Ninpocho Chronicles is a fantasy setting storyline set in the World of Ninjas where feudal daimyo, clans and ninja villages all wage war on each other for money, glory or for a common goal.

Each ninja starts from the bottom and start their training as an Academy Student. From there they develop abilities akin to that of demigods as they grow in age and experience.

Along the way they gain new friends (or enemies), take on jobs and complete contracts and missions for their respective villages where their training and skill will be tested to their limits.

The sky is the limit as the blank page you see before you can be filled with countless of adventures with your character in the game.

This is Ninpocho Chronicles.

Private Hunters of the Night[ANBU Exam]

Nanjirou Soku

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It was an odd responsbility that had been transferred upon here, Soku thought to herself as the heavy patter of the rain flooded the forest in the night sky with the occasional thunder flash now and then. Konohagakure tonight was serving host to a rather strong thunderstorm that had spared no mercy and coupled with the everlasting darkness, it would make for the perfect setting. The Main Branch Sennin would be unrecgonizable to those who had not gotten acquianted with her over the years dressed in her battered old ANBU vest which had the symbol of her unit emblazoned on the center piece and her mask complete with dark flowing robes that made her almost merge into the darkness. Her hair clung to her skin coated with moisture as she balanced on a tree branch, eyes scanning the forested area she had set out for the potential candiadate that had expressed interest in gaing a role of those who went unseen, those who peformed the most heinous acts for the good of the village.

In the absence of a ANBU Sennin, it fell into Soku's hands given she had the most experience with the organization and how it operated having served as a captain for many years. It took a certain mettle to qualify and Soku would draw on her years of experience to determine whether Daisuke would be a proper fit. The boy was a good kid, a solid heart if anything but if he was to exceed in this analysis tonight on this dark, rainy night, he would have to quickly learn that morals and ethics would serve no purpose for him anymore if he was serious about purusing this desire about the ANBU. It was a rude reality she had awoken to and one that was sure to shake his world if he did not know what to expect. That said, no one really did and that was they excelled at. Being the unexpected as the woman tilited her head sideways as another ANBU figure loomed out of the darkness, his armor reflecting in the moonlight giving him away. "Speak, Razor."

"The summons has been given, Sennin." A nod of her head as she gestured with her hand shooing him away. "Excellent, now make yourselves sparse. No need to ruin the surprise early on." "As you command." The silent patter of footsteeps barely audible as the ANBU disappeared into the depths of the forest probably hidden in wait somewhere. To Soku, the exam had already begun. There was no telling when anything could happen or at any given moment in time. It could happen when you were secure in your houses or out in the field bleeding out. She intended to make this as real as possible and push his limits both physically and mentally. If he was bold, he would show up or on the other hand, he could opt not to show. In both circumstances, Soku would understand as this underground organization while certainly a long desired title for some, there were those not so keen to live the life of an undercover operative, something she could undertsand but for now, all she could do was wait as another flash of thunder sounded illuminating the area for a brief second before dousing her in blackness again. Soon, everything would be revealed.
 
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The echoes of thunder rumbled far above Konohagakure, even as the sun was setting, and Minamoto Daisuke was readying himself for what was to come that evening. He could hear the rain lashing against his bedroom window while he inspected the equipment he had laid neatly on his bed – the pattering of water droplets from outside had always helped him to sleep, but the growing intensity of this storm was different. It was as if all the gathered energy of the heavens had burst out in a mixture of water and lightning that blanketed the area, seemingly cutting of the village from the calmness of most summer nights. Daisuke frowned as he looked over his equipment, a single thread was excluding itself from the remainder of his headband. With a tight grasp and a quick flip of his wrist, the thread was no more and his ensemble was ready.

The Minamoto boy pulled on his bodysuit, his jacket, his seal emblazoned glove, and finally his headband. This could very well be an official examination, he had to look his best and prepare to demonstrate his abilities. Chakra had been gathering within him for quite some time now, slowly building to its maximum capacity. While it was suspected that he did not have the largest pool of chakra out of everyone around him, Daisuke suspected that his control over it and his ability to properly regulate its usage gave him somewhat of an edge. But of course it was one thing for the boy to suspect it and another for his superiors to notice his talents. Maybe the tournament had some say in his summoning this evening, of course he hoped it had, but either way that was in the past and he needed to focus on what was to come.

He walked calmly down the stairs, there was plenty of time left before he was scheduled to arrive but he enjoyed taking the time to arrive precisely when expected. Timing was of great importance in the shinobi world, being early or late was unacceptable in many cases and as such Daisuke had practiced his timings as best as he could. The rain beat down on him as he walked through the village, the path towards the forest of death was not one he walked often, but in the lead up to this examination Daisuke had plotted the fastest and most efficient route which was coincidentally the one he was walking at that moment.

It didn’t take too long for the paved road to turn to dirt, then to mud, and then to grass as the village grew smaller behind him and shrunk out of view. The constant rain didn’t help with visibility, that was despite the occasional flashes of lightning which illuminated the environment for a split second. A quick hand moved up and over Daisuke’s face, it brushed away the clumps of wet hair that clung to his forehead. Streams of rainwater ran down his face and over the contours of his eyes and nose, but the boy didn’t mind. The flowing of the water was something to focus on, something to help him centre himself as the fence and the forest within grew closer and closer.

As he neared the gate, Daisuke drew his right index and middle fingers together vertically in front of his face. His senses reached out into the darkness in search of any chakra signatures that were around him, there was one closer than the many that lived within the forest and a flash of lightning still revealed a silhouette for a brief moment. He made his way over shortly after, arriving just at the time he was prescribed. After giving a short but respectful bow, he stood.

“I am ready to begin.”

[Topic entered]
 
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Nanjirou Soku

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He was keen, she would give him that. He wasted no time in glancing around for any other familiar figures in the area because the truth was, Daisuke had already detected her whether it was his sense or the branch that gave her away. "Very observant, that will serve you well today." Her voice loomed out neutral as she hopped down from the tree branch, her boots hitting the ground as the former captain analyzed his demeanor. "You say you are ready but are you truly?" The games had already begun of trying to get into her head, it was a tactic she used so often to break new recruits to see who withered under pressure as the friendly tone most had gotten used to with the Sennin was no longer there as her vocals adapted a harsh and cold feature as she paced walking back and forth in front of the prospective new addition to the ranks of the ANBU. "Are you prepared to give everything for an organization, even your life? We shall soon find out, won't we?" They certainly would as another flash of thunder and a lightning bolt struck the ground a few feet from them.

The premise of the examination was something basic but one that would have been certain death for any normal shinobi. However, they were not normal shinoi, they were ANBU so she was not sparing even a single ounce of mercy in here. "Once you begin, there is no way out so think hard about this before you start." She would not blame him if he chose not to go through with it, however, she had yet to encounter a recruit who willingly walked out of such an exam only to learn the unforunate reality later. Only very few passed and deep down, Soku hoped that Daisuke with all of his skills could pull through. However, now was not the time for sentiments as she cleared her throat having given enough time for the boy to walk out or gather all of his courage or resolve.

"You have been tasked with a simple misson. A team of foreign shinobi have crossed the border and advancing rapidly towards Konohagakure leaving a trail of destruction and death in their wake. Their intention is to raze the village to the ground and claim it for their Kage. You have been sent out to track and eliminate the threat however required."

She would nod towards a series of muddy footprints in the ground that led deeper into the forest into the growing darkness that held all sorts of traps and monsters, she was sure. "The ANBU team you were sent out with were caught in an ambush and killed. You are the lone survivor and they are out there somehere seeking to finish you off and continue towards the Hidden Leaf." The feeling of knowing you were alone and with death facing you was enough to break some, but others had a will made of steel which was what she liked to see.

The outcome would be determined by what actions Daisuke took or what he did. "Get a move on then. Your killers are out there somewhere, better get to them before they get to you." Soku replied smirking before tugging her cloak around her and retreating into the branches of the trees which provided excellent cover and making her barely visible. Her fellow ANBU would make this hell for the poor recruit, the motive was not to win though if he did, that would be excellent, it was to see if he could hold his own and hold on without completely breaking down. They needed iron grips and a solid state of mind in the ANBU, not sunflowers.
 
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Daisuke took a moment to glance around at the rain slicked environment that surrounded himself and the Sennin. The forest of death was something to behold, and soon some of its secrets would become known to the young shinobi – he knew that there would be hell to pay if he wasn’t careful, and that was without whatever plans Soku had in store for him. A flash of lightning illuminated his glistening wet hair for but a moment as he looked on towards the imposing figure stood before him. Clearly this was no laughing matter, there had been no moments as serious as this in the young boy’s life up until now, but in a sense, he had always been preparing for the moment he would face a challenge in joining the more elite members of the village.

Soku’s words were penetrating, she seemed to question everything to the core of Daisuke’s being, looking to stir anxiety within the boy. As a bolt of lightning struck the ground a few feet from their location, Daisuke shifted his stance – the closest he would allow himself to flinching at the sudden flash of light and the crash of thunder above. He didn’t faulter further for the time being, to an extent this was surely part of the plan to test him – in truth the test had probably already begun well before the Minamoto boy was invited to partake in this challenge. He’d surely been watched for a while, unknowingly. It was a strange sensation to acknowledge that reality, but it was a sensation he would soon have to get used to if he planned to make any headway in his training and in his plans generally. He blinked the rainwater from his eyes and returned their blue gaze towards Soku as she continued speaking. She paused for a notable few moments, clearly giving Daisuke time for her words to sink in and reaffirm his position on taking the test.

A simple nod was all that Daisuke felt he needed to give as he continued to accept his imminent future. The narrative was simple enough for the boy to understand, though it didn’t mean that it was going to be any less challenging. There were shiobi out there, probably waiting for him to fall into one of their traps. It was probably unavoidable that he would be caught unaware at some point, though that wouldn’t stop the Minamoto boy from doing his best to avoid the traps and convert the situation to his advantage. Even as Soku was speaking, Daisuke was attempting to plot the best route into the forest so that his tracking of the hidden shinobi wouldn’t leave him too exposed.

Another nod followed as Soku ordered him to begin, however Daisuke stood still for a moment, weaving his hands together as he watched the Sennin almost disappear completely into the foliage around her. The rain appeared to slow around Daisuke for a moment as droplets coalesced into three humanoid shapes, all of which soon bore the same appearance as the boy who had conjured them. Two scattered immediately, disappearing into the trees, while the third moved to follow the tracks on a more exposed pathing. All of the clones would stay relatively close, Daisuke knew as he dashed off into the forest, his allowed for his clone to follow the obvious tracks while he (covered by his two other clones) looked for more subtle signs of activity on the journey further into the forest.

He drew his fingers to his face on regular intervals, searching with his sensory techniques in an attempt to locate chakra signatures around him. Each branch he leapt to was slippery, but it was nothing that a bit of chakra control couldn’t handle. As he progressed deeper into the forest, Daisuke’s hands wove more seals, and soon his body was coated in a layer of chakra that made him barely visible to the eye. His clones weren’t under the same obscuring jutsu, but that was all part of his plan. They were both backup and bait after all, and he knew exactly where each one was in case the enemy decided to engage.

But for now, he had to watch and wait for signs of the enemy. Ready to react at a moment’s notice.



 

Nanjirou Soku

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The forest held many secrets. One day, it could just be a lovely stroll out to admire the scenery while the other day, you could be in for the very fight of your life fending off bandits, ninja or Raiden knew what else. It was especially inadvisable to journey to a location known as the Forest of Death on a rainy, dark night. However, that was how the ANBU rose to the challenge. They made the most comfortable setting out of any uncomfortable setting, that was their profession, not one of luxury but one of necessity as the former captain almost seemed to fade into the greenery and brush to observe from an undisclosed location.

He had gone for the typical approach. It was the most sensible approach when you were outnumbered and being hunted. Split yourself up as best as you could to confuse the enemy and Daisuke seemed to understand this too as his clones took to the darkness of the Forest immersesing themselves as best as they could. "Smart." Soku muttered to herself her eyes sticking with the real shinobi though or at least she hoped it was. It was not fun being on the recieiving end of the Clone Jutsu as a hand flicked to her headset. "Green light,, I repeat, green light." A green light for what exactly would be revealed to the boy in a manner of a few seconds.

As he converged deeper into the forest, the tracks became more wild and more obvious with blood stains here and there. Signs of a struggle were apparent with clues coming in the form of a shattered ANBU mask, a few arrows and the destroyed landscape indicative of the fact that some sort of shinobi struggle had indeed taken place here. The corspe of one his fellow ANBU had been nailed to a tree in a horrible, graphic display or at least that was the illusion Soku wanted to give off. Invoke fear, hesitation, whatever she could get out of him in order to see how he would cope with this information.

So far, though no sign of who had done this horrendous deed. He would just have to follow the signs of the struggles and if he chose to keep on the path, soon enough, he would also discover other bodies all which had been propped up in some display. Whoever this enemy was, they had no humanity and they knew there was one more. A note had been pinned to a tree with a kunai spelling out the word "RUN" in dripping blood letters. Well, that would have been obvious to anyone who stumbled upon this scene of death.

However, ANBU did not run and neither did the enemy. The enemy in fact was lying in wait for the sole survior to attempt to locate his other team-members. It was the most sensible thing anyone would do out here cut off from your team, try to link up with them and hope nothing has happened though in this case, it seemed like something defintely has. "Man, where the hell is he?" The hushed voice came from above where four men in all black crouched hidden in the branches not far from their encampent.

"Relax, he'll come looking. It works every time and if not, we can always bring the party to him."
 
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The rain buffeted down onto Daisuke, even as he was sheltered by the dark canopy that stretched out in all directions high above him. Again, the constant droplets of water didn’t bother Daisuke, in fact it seemed to calm something within him – a much needed factor given his current and stressful situation. His eyes darted from left to right, up and down both watching his surroundings and keeping an eye on the clones that continued to navigate through the forest.

The squadron of four shinobi slowed as it became clearer that the tracks ahead became more erratic, it appeared to Daisuke that he and his clones were converging on the spot that played host to the recent conflict that resulted in the death of Daisuke’s allies. They all stopped as the corpse came into view – the clone following the most obvious path approached to inspect the figure, though Daisuke could see all he needed from his vantage point. In times like this it was important to analyse all the information available. Daisuke surveyed the battleground, taking note of which weapons were used, the evidence of different elemental jutsu that he could see, as well as the potential trajectories that projectiles could have been launched from. It was a gruesome display to say the least, and if these enemies at hand had the ability to neutralise ANBU then they were surely competent ninja.

Daisuke didn’t question his decision to keep moving forward, this was his test after all, and he needed to continue onwards despite the gore that was on display. It was surely something that he had a chance of coming across in the future. But there was little time to dawdle, if this was the point of confrontation then there would surely be plenty of areas from which the enemy could strike. Daisuke readied his wire trap, setting one relatively close to his current position. His hands moved with speed before he planted his hands on the thick branch upon which he stood. He poured his chakra into a barely noticeable sealing jutsu, his combustive seal would surely work well with the wires if he could get the shinobi to fall into his trap. With his foot he scuffed a small area on a tree branch to make sure he remembered where he had set the trap, he had to be as careful as possible in his movements from here on out. He had done some of his preparation.

The clones fanned out, themselves searching for signs of life that would indicate the presence of other shinobi. Daisuke stood still in that moment, masked by his active camo while he reached out with his senses once again in an effort to try and locate the chakra signatures of those who would inevitably wish to finish the job. That’s when his training began to kick in, he heard it, the ever so slight mutters that carried on the wind – that served to further guide his senses. If he wasn’t a sensory type by nature then this wouldn’t have been much help, thankfully he was and had chosen to specialise in tracking and tracing those who stuck to the shadows.

A quiet puff of smoke from a small scroll revealed several sets of shuriken, each one glistened with poison, a mixture of Serpent’s Blood and Twilight Venom was what the boy favoured. Daisuke’s hands wove together furiously, creating seal after seal that focused his chakra. At first a small ball of water condensed, creating a floating eye which Daisuke sent out into the area around him to expand his senses. His second action was slightly more overt, at the call of his ninjutsu, the air throughout the would-be battlefield condensed into thick chakra-imbued mist, obscuring the majority of visible areas. Even then he wasn’t done, he had somewhat pinpointed where at least one enemy was hiding out – they shouldn’t have underestimated him enough to dare speaking verbally, even if it was quiet; he had specifically trained his non-visual senses. In one large sweep of his arms, Daisuke sent a cloud of poison coated shuriken to pierce the area that he thought his would-be attackers hid. It was better that he struck first, he had to capture the element of surprise as much as possible. As soon as he threw the volley of shuriken he repositioned, assuming they would be able to pinpoint the origin of the shuriken – and hey if they were confident enough to try and engage that point in physical combat then they would have the wire trap and combustive seal to deal with.
 

Nanjirou Soku

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His first moves were on point with the mental checklist the Sennin was forming in her head. He didn't linger over the graphic displays of his team-mates designed to induce fear into some recruits causing them to freeze up mid-action which would provide a perfect chance for any lingering foe out there to make their move. Instead, she watched with relative interest as his hands worked in unison with the shinobi himself making all sorts of seals, her eyes struggling to keep up to see what exactly it was he was forming. Who knew, this could prove for something interesting as of late. Daisuke was not only masking himself utilizing his skills coupled with the clones that provided overwatch while he set all sorts of nasty traps and disguises for any poor soul.

The thick mist that coated the forest would be enough to undiscern some as Soku shifted her positon one eyebrow raised in interest. It was well and good to have your preparations set up, he acted like he had a pre-set plan in store for this though whether it would pay off was still to be determined. Her eyes followed the trail of the poisoned shuriken hurtling directly towards the general area where he presumed his killers to be lying in wait. It was a good starting point, she supposed but if her ANBU were capable of anything, it would take a lot more than that to overpower them or so she hoped.

What followed was nothing but silence, no shouts of pain, no screams but the sound of the thunderstorm unleashing it's anger upon them as the conflict ensued. It would appear for a moment that perhaps he had chosen the wrong area and maybe given his postion away. However, he was already one step ahead moving quickly so they couldn't get a read on them if they were in the area. The truth was while he had accounted for where they would be, he had probably overlooked the fact that these were not regular ninja, they were each blessed in their own ways with some form of abilites which would become very clear in about a couple of seconds.

"I would duck if I were you." Soku commented overlooking the area from her postion. As ANBU, they were trained to use the lay of the land to their advantage and it was this that worked against Daisuke in this present moment as the grass seemed to move under him for a moment as a hand gripping a sword coated in chakra thrust upwards intending to impale him as the ground gave way, a slim ANBU figure emerging shaking the ghillie suit off. It seemed the voices he had heard were intentional as they repeated over and over again, perhaps this was how his fellow members had died as well following the voices. They were nothing more than clones.

"Look who we found frolicking in the woods, boys!"

"Chidori Senbon!"
Needle-like spears of lightning hurtled towards the boy from a nearby bush. However, it was no bush at all as it moved as well the figure standing up undoing the leather straps that had attached the prop to his back throwing it to his side. "Well, I daresay this scene looks all too familar, wouldn't you say Akemi?"

"Very much so, Akihiro."


Only two were present, a fact that Daisuke would do well to take note of. As for the others, time would reveal when they would rear their head whether now or when Daisuke would be on his last leg.
 
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Daisuke did expect the ANBU to have several tricks up their sleeves, he shouldn’t have underestimated them, but the disrespect was far too much to ignore. But then again that was a lesson in itself; the ANBU did the dirty work that needed doing regardless of whatever proper etiquette might be – they needed to take their targets off guard and use mind games to throw them off. An exam situation was no different for them than a mission, and Daisuke was sure they would use lethal force if necessary.

His form dropped down from the branches and towards the grassy surface below. It seemed as though the ANBU operatives hadn’t fallen for his trap in that moment, but it didn’t mean such a trap couldn’t be used later. He saw the shift in the shrubs just before his feet were to touch down, so there they were. The blade came first from below, but Diasuke’s hands had already been at work forming seals as he descended. Fire burst out below him to block the stab and give the attacker a rather painful burn to worry about. A slight smirk was present on Daisuke’s face for the smallest of moments before his switched places with one of the backup clones. His pearlescent blue eyes watched as the figure of himself returned to the watery state from whence it came, though this time it had been pierced by an array of crackling senbon. An interesting combination to be sure. It appeared as though some of the ANBU were spread out across the ground.

Daisuke’s hands whirled in a flurry of seals as Chakra welled up within his short frame. An unfathomable amount of water burst forth from his mouth and poured down to the lower portion of the forest, engulfing it completely in a huge bubble of water. The ANBU had revealed themselves now, though there was always the possibility that the figures who had just launched an attack would be clones. Either way it was best to deal with the threat and transform the environment into one that could play to Daisuke’s strengths – plus this huge bubble of water would make it all the more difficult to hide.

With at least two of the figures revealed, Daisuke didn’t want to waste any more time in dispatching them – he had to work efficiently and continue with his mission. It was likely he wouldn’t come out on top against these agents, however he was going to give them plenty to worry about.

The water below swirled for a moment and shifted into the form of a large dragon that immediately dove into the water in search of prey and was followed swiftly by a drill that pierced the bubble and pressed onwards in an attempt to pierce one of those that may be trapped within the jutsu.

Daisuke waited by his trap, ready to switch places with another clone at a moment’s notice. Now was the time to up the pressure on the ANBU and demonstrate that he wouldn’t be dealt with so easily. He had quite literally turned the tide to his advantage now, and now Daisuke just had to wait and see how the elite ninja below would deal with the situation.



[MFT]
{Word Count: 541]
 
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Nanjirou Soku

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The elements.

They could either work with your or against you and if you didn't know how to bend them to your will when you needed them to, they could very well be your undoing as Soku had found on far too many occasions and it was a lesson she had passed down to her ANBU watching intently. It was not only Daisuke that was being tested but her ANBU as well to see if they had maintained their mettle. Their task while it was not to win but it was to put up a good enough of a show to convince her that they simply wouldn't be bulldozed over and if that was the case, it was clear their training had been sub-par up until now. She did not know what had occured after moving to the Main Branch but if there were any flaws on Daisuke or her ANBU's side, they were bound to come out clear as day now.

The surprise ambush using the greenery as a shield yielded little success though perhaps this was due to the fact that the boy already had an heightened sense of awareness and his sensory skills were on point. A yelp of discomfort erupted from one of the ANBU clearly not appreciating the fire and heat that Daisuke had conjured up. What followed however could not be more amusing and laughable that you could only come up with this stuff in stories, you reckoned. A entire barrage of water followed in all shapes and forms wreaking havoc and probably awakening every life form for miles apart.

"First fire then water, huh? Kid's got jokes for sure!"

There was too much going on at once to focus fully on one thing at once and Soku suspected that was what Daisuke's intention had been all along. Overwhelm them, split their attention and so far it seemed to be going flawlessly watching with a rather approving nod as he first managed to entrap one of the ANBU operatives followed by another jutsu that would spell a certain defeat for his first opponet should he end up on the wrong end of that jutsu. Perhaps it was the fact of being beaten by a kid that caused them to react, the thought so unfathomable.

He was going to have make a choice soon and that choice would test all of his morals.

"I would stop if I were you, boy." A new voice presumably of the third operative but he was not alone. Out of the four, it seemd this was the ringleader or it appeared and with him, a line of hostages. The villages these foreign shinobi had razed over the mnths had not been without cause, they had specfically not killen anyone for this exact purpose, bargaining chips. A steady line of villagers all chained to each other with restraints reinforced with chakra and paper bombs.

Soku knew these were all clones but she had left out that piece of information intentionally to see how he would react and voices would begin to erupt as sets of eyes turned towards the lone boy.

"Help us!

"Please, he's going to kill us!

"I just want to go home, please!"


At the rear of the line, the fourth operative holding a whip which was presumably responsible for some of the scars and wounds these people had as the leader stepped forward, a smirk curling onto his face. "Any more bravado acts of heroism and you will be personally responsible for the downfall of so many lives."

Perhaps they had known all along, perhaps this had been calculated but whatever the case, it was clear a choice had to be made. Continue to fight and risk being shamed and blamed by the very village he had fought for the death of so many or should he wave the white flag and accept the outcome and watch the HIdden Leaf wilt away while wishing he could have done more?
 
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If Daisuke was anyone but himself, he would potentially have been impressed with his performance so far. It appeared as though his ANBU opponents weren’t quite ready for the arsenal of jutsu that the boy could conjure; but that was fine, the Minamoto liked to be underestimated. His counter had worked wonders, much better than he had anticipated against seasoned veterans. At least one was trapped within the all-engulfing sphere of water, and the follow-up jutsu had met their targets as far as the young boy could tell. Despite his apparent success, Daisuke’s eyes continued to dart around as he constantly mapped his surroundings – the forest was almost everchanging to those who hadn’t spent much time in it before. Thick tree trunks obscured most lines of sight that extended beyond twenty metres, it wasn’t an ideal environment for anyone but that was something that Daisuke hoped to use to his advantage, even now.

He looked down towards his targets, taking note of the number of civilians which they seemed to have brought out as bargaining chips – could they have really been desperate? Other shinobi might have paused to think about it, but Daisuke wasn’t at an advantage and couldn’t spare any seconds to stand and think. Instead, he continued to move between branches in the upper layers of the forest, frequently changing his position as well as the positions of his clones in order to confuse the enemies as much as possible.

Chakra welled up inside the boy as his hands wove together to create a mass of water that caused his chest to bulge. Though he held it for the time being, instead of releasing the jutsu Daisuke’s hands continued to interlace with one and other. He didn’t wait until the ringleader had finished speaking before making his move. The mist that had been engulfing the area for some time now thickened around the three remaining ANBU operatives that weren’t consumed in the dome of water. It would soon become harder for each of them to breathe – Daisuke didn’t engulf the civilians in the jutsu, he was not that skilled and only needed to target the small group. Though it was clear he wasn’t taking their safety into account particularly, he had his mission and he wouldn’t allow for morals or ethics to add obstacles to an already difficult situation. He had his targets and nothing would get in the way of his designated mission objectives.

As soon as the fog condensed further, Daisuke released another barrage of water jutsu. First the dragon shot down towards the supposed ringleader faster than it had done the last time, his drills of water followed instantly, barrelling down towards one of the other ANBU in the hope it would catch them off guard. A cloud of shuriken flew in the wake of the water jutsu, two waves to be precise. One of which started as one shuriken, hidden behind one of the water drills, that suddenly multiplied without explanation. The second was a singular well-placed shot aimed for the ringleader again, this time it seemed as though the steel itself was frozen, hopefully the target would be struck and bound. With any luck these attacks would hit, and with each one Daisuke shifted positions and readied himself to go on the defensive, he still had options to defend himself as well as the trap that had been set earlier.

 

Nanjirou Soku

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If the group had been hoping that the usage of civillians as a means to prevent Daisuke from putting any more resistance would be successfully, he was clearly proving them wrong. It was a grim message Soku was sending across but a necessary one. As ANBU, their concern was not the well-being and welfare of uneeded obstacles, these things were factors the Main Branch could take care of but their sole purpose was the completion of the objective, a philsophy Daisuke seemed to be taking to heart. A series of jutsu followed and the landscape was changed in the manner of no more than few seconds, the Sennin raising an eyebrow impressed with the skillset.

The ringleader had barely concluded his little speech before the boy commenced his onslaught, chakra and elemnt working together to wreak destruction. The two ANBU whom Daisuke had scuffled with not even a couple minutes ago seemed to be quickly overcome by this having already been licking their wounds from the earlier skirmish so it made rather short work of them. They were not prepared for such brutality and such courage espeically when innocent lives were at stake. It was exactly the sort of thing Soku was seeking to test. Some might have said she was teaching the wrong message but those people had never been in the ANBU.

It was not their concern to take on the burden of captives. The organization did not have the logisitcs or resources to deal with that, they were the hard hitters, in and out. The Main Branch was more than well equipped to deal with long term operations like those. However, it did not mean it did not take a toll on them, something she wanted to expose Daisuke to. "I did warn you.." The ringleader would spit out clearly not expectant of this onslaught panting, clearly the shuriken and water drill had done a number on him but the toll Daiskue would experience was about to be momentous.

The paper bombs would begin to glow, indicative of their fuse running out before a resounding explosion would shake the earth starting at the back of the line and traveling upwards. The screams and shouts that followed before would quickly confirm what fate had befallen the villagers who happened to be bound to these poor things. Suddenly, a voice rang out as Soku's figure appeared making herselve known as if she had been there all along. "Enough." As if on cue, the line of hostages all appeared to fade, an elaborate illusion of sorts.

"Up with you." Grunting in pain and rather worse for wear, the operatives did their best as the Sennin turned to Daisuke glancing at him up and down before gesturing to where the hostages had been and back at him. "You chose to strike out despite there being a major risk to the civillians who were present. Why? What if harm had befallen them?"

There was no right or wrong answer here, it was how you justifed it that mattered because if you were incapable of even that, your career would be cut short. If anything, he had been well on track though this was a key point where most ended up backing out because of the sheer values they would have to discard, their concern was not the preservation of the life, it was the safety and security of the village and if a few sacrifices had to be made for it, so be it. A message that was tough for some to grasp.
 
Oct 3, 2017
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Daisuke looked down at the veritable crowd that sat below him as his barrage of both ninjutsu and taijutsu met their marks. The response from the ANBU on the ground was swift and decisive, Daisuke noted as the line of explosions ruptured civilian after civilian that had been presented before the boy. Each one of them had lost their lives as a result of the decision that Daiuske had mad, his right eye twitched in response – the most physically observable effect that the violence had on the blonde haired boy. Despite this he continued to watch while the innocents faced their punishment for his actions, showing no further sign of concern. He had experienced loss already, he had seen the most efficient way to deal with problems, he knew that swift violence could lead to a desirable future – and oh how much he hated that fact. Daisuke hated violence, moreso than most shinobi, unfortunately he was cursed with being good at it. Maybe if he eliminated all the threats to peace in the world then he could establish a utopia for all the beings in the world to share.

A frown desecrated the blank face of the Minamoto boy as he continued to think about the violence of the world and the suffering it caused. But he soon returned to his emotionless state just as Soku’s voice rang out over the thundering of explosive tags, the sound faded, as did the clones – it would appear as though the examination was coming to a close. Upon seeing the Sennin, Daisuke took a step forward from the branch upon which he stood and dropped down to stand in front of her, ready for the inspection that followed soon after.

He listened to her question, taking only a few seconds between hearing her ask and giving his answer. This was something that Daisuke had justified in his mind just before taking the initiative to attack the ANBU that were then gathered together at that time. The boy cleared his throat.

“I chose to strike because the ANBU operatives gave me a fleeting opportunity to see them in one location and catch them off guard even though I was at a disadvantage due to their numbers; though I assumed they had something in mind to counter such an attack. They assumed I would hesitate at the potential for casualties that I was not aware of at the start of this mission.” He paused. “However, my mission was to eliminate them, and they had chosen to underestimate my resolve to complete my assignment. If I was tasked with rescuing civilians, then I would have gone about this differently, but in this case the civilians were none of my concern - just an potential obstacle that I chose to ignore.” Daisuke paused again, glancing coldly towards the operatives and then back up towards the Sennin. “Given the situation that I was in, there were no other alternative but to seize every opportunity given to me whenever a misstep was made by the enemy.” He took a breath. “My assignment was to eliminate the threat to the village, and so I had to ensure success no matter the cost.”

[MFT]
[WC: 531]
 

Nanjirou Soku

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She listened as he explained his reasoning nodding in approval with every syllalble that reached her ears. He had embraced the very core of the lesson as she glanced around at the battle-worn terrain. He had struck on the concept of the lesson and what the ANBU Organization was trained and fought for. "Our mission is not to babysit, once we have an objective, we complete it without question no matter what it is. There is no place for emotions here and if that is something you struggle with, the ANBU does not need you." It was a tough concept she had to followe when Soku herself had been inducted into the ranks but ones that hoped for a career like this would have to grasp because they would be faced with it over and over again.

She decided to up the pressure a bit more posing a few more questiosn to him. "What if your family had been involved? Would you react the same way?" There were a fair few ANBU operatives who had good, healthy familes and none of them had an inkling of what they did and it was just the way it should be. They trained this way in secrecy even from their own people. In a way, it benefited the village too because if an enemy force was to attempt to gain information about their divison, they would be poorly disappointed as the commoners knew perhaps very little as it should be as her eyes searched Daisukes' face to see if he would waver in the face of such a personal question coming out.

Some would say that perhaps she was going too far. A silly rule in Soku's opinion because there was no such thing as going too far when it came to life or death or so she would keep pushing until she was satisfied. "Would you carry through with the knowledge that someone close to you could be in harm's way even if they are not the primary objective?" A silence lingered in the air after the question as Soku stepped forward lifting her gaze to meet his. "The ANBU has neither the time nor the patience for questions of what is right or wrong, they just do what is told so if this is really what you want, you must ask yourself what things are you willing to give up for a life of darkness and isolation.
 
Oct 3, 2017
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The storm was still thrashing the high canopy above all those that were gathered at that moment. Rain drenched leaves flew down to the forest floor, intermingling with the variety of sopping flora that was unique to the forest of death. It was an imposing place to be, especially at this very moment, but it wasn’t the scenery that Daisuke was concerned about, instead it was the figure stood before him. Each word that was exchanged had meaning beyond what each word itself meant, there was a mutual understanding being forged, tested, and reforged with every passing moment. This was as much of a game as the practical test had been up until now. Despite this, his eyes never wavered from Soku’s in an effort to prove he was deadly serious about everything that he had already said.

Everything that she had said in return was understandable and expected, the ANBU weren’t just any other group of shinobi, they were the elite. If one member was to be phased by anything in the moment then an entire operation could be at risk – and if an operation was under threat, so was the village. It was for that reason that Daisuke knew he had to let go of anything that he held onto, his family being the most prominent – yet if he wanted to achieve his goals then this was the way it had to be.

“There is only ever one priority in my mind; the wellbeing of the village is more important than any relationship - even family. I would not change any of my actions, and the principle of protecting the village is what will continue to guide my actions. There are very few close to me, which makes letting go a simpler task. I have seen loss and death, it has not phased me, it has guided me here. This is the choice I am making, a choice to commit to the shadows and do the work that needs doing without recognition. What is best for the village is what is best for me. The ANBU has my complete commitment.”
 

Nanjirou Soku

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His words carried a heavy message with them as they spoke. What was best for the village was best for him and those were words that Soku had lived and would die by if that time ever came. She let the silence linger scanning his expression, his stature silently weighing the verdict. Sure, Daiskue had passed the exam with flying colors as far as she was concerned but in his tenure, he would deal with many exams and not all of them would wind up with him as the victor. Some more dangerous than the others given the fact that they would not be exams but rather missions, practical real-life scenarios in which he would have use these concepts he talked about every day. It was a sort of grim happiness knowing what he was getting into but if Daisuke was content where it was, the Sennin saw no reason to stand in his way because after today's display, he was more than capable.

"Remember those words, they are what will help you understand what your role is as you witness the trials and tribulations of this village and trust me, there will always be trials. There is no such as everlasting order and anyone who told you so is a fool for thinking so." Yes, they were stable, peaceful even but like all things, all good must come to an end and it would only be a matter of time before they were presented with their next challenge, a challenge that Daisuke might have to spearhead. Soku was no longer the spry, nimble Captain jumping around here and there hunting the next foe having been restricted to the confines of the office.

It was time to leave that task to Daisuke who too would learn in time through his experiences. She cleared her throat as she stepped forward, thunder flashing for a brief second though it seemed like the rain had considerably died down, "By the Will of Fire bestowed in you and the blessing of the Godaime Hokage, you are hereby declared and assigned the rank of ANBU for the Hidden Leaf and are ordered to carry out the responsibilites and duties of your position without failure."

There was no fancy trophy, no reward, just a few formal words and that was it. Soku reckoned she hadn't even gotten that when her assignment had been given so it was more of a favour really that she had even bothered with this little verbal ceremony, they coudl call it. "Your mask and equipment will be issued at headquarters, I wish you the best of luck, Daisuke, it is a formidable title and one that you have earned. Now, you must retain it even if it costs an leg and a arm."

[Daisuke promoted to ANBU as of this post]
 
Oct 3, 2017
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Daisuke would never admit that it was a relief for the rain to ease, even though he had been relatively sheltered under the canopy for quite some time now. He took a breath as the buffeting droplets morphed into a gentler and slightly more sporadic series of wet gusts – each one still stung his already cold skin, but this was nothing to the Minamoto. His eyes remained fixed on the imposing figure of Soku who continued to stand before him; there was surely a lot going through her mind at this point in time, more so than Daisuke would have liked to guess. Joining the ANBU wasn’t a decision to be made lightly and allowing someone to enter the organisation was an even tougher choice still. As blond hair continued to be pressed to his head by the weight of additional water, Daisuke knew that Soku would be weighing up all of the factors in her mind, she was at liberty to dismiss him at any time for any reason – but he hoped his performance and reasoning were enough to push through to the passing criteria that she held.

It hadn’t occurred to him that he had been holding his breath until muted white light broke through the layers of leaves above. He blinked in the sudden shift of illumination, catching Soku as a shadowy silhouette stood over him. The image burned into his mind as she spoke further, granting him the only wish he had held when coming into this exam, the only wish he had felt attainable for some time. The next step forward in his journey – one that was not to be fraught with danger, darkness, and death. It was not a position that would be given without thought, and now that Soku was conferring the rank upon him Daisuke knew that he had what it took to accomplish a great many things.

His mind wandered to the realms of possibility; what missions would he be assigned? Where would he be sent? What difference would he make? Though this was only fleeting until his official orders were given. It was indeed a rather plain ceremony, but Daisuke wasn’t one for flamboyancy anyway, he preferred this. He took another breath that stung the inside of his nostrils before offering a deep bow of great respect towards the Sennin. She had granted his wish, and now it was time to serve his newly realised purpose. He was a resource to be utilised for the benefit of the village, the same as any other member of the ANBU.

“Thank you. I will not fail the village.”

Those were all the words he could think to say, nothing more needed to be spoken on his end. All he needed to do now was to retrieve his gear and depart on whatever mission he was given next.

[MFT]
[WC: 475]
 

Nanjirou Soku

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It was done then. The ANBU Branch had gained one new member to it's ranks and only time would tell whether that would turn out tobe a benefit or hindrance. Soku had laid out the cards and Daisuke had taken them though it would be foolish to say she did not feel a tiny amount of concern for the boy. Most of the young souls that the Sennin saw fostered from an Academy age to after their genin exams, it was the prospective ANBU recruits that she felt a strong attachment to. Perhaps it was due to the reason they also underwent changes after seeing things and doing things that the other two branches could not even fathom but in all of her instruction, Soku was at heart a kindred person smiling down at the boy.

"Daisuke.." His name fell from her lips as one last thought came to her. "I'm proud of you. Just remember, you're not alone and if things ever feel like they're pushing in on you, you have an entire village at your side." With that and a small smile, the thunderstorm that had taken the village also seemed to ease up into a gentle drizzle holding her palm out to let some of the droplets hit her palm before nodding towards the shinobi and turning, the crunch of her boots against the wet soil could be heard as she made her way retracing her steps satisfied that today, the village now had one more guardian looking over it.

[Topic Left Unless Stopped]