A day off [Roku | NK]

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A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:31 am

Another crowded day at the bazaar. The blistering sun beat down mercilessly, chasing away as much shadows as it possibly could while it looked down upon the world from its zenith, but the people of Sunagakure were mostly used to the tyranny of the sun. The heat didn't stop them from walking around the Bazaar. Vendors shouting about their wares as they competed with their rivals in an attempt to sell their materials, peddlers walking about in between the ever moving crowd as they stopped potential customer after customer in hopes to sell their goods, and people walking in and out the shops or hurriedly trying to escape the constant pressure of salesmen trying to get their attention.

Even the Bazaar was a tough place to be in Sunagakure.

Asami, having a free day off, had wanted to take Bandit, her golden retriever, with her, but her mother had denied that thought. For the dog, it would be far too hot outside at this time of the day, adding to it that "Bandit wasn't a ninken". She had pouted slightly, heart-brokenly gave the dog a hug and left on her own, promising to find him a treat on the market while she was out. A happy bark had approved of that promise, with her mother adding that Asami spoiled him too much. Whatever. 'Floof' was worth spoiling, and he knew it too.

The Bazaar currently had little to offer on terms of dog goods, however. Sure, she could always go to the pet shop for her snacks, but if she did that, she wouldn't have a chance to wander the streets since the pet shop was not that far from home. Instead, she opted to find a peddler or a stall which would offer some special snacks, giving her a reason to wander a litle. A dog too deserved something different once in a while.

She had been out for half an hour now, and since it was noon, her stomach was starting to complain about how little energy her body had been provided. Thirst, too, parched her throat just enough for her to start feeling annoyed at the feeling, so Asami stopped at one of the vendors for a skewer of meat and a small gourd of water before sitting down to take shelter in whatever little corner provided some shadows as shelter against the heat.




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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:40 pm

Being forced to jostle through dense crowds of sweaty civilians was almost punishment enough for Rokumaru’s intrusive behavior, but it could have been raining shards of glass for all he really cared at the moment. Plenty of times this past week he had wanted to see what she did after school and was tempted to follow her home, but never had the opportunity. Today however, after spotting her from afar, Roku made it his mission to spy on the redhead.

She really did not give him much of a choice though, in his defense. Asami, and though he did not like focusing on one aspect of her and ignoring all the others that made her normal, could possibly inherit a bloodline that Rokumaru could not ignore. Sure, there were classmates of his before with interesting abilities, personality traits or Kekkei Genkai he would try to keep tabs on, but never had he met another his age with that dreaded element. How you are raised as a child ultimately decides what kind of adult you would grow into; what kind of child does a bearer of blazing winds that could incinerate crowds of people larger than what this Bazaar held raise? People like Roku, of course: fearful, pessimistic, likely in need of a therapist.

But people like Asami? Beyond a few days of sharing class together he did not really know her, yet Roku would go as far to say she was ‘normal’. Well, maybe that itself was telling, that a seemingly ‘normal’ girl would even pursue a career in Suna’s military, but with her shinobi heritage perhaps she did not have a choice to be a civilian. This was honestly the most he had thought about a girl his age ever, and admittedly it was because Roku was frightened of her.

So, seeing the more brown-hued redhead walking while he was window-shopping in the Bazaar, it was an opportunity to satisfy his curiosity.

It seemed like she was killing time herself, eyeing the wares in the shops she passed while not following any set route. Roku was a bit disappointed he wasn’t immediately uncovering her deepest secrets. Still, maybe he could see what sorts of things held her interest. It was close to twelve o’clock and there was a slow increase in the amount of customers searching for a meal, Asami herself stopping at a stand to buy lunch and escape the sun.

Rokumaru, his own hunger gnawing at him but choosing to ignore it, stood at a stand across the way from where his classmate, and pretended to browse the menu while watching her from the corner of his eye. The elderly woman who sat beside the boy followed his line of sight to the girl and scowled, poking the boy and scolding him about inappropriate behavior for a young man like himself, which he endured with a clear look of embarrassment and a few words trying to explain himself.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:12 am

Asami felt her body growing more satisfied with every new bite of her skewer and every swig she took from the gourd. For a moment, she looked up to the sky, feeling the sun stare back with vehemence just a little outside her own field of view, as she wondered where she'd wander next. There were so many shops to be seen, places to visit...

She reminded herself of that one shop that had this beautiful shirt, the white one with a big pink heart on it. Last time she had checked it, the last of them were being sold. It had been love at first sight, but unfortunately, she didn't have the ryo to buy it back then. And thinking about it, she still didn't have it now considering she was just horrible at keeping her money in her pocket. Asami guessed she could go look at it, in hopes that there were still a few of them around, reminding herself that she really needed to save up money for it.

Then again, there was also that tattoo and piercing shop that had her dreaming. She had a piercing in each of her ears for the earrings she had at home, but there were a few other places she wouldn't mind having pierced. Tongue, lip, nose, just to name a few. And the tattoos there were just gorgeous. There was the one with that jackal looking creature and that special looking eye. Or the ankh. Or maybe that scarab with the lotus flower in it. Oh, and the hummingbird! All of them real pieces of art, really, which only made it so much harder to choose... But perhaps a peek at its selection would help her out this time?

There was some ruckus on the other end of the street, and Asami's gaze shifted towards it. She couldn't quite see what was happening, but the old woman had a scowl on her face, berating one of the customers she was servicing. Had one of her customers slighted her by being a horrible haggler? With the crowd walking on and off, it was a little hard to see who it was she was talking to, and as such Asami's attention diverted to something else again.

Yosh! Finishing her meal while keeping some of her water for later, Asami jumped back up. She had more shops to look at, and they wouldn't be viewed if she remained seated here. Not to forget, Floof had yet to get his snack. Leaving her spot in the pocket of shadows, Asami wandered once more through the crowd, stopping here and there briefly for something that attracted her mind, but never really quite caught her full attention.

Eventually, she crossed the tattoo shop, and with it, her journey came to another halt. While the display window of the shop was small, pictures big and small took up the most space, and with it, they took most of the light intended for the inside. She allowed her eyes to feast upon the art that was showcased here, as well as the several studs, earrings and piercings that were being sold - stars, buttons, rings... the selection seemed endless, and was once again different from the last time she had come here. Unfortunately, not even today she would be able to make up her mind as to which one she actually wanted.




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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:24 am

Yes, Rokumaru should be ashamed of himself for taking part in such inappropriate behavior. Yes, Rokumaru should be doing something better with his time than following people and being a creep. He really did not need an old woman to reiterate things he had already thought through, and yet Rokumaru allowed the scolding to wash over him as he focused on his primary target like the old woman was not even there. He had already come to terms with the fact that he would have to do many unsavory things in his line of work, so certainly a bit of stalking wouldn’t tarnish his soul or his nonexistent reputation. The commotion was enough for Asami to actually turn to look at all the noise, making Roku duck down to avoid his dark-red hair being recognized. Thankfully her gaze passed right over him.

Soon his target had finished her meal and stepped back out into the dense crowd, Rokumaru quickly moving to follow her. Honestly, following the girl from several dozen yards away, Roku began to feel a bit unsure about his whole plan. Admittedly it was the fruit of a split-second feeling of panic after discovering Asami’s heritage, that seeing what she did after hours would offer an insight into what she was like. Now though, she seemed... normal. Too normal for his efforts. Thinking that he had misjudged someone, however, stoked the flames of Rokumaru’s insecurity, and he shoved it down with the idea that Asami was very careful to separate her public and private life.

Assured that he had made a discovery about her character, he simply watched to see what sorts of businesses drew Asami’s eye. They passed clothing stores, shinobi supply depots and even a store selling fish in tanks but she did not stop at any of the above. Only after coming across a shop that offered tattoos and body piercings did the girl even begin to slow down and browse, Rokumaru doing the same from a few feet and several patrons away. Did she care about her appearance enough to consider having a tattoo or piercing done? Roku did not see the appeal of either, so he could not contemplate spending money on either.

He was not getting any further than he would have actually speaking to the girl, Roku decided after spending a long moment watching her contemplate the designs in the shop. Of course actually speaking to her would come with the risk of her finding out Roku had been stalking her in the first place, but he supposed he knew that going into it. Some people could be deciphered simple by observing their behavior and schedules, but Roku was too impatient to try to go that route with Asami. She was pleasant to speak with, if anything.

And so, taking a moment to gather his courage, Rokumaru approached the darker-shaded redhead while she looked at the designs of the tattoo parlor, trying desperately to pretend that he had stumbled upon her by accident.

”Asami!” Rokumaru said as he approached speaking distance of the girl, hoping to catch her attention and draw an invitation to accompany her. ”I was hoping to see you around the village. Would you mind if I walked with you for a while?” It was a weak attempt at being nonchalant but maybe his classmate would buy it. And though she was pleasant to look at, Rokumaru honestly wanted to break the ice and speak to her.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:23 am

Asami was trying to envision herself with any of the jewellery already. A little button as a nose piercing, or perhaps the star anyway? Would it fit her? She thought it would, but what would her parents say of it? She didn't remember any of them having piercings. Perhaps she could get her father's approval if she fluttered her eyeslashes and added a big 'please' to it, but her mom wouldn't buy her wily tricks. She was like, immune to her charm or something. Probably because her dad had told her a thousand times already that she had exactly the same manners as her mother.

Dropping her gaze on the ankh, she guessed that one would be a nice one for her belly button. Some would have taken them as earrings, perhaps, but that seemed... too much. Then again, the curling snake looked to have the right size to curl itself around her bellybutton, which she found pretty nice as well. The good thing about those piercings were that she could actually hide them from her parents' sight, keeping it under her shirt. It would probably be a much better idea than the nose piercing to begin with, until she could casually say that 'she had that one since ages now'. That trick would probably work with tattoos as well, though... she had heard those hurted and took a while to heal up once placed. Even if she wanted to believe that she could endure the pain, she was fairly certain her mother's senses would pick it up anyway. She had her ways like that...

Her thoughts scattered as the wind when she heard a familiar voice calling for her. Curiously, she turned her head to see a bustle of red hair peeking from the passing crowd. Rokumaru? She watched him for a moment as he approached, until he asked her to hang out. Asami smiled. Rokumaru was smart. Maybe he would know a trick or two on which one she should pick, and how she could keep it secret from her parents.

"Hi, Rokumaru! Just the person I could use for some feedback", she replied to him, immediately expressing how welcome he was to join her. He seemed a little nervous, but she blamed that on him being a boy. Boys of his age were often nervous near girls - which was adorable, really - but since she didn't want him to feel discomforted by her, she attempted to act as casually as possible as well. Instead, she pointed at the various piercing accessories.

"I think I'll go get that one.", she said as she pointed to the ankh. "I want a piercing in my belly button, but I'm not sure... Do you think it'll fit me?"

Perhaps she shouldn't ask just yet how to hide it from her parents. She wasn't sure if Rokumaru was the kind of guy that dared to ah... skim the line, or if he preferred to do everything by the book. The last thing she wanted was to hear him ask her to be responsible and ask her parents, or something boring along those lines.




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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:37 pm

The girl turned away from the window of the tattoo shop and gave Roku a friendly greeting, likely assuming he was on his way elsewhere before he stopped here or at least he had hoped that was the case. Asami, surprisingly, actually wanted his opinion on something and gestured at some merchandise through the window she was peering through, Rokumaru stepping beside her to just see what she had her eye on exactly. Jewelry with sharp pins capped with silver; body art, it seems this store specialized in, from ornate tattoos to simple piercings.

Asami pointed towards one in particular, a small cross-like symbol called an ankh. Rokumaru remembered the term from a book; once it was a religious symbol for life, many ancient deities having been depicted in art with them, but now the ankh was just a cool design, a cross with a loop. And she wanted his opinion on if she should buy it? If it would fit her?

He tried to think over the question sincerely, making a conscious effort not to stare at the girls stomach and picture her belly button at all, uncomfortable for different reasons now. Instead Roku took note of their shared height- though Asami was just barely his superior in height by a few centimeters, which he hoped she did not notice- and guessed the two were more-or-less proportioned the same. With his fingers Roku measured the height and width of his naval and held them against the glass, trying to compare the two. It was almost impossible to accurately gauge the size of the piercing when it was just a foot away from the glass.

So, scratching his head and trying to come up with something, Roku turned back to his classmate. ”I would hope that they have a bunch of different sizes for each item. If not, I’m sure you could have one made from scratch,” he said with a nod as though what he came up with was acceptable. Roku was a true connoisseur; even girly stuff like jewelry and such was no obstacle to his sharp eyes.

Still, he had come for a look into her interests, so Roku should not have been surprised a girl her age would find something like that appealing. A very tribal practice, body piercing, and yet it was a popular fashion accessory among most women and no small amount of men. Rokumaru had no interest in interfering with his body any more than cutting his hair and clipping his nails; that being said, there was no issue letting people have creature comforts such as tattoos and body piercings. Maybe if he was a kunoichi and seduction was an option, only then maybe he would ever buy one.

Thankfully he was not the one interested. The one who was stood beside him. ”What exactly makes you want something from a store like this?” Rokumaru asked, curious about an interest he did not have. ”If I knew the Henge technique and could hide it from everybody, maybe then I could see the appeal.” Truthfully having an affectation like that sounded a bit nice, something pleasant on your body to look at, but it just couldn’t jive with him correctly.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:32 pm

Asami nodded at Roku's answer. It wasn't quite what she had hoped to hear, but there were worse answers for a girl to hear. Speaking of size, though, Rokumaru made her doubt a little. Were the shown ankhs even of an acceptable size? The ankhs didn't look exactly small, but she still had to grow a little. At least, she hoped she would still grow a bit, eventually. Blowing up a cheek as she sunk in deep thought, she still didn't really have a concluding decision. Should she get one, or not? She really wanted one, but... Why was it so hard deciding?

Rokumaru interrupted her train of thought with the question why exactly she wanted something from a store like this. Did he mean having a tattoo or piercing was absurd, or did he mean there were better shops than this one to visit? Turning her head, she looked at Rokumaru with certain curiosity, before shrugging her shoulders while she answered him.

"I think it would look good on me. I mean, earrings are nice, but piercings... are better. I think they are really cool. And tattoos can be real pieces of art, for you to carry eternally."

Piercings just made you look so... not innocent. Grown up, maybe? No, not really that. But rather, more of a tough, cool person. And some of them made a person really attractive. Like she had heard people say before, 'one needed to suffer to be beautiful'. And in a way, she considered it true. People without piercings or tattoos could be so... dull. Like, thirteen in a dozen dull.

"Don't you think they are cool? Guys with snikebites, for examples, are so... hot!", she giggled, cheeks colouring a soft pink. "I think it takes personality to endure piercings and tattoos, since they hurt."

That was probably the most appealing part about it. To endure the pain. It was like tattoos and piercings could make girls into tough women, and guys into real men. It took guts to go through with things like that.

"Are there any you like? Perhaps we should both get one while we're here.", she asked, a hint of teasing in her eyes. She wouldn't expect Rokumaru to be the type to place a tattoo or piercing considering his weaker constitution, but you never knew... People could surprise.




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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:21 am

Giving his opinion about the sizes of the pieces of jewelry, Roku watched Asami absently nod and continue to appraise the ankh that had drawn her eye, puffing her cheek a bit in thought. He interrupted her inner musings to ask exactly why she was interested in a store like this, one that Rokumaru thought only bored civilians would patronize . She looked at the gaunt redhead for a moment, like the question took her back a bit. Roku shifted a bit uncomfortably, hoping he did not offend her by questioning her interests. He hated when his curiosity overcame his polite demeanor.

Then she shrugged, saying that she found the piercings nice to look at and that they would suit her. That tattoos could be works of art that she wouldn’t mind adorning her body, one you would have for your entire life. The way she said it seemed so nonchalant, like there was no reason she shouldn’t get something from this establishment. And truthfully, there was nothing wrong with applying ink to your skin, or piercing it with metal. It just wasn’t something Rokumaru could see the appeal of.

Asami turned the question back on him, asking what he thought about the merchandise. She mentioned that she thought that snakebite piercings- that was a piercing on both sides of whichever lip, right?- was something that she found attractive. That enduring the pain of a tattoo or piercing was something to admire. Honestly, he didn’t see the appeal. ”I think I prefer mental anguish over physical pain,” Roku mumbled as he looked at a silver barbell piercing and imagined his irritation through the process of having it put in his body. So what if Asami maybe liked tough guys; there was nothing in the world that could make Roku defile his beautiful body like that. A building with gorgeous architecture did not need decorations to add to its charm.

She jabbed at Roku a bit, asking if there was anything in the store that he liked. That while they were here, they might as well find something they liked. He gave her a surprised look, thinking of something biting to counter her teasing. ”I think anything here is just an accessory, meant to add to your overall appearance, but it doesn’t really matter as long as your base appearance is attractive as well. Maybe some people find that putting metal in your body or ink under your skin makes you an interesting person, but it doesn’t to me. Like clothes; they don't make someone look good, that someone makes the clothes look good.”

If anything, the thought of ripping the piercings from an enemy shinobi made him a bit worked up and stimulated his sadistic tendencies, the regret his enemy would feel for even getting such a mundane affectation fueling his schadenfreude. There was no issue with telling foreign shinobi it was a fashion trend here in Suna, if only for a chance to grip their piercings and tear them out. The Uchiha enjoyed their physical attractiveness, and he could only imagine the enjoyment he would feel from depriving a raven-haired Konoha-nin of their piercings. The thought made him think of Asami in the same position, someone tearing the piercing from her navel in a bloody, painful move, and it made the liquid flowing through his veins heat up a bit. Quickly turning back to her, he stated ”Piercings also give an enemy something to grab onto and rip out. I suppose a tattoo wouldn’t be a liability like that.” Everything they did now was building up to their career as a shinobi, and Roku always tried to think about how things would affect his profession. Someone tearing the studs from his lips really didn’t sound worth the aesthetic gain. And, that wasn’t even mentioning his body’s frailty and trauma; would his body actually reject any ink he put under the skin? Sometimes it sucked having such a low BMI and weak immune system.

He wanted to talk her out of having one done, at least today. Whatever she did on her own time was her own business, but Roku felt it was his duty to try to help her. ”If there’s a way to talk you outta this, you should let me know. At least wait until we’re legally adults before you go sticking things in your body like this.” Then, thinking about one of the reasons she wanted one, he added, ”Some guys might even think that sort of thing is gross. Part of me does, at least.” Through the window they looked through Rokumaru could see the man tending the store, piercings and tattoos adorning his body all over. Admittedly, the muscular man made them look kind of good, but that was the last thing Asami needed to hear. He looked down the streets of the Bazaar at the signs hanging from each building, looking for something to distract her from this. ”There’s a bookstore down the way, surely you think books and learning are more worthwhile than making yourself all gaudy like some civilian girl?” Maybe he could guilt her out of her interest. Still, he had to admit, she didn’t pick the ugliest piece on display.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:50 pm

Not pulling her attention away from the shop, she heard Rokumaru mutter something between his teeth about agony. Yes, piercings, tattoos... they hurt, and from what she heard, the skin remained sensitive for quite a while. Agony was probably the correct word for it, but it wasn't as bad as torture. Probably?

He was a bit snippy about her tease, reacting a bit sour to the idea of going in together to get a piercing. Unlike her, he preferred his body unblemished, pure. He went so far as to consider clothes, decoration and what more as unnecessary to be beautiful. She looked at him, a bit caught off guard at his pragmatic approach on life and the fact that her bemused invitation was taken so seriously. What exactly was so bad about enjoying art and decorations anyway? She didn't quite get it...

But his remark on how piercings could be used by enemies quite hit the spot. She hadn't exactly thought about that, considering her mother had a tongue piercing, but the guy had a point. She had heard about Magnet Release, and she could imagine wire to do something nasty with it. If she'd really want a piercing, she'd have to make a very careful choice as to which one. A choice she suddenly didn't want to make at all. Perhaps she'd have to stay with just a tattoo...?

"I hadn't thought about that, actually. You're really smart, Roku. I guess I'll have to go with a tattoo. Eventually."

She didn't really have that kind of ryo though. Tattoos, while beautiful, were expensive. And they took hours of sitting still, gritting teeth and enduring slow agony. Still, Asami was more worried about never reaching the coin to pay for it - she had quite a spending drift at times - rather than worrying about the pain. So instead, she looked at the window with a brief sulk, before shrugging her shoulders eventually as Rokumaru directed the conversation towards the bookstore.

"Well, excuse me for being a girl.", she said, giving him a sassy stare when he mentioned 'getting gaudy as a civilian'. She wasn't getting gaudy, she was just looking to express herself, to find her place in the cog-wheeled society. She was already 'destined' to be terrifying shinobi thanks to Scorch Release, her father pushing already for her to become a master at ninjutsu, and now she couldn't even be a girl without getting remarks. The world was so unfair...

"Most books are boring though. I prefer a hands-on approach as I can't keep my attention towards all these walls of text. Hm, though I like the ones about dogs and archaeology, I guess."

Having lost her interest in the piercings anyway, Asami turned to look at the passing crowd behind her. The afternoon was still young, and she had yet to get a few snacks for her Floof anyway. Plus, she was a little curious about what books Roku would read. Considering how smart he was, she guessed he was reading all kinds of strategy books, chess games and heavy conspiracy theories that made your brains overheat.

"We can go see the bookstore if you want. I just need to get some snacks for Bandit."




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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:24 am

She seemed a bit taken back by the critical words Roku had said about the piercings, her face dropping, and it was then that Roku realized she was not really serious about him wanting something from the store. He felt disappointed in himself for missing her sarcastic, teasing tone and becoming defensive about the idea of a piercing or tattoo. After mentioning the bookstore and making a remark about gaudy civilians, the girl gave him a sarcastic look and asked him to excuse her, a girl, for having feminine interests. Rokumaru scratched his head and nodded with an uneasy smile on his face. ”I suppose it’s not impossible to be a strong shinobi and still care about your appearance.” He really only saw civilian girls wearing cosmetic accessories like that, but all it takes is one person to blaze new trails. Man, it was hard to be misogynistic when a good portion of the female population could become very deadly soldiers and assassins. Or when the girl beside him could turn him into a dried-out, charred husk in a few short years.

Asami seemed to have lost interest in the store they were browsing, addressing his suggestion that they take a look around a bookstore. Like most their age, the girl found most texts to be a waste of time and effort unless they were related to a particular interest. That she preferred a more hands-on approach to learning rather than gleaning knowledge from a page. When it came to domestic canines, however, Asami did not mind books, obviously from her relationship with the dog Bandit.

What came as a surprise to Rokumaru was her interest in archaeology, the maroon-hued redhead turning to look at his auburn-hued counterpart with brows raised. ”Archaeology?” he asked rhetorically. That was one of the last things he thought that anyone their age, let alone a girl, would have an interest. Roku hardly even cared about anthropology or ancient history, knowing he would like the part of digging around in the ground over analyzing what he found. Until this point Rokumaru had assumed Asami was not interested in anything that approached academics, with more emotional character than mental prowess. Again, he was surprised by someone he underestimated.

It was obvious the idea did not particularly excite her, but Asami would not decline a look around the bookstore if that was what he wanted to do. As long as they could stop for a few treats for her dog along the way. Rokumaru nodded and gestured for her to lead the way, not knowing where pet supplies were sold. ”We should do that first.”

Despite the lack of privacy afforded by the bustling crowd trickling through and the shopkeepers eyeing every potential customer, Rokumaru wanted to ask what was on his mind. He did not know if the subject was as serious to her as it was to him, and she may not have an issue with speaking about it openly, but if she did share his reservations than it would only serve to irritate her. So, instead as they moved away from the body art shop, Roku addresses her again. ”The last thing I expected you to like was something like archaeology. Dogs, that I can see, but not digging around in the dirt and sand for old pottery and stuff.” It wasn’t necessarily a question but Roku was curious to see how she would respond to his vague observation. His goal today was to find something about her completely unexpected, and she had delivered. ”Any secret plans to gut the desert for it’s treasures?”, he asked with an amused tone.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:13 am

As they left the tattoo shop, Asami folded her hands behind her neck peering up at the blue sky. If she remembered well, the pet shop was simply on the other side of the street from where the bookstore was, but since she usually didn't pay too much attention to bookstores, she couldn't say for a fact. She'd have to try and see.

Roku, on the other hand, seemed to linger on the fact she liked archaeology, telling her he didn't expect her to like digging around in the dirt for old pottery. He was right, in fact. She wasn't interested in that sort of archaeology. She was interested in the stories attached to it, the discoveries people made and the history revealed with it. It was a fascinating thing to hear about the past, even if the years before Sunagakure had not been exactly kind. War... It reminded her of her dead grandfather. He had died in that war, fighting to end it so peace could finally exist.

"Oh, I'm not thinking about the digging part. I'd end up bored if all I did was dig, dig and dig. It's about the stories. The discoveries they do, the history revealed. Even if it's not real, simply hearing about how things occurred back then...", she trailed off for a moment, thinking about the stories that would be revealed when her grandfather, the terrifying 'Akuma' would ever be found back. It would give ease of mind to grandmother and perhaps her father, but... was there really someone who liked to dig up the past to confirm the rumoured atrocities he had committed to herald the coming of today's peace?

"I know the years before Sunagakure were horrible, but I also believe a lot of good things lay buried under the sand. Treasures, lost knowledge, family heirlooms the descendants would like to retrieve."

Thinking about it, maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea, after all. How mcuh good truly came from digging in the battlefields? Finding back lost loves only opened old wounds, brought back bad memories. How many people would even accept her words? She had a good life, unlike many others who still suffered today.

"But I guess I just like to dream about things like that."

Arriving at the corner of the street, Asami noticed the bookstore to her left. Leaving it there for a moment, she looked around to verify if her previous thoughts had been right and, indeed, just short of the corner, the pet store was still there, a single display standing in front of it.

"There's the bookstore... and the pet store's just right there. I'll go get some dog snacks and then rejoin you in the bookstore?"





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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:43 am

She stepped away from the shop; Asami seemed to know exactly where to go so Roku was content to follow her through the crowd. They ignored the merchants enticing them with ‘great deals’, the girl folding her hands behind her head in a relaxed gesture while Rokumaru stuffed his hands in his pants pockets.

He asked her about her interest in archaeology, that he did not expect her to enjoy the process of unearthing the artifacts and relics from their resting places. And she confirmed this; Asami made it clear that her interest was in the artifacts themselves and the history surrounding them rather than doing the excavations. Again he did not expect her to have that sort of hunger for knowledge, the bar his previous classmates set regarding academics was very low. As she spoke about the possible stories that past concealed Asami trailed off, as though deep in thought. Roku glanced at her in curiosity, but stayed silent.

This time, when she spoke, it was about the darker parts of Sunagakure’s past that overshadowed the brighter parts; that things buried in the desert were pieces of many different stories and should one day be unearthed. That there could be lost troves of treasure, forgotten knowledge of some sort, and even heirlooms from the ancestors of those that lived today.

It made Rokumaru think of his own experiences with the desert, and indeed, he knew there were secrets that the desert refused to disclose; had he been literate enough to read a map in his youth, Roku could probably lead her to specific spots in Kaze no Kuni that had some significance before his father’s tribe swept them away. The way she spoke of the bad part of Suna’s past overshadowing the good parts...she was right. There was joy and happiness to be found even in this harsh sandy wasteland at some points. It made Roku think of the few pleasant memories he had of that time. His right hand left its pocket to touch one of the braids hanging from his hair fondly, a smile on his face, before stowing it again and continuing to follow his classmate.

They turned the corner of one street and spotted a bookstore to their left, Roku not familiar with this specific store. Asami stopped to take a look around for the pet store, her pale counterpart stopping too and looking at the book store with anticipation. The girl pointed out both stores and urged Rokumaru to go on without her while she made a stop for her dog’s treats. The gaunt redhead nodded at her plan and turned away to enter the store, leaving her to her business.

He pushed open the door, a bell hung from the doorframe alerting the proprietor to a customer. The store was a small section of a larger building, but the room was filled with rows of shelves densely packed with books, journals, and maps. Roku was sure the girl would be interested in whatever he was looking at when she finished her business at the pet store; he came here to reveal information about her, not himself, and ambled over to the section containing wildlife and nature. He racked his brain for information- did Asami mention what breed her hound was? It wasn’t written down at any point and Roku struggled to recall what that breed was, if she had mentioned it at all. A few seconds of staring blankly at the spines of books brought the knowledge to his attention. A golden retriever, he believed she said, and so he scanned books for something about that breed specifically. His hands lingered over a thick encyclopedia of animal breeds not native to Suna, pulling it out and checking the index in the back, and turned to the single page that detailed the animal.

Turning the page, there was a black-and-white sketch of the dog in the top corner: a long-haired breed with a signature golden coat, the dog staring towards the viewer with a long tongue hanging from its mouth in a panting expression. Admittedly it was a rather majestic creature, showing many of the common traits they shared with their wolf ancestors such as the long snout, but it didn’t seem like the sort of thing that should be found in the desert.

Rokumaru would look over the book until Asami came, more interested in seeing what drew her eye than the physiology and behavior of the breed.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:37 pm

Pet store~. Thinking about how happy Bandit would be, Asami became almost girlishly giddy again. Before she stepped into the shop, she took a look back to watch Roku step inside the bookstore, and followed suit by entering the pet shop. The waft of animal scent greeted her. Cats and dogs and hamster and ferret, all at once. She frowned, coughing softly, and judging the shop still in need of a decent ventilation system. She had come here before, yet every time the waft seemed to catch her off-guard. But... it was one of the better ones to go to, considering their large selection on snacks, nibbles, toys and habitats.

The shop on its own was rather long than big. The hallway was so long it seemed to have the length of two buildings before it ended up in a larger space. The owner had placed shelves on both sides of the wall, to such height the highest shelves were beyond Asami's reach. Each of them were filled with habitats containing lizard, ferrets, weasels, scorpions, spiders... almost every animal found in the desert, including rare variations and some outlandish species, were present somewhere.

Slowly walking towards the end of the shop, Asami looked at the habitats in amazement. It didn't matter how many times she came here, it remained intriguing to watch. At times, she even halted to take a closer look. A hairy spider, even though she curled up her nose, still caught her attention. Then a snake, in white and sand colours, flicking its tongue at her as it eyes seemed to take her in. In yet another, the ferret stood vigilant, ready for the hunt within his own habitat. She liked the ferret. Feisty, cute, a real brigand. Probably not as sweet as Bandit, but still a pet she wouldn't mind having around.

Eventually moving further, Asami arrived at the main room where racks filled with pet food and toys cluttered the area. There was a counter on the side, looking straight into the hallway, which a young man tended do. The pet store was run by a young couple, but Asami mostly chatted with the woman as both shared a certain interest for the unusual. The man was generally kind, but it was clear he didn't hold the interest in the pets his wife held.

"Long time not seen, Asami. Getting snacks for Bandit again?"
"Yes, sir. My lovely ball of fluff is in need of something tasty."
"I might have something, actually. It's a treat from Iwagakure. A popular chewing snack. Good for the dog's teeth, and durable enough to last a while."
"Oh, I'll take one. And I'll also take the usual ones. The two-toned ones that look like bones."
"Certainly. Here you go."
"Thanks! Say 'hi' to Neela form me."
"I'll do just that."

Taking out her pouch, she dug up a string of ryo and paid the man. She frowned at the content of her pouch, which was getting even empties now. Asami found it scary how quickly her pouch seemed to empty... It was like some hidden pouch-rat slowly chipped at her hard earned pocket money. Well, not really. She simply spend way too much on petty things, but she just couldn't help herself. At least she had Bandit's treats, so it was alright.

Leaving the pet shop, the kunoichi crossed the streets and entered the bookstore, hearing the cling of the bell that hung above the door. Looking about, she blinked at the massive amounts of books and paperwork that was seemingly stashed in the most impossible places of this small section of a house. She didn't remember having it seen this full, but then again, she wasn't even sure she ever had entered this shop to begin with. The staples of books one onto another admittedly had something... but its intellectual allure was not quite what interested Asami. Plus, the tuft of red hair digging around pulled her attention. So there was Roku, seemingly digging around in what he might find the biggest treasure on earth. Asami wondered what book he had picked out, and quietly snuck closer to peek over his shoulder.

"Looking for a dog?", she asked him, making sure not to speak too loud so as not to disturb the odd sense of quietude that hung around the bookstore.




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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Roku on Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:16 am

As he waited in the bookstore Rokumaru continued to flip through the book, familiarizing himself with the most common breeds of dog found. As he read more about the species the boy could see the appeal of having them as companions; long ago, even before man harnessed the power of chakra, dogs would guard against both wild animals and hostile people, could hunt their own food and made excellent trackers. In modern times dogs served more as pets, creatures that had few responsibilities beyond providing emotional comfort. There were those that still used canines in combat, the Inuzuka being the most well-known users, but they were the minority. Rokumaru wondered if there was a summoning contract for dogs, and guessed it would likely be in the hands of Konoha.

He did not plan on being so invested in the book, but even this mundane knowledge was like an opiate to a drug addict. He wanted to know which breeds could do the most damage with their fangs and which had more dangerous claws, which breeds were completely useless in combat such as the small toy breeds, and which were barely more than wolves. Unfortunately the book’s audience were civilian pet owners, and mostly contained details on maintaining their health and grooming. The sound of a bell ringing did not register in his mind, too busy being surprised that a breed like Pugs were allowed to exist, looking like goblins with respiratory problems. Neither did he hear the footsteps approaching him.

Asami’s voice made Rokumaru flinch in surprise, the boy recovering and trying to pretend that she hadn’t snuck up on him. She asked if he was interested in a dog of his own, likely amused with the subject of the book in his hands. He shook his head and shut the book, placing it back in the spot he had pulled it from. ”Not my kind of pet,” Roku said in a quiet voice back to her. ”Plus I’m sure you’ll let Bandit visit if I need a furry friend”, he added with a smirk, friendly sarcasm lacing his words.

His plan was to follow Asami around in here, but now that he was surrounded by books in a store he’d never browsed through before it was impossible to avoid the temptation. Thankfully the books were separate from the maps, which were all separate from instruction manuals and how-to books for both civilians and shinobi. He eyed a sign that gave directions to each sections, sorted by the Dewey Decimal system, and took a moment to see what interested him. They stood in the high-500’s section that contained information about wildlife, but his eyes were drawn to the 900’s: Geography, History and Biographies.

Rokumaru turned to his classmate, hoping he did not sound like a nerd as he said ”Think I will pick up a few things while I’m here. They’ve got some prime material here.” Then, feeling sheepish, he admitted ”My plan was to follow you around to see what things you liked, but I should’ve picked something less tempting for myself.” Eager to move past the fact he was trying to manipulate her into revealing more about herself, he ambled over to the section that caught his eye.

More specifically, he was interested in the biographies the store had on hand. Rokumaru’s regular shop was not the most expansive, but they carried the most popular biographies; the five Kage were well-known and respected, each one the subject of much interest even to this day, and he was currently halfway through a thin tome about Senju Hashirama’s experiences during the Warring Clans period. The industrialization of the five Hidden Villages rivaled that of the Daimyō settlements, quickly working to consolidate knowledge and make it available to the world through print. Unfortunately nothing that was deemed important to either a village’s security or a shinobi’s hidden talents was allowed to be printed, and much of what he learned was stuff they covered in the Academy.

An ochre-colored book caught his eye: The Shodai Kazekage the title read, it’s contents pertaining to Reto of the Silver Sands. Rokumaru’s hero. He snatched the book from its shelf impatiently, nearly pulling out the others it was wedged between before his other hand pushed them back into place. The summary on the back was devoured by his eager eyes, wide smile on his face that he would normally suppress.

It made him think of who could take his place when the Kazekage retired- because no one could hope to kill him but another Kage, and he doubted anyone would risk a war to assassinate him. Several times before Rokumaru had pictured himself in that hat and robes, swimming in the clothes made for an adult, but he could never come to a decision about if he truly wanted that amount of responsibility.

His eyes found Asami. His thoughts turned instead to someone like her in a position like that. She would have no issue with diplomacy, if her outgoing personality was any indication. And someone with Scorch Release would be more than capable of defending their village.

Knowing his attention would not be able to accommodate a second book until he tore through this one, Rokumaru tucked it under his arm. He thought of a way to wriggle some information out of his fellow redhead; he approached her, showing the title of the book. ”So, Asami...” he trailed off, taking another look at the book before continuing. ”Have you ever thought of what it would be like to be the Kazekage?” Of course she did; what sort of prospective-shinobi didn’t imagine having that amount of power and respect? Many would kill for the position, just to impose their own will on the village, some for selfish reasons while other’s were altruistic. He was interested in what she would say, though. Was she ambitious enough to want the position? Did she think she had the potential to be a Kage? It seemed like a strange question, but a lot could be gleaned from asking other’s of their plans for the future.

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Re: A day off [Roku | NK]

Post by Asami Amakura on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:47 am

Rokumaru stiffened for a moment, surprised that she stood behind him. He had been flipping through a book about dogs, filled with different races from all over the world, yet seemingly wasn't really interested in having a dog as pet. She wondered if he had been looking for Bandit's race, the golden retriever. As he requested about Bandit, she snickered.

"There are conditions though. You'll have to pet him and offer him a snack. Floof has his expectations, after all."

Where Rokumaru seemed to know exactly what he was looking at and looking for, all Asami could see were countless books with a bunch of numbers. From the sign she deducted that the number played a role in sorting out the books, but that was about it. What the numbers meant, or what they referred to was beyond her. Instead, she'd just let her eyes glide over the shelves until a book possibly caught her interest.

She grinned at Roku's revelation of following her only to get caught by his own temptations. She knew how that felt like - that last part, at least. It was the reason why she usually just wandered about the streets until something caught her attention. She was a little less certain about that following though. What did he even mean by that? Before she could ask him, Roku had already wandered off to another section of the library. She shrugged her shoulders, looking around while she followed him, curious to see what exactly he had seen that intrigued him. A section about important people, by the looks of it.

She titled her head to better be able to read the vertically aligned titles, of which some had more than one exemplar, but not many really intrigued her. Books about the founding kage, books about specific people, a list of 'War Sages', and books about legends. One of them, "Disciples of Demons", was one she had heard about. It was a biography about 'witnesses' that had survived the war, but had been part of teams, factions or sides that were not quite the noble heroes. People had tremendously suffered, witnessed atrocities, and spoke the tales about the darker side of the Warring States. Tales of dark truths not many wanted to hear.

She raised her hand to pick it up. Reluctantly. She knew which name she would find in there, as that was the main reason why it had been the talk of the household back then. However, Roku suddenly asked her if she had ever thought about the position of kazekage, and she dropped her hand.

"Uhm. I have. It seems like a cool position to be in. Delegate your work, run off to enjoy the day and hang out with your friends. Sounds perfect to me."

To be fair, that wasn't quite the reason why she had thought about it. The robe simply looked stylish with the hat, but the thought of having to be locked up inside a building for days chewing through paperwork wasn't exactly appealing enough for her to fight her way up towards the robes.

"If I'd really become kage, I'd wish to see it flourish in terms of trade and travel, while remaining a good reputation as a force to be reckoned with. I'd even make you head of the archaeologists so we can discover the past and find a means to avoid it from happening again."

She wasn't sure if her ideas even sounded realistically, but war was a bad thing. Only the notion of strife under fair competition was something that appealed to her. Tournaments, wagers, chuunin exams... they kept people sharp, entertained and most of all, away from the desire to start a war.

"What about you? What do you see, Rokukage? I could see you build the largest library temple in the world, at least, but what would you do?."





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