Naruto RPG
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Naruto, Naruto Shippuden
© Masashi Kishimoto

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Ichigo Sato
Ichigo Sato
Deputy Kage
Deputy Kage
Ryo : 135650

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Duty Calls (Max)

Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:58 am
Finding himself sitting at the blacksmith shop of his father was Ichigo, the 27 year old Genin of Kumogakure. It almost sounded like a movie. "The Drunken Tales of Ichigo Sato", starring himself. Quite the interesting stories could be told about his life. Some sad, some with happy ending. Either way, he had his fair share of adventures which would keep many hanging on every word he'd say. The Drunk was now sitting on a wooden chair outside the shop, as he was about to string his beloved acoustic guitar. First he would bend the string to the right and put it underneath itself where it goes in the hole. Then he would give the string a sharp bend upward and keep it that place while he turned the tuner in clockwise direction. Moving on he would tune the string to the right pitch with a guitar tuner and lastly he would make sure the windings go down from the top.

Pleased with how it turned out he would play a tune to test out the result. "Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun. And I say it's all right." Leaning back he would start to think about his journey so far. If there would be a book that recorded the deeds of every shinobi who had ever served in Kumogakure, not much would be written about Ichigo. He wasn't even sure he would be mentioned. For the past twenty-seven years he would remain on the background, not acting like a true shinobi of Kumo. He would complete some missions from time to time, but only if he needed the money. Not because he wanted to or felt the urge to prove himself. Maybe it was a lack of motivation, or maybe he just required a clear goal that would light his fire. "Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun. And I say it's all right." Just like that he would start playing the song again.

(WC: 330)
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:36 am
The continuous sounds of hammer blows to heated metal rang throughout this district. There were a great many smiths here, each their best to supply the village of Kumogakure with the weapons, armor, and equipment needed to keep them strong. It was constant, consistent work but all too needed. We live in a time of war and conflict. Peace always seems to be within swimming distance before some other village or force causes a great wave, pushing everything away, seemingly keeping it from ever truly being obtained. A sad reality, as it only promoted death and destruction. The value placed on human life was... well, it was very different from what his mother taught him all those years ago. 

As Max began to make his way to Senshi's family forge and smith shop, he would wonder to himself if he was welcome there. The loss of their son was painful, and Max never found out what happened. Even with all of the power and status of being the Raikage, his efforts were fruitless. Could he really show his face there, the shame of knowing that he was able to provide no sense of closure to the family. His head would hang low, his thoughts weighing heavily on him.

Just then he would pass a nearby smith, the pleasant sounds of music overtaking the loud clanking of hammers. Max would pause, considering for a moment before heading inside. He can't face Senshi's family again with no news, so perhaps this smith would be able to fulfill his needs.

Inside a man would be lounged comfortably on a wooden chair, strumming away at a guitar. Max could barely feel any chakra from this man, despite his age and headband showing he was a shinobi of Kumo. Perhaps he was masking it? It was a solid tactic to keep ones chakra hidden most of the time, as stealth was the bread and butter of the shinobi lifestyle. 

"Are you... a blacksmith...?" Max would get out with a raspy tone. He was finding himself getting better at recognizing that this breathing issue was all in his mind, though it is hard to forget something that you literally do without thinking. "I heard your... music and... it caught my... interest. You are... also a shinobi... of kumo?" He would ask while pointing at the man's headband. Max starting to cough again, this fit looking like it took its toll. Tiny black specs of blood could be found on the boys hand, but they would quickly be wiped away. 

The boy was wearing his loose, white robes with a headband dangling from his neck. This was of course not truly his headband, but simply one manifested with the transformation technique he was relying on so heavily. His own headband sat at his mothers statue in Hoshi, a constant reminder of his need to remove certain elements from this world.
Ichigo Sato
Ichigo Sato
Deputy Kage
Deputy Kage
Ryo : 135650

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:20 pm
For minutes he was lost in the moment, in his music, in the song. His fingertips all roughened up from playing guitar for so long. His hands those of a true blacksmith. His voice .. unfortunately as well. It wasn't like his singing scared away the customers but he wasn't going to win any talent shows either. Ichigo was an emotional musician. Depending on how he was feeling his style of play would change as well. And if he was drunk, well let's just say it's better not to talk about it. Playing the last note the Drunk was then woken up from his musical trance by a rather raspy voice. 

Standing before him was a young child wearing a loose, white robe, a headband dangling from his neck showing he was a Kumogakure shinobi. Looking not a day older than thirteen the kid made Ichigo wonder if the boy was really the one with the raspy voice from before. The Drunk suddenly realized he still had to answer the little boy's question. "Yes, I am. Well, the son of one to be more precise." Stuttering and looking out of breath he would then compliment Ichigo on his music before he asked a second question. At the same time he finished his sentence the boy started couching up blood. "Not exactly in the best shape are we?" Ichigo would ask while grabbing him a chair to rest on. "Here, take a seat."

Standing up he would lean against the wall thinking about how he should best answer the question. He would point at the band strapped around his bicep. "According to this headband I am. But it has been long since I last felt like a shinobi." There was no point in denying or lying. His last mission felt like it had been months ago, his training maybe even longer. Something was holding him back and the worst thing was that he didn't even know what. He was surrounded by youth, almost every single one of those youngsters successful at what they were doing, surpassing him in no time. And here he was, 27 years old and still stuck in a rut.

"Maybe I'm just getting too old for this. Anyway, who are you my fellow shinobi and what brought you to our shop?"

(WC: 383, TWC: 713)
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:40 pm
Max would listen and take the seat offered to him, hearing out what the man had to say. He didn't feel like a shinobi? Max couldn't even ponder such a thought. Being a shinobi was deeply rooted in him, something he couldn't walk away from easily. Kumogakure no Sato meant far to much to the little lord. He would cease breathing, so that he would be able to speak without issue. "I am Maximillian Yamaguchi and I was looking for a suit of armor to be made. But your song brought me here, specifically."

Max would look up, peering into the eyes of Ichigo, reading him as best he could. "Age is just a number, something used to count the years you have been alive. Age is... meaningless in the shinobi world." Max would pause, considering for a moment before speaking. "You simply need a focus, something to aspire to or achieve." Max would look at the guitar, "That song you played just now was very good. How long did it take you to learn to play at that level?" Max would ask, hoping to be able to show this man that a goal can help drive someone to greatness.
Ichigo Sato
Ichigo Sato
Deputy Kage
Deputy Kage
Ryo : 135650

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:47 pm
While looking at the little child Ichigo would start to think back at the time when he was around that age. Reminiscing about his own past and when he was as young as the kid in front of him. Even at that age he had already begun helping out at the blacksmith shop and with practicing the guitar. It was before his father's health started to go backwards and he solely focused on doing what he wanted. The Drunk wasn't even known as the drunk back then and hadn't touched a single glass of sake. But a lot had happened since then and he had changed from the innocent little boy he used to be into the 27 year old man he was now.

A name, Maximillian Yamaguchi. His reason for being here, a suit of armor. Ichigo would look over to the boy once again, taking a glance at what he was wearing now. "It would certainly offer you more protection than what you're wearing now" he noted referring to the large white robe Maximillian was in. His current outfit was probably bought while keeping in mind that his body was still developing. The Drunk would then listen as the boy brought up his song once again. "Ah yes, Here Comes the Sun. A bit ironical wouldn't you agree? Singing about the sun when we're in the Land of Lightning." 

Ichigo thought about what the song meant to him. "But it's kind of a reminder to always remain positive. After rain always comes sunshine as they say." After the darkness comes the light. No matter how difficult times had been, it was important to keep looking forwards and not backwards. Ichigo listened to Max telling him he only needed to find a goal, something to give him that last push to get back into things. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. If he would be able to leave his mark on the world he would be a happy man.

Once more his song was brought up. "It's just something I learned from my mother, she teaches music you see." He himself was an above average guitar player, learned at a young age and something he would maintain through playing a couple of songs every day. Ichigo would then inquire about the armor Maximillian was looking for. "I hope you don't plan on getting yourself hurt?" Of course it would make sense for a shinobi to need a set of armor, but that wouldn't mean they would have to throw themselves under a bus or run into danger with every change they get. 

(WC: 460, TWC: 1173)
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:07 pm
The youth would smile, the irony of the song not lost on him. “It took dedication, and effort to learn to play your instrument. You had a clear goal in mind, one to be able to play that song. It wasn’t a lofty goal, but one doesn’t need to set only lofty goals that are next to impossible to achieve.” Max would shake his head, “No, that will take the wind from your sails faster than anything else. Smaller, achievable goals are better. Sometimes…” Max would lock his eyes with the young blacksmith. “Sometimes you just need a win.” Max understood that one small win was all it took to start building a head of steam forward.
 
Max would break his gaze, looking down at his robes. This was simply a disguise, but he had no intention of speaking on that. Not yet at least. “Yes, my robes are ill suited to protect me from attack, but I will need a suite for a slightly larger body. I need to protect something precious to me. Worry not, I'll not place myself in any real danger.” Max wasn’t fond of deception, but it wasn’t a complete lie. His heart was all that remained of him. It was about as precious as something could be to the boy. Max would then give the detailed dimensions of his puppet body, hoping that this was all of the information the smith needed. An actual fitting may prove difficult considering his situation. “Is this enough for you to go on? I can give you my puppets physical blueprint if you need me to.” This of course wouldn’t have all of the detailed information on the mechanisms or how to build it, but a detailed sketch with each dimension specified, all measurements exact.
 
So his mother was the one that taught him music. The boys mind wanders momentarily, thinking of a different time. “Mothers have a way of bringing the best out in us, don’t they?” He would ask this, hoping to allow fond thoughts of his mother to flood his mind. Sadly, his mind didn’t wish to do as commanded. He could only focus on how his mother’s teachings had failed him, Napa’s influence no doubt, yet he didn’t hear the voice of his oldest friend. Perhaps this new body was more taxing on Napa than it had been on Max. Or perhaps Max was unconsciously ignoring the toll this body had taken on him. “I thank your mother for her teachings. It brought a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my heart.”
 
“So, what is it that you want to do? What would bring peace to your mind and joy to your heart?” Max wondered what it was that Ichigo wanted out of this life. As a shinobi of Kumo, most want to grow strong, some want to raise to the status of kage… some even just want to see Kumo thrive like he himself had.
Ichigo Sato
Ichigo Sato
Deputy Kage
Deputy Kage
Ryo : 135650

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:32 pm
Ichigo would listen attentively to the young shinobi complimenting the Drunk's guitar play. It felt good to be acknowledged for once. Other than his parents no one really paid attention to what he was doing, let alone they would compliment him. Truth be told his achievements were rather on the low side but still, there weren't a lot of people in the world who didn't want to be acknowledged. The man in his late twenties would then accept the detailed dimensions given to him by Maximillian while the young boy told him his reason was that he had something precious he wanted to protect. 

The Drunk would respect that statement. Being protective is important. Protection of human life can be costly; but so is the neglect of that protection. "You must be willing to protect yourself and what you cherish, no matter what the cost." We must protect and share the world. The property of power is to protect. Ichigo would then take a look at the details Maximillian gave him. He was quite surprised and did not expect to see something like this. "A puppeteer? Interesting." It would be the first person he would meet who specialised in Puppetry. "I assume it holds quite the interesting story on how you became a puppeteer." 

Although he didn't have much experience with puppets he had faith in his abilities to come up with something for Maximillian. "Don't worry, this is more than enough for me to work with." The Drunk started a fire and supplied it with a blower to get the temperature up high. He would then place his steel in the fire and keep an eye on it. Once it would get to red hot he would remove it from the fire, place it on his anvil and change its shape with a hammer. Lastly he would set the steel at a particular hardness and quench it in water. Such a routine almost felt like breathing to him.

In the meantime Ichigo listened to Max mentioning something about a mother. He couldn't agree more to what the little shinobi was saying. “Moms are the people who know us the best and love us the most.” A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take. It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful. The next question required the Drunk to think and reflect on his own ambitions. What exactly was it that he wanted?

After he had some time to think he came up with an answer. “I guess what scares me the most now is the thought that I won't be able to protect anyone, at least not the way I am now. I try to remind myself of something my mother used to tell me. You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make. I guess what I'm looking for is that impact, that difference. Everyone wants to have the feeling he left his mark on the world." It wasn't an answer one would expect from Ichigo, but it was how he felt, what he wanted. 

(WC: 570, TWC: 1743)
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:15 pm
His deciding to be a puppeteer interesting? Max hadn't actually considered such a thing. His clan were puppeteers, and so he would understand more about the craft than most. "It is a family specialty, something passed down in scrolls." He didn't desire to speak about his dead clan, for that was a story for another time, should the duo speak again. "You are a shinobi, so you must have a specialty of your own. What are you most talented at, other than the forge or the instrument?" Max would continue to inquire. 

Grateful that his measurements were enough, Max would stare off into space while listening, hanging on to each word spoken by the blacksmith - or more accurately apprentice blacksmith - standing before him. The silence during the pauses might be awkward for some, but it gave young Max time to collect his scattering thoughts, his mind working so differently than before. "Mothers always want the best for their children..." Max would trail off, thoughts of Akihana's kind embrace all he could think of. "They would do anything. They would make any sacrifice, just to see their children better off." Upon saying it out loud, he found a new respect for Akihana's choices. She was doing what she did to better this world for those she cared for, and Max would follow in those footsteps.

He wanted to make his mark on the world? What luck, for Max had just the thing that would leave such a scar. "Perhaps you will someday. Perhaps sooner than you may think, should you be willing to put forth the effort to do so." Max's eyes would grow fiercely intense, far different from the kind eyes of a child he had before. "One does not leave a mark on this world be sitting idly by, watching it press forward without you. Show me that you desire what you claim to." Max would gaze directly into the mans eyes, almost staring into his soul. "Join me, train, grow strong, and then..." 

His face would twist into a grin, but the boy would grow silent. He would let the mans mind come up with its own ending. The mind was a powerful tool, far stronger than any words Max might say. Plus, this man was not yet trusted well enough to be brought into the fold. Not yet.

He would begin to tap his fingers on the nearest surface, waiting to see what Ichigo would say.
Ichigo Sato
Ichigo Sato
Deputy Kage
Deputy Kage
Ryo : 135650

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:09 pm
Once again the topic of family was brought up in their conversation as Maximillian explained his Puppetry was a specialty passed down in scrolls. Quite the interesting family, Ichigo though to himself. The young boy would then inquire about the Drunk's specialty being that he was a shinobi as well. "I guess I can't say drinking, can I?" He would laugh out loud, finding his own answer quite funny. "No, all jokes aside my specialty would be Taijutsu." Thinking back, it was something he always had been good at. "Isn't it ironic? Using my fists when all I want is to help people." For a moment he remained silent, reflecting on his own words.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. There is no force so powerful as an idea whose time has come. And it started to look like the child in front of him was the one with an idea capable of giving Ichigo the power he had been searching for. As his eyes started to shift and his voice changed, making his earlier stutter disappear, it had been made clear that Maximillian was serious about what he was saying. Ichigo started to wonder if this was the same young boy from the beginning of their conversation.

Join him? Where to? And with what purpose? The child was making it all sound very nice, he would have to admit that. But it all sounded a bit vague. He could hardly believe that those words would be enough to make people follow him. In order for him to get Ichigo to join him, he would need to do better if he didn't want those words to remain empty. "Where would this journey take me? If I am to join you in order to get stronger I would like to know more about the road we're about to travel." The Drunk didn't expect Max to reveal everything, but he would at least need to know what he would get himself into.

"I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good. Show to me that what you want can be considered to be for the greater good and I wouldn't mind joining you on your quest." Maybe the little boy in front of him would be the one able to cause a change in Ichigo.

(WC: 410, TWC: 2153)
Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford
Genin
Genin
Ryo : 500

Duty Calls (Max) Empty Re: Duty Calls (Max)

Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:18 pm
Max would simply listen, hearing the turmoil behind the words Ichigo spoke about using his fists. One could help people with their fists, though it depends entirely on what one meant. “Your fists are as good a tool to help people as anything else. Helping people comes in many forms.” Max would turn his gaze to the forge, “While forging, you strike the steel with blows from your hammer, do you not? Are you not helping shape that steel into what it needs to be?” Max would allow his words to sink in, and listen to anything that Ichigo had relied with.
 
Once the topic moved to the dialogue about where this journey would take them, Max would be forced to reveal more about his intentions. In all honesty, it was a good sign. Those that would think about their actions were far superior to those that do not. This one shows more potential than originally expected, Max would think to himself. “Were you present when Kiri came to the doorstep of our village?” Max would ask, allowing time for Ichigo to respond should he decide to. “Letters of peace were sent out, the great village of Kumogakure turning away from its war fueled past and towards a time of prosperity.” Max would feel himself growing angry, though he would not show it on his face. “Kiri responds by sending a former Kumogakure shinobi, one of our best…” Max’s feelings would pour through, his passion unable to be held back any longer. “That man known as Nobunaga was sent here to demand us bend the knee and allow ourselves to be under the boots of Kiri, or else Kiri would bring its armies, kill us all, and raze our village to the ground.” Max’s face would show fury like no other, his sheer presence starting to flow outward and easily felt by anyone in the general vicinity.
 
“Kiri brought war to our doorstep when we asked for peace, so now that I have awoken I will bring Xyxer that which he seeks.” Beyond Kiseragi, this would be the first person that Max would tell of his intentions to bring pain and misery to the island nation. “I do not seek power. Power for the sake of power is meaningless. I simply seek to remove any and all threats to OUR village. Is it not the greatest good to bring safety and security to our homeland?” This was a very important question, and one that Max would listen carefully how the man responded. Not everyone was as dedicated to Kumo as he was…
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