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Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

The island of Moon has farmland in the south, unfathomable cliffs to the north, beautiful beaches to the west, an unrivaled forest in the middle, and the city of Moon in the east. While not a varied land like larger islands, there is enough variety and hidden ruins and treasures to keep people constantly exploring.
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Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:39 pm

Nobu was surprised that the small harbor the ship pulled into looked not much different than the one in the Land of the Wind, other than the different environment and the way people dressed. He had expected something more... exotic from an island so far from his home. Instead what he found could've fooled him as another Sunagakure town if it hadn't been for the grey stone and green trees around him.

Despite Nobu's excitement to continue on deeper into the Land of the Moon, he needed a day to recuperate. Other than his seasickness, food among the ship had lacked variety, and he frankly needed time to orient himself within this new country. Staying in the harbor town for a day turned out to be a wise decision. A market had provided him with clothes in the local style, and he felt his strength return with every one of his three square meals. The next morning, Nobu felt as good as new.

Wearing a pale violet kimono of simple cut and cloth, Nobu looked like any other son of a well-off farmer or merchant. Rather than the pile of leather rags he had been wearing before as a coat, Nobu was now wearing a dark, plainly-colored oilcloth cloak around his shoulders to protect him against the elements. As it turned out, buying it was a good choice. The rumors of the Land of the Moon's violent storms were not exaggerated. At first, Nobu simply wandered the wilds, walking for the sake of walking, exploring for the sake of exploring.

Nobu's awe turned to respect as he wandered. Nature was harsh and unforgiving in the Land of Wind, and its signs were rare in the barren wasteland, in part thanks to the Diamond Maelstrom. Here in the Land of the Moon, however, Nobu felt almost at home. He felt as one with the trees, home among the boughs. As a sensory-type ninja, Nobu couldn't help but feel the connection almost ran too deep. There was something there, like something moving at the edge of his vision, or a sound at the edge of his hearing. Just out of his reach, but there. Definitely there.

As he traveled, the boy started reading more into the scroll left behind by Domen Tsubasa, the sage whose story had brought him to Moon Country in the first place. For reasons the scroll did not mention, Domen Tsubasa had left Sunagakure in her 20s, only for a Domen family member to find her in the Land of the Moon. As a sage, she had spiritual duties as well as physical ones. For unknown reasons, a sanctuary had been built in the Land of the Moon. It was important enough that a group of sages from several different countries had agreed it required someone to take care of the structure and the location. Tsubasa had decided to take the duty when the latest keeper retired, an act which required her to abandon all ties of blood in Sunagakure.

The sanctuary was in the northwest of the Land of the Moon, but Nobu was in no hurry to get there. He could have made it there in a day, flat. Instead he spent a week wandering the forest at the center of the island. Survival was easy, compared to Sunagakure. There was commonly-available natural water here, easily boiled using fire ninjutsu in the pots and pans Nobu had brought with him. There was a plethora of plant- and wildlife, much of it edible. Nobu had received no training about surviving in the Land of the Moon, but it was as if he could feel what would and would not be safe to eat.

The more he read, the more it started to make sense. Tsubasa's writing mentioned something called natural energy. Chakra consisted of physical and spiritual energy, but natural energy could be introduced to the mix by a select few people. Sages like Tsubasa knew the rudimentary skill of using natural energy, but there were those who internalized natural energy almost like a second pool of energy. These people were either highly experienced Sages, or those with a particular Bloodline ability. In Tsubasa's writing, she revealed that she was one of these people. A Senju, as it was called. The Bloodline stemmed from an ancient Land of the Forest clan. Nobu wasn't surprised that his ancestry included people from beyond the borders of the Land of Wind; surely the ancestors of the First Men spread further than just Sunagakure.

Slowly but surely the pieces were falling into place. Natural energy. The power of the world around him. The blood of a Senju. Like the gentle hands of his ancestors, urging him towards where he needed to be. Not pushing, not nagging, but still ever-present. Part of Nobu felt like he was simply putting off the inevitable. That sanctuary was waiting for him. Part of him considered chickening out, but he had come so far. If he returned to the Land of Wind now, he would be facing a lifetime of sleepless nights, wondering what could have been.

Nobu's apparently-aimless wandering continued, taking him across rocky hills and river valleys, through open fields and thick underbrush. But every day, he knew he was getting closer to that sanctuary. Soon, the landscape gave way to dunes and beaches, but as Nobu followed the shoreline further up, the dunes eventually turned into cliffs. The southwestern edge of the Insanity Cliffs, the northeastern edge of the island's beautiful beaches, all surrounded by the island's rich forests. It was no surprise that Nobu soon found himself before the vine-grown gate of the sanctuary. Looking over his shoulder, he saw an open area in a small valley somewhat south of the cliff. He'd missed it by a few hundred meters, but at the time, Nobu had no desire to re-enter civilization. It had to be the village where his ancestors had lived.

Turning back to the gates, Nobu found himself curious yet somewhat hesitant as he moved to push them open. The place had clearly not been taken care of - part of the roof was collapsed, the windows were dirty and stained from years of coastal winds, and plant life had overtaken the whole place. Yet, Nobu felt this to be somehow even more fitting than if it had been a perfectly proper shrine. The sanctuary was dedicated to nature. In a way, nature had reclaimed it.

Nobu hurried through the shrine courtyard, stepping on stones wherever he could to avoid squashing plants. One of the doors had fallen from the hinges, allowing Nobu to enter the building easily. It opened into what looked like an area of silent meditation or worship, like a temple. There were doors, no doubt leading to the living quarters and the like. Parts of the smashed rooftop were lying on the floor in an old, untouched pile. From the hole, a beam of sunlight shone through the dusty air, outlining a spot near the center of the chamber. Nobu's heart was beating in his throat; he was expecting something, but he didn't know what.

Upon approaching the outlined place, Nobu noticed the stones were worn out. The markings were those of a kneeling person, two indentations for the knees and two for the feet. The boy's body felt like it moved by itself as he knelt there, as so many had done before him. Nobu closed his eyes and bowed his head in silent respect.

An indescribable sensation struck Nobu like a bolt from the blue. Energy - not his own - surrounded the spot. He could feel it, sense it like he could now sense every leaf of grass and every scuttling ant outside of the sanctuary. Now he understood everything. This sanctuary, this shrine, had been built not only out of respect for nature, but for its inhabitants to be closer to it. Like the meeting point of a dozen rivers, natural energy flowed from miles away into this point. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the forests. Nature itself - Nobu understood.

And as he came to nature, nature came to him. He grasped like a blind man, not physically but mentally, and eventually found something to hold onto. A minute tendril, a small droplet, of natural energy pulled from the flow and into himself. A broad smile crossed across his face as he felt it well up from inside of him. Along with that energy, something else came to him. In one hand, chakra shaped into the energy of water. In the other hand, chakra shaped into the energy of earth. Nobu made hand seals, following only what he remembered of basic elemental training, before putting his hands to the stone floor with a deep breath. From between a nearby set of floor tiles, heavy blocks of stone that had been pushed up over the years by a tree's root, blossomed a sapling.

Nobu stared at the young vegetation, then down to his hands. That sapling had not been there before. Wood release - the sign of a Senju.

But... what else was waiting for Domen Nobu in these hallowed halls?

[WC: 1533, Contract Search, using "Discovery of Contract of Random Choice" card]
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:50 am

YOU HAVE FOUND THE DEEP SEA CONTRACT! DO YOU ACCEPT OR DECLINE THIS CHALLENGE?
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:52 am

[I will accept!]
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:41 pm

The Senju were well known for their attunement with the natural powers around them, giving them a pool of energy much larger than the everyday shinobi could muster. And right here, as Nobu got a faintest taste of that that power could translate into, something stirred. Nobu would be able to feel vibrations shaking the wooden floor below him in response to the budding wood-style ninjutsu. If the young man was still attuned to the magical forces around him, he could easily sense it...shifting. Not being interrupted, or slowing down. Just the way all the pathways of natural energy started coming in from different angle.

Followed by that was a low, long, and but wailing sound coming from the ground below him, followed by what sounded like a voice in a way similar to the previous noise. "Deeeeeeeeep" It wailed in a long, drawn out way. It's voice creaking, and cracking as the prolonged word escaped from all around Nobu. Like he was surrounded by countless speakers, all perfectly in sync. "Belooooooooow" It said once more, as the ground would shake again.

From the floor, just below the sapling Nobu had just made, the ground shifted, and tore open upwards. The wood, and stone beneath it all around the sapling twisted upwards, creating a large pillar of warped materials in front of where Nobu was kneeling. The pillar soon split open revealing countless types of shining stone, a gateway into the earth below. The way down was lined with moss covered stone steps, being lost to time same as the rest of the area. From the bottom of the stairs was a faint, glowing light. Should he follow it he'd see something both fantastical, and terrifying.

A massive angler underwater river, with a pathway leading off into an infinite darkness from beyond an orb of light, which was dangling off of a metal pole. Upon further inspection, the orb of light itself had a metal cage within it, seemingly the root of the source of light. And at the base of the metal pole were waters far too dark to see into, even with the extremely bright mass of light overhead. "Belooow...." Was said again, causing bubbles to rise from the water, and the surrounding cave to shake violently due to the tremendous sound. Whatever it was, this area was no doubt extremely close to the source. However, no more noise came from the area. Only the heavy feeling of a large amount of natural energy, all converging to this area.
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:54 pm

Nobu's amazement swiftly turned to surprise and then fright when the flow of natural energy changed in response to his ninjutsu. Had he screwed up somehow? Some part of Nobu realized that he'd been messing with powers he was almost wholly unfamiliar with, like a newborn given power. The low bellow of the voices didn't help much, to the point that it took multiple moments for Nobu to get over his initial worries and actually parse the fact they were talking, let alone what they were even saying.

Upon the revelation of the new doorway, Nobu scrambled to his feet and took a step back. Rather than immediately jumping in, he looked the strange gate over. What was going on? He'd never heard of this kind of massive transformation brought on by so small a touch of chakra. Natural energy sure was something special, the boy thought to himself. When nothing jumped out at him, the boy hesitantly moved forward. Mossy steps with walls of dazzling stones. Pretty, for sure, but definitely not natural. Or, perhaps it was natural in ways the boy was previously unaware of? Either way, he forced himself to move down into the depths.

At the base, Nobu swallowed. That was... water. A lot of water. As a child of the desert, Nobu's experience with large bodies of water was limited to the past few days. It made him nervous, but also intensely curious. Nobu took the last few steps in slow, inch-by-inch moves, edging over to the side of the water like it was a river of acid instead. Nobu cringed as the bellowing voice rang throughout the chamber again, this time sounding closer. At the water's edge, with nothing else than the lantern to hold onto, Nobu leaned across to stare into the water below...

[MFT]
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:53 am

The ground would shake one final time, as the very ground Nobu was standing on started to rise. "NOOOOOO!" The voice cried, now directly below Nobu.

With time, the very ground itself all began to fall apart, sinking deep into the dark waters below. Eventually, all that was left were the stairs several yards away, and the land that nobu was standing on that surrounded the lamp. The voice rang once more. "Child, my light! Don't block my light!" it said, as the earth began to shake from side to side. Then, a slowly increasing light soon made it very clear how deep these waters were.

The walls surrounding this underground pond began to become clear several yards deep, before going back into darkness, and before long it became clear that something was in the water. It started with several small glowing orbs, before stripes began to glow as well, all the way towards the vast amount of water, eventually showing the once unseen end of the cave a great distance away. Then, the land Nobu was on lifted once more, as it started breaking away to reveal that underneath Nobu was...

A massive fish. It was large enough to almost cover the entirety of the water's surface. It's skin was semi-transparent, and the sources of light were all coming from spots on it's massive body, and now the only thing between Nobu and the giant being was a small metal platform that seemed artificially attacked to the beast that was holding the lantern. "Boy...The one who possesses the waters of the true ocean. It has beeeeen....Yeeears." it said referring to the water chakra used to create the sapling moments ago. As it talked, it's words became even more strained , and would need a few moments to continue. "My light...I must see it upon these beautiful walls..." he said, looking forward to the marvelous stones in the cave with it's unshifting eyes. "Please, move. I must talk, but...I must see the beauty before me befoooooooore carryiiiiing..." He paused. "Oooooooooon."

With that, the fish finished it's talk and gave a slight shake to it's body, rubbing the cave walls in an attempt to get the boy to jump off or move over. There was still a sizable amount of room for someone to stand on the stairs from before, despite the jump going over what looked like an eternity of dark waters below.
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:37 pm

The boy cried out, half wordless shriek and half unintelligible curse, as the ground began to shake and crumble. Even in Sunagakure they taught young shinobi to stand and walk on water, but Nobu was painfully aware of the fact that he could not, in fact, swim. The voice wailed something about how Nobu was blocking the light. Not wanting to anger something so huge, Nobu crouched down and edged away from the pole as far as his (currently rather limited) supply of courage allowed him to.

Nobu barely got a moment to recuperate from his initial shock before movement and light appeared below the water's surface. The boy didn't even bother to reach for his tanto - a knife that small wouldn't do shit against a creature this big. If he tried to fight it with lightning ninjutsu, he'd probably shock himself as well. He wasn't sure whether his wind release would work underwater, and he wasn't skilled enough with water ninjutsu to feel confident in fighting a massive sea monster with it.

As it finally broke the water's surface, Nobu almost passed out on the spot in fear. He was just a child, one who had grown up in the desert - open water was terrifying enough to him without knowing what lived in the depths. Still, there was something about the pain in its voice that was tugging on Nobu's heartstrings, despite his fear. When his mind finally registered the request it made to him, the boy swallowed. "A-Alright! Just--Just give me a second!" he shouted, swinging his arms so he wouldn't lose his balance and fall off as the fish started to rub the cave walls.

Even if there was a distance between the platform and the stairs, Nobu was a shinobi. He knew he could make a jump like that, and after backing away as far as he could, he ran a few steps forward to build momentum before leaping forward. However, the fish moved just as Nobu jumped, botching the leap. As the boy sailed through the air, he knew he wouldn't make it all the way. Though his arms and upper body landed on what remained of the stairs, everything from the waist down was swallowed by the cold, dark water. With another panicked and very un-manly shriek, Nobu clambered up the stairs on hands and later knees, moving several steps up before turning over into a seated position. He was breathing heavily, and his eyes were wide open with terror. "W-What the hell are you?!" he asked, his voice cracking halfway through the question.
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Re: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees [Contract Search]

Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:41 pm

The beast's movements became slow, and calm the moment he was able to see his own light shine against the glistening stone walls once more, as if it was some kind of soothing method to keep himself at ease. His speech was no longer frantic and desperate, instead being the ominous deary, monotone, and wispy tone that had originally called Nobu to this underground lake in the first place. "Manneeeeeers. They go a looooooong way boy..." He paused, dipping underwater before coming back up to speak again.

"I am a being of chakra, and flesh. Saaaaaaaame...." It paused again, dipping it's head in the water. It would soon become very clear that this pattern of action was important to it, as it's gills would always attempt to filter in as much water as it could when it dipped down into the liquid abyss. It's lantern dangled overhead in a nearly hypnotic sway, making a creaking sound of metal every movement it made. Everything here seemed repetitive, draining, and unbearable to deal with for more than a short time. Eventually, as usual, it would continue it's speech. "Same as yooou...."

It's glass marble eyes looked Nobu dead on, yet it's stiff face was unable to show emotion as one would expect. Instead he remained silent for several seconds before talking more. "You...You can summon the wood of theeeee." He paused, dipping into the water again before rising again. "Senju...Correct? If so, please.....hear my plight." He said, raising further out of the water to show it's massive vertical size to Nobu, as well as it's obscene amount of teeth that was previously unseen from the water below. Now it could also be seen that the creature did not talk using it's fish lips, instead having some other method to allow all of his pronounced words escape from parted lips.

"My naaaaaame.....I have forgotten. I waaaaaaaas given one, yet it's been ages...." It said, letting it's lantern raise to light up countless drawings on the underground cave's upper walls. The drawings depicted a fish around the size of a human holding a large lantern, eerily similar to the one on the massive fish's skull. "I was once one of the many contract animals of the Senju. A creature who would gift my power in exchange for companionship, aaaaaaaaand....trust....I would sleep here, same as many other marine summons that the senjuuuuu befriended." It said, before ducking back under the water to breath again, and fast.

So fast that a huge wave would crash throughout the pond, and a small wave attempted to hit Nobu head on, the large fish remaining underwater in an attempt to get more energy through the waters.
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