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Remove Ryo : 9000

A Thousand Kisses and One Empty A Thousand Kisses and One

Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:56 pm
<< Previously

Chapter 2
A Thousand Kisses and One

The neighborhood throws a party to honor Shanks for defeating the bandits and recovering the kidnapped children. Shanks is once again guilty of relating his experiences in Hoshigakure to those he has experienced in Olympus. This time a flashback sheds more light on his unusual relationship with his father. Shanks makes a confession to Olive. What will her reaction be as a new named character also makes an entrance to the plot?

A wise man once said:


Yelled Shanks as the mature Hoshi jounin in charge of their neighborhood tried to give a lengthy speech in honour of Shanks' heroic actions a few days back. "Can we just skip the talking to the eating and drinking already?" The entire hall burst into laughter. "Aye, you heard the lad, Genthruuu!" "Let's party already!!" Aflushed from the incessant prods he was getting from the audience the jounin had no choice but to declare the festivities opened. "That's more like it Gent-san! Feigning a whisper, Shanks put the back of his left palm to his lips and spoke as he motioned his head towards where the Jounin's wife was seated, "Even your wife was getting bored from all that speaking." Another moment of laughter spread throughout the unceilinged hall. This time the jounin was forced to laugh uncomfortably as he backed away from the stage. As if on cue, a rapid happy melody broke out from the left of the stage as renowned local flutist, Piccolo and his band began playing a wonderful tune. There was an uproar of excitement as beautiful women tugged their soon-to-be drunk husbands from their seats onto the dance floor; while the men struggled to down the contents of their tankards. Most were unsuccessful, spilling some ale and rum onto their shirts. But it was pretty obvious that they were all happy. Shanks lived for moments like this. Merriment was all he cared for at the moment. He could very vividly picture a similar scene happening five years ago at Olympus.


The muffled sound of laughter and music can be heard from the entrance to the hillside where the Græys lived. Today, Shanks was to be officially name Chairman of the Græy Empire. A special day it was meant to be, but it turned out to be even more special as Shanks' father used it to teach him a valuable lesson. As he walked through the front door, wholeheartedly embracing the warmth of the house which was in sharp contrast to the freezing cold outside, Shanks would be welcomed by such an overwhelmingly large crowd of people. He barely knew a third of those in attendance. The banquet hall of the Græy residence was filled with the lowliest of people from allover Olympus: masons, miners, maids, tanners, hunters, fishermen and others who engaged in casual menial jobs were all gathered to welcome him. Confused, Shanks scanned the breadth of the room with his eyes. It would've certainly been near impossible to spot his father amidst the sheer amount of eyes that were staring back at him. But there he was at the far end of the room, underneath the fluorescent chandelier, towering over those who stood beside him, a content smile on his face and a gratified look in his eyes. Shanks had expected today to be the day in which his father introduced him to the elite businessmen and women of Olympus as the new Græy Corporations Head. To the affluent families and stakeholders of the most prominent corporations as the one they would be doing business with from now on. But on such an important day, his father had decided to instead gather the citizens of Olympus to see his little boy become a man just as any proud father would do. On seeing his father, Shanks understood it all. These were the stakeholders. These were the people who would help Shanks created a more stable Olympus for future generations. He did not need to align himself with the rich to achieve his dream; rather he needed these people here today on his side. And his father had gone through the trouble of gathering them today. This was indeed what merriment was meant to be. With tears welling up in his eyes, Shanks proceeded to greet everyone in attendance. Hugging, shaking, tenderly kissing, drinking, dancing and inquiring the names of everyone. By the time he was done, three hours had passed by so quickly. That experience helped Shanks see that true merriment existed not with the high and mighty but amongst the lowliest ones of society.

~~~~~~~~~~End of Flashback~~~~~~~~~~


The beautiful voices calling out his name, brought Shanks back to the present. He was met by the large doe eyes of multiple women staring him in the face.

"We want to thank you, Shanks-san."
"Yes yes..."
"Mhmm we must..."
"For saving our children..."

Suddenly feeling embarrassed by the number of women looking longingly at him, Shanks took three heavy chugs of his rum from his tankard. It hit him hard. He had thought it was ale he had in his cup. "Ahem...It's uhhh...It's alright ladies. You don't need to thank me. It was the least I could do to help." Immediately after speaking, Shanks regretted it. What did he mean by them not needing to thank him? He could think of a few ways such beautiful ladies could thank him... By the gods! He could think of a million different ways. Giggling amongst themselves the women replied to him:

"You are too modest, Shanks-san."*giggles*
"Mhm mhm...too modest."
"We wish we could do more for you..."*giggles*
"But please accept these...and promise us you will join the ninjas as a representative of us."

One after the other, all the ladies leant towards Shanks and gave him pecks on both sides of his cheek. This brought a lot of cheers from the men around; some clapping and some giving Shanks pats on the back and saying, Well done! To be honest, Shanks expected more from these ladies but he would make do with what he was given for now. What was most important was that they saw the need to express their gratitude which was more than enough for him. For the remainder of the evening, he went from dancing to eating pork meat to losing a karaoke contest to winning a drinking contest and now he wanted some alone time to reflect on the week's events. The night was chilly but Shanks welcomed a change in the atmosphere. He had taken off his cloak and hat before coming for tonight's party so he knew he would start feeling cold soon enough but he didn't really care about that. His mind proceeded to bring back the statement of the indigo eyed mother who had said, "...promise us you will join the ninjas as a representative of us." Shanks knew he had to become a Hoshigakure ninja to further his plans of abolishing the Village System. But before now he only ever had Olympus as his motivation. After saving those kids and seeing the effect it had on this neighborhood of ordinary people, Shanks could see the greater picture. It was just like that night five years ago. He did not have to do this just for the sake of Olympus alone. He also had to do this for the sake of ordinary people like these who had no one to turn to in their most desperate time of need.

Indeed, Hoshigakure is a fitting place to start this journey. The citizens do not approve of the control the ninjas have on them and would love to see their village return to the peaceful lifestyle it was famous for. The Daimyo, Princess Tehniyata; obviously just another figurehead for the extortion of Haven citizens. Shanks knew that he needed to act soon. But in order to do that, he needed to be powerful enough to take on the entire village ninja at once. He chuckled to himself as he realized how foolish such a dream actually was. He took a quick swig from his tankard and thankfully this time it was ale.  If he couldn't achieve such strength, then at least he needed powerful allies. He knew he could count on the Kenja but he didn't want to get the tribe involved until it was a last resort. He wouldn't risk exposing the tribe to the world; at least not yet. He had to cement his place first as a formidable challenge so as to deter anyone who would dare to retaliate against Olympus as a result of his actions. Tomorrow, Shanks thought to himself. Tomorrow he would join the Ninja Academy here and begin that journey. The chill of the night was beginning to get to him but he didn't think much of it. He would get into a hot bath once he returned home and reset his temperature. Home. He chuckled once more at the way he so casually thought of Olive's family as home. Speaking of the devil, Olive's scent immediately filled the air. She hurriedly sat beside Shanks on the wooden floor and stared into the cloudless sky.

"Beautiful. Isn't it?", she said with a sigh of relief.
"It certainly is.", Shanks replied as a stole a glance at her face. The light of the full moon illuminated the shimmer of her green colored hair and her beautiful teal eyes were visibly tired from the activities of the night. He wanted to tell her how beautiful she was but he hesitated for he wasn't sure how she would react. He looked away smiled at himself for his childish behavior. Olive now stared at him, inquiring what he was smiling about. "I just thought of how beautiful your eyes are in comparison to the stars, Olly.", Shanks said as he looked back into her eyes, a small smirk playing on his lips. It was quite obvious that she was taken aback by his candor as her eyes widened before she quickly looked away. However, Shanks was able to see her flush a brilliant shade of pink from one end of her ear to the other as she smiled bashfully. "Ah! You see what I mean. So cute!", Shanks teased her further.

"Shanks-san!" She said in serious but playful tone as if it warn him that someone might be listening to what he was saying. "Ah who cares? Let them hear. I was simply speaking the truth." He paused briefly and looked skyward. "Olive. I am going to join the Academy tomorrow." Immediately, Olive raised her head and looked at him. It had been two years since they met that faithful morning outside the village gates and she could tell from his tone of voice that he was being serious. At the moment she saw him on that tree two years ago, Olive could have sworn that he was spying on the guards at the gates. However, with the way things turned out afterwards, she had chosen never to bring it up again. Shanks was an open book, over the years he had adapted to living such an ordinary life with her family that one had no reason to doubt his actions or motives. However, Olive could suddenly sense a mysterious side of Shanks she had previously seen but was unfamiliar with. He was not his usual carefree self. He demeanor was serious, focused and driven like a predator drawn to its prey by an instinctive hunger. His eyes were ruthless, not towards her but towards something else. The only time she had seen this Shanks was when he was watching the village gates but her mind was immediately flooded by thoughts on him during the past two years. He had been of so much help to her and her family. Even if he was in Hoshigakure for a reason, she convinced herself that he meant no harm to her family. Maybe his true motives were the reason he wanted to join the Ninja Academy. She couldn't tell yet and neither would she ask him. She couldn't. As she parted her lips to respond, she suddenly heard the voice of her mother calling for her. It was time to call it a night. She really would've loved to stay and chat with Shanks some more but she would have to wait until another time. As she got up to leave, Olive planted a warm kiss on the corner of Shanks' lips and hurried back into the crowded hall without saying a word. She knew that Shanks understood her. Probably better than her parents did. She knew that he was aware of how deeply she was thankful to him for saving those children and how much she supported his ambition to become a ninja. She hoped that he would be different from the rest. He had to be.

Olive left in a haste after giving Shanks a peck on the side of his lips. He smiled. She was such an innocent girl. He truly hoped that his plans would not backfire because on the off chance that it did, people like Olive and those in the hall would unfortunately pay the price. Shanks did not want that to happen. He could not let that happen. He was determined to rise up the ranks as quickly as possible so he would be in a better position to act. This world has to change. And Shanks is in the right position to achieve such a change. He took two large gulps of his ale, emptying its contents into his waiting stomach. Then he stood up, dusted his trousers and went back inside to enjoy the whatever was left of the party. He was the celebrant after all.

On entering the hall, only a quarter of the initial attendees remained. Shanks looked out for Genthru, the jounin in charge but could not find him. He nonetheless found a genin who was as green between the ears as they come. He asked about Genthru whom the boy said had just stepped out the front. Shanks hurried that way, hoping to catch Genthru before he retired home for the night. On stepping out into the chilly night once more, Shanks called out, "Gent-san!"

"Over here!", the father of three replied in a singsong voice. He must have had one too many drinks and would probably get lambasted by his wife tomorrow morning. The thought of the scene was amusing to Shanks. He waited as the man stepped out from the bushes where he had been taking a leak. Shanks simply wanted to inform the man of his plans for tomorrow; at least give him a heads up of sorts. "Gent-san. I wanted to inform you that I'd be joining the academy tomorrow. Think you can get them to go easy on me?" Shanks flashed a cheeky grin at the old timer.

"Of course not! I'll tell them to give you the hardest tasks of all for that stunt you pulled earlier today." Shanks would proceed to laugh out loud as he began walking towards Olive's house. "I knew I could count on you Genthru!"

"That's Genthru-san to you brat!" The jounin shot back. "Yes. Yes. Whatever Ossan.", said Shanks as he stuck both hands in his pockets and made his way home. He missed his cloak a lot more than he wanted to admit; the chilly night wind was brutal to him. Tomorrow was going to be a big day for him. He had to get some good sleep to be at his best because from here on out, to be the best was the least he could afford.

TWC: 2,618

• 13 Stat Points- 2,618 WC
• Clone Technique- [500/500] √
• Transformation Technique- [500/500] √
• Genjutsu Release- [500/500] √
• Also mastering Genjutsu Release to remove the hand seal requirement.- [500/500] √
• Basic Medical Ninjutsu- [500/500] √
• Quiet Footsteps [118/500] ×
Remove Ryo : 0

A Thousand Kisses and One Empty Re: A Thousand Kisses and One

Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:30 pm
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