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Noboru Kaito
Noboru Kaito
Raikage
Raikage
Ryo : 155

Turn Back The Pendulum [Closed, Flashback] Empty Turn Back The Pendulum [Closed, Flashback]

Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:14 pm
Turn Back The Pendulum [Closed, Flashback] C1aPWt0

The lightning country. Hundreds of thousands of charted territory, beautiful forests teeming with life, gorgeous mountain ranges, a country plentiful in coasts with coarse sand or smooth rocked beaches that met the open ocean with timeless indifference. And in the middle of it, the not so hidden village of those who hid among the clouds. Remnants of a feudal system in which villages of ninjas would serve feudal lords, villages were now their own sovereigns, martial dictatorships masquerading as open societies for those skilled in the arts of chakra molding. Whereas once they were meant to be hidden from country and enemies, resting in places hard to find, or out of the way, as it were, nowadays it seemed everyone and their cousins were able to come across the vast military compounds with little obstruction.

Perhaps the field of rot that surrounded the village was to blame. One hundred meters of a death field, where the sludge of the ground would cling to the feet of those unhabituated to the terrain, slowing them down, where cadavers of former residents would slump away from the stakes they were impaled on to attack, all under the watchful eye of the accursed wall that surrounded the Hidden Cloud Village. Kaito loathed all of this, and yet, nothing else would’ve felt like home. It was as though he would only feel properly accommodated where the air was difficult to breath, where food tasted awful and where your sense of smell was so tarnished that even cooking became a chore rather than a work of passion. Atop the very accursed wall he looked onto the brown and black field, the result of festering blood, bile and fat, from rotting corpses of his former colleagues and villagers who refused the Gift of Youka. All this death was enough to make one feel sick.

But not Kaito.

He felt nothing.

He felt empty.

Could a lack of feeling be a feeling in itself? The vacuum within him seemed to urge him onwards, backwards, in any direction that could fill the cook with the acceptance he desired. Did he wish to be accepted, though? Was that what the emptiness inside him ached for?

Power.

Some ninja were so powerful, the battles they fought in could leave catastrophic marks on the landscape, effectively altering it forever as though they were forces of nature on a rampage. How Kaito wished he could wipe away the rot in a swing of his open hand, slapping the air so powerfully the earth would give way and remove dozens of meters in front of him and displacing the rot into the horizon, never to be seen again. Smash down the wall, clap his hands and pulverize the village. What was there left to fight for?

Four faces stared back at him.

A ruffian in dark hair, quick wit and a randomness that hid his truth, a long haired bloke with lilac eyes, strong in heart and spirit, a relaxed lad with the eyes of the gods, and the lordling from the Land of Iron. Kaito’s team gave him hope that there may yet be a reason to stick around Kumogakure, preserve it, steer it into port, and enjoy futurely the spoils of the seeds planted in the now. Given his life experience, he was more than willing to give it a shot. Who knows who he could’ve become, if he had a dedicated teacher way back when? If his team was united? If he had dedicated himself in spite of it all?


Turn Back The Pendulum [Closed, Flashback] VGmi9kJ

He woke up that morning shivering under his thin, coarse blanket. The room in which he slept had a lot of issues with thermal insulation, considering the boards were uneven and made of lesser wood. Compared with the rest of the house, Noboru had assumed his parents half-haphazardly built this room for him when he was born, as an extension of the farmhouse they had built all those years ago. His bed, a rough length of fabric over some carefully laid straw, made of a nice isolator, but not a good enough one. Particularly during the cold nights.

The child, no higher than an adult’s chest, got off bed, red hair a tangled mess, and lifted the sliding door off the wall and put it to the side; while it was meant to slide, it had been busted for a couple years now, and his father had yet bothered to fix it. The youth himself had no clue how to do it himself either, he barely knew the basics of his parents crafts, let alone a carpenter’s craft. He made his way from his room and into the living quarters of the three roomed house, where in the middle, the ashes of a fire laid quietly. From the equally busted sliding door that hung against the wall of his parent’s room, a quiet, rhythmic pair of snoring sounds lulled the young redhead’s mind into another round of sleeping, however his stomach was quick to disagree with a sonorous whomp. The redhead knelt beside the firepit and started collecting the precious ashes into a bowl, which he would later use for fertilizer, like his father had taught him.

The only door that still worked was the front door of the house, also a sliding one, but apparently more important to keep in repair, unlike the other two. Gently undoing the clasp that kept it locked and softly sliding it along the pane of the doorframe, he was met with a cold and damp air from the outside world. On his scrawny arms he had the bowl of ash, and quickly the hair on said arms rose up in a futile attempt at capturing any residual heat in the air. He stepped outside and noticed the thick fog that covered the countryside; the crops were barely visible, and from the surrounding woods, only the treetops could be made out, faintly. The faint greenery and imposing greys brought a sense of calm to the youth. He circled the porch of the house into a side barrack, where big pots of dirt awaited fertilizing. He looked inside of the pots, looking at which was the one with the ashes, and carefully laid the ash on top of the dirt, so as to preserve as much of it without allowing clouds of ash dust to poof away. He would then gently bring a blanket of dirt around the ash so as to protect it while digging underneath the pile of ash to sink it into the dirt, and slowly knead the whole thing together. Ash and dirt were frequently mixed in this pot, so as to create a decent chunk of fertilized dirt.

After washing his hands on the bucket of dirt water (something that would also be used for fertilizing later on), he went to the opposite side of the small shack to collect firewood. He carefully stacked enough on his arms so he would be able to start preparing breakfast. Making his way back inside, he piled the logs in a neat pyramid, with enough small dried logs and vegetation that would take a lick of flame and hold on to it as a generous gift from the flint. He knew the fire was nice and warm when it warded away the cold from the outside, and drowned out the snoring coming from his parents room.

Today was Sunday, and they would be going into the village. Rather than wearing his usual hemp clothing, they would bring out the nice cotton clothes. As well, his mother had promised the previous night that they could eat one egg each in preparation for the special trip. Mom  would frequently go to the village, twice a week, a trip that lasted the entire day and sometimes forced her to stay in the village, and she would collect night soil from the village which they would use to boost the fertilization of the land. Noboru had never gone to the village, and on this special day, he was feeling a little more enthusiastic about the trip, especially since he got to cook eggs alongside the rice for added richness. In a pot, he put equal portions of rice and water, and let it cook with the lid on. Before it was ready, he started warming up water for some tea. Almost ready now, he cracked in three eggs into small depressions he carved using chopsticks, so the yolks could cook comfortably. He carefully tried to remove the door pane to the side, but was careless and the door frame fell loudly on the floor, waking his parents up in distress. He was punished for it.

Now sitting down with a hurting buttcheek and the glint of a tear in his eye, he started serving the rice into three bowls, a slightly less fuller bowl to himself, a slightly bigger portion for his mom, and the biggest to his father. Three cups of tea were also served, and they sat around the fire to eat. His mom, still half asleep, cut her yolk in half and dropped it into Noboru’s bowl; she was not the best mom in the world, but she tried. His father chewed the rice with the same grimace on his face that he always saw him with, the only exception perhaps when he and mom would smoke the pipe and force him to go outside for a few hours. He would only be allowed in when they weren’t able to object, which was when they both fell asleep. Noboru was stupid enough to smell the stuff inside the pipe once to see what it was all about, and all he got was a terrible headache and a copious vomiting session. It scared him straight off, and he vowed never to try it.

The time came for their trip: all preparations were made and they were on their way, water and food on his father’s backpack, a lock preventing the house from being opened without vandalism. With each step they took, the fog lifted gradually, giving way to the clear skies, from where the sun shone brightly, as if to hint at Noboru’s soon to change fate: grim foggy fields to clear bright skies. Noboru couldn’t help but smile widely.

The trip took a few hours on foot; they were poor and couldn’t afford a carriage, nor was there one that could’ve picked them up since it was not yet time for harvesting. As the hours advanced, he began feeling hungry, but when he asked for food he was told they’d eat under the walls of the village. He asked when they would get there, but only got smacked upside the head. But within the hour, the glorious walls of the village could be seen, and boy oh boy were they gigantic! Noboru had never seen such a structure in his life, and it was simply an amazing sight! It took a long time from seeing to get to the walls, and when he was getting closer, he realized people looked like ants next to the double door gates. He was ecstatic, but his father pulled him to the side of the road so they could have a quick meal. Still amazed, he ate a rice ball with pickled plumes filling, all the while craning his neck to try and get a better view of the walls. They stretched in both ways as far as his eye could see, warping around the village. They were so tall that from the base of the wall, it looked like they could touch the skies.

Time came to be escorted into the village. They got into the queue, bellies now full and entertained with the rice balls, making the wait more tolerable than if they had been hungry. Each step in the direction of the village made the walls look greater and more spectacular, and Noboru’s anticipation rose. Within a quarter of an hour, they were at the front of the queue, the sun now at its peak, and two tough looking guys at the door, asking for identification and reason for visiting. Alongside reasoning that went over Noboru’s head, perhaps even over the walls, some words fell very solidly on his ears, resting there before travelling all the way to his brain’s  deciphering sections. “To sign up the boy for the academy”, he said. Perhaps it was the place where they taught their carpenters? Maybe he’d finally be able to fix the sliding doors, maybe even remake his entire room. A boy could dream.

They eventually made it inside, and the inside was a bustling city: Noboru had been to a few towns, but never a Hidden Village, where the activity was much higher than any other town. Just as he entered, a huge square witnessed the activity of a sunday, people coming and going in other directions, foods and goods hawked at everyone with ears to listen and eyes to wander. Noboru was quickly losing himself in the sights and scents, but most of all the sounds, reverberating through his entire being, no longer did he feel tired, the sound resonated throughout his body and energized it, revitalized it, and made Noboru forget he was even tired. As they went about their business, Noboru’s mom separated momentarily as she went about collecting night soils to make more fertilizer. Noboru’s father put a hand on his shoulder to guide him, and they eventually came across a great building. Stepping inside, a feeling of cool tranquility fell upon Noboru, who looked around. Everything seemed orderly within the building, even though it gave away a feeling of having been lived in a lot. His father pushed him with the hand on his shoulder, guiding them to where someone sat behind a desk. They exchanged pleasantries, and Noboru’s father began talking about signing Noboru up for the Ninja Academy. Noboru could scarcely believe: to be a ninja! Details and logistics aside, the signing up was extremely boring for the ten year old child, but he sat down on his best behavior; he wanted to be able to show he could become a ninja, just like the stories he heard. Whenever a ninja went past the people of the countryside, they would most of the time bow down to the ninja while they passed, and it was said a ninja could kill any peasant without suffering consequences. Noboru  feared them immensely, but if he could become one… Maybe he would be able to afford to fix the doors at the house? Or maybe even buy some land within the Hidden Cloud so they could live within the village’s protective walls. Maybe they could move up in life.

Shortly after leaving the Academy, now fully registered, Kaito’s father took him to meet a man they worked with: Mr Utada Kijuro, owner of a little hole in the wall where they’d sell ramen. His parents sold vegetables to Mr. Kujiro, and he had agreed to stay with Noboru during the weekdays so he could enjoy a tranquil experience at the academy. In order to earn his keep, he’d have to help in the kitchen as he could, mostly washing pots and bowls. Noboru’s father explained these things as calmly as he could, and for the first time, Noboru saw in his father’s brown eyes some concern, but also hope and expectation. With the sun to his back, the light hit his father’s eyes at an angle, making them look like puddles of honey. For the first time, Noboru saw his father as a man, and not just the monster that would hurt him when he got upset.

Noboru’s mother came to say goodbye for now; the Academy work would start on the following  day and Noboru was staying with Mr. Kujiro for the meantime. She brought the backpack where she stored the night soils she had bought, but also a bag where she had hidden Noboru’s hemp clothes for the coming week. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and a hug, their red hair merging for a second, before parting ways with tears in her eyes. She waved goodbye once more, made Noboru promise to behave, and left next to her husband. Noboru stood with Mr. Kujiro, who invited him inside. They talked over a meal, and Mr Kujiro explained to Kaito the few tasks he’d have while living with him, from sweeping to cleaning, to washing dishes and picking up parcels or making deliveries as needed. Kaito nodded while eating the most savory ramen with a single slice of smoked pork: Mr. Kujiro’s treat, as a good luck charm for him to start school the best way possible. That night, sleeping on an extra futon in Mr. Kujiro’s apartment over the food shop, Noboru had the best rest he had ever had in his short existence.
---------------
WC: 2815
Mid Thread Claims
Claiming 28 Stamina
Claiming 2500 towards Mastery of Drunken Fist
Claiming 315 words towards B-Rank Taijutsu Style: Block
Ikari Senju
Ikari Senju
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 5200

Turn Back The Pendulum [Closed, Flashback] Empty Re: Turn Back The Pendulum [Closed, Flashback]

Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:40 pm
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