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Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

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Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:39 pm

Harupia stood in front of the vast desert expanse, his usual dune walker garb on him, his face covered for now. No mistake about it, even with the Maelstrom being silence the desert could be a bit of a harsh mistress, especially on a day like this with the winds blowing. It wasn't a full blown sandstorm but he could feel something in the air. Normally many people would see the removal protective gear in such a weather as a quite foolish action, and he would agree. However... since his last misadventure, he also felt a bit different in the desert. as he took off the hood, he could feel the sand fly against his hands and eyes...and yet, it was as he didn't. With just a bit of focus, he could feel the particles of sand go under his control and pass through close to his eyes, but not even grazing them. The sand scratching against his hands and body, he couldn't quite feel it. It almost seemed as if he was brushing his hand against the skin of someone else, especially with his left arm...the same he was now shifting out of focus, turning into a unshaped form of sand.

This was still all surreal, this new form of his. And something he didn't truly tap into yet. mostly because he was not quite ready t share this power with others...he did tell people about it, some of them...but he never showed them. And it wasn't something he consciously used that often...but he knew he would need to learn and harness it...slowly but surely, as much as he could. He took in a deep breath, feeling the sand particles fly towards his mouth...but the starting to swirl around him. He focused on tapping into that raw, primal feeling...this power nestled somewhere deep within him...his sand arm started to shimmer and expand, and around him, a peculiar aura started to form...as is he was a centre of a minor maelstrom of sand, mixed with a fiery aura, which seemed to be fluctuating between greenish and brownish colours. He could feel the power burning in his veins...he could feel the sand bend to his will, clearing up around him, swirling more violently around him so that it covered him from onlookers...he focused his power on the ground, aiming his right hand at it...feeling the sand and minerals under his feet coagulate and bend to his will...finalizing in a large, crystal projectile suddenly popping from underground and shiting at the send strom...it would hit but then fall, barreling toward Harupia, who simply braced himself and power his power into his sand left hand, which ended in size and started to vibrate violently. When the moment was right, he charged and trick the projectile, with enough force to shatter it into smaller peace.

it was exhilarating in some ways...controlling sand and the soil better then ever before...being able to strengthen his own body with his chakra in such a way...but he could feel the whispers in his mind...urging him to became more wild, unstable...to seek out those who wronged him and make them pay...the aura would slowly disperse as he calmed himslef...sitting on the hot sand in a meditative stance. He needed to train, to control this...but he couldn't feel he could have used some guidance...or maybe, at least, company.

(Wc= 588. Also, cashing in ASP card for Guarented Ecounter of Lizard Cntract gained under Here
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Congratulations, your Lizard Search has begun.

It is a vast world that we live in, a great one with many features both impeccable and frightening. From the starch white tundra running along the spine of the Land of Lightning, to the swirling black skies over the volcanic rivers in the Land of Earth, these lands marked by human adventurers were full of mystery and wonder. Beautiful, strange places, both inviting to the eyes and so dangerous that many visitors never returned home. However, of all these places, none were quite as deceptively dangerous as the deserts of the Land of Wind.

There was surely no stretch of land so uninviting to the human species; mankind understood how to dress warmly when trekking through the frigid northlands, and they knew to stay away from the lava pits if they wished to live, but only the most experienced wanderers had the knowledge and skill to traverse the desert. It was a natural impediment to the expansion of the human race into unwanted places for so long— the diamond maelstrom kept those troublesome two-legged creatures in their places. In truth, they were too bold to be pinned back by how the sun would bake their delicate bodies; no, dehydration and inhospitable land void of natural resources couldn’t stop them. But now the natural barrier was gone and the humans were like an infestation in these sacred lands. Many lacked respect for the wild and treated it all like free territory up for the claiming, yet territory had already been divided for eons by the many tribes which came long before the humans learned to walk upright and speak their foul dialects. The humans were often despised by the wild tribes, especially the reptilian orders. And of all the reptiles, few claimed to keep a disdain for the humans in their cold-blooded heart more than Aydrun, Eater of Men.

For some time, Aydrun had taken notice of some pest wandering through it’s hunting ground. For all the energy Aydrun put into despising men, there was more joy in watching them succumb to the desert than stalking and killing them outright. So Aydrun continued to keep hidden behind natural camouflage and watched the human: the lad he’d soon know by the name Harupia Sunaku.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:09 pm

Haru continued his training, mostly in peace, no one seeming to be interested in venturing too far of into the desert as he did. He could imagine quite a few seeing him as foolish tracking out so far from the village on his lonesome, but this wasn't his first treck. At first, it was journeying with his farter, teaching him how to make sure the sand didn't scrape against his face, how to seek shelter, get water, how to live in the desert for a prolonged time. Even if the nomadic lifestyle of his ancestors was a thing of the past now, they still felt the need to pas son the traditions, and Haru learned well. And even still with his newfound power, it seemed as soon as he was close to them, the sand bent to his will almost automatically. He was in no real danger of succumbing to the desert anytime soon

Which, perhaps, was part of the problem right now,w he thought to himself as he focused on the ground around him...quickly jumping back as a gigantic mass of sand popped from under the ground. To a bystander, it might have seemed like a small sandworm has popped out to attack the lone traveler...which was partially true. It was a construct of his own, a somewhat advanced sand technique. he decided to perform moves on his own wasn't quite what he needed, he so honored himself an opponent. But this still wasn't it. While the construct was formidable, in the end, he controlled it. He told it where to go...so he knew when and where to dodge. Try as he might he wasn't quite capable of fooling himself, so in the end, it was a slightly more strenuous exercise routine.

With a growl of frustration, he focused a blast of chakra in his left arm and shoved it at the incoming worm, the aura around him flaring as the blast obliterated this form. He panted, trying to cam himslef...he could feel that this power was urging him to push forward, to release more of it... he needs to see how far he could push without losing control. But there was also something else on his mind...he stood there, before starting to look around slightly at his surroundings, dispersing the sandstorm he made to cover his own position.Maybe it was his fractionation, a bit of paranoia, or something...but he couldn't help but feel in spite of his precautions, he was being watched. There wasn't much place to hide there...but he knew very well some Shinobi could hide in almost plains snight...so he stood there... waiting if anything would happen.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:37 pm

And so as Harupia continued his training, Aydrun continued to watch him vigilantly. The Eater of Men was not so hungry today. In fact, in keeping with his namesake, he had already feasted on a human only the day prior— but don’t worry, that one had it coming. However, that meal— though it tasted foul, sated any hunger the lurking Aydrun might have had. So now Aydrun kept in shadows of tall boulders reaching up through the earth, and silent within the soundscape of the wind and rolling sands.

But as Haru continued his training, Aydrun found his interests a bit piqued. It wasn’t his first time seeing a human shinobi before, in fact, they were a rare breed which tended to be different from the reputation held by mankind. Why, this one was bending the will of nature itself, molding life from the sand and bending the wind. It was like incredible heresy! Unsure of just why the human had come, yet nervous about his intentions, Aydrun came forth and crawled atop a large boulder to reveal himself from a high position. He’d had enough watching and would now intervene, or so he thought.

And so he emerged with his scale-laden form, using the elevation to magnify his dominating form, clad with long horns and a hardened carapace upon his back. His belly was plump and wide from many meals, and his eyes were as black as the abyss as he glared down at Harupia, judgingly. “What business have you in my valley, bender of sand?” Aydrun spoke with a deep and heavy tone, crackling as if his throat was wet with phlegm. Nothing about him seemed friendly, only curious at best. And while he really wasn’t sure, Aydrun wondered if this fellow was some relation to the two humans he saw the day before. There was a man and child, though it was the man who he ate the day before. “If you seek out the child you are far off-course; I suggest you turn back before you’re lost as well… She likely belongs to the vultures by now.” While it was obvious that the sand morphing man was not actively searching for the child, Aydrun was wondering just what kind of human he had found.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:08 pm

Harupia continued his training, still feeling as if someone was gazing at him...and it would seem it wasn't his mind playing tricks on him, as someone did show up. or some...thing. It seemed like a lizard of sorts...what he knew for sure is that it was the most massive specimen he had ever seen. And one looking quite menacing. He didn't quite take into account any wildlife trying to meet him...but it might be an interesting challenge nonetheless... is what he thought before the creature spoke.

That threw him off guard quite a bit... a massive speaking Lizard in the middle of the desert. he did see several Shinobi form a pact with various different animals... though this one did not seem quite interested in forming a companionship. Deciding to play safely he would speak out "My apologies, I did not know the valley was...occupied. I was simply searching for a place to train in p.." he stopped as the lizard spoke again, mentioning a lost child, of which he had no idea about. But that didn't matter, especially if there was a grain of truth in what the Lizard was saying.

"Where? Which direction?! And what was a child doing in the desert in the first place?!" he asked more rhetorically with the last question, trying to look around his surroundings, but in this case it would be like searching for a copper coin in the dessert...unless he was directed "I'm not sure how much you care for my kind but I assure you I know my way around this landscape...and if there is any uncertainty as to whether the child is dead I need to try and help it! So please, just tell me where you have last seen the child and I will be of no longer trespassing on your territory" he pleaded with the massive lizard. It seemed clear he didn't care much for the life of humans...but he at least hoped he would be willing to give him a chance to save a different life. Or at least let him go to search in peace...
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:49 pm

The judgmental black eye continued to stare down Harupia, unwavering but occasionally blinking with a transparent layer of skin which enabled Aydrun to stare through it as well. While it was clear to Aydrun that this human did not know of the child, he showed a sudden interest in finding her— "why" he wondered. Aydrun never knew the humans for their sympathy, only greed, and there was no value in finding a wandering child the way one might find value in guiding a lost lamb. A human child’s meat was not succulent: all humans tasted gamey according to Aydrun’s refined pallet.

“What is your title, human?” Aydrun paused the course of conversation with his interested in Harupia piqued. He then waited a few beats to allow Haru to answer before declaring himself in return, “My clan has named me Aydrun, Eater of Men.” His long head then swayed to scan the horizon, surely seeing far from his perch, high up on the rocks.

“So you wish to find the child” he said, taking their conversation back on track with his assessment. “Very well, you may search for her. However, if she does not live— you may take her bones back for a proper burial if she has been picked clean. That will make for one less spirit roaming the dunes after nightfall.” Aydrun was ever the callous one as he spoke of the child’s predicament with such ill regard. Or perhaps he simply knew the desert for what it was, and what it could be. “Proceed on the path where dunes collide and you shall find the valley where wild things grow. However, with life comes death in the valley; meat of the cactus and meat of the wandering flock.” Of course, Aydrun had to be cryptic, he couldn’t just give normal directions (at least not to a human). Perhaps he hoped Harupia would take the trail and become another meal for the vultures who were never full. “Go now— begone before Aydrun defaults to better judgment” spoke the massive horned lizard, who said these final words before vanishing behind the curves of the boulders he perched on.


While the lizard was cryptic, there was a bit of truth to his instructions. Ahead of Harupia was a trail of sorts where sparse, cracked soil was a bit more traceable than the tall hills of sand and dense rock on both sides of it. With little else to go off of, this did seem like the path Aydrun was hinting towards. One thing was clear, Harupia was meant to find a valley, and most-likely it would be there that he'd find the missing human child or at least a clue as to what was going on.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:46 pm

There was a moment of... tense silence, the gigantic reptile staring down at him. He stood as calmly as he could, considering full well the option he might end up being attacked. |foruntayl soon the lizard spoke, asking him of his name...he assumed. Letting out a bit of a cough he said "My Name is Harupia, of the Sunaku Clan. Some call me the Sand Artisan but I wouldn't quite call it an official title" he concluded, half using to himself. It fit him well enough as simple as it may sound. He couldn't help but tense just slightly as the other being introduced himself. Not the most friendly title...at least for anyone unlucky enough to wander here.

Though he seemed to be acting cordial for the time being. Though he did give a somewhat harsh clause to his search... though he decided to bit his lip for the moment. As harsh as the words are, he knew well enough that the chances of finding the girl alive were somewhat slim, depending on how long ago she has been wandering. The dunes could be a dangerous place for well-prepared adults, let alone a child. The lizard had given him directions...though it would seem more a riddle than actual assistance. And before he could ask for more details, the massive reptile moved quite nimbly for its size, disappearing behind the rock formation it perched itself on.

He let out a sigh, wiping his brow from the desert sun. He could garner two things: there should, probably somewhere he could see from where he stood...and that in the area he was supposed to find, he could expect something wanting to treat him as a snack. He took a few moments to look around at the ground, trying to figure out any clues... until he noticed a patch of slightly different soil. It seemed to be cracked, more solid than the smooth surface of the desert dunes. Focusing his will on the ground before him he brushed away the loose sand revealing what seemed to be a trail of this cracked, harder soil. H couldn't be sure this was what the lizard ment...but he didn't have any lead to go of now. Focusing the sand around his feet, creating a flat disk of sorts, he propelled himself forward, brushing away the sand before him and using it to guide himself forward, surfing through the sand as it were. An efficient way to travel against the dunes...and hopefully hasty enough to get where he needed to be in time. One question lingered...would the lizard simply leave him be, or perhaps, would he want to see what would happen in his search for the girl?
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:36 am

And so, Harupia went on his way deeper into the spare wilderness of the desert. His knowledge of the terrain was certainly adept enough to start as he followed the laden trail. Cracks in the earth created a path to take between two tall ridges of sand. And though he was given this path to take, the everchanging sands made tracking terribly difficult, even for the most experienced survivalist. There were no tracks to follow, and even the presence of nature’s chakra was too dense here for any shinobi with an affinity for sensing that energy to disseminate a child from it all.

The track was long and arduous with the sun shining so unrelentingly, the sweltering heat was beginning to make his efforts most-likely feel wasted or foolhardy. Perhaps it was all just a prank or trap planned by the self-proclaimed Eater of Men. But then as Harupia surfed along, he might have come to notice the first real sign of the brief tale Aydrun shared in bits and pieces. A large stone was standing near a side of the risen valley walls, which had only gotten taller as Harupia went on. This stone was covered in a streaked blood stain— not the kind of something impacting the stone, rather a splash from a creature being slashed or punctured. And if Harupia took a closer look, he’d discover that fresh sand blown by the wind was covering a rich saturation of blood on the ground in the same spot. Each stain was quite dry. It wasn’t a farfetched to assess that this might have been from Aydrun’s incident a day ago, therefore there was at least a shred of truth to the tall lizard’s tall tale.

From here, Harupia could dig deeper— perhaps there was more solid remains or clues in the immediate area, all hidden beneath the rolling sand. If there was blood, there was probably more; but in such an environment, blood meant food, and food attracted predators. Sweeping across the horizon came a black shape as something dared to glide between the sun’s ever-present glow and the ground below: a shadow of something in flight. An ear-piercing screech echoed into the tall valley as a wide-winged bird could be spotted flying above.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:41 pm

It wasn't easy to follow the trail. He never was quite that good of a tracker, as much as his father tried to teach him. Still, the latent knowledge of the area due to his earlier journeys and general control over sand was helping him quite a bit. Even if he couldn't spot out the with his eyes, he could feel the difference in structure as he tried to shift the sand. still, he was far from the ideal person for the job...but he was only who seemed aware of the situation to begin with.

As much as he was used to the sun above him, it wasn't something he was completely immune to. Something which wondered him about how new..predicamnt. He still bled, he still felt hunger, he still felt cold and hot...yet if necessary, he knew he would be able to seal minor wounds replacing the skin with sand. He even would be capable of shifting entirely into the sand, drifting on the wind with greater speed...though the one time he did, he nearly wasn't able to reassemble himself. He couldn't help but wonder, was it simply a boon of the power he came to wield, or perhaps, the fact he clung to his... normal self was something happening in spite of it, and the fits or power and anger he felt were it trying to push him further into losing himself...

One thing was certain, the heat was making him lose focus. And this was not the time for that..especially since there was a change in his investigation. A valley...and a lone stone standing there. He moved closer to it, believing it could be the "dunes collided" as the lizard spoke...Moving in closer, he noticed the crimson blood on the stone, clearly as if something was slashed nearby and the blood sprayed...examining the ground showed more stains of dried crimson...the fact they were still visible meant it had to happen fairly recently. Before any further action could be taken, a brief shadow flew over him, only to be followed by a loud screech. An avian cratoer...and he could only assume it was predatory. He needed to focus on finding his target though... taking a deep breath he focused, one hand pointing to the blood, trying to sweep away the sand and reveal anything that may be underneath...perhaps a different trail or something more...morbid. The other was pushed to the opposite side, sand rising and forming a humanoid shape resembling hard himself. A Sand clone of his own making, crated to stand guard against the predator likely flying above them..ready to defend at any sign of it advancing forward.

Mft, Wc= 459
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:53 pm

Haru was wise to create a second pair of eyes to watch over his shoulders while commencing his forensic dig. As the sand arose to replicate its creator, the second Haru’s face took shape and faced the bright sky. Perching on a cliff high overhead was a very large bird of prey— an ugly raptor with a wrinkled red face and jagged hooked beak. Soulless black eyes stared emptily, offering nothing but calculations as the creature’s head turned to assess angles of attack. The bird’s neck was long but crooked as if it had been broken and healed several times. A tuft around the bird’s collar made from white downed feathers was a stark contrast to the coat of dusty black feathers. The vulture let out a shrill cackle which echoed down the cavern space. It was like a call to its brethren, as more hideous creatures began to line the cavern’s edges. The single vulture’s cackle suddenly became a symphonious raucous.

It was time to hurry; at least that was a reasonable assessment to just about anyone. As Haru sifted through the dust he discovered a deeper layer of soil saturated with reddened granules of dried blood. However, more substantial evidence surfaced as well: up came fragments of bone in various shapes and sizes. They were crushed by a means which suggested a powerful force snapped them bit by bit, and the decomposition suggested a day or two at best. It wasn’t enough to be sure of who or what died there until Haru discovered a uniquely human jawbone with most of its teeth intact. A gold tooth shimmered in the light as it was surfaced among the set.

Who’d have thought birds would know earth-style nature. There was a crackling coming from above, and sudden plumes of dust erupting from the crags of rock as boulders were lodged free and tossed off the ledges. Massive stones created roaring, rolling thunder as they bounced down the bumpy cavern walls. This was a trap if there ever was one! Suddenly, the way back was being sealed off quite methodically, and dodging forward became the logical path if Haru wanted to avoid being reduced to a red grease spot by the falling boulders. He could fight or he could flee— there were choices galore but the danger inspired him to choose quickly or die. Reasoning with them seemed out of the question, though, it was a mystery whether this legion of vultures understood the common tongue or not.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:45 pm

It seemed that the observer was not a lizard...though at this point he reckoned he rather has the snarky reptile back rather then the grotesque bird predator hovering about him, stalking for his next meal. Or probably not only his...as after its shriek, a few more started to echo further away. It seemed a pack was coming.

While his body tensed, he continued the dig, the Sand clone hovering around him, observing if the birds would try to swoop in... as he sifted through more of the sand, he managed to reach a layer of a different colour...the unfortunately familiar sight of dried blood on the sand. What came up next was a step more morbid... bones. Not many of them intact, probably crushed by a large force...perhaps the maws of a beast? They weren't buried to deeply, and they seemed fresh enough...he had seen enough old bones over the past few months... seen and smelled. His nauseating musing was interrupted as he dug, Until now these all could have been animal remains...that may have been soon still. But he found something distinctly human. A jaw.

He didn't have as much time as he would want to analyze it right away, feeling the distinct vibrations in the ground. Someone was manipulating the surroundings around him...or, perhaps, something. Chakra was a peculiar phenomenon. While seemingly magic and allowing for inhuman feats, it was all based within explainable physical confines...to an extent.That extent allowed for the possibility of animals to be able to use a form of Chakra... of course not as refined as what some Shinobi could pull off, but at the same time the raw untamed power had its own potential. Potential enough to start seeing large blood projectiles at his postion, and tumbling down the cavern. Cursing under his breath, he quickly yanked the Jaw into his grasp as he dashed forward, moving out of the way of the falling debris. He would need to build some distance before he could try to use his sand cloud, and besides, he wasn't sure whether trying to glide away was the best solution for airborne predators. So for the time, he ran forward, careful to avoid any of the falling rocks. He also took a moment to glance at the jaw in his hands... seemed adult. The golden tooth seemed out of place for a child...but the child was with a grown man according to the lizard...what if he dug deeper...

As Haru moved, forward to dodge the attack, but still looking at the dig site, the clone hovered around somewhat to the side, trying to aim two volleys of sand Shuriken at the birds. The first creature seemed quite hardened, but he couldn't tell about the others... he was half hoping he would be able to scare away the values, usually used to picking out easy prey, not confronted with a target which fought back.

Mft, Wc = 500
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:29 am

The granulated shuriken cut through the air as it sailed up the cliff face. The large disks connected with the most visible of the vulture pack. With a loud thud, the sand shuriken tore the life out of the foul creature and sent it crashing into the crevasse below.
“The kid’s got a decent shot,” remarked a critical, gruff voice from afar. High above, outside of that death-trap of a cavern was Aydrun, who was using natural camouflage to lurk along in the sand. Those vultures were swarming in attempts to launch their attacks, all the meanwhile leaving themselves open to stealthy attacks. Lunging out from the sand came Aydrun, who snatched the large birds out of the sky, one by one.

“Bah ha ha ha”
Came a crude, bellowing laugh as Aydrun’s assault reached over the cliff and he appeared so high and mightily. He was enjoying the carnage, stained with the blood and feathers which stuck to him. “That went even better than I expected; you’re still alive!” As Aydrun celebrated the boulders stopped falling and the remaining vultures fled, all moving further eastbound. The corpses of their allies were scattered along the cavern floor, mostly mutilated from the crunch of Aydrun’s bite, the razor-edge of Haru’s shuriken, or the impact of their bodies rolling down the mountainous slopes.
Last edited by Okada Kaji on Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:56 pm

Well, that volley went a lot better than expected. He was really worried the flesh of these birds would be hardened due to tot he harsh environments... better to stray on the side of safety he supposed. Now he just had to deal with the rest of the pack trying to fling giant rocks at him. It would probably take a few moments...at least it would without the sudden backup.

Clinging to the side of one of the bigger rock formations after a dodge he saw a giant lizard suddenly pounce from the seemingly thin air and take down all the wild birds. An impressive display he had to be sure. He just had to hope he wouldn't be next. It didn't take him to long to recognize the same reptile he met before, which was reassuring...to an extent. He seemed cordial when they met before...he just hoped he didn't take the vultures down only to have an honorable one on one battle with him once the coast was clear.

It didn't take them to long to clear out the remaining vultures via savage reptile brutality and a barge of sand projectiles. as the threat was gone, he did receive a compliment from the large ferocious desert dweller. Moving a bit closer to him through the rock,s to have a better vantage point on the valley he would say "While I can't say I wasnt...suprised here, it would take a lot more than a few earth manipulating vultures to slay me...I do appreciate the assistance, you made very quick work of them. My main concern is whether the girl might have been hiding anywhere near here, but I wasn't able to try and search for her before the rocks started flying...I'm not even sure if she was here...all I found is a jaw with a golden tooth, which I assume is the older one you mentioned earlier?" he asked presenting the Jaw, trying to make some sense out fo the landscape...but with the falen stones and debris, it would be hard to see for sure where the girl could be...if she still was there. That was still the main focus on his mind
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:26 am

“Aye” called Aydrun, simply confirming Haru’s inspection to be completely correct. “There’s still a chance the small human is alive if the birds bothered with you here— that means they didn’t eat her yet.” The king-sized reptile then uttered a wicked laugh, unperturbed by the morose vision of those vultures laying innocence to waste. Perhaps Aydrun, Eater of Men was desensitized to the relentless nature of this savage land. Finally noticing the subtly caring nature of Haru, the mocking laughter came to a slow stop and Aydrun began a slow descent down the cavern wall instead. With ease, the long, horned lizard clung to the walls and began a forward march further along the cavern. “Come lad. 'Aydrun does believe the meat-snack you call a child is still alive… She is at the vulture’s nest, no doubt. You’ve shown that you have some skill on the hunt— Aydrun’s plan to cull the dusty beaks went accordingly, so now Aydrun helps you in turn.”

And so, Aydrun sought to lead the way to the nest he promised, ushering Harupia along a jagged cavern trail over rocky terrain. The reptile and human complimented one-another so much that Aydrun might have been impressed. Harupia’s affinity for this land gave him an advantage while normal humans would have met the verge of exhaustion long ago. Together they could scale steep climbs with ease, and Aydrun knew they could take a fine vantage point for scouting out the enemy stronghold. “Tell human… where you come from, you are the alpha of your clan?” Even Aydrun’s questions were delivered more like audacious commands, leaving only the inflection in his gruff voice to hint at a posed question. “You are not as weak as your kin… the human with the shiny tooth— the last I crushed— he was a weakling. 'Only a weakling seeks to forge a pact with those lice infested fowl.” And as Aydrun began to make his point, they also arrived to another cliff point which revealed a massive barren tree with long branch arms supporting a nest of thorny vines. The dry brush was patched together, created a nest fit to keep dozens of white ovals; eggs by obvious estimation. Brown-spotted eggs large enough to incubate human-beings were stashed in abundance, and there in the center was the other end of Aydrun’s deal. “The vulture’s service is merely bought with sacrifice— void of honor, and blasphemous to the Thousand-Scaled God... architect of the long-tail ilk,” said the titan lizard with his bloody-red eyes locked ahead and glaring. “There, at the center of their brood is the sacrifice; your youngling lives yet, but her time is short. 'Aydrun slew her father, but was too late for the undertaking.” The titan was studiously evaluating the scene, looking skyward and along the many surrounding cliffs in search of more sentry vultures. The child was there, visibly alive but pinned. She was only primitively bound, but weak from days of starvation.

“The tenants of the Thousand-Scaled God require an eye for balance in the hunt… Though Aydrun hates the despicable foul, their ilk serves a purpose to the land, therefore the brood may be clipped but not destroyed.” What the titan lizard meant was a decree that required him to let these fiendish birds prosper, but he did not drag Harupia so far just to spectate. “With your prowess and meager size, human, you have the necessary traits to infiltrate the nest and retrieve the sacrifice. 'Without the youngling meat-sack, the vulture hatchlings will not discriminate from one-another and cull themselves. 'The balance will be maintained for another winter, and your youngling will survive.” Enough time knowing Aydrun revealed the differences between scowls to Harupia. The human might have determined the determined bloodlust in Aydrun then. “Sentries mark the cliffs around us… ‘If you are exposed, Aydrun will steal their attention so you can extract the youngling safely, or else you could become a second tribute. ‘A human understands?”
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Re: Small steps Towards Excellence (Contract Search)

Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:51 pm

Well, that was more direct and hopefully, then he would have imagined...not that he was complaining. It was slightly confusing why the vultures decide to try and hoard more meat before eating, but that didn't matter now. The laugh of the reptile did make his stomach churn slightly. His profession was what it was but he never did find the sight of carnage to enticing. Then again, this was a mighty beast of the desert, who has seen countless death and causes many himself. The laws of nature. Though he did seem to tone down the laughter after a few moments before he started moving downward tot he caverns. Harupia followed suit as he listened to the elder lizard speak. With a bemused chuckle, he would say "Am I to understand you were using me as bait to lure out the creatures here? Well, I just hope the effectiveness of your bait won't diminish your accomplishments in the eyes of your clan" with a slightly tongue and cheek tone. He figured since they battled together he could allow himself for a bit of camaraderie.

The Shinobi managed to follow closely behind Aydrun as they climbed the rocky formations, using his chakra to cling to the wall's where he couldn't get a solid grip. While he could fly up using his sand techniques, his maneuverability wasn't that grate upon it, and he rather is prepared for any surprise attacks. As the lizard asked this question (at least he assumed as much, though the tone was quite demanding indeed) he blinked in surprise, before he would say "When it comes to the clan of humans, not exactly. My father is still the leader, though as you may imagine he has trained me quite relentlessly to follow in his steps. Though I doubt he'll be giving up the mantle anytime soon. He is quite a ferocious warrior himself" he explained, not wanting to go into o much detail about his potential future in his clan. He didn't comment on the slaying of the man with the golden tooth...if only he was slightly confused about the mention of a pact.

Sooner then alter they have reached their goal. A high cliff, with a single barren tree and a nest of eggs, he assumed of the vultures before. He listened to the lizard speak, his eyes widening slightly at the implication. Had the men kidnapped a child...or perhaps used it own...and for what? A pact with the vultures? He knew of the art of acquiring the assistance of powerful allies of nature... commonly referred to as a contract, which did require the life essence of someone... though it was more symbolic. Then again, vultures did have a reputation as foul birds...perhaps it was somewhat warranted.

The important thing is the child was there, weak, but breathing. While he watched before him his listened to his guide explaining the tenets of what he assumed was some deity of the Lizards, or perhaps a king. It made sense. as mentioned before, the rules of nature. One dies so others live, but if you disturb one part the entire system crumbles. And as he understood, with the sacrifice in place, all the young ones would feed and grow, rather than some of the fights and kill each other for sustenance. Therefore the numbers of the vultures would grow, and they would infest the desert. as morbid as it sounded, he much preferred letting nature run its course...especially since it involved an innocent girl dying otherwise. He couldn't see the countries now, but he assumed the lizard would know well where they are. Nodding he would say "I have a lot of plans which do not anticipate me being a feast for newly born vultures.

His companion would provide a distraction if he were spotted...which seemed somewhat inevitable. While he could not see any guards right now, the field he was before was quite open other than the wilted tree and the nest. Deciding to take it carefully, for now, the Sunaku would start sliding down the surface on which they were perched, going down as carefully as he could. Perhaps some natural cover opportunity would become more aperent...or if necessary, he could sue a trick or two up his sleeve to get in closer...

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