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Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:13 pm
Sumashi Azuma was dead. Long Live The Lost Kingdom.

Or some shit like that.

It was... disappointing. Sumashi had never been a ninja, never dealt with that world. He had loved learning simple things from his niece, who had decided to be one. Perhaps not the smartest move, but who could deny a face like that? His niece had been teaching him small things over the years. Apparently he had an aptitude that not many had. He was good.

And that was bad.

Well, as his niece grew better, he stopped practicing. Sumashi was not a ninja, and while learning the ninja arts were not for him, it was not awful.

It was... sad. His niece had been out of the village of Iwagakure when the city first fell. Not to dust, not destroyed, but demoted, so to speak. His niece left a member of a respected nation, and came back to a disgrace of a village, subjugated by a once small village.

It was... distressing. She had taken to the drink. Sumashi tried to talk to her, get her to be OK with what had transpired. But she had not been there to help her home.

Sumashi kept telling her how he preferred her alive. How this was, fucked up as it was, the better outcome.

It was... painful. Sumashi's brother pounded on the door one day, early in the morning. Sumashi, while awake, was certainly not ready to start the day. But he did not really have a choice.

His niece was gone.

He wondered, for years, if there was something he could have done. Sumashi felt weak. His home had been weak, once, and that was too much for his niece. She had left. He felt responsible. If he had this potential, why did not not embrace it earlier in his life? His teacher was his god fucking damn twelve year old NIECE! And he was... not horrible! He had given up on it all at one point, but, in the face of it all, why had he not just... fought to get stronger?

Sumashi lost his brother to a work accident not too long after his niece left. Sometimes, he wondered if he was distracted, thinking about her.

But that was neither here nor now.

Right now, he was watching the husk of the place he had called home crumble. Iwagakure had been attacked, and Sumashi had been entirely unable to help. Entirely unable stop it. Only able to run away, and pray for survival.

Sumashi hated this.

Hated the war, death, and destruction that followed the Ninja everywhere.

Hated that he knew enough to be considered a threat.

But he did not wish to further the death and destruction. He only wished to be left alone, to live in peace. He wanted nothing more than to be safe and free, and he wished that for everyone.

Sumashi did not want revenge. Revenge begot naught but Revenge.

Sumashi wanted peace. And if he had to fight for it? So be it.

WC 505
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:15 pm
Sumashi Azuma was dead.

He kept telling himself that. But...

He was not young. Nobody would make that mistake anymore. He was getting up there in age. To say otherwise was dumb, and frankly just wrong.

He sighed. The money he had stolen from the merchant burned a hole in his pocket. There was no way he could manage to live like this. A ninja by technicality, but not by training. A man forced to thievery. He had wondered, standing behind that rock, if maybe the act of stealing would be exhilarating. If maybe it was something that he would somehow enjoy. That thought had shaken him to his core as he stood at that rock.

And here he stood, despising himself for what he had done. What he had become. Was that better than if he had enjoyed it?

It smells of rain, he thought. The thought popped into his mind, blocking out the other troubles had been thinking about.

Looking around, he had to find a place to hide from the rain. Spying a stone outcropping, he decided to go there. He had spent some of his money already, getting the bare minimum. A few flasks for water, a backpack to store things in, and a smaller bag of rice among them.

Sighing, he walked to the outcropping, placed his things down, and began gathering twigs for a fire.

It was a bad rain. Really bad.

He had seen worse, but it was a good idea to have hunkered down. "In sheets". That is how he could best describe the rain coming down.

A small tin was heating up some of the rainwater over the small fire he had constructed.

He thanked the heavens that it was not terribly windy. This much rain, with wind, and his rocky outcropping would have been doing jack shit.

Even now, the drops were close to him. It took multiple minutes to find a spot that was not slowly dripping onto his body.

The ground was a haze of water thrown into the air, and visibility was little to none. He was once again thankful for this little outcropping. It's floor was slightly above the surrounding area. Perhaps there was a reason for that. Perhaps rains had eroded the ground itself, but the section of rock under the overhand had been protected by its 'hood'.

Whether right or wrong, it was a nice thought. A neutral thought. Something he so desperately needed right now.

He imagined that the light of the fire served as a good beacon, being probably the only source of light visible for quite a ways around.

The water was boiling, and the rice was cooking, when he noticed an approaching... something. The shadow in the rain and haze looked vaguely humanoid, and he really had nothing to fear.

What, would he be robbed blind of what little he had? It would just be karma.

So he decided to call out into the rain "Hey! You out there! Come in out of the rain! I've got some cover here!"

He really had to shout to make sure he was heard over the sound of the rain, but the shadowy figure stopped, and then as he finished speaking, walked towards the fire faster.

As the figure got out of the rain, his details became more obvious. A long, green coat was clasped shut around him, holding the rain at least somewhat at bay. Above his head he carried a leaf, likely a makeshift umbrella. A very large leaf that appeared up to the task.

And even with that protection, he, and especially his backpack, looked absolutely soaked.

"Thanks for yelling out mate, I wasn't sure what I was seeing here, what with all the rain! Name's Kaden, what's yours?"

And there was the single most feared question that had been asked. Not knowing how to answer, he took a deep breath before just... speaking.

"Benjamin." It was a simple name, at least in some of the places he had travelled it was. He had met many Benjamins while walking through Moon Country.

"Well, Benjamin," he said, a smile growing on his face as he took off the large coat and what could only be described as a beanie hat. "It's nice to meet you! Nice to see that I was not the only one caught out in the rain. Where you headed?"

Kaden seemed to be eyeing... Benjamin. That name would take getting used to. But might as well keep it, now.

"Going east, I guess. I've already travelled... well I've already traveled over most everything. Haven't gone too far south or too far north but... I guess I'm just going to go East until I decided to stop." Benjamin checked the rice, giving it a stir with a spoon/fork/knife hybrid thingy that he had picked up with some emergency supplies.

"Well I got some good news and some bad news for you, Benjamin," Kaden said, drying his black, curly hair with a towel that Benjamin was not entirely sure of the origins of. Probably just a deep pocket in Kaden's backpack, which Ben. Yes, Ben was a good way to say it. The backpack, which Ben now noticed was sitting on a rock, opened and airing out. The insides actually seemed rather dry, so apparently it was a fairly well waterproofed backpack. "You're about as East as you can go. Maybe you can rent a ship to go even further East, but, and I don't mean to be rude here, but you don't look like the type that could afford a ship."

Ben smiled. "No, probably not," he thought. He had already had to sneak aboard a ship from Flowers to Island, and then from Island to Honey. Just more things to add to his growing list of crimes that he somehow got away with.

That thought took a bit of the smile on his face. "But have I really gotten that far East?" he asked, surprised about what he, a mostly normal (well, originally normal) middle aged guy had managed. That was a long way to travel and... well he thought on it some, and it felt like it all flew by too fast. Days had turned into weeks, yes, but it did not feel particularly long.

Ben wondered what that meant. Did he just lose track of time? Or was it something more.

"Yep," said Kaden, rather matter-of-factly. "Anyways, thanks for giving me a bit of a chance to dry off, but I do gotta get going! Places to be, people to meet."

With that, a closed up his backpack, and a coat he put back on when Ben didn't notice, he was gone. Ben barely had a chance to react before Kaden hopped off the rock. But he did notice one thing.

Kaden's clothes were already dry.

That was... certainly strange.

But that would be a matter to think about another time, another day.

"Bye, Kaden!" Ben would shout into the rainfalls, unsure if he was heard by the mysterious man.

WC 1177

Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:17 pm

Sumashi Azuma was dead. Standing behind a rock was instead The Masked ...Bandit.

Look, he would workshop the name later, or maybe just not come up with one and, if he was AT ALL successful, just wait until people started calling him something.

And even with... The Masked Bandit... hyping himself up this much, it still just... all felt wrong.

Sum- The Masked Bandit was not a thief. He, under no circumstances, would have done this normally.

But these were not normal circumstances.

Behind the rock stood a man with no formal ninja training, and not accepted as a ninja refugee, but with enough informal ninja training to be noticeably improved over the average person.

He was not accepted by the layperson, either.

Nobody wanted him, so here he stood, waiting for a small caravan to pass so he could nab enough to fucking eat.

And, the more he thought on it, the more he realized... he would need more than a single night's food.

He was so screwed.

This is it he thought, hearing the sound of approaching horses. They were not major merchants. He, The Masked Bandit, had made sure of that. He was also positive that he would NOT be calling himself that. At all.

He felt like absolute, utter shit. He really did not want to steal from these guys. But right now, he was legitimately out of options. He was going to be utterly screwed in every single way if he did nothing. He needed... he needed money. He needed to be able to hide himself, at least a little.

He needed to be able to get to know some people. Above all else, he really needed people to talk to, people he could get to know. He was not a super social person, but his recent stints of rejection and he just... really wanted to talk to someone on good terms. It had been so long.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, The Masked Bandit, Oh fuck it no more calling myself that, even thinking it, it is just TOO BAD. Anyways, he quickly went behind the rock and, with the cart just barely past him, walked after it. The horse was not going fast, so he only needed a slight jog to catch up. Reaching the wagon, he lifted himself up to the "floor" level. This was a nice wagon, had a somewhat traditional looking door on it. Not a lock, though. Well, not one that could be locked from the outside, at least. He could easily open the door and step inside, gingerly closing the door so it would not rattle and alert the merchant. He knew what he was looking for, the box the merchant kept money in.

The issue was, he had zero idea what it looked like.

This would be... annoying.

The room itself was fine enough. There was a sleeping cot rolled up in the corner. He saw boxes of crates, not stacked high, and also strapped down from the looks of it. But there, next to the crates, was a particularly fancy box. He reached for it, picking it up, only to realize it was locked. Silently cursing to himself, he debated running off with the entire box and breaking it later but...

He did not want to make the merchant's life any worse.

So he took a deep breath, placed the box down, and began looking more. And there, in the rolls of the cot, was an ornate key. Hesitantly, he tried the key in the box and... the tiniest click was heard. He would have sighed in relief if the sound did not scare him so. Instead he opened the box and took a handful of money. He did not exactly count, but it should at least be enough to get through the next few days, and possibly small enough that the merchant would not notice. Then he locked the box back up, placed it where he found it, and returned the key to the cot.

He left, apologizing to himself, and to the merchant especially, once again carefully closing the door before being on his way.

WC 695
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:18 pm

Ben stared ahead of himself at a vast ocean, stretching as far as the eye could see. The sun behind him as day turned to night, he decided to make camp, and figure out what to do in the morning.

It was morning. The fire was undeniably smothered. And the fire pit he had made was on a rocky outcropping anyways, there were few to no plants to potentially catch ablaze if he left.

So when Ben finished packing, that is exactly what he did. Like last night, he stood with the sun at his back, and walked.

He found the small town of Nikko. It was a small place, certainly not a ninja village. He had passed various fields on his way here, and assumed this was the town most of those farmers came by. Perhaps not to sell their goods, but as a form of communal recreation.

Perhaps most notable to Ben was that he saw what he believed to be an inn.

There were a lot of stares. The inn seemed to very much be the village bar. So here was a slightly larger, older guy walking in. Ben had zero idea if there were any ninja in this town, but he was thankful he had trained how to temper his chakra and be less noticeable.

"Can I get a room for the night?" he asked, standing at what he assumed was the bar, an older gentleman cleaning glasses.

"Ya know, so few people come here, doubt they bother to keep the rooms clean." The voice came from behind Ben.

"Oh shut it ya coot, we still clean 'em. At least one at least," replied the inn keep. Looking to Ben, though, he whispered "Hey, mind waiting a bit while we get the room set up? But sure."

The man behind Ben seemed to have heard, as he started cackling and going "I told ya! I told ya!"

"Come here, newcomer," said a middle aged woman. Burly, but certainly not fat, she had a sort of jovial yet intimidating aura about her. "You ever played poker?"

Ben walked over to the table after giving an affirmative nod to the inn keep. He cleaned his glasses before sitting down, meanwhile saying "Yeah, I've played some poker. Won't call myself amazing but I won the occasional poker night back home." The chair squeaked against the floor as he had a somewhat unfortunate time moving it into position.

And then Ben's face got a bit sad. "But I'll just watch," he said, looking at the pot on the table. "Ain't got the cash to join y'all. Planned to ask around town, maybe get some odd jobs tomorrow."

"Ah that's fine, sunny!" said the middle aged woman. Ben was fairly sure she was the same age as him, or roundabouts, but he shrugged it off. Metaphorically, of course. "You play, and how's this. You win, we cover your stay at the inn, and split the pot between us. One of us wins and you get to have some fun in the middle of bum fuck nowhere! Name's Tami, by the way," she said. As been looked around the others at the table began to introduce themselves.




With all four introduced, Ben decided to introduce himself. "Benjamin. Benjamin Lott, at your service. And I've love to play some under those rules."

So each of them gave Ben a handful of money to bet with, and off they went. Ben had a feeling he would like this town.

Ben was also able to get tonight's stay covered.

WC 600
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:19 pm

"You're deal, Ben," said Dari, handing him the deck of cards. While not an amazing shuffler, Ben could at least manage to shuffle without dropping the cards everywhere.

Ben went ahead and pushed his ante into the center of the table and then faked impatience as the other players pushed in theirs. Dari was starting to get low on funds, but so was Ben. Certainly not the best at this game.

"One two three four, two two three four," he said as he dealt out the cards. At this point, it was a joke. Ben had been playing with them for awhile, he knew each hand was just two cards. But they all had been calling out every card dealt, just like that, and frankly? Ben just did not feel like changing it up! It was fun, in a somewhat strange way.

He took a sneak at his cards. Well, not really sneaking a peak, since he could legally look. And he grimaced.

Before anything is thought of Ben, he's not that bad! He just did not like staying stone cold solid. And really, if they'd been paying attention, they'd realize the grimace probably meant he felt alright with his hand.

Dari might have broken out in laughter.

Putting his cards back down, Ben picked the deck back up, burned, and started flipping the first three cards.

He got two cards in before the front door flew open and smashed the wall of the inn with the door handle.

Toshiro glowered at the pair, no, trio behind the door. "Jamie, you're drunk, shouldn't you be going home? And Kain and Ifuma, too."

Jamie, as Ben had just found out the name of, staggered in past the door, an empty bottle in his clutches. "Nah, man! The night's just getting started! Gimme more!" And he walked up to the bar, almost missing as he planted his ass on a barstool, holding the empty bottle vaguely in Toshiro's direction. For reference, Toshiro was the bartender/inn keeper. Ben had learned his name throughout the night.

"And if I say no?" Toshiro responded.

To that, the other two men, Kain and Ifuma, walked forwards, standing close to the 'door' to behind the bar, cracking their knuckles. Their lips turned upwards as malice seeped into their eyes, a sparkle quite unlike many others.

"Oi-" Dari started to talk, before Ben stood up. He walked quietly over to the three men, not that far away from him. This was a smaller place, after all.

He did not need to be that quiet, though, they seemed... mighty distracted.

"Hey," Ben said, to get their attention. One arm crossed under the other, he looked might miffed. Ben was not the tallest guy in the world, but he was on the taller side, well over six foot.

That placed him taller than all three men here.

Normally, he really did not like flaunting his height like this. Here, though, it seemed like the perfect time.

Because it also had a total chance to not work. Which it did not.

The three turned to him, and seemed even madder.

"Look, how about you three just head on home, alright? Drink a bunch of water and eat something so you feel less like shit in the-"

One of them, Kain as Ben would later learn, threw a fist at Ben. "Who you calling shit?" he slurred out.

The punch was slow, and sloppy. It was not hard for Ben to just turn out of the way and not take it.

"I'm telling you, just go home and take a rest. Y'all have had enough."

The other one, apparently Ifuma, now looked rather miffed. "Who exactly are you to tell us what to do? Actually, who the fuck are you period?"

Ben sighed. These guys would be a pain.

"Look, we don't have to do anything here at all, just head on home, or hell, just go burn off the drunkenness in a field or by a river or something. Then head home and slack off. It can actually be that easy."

It never was that easy. Kain had been the first to try to throw a punch. Kain was the first to throw a decent one.

And Ben was the first to catch the punch. In his hand, before letting the boy's hand go, as he was kind of amazed at what just happened. He looked at his hand, looked at Ben, back at his hand, and just stood there a moment.

It was only at the prompting of Jamie that Ifuma came back to his senses.

"Hey,  what are you doing? They don't wanna give us more, fine. Leave 'em be, we'll just grab it ourselves." And he walks over to open the door to the area behind the bar. Ben forces his way between Ifuma and Kain, perhaps a bit too powerfully, but so be it. With one hand, he held the door shut. For the first time since getting to town, his sleeve slipped down from his arm. While certainly not a body builder, he was far from a weakling. The muscles in his arm were visible now, though only slightly. The arms of a laborer, rather than of someone who trained for strength.

Kain seemed to notice them first, as he simply said "Ah, fuck it. Whatever. Y'all are no fun anyways," and headed to the door, though he just stood around outside it.

The other two, however took poorly to Ben's intervention. "Hey, fuck off, asshole," Jaime said, currently unable to open the door.

He turned to Ben and tried to kick him in the knee.

And promptly lost his balance as he kicked and fell to the ground.

Actually, the fall was pretty harsh. Ben would have to check on the early twenties kid to make sure he wasn't basically dying on the floor later.

This was made much easier as, seeing how he was all alone now, Ifuma huffed, and puffed, and left through the front door, kicking at stones with hands in his pockets.

That let Ben check on how Jaime was doing and...

Well Ben was no doctor, but he did not think it would be that bad. He hadn't blacked out, just been in pain for a bit.

At this point Dari came over and helped the boy too his feet, promising to take him home straight away.

Toshiro thanked Ben, and said the stay tonight was on the house.

Turns out, it did not matter than Ben was losing at Poker, he lucked out in the end anyways.

WC 1099
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:20 pm
title: Minor Construction Help (Mission)

This is what Ben was used to, picking things up, carrying them, aligning boards, nailing things together...

It was Ben's fight night in Nikko. Well, it had been. He was already awake and dressing, heading down the stairs to speak with Toshiro.

"Hey," Ben said as he walked out the stair doorway. "Hello," Toshiro replied, before continuing on. "Thanks for that assistance last night."

"No worries," said Ben. "Didn't seem right that they were so drunk but wanting more. Don't want it on my conscious if someone were to get alcohol poisoning that I coulda stopped. Ben took a seat at one of the bar stools. "Can I get some water for the morning?" he asked.

Toshiro replied "Yeah, sure, give me a sec," before turning around and grabbing a glass, then placing it under the tap.

"So," said Ben.

"So?" asked Toshiro.

Ben sighed, then spoke up. "So I... kind of need to pick up some work if I'm going to be staying for awhile."

"Well, do you want to stay for awhile?" Toshiro asked, picking up on Ben's hesitancy.

"I... I don't honestly know."

"What makes you think you might want to stay?"

Ben shrugged. "I can't rightly say. Just that, I've been so many places, and none of them really felt like home."

"And this place does?"

"No." Simple, matter of fact. Ben had not even paused before answering the question. "But... I'm not sure anywhere will, at this point. And with how far I've come, maybe it's time to just... stop."

"Where you from, then, if you've come so far?"

Ben smiled, looking into the water that swirled as he moved his hand, and thereby the cup.

"It feels like such a long time ago. I did construction back in the Earth country." Toshiro whistled. "Not much point now, don't think they'll ever rebuild that place."

The implication was obvious, Ben had come from Iwagakure. This was not some secret Ben was trying to hide, but it would possibly put a target on his back.

"Yeah, that's pretty far."

"I hit the Eastern ocean before I walked back to here."

Once more, Toshiro whistled. "That really is quite the journey." Then, thinking for a few moments, Toshiro said more. "You said you were in construction, right?"

Ben nodded.

"You remember Dari from last night?" he asked.

"Yeah," Ben replied.

"He's helping set up a new place for some of his kids. If you head out there, you may be able to get some cash. At the least you'd get more in the good graces of some of the townsfolk."

Ben smiled, and drank his water. "Thanks, Toshiro. I think I'll do just that," he said before heading back upstairs to get on something more fitting.

A pair of worn work jeans, a long sleeve white shirt, and a large brim hat. That is the attire Ben wore as he walked towards the place that Dari was working on a new house. It was awhile before Dari noticed him, but Ben was still walking there so there was no rush. Dari gave a quick wave, which Ben reciprocated. When he was eventually close, Ben waited for Dari to finish shouting out an instruction and then asked "How's the building coming?"

"I take it Toshiro told you?" he asked. He looked... hesitant.

"Told me you were working on something for family. Not much else, though. I used to be in construction back home. Figured I could help out here, if you wanted any help."

"Ah," Dari responded. Something seemed to be bothering him, though. "Look, thanks for coming, but, I think you should know that I'm helping build this place for my grandson. For..." He sighed. "For Jamie, from last night."

"Ah," Ben responded. How he understood the hesitation in Dari's voice. "Was last night normal for him?"

Dari sighed. "Not a year ago, but ever since he started going around with Kain and Ifuma, it has gotten a lot worse."

Ben nodded. "I see. Well, you want help putting the place together?"

Dari blinked, confused. "You sure?" he asked.

"Yeah. Not like I got anything better to do, unless I plan to start walking west again."

Dari nodded, and gave Ben a quick rundown of what they were doing, what was where, and that stuff.

It was about halfway through the day now. Ben had not been working constantly, he took breaks, he was not insane, but he had spent much more time working on various things than not. The various people working together to build this place were not, at least by trade, builders. They each had their strengths in different tasks, and Ben did not consider any of them weak, but even with the ability he had before his niece's training, he could tell they were not construction workers.

Or perhaps be had been a bit less normal than he thought right from the outset.

There was a lady bringing around lemonade now. Ben had seen her working on various parts of the foundation earlier today. Seemed alright, but a bit distraught. And she seemed to look at Ben with... Well kind of a blank stare, and seemed to look away when Ben looked towards her.

Not always, she wasn't obsessing with him but... It was often enough to be noticeable.

When she offered Ben some lemonade, she simply said "Thanks for helping with my house. I hope my husband didn't cause too much trouble last night."

Ah. That explained a lot about the strange look. "I don't mind, miss, but I don't wanna go putting words into others mouths. He didn't cause me much trouble, saved me lodgings price last night, but can't rightly speak for the rest."

Ben gladly accepted the glass and chugged it down quickly. When she offered more from the pitcher, he shook his head. "I'm all good, Miss..."

"Mio", she replied. "And thank you," she said, before walking away to check on some other stuff.

The rest of the day was largely uneventful. Though Dari did think him for the help, mentioning that they had planned for the foundation to be a two day job, but with the extra help they had gotten it done today, earlier than they expected to be heading home.

Ben accepted the thanks, but was quietly glad to be helping someone out. Honest work, rather than what he had had to do while travelling.

It felt a lot better, to him.

WC 1077
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:21 pm
title: A Dollar Short

Ben was a normal guy. Everywhere he went, he was just... normal. Strong, yes, but not in the sense of training. Just from a history of working construction. Every day he would wake up, ask Toshiro if he knew of any odd jobs to pick up, and then Ben went on his way.

But... the town was small, and people mostly self sufficient. Ben would be able to coast on earnings he got from helping put up a barn and a shed. But he was faced with the reality that... this would not be enough to keep going.

He would need to do more.

So, some days, if the working was done particularly early, Ben would return to the inn and, from a hidden compartment in his suitcase, would retrieve a mask and a cloak. It was far from the best disguise, but he was new in this area, and hoped to... just not have to deal with it much.

Today's order was a bit... Much. Well, order was a bit strong perhaps? See, Ben had gotten in contact with the lord of the land, offered his services as a roaming ninja "though not a terribly skilled one". Sometimes the lord contacted him by leaving a slip of paper under a rock in a nearby cave. Ben assumed that was actually placed there by an attendant or... slave. Ben shivered at the thought of the later. He did not recall any slaves from his time in Iwagakure, or from his travels. But he also never thought to look for it. It sent a chill down his spine to imagine he might has missed obvious signs of the act.

But that was neither here, nor there. Next to him sat a man that had passed out. Drunk.

He awoke to find himself gagged, his legs bound, and his torso tied to a chair.

Ben had always been good at making voices. Perhaps in another life, another time, he was destined to have been a star in Claymation and Animation as your favorite hero! Or villain.

Here, however, it served one purpose. Ben's voice, despite his size, was not particularly deep. He could go far deeper if he tried, though, and that is what he did.

"Do you know how much shit you're in?"

The man seemed to be finally realizing what was going on. He began to scream for help.

"We're in a cave, far from town, nobody is going to come help."

He still screamed until his voice went hoarse.

Ben sighed as the man finally quieted down. "So much debt. For what? Some drinks with friends? What do they even do for you? I spent some time researching you, you know. Nice wife. Betcha you've got a kid on the way. Not sure if she's told you yet, though. May not even realize herself yet. I may be wrong. But I ain't young, and I can understand signs when I see them."

Ben stood up from the rock across from where the man was bound. "I saw so many people working to get you a good house. That ain't easy work. It's backbreaking. And I saw your wife there plenty, doing what she could."

Ben leaned close to the man, his mask being quite possibly the only thing between the two. "And you are going to throw your life away in debt to get drunk."

Ben walked back to the rock.

"I-" began the man.

"Shut it," interrupted Ben.

He sighed once one, a deep, forlorn sigh.

"I, personally, I am giving you one more chance." He holds up a not insignificant amount of money. The man looks confused at Ben. "I'm going to pretend I got this from you, tonight, here. It's a bit more than I was told to collect from you. In exchange, you're to go home and set things right. Quit the drink."

"But-" he began, but Ben interrupted him once more.

"But nothing. You quit the drink, or you end up back here. I'm not the only one that works for the guy. You get someone else, you're probably dead, and they'll start harassing your family for money instead."

The man gulped. "And if you get me again," Ben began.

"Don't think I'll kill you. But I'll make sure you can't drink again. I can only think of a few ways to do that, and none of them are a pretty fate. I'd be upset about removing the hands of a potential laborer, but you don't do much work as is anyways."

Ben stood up and walked over to the man's chair.

"So make sure no one ever brings you here again. OK?"

The man nodded, and with that, Ben removed his bindings, and watched as he stood up and rubbed his wrists.

Then he ran, fast as he likely could. Jamie ran until Ben could see him no longer.

Ben stashed the money in his pocket, and went to deliver it to the exchange point.

WC 832
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:22 pm
title: Food Shopping (Mission)

The house was nearing completion, and Ben had been hard at work.

These days, however, Jaime was right at his side. Ben did not know much, but apparently Jaime had a few rough nights after 'miraculously changing his ways as if overnight'.

Ben knew what happened, but it was easy enough to act pleasantly surprised.

Apparently Ifuma and Kain had been coming around a lot less, two. They were still drunkards, but apparently Jaime had been funding their escapades and most of their drinking habit. So with Jaime gone, and all evidence pointing to them still drinking their asses off, Ben could only imagine the amount of debt they were going into.

But that was neither here nor there. Dari had declared that 'that was enough for today' and everyone, Ben included, was packing up. It would probably only be two or three more days until the house was done.

Then Dari approached Ben and asked: "Ben, mind helping me out with some shopping tonight before you go?"

Ben saw no reason why not to and said "Sure." With that, the pair of them would start heading back into the town proper.

To call it a shop would maybe be a bit dishonest. There were a bunch of stalls set up, and people were selling various excesses they had grown, or raised, or harvested in some other way. Much like a Farmer's Market, but as the Main Shop for the town.

Yeah, it was a pretty small place.

"Thank you," Dari said, as the pair were walking down a path, not a soul in sight.

"Not a problem. You're paying me after all."

"No no, I-" Dari began, coughed once, and then started again. A little raspy this time, "I head it was a nice looking mask."

Ben paused for just a moment. The statement caught him off guard and... he quickly realized that he needed to act natural. If Dari meant what Ben feared...

"I'm not sure what you mean," he simply replied.

"Oh, I must have been mistaken," Dari said, and continued to walk down the path. But he seemed to be smiling more now.

As the pair walked around, Ben carrying a bad of corn, a bag of tomatoes, and a bag of various cheeses, he became more and more aware of the reality that this whole expedition was probably an excuse for Dari to thank him in private.

Ben still kept up his promise. He carried things around. When Dari was picking through different types of cheese, Ben pointed out a type that he had had as a kid that he vaguely remembered liking.

Ben might also have picked up some of the soft and sweet cheese for himself. He had a bit of a sweet tooth sometimes.

And not enough forethought to realize he had no way to keep them cold.

That would not be that bad for most cheese, but these ones would have gone bad sooner.

After asking Dari, he handed off most of the sweet, soft cheeses to Dari to store. He could get them later.

Or whenever he got a fridge.

WC 520
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:23 pm
title: A Simple Delivery (Mission)

Getting out of bed was the easy part.

Ben was still not sure about this town. The people here, by and large, seemed nice enough. But there was something distinctly fucked the fuck up.

The lord of this area seemed... all too eager to do some things. He funded alcohol habits, and other, often more detrimental habits, and used the funding to extort people for inordinate amounts of money. This had happened with Jaime, and Ben had seen it happen with others, too. It was not a pretty sight.

The lord also seemed... more than willing to employ people of certain proclivities to retrieve the money due him.

Ben tried to take on those jobs when he saw them but... Well he had no direct interactions. Everything was at least three steps removed, not even including the step where Ben was pretending to not be Ben when dealing with those jobs.

Somehow even worse was how the current lord had come into power. That, however, was not something Ben needed to worry about right now. Apparently, shortly after the current lord came into power, the number of bandits in the area rose drastically. While the towns themselves were seemingly as safe as they had ever been, the route between towns was significantly less so. From the rumors Ben had picked up, these were not individuals trained in the ninja arts. However, because this land was so far from any ninja lands, the cost to bring out, and especially to keep, bodyguards around was prohibitively expensive.

That had led to Tami asking for Ben's assistance. She remembered how he reacted that night at the bar, and knowing he was at least on the stronger side, well, she wanted the assistance.

But Tami never asked Ben. She considered it far too much to ask of someone. She did, however, complain to Dari on more than one occasion, and he recommended, on more than one occasion, asking Ben for help. At every step of the way, though, she had stubbornly refused. So today, at the suggestion of Dari, Ben just HAPPENED to be going to the neighboring town of Tokorono because he just HAPPENED to be bored, and he just HAPPENED to mention his desire to go the previous night around the poker table while also HAPPENING to mention that he actually had no idea how to get there!

Tami was not dumb.

But she was thankful.

"So," Ben said, elbow on the edge of the cart, hand massaging his forehead because... "Your donkey is named Meiru  and you've named your cart Meriu."

"Yep," replied Tami.

"But-" Ben took a deep breath. This would take all his willpower to ask carefully. "But why?"

"Why not?"

Ben sat there a moment, his palm lightly touching his nose, before the tiniest of noises escaped his lips. One sound led to another, volume increasing and increasing. Tami would have been afraid, but...

It was laughter. Ben was laughing. The laughs came from a deep place in his chest. His guffaws literally shook the cart.

That was not quite so impressive a feat considering that the cart was rather old and had not been maintained in quite awhile.

But that was besides the point! Ben was having a right good time, and so was Tami! She could not not laugh after all the ruckus that Ben was making, after all!

Her laughter was a bit more controlled, but... Emphasis on bit. It was still a good, hearty laugh, not some measly chuckle. The two of them laughed for a good few minutes. At some point, they were no longer laughing at the absurd naming scheme that Tami's granddaughter had had, but rather laughing the other person was laughing, or had laughed, and that was funny in some weird way that neither of them quite understood but would both agree on if someone even thought to potentially ask them about it.

Tami was the first to try to break the chain. "Aight, that's enough laughing from the two of us," she said.

Ben then stared laughing at that, and then Tami couldn't resist laughing more.

For a ``pretty boring journey'', the two of them seemed to be having a good time.

The idle chatter had fallen. Ben was enjoying the scenery while not having to walk but... he was aware that Tami was on edge here. While he did genuinely enjoy the scenery of the area, he was not going to forget why he was there in the first place.

Honestly, his presence alone, according to Dari, may be enough to make the trip go seamlessly. "Big guy" was a scary idea, and there weren't enough ninja, let alone strong ninja, in this part of the world for people to have gotten used to the idea that looks don't fucking matter.

Ben's niece could handedly beat him in EVERY SINGLE FUCKING THING when she was twelve. That sort of thinking just couldn't pass muster where he was from, and that same idea followed him everywhere.

Then he got to the Land of Honey, and he noticed that... was not quite so pronounced. And the further east he went, the more than realization seemed to fade away.

And way out here?

Nothing. There was not even a hint of it left. That was one of the things Ben truly despised about this area. Not the specific town he was in, but... that also seemed to have a pretty lackluster reasoning.

They still remember that Lester's two daughters, who went through ninja training, were pretty amazing in their own rights. Until someone literally burnt their house down with them inside.

That was... not an easy story for Ben to have heard about.

Ben told himself sometimes that the town probably was not that oblivious and, frankly, backwards before that, either, but...

He did not know.

And he kind of did not want to know.

Rather, he preferred finishing the delivery in peace.

And whether it was because he was there, or just it was a slow day, that is exactly what the pair accomplished.

WC 1014
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Missing-Nin (D-rank)
Stat Page : Stat Page
Remove Default
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:24 pm
title: (Don't) Shoot the Messenger (Mission)

Ben had a house now.

A small place, more out of the way then he might have liked, but... that did have its upsides.

The basement was... different. Though exactly how did not matter just yet.

What did matter, however, was the person collapsed on his front porch.

Ben carried her inside.

Ben was not an idiot. There were some things he had learned to hide, and some things he had learned to pay attention to.

This lady was not, in any way, shape, or form, normal. Outwardly, she looked like anyone who might be from this village.

But, of the few things Ben truly knew how to do, ninja-wise, one of them was knowing that this lady was a ninja.

One of the few things that Ben did not need special knowledge to know is that, in one way or another, she had been brutalized and abused.

So he laid her on the couch, covered her up in a blanket, and got the closest thing he had to clothes that might fit her.

They wouldn't.

But they were a little small for him, so maybe they would be ok?

He dragged a table over to the head of the couch and placed a water glass on it.

At some point, he would relocate her to the basement. That would be the best case scenario. There were people much better at noticing these things than Ben was, and-

Ben shook his head for a moment. This was sounding like the thoughts of a maniac planning to take someone to their sex dungeon.

Nope, that was NOT it, AT ALL.

Ben rubbed his forehead with pointer and thumb.

His basement was better at hiding stuff-

Dammit that sounded wrong, too!

He had learned the Seal of Suppression. It had been a lot of work, and trips to libraries that were in neighboring towns, just to learn that it existed in the first place.

But Ben knew that, if he wanted to stay hidden, as a totally normal person, well the only way to do that was keep himself hidden.

So, at least in his basement, he could always be hidden.

Ben was reading a book on the upper floor when he heard a banging from below him. Not a violent banging.

Well, not like things being thrown around.

More like banging on a door.

Which would make sense, he did lock the basement door.

Ben walked into the stairway.

"Are you awake?" he asked, even though he knew the answer.

"...Yes" she replied, after a few seconds.

"Sorry about locking the door, it's a habit at this point," he said as he turned the switch, unlocking it.

She seemed... apprehensive.

While she stood in the basement, Ben could not read her Chakra. He had gotten used to sensing the chakra around him. It was a comfort. He began walking back up the stairs, planning to go back to his book.

"Wait," she said, and Ben waited. "You didn't tell anyone you saw me, right?"

"Not a soul. I don't want to risk the people of this town." Ben did not look at her. But his determination wavered. He knew this, hell he knew she, was dangerous. But that question scared him more. This was not the life he wanted.

"Why are you out here?" she asked. She was walking up the stairs now.

"I'm just a normal guy trying to live out my middle age in peace after the tumult of my younger years."

"Get better at hiding yourself, then," she said.

Ben froze. He had not been ascending the stairs, certainly. But his whole body stopped moving. "What?" is all he managed. It was not a what of anger, hatred, or malice. It was said almost with a puppy dog intonation.

"The only thing more obviously a ninja than someone in a hairband," she began, "is a person without any chakra signature."

Ben stood there for a minute, went "Ah", and ascended the stairs. The woman left, with her package, and, as Ben would later realize, his leftover clothes.

He hoped that was not a serious mistake.

WC 687
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