Age : 27
Posts : 1836
|Subject: Turtles, Travels, Tea [Travel To Cha no Kuni] Sun 08 Feb 2015, 6:29 am|| |
Day 00“Fascinating… Very fascinating…”
Soft murmurs were drowned under the louder roar of the oncoming wind. Masquerade stood at the edge of the wooden pier, his arms folded across his chest as the hems of his purple clothing billowed under the wind’s influence. His unfaltering gaze was fixed frontwards, towards the gradually brightening horizon. Darkness still shrouded the scene before him: the boundary between the sky and the sea was distinguishable only because of the multitude of stars - the celestial lights disappeared under the waterline, thus clearly marking the surface of the sea. There was nothing that could be seen in the distance - the lack of illumination made it difficult to perceive anything through the gloom. Not that there was anything to perceive. However, a couple of weeks ago, there had been something - something of great importance. If Masquerade had stood here several days earlier, he would have seen the distant outline of the great Kirigakure no Sato, visible through the mist due to the atmospheric glow caused by light pollution. But now, all he saw was a blue-black backdrop peppered with dots of white. For recently, the mighty village of shinobi had been struck by a devastating cataclysm - by a force of nature, it could be said. Some weeks ago, the Sanbi had annihilated the entirety of Kirigakure no Sato. Now, the great village was no more than the site of a historic calamity.
Masquerade would have liked to say that he had been witness to the event. He would like to say that he had “seen some serious shit” (that’s some interesting alliteration, right there) - but alas, he had not. While the Sanbi had rampaged through Kirigakure, the Nukenin had been on an island further away - so far away, in fact, that he was completely unaware of what was occurring on the mainland. Plus, at the time, he had been sleeping like a rock, under a rock. The Jinchuuriki had not been present (or conscious) to behold the undoubtedly mind-blowing spectacle that had taken place. Even so, he was not distraught for having missed the carnage. It was not as if his presence would have made any difference. Masquerade certainly would not have headed to the village to save anyone, or even (he actually chuckled at the idea) confront the Sanbi. Sure, he was host to a Bijuu as well, but it would have been insanely idiotic to even humor the notion that he could stand up to an unrestrained, incensed behemoth hell-bent on obliterating everything in sight. Which it had reportedly done.
Still gazing out at the sea, Masquerade tilted his head upwards slightly with a contemplative air. “Shichibi… Tell me about the Sanbi. Describe him to me, if you please.”
He blinked once, and when his eyes opened, he stood not on a pier on a chilly night, but in a dim, shadowy cavern of immeasurable size. Above his head was the Shichibi, suspended in midair by gargantuan chains that emerged from the surrounding darkness to bind her (mercilessly) in shackles. The minute human looked up towards the Bijuu, awaiting her response to his statement. Her expression was as unreadable and rigid as his mask; her head did not lower to focus her eight eyes in his direction, but that was probably because the manacle on her neck made it impossible for the insect to move her head even an inch. Regardless, the Shichibi answered his question, and in the same civilized manner that her host had adopted.
“Well, put simply: he’s quiet. It may sound rude to say so, but the Sanbi isn’t the smartest of creatures - I would say most human children display a higher level intelligence than he. Still, as his recent actions have proved, his power far exceeds his intellect. Like any living being, he desires to protect his freedom and safety, and smart or not, he’s strong enough to accomplish that.”
“And his opinion on humans?”
“The same as the other Bijuu: spiteful. After all, your kind does try to imprison us every chance they get, and even the most mindless of creatures would be angered by that.”
Masquerade chuckled lightly. “I see. In other words, he is a sharp contrast to you, Shichibi.” The masked shinobi gestured up to the Bijuu, his hidden smile matching the one on his mask. “You, who are referred to by some as the “Bijuu of Knowledge”, boast such a degree of intelligence and wisdom that it is said be a treasure on its own. And, unlike the Sanbi, you are more tolerant of us power-hungry humans, aren’t you?” Once more, he laughed softly, but it was not an unpleasant or condescending sound. Despite how his thoughts may have worded, Masquerade was not insulting the Shichibi. He respected her power and mind far too much to consider doing so. The Jinchuuriki was apprehensive of her power, of course - but such fear also helped nurture respect. When someone was this powerful, it was ridiculous not to be humbled. And though he had not seen it, Masquerade was awed and humbled by the Sanbi’s power as well. It - he - had leveled an entire village of shinobi without aid - remarkable. Truly, a Bijuu was a terrifying entity. Yet another threat that Masquerade felt he should always turn tail and run away from.
And speaking of running away…
“Oy, mister. How long ya gonna stare at the ocean? We’re waiting on ya. The Captain says it’s time to set sail.”
The hoarse voice broke through the mental tranquility in Masquerade’s mind, drawing his focus to the seaman standing behind him. Over the man’s shoulder, the shinobi spied the readied boat in question, a modestly-sized sea vessel that would serve the purpose it had been hired for. Unfolding his arms and turning around, Masquerade followed the sailor to the ship.
His transport was a hunting vessel, one that would be hunting sea life on the way to its destination, Cha no Kuni. There, the crew would be selling their game to the locals. As it turned out, this was not a deceptive tale spun to hide a more criminal endeavor, like delivering a shipment of illegal drugs or products - these were honest men doing an honest job! Fancy that.
The ship’s captain had agreed to let Masquerade tag along on the journey, but only after the shinobi had paid for the fare and agreed “to help out the crew if requested”. Luckily, the captain did not appear to suspect that Masquerade was a rogue ninja, though he had asked if he was “one of them Kiri ninja”. Masquerade had replied in the negative, saying instead that he was a foreigner from another country’s Shinobi Village (he’d spontaneously chosen Kusagakure for his story). Thankfully, the captain had not requested for a forehead protector or any other kind of ID. He probably thought that Masquerade was a Black Ops shinobi (given his attire), and thus preferred to keep his identity a secret. Therefore, the sailor had refrained from prying too deep into the shinobi’s business, which was very fortunate for Masquerade. Not only because he was able to hire a vessel without any complications; but because he had also managed to avoid antagonizing a ship full of very big and very brawny men, all of whom looked like they could kill a shark barehanded - and then eat it whole.
But this was all superfluous information. The true prize-winning question was: why had the Nukenin decided to leave Mizu no Kuni? It was not as if he was in danger of being attacked by the Sanbi. In fact, with the catastrophe that had befallen Kirigakure no Sato, there were no doubt fewer Village shinobi left in the country to threaten him; not to mention, the other law enforces of this nation probably had their hands full in dealing with the loss of Kirigakure. Yet, Masquerade was departing not long after learning that Mizu no Kuni’s prominent and most powerful military force had been weakened. Really, for a criminal like him, this was the perfect opportunity to exploit.
And it was precisely this train of thought that other criminals were surely going through as well. Masquerade was convinced that scores of criminals would soon flock to Mizu no Kuni, drawn to the prospect of committing their crimes without the fear of shinobi retaliation. Or, they may just be coming to loot the village. Whatever the case, Masquerade was not planning on staying in a location that could potentially turn into a wretched hive of scum and villainy. It might be odd of him to think this way, but then, Masquerade was an odd character.
This was the explanation he had given the Shichibi when she was made aware of his plans. Departing from Mizu no Kuni, the rogue shinobi was making his way to Cha no Kuni. He was going to there because… actually, he had no particular reason for going there. Said country was where his current source of transportation was headed, and since this boat was - financially - the best option available to him, he had decided to “go with the flow” - the flow of the sea currents under the ship, that is. Also, the Nukenin had never been to Cha no Kuni before, so he had permitted himself to feel some excitement at the prospect of visiting a new location. Seeing as he currently had no plans for his future (other than eat, sleep, and work), it might be a nice change of pace to explore an unknown setting. There was always a memorable experience to be had in an unfamiliar location. He’d travelled enough by now to be confident in that belief.
And besides - his curious mind was always looking to be fascinated by the foreign, and he would surely find many things foreign to him in Cha no Kuni.
[Exit to Cha no Kuni]