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paradigm

pray for fresh prey

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The Dead Man of the Kuten loomed over the nearby countryside, an ever present ghoul subsisting on the souls of those who dared come to close. There were legends and fables about its creation, how two legendary warriors squared off and tore tracts of land into mountainside and cliff face with the end result being the Kuten Compound. Nobutada was not certain who was be believed, but he highly doubted ancient shinobi had the foresight to run the necessary wiring to keep the compound the state of the art locale that it was. Standing near the dead man's mouth, the shinobi wrapped his arms about his abdomen and peered out over the tree tops below. 

 

Heights never bothered him; flying did, but heights he could manage. It was more the feeling of weightlessness he found disturbing, but one persevered in times of necessity. Ivory colored locks fell across a pale brow, prompting Nobu to run a gloved hand through his hair.  The Kuten were restless of late and one too many disappearances, preceded by the attack on Luka’reccia and the release of two dangerous criminals, did not make things any easier. The tension amidst the compound was palpable and weighed heavily on members from the upper echelon to the lower rungs. For his part, Nobu felt it was business, as usual. 

Sure, things had gotten tense and there were a few more criminals to deal with, but everything operated in cycles. A busy few years were inevitably followed by a slow one—it was just the nature of things. Nobu found it all a bit too ‘doom and gloom’ for his tastes. There hadn’t been a full out civil war amidst the shinobi of Alterion in almost a hundred years and even those small insurrections were hardly worth being called ‘wars.’ Slipping a datapad out of his pocket, Nobu crouched and rested on his haunches. An overlay of their target appeared on the crystal screen. 

“Chosa’reh,” he mouthed the name a few times. He’d never heard of it before, but that meant literal fuck all with the thousand unaffiliated hamlets stretching between here and Izral. The briefing read that a Kuten Shinobi had located a rogue shinobi and went to eliminate it—he’d failed to report in. It was standard protocol to assume the others death, but apparently there were extinuating circumstances. 

Clicking his tongue, Nobu studied the village and sighed. Reaching for the small scroll at his hip, the man paused and merely let his hand rest atop it. “We’ll see buddy, think we may have a chance to let you out to play.”

 

@Aleksei

Edited by paradigm

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A considerable amount of time passed before Karasu's eyelids fluttered close. The Kuten informed him, at the time of his briefing, that another shinobi would join him on this endeavor...and if they were coming they were far past the expected time of arrival. It was ten minutes past the time of departure and he abhorred being late. Tilting his chin down, ever so slightly, Karasu shifted his weight and let the momentum carry him over the edge and out of the Dead Man’s mouth. Hurtling towards the treetops at breakneck speed, Karasu reached for the scroll at his side, twisted about himself and disappeared into the treetops. 

 

—-

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 Karasu’s  golden eyes peered about as he approached the small village. His journey proved an expedient one, closing in on the outskirts of Chosa’reh by midday.  The village was minuscule compared to the sprawling hidden villages scattered throughout Izral with a single bridge leading towards its gates. Rather a bridge, at one point, led to its gates. Karasu’s ivory crown tilted ever so slightly in an overt display of confusion. A man in a dark flak jacket hailed him from atop the walls, his arm bearing the insignia of the village. Karasu studied the...what was that? A bridge? Two trees? He didn’t know what it was, but it looked pathetic and insignificant, much like the village. 

 

“No entry, friend!” The figure called to Karasu. We’re on lockdown. Come back tomorrow.” 

 

An ivory brow climbed upwards as Karasu’s gruff voice burst past pale lips. “Eh?!” A moment passed as Karasu folded his arms over his chest. “I am Karasu of the Kuten Syndicate...you will open your gates to me or I will turn your village to rubble.”

 

The man paused and turned to speak to someone behind the wall. As a representative of the Kuten, Karasu was within his rights to investigate a village under the Kuten’s authority, especially when a missing operative was last seen within its walls. 

 

“You have a dead Kuten to answer for.” Letting long arms drop his side, Karasu raised his China day leveled an accusatory gaze upon the man. “Now, open the gate...or I will break it down.”

 

A long moment passed before the gate opened and a large bridge was lowered over the expanse. Karasu crosses the threshold and entered the lair of his brother’s killers. 

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