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.

Trust is earned...

Junan

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Calling to his office Akira had decided to bring in Rega, one of the shinobi who over time had proven her worth and at the same time had shown great loyalty to the ANBU and in a subtle way Akira felt to him at times as well. Certainly the path was not obvious and the pair had had only a certain amount of work together, but Rega had always followed his orders, always carried out the mission, and never once questioned him as to why. A level of trust which Akira felt needed to be confirmed, a level of trust he hoped he could reflect.

This was a tough time for Akira, he could trust only a few with the information he had gained from Junko and with the fact he was investigating at all. He trusted Nobuyuki, the man was the one Akira hoped would take the handle of the reforged ANBU after he left the branch once more. But he needed to make sure that the head which controlled the arm was one which would do so for the good of the village. Haruka had been elected Raikage, and her words about Shin's reign still sent a thought of rage through him. He knew she was at the murder, but he didn't know whether she had anything to do with it.

There were so many techniques which could be used to cut help off from the targets. Techniques which could justify how things went down for the most part. But again the question of the Academy Student blurred that logic. At this time his best case scenario was this:

Hoshikata was the only enemy. Hoshikata entered the room with Haruka, and Ai. Keiji, Kitsune, Daisuke, Shin and Ejji were all in the room already. Hoshikata begins the battle with a jutsu which cuts Keiji, Kitsune and Haruke out. The reason for only those three was because Ai was a bow wielder according to his reports, so the most likely weapon to have been used to cut down Daisuke, Shin and Ejji. Akira knew many ways in which this could be achieved, Wind or Kinetic jutsu certainly could, Genjutsu was another option, probably the most likely in this scenario. Unfortunately Akira was unaware of what techniques Hoshikata had available at his disposal, but any of those could manage it. As Ai cut down Daisuke and Shin with Hoshikata doing so as well his mind was broken when Hoshikata also had him kill a child. With no other targets available the Genjutsu no longer would have any effect, Ai is finally able to cut down Hoshikata and the barrier keeping the others out is dispelled.

Flaws in this were why the child, Daisuke didn't sustain damage from the attacks to kill and with Keiji and Kitsune around he should have been able to be saved.

So the one which was the worst case scenario was:

Hoshikata, Keiji, Kitsune, Ai and Haruka were in it together, whether they were when Hoshikata entered the room or not Akira couldn't know. The fight begins targeting Shin. Daisuke wades in and is taken out. The child refuses to cooperate and is also taken out. Hoshikata is decided to be the scapegoat, he may or may not have been aware of this betrayal at the time, but based on the lack of wounds on the others chances are this was a surprise. He dies and the blame is placed on him.

Flaws in this... currently Akira couldn't think of any. However he couldn't take this as being the way it worked as he didn't have enough information, information which could prove this theory wrong. He'd bring in those he trusted, make them aware should anything happen, allies in this world where there seemed so few. Once he'd done that he'd look to speak with the guards, they would be ANBU and Akira hoped that would work for him.

Still, this was all in the air, he needed to talk with Rega and bring her on board sooner rather than later.
 

Rega

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It had been a rough welcome back to the lands of Kumogakure. Aside from a pleasant visit to a training gennin and viewing a sparring match with the chief, Rega had gotten back at the perfect time to hear how she was absent during the assassination of the Raikage himself, in the presence of several S-Rank ninja by a single chump. It left a bitter taste in her mouth, knowing full well that were she there, this would never have happened… At least, it wouldn’t if she still had her old powers. Having to rely on a whole new set of skills to supplement the loss of her family’s aide inside her body meant that she would have been a liability to the peace-loving comrade she once knew, but it didn’t make her feel much better knowing that the others still ultimately failed. And to make it worse, now one of the failures was Raikage, and spoke as though the ails of Kumo were in part due to their recently deceased leader.

When the word came down that Akira Saito, chosen disciple of the man-god Shinbatsu, had needed to speak to her privately, she had a bad notion of what might be the topic of discussion. In a chaotic time like this, it didn’t take a mind reader like her mentor to figure out what was on everyone’s mind. Usually, around the ANBU offices and considering her tricks, she didn’t wear full armour and drag her absurdly huge weapon collection around, a keepsake from when half of the Gateru clan rushed into battle through her, but this sort of day was the kind of day that reminded her that ANBU meant business. They were all in sheaths and holsters, of course, but considering who she was going to meet; she didn’t worry about accidentally intimidating her superior.

“Rega Gateru, Black Aces captain reports as ordered, sir!”

Word Count :: 307, marked for training
 

Junan

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Rega arrived at the time he'd indicated the day before. She was one of the members of ANBU who he could both trust with the issue at hand as well as someone he could bring into the fold due to her position in the village. ANBU Captain and definitely a skilled one at that she would be useful should things turn ugly, in addition to this she was quite willing by all accounts to get her hands dirty. And unfortunately for Akira hands were going to get dirty.

He'd come across a particular conundrum with regards to his research... he had no evidence only theories and to get evidence he would need to approach one of two sides. Both of which were suspects in his mind and so he had the issue of picking the one which he felt would tell the truth.

Still he was yet to inform Rega on the issue at all.

Thank you for seeing me Rega. Please take a seat.

No-one would be listening to their conversation. No-one listened in on the ANBU Sennin, his ANBU were loyal, and those who weren't were afraid of who he was and thus wouldn't act without orders. Should an ANBU choose to listen in they would be tortured to find out who had sent them, and they knew that Akira was not above doing so.

I will get to the point. it was his way I have reason to believe that Hayata Shin and Kaguya Daisuke were murdered not only by Hoshikata but by others. I have had the true details regarding how they were killed for a couple of weeks now and have an image of the scene at the time recorded.

He knew this information in itself was much. It was a broad accusation, but one which Rega would know wouldn't come lightly from the man before her.
 

Rega

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Rega was capable of many things as a captain among hunter-nin. Assassination, espionage, sabotage, seduction, abduction, even peculiar things such as genocide and resurrection were at least somewhat credible on her resume. However, loaded up with the full of her gear and eager to use these skills to help push aside the frustrations at her failures, she was unable to properly utilize the hand-seals required to alter the state of that chair, and thus it would be impossible to humor the request of the boss. “If you don’t mind, I’d rather stand.”

She listened to the Sennin’s speculation as she tapped her head against her hammer. She had something of a thought that this might be possible before hearing him put it to words, but the thought that another party could be responsible for the death of the Raikage while she was absent was enough to make her face red with fury and aggression. ”Considering the skill of the fallen and the place where this happened, I’ll have to assume your proof links one of our own to the crime… No missing-nin rabble could strike so deeply in our midst without our intervention, and anything grander than three or four agents would likely reveal an open act of aggression between villages.”

It had been a while since she’d had to let the Black Aces go their own ways and work as a group, but now more than ever she felt elated that she wouldn’t have to drag any less experienced ANBU from her own ranks to see the sum of her misunderstood capabilities unleashed on their own countrymen. It gave some relief to know that there was still a nail to pound that would contribute to putting this matter to rest. It wasn’t just with Kumogakure in mind that she smiled wide and knelt down before her commander. ”My wrath is yours to direct, naturally. My allegiance lies with our fallen brothers more than any who’ve come to power since.”

Word Count :: 330, Marked for Training
 

Junan

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She wanted to stand, which didn't have Akira think anything of it. Different people liked to do different things, and apparently Rega was a stander.

After he told her the topic they would be discussing he could see her anger, she like so many others had been on a mission so was unable to aid their Raikage, but her mission hadn't been requested by Council which was the difference. Her assumption was correct, if perhaps with incorrect reasoning. The way the ANBU had been prior to the attack was a skeleton crew, not enough to properly patrol the gates let alone perform their other duties. Council had decimated them.

And just as they had decimated him it seemed that his return had been enough to rebuild to a reasonably strong branch in only a short time.

For now it will be my wrath that people will feel. I am bringing only you and one other into this conflict, to act as witnesses and so that there will be other perspectives lighting my investigation. He gestured for her to come closer to the table so that he could begin filling her in with some of the information.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that the murder took place in front of a great number of shinobi. Hoshikata was rumoured to have the strength of a god, but this was cited by someone who could have been involved, which would mean that the plan to kill Shin was one long in the making. And the injuries which killed him would cast doubt on that as well, though that would come later The people in the room from the time combat began were Hoshikata, Daisuke, Shin, Ejji they were the obvious ones, they were those who had been killed by Hoshikata and Hoshikata himself, but Akira continued Keiji, Kitsune, Ai and Haruka. These were the people being hailed for bringing down Hoshikata.

Though they were there from the start we both know there are plenty of techniques which could enable things to transpire the way they did, so this information is not incriminating in itself, more a suggestion of weakness amongst the four. Where my doubt is seeded is why Ejji was targeted by Hoshikata. He had four others that needed to be killed for him to survive should he have been acting alone and the child couldn't do anything against someone who in a room filled with Cloud shinobi could take out our Raikage and Medical Sennin. Of course there was the question of whether he'd run out of chakra and plenty of other options but unless he had decided at his last to simply kill the child as his last act of defiance there didn't seem to be a logical explanation for her death, other than Akira's theory.

Opening his palm he activated the Snapshot jutsu. Since his time with Junko he had studied the image and had come up with certain evidences.

This was the scene of the crime shortly after happening. Thankfully we have an ally in the man who performed the autopsies, he was Daisuke's student. He let Rega take a look at the scene, it was large enough to be able to make out details, but wasn't the size that Junko's jutsu had been able to replicate.

According to Junko's autopsy the wounds which seem to have killed everyone there were arrow wounds, though misshapen and burned with acid. In addition those wounds were found beneath a layer of recently healed skin, a medical jutsu. I can only assume an attempt at covering up, and amongst the survivors that would point the finger to Keiji or Kitsune or both. At any rate if the wounds were caused by arrows then that would point the finger at Ai, a known archer amongst his clan, doing the majority of the damage. This still doesn't mean that Ai was a part of it, I know of several Genjutsu which can allow one to somewhat control the actions of another. But where I have doubts is this.

He pointed at the floor of the room.

For Kitsune, Keiji and Haruka to have not aided Hoshikata I would imagine that there would have been a jutsu used to separate them from the combat but I see no evidence of anything which could have done that. I also don't believe that Hoshikata had Nara-like traits as they are the only ones I can think of who could do so without leaving a mark. In addition based on the wounds taken it seems that Ai was standing beside Hoshikata while delivering the attacks. The wounds on Shin, Daisuke and Ejji are frontal, the wounds on Hoshikata more spread, I would say he got hit from the back, began turning, was hit again, continued turning hit again. This doesn't seem like the actions of someone who was controlling the arrow user, but more an action of surprise that he was being attacked. He doesn't move towards them, he doesn't attempt to dodge, he is simply killed. His hand moved away from the image before him.

If this is the case then I fear Haruka's involvement as well. Ai and her are from the same clan and are known associates having taken on the same missions as each other a number of times. He let the image disappear as he sat back again.

Which puts this whole investigation into a place I'd rather not go. We have three issues. We have evidence enough that Ai could be blamed for everything, not Hoshikata. However if this were the case then that would mean that the council were covering the matter up. I might have thought this was for the benefit of the Shima clan as they would lose not only a high ranking shinobi but also Ai was their heir, but then Ai was placed in the mental ward. This puts him under Kitsune's watch. But also it means that the Shima clan's heir isn't saved by the actions, unless they intend on releasing him later, which they might be planning. Haruka has been elected Raikage, so any actions we take are against the Raikage. The council helped cover this all up with their reports as to what happened which means that any actions we take will be against them as well, and the two top agents in the Medical branch also aided this. Keiji being Kushin's prodigy and Harvester commander, and Kitsune being the Sennin.

Too many enemies. If he moved against one he'd have to move against all, which meant that this would be probably bigger than even his master Shinbatsu's fight against Ryuuto and the other half of ANBU, and his brother Ryuujin. Though only because it would involve numbers amongst the medical branch as well as the Council.

So you see my issue as it currently stands. If I attempt to mobilise the ANBU as a whole against this we have a civil war, something which would cripple the village in the short term and harm it in the long term. Also I don't have a key piece of evidence. I have evidence based on the weapons used, I have evidence based on the location of wounds caused based on trajectory and combat, but I don't have a witness or a motive. From everything I know of Kitsune from Daisuke the pair were friendly. Why would she betray him? Keiji is likely his masters creation, and murderous, but there was no wounds caused on Shin, Daisuke or Ejji from anywhere other than from where Ai and Hoshikata stood. Too many more in that area and it's getting too cramped for them to act properly.

He was now thinking aloud, and he knew it might be rambling, but only now did he realise it.

I'm sorry Rega, I know this is only new information for you and is probably too short a time span to hope that you understand it, but do you have questions, doubts, concerns, anything on what I've just spoken about?
 

Rega

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With her gear in tow, her body sometimes felt fatique when standing up to listen to a mission briefing, and sure enough by the time the boss was done, her whole body felt like lead. That chair looked a lot more inviting, and much of her vigor was sapped away and replaced with a weary look. Civil war? In the cloudlands? This was more than just treason that Saito was speaking of… it was betrayal of everything good and dear to her left in this world, and even hearing those words aloud made the poor sage fear for the well being of herself and her sister. ”Wouldn’t ascention to the status of Raikage be the strongest motive? I don’t know the personalities of the upper echelon of management, and never much cared to remedy this, but… Jeez, I thought we were beyond this!”
It took every iota of self control to not throw her hammer into the wall and scream, as her rage built back up at the mere thought of a “hostile promotion” going on. Coupled with the lack of respect given to the former Raikage, the Black Aces captain settled for gritting her teeth and thinking up just how she was going to handle beating the life out of her comrades turned sour. ”Sir, the only question I have is who do we start with… if civil war is to come about because we have rotten officials, then I welcome the chance to purge the rot with a fiery vengeance! I would be comfortable with discrete justice or open judgment, but if it were up to me, I can’t say I’d be able to handle a choice other than open bloodshed, so I place myself in your hands. Simply give me my instructions, and I shall obey to my last breath, sir!”

Word Count :: 304, Marked for training
 

Junan

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Thank you, and that is why I trust you with this information. He said, also sensing her rage. He was thankful nothing was being destroyed, he did like his office.

We have too many fronts at this time and though I will count them out and explain the issues I see with them this is so you understand my reasoning and thoughts behind what I will suggest afterwards. He began

The first and most obvious is the Raikage. Yet although we might see her as a solitary figure she comes from the Main Branch, and she had the majority vote which means she has friends. Not only which but it means that perhaps I wont be seen as being unbias in my accusations having been nominated but not voted into the seat myself. My issue is that to take her out I need more than suspicion about her having gambled everything on her being voted in for Raikage. Though she seems like the mastermind behind this I need to know that she was and have someone willing to back that up, or some written evidence somewhere.

The second is the council. They clearly covered this up but how cleanly did they do so? Did they keep records of what actually happened? If so then we have to hope we find them. If they've burned them then we don't have that evidence, again unless one of them speaks up about it, perhaps someone who wants to save their own neck, or someone who disagreed with the decision to cover it up in the first place.

The third being the medical branch. We don't know enough about how they were involved to properly make a move on them. Yet we risk much with them because we have options. To move against them could mean the ANBU against the village as a whole. If we do nothing and they were heavily involved we are against the village as a whole.

So what I'm going to suggest at this time is this: We will do nothing.

Just for now. When the time comes where we have an opportunity to confront the medical branch I will call on you and we will see how deep this went. If they become witnesses then we remove an entire front, we also gain the proof we need to make a move against the council and the Raikage. If they don't, then we will have to decide on how we deal with that then and there.
 

Rega

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Wrapping her digits tensely around the shaft of her hammer, Rega kept picturing herself bludgeoning faceless council members and almost smirking at the thought. It was a therapeutic way to vent out all the bull that had been piling up since the death of Daisuke and Shin. Still, as she listened, it sounded like her enemies would be even grander than she might have guessed, and the blood-rage in her mind grew further and further. It was good, there couldn't be any remorse for those traitors who sought to taint the glory of Kumogakure for their own selfish ambitions! Then, however, the boom was leveled, and she found herself dropping her hammer to the ground in shock. "Y..you would have us wait?! But... but sir, surely with a discrete capture or two, we could resolve this in a short time frame! We have techniques to pry the information from tight lips, and the strength to capture any number of perpetrators! Just say the word and..."

As she heard her voice, however, she stopped herself and bit her lip. She knew better than to question his judgment, particularly after his display of trust and knowledge of the situation. Picking her weapon back up, she sighed and began to piece together what to do while on standby to not start smearing comrades against the stones where Shinbatsu ascended for information regarding the murders. "Sorry, sir. Just can't say I'm terribly comfortable with the idea of sitting on my hands... perhaps, for the time being, we should look into Hoshitaka's past a bit further? More insight to his capabilities and intentions could help us sort out some of these questions without having to tip our hand in any direction, although I am at a loss as to where we would seek out his history."

Word Count ::
303, marked for delicious double training gumbo
 

Junan

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Unfortunately although I could go with that suggestion I need to get enough evidence to justify doing so. I do not want to start a civil war with the Raikage, Council and Medical branch, doing so would only mean the Main branch would enter on their side and that'd leave the ANBU in tatters. We are not enough to fight the entire village. We can take out a couple of individuals however. I know that a time will be coming up where we can take one of the parties, one of the ones I'm not sure about and do so in secret. We will wait for that opportunity to present itself and make our move at that time. Then we will gain the information we need, and once we have that we can have the village on our side.

He appreciated the ferver however. It was something he wanted to do as well, a part of him wanting to simply go and kill those he suspected. It was an emotional response, something he couldn't allow himself. Not yet. He knew he would have a breakdown at the end of this, he would indulge himself the ability to do so. Lock himself away in a training dungeon at the bottom of the Sileo and just break everything.

I want to look into Hoshikata more, but we are limited in our ability to do so. We would need to contact his clan for that, and I'm not wanting their getting involved until afterwards. I would prefer that we solve the issue ourselves and then contact them. Hopefully we will be able to remove any negativity that they might harbour for Cloud by doing so.