Otohime’s Monastery (126)

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Otohime’s Monastery

As the most spiritual landmark on the peninsula Otohime’s Monastery, a large metal structure built in the shape of a perfect triangle, is considered a sacred place. The samurai have a strict policy that no outsiders be allowed here, only those seeking wisdom and the mute samurai who tend to the monastery. The samurai do not worship deities in the traditional sense. Instead, the monastery is considered a place of self reflection, where one comes to meditate; to gain insight and self awareness. Such things are considered important among many samurai on the peninsula, who choose to train not only their bodies, but also their minds and souls. The monastery is also connected to the multifunctional network of tunnels that run beneath most settlements of important on the peninsula.
 
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Officially joining the Warring States Era Ninja World Role Play. Participating with Shayde Uchiha.

Additionally, this post marks the beginning of my first mission, using the following storyboard elements:

Perform self-reflective meditation. (1)
⤷ Deal with a traumatic event from your past. (3)​

Perform a moderate workout routine. (2)
⤷ Fight an individual of comparable strength. (3)
-_-Win a fight without your Ninjutsu. (5)​

Summary: Having left his former life within Chungsu behind, partly to seek revenge and partly in the hopes he'd discover some indicator of his parent's fate, Shayde abruptly wakes finds himself amongst, though not unanimously welcomed by the resident Samurai of Otohime's Monastery. After an emotionally harrowing session of guided reflection, Shayde tries to clear his mind with something more familiar; physical training, however, some of the monastery's more "devoted" occupants have other plans for the demon-eyed outsider...




A desire to kill... A hunger that cannot be quenched... Flashes of silver and scarlet... An overwhelming pain, and urgent desire to flee... These were the thoughts plaguing Shayde's mind as he suddenly burst to life, hypnically-jerked himself awake as he sprang from a rustic, hardy bed that was not his own, in a room whose walls were composed of a dark metal, as similarly plain furnishings barely decorated the otherwise barren room. As his feet grew cold from the cold cast floor, Shayde cradled his forehead in his left hand as he tried to remember his last moments, and why he felt the way he did. It had been several years since the Razing, and Shayde's abandonment of his former life, and in that time, he had done almost nothing with his life. He couldn't truly escape the trauma's inflicted upon him within his short, but muddied past, nor could he make any new, meaningful connections in the present. At first glance it was because he couldn't care less about others, but in truth, after the loss of his parents, he didn't, no, couldn't experience such a loss ever again... He was trapped in a limbo of his own creation, and felt as though he deserved it... So he kept his distance, deliberately diving from one inn or tavern to another, never staying in the same place for any longer than a week. He roaming from one land to another, taking odd jobs where he could, but never establishing enough trust or familiarity to get on first name basis with anyone. This was exacerbated by "Greed", one of the aforementioned trauma's of his past, fused directly to his body as a literal reminder of the past. Since he left Chungsu, the seals used by his old man to keep the sentient squatter under wraps had long since faded, leaving nothing but a tattered bandage as the last vestige of defense preventing the rogue appendage from snapping out at the nearest bystander, animal, piece of trash, etc. This was further complicated by it's seeming ability to understand simple thoughts and words, yet it's complete lack of communicative capabilities, tormenting Shayde with an endless cacophonous choir of screams, and a ravenous hunger that could not be sated, no matter how hard he tried. But Shayde had long since grown accustomed to, and learned how to tune the voices out. Their screams mere white noise in the back of his mind, ignored no matter how hard they tried to encompass his auditory perception. The hunger on the other hand seemed to merely stem from the mass of biological matters' seemingly endless urge to gorge on reality itself, regardless of it's source. Both trash and treasure were fair game for "Greed"...

His overall predicament aside, recalling his last moments before waking, Shayde recalled deciding to travel North from the Land of Fire... He remembered feeling the first chills as a new Land's snows gently fell, tenderly kissing his face, and the nipping sensation that he couldn't help but remind him of the burdened flames he had inherited from his emotions... As he pressed further North, he found a rather large settlement known as "Hachiman's Bulwark", but as rivaling factions and Clans from the nearby Tazuma had recently clashed near their outskirts, they wouldn't entertain an outsider, no matter how capable or sincere they claimed to be. Understanding their position, but somewhat taking it personally all the same, Shayde moved on, seeking a settlement that was a little more welcoming, or at least less on-edge, or likely to be attacked during his stay. But as the days passed, not a single inhabited structure could be found, and without a decent night's rest, or a meal that didn't consist of rations, or leftovers, Shayde slowly found himself fidgeting more and more, specifically with his right arm, a subtle, but very clear indicator of Greed's hunger boiling over... It wasn't long before the parasitic extremity was going to start chowing down on whatever it could get it's hands on; trees, snow, the very dirt beneath their feet. Nothing was off limits to a creature that seemingly reveled in the act of consumption itself. This all came to a head a just a day or two later, when the unwanted fidgeting devolved into a spontaneous transformation, and subsequent rampage, as Greed extended, latching on to the nearest foreign objects and surfaces, and began tearing through everything in it's path. Shayde was quite literally dragged along for the ride as his arm molded itself into countless shapes, twisting, writhing and pulling him from one piece of the scenery to another, devouring as it went, with very little leeway given in regards to what resistance Shayde could throw up. For the first time since the two were merged, Shayde felt as though he was the foreign entity, and Greed was the one calling the shots... It was a very disheartening experience, and one Shayde, in a fit of empathy, felt a twinge of guilt for... But the empathy was short lived, as Shayde watched, both through his own, and Greed's eyes as it carved a path of destruction through the Iron Peninsula's wilds, that is, until "they" stopped dead in their tracks. Greed, and by extension Shayde, had picked up on some delicious, overwhelmingly alluring scent. Before they knew it, the mangled pair were off like a stampede, single-mindedly following the smell back to it's source, which turned out to be a small, but clearly inhabited camp site. Within seconds, Greed was tearing through the treeline, and barreling towards the presumed defenseless group of civilians, while Shayde did his best to pry himself from the monstrous mass, or at least delay the inevitable, but before the monstrous mass of flesh, sinew and bone could so much as touch a scrap of cloth, a silvery glint briefly flashed by Greed's vision. Before Shayde could even register a source, Greed's line of sight was slowly shifting, pulling away from one another. It wasn't entirely clkear as to why, at first, but soon, Shayde looked up to see Greed was vertically bisected, causing a stream of blood to violently spray upwards, dousing the environment in a swathe of deep crimson. Shayde, still struggling to resist Greed's charge, registered more movement from the camp, quickly realizing that it wasn't inhabited by mere commoners, but apparently very skilled swordsmen, Samurai specifically, the kind this Land was well-known for. And despite Greed's bisection, and presumed death, Shayde knew better... It would be back up and causing havoc in a matter of seconds, as Shayde had tried countless times to cleave it from his body, more than ready to risk bleeding out just to be rid of it, but every time, it regenerated faster than he could be rid of it, devoured the means to which he was attempting to remove it, or changed it's molecular structure to that of a metal, making it impossible to cut off with a blade alone... His last recollections before waking were of several Samurai unsheathing their blades, before disappearing in the blink of an eye, leaving Shayde, or to be more accurate, Greed and by proxy Shayde, to reel as an unfathomable pain flooded their senses as Greed's engorged form slowly broke down to a pile of minced meat and mush.

That all explained his powder keg of emotions, but a couple of questions remained, such as where he was now, and why he was still alive considering those swordsmen definitely saw him attached to Greed... At the very least, his right arm, and thus presumably by extension Greed, was intact however, so maybe the Samurai thought Shayde was merely caught by some malicious creature, and swept up in it's rampaging? The thought was hopeful, but there was a nagging sensation in the back of his head that he knew, deep down, he had been found out... It looked as though he wouldn't have to wait long to find out, as he heard footsteps slowly approach from a hallway. Looking to the opposite side of the hall, which had the same metal floors and walls, he noticed a near identically furnished room to the one he was in. Uniform rooms with basic furnishings? A building seemingly forged entirely out of metal? He couldn't be entirely sure, but between the presumed iron structure, and lack of desire for material things, it looked as though Shayde had been delivered to some kind of temple or hermitage within the Iron Peninsula. One look at the building's most common materials showed a distinct surplus of iron, or similar metal, while the humble furnishings were a clear indicator that they were for utility, rather than comfort, to which the injured Uchiha could attest, or show. That only left the kind of religion this building was potentially devoted to. Shayde was admittedly unsure about any beliefs or dogma that the Samurai had, only that they were renowned swordsmen, as he could most certainly confirm now, but beyond that, they were unknown to him. He had heard of "Bushidō", though from what little he had heard, this was more of a code of ethics, or honor, rather than a religion, and probably didn't warrant it's own place of worship. Did they pray to some God, like the universally revered Sage, or the fanatical followers of Jashin? Without much info to go off of, Shayde simply braced himself for whoever he heard approaching the room. To his surprise however, whoever they were, they walked right past him, and the room he was currently occupying. Anticlimactic to say the least, but after a few moments, more people seemed to come and go as they pleased, paying no heed to the apparent stranger in their midst. As some passed, Shayde began to notice similarities with their attire, simple robes of varying colors and and subtle changes in style, some carrying scrolls, others chatting as they walked from one side of Shayde's narrowed field of vision to the other, his distant vantage point, staring through a small doorway providing him little in the ways of purview. Occasionally Shayde would recoil and instinctively raise his guard as well armed individuals passed his room, clearly Samurai going from the appearance of their attire. Some wore similar robes to the others, while others donned sturdy plates, with vibrant colors, like reds reds, while all seemed to wield paired katana, one long and one small, sometimes ornate decorations. "Yep. These are definitely Samurai..." Shayde thought to himself, eating into the stereotypes of the renowned warriors. Tired of watching people go by, Shayde slowly approached the door, less out of fear of what lay beyond that boundary, and more out of respect for the people on the other side of it. As he approached the door, he noticed some of his personal effects neatly folded and piled on the floor at the end of the bed, his shoes, jacket, etc. Despite being drenched in dried blood, they were the only clothes he had for the moment, so he reluctantly slipped the gory articles of clothing, and made his way to the boundary. As Shayde stood beneath the doorway, he drew numerous eyes, some out of curiosity, others out of an apparent disgust for the gore on his outfit, and others out of a pure form of disdain, or perhaps hate. Looking to either side of the door, Shayde noticed a pair of similarly armed individuals as the ones that have been passing, clearly either there to guard the room, or protect the people passing by it, or probably both, but Shayde wouldn't know exactly which until he made his presence known. Quietly clearing his throat before speaking with a surprisingly hoarse voice, Shayde barely managed to finish "Where-?" before one of the two presumed guards grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and started walking, the other one following close behind. After walking down a corridor, to varying looks from the passersby, the guard casually let go of Shayde's collar, while the other gestured him to keep walking at their pace, forcefully prodding and pushing him once or twice with his hand just to be sure. As the trio walked, Shayde tried numerous times to get some form of response, verbal or otherwise, as to where he was, but with no success. Either these guys had been ordered to take him directly to someone, without so much as a word, or they were just really dedicated to the whole "silent tough guy" routine. As they reached the end of the corridor, and entered some large open vestibule, Shayde saw the first real glint of natural light since he had woke, a large doorway some couple dozen meters away from him. As Shayde calculated his odds for making a break for it without being caught, he figured he would have had a pretty decent chance of getting away if he had a straight run, but there were numerous groups of people all gathered together, some seated, seemingly in meditation, others practicing slow, methodical hand to hand combat stances and moves, so his chances were severely lowered. He potentially didn't just have his armed "escort" to outrun, so there wasn't really much point in trying, plus, for whatever reason, he was still alive, so perhaps his secret was safe, at least for the moment. If whoever these people were wanted him dead, they potentially had ample opportunity while he was unconscious, so he decided to play along, at least for the moment.

After following the lead guard for a few more minutes, eventually they arrived at no more important a room than the others they had passed. A large heavy metal door, opened just a touch, spilled a dim light from within out into the hall, while the smell of incense choked every breath the closer Shayde got to it. The guards had seemingly done their job, gesturing Shayde to enter, but not doing so themselves. With nothing to lose, Shayde acquiesced, slowly pushing the door open, revealing a lone figure sat on a simple woven rug, his legs folded over one another as he appeared to be in a meditative trance, much like the others Shayde saw in that central foyer. Taking great care not to make much noise as he approached, once he was certain his presence had been registered, Shayde stopped and simply waited, standing in this strangers room, in some unknown place of worship, afraid to interrupt whatever form of prayer or other form of meditation the figure seemed to be engrossed within, out of fear he would disrespect them. As the minutes rolled by, Shayde took the time to slowly look around the strangers room, noting a theme of a lack of personal effects, like most of the rooms he had glanced in as he was escorted here. A few more moments passed, before the silence was broken, almost startling the Uchiha, as he had unconsciously grown accustomed to the silence afforded within this place. A wizened, but still somewhat youthful voice shattered the silence that had befell the room, assuring Shayde with an understanding and welcoming tone.

"You can speak as freely you wish. Your presence here is no more a distraction than the light from these candles, or the smell of frankincense or sage that fill this room, so, please, tell me what is on your mind."

Taking a moment to compose himself, clearing his throat, Shayde then responded, the first time he asked the first question being so quiet it could barely be heard, so he adjusted his voice accordingly.

"Where am I..? Who are you, and why am I here?"

"You ask such simple questions young man, the answers to which are even more so. Do you not remember what happened? Hmm... Then I shall remind you. You stand within the heart of Otohime's temple, a place of spiritual importance, even within this land filled with rich history and places of importance. As you may have already seen, it is a place for self reflection, to work on oneself, whether that be external, or internal. As for myself, well, for the moment you may call me Siddhartha. As for why you are here..."

The figure strained slightly, standing up, and walking across the remainder of the room to look Shayde in the eye, his tone, and facial expression showing a far more serious tone than the one Shayde was lulled into with just the mans voice.

"You were attacked by some creature. It had you by the arm, and was rampaging through the wilderness not too far from here. Eventually it ran across a campsite belonging to some of our allies, however one of their watchmen caught site of it before it could reach the camp, and they made quick work of the beast, while you passed out, most likely from the trauma of such a vicious attack..."

Shayde barely managed to say "That's..." before Siddhartha cut him off, ironically picking up where Shayde's barely started sentence left off.

"Not where the story ends however. After the 'creature' was dispatched, quite brutally I must admit, you were most certainly unconscious, if not dead, so the group moved in to see if you were at least breathing. And yet despite your complete lack of awareness, your right arm apparently lashed out, shifting and mutating, just like that creature seemingly had, extending it's range, and forming countless bone protrusions, and unraveling skin to reveal twisted mouths and demonic eyes."

Once again, Shayde tried to interject, "Listen, I can explai-" but again Siddhartha pressed on.

"Of course, it wasn't nearly enough to catch masters of the blade off guard, so they made short work of the limb with their their Iaidō. Curiously enough however, they said the arm regrew in a matter of seconds, then began to devour the remains of the previous arm. Quite the savage display I am told... And once it was finished, it seemingly slunk back to it's unassuming state, cruelly mimicking the appearance of your arm. Yet from the look on your face, this is not news to you. Such a violent creature... And yet as you stand before me, I see no hostility in your actions, nor your face, or voice. In fact, I see shame, and fear, but of whom? Do you fear us, and what may happen to you while you're here? There is a reason why only I am speaking to you, why I am unarmed, and why the two who escorted you hear remain outside. We certainly cannot risk letting the people here find out about your 'special circumstances', for it could cause a panic, or worse. You must have noticed this, so what could you possibly fear from us? Is it instead perhaps this demon lurking within you?"

Shayde was on the verge of unraveling and Siddhartha could tell. It only took a moment or two before Shayde took a seat on the bed, and told this complete stranger everything relating to Greed, with Siddhartha able to fill in the blanks where Shayde didn't care to divulge the truth, or didn't think to fill him in. From the chance encounter at the Library of Chungsu, to the abduction, experimentation, escape, and eventual sealing, which had worked up until the seals eventually faded a few months ago. He also went into detail about the ancillary information, such as the side effects that had been plaguing him since Greed's implantation, and were presumably derived from it, such as the shared senses, persistent hunger and ceaseless voices. How that outburst in the wilderness was a direct result of perceived starvation, as Shayde himself was relatively okay with his admittedly dwindling supplies, but Greed is never satisfied, no matter what it eats, case in point being that it carved a path of destruction through a forest, eating everything in it's path, yet didn't stop until it was literally cut to pieces. Siddhartha, with a more clear understanding of the circumstances plaguing the young man, did his best to console the surprisingly world-weary youth.

"Allow me to impart this small piece of wisdom; We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. And with our thoughts, we make the world. In other words... What we think, we become. If you think of this creature a heartless monster, then that is all it shall ever be, for it is all it will ever know. No matter how hard you try to force a change, it must start from within."

Taking these words to heart, Shayde asked what would be the best way to start. Siddhartha extended a hand both figuratively and literally, offering Shayde what all who were welcome within these hallowed halls were; An opportunity to reflect. On the past, to accept it, and move on from it. On the present, to exist alongside it. And on the future, and to not fear what it holds. To better the body, mind and soul, and see if this creature, 'Greed', could be reasoned with, and if not, at least pacified, or controlled to the extent that such harsh methods, like complete sealing, were no longer needed. There was no guarantee that it would work, only that they would try their best, and be as patient as they could. And if Shayde were to succumb to another rampage like the one that landed him here, they would "take care of it" regardless of what that ultimately entailed, whether it be another bisection of the limb, as it clearly could regenerate regardless, or more permanent methods... Seeing himself, not with no other option, for he had plenty, but instead with nothing really to lose, Shayde somewhat abashedly accepted the offer.

"So... When do I start?"

As Siddhartha was going to speak, a loud, guttural rumbling made it's voice heard, the source naturally belonging to the one between the two inflicted with the personification of hunger itself... Taking a moment to chuckle to himself, Siddhartha responded.

"All in due time, but first, considering your 'circumstances', it would be best to not leave you hungry for very long. We wouldn't want to add more iron on these walls, now would we? Plus..."

Taking a quick glance at Shayde's attire, not so much at what he was wearing, but the state it was in;

"It would probably be wise to find you some clothing that is not drenched in your lifeblood and ichor... As you might expect, it makes it a little difficult for one to reflect on the traumatic events of their past when they're still covered in it."

Agreeing wholeheartedly, Shayde and Siddhartha made their way out of the simple bedroom to find the former some grub, garb, and hopefully a chance to wash some of Greed's blood and viscera from his person... All before Shayde began his journey towards enlightenment, or whatever, through instructed self-reflection.
 
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It took some time, as Shayde was hesitant to so much as be near the residents of Otohime, but eventually he was given some unspoiled clothes, and his first true meal in weeks. The garments he received were a simplistic white robe that stretched down past the waist, a pair of loose dark pants, and a pair of woven sandals, all with little detail or indicator of loyalty or affiliation, but Shayde still had a silent appreciation for them as they held a similar appearance to a set of robes of the Uchiha Clan from long ago. As the Uchiha had radically changed their appearance over the years to help stand out on the battlefield, sporting a purplish color, high collars, the Uchiha Clan emblem emblazoned upon their backs, etc, Shayde had more appreciation for the simpler, traditional appearance, so felt somewhat right at home in the simple white robes. However, despite being as "at home" as he was within the robes, as old habits die hard, Shayde decided to put his own spin on the robe, cutting off the right sleeve portion, ironically unknowingly wearing it like a "Kashaya" robe, with the left shoulder covered, and the right left bare. This wasn't out of any desire to fit in however, but was simply due to the sleeves being very loose, and open, and Shayde, unable to kick his cautious, borderline paranoid tendencies when it came to his right arm, decided to leave nothing up to chance... But with his clothes replaced with ones not drenched in viscera and sanguine fluids, and his stomach as close to full as it could logically be, considering the constant pit that was there regardless of what he ate, Shayde was ready to attempt Siddhartha's reflective meditation.

As Shayde met up with the apparent head Monk, he was informed that their meditation would take place away from the others going about their studies, contemplation, reflection and prayer, simply due to Shayde's "unique particular circumstances". It was something Shayde wasn't necessary comfortable with, being given "special" treatment because he was virtually irreversibly tied to an unknown beast who seems to embody the concept of greed itself, but he understood all the same, so the two made their way to a secluded portion of the already remote sanctuary, quite far from the others, but still close enough for help to arrive promptly, should things go poorly. Siddhartha had apparently thought of everything... As the two arrived at a small gazebo-like structure, perched precariously atop the edge of a steep cliff, yet providing a spectacular view of the surrounding lands of coniferous tree's heavily peppered with snow and frost, and a far off horizon that seemed to stretch for eternity, Shayde could formulate no words for the hauntingly silent, beautiful view. Siddhartha had noticed this, and decided to simply join Shayde in appreciation of the view, and after a few moments, both took a seat under the canopy of the small, traditional structure. Doing what Uchiha typically do best on a battlefield, Shayde copied Siddhatha's position to a T, legs folded over, with his hands gently clasped together in a Dhyana Mudra position, gingerly placed upon his resting legs, but even now, with seemingly the stance of a master, Shayde felt just as out of place as ever. Unsure how to start Shayde broke the deafening silence, and asked;

"So... How do we start? Is it anything like dreaming? Do I just sit here until I start to vividly hallucinate, or...?"

Siddhartha did all he could to contain an amused chuckle, but the well-meaning laugh hit Shayde's ears all the same, making him realize how stupid the question was. However, Siddhartha entertained it all the same, and told Shayde his current objective.

"Right now, I would simply like you to get comfortable with yourself." Taking a prolonged look at Shayde's lack of right sleeve, Siddhartha made his intent behind this requirement clear. "It's very clear that, even now, you aren't comfortable with this creature, despite what it truly is; A part of you. You doubt this creature's intentions, and in turn, don't trust yourself to be around others with it. You feel like you must either restrain it with bandages, or Seals meant to suppress it entirely, or it must be under those ever watchful eyes of yours. However, if you would humor this old man, and listen to his wisdom; There is nothing more dreadful than doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and prevents the creation of new relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

Taking the advice to heart, again, Shayde almost despised how much wisdom this elder possessed that was weirdly specific to his own circumstances... But with little to say on the matter, Shayde simply did as instructed, and did his best to simply be comfortable with who he was. As he closed his eyes and simply concentrated on the task at hand, the world around him began to fall away. He began to feel not the nip of the cold, nor the snow gently finding it's way on to his skin, nor could he hear the gentle breeze that sometimes erupted into a mighty howl. Counting the seconds became meaningless, as he wasn't really counting towards anything. Nothing he wanted to achieve here was required to march along to the tune of time's metronomic ticking, and thus, the concept of time was, albeit briefly, lost to Shayde completely. But as Shayde was growing more and more accustomed to nothing, eventually he began to sense things once more. But they weren't the sounds and sensations that he had left behind... No... Instead, where he expected a crisp light breeze, he felt a sickening heat. Where he anticipated the howling of the wind, instead he was greeted with deafening wails of agony. The light kiss of snow gone, replaced with the sensation of drowning in a viscous sea. And as he opened his eyes, praying beyond belief to see the splendor of the Iron Peninsula, instead, for the first time, Shayde saw a visual representation of what Greed had only been audibly subjecting him to for years...


Shayde opened his eyes to see a seemingly endless expanse before him. Completely enveloping his vision from every angle was an unbelievable number of bodies, locked together and writhing in a gruesome display of torture, some fresh, others slowly rotting, and many, many completely picked clean. Amongst them were some of Shayde's personal effects, Ninja Tools he thought Greed had devoured, numerous weapons he thought he had misplaced, and his prized Gunbai he believed stolen, all here, contained within... Whatever this place was... Upon closer inspection of his immediate surroundings, Shayde realized that the entire space was filled with blood, and yet he found no difficulty breathing, but opted to hold his breath all the same. Shayde couldn't believe that this was what he alone had been hearing all this time... His head began to reel, wondering exactly what this space was. Was this some mental realm that "Greed" conjured as Shayde sat meditating to torture him? Was it one that was shared between the two of them? Was it a visual representation of everything Greed had ever devoured? A separate space where the bottomless glutton stored it's meals? Was this what was physically within Greed? There were far too many possibilities, and Shayde believed he was on the verge of experiencing a panic attack. As he frantically looked around for any indicator of an exit, one body amongst the thousands, if not, millions stood out... A seemingly elder corpse, frantically struggling to keep itself afloat amidst the chaotic sea of bodies, a silvery gleam from a mechanical arm, and face more than familiar to Shayde... With a panicked gasp, Shayde snapped back to the peaceful vista of snow-capped tree's, and pleasant silence. As Siddhartha, almost jumping out of his skin, calmly, yet disconcertingly asked what was wrong, Shayde simply stared at his right arm, trying to rationalize what he had just experienced, and put it into context. With little to go off of in the way of factual descriptions, Shayde put Siddhartha's question aside for a moment, and continued to stare at the currently perfectly normal arm. As he went over everything he saw, Shayde thought back to seeing the apparent corpse/ body of Librom, all of the weapons he thought he had misplaced, etc. Going off the fact that these were all things that Greed had devoured at one point or another, Shayde acted upon a hunch, vividly visualizing his Gunbai within that endless expanse. As he did, he felt as though control of his arm was partially rested from him, as a mouth timidly began to unfurl, and open on his palm. As it did, Shayde felt the extremely odd and unnatural of experience of having his arm "throw up", almost making the real thing hurl the first decent meal he had in months... But after a moment, a shape began to show itself within the mouth. Without hesitation, Shayde reached in and pulled, expediting the process, revealing the lower half of Shayde's Gunbai's handle. Shayde's hunch was correct. That place, whatever it was, be it mental landscape, visual representation of Greed's devouring, an actual physical space within Greed, it didn't truly matter. What did matter was that it seemingly contained everything that had ever eaten by the extreme extremity, and, if needed, could spit them back up. As the handle reached the base of the fan itself, Shayde realized the mouth was far too small to pull it through, the mere thought of which seemingly caused the mouth to extend, "unzipping" down the length of his forearm, allowing the Gunbai to be completely retrieved by turning the handle perpendicular to his forearm, and simply pulling it out. And although it was covered by a light coating of saliva, there was no doubt; This was his fan. Though the same could have been said for his arm, but if this was yet another case of copying, it was a very accurate one, down to the finest details. Holding the weapon out in front of him, seemingly in adoration, Shayde then felt control in his right arm reduce ever so slightly as the mouth began to close. Before it could, Shayde simply slotted the Gunbai back into the mouth, and watched in silence as it was slowly swallowed. Though no words were spoken, Shayde reasoned that Greed had been keeping the weapon safe, most likely. If not, it was simply looking for something to eat, and the Gunbai was the nearest thing, yet it was intact all the same. Shayde reasoned it was probably safer within whatever Greed was, than out in the open where it could be damaged, destroyed, stolen, etc, so he took what he considered his first step in trusting Greed.

(Gurīdo ∞ Kuishinbō no Sokonashi) Greed ∞ The Bottomless Glutton
Type: Supplementary (Weapon)
Rank: N/A
Range: Self
Chakra: N/A
Damage: N/A
Description: Derived from his "mass conversion" ability, whereby all devoured matter is converted into biomass for him to utilize in conjunction with his shapeshifting and assimilation abilities, Greed developed this skill, which he aptly named his "Gluttony". Gluttony effectively allows Greed's biomass system to act as a nigh bottomless storage system for either himself, or his host to utilize, which is visualized as an endless expanse within Greed himself, composed of millions of writhing bodies, skeletons, etc, and submerged in a sea of blood and viscera. Gluttony is initiated upon the act of Greed devouring a desired item, object, etc, following the rules of Greed's "Devour" ability, as detailed within "(Gurīdo ∞ Eien no Kiga) Greed ∞ The Eternal Hunger", minus Chakra costs. This is due to the fact that, unlike with the regular method of devourment, breaking the devoured mass down via mastication, Gluttony requires that Greed devour the target whole, removing the Chakra cost required to break down Ranked matter, while only partially converting the target into biomass, storing it alongside the rest of his accumulated biomass, while leaving it wholly intact. When the user wishes to "withdraw" a "Gluttonized" item, object, etc, they simply have Greed "spit" it back up, reconverting it from his biomass, and back to it's original form. This can be used to allow the user to travel unencumbered by weapons, tools or accessories they may require to perform specific techniques, or to hide valuables that may be the target of theft. In the case of regular tools, such as Kunai, Shuriken, etc, and other common objects, they can be withdrawn passively, and in the case of projectiles, at a faster speed than it would take one to draw a throwing weapon from a pouch. In regards to more unique, or complicated objects, such as one-of-a-kind weapons and the like, this is limited to one per turn for both withdrawing and storing. Finally, Gluttony cannot be used to store any kind of sentient, living target, as they cannot survive the biomass conversion process.

Note: Can only be used by the current host of "(Gurīdo ∞ Eien no Kiga) Greed ∞ The Eternal Hunger".


Siddhartha, speechless at the almost unfathomable series of events, watched in silence, until Shayde filled him in on what had occurred. After a brief respite for contemplation, the elder monk informed Shayde that, while his was particularly unique in it's own grotesque way, lots of people have the ability to generate and enter their own "Inner Worlds" for many different purposes, however it is a pretty advanced skill, and for Shayde to not even know about it, despite being linked with Greed for as long as he had, only to stumble upon it after the briefest attempt at reflection? It struck an odd chord, but wasn't entirely alarming, or disconcerting. As Shayde looked out over the landscape before them, he noticed the sun had considerably moved across the sky, despite it not feeling like much time had passed at all. Surprised by his progress in such a short amount of time, Shayde immediately re-centered his position, and opted to get right back into it, however, Siddhartha, believing Shayde to be rushing into things, asked him if he wanted to enjoy the view, and reflect on the events that had just transpired, instead of trying to unnaturally force things to their conclusion.

"These things take time, and while you've made a real breakthrough here, please take care not to rush things along."

"I promise I'm okay. Am I still afraid? Yeah, of course I am, and I don't think I won't ever not be, but I'm not going to let that fear control me. Not any more..."

"Well, you gave me a vivid account and the details of what you experienced, but tell me, how did it feel, to see that space, and the things therein? That could not have been easy, even for you."

"In a way, I kind of always had a feeling something like that was there... I've been hearing those voices from the moment I woke up strapped to a medical table and found Greed attached to me. Add that to the fact that it's able to eat just about anything, but doesn't get any bigger, not unless it wants to... I mean, all that stuff had to go somewhere, right? I tried not to think about it, but now, knowing that everything Greed has ever eaten, including other people, are all probably inside me? I'll admit, it's a bit... *Sigh* It makes me feel like a monster..."

Siddhartha had no words he truly believed would comfort Shayde in that moment, so instead he patted the young man on the shoulder, took a deep breath, and went back into his meditation. Shayde almost recoiled as he saw the hand reaching out, but let the obvious gesture of trust and reassurance hit it's mark all the same. Safe in the knowledge that, even if he was a monster, he could still be trusted, Shayde rejoined the monk in his reflections... Once again he felt the world around him slowly but surely fall away, as the voices slowly began to creep up on him, however, Shayde already knew what lay in store for him if he let that continue. So with a commanding tone, Shayde spoke out to the endless void within him; "No." This one act caused the cacophonous screams to immediately silence themselves, leaving only a single voice to cry out in a bestial tone, snarling like a confused animal, unsure whether to fight, or take flight. Shayde spent some time simply listening to the lone cries, before opting to take action himself. Up until this point, Shayde had experienced numerous things as a result of Greed, his actions, and experienced things from it's position. From it's insatiable hunger, and physical pain, to literally seeing things from it's point of view. All of this, Shayde assumed, must have come from however the two were merged. The flow of blood and Chakra between the two was flawless, and caused no complications so far in their time together. Other factors of their connection were concrete to, such as the almost seamless connection of skin, flesh, muscle, nerves, all the way down to the most specific parts. It had completely replicated his arm to the finest detail, so, on a physical level, the two were connected perfectly. On top of that, Greed could bombard Shayde with screams that roiginated within his head, but conversely, Shayde had communicated with Greed in the past as well, such as during their escape, and even when retrieving his Gunbai, showing a clear mental connection as well. On some level, there was a flow of information, however, up until this point, Shayde had been so afraid of even listening that he drowned out the voices, and suppressed Greed with Sealing Jutsu. With nothing to lose, Shayde reasoned that he simply needed to open himself up... While he thought about doing so, he spoke out to the lonesome voice, pleading it to both listen, and understand.

"I know you can hear me, and I know you can understand me. I also know that, on some level, we're connected, whether we like it or not. You've listened to me before, and understood, so, please, do it again now. 'Cause if you're part of me, and I'm part of you, you should know what I can do, and the same should be true for me. The information is there, you just need to learn from it, and talk to me..."

Moments passed, with only silence to accompany Shayde's hopes that this beast could learn to communicate as easily as that. Not willing to give up however, Shayde decided to approach the situation from another angle. Rather than leave it to frantically learn which words mean what, Shayde would teach Greed through simple a dialogue. Unbeknownst to Shayde, the physical form of his right arm was slowly changing, shifting, like a fluid, crawling it's way up his face. Back within the meditative trance's "inner world", Shayde asked the simplest question he could think of.

"All this time, I've been calling you "Greed" or "It", not out of any malefic or derogatory reason, it's just that it's your biggest personality trait. You eat and eat and eat, and don't care what it is you're eating. I've seen you eat literal trash, so it seemed like the best fit... But, if you can, will you at least try and tell me your name, if you have one?"

For a moment Shayde believed his plea to fall on deaf ears, however, upon concentrating, he could hear faint attempts at communication. Greed, or whatever it's name ended up being, was trying. Shayde could hardly believe it, and the exact same could be said for Siddhartha who, now standing, was watching in horror as flesh from Shayde's right arm had found it's way up the right side of his face, overlapping the right half of Shayde's face with another, deformed face. Multiple eyes sprouted along the length of covered skin, and in unison, both to Shayde, and Siddhartha, the creature formally known as "Greed" spoke it's apparent true name...


"Rāga..."

While Siddhartha's face changed from a look of reserved disgust to shocked realization, and mortal fear, Shayde took a few moments to ponder where he had heard that name before, and then, like a bolt of lightning, it struck him. That was one of the names Librom had mentioned for the apparent beast he was researching, and believed the tissue samples he acquired were from. Unfortunately for him, his validation was posthumous, as he had been devoured by the very creature he was experimenting on, and while the irony was not lost on Shayde, he had a much larger problem at hand. Upon hearing the name, and realizing it's origin, Shayde was struck with a sudden reflexive urge to vomit, as images flooded his mind. From the viewpoint of a colossal beast sweeping a great land like a plague, killing and devouring millions, to a similar viewpoint he was in when Shayde was captured by Librom, but with countless others strapped to the table, to a prolonged view of Greed's perspective of devouring the man that had tortured it, and so many others. Shayde felt everything. Every sickening crunch, blood-curdling slurp, every tear in muscle, and every bone snapped, as Librom was removed from the world. he experienced every heart wrenching emotion those that had come before him had experienced, from their confusion and disbelief, to their ultimate disposal, as they, and Greed, were violently melted down, rendered into soup, and Librom started the process over again, injecting the malleable tissue of Greed into new hosts, to further experiment, push, and in some cases break, the boundaries of life, and ethics... These, and countless more images and scenario's bombarded Shayde's mind, until it was too much to bear, and he once again snapped out of his meditative trance, much worse for wear than the last time it happened. As he came to grips with the willing, yet overbearing exchange of information the two had seemingly agreed upon, Shayde realized that, for one reason or another, "Rāga" had "borrowed" half of his face. As he touched the adaptable mass of flesh, it began to recede back down his head, and reform back into his shoulder. One look at Siddhartha, and Shayde knew that the monk knew something. As Shayde stifled a nosebleed, no doubt from processing the large quantity of information his brain had just been dumped with, he asked what was wrong, before correcting himself, and asking Siddhartha what he knew was wrong. Shayde was given no clear answers, only that that name Rāga held a some importance in ancient texts, the specifics of which were lost to Siddhartha at the present moment, but weren't exactly of the "positive" persuasion from what he could remember...

"So what happens now?"

"I don't know, but I advise that you keep that name to yourself until I do some digging in the archives."

Shayde, now concerned that his presence meant something far more troubling than a mere imposition, asked the same question, but with a far more blunt tone.

"Do I need to go back to hiding in a room, or be given another escort until you're sure about what that name means? Or would it be best if I just leave?"

"You're free to do as you wish, but if you would prefer to stay, all I ask is that you keep your head down, and that arm of yours under wraps, though not literally of course. If you can do that, I don't think any problems shall arise from this. Or... At least, I hope so..."

With a loose set of rules, and a polite, yet rushed nod, Siddhartha promptly made his way from the secluded structure back to the monastery, walking with purpose, but clearly attempting to not alarm anyone. As Shayde was left to his own devices, he looked back over the land before him, noticing how he had been "under" for far longer this time, as the sun was nearing the horizon, signalling the end of the day. However, Shayde didn't need the sun to tell him how long he had been sat reflecting on the nature of Greed, and the events of his past, as his stomach made it's position quite clear... With little desire to sit back down, potentially furthering the complexity of the situation, Shayde decided it would be best to grab some more grub, and think about how to waste time until Sidd had done his research...
 
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The existential horrors from his self-imposed, self-reflective look into his past, and own body fresh in his mind, as Shayde returned to the monastery at large, he quickly fell into old habits, avoiding crowds and the like, simply hoping to get through the next few... Well... However long it took Siddhartha to uncover whatever it was he had apparently read, or heard about through word of mouth about "Rāga", though, Shayde was partially aware of some apparent details, thanks to the mad scientist responsible for gluing the two together... Who was now apparently being eternally tortured inside some magical hammer-space contained within his arm... Thinking about the situation more just made Shayde feel uncomfortable every second he ruminated on the events. As irresponsible as it sounded, he needed a distraction. Something to keep his mind off of things while he waited for Sidd to return. As he looked around the courtyard of the Monastery, while many were lost in thought of ascending their mental states, just as many were focused on honing their physical abilities; some opting to practice swordplay, most likely Iaidō from the look of things, while others were engaged in various forms and stances of martial arts, none of which Shayde had seen before. Even fewer were the groups that had seemed to form small sparring groups, taking turns in one on one combat in non-lethal, but still very serious matches. Shayde was almost tempted to ask if he could join, but the thought of sparring directly with another person? With his arm the way it was? There was no way he'd risk it at the moment, even with his newfound blossoming trust in the sentient appendage. Plus, some of the groups had been glaring at him ever since he had arrived, and others were downright scowling at him, making him feel like even more of an outsider than he already was. So Shayde decided it was best not to draw any unwanted attention to himself by asking to join one of the small scale sparring groups, or "Fighting Clubs", that peppered the monastery's courtyard. But since Shayde wanted to avoid attention, it was best to not think, or talk about these clubs. He would be better off buckling down and simply doing what he did best; practicing on his own.

And that's exactly what he did. Carving out a small area for himself, further from the rest than was necessary, Shayde started with simple stretches. He'd been traveling for years, yet it never occurred to him that it'd been just as long since he last took some time to practice his arts, and hone his physical skills. Being afraid of his own body might have had something to do with it, but as he had virtually been on the lam for several years, he was afforded no option to simply unwind and practice. In an odd way, this secluded monastery gave him everything he needed, other than the overabundant ever-watchful eyes of judgement that seemed to analyze every move he made within Otohime's walls... He tried to not let the gaze of the monks and Samurai in the area get to him, but as he'd never really shown his martial arts in any public manner before, there was a tinge of introversion to his moves as he began to perform simple "Strong Fist" exercises. He was certain he could hear stifled chuckles and snickering directed at him, but he didn't really care. If they pissed him off, he'd just let his arm do whatever it wanted, then leave... Almost as if on cue, he could feel his right arm tightening, as though Greed was more than happy to oblige, but Shayde shook the sensation out of his arm, and mentally dismissed the thought as a joke, to which Shayde felt a powerful feeling of disdain, so, clearly Greed didn't know what a joke was... And even more so, the two had a lot of work they needed to do before they could truly understand one another... But as Shayde finished practicing the basics, he moved on to more advanced, intricate and flashy movements, more commonly of an improvisational nature as he was so fond of due to one technique in his repertoire specifically. And as his movements ramped up, and he could feel his body's temperature start to soar, Shayde noticed his body begin to give off a small, but very noticeable aura of flame. However, it wasn't the pale blue flames he had grown so accustomed to as he drowned in a sea of his own tears and sorrow. These were instead the flames of one unencumbered by the past, giving off a welcoming, soft heat, and golden fiery hue... And Shayde could not have been happier to see it. Something so simple, and virtually meaningless to the world at large, to him was clearly an indicator of a shift in the paradigm that was his mental state. Even though things were still, relatively, shitty, they could get better, even for the briefest of periods. So despite nothing really changing, even remotely, Shayde wouldn't let this opportunity pass him up. He would revel in this feeling for as long as he could...

(Ninpō: Ritomasu Fōmu) Ninja Art: Litmus Form
Type: Supplementary
Rank: N/A
Range: Self - Short
Chakra: N/A
Damage: N/A
Description: A simple technique, with varying applications, Litmus Form takes principles from both of it's related techniques, namely the simplicity of Litmus Finger, and the full body applications of Litmus Fist, and combines them both, to create a full-body application, which is achieved through a very simple method. This technique utilizes the Chakra that naturally leaks from the body [SUP][X][/SUP], and is what allows Chakra Sensor-types to detect other lifeforms, such as enemy Shinobi, to create an unranked, full body cosmetic. It has been shown that this naturally exuded can be directly manipulated, such as with the "Chakra Suppression Technique", allowing the user to prevent this Chakra from escaping the body, making them virtually invisible to Chakra Sensors. This technique follows a similar principle, allowing the user to passively manipulate this ambient Chakra, moulding it much like they would for a Jutsu, applying both changes to the Shape and Element, giving it a basic "form" as it leaves the body. This however, unlike the aforementioned technique, doesn't make the user invisible to Chakra Sensors, as the Chakra is still "leaving" the users body, simply in another "state". This allows the user to re-purpose this Chakra, for example, allowing them to wreathe themselves in flames, or cloak themselves in an aura of electrical energy, vortex of wind, etc, and other purely cosmetic applications, without any actual Chakra cost, or effort on part of the user, leaving them open to perform other actions without interference. These cosmetics carry no damage, or tangible properties, not from a lack of control or influence from the user, but simply due to them being composed of the "dregs" of one's Chakra Flow, Chakra that would otherwise go unused, making any impact on both the user, other beings, and the world around them, almost entirely negligible.

Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ, and only to those who have learned "(Ninpō: Ritomasu Fingā) Ninja Art: Litmus Finger" and "(Nintaijutsu: Ritomasu Fisuto) Ninja Body Technique: Litmus Fist".




As Shayde finished a particularly flourished set, he calmly centered his stance as he slowed his breathing, and saw the carnage he had inflicted upon the ground and snow in his immediate surroundings... Perhaps he had gotten a little bit out of hand with his actions... Or perhaps he had just gotten started. He had one last set to practice before he was done, and quite frankly, he didn't care who was watching anymore, or what they thought of him anymore. He couldn't hear restrained snickers, or laughter any more, but he wasn't really listening for them any more either. While up until this point Shayde was performing stances and movements from well known styles, or "winging it", this last set was taught to him by a mysterious, but incredibly kind young man during his travels; Jin Mo-Ri. Shayde was hesitant to use Renewal Taekwondo in a proper fight, as he only managed to learn the basics from the young master, but it was clear that he would never get good with the style if he never practiced with it. As he carefully entered a more nimble stance, one foot perpendicularly placed behind the other, with his legs straight and rigid, with his breathing slowed to a calculated back and forth, before he suddenly burst into action, with far more aplomb and enthusiasm than before. Starting with simple kicks that transitioned from the standard low, medium and high kicks, he then seamlessly switched into a spinning roundhouse kick. As he landed, he turned the action into one of Renewals most basic "stance breakers"; (Ddang-Geusgi) Ground Drawer, drawing his foot across the ground in an arc, one that was intended to break the defense of an opponent with a simple attack on their legs, attempting to shift their center of gravity. As he rotated his body, and drew his foot across the ground, he effortlessly lifted snow from it's resting position of the ground and into the air. Shayde then rose back up to a standing position, and practiced a side of Renewal people typically disregard, thanks to it's acclaim as a leg-based style; it's various punches, elbow strikes and arm-based grapples. From the simplicity of Geumgang to the tremendously taxing Arang, a sweeping strike with the side of ones palm, and elbow smash that releases a shock-wave respectively, Shayde shifted from one strike to the next with extreme speed, grace and power. He further continued with Re Tae's unique various kicks, knee strikes, ankle swipes, and many more. Silla... Baekdu and Baek Rok... Cheonji... Soksa, Gor Yo, Taebaek and Halla... All had their own unique applications, but none was more revered, or feared than "Hwechook". From the individually focused 3rd Stance, to the pinnacle of Renewal; The Truth Tornado. Though Shayde had no desire to even attempt to perform these techniques, as their destructive power would cause untold damage to the sacred structure and land around him, he could safely perform the motions without worry, refining his physical "skills" without endangering others by releasing the overwhelming gravitational-based kinetic forces the style employed. As he prepared for these last techniques, he tensed his entire body, before dashing forward several feet. At the end of his stride, as his foot touched the floor, he disappeared from visible sight for the briefest of moments, before appearing in three after-image like positions [SUP][X][/SUP], performing sweeping motions that caused the air to whip around into a small, localized vortex, however, this was merely the prelude to the song of destruction Renewal Taekwondo performed. As the air swirled around him, he launched into the final two stances. With the first, Shayde simply planted his feet, positioned his left arm in front of his body, while his right was rotated around to his back, with his torso twisted around to compensate. Shayde then drew his right leg back, before performing a simple medium height kick, with a rotational spin in it's trajectory, however, the speed and force with which the kick was performed, despite having no Chakra channeled into it, caused the turbulent winds surrounding Shayde to fire off in the direction the kick was aimed, some currents at the front of the winds even starting to form what appeared to be an incredibly weakened, and slow Rasengan. Spinning around one last time, he entered a similar stance, but only by virtue of how it physically appeared, with his left arm outstretched in front of him, and his right behind to counteract shifting one's center of gravity from the resulting kick. Aiming directly for the wind currents whipped up by his last two techniques, Shayde rotated his body, bringing his right leg high up into the air, before having it suddenly come down in an arc. The "true form of the stance was known as the "Recoiless Kick", which caused the user to release an apparently powerful stream of force, akin to a jet of water, or vacuum blade, which carves a perfect linear line of destruction through whatever the user deigns to release it at, carving through heaven and earth alike. From the physical stance alone, the effects were not quite as awe-inspiring as rending the land and sky asunder, but he did manage to carve through the current of air, perfectly splitting it in half and dispersing what little air currents remained.

As he finished his motions, and stopped to catch his breath, Shayde realized he had somewhat of a small, if aloof audience, as some scowls from the various monks, samurai and students had, at the very least, melted into looks of acknowledgement of his skills. As he took his time to wind down, he noticed the flames clinging to his form slowly subside as his temperature lowered with the chilling winds of the Iron Peninsula. While he was basking in the after effects of his handiwork, a small group approached Shayde, bokken in hand, at least partially indicating their status as Samurai, or apprentices of, Shayde brushed the dust and powdered snow from his robes as he turned to meet their casual, yet clearly determined approach, one among them stepping out in front of his friends who kept to a steady pace behind the front-man.

"Hmm. Not bad... For an outsider."

These few words set the tone for everything that was to follow...

"Thanks. So what's the deal with the wooden swords? You guys too clumsy to play with the real thing?"

"Yeah, we're pretty clumsy with 'em. It can get pretty bloody, though I guess we don't need to tell you that, do we? Word is you got a good look at the real thing."

"Then I guess I better watch myself. Wouldn't want to get a splinter now, would I?"

Shayde and the unknown youth fired veiled insults back and forth at one another for several minutes, each one getting their own sly comments in. Before the things got too uncivil as to draw attention to the small gathering, the youth introduced himself.

"Name's Rōresu, and I must say..." He turned away from Shayde to look upon the resulting effect to the environment his practicing Renewal Taekwondo had on it. "Your Taijutsu is simply adorable. Must be so relieving to know that, no matter how much effort you put behind those attacks of yours, they won't do any unnecessary damage to the world around you."

Taking the words to heart as the mockery they were intended to be, Shayde smiled brazenly as he suddenly sunk into the ground several inches, causing a shock wave to emanate from his position. Using Earth Chakra to momentarily increase his body's weight, he had the force of the Earth's gravitational forces act on him just as much, causing the ground beneath his feet to buckle, before giving him an equally powerful amount of kinetic energy, which he absorbed through his legs. This was the one act that separated his simple motions before from "quaint movements" to "devastating techniques". And though he was oh so tempted to use this kinetic energy to put this snobby brat in his place, Shayde instead opted to let the kinetic energy simply return to the ground from whence it came, and deliver his rebuttal, safe in the knowledge that his intimidation tactic hadn't devolved into a seemingly unwarranted act of aggression, as that seemed to be what the young man before him was after...

"You'd be surprised just how "unnecessarily damaging" those moves can be if I put some backbone into them..."

Rōresu and his posse recoiled at the sight of the ground buckling, but kept their cool, and polite facade all the same, as numerous bystanders to the discussion glanced back over at the sound of the earth crumbling under the immense weight Shayde adopted for a mere instant. All eyes on them now, Rōresu got down to business, dropping the thinly veiled insults, and going for a more direct approach.

"Look, we saw your moves and couldn't help but be a tad jealous, okay? The styles around here are all so boring and simple. They're all about reflection, and inflection, and "achieving true peace", so lots of standing about, slowly moving your body, and all that stuff, so they're not even remotely enjoyable. We don't get to see that flashy stuff very often, so we were wondering if you'd like to join us for a little spar? Show us some more of your moves?"

"Pretty shitty way to ask someone to join your little fight club if you ask me. I mean, have you ever been in a real sword fight? The trash talking's supposed to come after we start fighting, not before. You guys need to read up on Mêlée etiquette... Anyway, I just finished up for the day, so that's a hard pass..."

"Sorry but..." Rōresu casually gestured with his hand, like a comment made under his breath, signalling his little group to surround the pair in a manner that looked like they were cheering a friendly spar on, but actively prevented a pacifistic retirement. "We insist."

As Shayde looked around, he could clearly see they were either goading him into inflicting harm on them to escape, or play along with their leader's little "spar" facade. A scowl began to form across his face as Shayde kept Siddhartha's words in mind. It looked like, despite his best efforts, keeping his head down wasn't an option he was allowed right now... Warming up once more, Shayde started by winding his right arm in it's socket, a clear indicator of his "willingness" to play along. As he got ready, Rōresu explained the rules of the little bout.

"The rules are quite simple; First to get their opponent to admit defeat wins. Trying to leave the circle will earn you a friendly little smack, and deliberately leaving the circle constitutes a forfeit. As for what we can use, close quarters skills only. No Ninjutsu, or anything of that sort. This is just a simple, civilized sparring match..."

With surprising speed and force, Rōresu closed the gap between he and Shayde, the former instinctively raising his left arm to intercept a swipe from the harmless wooden katana.

"Between a simple swordsman, and a demon."

Rōresu's words were sharp, but hushed, so that only Shayde could really hear them clearly. For whatever reason it appeared as though the young swordsman didn't want his peers in the surrounding courtyard to hear the words he spoke. It made sense, since they were of an accusatory nature, and in blatant contradiction to the "friendly training" act they were engaged in. However, Shayde' didn't care about Rōresu's little pantomime of a spar being found out, as the young man's words gave him plenty to think about. "Demon"... That's what the young man called him, despite only knowing Shayde for a few seconds... Was he aware of Greed? Was he chummy with one of the Samurai Shayde had the encounter with before he awoke in the monastery? Had word simply gotten out, and this young man was the first to grow the testicular fortitude to call Shayde out on his apparent true nature? As Shayde's mind raced with possibilities, trying to account for every variable, possibility, explanation, etc, Rōresu kept his focus on the task at hand. Noticing Shayde's mind was elsewhere, he took the chance to start strong, both pushing off of Shayde with his toy blade, while swiping down with it. While Shayde stumbled back in confusion, while one would only expect minor friction to occur, perhaps the stray splinter, Shayde's arm was effortlessly cut open, as though the blade were made of steel, not a lump of dull wood carved into the shape of a blade. Though he couldn't be completely sure without using his Sharingan, thus violating the borderline unfair rules of the spar, Shayde had an inkling the young Samurai was using some form of Chakra to give the bokken a sharper edge than it was supposed to. If that were the case, while not exactly against the rules, it definitely went against the spirit of a simple spar. Rōresu then continued from his point, elaborating on his demon comment from before.

"We know what you are."

It appeared as though the game Shayde was playing was a bogey, and his fears and suspicions were correct. They evidently knew about Greed, and were most likely making their disgust known. As Shayde felt a twinge of fear from someplace within his own psyche, he knew that Greed was also aware of what this meant. He would probably be bisected once more, and was apparently not a fan of that idea. But as Shayde shook off the swipe to his left arm and found his footing, his "sparring partner" clarified his derogatory statement.

"The eye was a dead giveaway. It's almost like you're not trying to hide it."

Shayde was initially confused, as Greed hadn't so much as opened a mouth, bar the situation involving his Gunbai, since the pair woke up in Otohime, and from personal experience, Shayde knew that whatever Greed could see with it's eyes, he could see as well. So if it wasn't one of Greed's eyes, that left only one other possibility...

"Wait, you've got a thing against the Uchiha? Why?"

Shayde was stunned that it was his own blood, not the parasitic entity leeching off of it, that was making him the target of persecution. And while it was relieving that the cat was still somewhat in the bag, Shayde was still under very heavy scrutiny at the present moment. One slip up and he really would be found out...

"Listen man, I'll be upfront, even the Uchiha have it out for me. Besides my mother, I've never spent any meaningful amount of time with another Uchiha. She was cast out before I was even born, so whatever you have against them, that's got nothing to do with me."

"Is that the bullshit you fed to the elder to get him on your side, or did you just brainwash him with Genjutsu? Sorry, but that won't work on me. I've heard about your "Clan". A bunch of backstabbers, murderers and warmongers who'd kill their own brothers and sisters if it meant they'd have even a fraction of a chance of getting more power."

"You've got no idea what you're talking about, so how about you shut up before I give you something to tell everyone about. Shayde was visibly frustrated, as he knew Rōresu was talking about the Mangekyō Sharingan, something Shayde himself had acquired due to the unbearable trauma he had endured before his acceptance of his parent's presumed demise in Chungsu...

"I can't wait to see what you've got for me that I haven't already seen. But try any of that Genjutsu crap in here, and the guys here will cut you to ribbons."

Almost on cue, the crony stood behind Shayde stepped forward and delivered a swift swipe at his back, delivering the same kind of wound to the one on his arm. It confirmed his suspicion that all of them were using the same trick, or technique, using some method to cut with a dull blade, whether it was a form of temporary sharpening, some kind of Chakra coating the blade, and so on. This wasn't an ideal situation for Shayde to find himself in, but since he was in it for the foreseeable future, all he had to do was commit himself, and get Rōresu to surrender, while avoiding unfair strikes from the circle jerks, and all without cheating, or resorting to anything that would otherwise easily win him this fight. As Shayde tapped each of his feet on the ground, a smile formed on his face, signalling a shift in his outlook, and his acceptance to go all out against Rōresu.

"Oh, what the hell. I've been in deeper shit than this. I'll humor you, ya little psychopath."

Almost as if repaying the favor, Shayde closed the gap between he and Rōresu in an instant. This time however, Shayde avoided the presumed dull blade as Rōresu instinctively threw out a simple one-handed swipe with his right hand. Shayde, being used to perfectly timing his strikes thanks to the added perceptual clarity typically afforded to him with his Sharingan, took his left arm and slipped it under the blade, avoiding it completely, before taking his flat palm, and batting Rōresu's right hand away completely, throwing his offense off, and leaving him open. As Shayde began to form a fist with his right hand, he remembered why that wasn't a good idea, and instead opted to take his right leg, and rotate it around in an anti-clockwise arc, performing the "Ground Drawer" technique he displayed earlier. Rōresu was no slouch however, and had been paying attention to Shayde's practicing earlier, and had seen through the technique, leaping off the ground before Shayde could throw his center of gravity off with the leg sweep. With Rōresu now in the air, and Shayde's left arm behind and above his head, while his right leg had been rotated around to his left side, this left his defenses open to counter thanks to Rōresu's more advantageous position, in tandem with the additional force he could swing with due to centrifugal force acting on his as he brought his sword down. Shayde caught a glimpse of this, so he transitioned from standing on his left leg, to his right, immediately pivoting around to meet the counter strike head on. As he spun around, Shayde kept his body tense, and as he faced Rōresu once more, brought his left leg straight up to meet the sword strike head on, performing a Baek Rok, or simple high kick where the legs is brought up in a straight, linear path. Once again though, Shayde's opponent had seen this technique, and could anticipate it's timing, and positioning, allowing him to shift the path of his sword to the right to avoid the kick, and aim for Shayde's exposed back. Shayde was somewhat of a tactical fighter himself however, and switched from the Baek Rok to another technique, the Renewal Guard Breaker. Bending his left leg mid-kick, Shayde wrapped it around the blade, trapping it safely between his thigh and calf, before leaping off the ground with his right leg and delivering a jumping high kick to Rōresu's face, knocking him back a few feet to his right, Shayde's left. Shayde showed that he wasn't able to properly demonstrate all of Re Tae's techniques without some help, and as he landed once more with his right leg, left still closed with the wooden blade trapped in the back of his kneepit, he gave an accomplished smirk as some of Rōresu's friends showed a tinge of fear, wishing to help their friend up, but afraid of his wrath if they broke formation. As the disarmed swordsman picked himself up, the thin veneer of calm, condescending attitude had been replaced with a seething rage, as if to say that he would not be shown up by anybody, least of all Shayde. The Uchiha, smirking with confidence as he removed the wooden blade from between his leg, took a moment to swing it back and forth once or twice. "Too light..." he remarked, before tossing the bokken back to Rōresu and gesturing him to come for another taste. The two continued on for some time, going back and forth. Shayde would perform some alternative Renewal stance to one he had performed before, and potentially catch Rōresu off-guard, but he took just as many swipes and cuts from the young man's false blade, and any time the fight moved to anywhere near the edge of the circle, the one's forming it would take unwarranted strikes at Shayde. Though the Uchiha had the upper hand it terms of skill, he was slowly but surely being cut down, and with each new cut came another hole to bleed from, while Rōresu had only sustained some blunt strikes, and was showing bruises for his failures. Shayde was starting to feel the blood loss when Rōresu started growing bolder, going on the offensive more frequently, while Shayde began to get more and more defensive, feeling himself get thrown off balance more easily as he grew more and more wary of fresh wounds. Things came to a head when the two charged at each other in the center of the circle. they had gathered quite the crowd, and many had taken to calling Rōresu out for needless brutality, but he didn't care. He pressed his attack, assured of his victory, while Shayde wanted to finish things quickly before he lost consciousness. Rōresu opted to perform a heavy side ward strike, while Shayde, out of options, chose to perform a last-ditch technique.As he got close enough to Rōresu, the blade closing in on his upper body, he leapt off the ground and put his all into a "Nigawa kick". A simple kick where the user back flips while delivering a strike to the target's jaw with the front of their foot. The intention was to knock Rōresu out cold, but after several minutes of fighting back and forth, Shayde growing slower by the second, Rōresu managed to pull his head back just in time to avoid the presumed conclusive strike on his head. The sword strike was also avoided on Shayde's end, but Rōresu was in a far more advantageous position, with his feet on the ground, and facing Shayde, while the latter was in the air, in the process of landing while facing the edge of the circle behind him due to his poor space management with the performance of the Nigawa kick, leaping back several feet. As he landed, and faced his opponent once more, Shayde realized too late that Rōresu had closed the gap, was in the process of delivering a kick, and had little to no time to react. As the sandal from the young swordsman made contact with Shayde's face, Rōresu screamed in a commanding tone; "Yield!!".

Shayde, bleeding rather heavily from many open wounds, crashed into one of the students maintaining the circle, almost falling out of it entirely. As he was dragged back to his knees by the scruff of his neck, Rōresu slowly approached, holding his blade out to the side. As he stood before Shayde, he pointed the bokken at his neck, and commanded once more; "You're a mess. Now yield.". Shayde simply smiled back, and replied; "Maybe... Doesn't mean I'll just up just yet. See... We Ninja don't like to make things easy..." Rōresu's face contorted into ma scowl, as he pulled his sword back and raised it for a finishing blow, accompanied by the boo's and jeers from the spectators. Shayde watched the blade start to come down on him, and the world began to slow, though, not in the way he was accustomed to, with a heightened sense of clarity. This was more akin to the myth that one's life flashes before their eyes before they die, though Shayde knew he still had plenty left in him to give. His body was the one that was unwilling to cooperate... With a heavy sigh, Shayde closed his eyes, almost feeling like waiting for the end. But as stated before... He was far from done. Opening his eyes with palpable determination, he refused to take things sitting down any more. As the sword cut through Shayde's torso, Rōresu felt no resistance, which was incredibly odd. Despite the increased sharpness, he had felt resistance from cutting Shayde's flesh before. The exact reason for why became apparent only seconds later, when "Shayde" visibly disappeared before their eyes. While Rōresu was dumbfounded, believing this to be the work of a Genjutsu, one of the other students yelled out that he was behind him. Rōresu frantically spun around, delivering another swipe as he did, and once again found his target, but with zero resistance. And like before, Shayde's visual presence disappeared completely, as though he was nothing more than an illusion. Rōresu paranoidically looked around for any sign of Shayde, but it was as though he had erased his own presence. Before anyone could give him the literal heads up, Shayde's leg came crashing down on Rōresu's head from above, Lions Barrage style. As Rōresu gave a retaliatory swing with his blade, it once again completely missed its mark. The fact Shayde was most certainly present, yet absolutely, elusively untouchable infuriated the swordsman to no end, but on Shayde's end, things were just as confusing. He had all but resigned himself to the "last" attack, and yet his body not only responded to his wish to see things through, but was doing so with complete autonomy. Was this Greed, forcibly taking control of his body from his to prevent further harm? It seemed as likely a reason as any, but as the thought crossed his mind, a definitive confused sensation responded from within his own mind. Greed was definitely not responsible for... Whatever this was...

(Migatte no GokuiChō hon'nō) Mastery of Self-MovementUltra Instinct
Type: Supplementary/ Defensive
Rank: N/A
Range: Short
Chakra: N/A
Damage: N/A
Description: An advanced Taijutsu art, based on the martial art of "(Mushin) Empty Mind", a mental state where the body reflexively reacts without the need of having any specific input from the practitioner, resulting in such refined levels of instinct and intuition to a level where they can respond to any threat without the need for thought. This is achieved via an intense level of training, wherein one is endlessly bombarded with incredibly fast, yet weak strikes, until they eventually grasp the concept of "self-movement", where each part of the body seemingly acts independently of the user's own will. It teaches one to abandon the practice of "thinking before moving", and simply initiate "moving without thinking". This is incredibly useful, as messages from the brain can only move through the nervous system to one's body parts so fast, subsequently losing precious time in combat that add up with every consecutive movement and action. This technique does not increase, or grant any kind of additional boost to the user's movement, tracking or reaction speed in any sense. Instead, it is akin to an automated defensive stance that allows the user to effectively negate any incoming physical attack that they can, visually or otherwise, register, without actually thinking about performing the actions. The body moves, almost as if on it's own accord, to respond to incoming attacks, and attempts to negate, redirect, or counter them in the most logical manner, before proceeding to intercept the next attack. A perfect idiom to describe this stance is "The lights are on, but no one is home", as the user is clearly responding to external threats, yet doesn't always seem entirely "present". One of the many benefits to this technique is that it is purely physical, and, by it's very nature, requires little to no input from the user themselves, especially in regards to their Chakra flow. As their body is reacting instinctively, rather than with directed motions and a proper input from the user themselves, they're free to use their heads to perform other actions, such as analysing attack patterns, potential weak points, and formulate and initiate proper counter attacks, etc. There are significant drawbacks to this technique as well however as, by it's very nature, it can only allow the user's body to react to actions and attacks that they can witness. This means the user cannot use this technique against attacks faster than they can track or logically register due to speed, but also attacks of a deceptive nature, or attack the user in some unregisterable manner, such as attacks that cannot be physically seen, like "Frog Kumite", or attacks that strike outside the user's field of vision. However, in the case of techniques that are directly applied via physical actions, such as in the case of a Shinobi driving a Rasengan into the body of their opponent, the user can divert this incoming threat by redirecting the physical motions of the opponent's strike, "countering" the Rasengan without making physical contact with it, or even ending the technique. [SUP][X][/SUP] Finally, entering into this stance does not constitute the usage of one of the user's 3 Jutsu per turn, however, if this technique is used to defend against another Jutsu, every instance of a successfully defended technique does consume one of the user's allotted Jutsu from their next turn. When used to defend against freeform actions and movements, no Jutsu slots are consumed. This can, in most cases, force a stalemate in close-quarters combat centric fights, as neither party gains any ground, or inflicts damage upon the other.

Note: Can only be used for a max of 3 turns, and user must wait 3 turns between usages.
Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ, and can only be used by Biographies with a Taijutsu specialty.




(Riko Shugi no Kī ☯ Chō Zenchō) Key of Egoism ☯ Ultra Omen (Awakening & Shift)
Type: Supplementary/ Defensive
Rank: N/A
Range: Self
Chakra: N/A
Damage: N/A (+20 Taijutsu/ Kenjutsu (Hakai)
Description: Ultra Omen is a paired technique, comprised of a supplementary mental state for "(Migatte no Gokui ☯ Chō hon'nō) Mastery of Self-Movement ☯ Ultra Instinct", achieved through the freedom of thought and conscious action the user achieves by relegating the act of evading, countering, etc, perceived incoming physical threats to their autonomous instincts, and reflexive body, allowing them to focus their attention elsewhere. This culminates in a series of supplementary buffs and applications which improve the users overall close-quarters combat capabilities, all tied to the distinct basis "Ultra Instinct" provides. Naturally this technique can only be utilized with, and is automatically activated once Ultra Instinct is activated, being passively applied within the same timeframe slot, without using one of the user's 3 Jutsu per turn. Upon activation the user, who must at least be a Taijutsu specialist, selects one of the following applications to activate during the current usage of "Ultra Instinct", while users with a higher proficiency in Taijutsu, for example, users with access to Kaito's Taijutsu, the Eight Inner Gates, or Seven Heavenly Breaths can select up to two. The chosen application(s) take effect immediately, within the same timeframe of both techniques activating, cannot be changed once selected, and remain active until "Ultra Instinct" deactivates, whether due the expiry of it's duration, the user's will, or upon a forced deactivation, such as a K.O, death, etc. The applications are as follows;

(Mezame) Awakening: As the user's body becomes accustomed to the feeling of responding to external threats at its "normal" speed, eventually the user reaches a point where they are able to make Movements/ Reactions beyond their body's regular capabilities. The user gains a x2 speed modifier for both their Movement and Reaction speed whist "Ultra Instinct" is active, however, upon deactivation, the user suffers -4 to their base movement and reaction speeds for 2 turns as a result of pushing their body beyond it's natural limitations. [SUP][X] [X][/SUP]

(Hakai) Destruction: The user extends their autonomous instinct to the general movements and actions of their Offensive Taijutsu techniques, allowing them to consciously exert more physical effort into their techniques, resulting in a passive +20 increase in damage to all of their physical attacks (Taijutsu, Kenjutsu, etc). Upon deactivation, the added exertion from forcing more power into their attacks leaves the user's body aching, causing the user to lose -10 damage to their Taijutsu for 3 turns. [SUP][X][/SUP]

(Kenbunshoku) Observation: By focusing their attention on incoming projectiles, the user is able to utilize "Ultra Instinct" to evade small to medium scale ranged techniques, such as basic projectiles, streams, etc, regardless of their Rank. Naturally this follows the same restrictions and drawbacks detailed within "Ultra Instinct", meaning each successfully evaded Jutsu consumes one of the user's 3 Jutsu per turn from their next turn, and only works on projectiles they can either physically see, or otherwise logically perceive. [SUP][X] [X][/SUP]

(Kōtai) Shift: By tensing the muscles upon the moment of the evasion, the user increases the overall acceleration of the their manoeuvre, but not the actual speed of the movement, creating after-images that linger for several moments. Alternatively, the user can perform the same tensing motion as they start a physical attack, creating a form of "before-image", that projects an image of the attack that continues on, allowing the user to change their attack, potentially creating an opening in their opponent's defence. The creation of a "Before Image" is a passive action, but can only be done once per turn. Finally, after using either, once this technique ends, the user's body is left in a spasmodic state, leaving them incapable of perform intricate or delicate movements, such as complex Taijutsu movements, or weaving handseals for 2 turns. [SUP][X] [X][/SUP]​

Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ, and only to those who have learned "Migatte no Gokui ☯ Chō hon'nō) Mastery of Self-Movement ☯ Ultra Instinct".

As Shayde landed after his impressive strike, once again too close to the edge of the circle, one of the students struck out, attempting to prod Shayde, perhaps even run him through with the end of their bokken. Shayde, watching the reactions of the surrounding students, looked over his shoulder to catch a glimpse of the strike, and was surprised to feel his body instantly shift to the side to compensate, allowing the blade to brush past his side without injury. As the blade extended out in front of him, his knee and elbow instinctively clamped down on it with an Intersection Method manoeuvre. Pulling the blade forward, he disarmed the underhanded swordsman, flipping the sword up with a raising motion with his knee, and acquiring a weapon for the second time in the fight. Despite not being entirely clear on what was happening, Shayde still found the energy, and courage to say "I think that's quite enough of that...". Even the crowd were beginning to get into it, as the fight apparently just got it's second wind, however, the fight would last no longer than another minute. Rōresu got to his feet, reeling, but still sensate, and once more pressed on Shayde, but every swing was effortlessly avoided, and countered with a swift and restrained, yet still effective counter. It all came to a head when Shayde used the previously acquired wooden blade to disarm his opponent, spun around in an arc, and performed one final Ground Drawer, dropping Rōresu to the ground, before pointing the blade at him and declaring;

"Now it's over..."

Rōresu tried to fight back, to rise back up and turn things to his favor, just as Shayde had miraculously done, but Shayde swiftly shut him down, and repeated his statement. This was it. Their "spar" was over. Before a surrender could be given, a wizened voice called out over all the others.

"What is going on here?!"

It was Siddhartha, evidently finished with his delve into the monastery's ancient texts. As he looked to Shayde, and the horrid state he was in, then down at Rōresu in his defeated state on the ground, he was about to repeat his question with a far more demanding tone, however, Rōresu responded.

"I..."

"He was watching me while I practiced, so I asked if he wanted to have a spar with me. Uh... Things... Things may have gotten a bit out of hand, but it was all my idea."

While it was impossible to deny that things got out of hand, Shayde reasoned that the quickest way to resolve things, and try and hold true to Siddhartha's request to "keep his head down" was to say it was all his idea, and let everyone, himself included, just get on with their day. Mutterings broke out amongst the crowd, positive that the opposite was the truth, but the elder monk saw the lie for what it was intended to do, and decided to accept Shayde's shouldering of the burden.

"Well, I hope you learned your lesson, picking fights you had no right or reason doing so. Those wounds of yours look like they are punishment enough, but let's get them seen to all the same, shall we? We don't want you dying from blood loss."

As Shayde gave an embarrassed chuckle, the silvery glint faded from his eyes. As it did, they instinctively felt far heavier to Shayde, before he collapsed to the ground, violently coughing up blood. Any and all semblance of consciousness soon faded, as Shayde felt the negative effects of pushing one's body past it's logical limits, and ignoring a constant stream of blood loss during an intense combat scenario.




Several days later...

Waking up to a similar sight, a cold dark ceiling in the humble, rustic setting of the room he originally woke up in, Shayde immediately got up, noticing his body was covered in numerous bandages, though there was very little pain. This, coupled with the familiar sensation of hunger he felt, told Shayde he was out for quite some time, a day or two at most, but as he put some new clothes back on, and peeked his head out of his room, he noticed a distinct lack of armed guards, but just as many passersby than before. Again, seeing no reason to hide away in the room, Shayde wandered back to the other side of the Monastery, to Siddhartha's room. A familiar scent slowly spilled forth from the personal quarter, as dim lights indicated his presence. Still hesitant to feel like he was barging in uninvited, he knocked twice and waited a few moments before entering. Evidently he was expected, as when he eventually entered the room, Siddhartha was waiting, oddly familiar, yet distinctly archaic book in hand. As he entered, Siddhartha immediately asked him to close the door, instantly tipping Shayde off as to where this conversation was bound to go. As he took a seat beside the monk, Siddhartha opened the book to a marked page, the illustration of which held a very familiar design. From what little he saw of the book from Chungsu's library before being kidnapped, the artistic style of both this book and that was identical. Another copy of the same book? Or was the one in Chungsu a copy of an older text? It didn't matter much, but as Shayde looked at the image, one of the visions that flashed by during his meditation seemed extremely familiar. Though the artwork had long since seen better days, the pair could make out the silhouette of a multiple headed serpent, reveling in the destruction of some ancient civilization. Though whatever litany of words was used to transcribe these events were beyond both of them, Siddhartha could tell this beast was a harbinger of destruction, so it's presence in this era was not very assuring... Moving from ancient texts, the monk told Shayde about some of the beliefs in numerous religions around the world, and that one specifically dealt with the concept of Greed. In this religion, "Greed" was conceptualized as a form of blemish, or even a fundamental character affliction, though not quite the same as Shayde's Greed being a literal affliction of the flesh. The desire for material objects, or even lust for another, actively prevented one from attaining liberation from the self, and achieving true inner peace.


"I don't know about any of that spiritual stuff, but if that beast in that book is the same as... This thing, then I guess I'm screwed, huh?"

"I'm quite certain, from what you told me of your past, that if Rāga wished you dead, or worse, I'm sure it would have done so years ago, or any time since those bandages of yours wore off. Since you arrived here mere days ago, I've seen great progress, both with trusting yourself, and trusting Rāga. And while it's not a perfect relationship, you two seem rather dependent on each other. The question now is, what are the two of you going to do about that?"

"I.. Don't know. I thought I could run from my past, but I just wound up here, staring directly at it... I thought, if only for a moment, I could hide from it here, but it just got dug up and thrown in my face anyway... I guess I'm out of excuses to not be who I am. The problem is, I don't really know who that is any more. I'm an Uchiha, but I've never really learned what that meant. Everything I know about them comes from my mom, but until the incident with Rōresu, I never realized how big that gap in my own knowledge is. At the same time my dad was an Uzumaki, but I know even less about them, mostly because I never really took after my old man, so there wasn't much he could teach me... So... If I can't run from my past, and I can't hide from it either, I guess that only leaves me with one choice..."

"Living with it."

Taking a moment to put everything that had happened up until that point, Shayde then breathed a sigh of relief stating; "Guess I can't brood for the rest of my life... I'm only part emo Uchiha after all." Pushing up off his knees and rising to his feet, Shayde turned to Siddhartha and offered a true handshake, with his right hand. Sidd responded in kind, returning the gesture of trust with his own. "Thanks for everything. I appreciate it." As he turned to leave, he asked Siddhartha if he could see the book for just a moment. The monk gave him a confused stare, before acquiescing, gingerly handing the ancient tome over. Shayde, opening the book carefully, then activated his Sharingan and carefully slipped through each page at an increased speed, committing each page to memory, even if they meant little to nothing to him. Once he was done memorizing the contents of the book, using an application of his Dōjutsu that was incredibly cost-ineffective, he handed it back over to the Monk, before gingerly walking back out of the room, with one final farewell in the wave thrown casually over his shoulder. And with that, Shayde promptly left Otohime. He didn't really feel like prolonging his stay more than he had, nor did he really think he had much of a relationship with any of them, bar Sidd, and perhaps an antagonistic bond with Rōresu, but that didn't really warrant much of a farewell, since that guy was a condescending douche-bag... So Shayde quietly slipped out, leaving the Monastery, and his personal hang ups, behind.




Leaving Landmark, heading to Tetsukai (125).​
 
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#6
Coming from here; https://animebase.me/threads/aisu-bay-254.757187/#post-21896198

Stepping ashore, they would traverse throughout the landmark with absolute certainty. The first time they had doubted whether they were at the correct place, the second time their doubts were even greater. But this time, they were assured that this was surely the correct place.
They would recall the passage once again as they roamed the land;

A place to worship reflections
Here the sword is wisdom.

Its blade sharpened by insight.
The body matched by mind.


A monastery, a place considered to be a temple for self-reflection. Only two kinds of people regularly frequented this place; those seeking wisdom, and the Samurai, who lived and died by the sword. Here the Samurai engaged in deep self-reflection, a martial path that emphasised the mind as much as the body. Here stood a monastery that Samurai stayed at to train their awareness and wisdom. Surely, without a shadow of a doubt, this was the place.

With the first two ventures, their doubts had led to frustrations and rage, and by their means destruction. But, now self-assured, they would simply pick their way through the lands undetected. They knew what they were looking for was here, and there was no need for them to overturn stones to leave no stone un-searched.
Peace was with them, the peace of tranquility, the peace of certainty. And surely enough, they would spy the gem, hidden in a small crevice deep within the monastery.
What they wanted had been found, and without hesitation the wolf, still concealed by the void, would lap the gem into its mouth and disappear from the monastery as silently as he came.

LLM
 
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#7
Coming from here; https://animebase.me/threads/aisu-bay-254.757187/#post-21896198

Stepping ashore, they would traverse throughout the landmark with absolute certainty. The first time they had doubted whether they were at the correct place, the second time their doubts were even greater. But this time, they were assured that this was surely the correct place.
They would recall the passage once again as they roamed the land;

A place to worship reflections
Here the sword is wisdom.
Its blade sharpened by insight.
The body matched by mind.


A monastery, a place considered to be a temple for self-reflection. Only two kinds of people regularly frequented this place; those seeking wisdom, and the Samurai, who lived and died by the sword. Here the Samurai engaged in deep self-reflection, a martial path that emphasised the mind as much as the body. Here stood a monastery that Samurai stayed at to train their awareness and wisdom. Surely, without a shadow of a doubt, this was the place.

With the first two ventures, their doubts had led to frustrations and rage, and by their means destruction. But, now self-assured, they would simply pick their way through the lands undetected. They knew what they were looking for was here, and there was no need for them to overturn stones to leave no stone un-searched.
Peace was with them, the peace of tranquility, the peace of certainty. And surely enough, they would spy the gem, hidden in a small crevice deep within the monastery.
What they wanted had been found, and without hesitation the wolf, still concealed by the void, would lap the gem into its mouth and disappear from the monastery as silently as he came.

LLM
Invalid. Back it up.
 

Xylon

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#8
Arriving from 125 (https://animebase.me/threads/tetsukai-125.756138/)

Otohime’s Monastery


As the most spiritual landmark on the peninsula Otohime’s Monastery, a large metal structure built in the shape of a perfect triangle, is considered a sacred place. The samurai have a strict policy that no outsiders be allowed here, only those seeking wisdom and the mute samurai who tend to the monastery. The samurai do not worship deities in the traditional sense. Instead, the monastery is considered a place of self reflection, where one comes to meditate; to gain insight and self awareness. Such things are considered important among many samurai on the peninsula, who choose to train not only their bodies, but also their minds and souls. The monastery is also connected to the multifunctional network of tunnels that run beneath most settlements of important on the peninsula.
Mugetsu looks at the triangular structure. He heard this was a sacred place, a place of worship though not the traditional kind. He goes deep inside hoping this is where the riddle pointed.
" A place to worship reflections
Here the sword is wisdom.
Its blade sharpened by insight.
The body matched by mind.
"

Mute Samurai everywhere, Mugetsu liked it that way. What happens when you give men with ego a tongue to go along with it? Artifact wasn't hard to find. Ornated the wall like a decoration. Yoru's hand would extend all the way to grab it, tedious little thing. Well time to go, Mugetsu would fade from senses. Invisibility and Wujin kicks in.
Breath of the Shapeshifters (Tatazumai no ki)
Rank: B
Range: Short
Type: Offensive/Supplementary
Chakra Cost: 20
Damage Points: 40 (If applicable)
Description: Breath of the shapeshifters is the name of Yoru’s signature shapeshifting ability. Yoru is composed of a malleable black substance formed via Yin-Yang release. The substance has no fixed properties, meaning it takes on whatever properties the user and it’s creator desires. Yoru uses this ability to shapeshift into different animate and inanimate forms. The ability provides the user with a wide array of weapons. Yoru could stretch, expand and contract at will, as well as harden itself like high grade steel in order to act like an actual durable weapon. The shapeshifting ability is not limited to weapons however, Yoru is capable of taking the shape of an animal or beast as well extensions to the user’s body, like an extra pair of arms or functional wings. Yoru’s body also becomes an infinite supply of basic munitions such as shuriken and kunai, and as such allows Yoru to be used as a long range weapon such as a bow or even an adequate replacement for CFS and CW techniques or other weapon techniques if plausible. As for special munitions, such as explosive tags (whose properties yoru can’t replicate by itself), Yoru is capable of keeping a huge supply within itself without gaining mass. The user is able to draw objects from Yoru really fast and in quick succession, at the same speed as he would from a pocket. Similarly, Yoru’s ability to shapeshift into a different weapon is instantaneous and does not consume a move or chakra. However, moving back to humanoid form or in the shape of another creature always costs a move and 40 chakra. While in weapon form, Yoru is incapable of using the rest of its abilities, with the only exception being chakra transfer technique. If allowed the property, user is able to conduct chakra and energies into Yoru without harm, and Yoru is able to reciprocate. Yoru’s ability to adapt properties is also voided as a humanoid/creature, i.e. Electricity could be channeled into Yoru without harm as a weapon, but as a humanoid he would get hurt and paralyzed. When not in combat, Yoru is passively able to use this technique to shapeshift as an ornament, a tattoo or to simply hide in the user’s shadow.
The name Breath of shapeshifters implies, a power or energy bestowed upon by the (orginal) shapeshifters. The technique is jokingly called Tanuki no jutsu (Racoon-dog technique), a pun on it’s name, Tatazumai-no-ki. Tanuki in japanese lore are also renowned mischievous shapeshifters, with abilities that most closely resembles Yoru’s own.

(Meisaigakure no Jutsu) - Hiding with Camouflage Technique
Rank: A
Type: Supplementary
Range: Short
Chakra Cost: 30 (-10 per turn active)
Damage Points: N/A
Description: This is a ninja escape technique that allows the user after performing the Tiger hand seal to control how light is reflected around their body with chakra inflections. The technique also erases the user's scent and shadow, and is usable on any terrain, making it ideal not only for covert maneuvers but also offensive strikes. Perceiving the user's position is possible only for ninja who are astute enough to observe minute variations within their surrounding environment, such as distortions of air currents in the immediate vicinity or distinguishing sounds, i.e. footsteps etc. However, the usefulness of this ability can be entirely negated by those with special vision or sensory skills. The Second Tsuchikage, Mū's mastery of this technique helped earn him the moniker "Non-Person" seemingly having neither form nor chakra while the technique was active. Thus, he could not be sensed through traditional means.
Note: Technique lasts a total of 3 turns
-LLM-
 
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Coming from #129, Hachiman's Bulwark.




A familiar sight, if one partially tainted by a rushed departure, as he approached the gates of Otohime's Monastery, Shayde casually waved at the heavily armored Samurai guards as though they were good friends. From the grumbling, muffled by the Samurai's masks, they were not. But as they didn't impede his approach, nor prevent him from entering, it was clear they at least recognized him, as did some of the students within the courtyard, as a few heads turned at the arrival of yet another outsider, albeit one that had been inside before. After a few polite, if forced, head nods, Shayde made his way into the Monastery itself, pulling the post from his pocket as he did so.

A place to worship reflections
Here the sword is wisdom.
Its blade sharpened by insight.
The body matched by mind.

While it was nice too see one or two vaguely familiar faces, Shayde's was more occupied searching for the apparent gem from the flyers' description, however, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't find hide nor hair of a special "black gem". Looking at the piece of paper he had traveled half way across the Ninja World for on a whim, and a hollow promise of something he chuckled to himself, then snapped his fingers with the flyer between then, and swiftly burned it. As it evaporated into a sea of blue embers, Shayde casually strolled off to go properly say hello to some old-new friends.

(Ninpō: Ritomasu Fingā) Ninja Art: Litmus Finger
Type: Offensive/ Supplementary
Rank: E-Rank
Range: Short
Chakra: 5
Damage: 10
Description: This Jutsu was developed using the special paper Sensei possess to assess a Shinobi's Elemental Affinity as a basis. The user focuses Chakra in their finger/ hand and, by performing a small gesture that best represents the Element they wish to replicate, they produce a small, raw form of the desired Element. While this technique lacks any significant "punch", the technique itself can be used to attack the opponent in a variety of ways, making this Jutsu's true strength lie in it's users imagination. The following is a list of basic examples from the 5 Elemental Natures. Note that these are simply basic examples, and not the sole usages of the technique.

Fire: The user can snap their fingers, using the heat caused by the friction to make a "lighter" from their finger/ thumb. Other uses include low heat Fire's, such as Ash.

Wind: The user can twirl their finger around, using the rotation to create a mini-vortex on their fingertip. Other uses include basic variations of Wind, like small gusts or blades.

Lightning: The user can rub their fingers together, using the vibration to mimic a small electrical charge. Other uses include basic variations of Lightning.

Earth: The user can ball their hand into a fist, compressing their Chakra and make a small rock or pebble. Other uses include softer or lighter variations of Earth, such as mud, dirt or dust.

Water: The user can, using free-flowing movements with their finger, mimic the flow of Water Chakra and create a "stream" of Water in the air. Other uses include basic variants on the Water Element, such as syrup or oil.​

Note: Can only be taught by x iiiMPerFeCT.




Mission abandoned; "The Candidates, 1.5: The Mysterious Weapon Core".
 
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