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About TarotFlame

  • Rank
    Regular (16-29)

Character Information

  • Village Rank
  • Shinobi Rank
  • Experience
  1. Plot

    An hour passed slowly as people continued to fill the room, more people than the venue could comfortably hold. It wasn't long until people were squeezing between one another to get closer to the stage. The temperature in the room rose at least ten degrees from just the body heat alone. The crowding was worse up by the front of the stage. Everyone was eager for the event to start and were cramming themselves in as close as possible to the stage. Aoi himself was barely able to see the stage himself at this point thanks to his short stature. Thankfully, even from his vantage point, once the people came out on stage, he'd at least get a decent look of them. Finally, the stream of people came to an end and the guards made their way inside, barring the doors as they did. While a bit of an odd choice, considering the amount of people already inside and the sheer popularity of this event, it may have been just to prevent more from forcing their way in. A hush soon fell over the crowd as a small door at the back of the stage opened. From it emerged several characters clad in dark robes. They were fully clothed, head to toe to hide any distinguishing characteristics. At best, Aoi could just make out their genders but beyond that he had nothing. What was peculiar though, were the fact that these people were well armed and made no attempt to hide their weapons. "A show of power perhaps? They want to oppose shinobi so something like this might help raise the morale of the rally." Aoi pondered as one final figure emerged. This man bore a different attire from the others and once he made is appearance, a deathly silence fell over the crowd. Even the stray murmurs had ceased. This man was the leader without a doubt. From the moment he began speaking, it was as though a wave washed across the crowd. Even Aoi could feel it, though his words were calm and inviting, there was a cold, underlying malice he was all too familiar with. It was as though he was facing one of the instructors at The Facility again. A chill ran down his spine and a feeling of dread began to wash over him. The man continued his speech, the crowd hanging on his every word. He spoke of freedom and liberation from the oppressive Shinobi and power hungry Kage. From how he spoke, it was likely the man was a victim of a prior war, who saw the battlefield from the perspective of a non-combatant. Not that Aoi could feel any sympathy for him, regardless of his past he was now an enemy who threatened the order of Mizumura and for that, he would need to be eliminated. During this time, the crowd had managed to find their voices once again. Murmurs of agreement exploded into full on cheering and fervor as the speech went on. It appeared that many civilians in the village were displeased with their situation. There would likely be much blood shed before order could truly be returned. Eventually, two subordinates, also clad in black, emerged from the back stage dragging along a bound man, a shinobi of the village and despite his current appearance, Aoi could tell he was strong. Perhaps a Jonin. The fact that he had been captured helped highlight this group's strength, if even Jonin shinobi could be defeated by these people, then they indeed posed a serious threat to the village. His appearance, caused the crowd's energy to skyrocket to the point that they were practically frothing at the idea of violence. The speaker then proceeded to give a display of his own power. The crowd cheering on as the man's chakra, and life was drained away, absorbed into the masked man's being, leaving little more than a dried up husk behind. Not even wasting a moment, the man declared that tonight would be their first strike against the village The crowd's cheering became almost deafening as the man dropped the microphone and gazed up to the ceiling. Aoi could not hear what he said next over the crowd, but that chill returned and he immediately became aware of what was about to happen. He didn't even have the opportunity to move before the black clad ones dove into the crowd, brandishing their weapons and cutting down the nearest spectators. For the first few moments, the start of the slaughter went unnoticed by the crowd, still whipped up in their frenzy. It didn't take long however, for the people to realize what was going on. Exuberance turned to panic as people desperately tried to flee the attackers. Pushing and stepping on one another to little avail. The venue was so packed there was barely any space for most people to move. Although at the rate people were falling dead that would soon be alleviated. Most tried to get to the door, however, another fifteen assailants had taken up position and were mowing down the people indiscriminately. Some were trying to fight back, at least they would go out swinging. Most simply screamed and begged for mercy as they were cut down. Aoi had been lucky enough to avoid those that had jumped from the stage, they had landed a couple rows behind him but it wouldn't take long for them to turn about and kill the ones by the stage itself. At this point, the fact he had come unarmed was moot, hell it might have even given him a chance. Had he drawn his weapons, they would have undoubtedly taken him down to silence any potential threats. He needed some time to think, to try and find a way out of here. Escape was his top priority. His short stature would keep him hidden in the chaos for a time. Calling back to his time at The Facility and his training as an assassin, he erased his presence as much as he possibly could. Even so, he could only buy himself minutes at best. Ducking down, Aoi weaved through the panicking civilians, using this time to scout what he could of the area through the chaos. The leader had vanished, likely slipped backstage at some point. Trying to escape through the doors was suicide and the windows were likely being watched. Granted the windows were high up and out of reach for most normal people, attempting to exit that way would just reveal his status as a shinobi and make him a priority target. "Speaking of shinobi, there should be others here too. With luck, they could provide adequate distraction" Most shinobi of the village would not likely be able to stand by and let this many people be slaughtered. Aoi was not one of them. These people had dug their own graves and now had to lie in them. At the very least, their deaths could prove useful in aiding his escape. Still, he was left with little options. With the door securely guarded and the windows dangerous, the only other option he could see was to head backstage. Yet if the leader was still there, he'd have better luck with the front door. As it was he couldn't see a good way out. But perhaps that was the key. An idea quickly formed in his head, it was risky and borderline insane, but it was the best he had. "Here goes" Aoi muttered to himself as he formed three quick handsigns. Ram, snake, tiger. In the next instant, Aoi was enshrouded in a cloud of smoke that would undoubtedly get the attention of the assailants. From the cloud, five copies of Aoi charged out and scaled the walls, heading to the windows in an attempt to escape. Meanwhile, the real Aoi had used the cover of the smoke to hide himself under a few bodies. Fresh blood soaked into his hair and clothes, covering his body. There he remained deathly still and slowed his breathing, bringing his heart rate down with it. For now, he could only wait for a better opening to run for it, or for them to finish the killing and leave. Patience was key. Chakra: 100 - 5 = 95
  2. The simple fact that Utsubyō had allowed him to stand at all was a good sign that he believed Aoi's words, or at least, believed it was pointless to follow up on him right now. A wave of relief spread through Aoi, yet he could not relax. He wasn't out of the woods quite yet. Another crack of thunder, this one much louder, broke the short silence between the two. The police officer asking for Aoi's name as the boy turned away. "...Aoi. Aoi Shinkuu..." He replied flatly, not even turning to face Utsubyō as he spoke. Perhaps the chief of police would understand the meaning behind his last name, then again, perhaps not. It wasn't important anyway. Sliding his hands into his pockets, Aoi began walking down the path back towards the village center. Rain slowly began to fall as he did so. For now it was light, simply a few spits here and there but from the look of the clouds and the sound of the thunder, the village was in for one heck of a storm this evening. Once Aoi had moved out of sight of the park, he allowed himself to relax slightly. "That was too close. I still need a lot of training..." He scolded himself. This all could have been avoided if he had just been better at hiding his actions. Still, there was something to take away from this. He had met the chief of police in the village personally. It was an experience he could learn from. He was able to find areas he was still extremely weak in. "Guess it wasn't too bad overall..." Aoi muttered as the rain intensified. Picking up his pace, he made his way back to the shinobi barracks. It was time to start taking on some missions. [Exit]
  3. Plot

    Earlier this morning: It was around 3 am when the orders arrived. A time when the barracks were quiet and still, even Aoi himself had not been disturbed from his slumber. A testament to both the deliverer's skill and his own ineptitude. As usual, the white-haired boy rose at the crack of dawn, his bunk positioned in such a way that the rising sun would shine upon his face. Upon awaking, his hand slid under his pillow and that was how he noticed the small, masterfully folded paper underneath. As soon as his fingers brushed the paper, Aoi knew exactly what had happened. "Strange" He thought to himself. "This must be urgent" the last time he had met with a contact from The Facility, he had been informed that any future contact would cease until he had purchased an apartment for his personal use. The boy took a moment to quickly scan the room. The Genin who were still here were all fast asleep. Most not waking until at least 7 am from his previous observations. Some would awaken and leave earlier for various reasons, most commonly being missions. Quietly, he unfolded the pill-sized paper, revealing it to be a sheet about half that of standard paper in the village. It read as follows; New Assignment: At approximately 8 pm tonight, a secret rally shall be held in a discreet location of the village. Our intelligence agents have uncovered the location and the village officials are also aware of the event. This rally is in relation to recent propaganda posters that have disturbed the order of Mizumura. Your mission is to infiltrate the rally and gather information on the group behind this event. You are not to engage the organizers or participants. If your cover is revealed before you are able to gather sufficient information, you shall be dismissed. After completion, report to the officials of the village and give a full and detailed report. We shall acquire the information later. Dismissed Agent 87. Below his orders was information regarding the time and location of the rally and a note that civilians would be involved. Stating that those participating would have unraveled the secrets from the posters distributed beforehand. Once he had finished reading, Aoi refolded the paper and swallowed it. A standard method of destroying evidence of The Facility's work. Thankfully, this time there was no one around to question him about it. Going over his orders again in his mind, he recalled the incidents involving propaganda posters around the village. He had paid them little heed at the time as he had not been given orders to investigate them at the time. Now however, it appears the actions of those people were beginning to disturb the order of the village and that was something They could not allow. The fact that the village officials had taken notice as well meant there would undoubtedly be other shinobi at the rally. If the organizers were no fools, they would be well prepared and attempts at a stealthy infiltration would be difficult. Instead, Aoi had another idea. He'd enter the rally through the point where they were most vulnerable, the front door. With the rally open to the public, assuming they had uncovered the time and location, infiltration would be quite simple. He simply had to avoid drawing attention on himself. With a small sigh, the boy stood up from his bed and began to dress. He had about nine hours to prepare, and he intended to use them. Present: A short, dark haired boy stood in line outside a secret location in the village. His clothes were plain and slightly worn, a dark teal t-shirt over a long-sleeved white shirt covered his torso and his legs were covered by simple beige pants that were common among the populace. A mere four hours ago, this boy appeared completely different. It would be almost impossible for someone to identify him at a glance at this point. Aoi had used the day to completely change his appearance. Dying his hair black and slicking it back was the most important aspect. His white hair was a major focal point and made him easily identifiable. The rest of the day had been spent finding the right set of clothes and applying make-up to change his complexion. The end result was a boy who appeared to have been through some rough times. Finally, he added a scarf around his neck with the same colours that had appeared on the poster. While out shopping, he had overheard some gossip and rumours involving people wanting to show their support for the organizers. Doing so himself might grant him some additional clout to aid his infiltration, at least with the crowd. Two figures were the only guards watching the entrance, like bouncers at a club. From a glance, Aoi could tell they were strong, at least physically. The figures were heavy built and even in the dark Aoi could see the muscles of their silhouettes. Whether they were capable of fighting against trained shinobi was unknown but their presence would be enough to cow the average person. As his turn came to pass through the doors, Aoi was instructed to raise his hands for a pat down, not that they would find anything. All the boy had on him were his clothes. Even his knives were left behind for just such a reason. His disguise was that of a civilian, there was no reason to carry a knife to an event like this. Not to mention these guys were very thorough in their search. It was unlikely, no matter how hard he attempted to hide the weapons, they he'd have snuck them past the guards. During the search, he scrunched his face to indicate discomfort with being touched but said nothing. After a few seconds, the guards waved him through and he made his way inside. The room inside was quite small, a few lights illuminated the stage where several microphones stood. The people who had already entered had formed into several group and were talking among one another. While there was still some room to move about, from the line outside this place would soon become quite cramped. It would be best for the boy to find a position near the stage for now. He wouldn't stand in the front row, instead remain a few rows back and attempt to blend in with the people as they arrived. In addition, he placed himself closer to the side of the stage he believed the organizers would emerge from. Even through the crowd's murmur he could hear voices coming from behind the stage. Still, it was too difficult to make out their words. The important part would be presented on stage. He'd learn the organizations stated goals and from there, he'd have to see how the rally goes.
  4. Aoi simply shook his head and released an exhausted sigh. This man was extremely persistent, perhaps giving him information he had been wanting wasn't the best idea. Perhaps he should have taken the jail time. At worst he'd have gotten a small smack on the wrist. Its not like they'd be able to extract any drugs from him anyway. Now he had the officer's full attention and possibly had placed himself in more danger from The Facility. Still, the man was under the impression this was an elaborate drug ring and Aoi was determined to keep it that way. "I'm just a tool. No more, no less. Its pointless to ask more from me.". The boy finally replied flatly as his gaze wandered to the horizon. Thunder began to rumble overhead and the various citizens in the park took notice. Parents began gathering up their children and couples hastened their pace. Aoi slowly raised his head to the gray skies as a bolt of lightning flashed through the clouds. "A tool without a use is just trash. I'm going to head back now, before it rains" With that, Aoi would attempt to stand and simply walk away. Cursing himself internally for his multitude of mistakes.
  5. Well, that certainly wasn't the expected response. Aoi had figured that the Chief of Police would have tried pressing him for more information. Perhaps he had a soft spot for kids. Or perhaps he took it as a shot to his pride when Aoi had said he'd be dead if arrested, insinuating his subordinates and himself would be unable to keep him alive. However, it did appear that Utsubyō was finally taking him seriously. Still, he was certainly a fool. Simply believing himself to be one of the strongest ninja in the village, whether true or not, already made him vulnerable to Them. There was a million and one ways to get to someone housed in police security, many of which didn't even involve their presence. To them, anyone could become a tool, Aoi had just been one they preferred. "It wouldn't matter. You could have the Mizukage himself standing outside the cell and I still wouldn't see daylight" There was still not a single note of emotion or duress in Aoi's voice. Just cold, hard fact. Even though he spoke of his own death, there was not even a twinge of fear on his person. As though it was a fact he accepted long ago. In a way, he had. It was something drilled into him at The Facility since his arrival. Life is cheap, his, even cheaper. Death is around every corner and will take you away at a moment's notice. A tool need not fear death, a tool need not fear at all. For if death comes, it meant the tool's worth was expired. And yet, deep down, there was still something pushing him forward. Something he constantly tried to forget. The last words of his friend still stirred his soul and even now, pushed him to escape this situation. "I knew you'd survive..."
  6. It appeared that Utsubyō was running out of patience. Perhaps it was the fact that he was avoiding the subject but not outright lying. Extinguishing his cigarette in frustration and sitting himself beside Aoi. He essentially laid out an ultimatum for the boy, either come clean or things would start getting difficult. "Stubborn bastard..." Aoi thought, he just wasn't going to let this quit. Perhaps he should have bought some candies from one of the market stalls. Then he could say that this was all a misunderstanding. "I was foolish, unprepared. This village made me weak". Back in The Facility, he would never have made such obvious mistakes. Should he get out of this, he would certainly have to redouble on his efforts. Aoi lowered his head, staring down at his feet and fell silent for a few moments. Using this time to analyze Utsubyō's words and come up with his next plan of attack. The only thing that stood out was the Chief's mention of a drug. Perhaps he was under the impression this was a drop? "That could work" Aoi thought has he took in a long, deep breath. As he did, his face lost all semblance of emotions, becoming cold and stiff as he dropped his persona. "Just drop it" The boy finally replied, his voice cold and steady. "Let me go, please. I'm already in enough danger." Aoi paused for a moment, allowing his words to sink in. "I never wanted any of this, but I have no choice. If you still want to arrest me, go ahead. I'll be dead by morning". Once again, nothing he said was a lie, and without his false persona, there would be even less for the chief to pick up on. He wouldn't likely take this information lightly and get more aggressive, Aoi's time was running out.
  7. Well, that certainly confirmed Aoi's suspicions that this was another test. There was no doubt this meeting had been set up specifically to overlap with Utsubyō's patrol path. Everything was a test with Them. What use was a tool that couldn't complete it's task? "I will not fail here. I will survive". Leaning back into the bench, Aoi relaxed his body, letting it rest in a more comfortable position. Utsubyō, while being accommodating, was still suspicious of him, after all. As he took another drag from the cigarette, Aoi's gaze shifted focus to the small smoke trail ascending into the air. The scent of tobacco assaulted his senses drudging up memories of old. Back to the days before The Facility, before he became a tool. The caretaker was almost always seen with a cigarette in her possession. She was a kind woman, always looking out for the children. And yet she sold him and the others to Them. "Another lifetime..." Aoi reminded himself, shaking off the past. When Utsubyō next spoke however, a chill shot through the air. Aoi knew he wouldn't let the matter slip by so easily, but he could tell that he was on thin ice. If Aoi wanted to get out of here safely, he'd need to play it safe and choose his words carefully. For the moment, he could still keep the act up, but it would be a good idea to have a backup plan in the works. "Well... truth be told..." Aoi began, lowering his head and tilting his gaze so he could see the busy market streets in the distance. "I've never been too good with crowds. I was trying to get over it today but... It was a bit much... hehehe" Scratching the back of his head, Aoi kept face down for now. While nothing he had said had been a lie, it was spoken under a false personality. For now, all he could do was wait on a response and take it from there. Running wasn't an option, Utsubyō had the advantage in terms of speed, not to mention he was standing within arm's reach anyway. Hopefully he could talk his way out of this.
  8. It appeared his choice to remain in this park was a mistake. The meeting had been spotted, and by perhaps the worst possible person. Strolling towards Aoi's location was Utsubyō , the Chief of Police for Mizumura. Before integrating into the village, Aoi had the names, faces and occupations of all the big players in the village. They would be the ones to watch out for most. Still, why was he here now? Was it just a random coincidence that brought him to this park? No, the meeting must have been set up as such in order for this to happen. It was another test. If he couldn't bluff his way out of this situation, than future infiltration would be impossible. Not only that, if he were to be imprisoned, They would ensure he would not be around to reveal any information. Possessing a year of experience building his persona, Aoi was confident in his skill at passing as an average village member. Still, this was the Chief of Police. He was well trained at sniffing out lies. "I just need to relax. Act as I always do". He thought to himself. For now, he payed the approaching officer no mind, gazing off into the park, a soft smile on his face. Once Utsubyō had stopped before him, Aoi looked up at the man. "Oh! Good afternoon!" Aoi's voice perky and full of energy as he spoke. Utsubyō however, did not respond. Instead he took a long drag from his cigarette before blowing a smoke ring at the boy's face. While the officer spoke in a jesting voice, it was clear that the meeting was seen. Aoi certainly understood the need for a safe, private space for future meetings. Waving a hand across his face to dissipate the smoke, Aoi responded with a few light coughs and a laugh. "Sheesh when you put it that way, it sounds disgusting". Rather than telling an obvious lie, Aoi hoped he could try and divert the topic with some jokes. Even so, it would take a great amount of luck to get through this. "Say, aren't you Utsubyō? What's up Chief?" Aoi continued smiling as he leaned forward on the bench, appearing attentive and somewhat excited to be meeting such a high ranking shinobi.
  9. The weather was a lovely grey overcast, the clouds threatening rain but not a drop had fallen yet. Not that rain was an alien concept here, this was the Water Village after all. Despite this, the park was as lively as ever. Young children were playing happily with their parents while some older couples enjoyed a short stroll. Off in the distance was the market district. Even from here the murmur of the crowds could be heard. It was from here that Aoi emerged and made his way into the park. It had been just over a year since he had integrated himself into the village and while things had gone well enough so far, he was still not used to so many people clustered into a single area. It left him on edge and vulnerable. Two things that were unacceptable. The park was a place he could go to calm his mind. Although that was not his only reason for being here, the other day he had been informed to sit at a specific bench at exactly 3:47 pm. There he would meet a contact who would pass on his next orders. It had been some time since They had contacted him, not since he was released from the facility and made a genin of Mizumura. Currently he just had to blend in and appear to be just another ninja of the village. Perhaps it was time to move to the next stage. "Good afternoon!" Aoi said with a smile and a bit of a perk in his voice as a young couple crossed his path. The woman giggled slightly at his enthusiasm and the man replied with a simple "You too". Once they had passed however, Aoi payed them no more heed of mind. They were unimportant, mere civilians. As another minute passed, the bench Aoi was seeking came into view. The boy instantly understood why this particular seat was selected for the meet up. It was centered under a tree a good ways from the more populated park areas. In addition, a couple small bushes had grown around the area, further obscuring any actions that may happen. Seating himself, Aoi knew he simply had to wait. In the distance, he spotted four children playing together with a ball. While they simply kicked it back and forth, they appeared to be quite enjoying themselves. Within the white haired boy's heart, memories began to stir. Memories of times long gone, memories of an unforgivable sin. Closing his eyes, Aoi slowly exhaled the remaining air from his lungs, forcing the unwanted memories back into the void. Like the couple earlier, they were unimportant. Memories of a dead child. Several minutes passed before an old man hobbled by. From his actions, he appeared to not even notice the thin lad seated beside him. Yet as he crossed, a small paper dropped from his kimono. Aoi wasted no time, understanding this was the meeting he had been waiting for, His foot snapped out the moment the paper hit the ground, pulling it towards him. He then waited for a few moments to pass before reaching down and retrieving the item. The paper was precisely folded and no larger than most pills. Carefully, he unfolded it, the total size smaller than his palm, the writing minuscule. "Your next objective is to purchase an apartment of your own. Contact is too high risk without a safe house to ensure privacy. Orders shall resume upon purchase of estate." With the orders received, the next step for Aoi was to dispose of the paper. Folding it back to how it was when he acquired it, Aoi quickly slipped the paper into his mouth and swallowed. It appeared to be time to start accepting the Genin missions. He planned to visit the board later and see what was available. For now however, the weather was cool and was not likely to rain yet. He could afford to spare a few more minutes here.
  10. Update Type | Purchasing Equipment Update Name | Starting Weapons Update Training | -- Update Cost/Pay | Assassin's Daggers x2 = 300+300=600 Assassin's Throwing Knives x2 = 200+200=400 Total Ryo Spent: 1200 Current Ryo: 1300 Total Ryo Earned: 2500 Update Links | Assassin's Daggers Assassin's Throwing Knives
  11. Name | Assassin's Throwing Knife Type | Projectile - Sub-Type | Thrown Ranking | D Material(s) | Iron Dimensions | Length: 10cm | 4 in Nature | -- Appearance | A small knife with a triangular shaped blade. The majority of the weapon's length is devoted to the blade at 8cm, while the remaining two form a very small hilt with a crossbar at the end so it can be gripped with two fingers. The edges are slightly serrated, making them more difficult to remove upon hitting. Abilities | -- Description | Designed exclusively for throwing, these knives are slightly more aerodynamic than the standard kunai and despite their shape, most of the weight is focused towards the tip of the blade. Serrated edges cause minor damage when removed. Availability | public Requirements | -- Ryo Cost | 200
  12. Name | Assassin's Dagger Type | Dagger - Sub-Type | One-Handed/Thrown Ranking | C Material(s) | Steel Dimensions | Length: 30cm | 11.8 inches Nature | -- Appearance | A simple, steel curved dagger. The handle is wrapped in soft, black cloth to help soften blows. The hilt itself is just large enough to be held in one hand while the remaining length of the weapon is dedicated to the blade. While both sides of the blade are sharp, the outer edge of the curve has a much larger cutting surface. Abilities | -- Description | -- Availability | Public Requirements | -- Ryo Cost | 300
  13. Name | Aoi Shinkuu Nickname | -- Title Name | -- Gender | Male Age | 14 Home Link | Aoi Shinkuu Village | Mizumura Clan | -- Village Ranking: | Genin Shinobi Ranking | C Rank Element(s) | Primary: Water Specialties | Primary: Bukijutsu Secondary: Bloodline | -- Chakra | 100 Stamina | 100 Jutsu | Equipment | Forms | Creatures/Summons | Styles | Mentors & Pupils | Friends & Family | Recent History |
  14. Damn, that was a looooooooooooong time ago. Sup!
  15. Name | Aoi (Shinkuu) Nickname | -- Title Name | -- Gender | Male Age | 14 Birth Date | Sept. 26 Hair Color | White Eye Color | Sky Blue Height | 162cm | 5'3" Weight | 64kg | 141 lbs Appearance | Upon first glance, most people would assume Aoi to be a frail child. Weighing in at a mere 64 kilos, his body is on the thin side but not to the point of appearing unhealthy. Upon further inspection, one would find a body honed for dexterity and quick movements. While he has muscle, it is not as well defined as one would be were they to prioritize physical might. Being naturally pale, his skin is a fair white, marred by the many scars on his torso and back. A lasting reminder of his training. His snow-white hair is kept short and spiked back, although a bit of it is combed over to the right near his forehead. His eyes are a bright, almost unnatural sky blue, yet always appear to have a hollowness to them. Aoi is most often seen in his shinobi attire consisting of thigh length black boots and pale blue pants. A similarly coloured cloak drapes over his shoulders and when not on a mission, is often worn as a cape. Underneath, a simple protective vest covers the majority of his scars. His headband is sown into the cloak and sits at the neckline. When entering combat, Aoi will cover his face with part of his cloak, concealing his face from the nose down. Several knives are concealed over various parts of his body, although two are constantly visible from his waist. Village | Mizumura Clan | -- Village Ranking: | Genin Shinobi Ranking | C Rank Element(s) | Primary: Water Specialties | Primary: Bukijutsu (Beginner) Bloodline | -- Favorable | Foods, cooking, cool weather, quiet Unfavorable | Hot weather, failure, crowds, wasting food Personality | When asked, most people would describe Aoi as an easy going, absent-minded but cheerful young lad. He always tries to find the good in a situation and greets everyone with a cheery laugh. Yet anyone who has fought alongside the white-haired youth would have seen a disturbingly different side. Whenever Aoi raises his cloak to conceal his face, everything about him changes. Gone is the bright and cheerful boy and in its place, a cold-hearted soldier. What many don't know is that this is far closer to the true Aoi. Having been conditioned since his early childhood to be an assassin, Aoi's true emotions have long been sealed away. His happy-go-lucky persona is nothing more than an act, something he considers part of his training to further his skill at infiltration. The only time any aspect of his true self emerge are when he finds some downtime to cook. Cooking allows him to relax and drop the masks. During these times he is melancholic, but peaceful. A strange serenity surrounds him and infuses itself into his cooking, resulting in meals that soothe the body and soul. Philosophy & Beliefs | Be quick, be efficient and never put good food to waste. The mission comes before all. History & Background | Aoi never knew his parents, in fact no one did. He simply appeared one day at the door of an orphanage, wrapped in a pale blue blanket. After being taken in, things were uneventful for the first few years. By the age of four however, he had still not been adopted and that was when his life would change forever. Shortly after his fourth birthday, Aoi found himself being 'purchased' alongside several other children his age by a tall, scarred man dressed in black. His own memories of this time are hazy, but the man was a representative of a branch of the ANBU black ops not officially supported by the village. They would, on occasion, gather up stray children and train them to be assassins, and Aoi had just been recruited. Being an orphan, no one would miss him and the orphanage received a considerable payment to keep the transaction secret. From then on he was the property of the nameless faction. He was granted the surname Shinkuu meaning 'empty' to forever remind him of what he was. Empty, no emotions, no connections. He was a tool to protect the village by any means necessary, even from itself if need be. From then on he was trained, day in and day out, to become a weapon. A honed blade that strikes only at its target and leaves a clean wound. During his training he was grouped together with three other children from his orphanage. Suzaku, Gil and Ami. The four grew close over the years, not having any other family only strengthened their bonds. Together they lifted each other's spirits and survived the hellish training they were subjected to. Their supervisors took notice of their bonds and encouraged them to grow. Something the children should have found strange, but were too young to realize it. Upon Aoi's twelfth birthday, the tall man returned for the first time since buying them. He said there was one last test for them to complete and from there they could leave the facility and begin the second phase. What this test or the second phase entailed, none of them knew, but what they did know is that they would be allowed to leave the facility and be granted a small home in the village. It was a small freedom to be sure, but it certainly was better than the caves and metal rooms they had grown up in. There was an air of excitement emanating from the friends, excitement and for the first time, hope for the future. Then came the test. The four were taken to the sparring room, a large enclosed area where the walls were plated with steel and the doors reinforced to ensure they could not try to flee. A single window stood about 10 meters above the floor acting as the observation room. Aoi had never seen who was observing them, but sometimes, he thought he could make out the silhouettes of three people. Each one of the kids took their spot in the corners of the room, a conditioned response whenever entering this place, when a voice boomed to life. "You all have done well to get here. This is your final test. Only the best of the best can become a weapon for the village. If you wish to leave this room, you must kill the others. Should you refuse, the room shall be flooded with gas and you will all die. Begin". For a moment, all of them stood in shock. Memories of their years together flashed before their eyes, paralyzing them in horror. A full minute passed with no one moving and the voice boomed once more. "Very well". With that, a green mist began to emerge from small vents from the floor. It was then that Suzaku, the oldest of the group, turned and charged at Aoi. Instinct and training moved his body, raising a blade in defense as Suzaku's katana stabbed at his throat. As the blades clashed, Suzaku leaned in close and whispered to Aoi. "Only one of us can get out of here, its better than all of us dying. Fight Aoi! Let's prove these years weren't for nothing!". On the other side of the room, Gil and Ami had also begun their clash. Those two were more proficient in jutsu than Suzaku and Aoi who excelled at physical combat. At least this way the pairings were a bit more even. Still, having to fight his best friend left Aoi's mind scrambled. His body reacting to Suzaku's attacks but unable to capitalize on any errors or go on the offensive. The gas continued filling the room, mixing with the scent of blood and ash. Sparks flying as blades collided. Blood ran down Aoi's brow where Suzaku had grazed him, blinding his left eye. "Is that it?" Suzaku taunted "Well, I guess I'll put an end to this". Gripping his katana in both hands, the blade began to glow before several electric sparks emerged. "Goodbye Aoi" With those last words, Suzaku charged, his eyes cold and dead. In that instant, Aoi's mind became clear, everything just washed away and his movements swift and precise. He had seen this attack countless times before, even helped Suzaku craft it. As Suzaku attacked, he swung upwards, a bolt of lightning emanating from the blade. Pirouetting on the spot, Aoi spun to the left of Suzaku. He always left his left side open with this attack, relying on his opponent's natural instincts to move backwards to dodge the attack and striking them with the lightning. Following through the momentum of his spin, Aoi's knife pierced through Suzaku's back, striking the heart. Time froze then as Suzaku said his last words "Nice work Aoi, I knew you'd... survive... I'm...going on... ahead...". With that, his body fell limp and Suzaku died. Blood dripped from his knife as Aoi looked upon the corpse of his friend. He knew who he was, what they had been through together, yet now, looking at his lifeless body, Suzaku felt like a stranger. In fact, Aoi felt nothing anymore. The new killer found himself raising his shirt over his nose, concealing his face as he turned to Gil and Ami. The two were tired from throwing out so many jutsu but still fighting. Ami was the first to fall. Aoi descended upon her like a bat out of hell, slicing into her throat and severing the artery. Her death was quick, cold before she hit the ground. Gil could do nothing but look on in horror for how cold blooded a manner Aoi had just murdered their friend. With a wild cry of frustration, anger and sorrow, Gil focused his chakra and began forming the handseals for a powerful fire jutsu. In terms of sheer destructive power, Gil had always been the top, but his emotions betrayed him and left him open. As he was forming the seals, Aoi drew a throwing knife and launched it, embedding itself in Gil's right hand and interrupting his jutsu. His cry of pain lasted only half a second as Aoi charged forth, his knife slipping clean between Gil's ribs. Tears streamed down his face as he choked out one word "W...Why...?" before the lights of his eyes faded and he too, fell limp. Upon Gil's death, the gas stopped and the door opened. "Congratulations" The voice boomed "You have passed the final test. Now we can begin the second phase. Report to the meeting room after you've cleaned up". Lowering his shirt, Aoi took one last look at the strangers on the floor. Just corpses and nothing more. Phase two involved sending Aoi out to adapt to life in the village. Being isolated for so long left his social skills lacking. For several months his supervisors taught him social norms and had him craft an acceptable persona before granting him a small apartment in Mizumura Village and forging him a Genin certification. Now, at the age of fourteen he has had some time to acclimate to village life, yet is still under supervision of his owners. New Prison, same rules.