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Missing-Nin (B-rank)
Missing-Nin (B-rank)
Stat Page : Stats
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Clan Specialty : Sensory
Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 125900

The Last Dance Empty The Last Dance

Wed Feb 15, 2023 11:27 am
I'll Be Home for the Holidays:

After the previous  few days of ridiculously strenuous missions, Auron had been cooped up in the confines of his hotel room. For the first few days, he spent the bulk of his time soaking in the bathroom's tub. The Yamaguchi was altering between taking the hottest, steamiest and the coldest baths of his life. The cold baths alleviated inflammation, soreness, and fatigue Auron was experiencing after his first usage of some of his more powerful techniques. Then the hot baths were just soothing, and gave Auron better regulation of his breathing and blood flow. In this village there were saunas and bathhouses, but Auron hardly trusted anyone else to go into a public setting like that and make himself vulnerable. Therefore he tried to replicate the benefits of such a place in the comfort of his own room. But after he concluded these processes, he'd order room service to replenish his energy. Though the restaurant in the hotel was small, they still managed to have some of his favorite foods. Teppanyaki, ramen, dumplings, and other carbohydrate rich foods. He didn't get to indulge like this normally, so he felt like he truly deserved this luxurious series of quality and comfort meals. Plus the recent acquisition of lump sums of ryo only further incentivized him to treat himself. In any case, after nice baths and good meals, naturally what came next was Auron passing out. The warm blowing air carried him from the desk in his room to his bed, where the blankets would cover him and the pillows and mattress would cushion him. As soon as his head hit the pillow, he was knocked out.

During his slumber, his dreams began to materialize more intensely than they had before. Perhaps it was a product of the monosodium glutamate or MSG that was present in the food, but his dreams almost felt lucid. He'd experience a dark realm, which seemed characteristic of something like an underworld village. The buildings were small and forged of wood and stone with straw roofs. The road was cobblestone, with blood smears and drag marks riddled up and down the street. When he'd look to see the sky, his eyes would be met with what looked like the carved rooftop of a cavern. Auron shuddered at the initial chill he got from being in such a dark place, but at the same time a feeling developed in the pit of his stomach that made him feel...home. Interestingly enough though within this dream world, Auron didn't see a single person. There were no kids in the street, no lights on in any home, and not even a peep of sound. Though this place felt natural to him, it simultaneously felt dead. He'd proceed through the town for awhile, investigating any evidence of life and found nothing. A wisp of wind had been the only signs of motion that this place showed. Paying a little more attention to the feel of this motion, Auron denoted that it was not just wind. Using his chakra sensory allowed him distinguish that the wind was actually a familiar ancestral spirit that often appeared to him in his dreams. Though it never spoke, it always beckoned him to follow it. This time would be no different as it sort of ushered the young man to follow it through a series of alleyways and until it led directly outside a stony home. It was decrepit, but sturdy enough for Auron to push the door open and go inside without it falling apart. Though on the outside it seemed empty and lifeless, once he stood within the home he could feel the presence of numerous spirits surrounding him. They hovered in two rows across from each other, allowing for a 2 meter wide walkway, each of the spirits pointing towards the back of the house. He wasn't sure if it were his own free will, or the command of the spirits that compelled him to but either way he found himself parading down the aisles of spirits. Ultimately he'd reach a single wall, which had been etched with symbols and illustrations. Auron would take a moment to study them and try to decipher their meanings. It'd take a moment, but suddenly it would click with him. They were letting him know that it was time, time to fully embrace the Yamaguchi clan. Throughout his life, the spirits had somewhat been guiding and grooming him while overseeing his growth. Now that he had been 18 and had the hardened experience of a rogue shinobi under his belt, the spirits must have deemed him worthy. Turning around in place, he'd see the room crowded with spirits, so much so that he couldn't even take a step in a single direction. And all at once, they'd rush him.

Lunging up from his slumber and in a quick panic, Auron would awaken sweating profusely and heart pounding. Waking up in this fashion wasn't uncommon for Auron, so he was able to calm himself down quickly. However this dream in particular stood out to him. It was realistic and carried with it an important message for Auron. A prophecy of sorts, which the Yamaguchi was to abide by and fulfill. Though the instructions seemed cryptic at first, Auron had a decent understanding of what he should do. Some time ago he was taught a ritual by deciphering art upon a wall which his spirits lead him to. The art illustrated the practice of what he later learned was the Ritual of the Undead. And though he was eager to undergo it, the human side of him needed a break from the intensity of the dream.

The raging winds howling against his window was a good distraction to snap him out of the daze he was in. Standing from his bed, he'd dress himself and walk over to the window to acknowledge the harsher than usual storm outside. No matter how hard he tried, Auron couldn't even see more than a meter outside because of the intensity of the blanketing snowfall. Though concerned with how it would affect him, Auron would exit his room and inn to make his way outside to begin his day. 

He had been fully equipped with his gear, but even though his armor kept his warm the visibility of the Winter Wonderland was alarmingly low. How could these people survive in such a climate? How often did this happen? These were just a few of the questions that rummaged through Auron's head as he high stepped through the mounds of snow that covered the street. Making his way through it, he'd eventually come across a large street lamp whose light barely cut through the thickness of the snowy wind. Upon the base of the lamp were numerous flyers, all with the face of a young man printed upon it. The top of the flyer read "Missing", and throughout its contents were descriptors of the man's appearance. Finally at the bottom of the flyer was an address, likely that of the man who had been missing. Upon seeing this, Auron assumed that the man had been lost during the blizzard. But this made him wonder just how long the blizzard had been going on, and subsequently how long he had slept through it. Seeing as there was likely a reward for the recovery of the man, Auron would undertake the responsibility of finding him. He'd take one of the flyers from the post, study its contents, then stuff it into his pocket. And so the search was on.

He'd start by making his way into the town tavern, which surprisingly was still busy during the blizzard. Walking up to the bar, he'd put the flyer down and slide it over to the barkeep. 

"Do you know this man?"

"Yeah, that's Marku. He's missing? Man...I bet his wife is worried."

"Have you seen him recently?"

"He was here a day or two ago...really drunk too. Anyways he stumbled out of here, talking about a bridge or something. Only one I know of is South of the village near a giant frozen lake."

"A bridge....Hm, thanks. I think this gives me a lot to work with."

With that crucial detail, Auron would exit from the tavern and continue his search. He'd trek south through the violent winter storm, maneuvering his way through the snow covered streets until he reached the outskirts of the village. The scenery would transition from the town to naked trees, who bore more icicles than leaves. The snowy ground here seemed more more firm and compact than it had in the town, allowing Auron to have a better footing while walking. Yet as he did so, he'd come across what seemed like recent footprints. Auron would squat down to one knee and run his fingers across the outline of the shallow shoeprint. The snow seemed moist within it, which made sense considering the fact that it had been snowing so heavily. But this observation led Auron to believe that whoever made these footprints had walked through the area at least a day or two ago, and since then the snow had filled in the bulk of the mode. To him that meant that there was likely time to find and save the man, but realistically he could have been frozen solid at this point.

Regardless the search would continue. He'd follow the shoeprints, which seemed to continue onward for half of a kilometer. It would take some minutes to reach their end, but when he would they'd lead to a bridge. But from their orientation, it would seem that they led to underneath the bridge. Auron would make his way down and underneath the bridge, which sat just above the start of the frozen lake. There he would find the man who matched the flyers, completely passed out and likely experiencing a case of severe hypothermia. His fingers were discolored along with his nose and ears. Retrieving the flyer from his pocket, Auron would look upon it and compare it to the man who lied on the ground. The resemblance was uncanny, and so it was time to bring him back. Leaning down to the group, Auron would tap the man's shoulder. No response. Softly, he'd slap the man's face. No response. More aggressively, this time he would smack the man across the cheek. This time, there had been a soft grunt that emitted out of the man's weakened voice. Auron would sigh softly in relief, at least he had still been alive. Realizing that this man was likely in no condition to walk and was particularly sensitive, Auron would have to exercise extreme caution in transporting him back to the village. Slowly, he'd position his arms underneath the most sturdy parts of the man: his back and knees. In one quick yet controlled manner, Auron would fully extend his knees and stand to lift the man, primarily using his legs to do so. Now holding him securely, Auron would start the long journey back to the village. 

If ever there was a time to complain, now would be it. To put it frankly, it absolutely sucked to carry this irresponsible man from a place that would have been his guaranteed death and back to his home. The walk up the hill and back to the forest was miserable and probably the most laborious portion of the trip. The forest itself was the longest part, where Auron could start to feel the strain of carrying the man in his forearms and back the most. Once he reached the town, he could figuratively see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recalling the address from the flyer, Auron would walk through the town until he found the street that corresponded to the address's. Luckily for him, the house number belonged to the first house on the street. 

Auron would make his way towards it, walking up the steps of the porch. Once at the top, he'd kick the base of the door with his foot three times. After some minutes, the sound of footsteps approaching the door came. They were met with the door opening and the appearance of a sobbing woman to match. When the door opened, her face went from somber to shock. 

"M-Marku? Is that really him? Oh thank you for bringing my love back to me!" she exclaimed while starting to lunge over to the man. Auron would retract his steps backwards though, as a warning to the woman to not proceed any closer. 

"Hey, be careful. This guy is in terrible shape and probably needs to go to a hospital. He might be dealing with hypothermia. Though he seems unconscious, I think he's responsive. He might still have a chance at living."

The woman, disheartened but appreciative, would hesitatingly nod and express a firm look of determination. "Right. I guess he got carried away at the bar again. Please, bring him inside and rest him on the couch to warm up. I'll call the hospital and ask them to pick him up."

Auron complied with her request, carrying the man inside and softly lying him down on the couch in the living room next to the steady embered fireplace. When he'd turn around, the woman would be holding a sack of ryo, seemingly presenting it to Auron. 

"Here, for your troubles. Thank you again for saving his life."

Auron would nod in response without a word, take his reward, and depart from her home. He'd start to make his way back to the south side of the village, intent on returning to the forest he walked through to find the man. Though the mission had given him a needed distraction from the dream he experienced last night, but now it was time to officially address it. When he'd reach the center of the forest, he'd take a deep breath in anticipation of the events he was primed to experience. With his breath in, he'd close his eyes and recall the steps of the Ritual of the Undead. When he'd open his eyes, he'd begin to recite the lines from the Pact Eternal, softly but surely. Simultaneously, he'd cautiously perform a series of four handseals: rat, boar, monkey, then horse. Upon conclusion of both steps, a rift in the space directly in front of him would form, black and ethereal in nature. Taking a moment to swallow deeply in anticipation of what was to come, Auron would proceed inside of it.

It was dark, just like his dream had been. And it remained like that for some moments after he had been fully submerged in it. While within it, he could hear the whishing of spirits flying by him, softly brushing against his skin. They surrounded him, just as they had done so in his dream, but this time they were not guiding him. Instead, they embraced him. The hairs on his skin erected, and he felt a chilling sensation down his spine. But this came to an end, followed by all of the spirits distancing themselves from him. This lasted for a moment, and what came after was akin to what happened in his dream. He was rushed by all the spirits at once. And just like he had in response before, Auron came to. In a panic, he'd emerge from the realm of the underworld and resurface himself in the forest which he had previously stood within. Though he felt the same, Auron took a moment to visually inspect himself. His skin still looked and felt the same, he retained all of his limbs, and his facial characteristics didn't feel any different. However when he placed his palm above his chest to check his heartbeat, he didn't feel a single rhythm. It was unsettling, as no matter where he moved his hand he couldn't feel a thing. Instinctively, he placed the back of his hand against his forehead. His skin felt cold, not characteristic of the weather, but similar to how Gonk's own head felt. Perhaps this was all a part of the ritual?

Mentally he shrugged this off, he was still him. And he recalled that his most recent dream depicted another ritual. One familiar to him as well, which was the Blade Art - Necrokinesis. Though he was able to remember the exact steps taken to perform the ritual, he personally was unsure if he was ready. Physically he was, as he had a suitable blade along with a corpse of someone he knew to be powerful. However he was mentally on the fence of performing such a ritual on his friend. He'd reflect on this dilemma for a bit before coming to the conclusion that he'd like to seek either Grey or Cid's counsel. Though they did not know to what extent Auron ancestral lineage dabbled with death, the Yamaguchi was certain they would listen to him and not judge him. Additionally they would likely be able to offer their collective wisdom on the Necrokinesis ritual along with using the Fourth Mizukage's body to do so. Though...he'd first have to tell the team that he was in possession of the Mizukage's body. 

In any case, it seemed as if he had stayed in this place for too long as the cold was finally catching up to him. Resultantly, Auron began his walk back to the village once more. By this time the blizzard seemed to be dying down but had effectively taken its toll on the Winter Wonderland.. There was snow everywhere, and likely more people like Marku who had been caught in it. Though they more than likely would not have a savior like Auron to come and rescue them, even if he had mainly done it for the ryo. Finally arriving at the Inn, Auron would begin to walk by the receptionist desk before being called out to by the receptionist. 



"It seems like your stay at the Winter Wonderland has come to an end."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean it's time for you to go. Was nice having you though. Come by real soon." And with that, the receptionist would snap his fingers, and Auron would awaken in the bed of the inn in the Land of Fire. Dazed and confused, the young man would recognize there was nothing else that he could do to fight this and simply laid back down. He needed the sleep.
WC = 3076

Mission Reward Claims
I'll Be Home for the Holidays: 6,000 Ryō + 4,000 Ryo (B Rank, MN Bonus) / 30 AP / 1,500 Winter Equinox Tickets / 1x Full Dice (d10)

Starting Ryo / Bonus AP = 195,900 Ryo / 920 AP
Rewarded Ryo / Bonus AP = 10,000 Ryo / 30 AP

New Ryo / Bonus AP = 205,900 Ryo / 950 AP
New Total Winter Equinox Tickets = 4,000 Tickets

WC Claims
- 700 WC to untrain 7 Points from Vigor; New Vigor = 25
- 700 WC to train 7 points to Chakra; New Chakra = 125
- 1251 WC to learn Sword Storm, rest trained here
- 425 WC to learn Augmentation
Stat Page : Fu's Fat Stats
Familiar : Archie the Bear
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Village : Hoshigakure
Ryo : 176650

The Last Dance Empty Re: The Last Dance

Wed Feb 15, 2023 12:04 pm
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