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Ichika Zukumiki
Ichika Zukumiki
Survived 2021
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Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Konohagakure
Ryo : 42000

Bad Blood [P] Empty Bad Blood [P]

Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:07 pm
Legend had it that the Okinaga clan of Konohagakure could speak with the dead. Once a noble clan in its own right alongside the Uchiha, Senju, and Hyuuga, the Okinaga saw a fall from grace prior to Viper Uchiha's rule as Hokage. Their district fell into disrepair, their numbers dwindled, and soon the urban sprawl of the Leaf Village began to reabsorb what was a bustling center of activity. Now all that remained amounted to little more than a city block around the clan's ancestral estate from which they peddled goods and wares to the superstitious of the village—the true Okinaga bloodline had long since dried up.

"You'll want this charm, deary."

"Oh?" the teen's eyes narrowed as she tried to decipher the foreign lettering on the pocket-sized charm. "What does it do?"

"Keep it close to your heart, and your loved one—"

"My mother," Ichika interjected, cutting off the elderly Okinaga woman. "Rui Zukumiki."

"Indeed," the woman nodded as if she had known this all along. "Keep it close to your heart, and your mother, Rui, will be warmed by your thoughts in the world beyond."

The raven-haired teen wrinkled her nose, imagining her mother shivering in the afterlife with little more than the clothes she left the world in. Her mother, for all her many talents, did not deal with the cold weather well. Every year around the beginning of fall she used to bundle up in layers and layers at even the slightest hint of winter, and at the time, Ichika would poke fun at her as she always had. This fall, however, would be different, more empty.

"Would getting two help at all?" An edge of desperation slipped into the genin's voice. "With the cold, I mean."

"Two..." the Okinaga's eyes glinted greedily. "Yes, yes, it certainly would."

It took little more than these assurances to part the naive genin from her hard-earned ryo, and she walked away from the Okinaga store a few thousand ryo lighter than she arrived. Money meant very little to the teen when weighed against the idea that she might comfort her mother from the world of the living. What use did she have for ryo anyhow? A kunoichi like her could easily make up the small fortune with the sweat of her brow and at the risk of her own life, it meant nothing in the end.

Soon what remained of the Okinaga district fell from the fore, replaced by the more inclusive sprawl of Konohagakure proper, not that Ichika noticed in the slightest. The Uchiha's eyes continued to trace the symbols etched into one of the Okinaga charms. A perfect circle of brass about two inches across, the charm carried a motif of an ouroboros that created the charm's outer border. Inside the stylized snake, a spiral of lettering curved in on itself until it reached the center of the charm where it disappeared into nothingness.

So consumed with admiring the talisman, the teen continued to allow the growing crowds to take her where they may. Storefronts blurred by, faces on the periphery meant nothing, and more than a few times she narrowly avoided a collision with one of the passing merchants. Suffice to say, the genin girl was not looking where she was going.

WC: 547
TWC: 547
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