said, snickering. “I wanted to see how you handled yourself in my kitchen. The pressure.”
Shien blinked, lowering his eyebrows to his eyes. “So, how did I do?” Shien asked, pursing his lips at the smoking pans. The question was rhetorical. He knew he did terrible. That was one of the most miserable experiences of his life, and he had lived out in the wilderness alone for several months. He felt the stress eating at him, even though he had finished the meals. It was like bathing in a smoke that made it hard to breathe, a sweltering fire with no relief, only choking breaths.
“The pressure?” Boru asked, tilted his bearded face to the sky. He pursed his lips in thought before answering. “Terrible. But you didn’t fall into it, succumb to it, you just panicked… A lot. As for the food itself? Well…” Boru started, turning to face the cafeteria and the students within it. “The real world is scary, Shien. Believe me. Horrible. You’d need only look at Kumogakure’s borders.”
In truth, Shien had no idea where Boru was going with this. Is he seriously comparing my food to the zombies? Shien wondered, his face beginning to slowly contort into an upset mess. My god, I’ll never cook again…
“My point is, people aren’t going to have great food all the time. In war, there won’t be anything good at all. Least of all food.” Boru turned to look Shien in the eyes, closely, squinting them as he spoke. “What do you think we’re teaching you here? How to play with sticks and pretend to be a samurai? No, we’re preparing you for the worst. We’re showing you skills you need to survive. Consider this as a lesson. It was edible. And you wouldn’t complain about it out in the field.”
Shien paused for a moment, thinking on it. There was a moment of silence between the two before the Doku spoke again.
“...So it was terrible.”
Shien slumped over, propping his face up with his forearms on the counter with a depressed sigh.
“Without the soy sauce.”
Shien huffed air from his nose, pretending to be amused. His eyes were blank, as if all life had just been sucked away from them.
“But I’ll tell you something else, Shien,” Boru said, placing his large hand on the young man’s back. “I’ve heard great things about your salmon. Heard it was cooked perfectly,” Boru said, cracking a large, endearing smile. It was warm. Genuine.
The Doku turned to look at the hairy old man, not believing what he had heard. “You’re serious?” he asked, leaning in.
“Mhm,” Boru said, nodding in affirmation.
Light returned to the Doku’s eyes, a jagged smile forming across his face. He sighed, nodding to himself. His thin pupils looked out to the students enjoying their breakfast, nodding with each bite of the fish and stuffing it into their faces.

“Hell yeah.”


WC: 4740


Yin Healing Wound Destruction

Mind Eye of OP               Carried over from this

23 Stats
Komon Hyuuga
Komon Hyuuga
Vagabond (B-Rank)
Vagabond (B-Rank)
Ryo : 1500


Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:22 pm
Approved, entertaining read btw
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