Naruto RPG
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Naruto, Naruto Shippuden
© Masashi Kishimoto

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Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Wed Dec 15, 2021 8:45 pm
Fog carpeted the land; it clung to corners, pulled at passersby, and rose from Rice Country's carefully curated terraces like a pot set to boil. Here, among a valley of these overflowing cauldrons, stood a lone figure. Clothed in black, sword at his side, and conical hat atop his head, the Komekage had long since become a familiar fixture in the fields surrounding Tanbogakure. Time away from the office, especially for a weary bureaucrat, made all the difference, and one couldn't beat the peace and quiet of the countryside in the morning.

Unfortunately, this morning's peace and quiet promised to be fleeting at best. Asahi, his younger cousin, made a bad habit of disrupting the peace wherever he tended to show up, and he should have been by Yasahiro's side half an hour ago. Against his better judgment, the samurai agreed to join Asahi on a day hike to one of the more distant shrines near the country's border with Moon Country. The younger of the two Yagami always had a certain fascination with the structures, and though Yasahiro didn't much care for them, he did want to take some time to catch up with his blonde-haired counterpart.

"Asahi,"
he spoke into the empty morning air. "You better not have gotten yourself into trouble again..."

Distractions abounded in the budding village of Tanbogakure. Gambling, drinking, and more base pleasures; all the things Yasahiro knew his cousin to adore with little in the way of moderation. Only one question remained: which distraction got its claws into Asahi today?

Somewhere in the distance, a dove cooed a sad song.
---
WC: 267
TWC: 267
Asahi Yagami
Asahi Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Survived 2021
You've completed the Christmas Event of 2021 and qualified for the last reward, by partisan you are awarded this fancy badge!
Ryo : 5500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Thu Dec 16, 2021 2:45 am
```




Maku
Mornings had never been his favorite time. Preferring late nights and later mornings had long been his style of living. Something his father had often scolded him for. He wasn’t sure if it was due to settling down or not, but his mind had been drifting towards the past a lot lately. What it was all worth, and where it was all going. It was not a pleasant set of thoughts, but thoughts didn’t always have to be pleasant. This was how he awoke, with scattered dreams of the samurai compound and distant familial phantasms. Looking around and spotting a clock he shot up out of bed. Rushing around the room he got dressed, and threw his hair up as best he could so that his eyes weren’t obscured as he rushed from the apartment.

A yellow kimono with white triangles speckled across the fabric, and a deep purple sash around the waist. Wooden clogs click and clacking on the cobblestone. In one hand a bundle he’d prepared the day before, on his hip the ninjato bounced. He hadn’t carried a weapon often, but Yasahiro had advised him to wear one today. Though their time was meant to be spent at a far off temple, you never knew what you could encounter in a long road. There hadn’t been reports of highwaymen though, so Asahi put this one up to his cousins own paranoia. He’d obliged though, and even he had to admit the sword had begun to feel more at home betwixt his fingers. The hard lesson he’d been forced to learn before a festivals tournament had been expounded upon ever since. His own lessons in private, of which he hoped to show Yasahiro someday, if anything to place a face of surprise on the surlier Yagami.

Running the faint sound of a mournful dove caught his ear, no doubt it too was displeased with the earlier hours. Spotting the solitary figure nearly cloaked by the mist he made his way for him. As he got closer he’d end up sliding several feet, though remarkably keeping his balance, to finish just a foot or so in front of his cousin. Hands on knees and breathing heavily he’d gasp out, “go….good….morning.” His breath still coming out shaky as he fought for his life to get it under control. “L-l-lost track…….of…..time”. The words spluttered between the gasping breaths.

Finally recovering from the throws of hypoxia he’d stand up straight and then lean back, breathing in the morning air. “W-waiting long?” His voice was still heavy from exhaustion, but in his defense he’d gone from dreaming to sprinting in a reflectively short amount of time. Assuming his cousin would answer and then begin their pilgrimage Asahi would fall into step with him. The bundle still in his hand, his other resting on the hilt of the ninjato. “Do you remember the way, or shall I get the map?” He really hoped his cousin recalled the directions from earlier. The map was safely beneath his pillow……back at the apartment.

TWC - 508
```
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Thu Dec 16, 2021 6:51 pm
Hurried footfalls over frosted ground sent a shiver down the Komekage's spine. Instinctively, his hand dropped to the blade at his side, his stance widened in anticipation, and a heady rush of adrenaline trickled into his veins. Thoughts of Asahi and his antics fell from the fore only to be replaced by the kata of his youth; strike the center, lead with the dominant arm, feint with the core, and never let your sword waver, no matter who falls beneath it. Thoughts, phantoms, and more swam through the man's head as the distant figure dashed, moved, and finally clarified through the low-lying fog bank into a figure clothed in garish yellow.

Asahi.

The black-haired leader's posture softened, and he slipped his half-drawn sword back down into its sheath with a metallic ring. His cousin, though he loved him dearly, had the approximate fashion sense of a color-blind geisha. At least, for once, the blonde elected to wear his sword. The path to the shrine should, in theory, be clear. However, Zukumiki's men made a habit of running roughshod over expectations; as of late, their attacks had become more violent and harder to predict. So, yes, a little extra protection went a long way towards avoiding an early grave.

"Good morning, cousin," he passed an exploratory hand over his grizzled chin. "Remind me when we get back to the village, and I'll get you a watch."

Truth be told, he couldn't tell what sort of deviance Asahi might have been up to at a glance. While he did keep tabs on his younger companion in an official capacity, he did try to avoid delving too deeply into his personal life lest he find something untoward. That said, from what he heard from the teahouse Asahi worked at, the man might very well be back on the sight and narrow. It was all so hard to tell.

"No, not long," Yasahiro sighed and cast a glance out over the fog-steeped landscape. "And not to worry, I practically look at maps for a living now."

He gestured to the west.

"Shall we?"

Without another word, the Komekage parted the fog with his steps and led the pair deeper into the countryside. The path ahead would soon flatten out as they approached Moon Country; fields would become plains, farms quarries, and the weather colder. Their destination lay in the shadow of the large mountain range separating Rice Country from Moon: a shrine to those who tried and failed to conquer the dangerous mountain passes.

"So," his pace slowed as he spoke. "How are you liking our new home? I hear you're working at a teahouse now?"
---
WC: 442
TWC: 709
Asahi Yagami
Asahi Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Survived 2021
You've completed the Christmas Event of 2021 and qualified for the last reward, by partisan you are awarded this fancy badge!
Ryo : 5500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Thu Dec 16, 2021 11:15 pm
His cousin as stoic as ever would cut an impressive swathe with the fog rolling im the background. The picture perfect samurai, though a touch on the young side for the head of a village he still maintained a poise that let everyone know he was were he was meant to be. Rugged, and steady…….it was all so boring, bust still, Asahi loved him dearly despite these pitfalls of Yagami blood. He smiled as his breathing returned to a manageable level. He’d need to learn how to perfectly concentrate on his breathing to avoid such fatigue down the road.

“A watch? But dear cousin I already have three!” He’d say with a smile. From within his kimono he pulled out 3 pocket watches, each flipping open, and each revealing a different time on them. “Not sure if they work, but they at least are perfect twice a day, and since I have three, I’m right 6 times a day, which could be much worse…..”. He’d babble on a little bit as they walked, his cousin was usually good for letting him get out his initial tendency to word vomit about meeting. In truth the only thing interesting he might find was the complexity and delicacy of the three watches. Each promising to be fairly expensive, much more than something the pair had been able to afford a year ago.

In truth, village life had agreed with Asahi in a way unexpected. A natural charisma and keen eye could often cut social dummies better than a katana on bamboo ones. For his own part in the mere month he’d been in the village he had completed over a half dozen missions, and earned a fair bit of ryo from the Tanbo treasury. These were of course on top of his very modest, slightly underpaid in his opinion, position at the tea house. The old lady that ran it had quickly taken a liking to Asahi who she considered a daughter, something he hadn’t felt like correcting the half blind elder. Still even these two sources of income didn’t quite add up to new purchases, mostly because of course, they just didn’t.

Replacing the watches and keeping step with the taller man’s stride he’d remove his long pipe. Lighting the end, gentle wafts of tobacco laced with citrus would filled the air, the smoke even taking on a slight orangish tint against the silvery mist. Still a long ways off, it was worth it to get comfortable as his cousin confirmed his knowledge of maps. He’d chuckle slightly at the point of it being his job. He had a dry sense of humor in Asahi’s opinion, but he found it endearing all the same

Still to far away to see much of anything, the elder Yagami slowed his pace, asking about his occupation. Asahi would shrug slightly blowing out a perfectly crafted smoke ring, a skill he’d long refined to an art, before offering the pipe over.

“It’s not so bad, beats the hell out of a musty swamp. Though it wasn’t all bad.” He’d shrug again, it hadn’t been much but he felt strange talking down about their old makeshift home. “Tea shops not bad. I’ve spruced it up a little bit. The old lady had me repurpose the dining ware, and then o to the kamui, you should have seen her selections, lemon next to green tea bags I ask you, can you just believe…”. He’d begin talking with his hands even more than his mouth going into much more detail that Yasahiro probably needed, though each word spoken with passion. Sake was preferable to tea in Asahi’s eyes and mouth, but the ceremony of tea was always worth doing.

After a long winded explanation of ordering and redecorating, he’d finally turn the conversation back to his cousin. “And you? How heavy lays the laurels of leadership?” He’d smile, taking back the pipe should his cousin have taken it in the first place. Placing the tip between his lips he’d taste the tobacco and herbs that promised to make the walk a little less dull. It also added to the effect he’d stop himself from interrupting. If his cousin didn’t offer up much, he’d ask about his duties, the other shinobi of the village, prying out details not for his own need, but to make sure Yasahiro didn’t bottle everything up.

Once he felt he’d gotten some of the information out of the komekage, he’d add one more question…..”Have you noticed anything….strange about the castle?” He’d sideways look at the taller man, though he lacked the spiritual awareness that Asahi possessed, he knew his cousin to be sensitive enough.

TWC - 1287
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:39 am
Three watches and yet not a single one of them worked. While finely crafted and well-maintained, each of the three watches Asahi pulled from his pocket ticked at a different rate and told a different time, none of which were close to being right. Clearly, all were works of foreign clocksmiths; Tanbogakure, for all its accolades, did not play host to a particularly zealous horologist community. Far more money stood to be made in trafficking the country's namesake crop than tinkering with gears and glasses. Asahi, despite his cousin's expectations, had done well for himself if the quality of the timepieces were anything to go by.

Unfortunately, his fair-haired counterpart's new, more domestic lifestyle had not dulled his gift of gab. In fact, if anything, it seemed that the Asahi had become more talkative than when the two cousins shared a shack in their so-called 'musty swamp', not that it bothered the older of the two all that much. Yasahiro nodded along with his cousin's tales laughing where appropriate and throwing out a few rhetorical jabs at his cousin's expense when he could, while Asahi quite clearly dominated the conversation it was far from a one-sided affair.

The landscape around the two men bent and morphed itself with each step, going through a rather astonishing transformation in a short amount of time. They soon left the valley behind them, and the land opened up onto a flat plain. The poorly maintained path on which the pair walked cut through a field of knee-high prairie grass that still cradled the morning fog close to the ground. Overhead the first signs of blue sky cut through the once uniform curtain of gray, a rarity for a day so late in the year.

"Laurels of leadership?" he scoffed at his cousin's characterization of his position in the village. "At times, it feels more akin to a millstone about my neck than a crown atop my head. Everyone looks to you for answers, everyone expects perfection, and then there are the meetings..."

Now it was the Komekage's turn to ramble. He spoke of endless meetings, mountains of paperwork, and the shoestring budget. All things that likely bored the younger of the two cousins, but weighed heavy on the samurai's mind day and night. Far too many romanticized the lives of the rich and powerful without stopping to realize that in the end they, like everyone else in the world, were only human. No matter how they may pervert their minds or bodies to think or believe otherwise, no one lived a perfectly carefree life devoid of hardship—the weight of human insecurity fell on all people equally and without discretion.

"As for the castle, no, I can't say I've encountered anything too out of the ordinary," his gaze drifted out across the plains to a small structure standing among the tall grass and fog, an old waystation for weary pilgrims now subsumed by nature. "Well, save for the plans you submitted for the railings, lavender doesn't exactly strike the right tone for a building meant to look imposing. But why do you ask?"

Spirits, demons, and otherwise supernatural beings were not unfamiliar to the two Yagami cousins. Born into an extended family of spiritualists and mediums, the pair were raised on ghost stories and schooled in spiritualism from a young age. However, at around the age of ten, their two paths diverged; Yasahiro showed a greater aptitude for the sword than the supernatural, where Asahi excelled. Whatever spiritual sensitivity the older of the two cousins once possessed lay buried beneath the callouses of thousands of sword strikes.
---
WC: 602
TWC: 1311
Asahi Yagami
Asahi Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Survived 2021
You've completed the Christmas Event of 2021 and qualified for the last reward, by partisan you are awarded this fancy badge!
Ryo : 5500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Mon Dec 20, 2021 11:13 am
It was often said that opposites attracted. Though this characterization of relationship was most often used to describe those under a romantic lens, it extended well beyond such a small scope. In truth it was likely only because of their differences that the two different men had worked, why a friendship that transcended such things as blood still existed. It was Asahi’s turn to listen and throw in his own quips. To berate a foolish noble, applaud some small victory, and offer any advice that he could with his limited expierence. It was usually that of a social nature, but it was all he knew. The idea of budgets and balancing tasks was not one that would be suited to Asahi Yagami, and one that would not only spell his own doom but any of those unfortunate enough to be relying on him. He knew this, and he was comfortable with it. Though he teased Yasahiro where appropriate he still managed to convey his respect, he admired his cousin for the qualities that he himself lacked.

Coughing for a second and letting the whisking smoke join the mist on the ground he’d clear his throat. “Well now, I just think it’s a splendid color. I thought it might raise moral by allowing a little beautification to the village, besides the light colors will help reflect the sun once we exit this dreariest of seasons. You said your office gets quite warm mid afternoon.” He’d shrug, the idea was of course one of the utmost practical….at least within the realms of his own mind. “But no, not quite what I meant. The hauntings of that dreary places decorators of long dead are even beyond my resolve to tackle all in one go.” He’d take a deep breath, sending out a single ring as he considered.

“I know you used to be able to sense things, but it seems parts of your mind have dulled even if your blade hasn’t.” Letting out a little sigh, his cousin hadn’t been a bad spiritualist, but just as the blade wasn’t his path, that of the realm beyond wasn’t his cousins. The Yagami clan was a clan of superior swordsman, but it was their belief and connection to powers beyond that had led them to be a powerful enough clan to maintain their own compound and survive in a world dominated by those that could wield human energy like stories of gods of old. Still he supposed the two together was able to make one decent Yagami.

“I was there a couple days ago…..dropping off some car for Madam Suki, thanks for that by the way…”. He’d add with a sideways glance. His cousin had sent him many a light mission, something that had helped his wallet and his stature within the village, but that had annoyed him all the same. “Any way while I was in a deep trance…” sleeping, “I was visited by two apparitions. I couldn’t hear them, they looked almost like twins, but I can’t be sure. They didn’t look….the same, but they felt the same. Two spirits aware of each-other and from different times, but…:together.” It was always a sign that something troubled Asahi when his flow of words became more disjointed. Though more self confident than he had any right to be, some things even still could pierce such a facade.

He hoped Yasahiro wasn’t as rusty as Asahi feared. He would know if he remembered his training that spirits of different periods rarely interacted together. Though they could haunt the same location, it was incredibly rare for them to actually be seen at the same time, and unheard of form them to form a real connection. He’d busied himself with finding the spiritual hotpot’s within the town. So far he’d only found three, a few less than he had expected. The castle, the cemetery, and the small overlook shrine. Though it was the castle that had bothered him.

“Ah which leads me to a separate but related point……I filed a paper, and the funds…….I’m thinking about putting our training to the rest as a one man business.” He’d go into a tangent about his hopes for opening his own spiritualism office.

The landscape rolled on, so flat they could just see the smallest tip of white mountains forming in the distance. Though it promised to be much further the blue sky above at least offered its own promise of warm sun. I’m all directions they remained the only people, light birdsong and a distant herd of deer the only other signs of life, to let them know others traveled their path at this time.

TWC - 2063
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:37 pm
The two men walked in silence as Yasahiro digested his cousin's supernatural musings. Spirits, ghosts, and demons all occupied a place of reverence in the Yagami household back in the Land of Iron. However, the idea of such things following him and Asahi all the way to Tanbogakure did give the samurai pause for thought—he had hoped to keep the past firmly in the past. Then again, with Asahi at his side, he doubted such a feat would be possible. Plus, the idea of two disparate spirits connecting in the afterlife? Well, that was something worth looking into, at the very least.

If memory served, the dead rarely interacted with one another after their passing. Indeed, more often than not, spirits simply continued about their lives in an endless loop of the day they died on. It was only the more powerful ones that had anything resembling sentience, typically they materialized as a result of a particularly traumatic death. Even then, however, the idea that there might be two spirits powerful enough to manifest a relationship after death in his very home worried the leader, if only because he had not sensed them previously.

"Two spirits?" he confirmed, furrowing his brow in thought. "No, I can't say that I've seen or sensed them. You may want to consult with Lord Naito or Seiichi Kittaru about it, however. Naito's family has called Okada home for generations, and Seiichi recently took over for Momoko as an archivist—he might be able to dig something up if Naito's memory fails him."

He paused and as a rabbit skipped across their path.

"Either way, let me know what you find out because I fear you might be right, my senses are not nearly what they once were."

In the distance, the mountain range between Moon and Rice loomed like the feet of giants over the land. The soft wind that had once been at the pair's back shifted and brought with it an alpine bite whose gusts threatened to blow the leader's hat from his head. The cousins drew closer and closer to the shrine with each step, it wouldn't be long now before they arrived.

"Thinking about it?" Yasahiro cut in as Asahi rambled about his capitalist aspirations. "Sounds to me like you have everything all planned out. I just never thought I'd see the day my dear cousin went corporate."

He flashed a wry, joking smile at his shorter companion.

"Honestly, though, I'm glad you've decided to take on more responsibility in the village. First with your missions and now with a business; I'm proud of you, Asahi. If you ever need any help with visas or credentials, I happen to know someone who might be able to expedite the process, just let me know." 

Asahi, for all his quirks, was family, and as much as Yasahiro hated to think about it, those who would still call him the same were in short supply. He had his doubts about his cousin's ability to acclimate to the slower village life, but it seemed that such doubts were ill-founded. Perhaps when he returned to his office a review of his fair-haired companion's missions was in order—a carrot tended to work better with Asahi than a stick, after all. Though, knowing his cousin's proclivities, the Komekage couldn't be quite sure if his younger cousin wouldn't like both the carrot and the stick depending on the administrator.


WC: 573
TWC: 1884
Asahi Yagami
Asahi Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Survived 2021
You've completed the Christmas Event of 2021 and qualified for the last reward, by partisan you are awarded this fancy badge!
Ryo : 5500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:39 am





Maku
YOUR TEXT GOES HERE
“Mayhap’s I will.”  Asahi would say letting go of the kiseru to be held between his lips.  Gentle smoke still swirled from the tip, smaller wisps leaving the corners of his mouth as he brought his arms together, sliding them into the opposite sleeves.  A small protection from the elements that had taken a chillier turn dramatically at the talk of spirits.  At least nature as ever was on his side.  “I have some plans to go digging up information, if that doesn’t come to fruition, I’ll pay them a visit.”  He’d smile at that, happy for the help.  “Maybe you need to practice a little more.  After all I’ve been practicing the sword quite a bit lately you know.  I may not be Yasahiro the stoic, but I’m at least becoming Asahi the graceful!”

He’d smile, his words slightly muffled by the effort of talking in complete sentences without letting the pipe fall out of his mouth.  Something that looked to happen any moment, if it wasn’t for extensive practice in talking and smoking.  In truth, he was proud of his training.  He’d long surpassed the past self that had ended in the dirt when soaring Asahi, and who had not succeeded in winning a festival for sport.  He knew of course, he was not at his cousins level.  Likely never would be, and that was acceptable.  He did hope to make the taller man sweat a little though next they crossed blades in sport.  “We must find time for a demonstration.”  He’d say cheerily.  “Maybe next you get some days off?  I’ll leave the scheduling to you.”  He knew his cousin was busy, and he had tried to not bother him much…..which to a casual observer might appear as though he wasn’t trying at all.  Still he knew his cousin knew.

“Let’s not use the R word.  It tastes like Ash in my mouth.”  Asahi would say pulling a face.  His response of course at the term of responsibilities.  He tried not to look at it that way, it didn’t make any of it nearly as fun.  Hobbies, passions, proclivities those words felt better between his teeth.  “I have the money, and ways.  That noble with the cat I mentioned….can’t remember the name, but she has offered me some men for refurbishment as thanks.  So with the strike of a pen, you lay waste to my obstacles.”  He’d smile again.  The pet project was one he was looking forward too.  Though he wasn’t confident there was a need per say, things like that didn’t matter.  Life was for the living, and you couldn’t take memories with you….so build them as you live so you can treasure them as long as able.

They would continue walking for some time. Idle chatter breaking out at random, different subjects thoughts and ideas.  Asahi was one to jump without looking, and though he never imagined this is where he would be, he believed in the reason behind it.  He did not know the reason, but surely it would reveal itself before things became too boring.  At least, that’s what he told himself when chasing cats and repairing boats.

The sun had risen to late morning, maybe even threatening moon when the path made a sharp change.  Stone lantern sculptures began to spring up, first like unwanted weeds, but then to a carefully grown garden.  A cobblestone walkway appeared beneath their feet clearly on a struggling battle with nature.  The further they walked the more clear and deliberate the ground beneath them became.  Some roads split off, as they approached moon countries boarders.  Then before they knew it, ahead of them a large pond, or perhaps small lake was a better word.  The wind blew ripples across its surface but still reflected in bright red was the framework of the temple.  It’s arches stretching, monks moving through their daily lives.  A few others making pilgrimages to make peace with those lost or pray for their return, and even others in full hiking gear surely meaning to pray for safe passage over the mountains.  Behind the temple high and tall mountains resided, wise giants looking down on their neighbors, their snow capped heads reminiscent of aging men.  

“Wow…”. Asahi would say with a little sigh.  He’d seen mountains before, temples as well, but the sight was breath taking.  He’d turn to his cousin, the pipe long put away.  “When was the last time you prayed Yasahiro?”  He’d wait a moment letting him consider or answer should he be quick in response.  “I think we should pray……..”. A more serious look that was rare crossed his face.  “I know it’s for travelers, but what are we if not travelers.  Our physical bodies might have found a place of peace…..but I think our spirits…….are still coming to terms with the journey.”  He’d turn and give a knowing smile at Yasahiro.  He meant no offense, but as he sometimes did with his honesty he cut to the quick of the matter.    

TWC - 2906
Temple picture :
Yasahiro Yagami
Yasahiro Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Ryo : 27500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:39 pm
Graceful? Well, now there was a new one. From what the Komekage recalled, his younger cousin's swordplay could be described as many things, but nothing approaching graceful, the word amateurish came to mind, however. Then again, the last time the two crossed blades must have been back in their swamp-bound abode. Nearly a year had passed since that time, so perhaps there was some truth in his fair-haired companion's words. As with anything in life, there would be only one way to determine his cousin's supposed gracefulness, but that would be for a different day. No reason, after all, to mar a perfectly pleasant morning with the sounds of combat and the clash of blades.

"Of course, I'll see if Kazuko can clear some time on my calendar."

Ah, and there was his dear cousin's ego again. Though Asahi recoiled from the phrase, 'responsibility', Yasahiro could not help the knowing smile that crept across his face. Beneath his cousin's thin veneer of egoism and self-importance, the samurai saw something rather different than much of the world. For all his airs, peculiarities, and naked hedonism, Asahi was a good man—far better than himself, the leader liked to think. Perhaps that was why the pair made such a good team: they offset one another, with Asahi playing the Yang to his older cousin's Yin.

The conversation soon devolved into a discussion of the trivialities of village life. Asahi spoke of missions, teahouse guests, and the village gossip, while Yasahiro countered with governmental woes, rumors of Zukumiki, and the wider world around them. In all, neither man spoke of anything of consequence, and it was nice. It was nice to be away from it all on the open road with a friend.

Hidden by a mess of rocky outcroppings and tangled trees, the temple snuck up on the Komekage. Ornate arches of red, monks wrapped in orange, and the murky brown of the pond all set to the backdrop of the sheer cliffs of green and white made for an impressive display. It all seemed, to Yasahiro anyway, like something out of a storybook. Though he'd seen many a temple in his time, each one had its own unique atmosphere to it. And, approaching this particular temple, he could not help feeling incredibly small and humbled before the majesty of the mountains at whose feet they now stood. Shinobi and Kunoichi alike were nothing in the face of such natural, eternal beauty.

"Last time I prayed?" he shrugged, looking off towards the temple complex and away from his cousin. "It's certainly been a while, I'm afraid."

The man's stony expression hid his lie well. The last time he'd prayed had been the last night Asahi was lost to him. Buried beneath the armor of leadership and guilt, Yasahiro was human, just like anyone else; and like any human, he cared deeply for those close to him despite his typical prickly demeanor said to the contrary.

The song and dance that followed were one Yasahiro knew well from his travels with Asahi. Bow at the torii, cleanse oneself at the chouzuya, ring the bell, and make a monetary offering to both the kami and the temple itself.  Save for the monks and holy men making the rounds, few others seemed to be making the same pilgrimage as the two cousins. Perhaps winter's unyielding maw dissuaded all but the most stubborn or stupid? The leader couldn't be quite sure, though it did make for a peaceful, private experience.

"Cousin," the pair had begun to walk around the pond. "Do you ever think of going back to the Land of Iron?"

Steeling himself, he took a breath.

"Of late I find myself contemplating returning to answer for my crimes, whatever that may mean. It feels like an unfinished chapter that I will run from for the rest of my life if I don't close it myself..."

He trailed off and glanced over at his cousin. His stoic armor fell from him with each word and, for the first time in a while, Yasahiro—samurai and son—shone through. Did running away make him a coward or something much worse? Could he truly lead the people of Tanbogakure with such a dark past?


WC: 707
TWC: 2591
Asahi Yagami
Asahi Yagami
Village Leader
Village Leader
Survived 2021
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Ryo : 5500

Tanbo no Jinja [P] Empty Re: Tanbo no Jinja [P]

Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:57 am
A sense of peace had flowed over Asahi as it always did during these practices. The tradition, the ritual of it all, it had a way of setting his spirit to a more restful rhythm. Waving to the monks, stopping and having idle chatter with them, their surprised faces when someone such as himself showed knowledge. It wasn’t about showing them up, but instead showing them they weren’t the only ones the Kami payed attention too. The shrine was well kept, the paint not new, but still holding against the weather. Overall, a beautiful place, and if the choice had to be made……not the worst last place to prayer before a mountainous death Asahi thought. Obviously not preferable, but it came to all regardless of preference.

The cousins ritual would conclude and they’d find themselves sitting on one of the benches near the pond. It’s water clear with just the faintest of ripples moving across the surface with the coming of the wind. Koi fish could be seen swimming, exacerbated by the fact Asahi was throwing crumbles of bread into the water at different intervals. He’d unpacked the small amount of lunch he’d brought. Several onigiri for each of the men, each stuffed with venison caught from around Tanbogakure. Of the three though they moved through an array of taste. One with a sweet jam to accentuate the gamey meat, one with simple salt, and one with a chili paste hot enough to bring tears to less stoic men. A bit of sweet, a bit of salt, and a bit of spice, stages of life some might say.

Asahi was happily eating the spicy one with nonchalance when Yasahiro asked the big question. The first part he had considered, though never with any serious intention. The second part was harder to answer. He could feel the gaze of his cousin upon him, and he was more than grateful for the chewy texture giving him some moments to consider an answer. Finally whoever, he finished his bite, washing it down with a sip of the sakuraya tea he had brought for this moment for the pair. The salt pairing with the sweetness of the plums used, at odds with the hardness of the words he needed to find.

“I think of the land of Iron…….I think of the Yagami home………..”. He took pauses, uncharacteristically searching for words rather than simply sending them forth to fill the wind. “But to go back? Not yet. I have no doubts we both will return in due course, but I don’t think the time is right. I pray about that almost every day…….” He took another bite, considering the second and more difficult part of his cousins question. It was true, his prayers overall where relatively simple. He wanted for not much, being of an easy to please nature. Instead his focus was often on the future, his home, and his cousin.

“I just don’t think it’s time yet. I appreciate that your soul is heavy, but it is because of that I don’t think it’s time yet. You talk about answering for crimes, but I wonder what you think you are doing?” He’d turn looking the taller man in the face, though at this moment they felt more as equals than ever. “Don’t be so arrogant as to assume you have just escaped free. Are you bedding women each night? Do you boast about tales of Yasahiro’s strength and how he has slain his own blood? Do you profit from this fact? Do you squander coin and resources from your position for selfish gain? No…..you don’t do any of these things. You broad and you work. True, our family may not see it this way but……they have a very narrow idea of how the world should be.”

His words had come hard, harder than normal. He hadn’t intended them to sting, but it was possible. He knew the acts of that night still
Haunted his cousin, and he was glad for it. When he stopped having these feelings was when it was time to head back. “You were brought up a solider Yasahiro…..if nothing had happened you’d be at war right now. Sent on missions to pay for the compound. You’d be doing what you are trained to do. You’d be doing what you are built to do, be a warrior. Instead you are burdened in a battlefield you don’t wish to be. For now, I’d say that’s repentance enough. Besides, in paying for one crime you would be settling a score among a few, but leaving this place now you would be causing another crime against many.”

He’d take a drink, turning his face shifting from serious back to an Asahi level of joy. “So just enjoy your misery for a moment. Leave the burden of your soul to me for now….when have I ever led you astray?” He’d laugh and toss a handful of breadcrumbs across the water causing a sudden stir in activity as the fish moved towards the easy meal.

TWC - 3746
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