The Naruto RPG

Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)
Page 3 of 3

Author:  Shikaji [ Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Rei's affirmations caused Shingen's heart to flutter softly. Maybe it was just childish thinking, but he really did have the best senpai in the world. Having such fun, exciting moments with her, such as this, made him lament the fact that his assignment was only a temporary one. Soon they would be countries apart again, as they had been before they had met. Shingen pushed those thoughts to the back of his head, deciding that this happy moment wasn't a time for such sad thoughts. He didn't want these precious memories to be tainted by his own melancholy. He would have to save that for another time.

Instead, his eyes were glued to the sky, as his ears picked up the vague screeching of fireworks, as little projectiles shot up into the air, before popping and filling the air with showers of green, blue, and red sparks. It was a decidedly beautiful scene, as evidenced by the cheering from the crowd of assembled villagers. After a few larger fireworks, including a beautiful white and gold one, there was a large round of applause. Then, the show ended, and a peaceful silence fell over the village.

Shingen cast a sidelong glance at Rei. She was, objectively, just as beautiful of a sight as the fireworks, if not more-so. "Hey, Rei..."

I love you.

"The fireworks sure are pretty, huh?"

Author:  Junko [ Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Light bloomed in the sky shortly after a long whistle, a sharp crack accompanying the sudden flash of color. The bright explosions reflected in her azure pools as she gazed at the sky. The murmurs of the crowd, the occasional whoop or gasp from a child, and the crackling of the fireworks mixed into a background noise that accompanied the show. For a smaller village, they had really put something nice together. The entire thing was not long, taking no more than four or five minutes at most, but the final few bright gold and white showering sparks were breathtaking. She remained looking up at the sky for a long moment after it ended, as though if she didn't look away, it wouldn't stop. She didn't want it to stop. Lips parted slightly, breath shallow, Rei played those last few bright bursts in her mind's eye a few times before her attention was caught by her name, and she reluctantly pulled her eyes toward Shingen.

His face did not reveal everything, but it let enough through that she could get a vague sense that he hadn't meant to say what he did. Any real girl would kiss him. "They chose well," she replied, looking away suddenly and standing. "We should get back." Her fingers lingered in his hand for a long moment, but she was moving briskly - not so fast as to merit the title powerwalking, but in that purposeful stride she was known for. Don't, Shingen. Not me. Find a real person. Find a Light. I hate the Dark, but I am of the Dark.

Head turned from her companion, a single finger reached up and efficiently, briskly wiped just below the eye, flicking away some bit of wetness. For her, at least, her fears had just come true.

I'll only consume you.

Author:  Shikaji [ Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Winter, 812 A.S.
~12 Months Ago~

Adrenaline pumped through Shingen's veins. He felt lightheaded and nauseous. He had planned for today to be such a good day, but ever since this morning he had run into nothing but a myriad of troubles. His original plan was, having finally built up enough courage, to confess his feelings to senpai. He was finally going to tell Rei how he felt about her. Regardless of how she reacted, what it meant for the future, or even the fact that he was soon to leave and return to Suna, he needed to tell her. In-fact, it was because he was soon to return to his home that he had to tell her. He felt like he would die if he left with his feelings unsaid. However, when he awoke his morning and crammed down a small breakfast, excitedly leaving the mess-hall to hunt down the garrison commander, she was nowhere to be seen. After asking around, he was informed that she had left the garrison today, likely on some kind of mission.

That dampened Shingen's mood, but he steeled himself to tell her upon her return. However, bad news travels quickly, and before Rei had returned, a Sunagakure messenger had arrived at the base, requesting Shingen's immediate return to the Suna outpost. Obviously shocked, the chuunin had demanded to know the cause of his sudden reassignment, and he was individually informed of his sensei's defeat and near death at the hands of a mysterious figure wearing a fox mask.

The knowledge that his sensei, the giant of a man, so intimidating and overbearing, who projected such an air of invincibility, could be defeated, was soul-crushing to the chuunin. His hero wasn't unbeatable. But more than that, his mentor had been harmed, nearly killed. According to the rumors relayed by the messenger, they weren't even sure if Kyousuke would survive the night. Despite assurances from the messenger that those were just baseless rumors, it did little to ease Shingen's pain. He choked back his tears, his hands shaking at his sides.

Are you not a tiger? Asked the creature in his head, a condescending purr in her voice. She knew what the boy was thinking.

So what if I am? If the old man can't beat the fox, how can I?

Kukuku, I'll lend you some of my power, boy. Go show the world that the tiger trumps the fox.

That was all that Shingen needed to hear.

He left the Konoha base-camp, though he was not returning to the Sunagakure base-camp, as the messenger directed. Instead, weightless, the chuunin hurtled through the snow-topped trees that dotted the mountains, looking for any signs of battle. If nothing else, Kyousuke wasn't subtle when he fought a battle. There would often be signs if he were pushed to the limit.

As little droplets of moisture fell to the ground, having cascaded off of Shingen's cheeks, he gave in to the voice in his head, willing to trade everything that he had in his pursuit of vengeance. A blue aura surrounded him, cloaking him, a blue tail swishing back and forth behind him. He forsook his blue eyes for an eye of green and an eye of gold, while his teeth became fangs and his nails became claws. He could feel the voice's power coursing through him.

The chuunin screamed into the evening mountain air, letting his voice echo off of the trees and the mountaintops, issuing his challenge. "FOX! THE TIGER IS HERE FOR YOU," cried the jinchuuriki, his voice deeper, and bestial. "YOUR LIFE IS FORFEIT."

Wait for me, senpai. I'll be back soon, to tell you how I feel.

Author:  Junko [ Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)


Warm mist left the Fox’s mouth as shoulders rose and fell rhythmically, betraying her taxed energy reserves. Leaning back against a tree, she closed her eyes momentarily, turning her face toward the sky, and let the pounding rush of blood in her head soothe slightly. When crimson and black eyes opened once more, she could see grey and black with pinpoints of white through the dark branches of the trees. She wasn’t sure who that man was, but he had stood in her way and thus had to be removed before she could assassinate her target – which still lived. He was likely to bleed out, though she hadn’t guaranteed his death. Perhaps she should have – he had an ability to obliterate anything he could successfully target, and had nearly done so to her. The freezing night air didn’t bother the darkly clad Fox. She was sweating, after all, and radiated heat. Silky hair pressed against the bark of the tree, no doubt collecting little pieces of dead wood and leaf that would stick there until she decided to at the very least brush it, but she didn’t move, instead conserving energy in case an ally of that dangerous man from before – or the man himself – tracked her here. As she gazed up into the night, ears strained to hear any sound of approach, something flashed across her vision. Something familiar.

Shin-kun…but what is he…? she thought to herself, momentarily startled from her mission mindset by the young man’s movement. The Fox held still for a long few seconds before hearing a rush of wind and the keening of unrestrained chakra. Trees groaned and bent, snow on the ground evaporated where it wasn’t blown away, and alarm chilled through the assassin. If she could be seen as a battering ram, a Jinchuuriki properly releasing his power was like a siege engine. The Fox’s goals were clear. She still had to go through the area ahead. She still had to get to her target. She couldn’t let a rampaging demon host tear the forest apart looking for her while she did so, either. With the smallest grunt of effort, the Fox stepped away from the tree, turned, and leapt up into it. She landed on a branch with the practiced ease of the ninja, and began to move in the direction that Shingen had even as he bellowed his challenge. What? Am I why he’s here? she thought in confusion. If such were the case, things were even more dire.

Finally landing in the tree behind the enraged Jinchuuriki, a somewhat safe ten meters back from him in the center of the clearing he had just made, the Fox paused. I can disrupt his seal, she thought to herself. Delaying the fight then makes Shingen a non-threat thereafter. He’ll be dead, she coldly thought to herself. The result was a shudder. She dropped from the branch silently, landing in a crouch and slowly standing.

The Fox stalked left, her skintight white camouflage hugging her form as she padded silently across the snow, her mask expressionless. She was wordless, and while not completely silent was as quiet as one could be when treading across the top of fresh powder. When finally she set foot upon the wet ground itself, nearer to Shingen, she paused, and tilted her head up, chin lifted, as though the diminutive warrior was looking down on him. Be on your guard. He will attack – I have to respond with the Hachimon, or I am through. The timing must be perfect.

Author:  Shikaji [ Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

It took several moments of stalking through the forest before the tiger had found his prey. The otherwise otherworldly silence was perverted by the loud raging of an angry beast, as Shingen screamed in rage and frustration every time he came upon a clearing, only for his prey to have eluded him. His anger was blinding him, and his hatred was seething. The very fact that his screams of rage could allow for his quarry to more easily escape him was completely lost on the raving chuunin. However, he was fortunate enough that his prey had decided to seek him out, instead.

Because of his rage, his fear, and his anger, his senses were dulled. The fox was able to approach the tiger, and get quite close, before Shingen had even noticed. It was not until she was only meters away that he became aware of her presence. The snow proved to be his ally; no matter how hard one tried, the white powder made complete stealth almost impossible without some kind of outside assistance.

Our prey has come to us. What shall you do? Teased the feline, her tail flicking side to side, causing Shingen's own tail of chakra to do the same.

Shingen turned on his heels, wheeling himself around to face the masked assailant. For a moment, her spectral beauty caught him off guard, but his anger returned, fiercer than ever. The figure's beauty reminded him of Rei, though the masked form could not hope to compete with the Uchiha's ethereal perfection. The very sight of a would-be importer only fanned Shingen's anger, reminding him of what this trip was keeping him away from.

"KILL," Shingen roared, answering the Nibi's teasing question. The jinchuuriki launched off his back foot, hurtling himself towards the fox at full speed. He felt chakra rush to his clawed fist, preparing a fearsome punch to be delivered to his foe. There was little he wanted now than to crush his foe's skull, to sunder the bone into pieces and splatter their brain across the snowscape.

Someone... Save me...

Chakra Enhanced Strength - B-rank (1/4th cost)

Strength: Masterful
Constitution: Average, Major Advantage
Stamina: Masterful
Agility: Legendary, Major Advantage
Dexterity: Average, Major Advantage
Wisdom: Average

Chakra Remaining: 98.33%

Author:  Junko [ Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

He was so…angry. The Fox rarely had the luxury of such emotion, and to see it unbridled, unleashed at her would have hurt Rei had the Fox not decided already to reclassify him from student and friend to obstacle. When he turned, the face of the boy she had known, whom she remembered wanting to kiss, was twisted in pain and rage. He paused, seeming surprised by her approach, but then his rage returned, and voice reverberated in the trees. It was cold, but here there was warmth, radiating out from the Jinchuuriki as he gathered his power, and the Fox welcomed it as snow flurried about them. The falling flakes reacted to the flow of chakra in the air, curling about and making the lines of Matatabi’s power clear until they came too close, and melted into water streams which quickly lost their shape. Red and black watched him, and she saw the movement coming ahead of his actual kick off. The tenseness of the muscles, the bend of the knee and ankle, the turn of the hip…the way his foot crunched in the snow. Black and white.


There was a certain block in the brain that prevented one from harming themselves through activity. This was the thing that made one realize the limit of their strength and seem unable to push past it. There is, however, a certain signal that can be sent, a neuron that can fire which will disable this block and allow one to use all of their strength at once – even physically unimpressive persons could, with such an ability, seem superhuman. It had been said that anyone could have the strength of a Kage when able to locate and activate such a thing, and the training to do so was unforgiving. One could kill themselves when learning to use one hundred percent of their ability, rip their body apart and make themselves unable to move again. They could easily burst their heart or crush their own bones under the force of a blow. Such a technique was dangerous to the user, and thus it had been labeled Kinjutsu by the Hokage of old – but still the secret was taught, preserved, and used by Konoha’s most dedicated defenders…and their assassins. The Fox flexed as Shingen came toward her, muscles tensing as her eyes predicted his motion. He really was trying to kill her – the blow would come to the head, and the concentration of chakra there would make it a nasty strike indeed.

A burst of energy poured from the girl, like a switch had been turned on that opened a shutter on her own power. Snow blew away from her as, silent, the Fox pivoted on her right foot, turning the left of her body away from the outstretched fist and letting the harmful portions of his attack fall a whisper from her mask. Counter came quickly, her right arm already raising as he passed by on the left, pivot carrying her to face the Tiger as she brought her forearm down. The blow was designed to shatter the spine, but the Darkeater did not believe that it would be so simple against the Niibi Jinchuuriki. There were more differences between Shingen’s beloved Senpai and the Fox, however – Rei had seemed content to let him come to her over and over, but the Fox pressed the attack, spinning with the momentum of her dodge and attempting to grab the boy’s shirt. Assuming success, her next assault would be a kick to the tailbone and a ripping maneuver to remove it. The Fox needed to see his seal’s location.

Gate of Opening
Strong Fist Style – D-rank upkeep halved
Iron Body Style – S-rank activation halved

Stamina Remaining: 92.05%

Strength: Epic
Constitution: Legendary
Stamina: Masterful
Dexterity: Epic (Minor Advantage)
Agility: Legendary (Minor Advantage)
Wisdom: Masterful (Epic Precognition)]

Author:  Shikaji [ Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

With a sickening crack, Rei's strike connected with Shingen's spine, shattering the bone and its many vertebrae into pieces. The jinchuuriki's body contorted at a weird angle, slumping forward at an almost ninety-degree angle, having no spine to support his weight. The followup was swift, a blow to the tailbone as Rei ripped Shingen's blue-black shirt from his form, revealing the boy's customized seal, which manifested as six black bars, beginning at his shoulderblades and following his now-shattered spine down his back. The jinchuuriki was limp for a moment, aside from slight twitching and odd contorting. However, the jinchuuriki's form suddenly snapped to attention, bending and moving despite the broken bones, pushing his leg against one of the tree branches, and launching himself away from his foe, landing in the dark, snow-covered underbrush of the forest floor below.

In Shingen's mind, he felt fear. Regret for his choices. Is this what his recklessness and earned him? A swift, pitiful death? Tears pooled at the edges of his eyes, and he begged the voice in his head to save him. To do anything. And for that, he would give anything.

A feint aura of smoke emanated from Shingen's body as his flesh was seared and burned, eaten by a dark red and black coating, which flowed over his skin like lava. At the same time, his bones cracked and contorted, as his spine creaked back into place, a hot, sizzling sensation running along his back as his vertebrae mended and his wounds healed. His legs bore him upright, as he was consumed by this ominous aura, a second tail sprouting from his form, he opened his mouth in a silent wail of dismay. The voice in his head, the primal urges, the bestial tendencies, they were gnawing at him now, stronger than before. He felt like he was about to lose his mind. He could hardly think straight.

But what he could remember, as clear and as vivid as moonlight during the darkest night, was hatred, not just for the one who would harm his sensei, but for the foe before him now, the one that was trying to kill him. Without thinking, the jinchuuriki's mouth opened, a small, purplish orb forming infront of his mouth. Into that small creation, the jinchuuriki poured its malice, its hatred, its cruelty, its fear, and its doubt. Shrieking orbs of blue energy materialized in the air, rushing to the sphere of energy that was gathering infront of Shingen. Simultaneously, little orbs of red materialized, also joining with the sphere. While the orb was fueled by negative energy, so too was it created in harmony with positive energy. Joy, love, faith, hope, and charity. The forces existed in a precarious dance, positive and negative, light and dark, physical and spiritual, within the bijuudama. A precarious 4:1 ratio that was the formula for complete and utter destruction.

And as the bijuudama was loosed from the jinchuuriki's mouth, sending it hurtling towards the foe, two similar forces danced in balance within Shingen's head.



[Will edit stats in later, going out to dinner]

Author:  Junko [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

The Fox’s eyes settled on the seal, and a single white gloved hand rose in front of her face. He’s out of control…I could certainly kill him if I applied the seal, she thought to herself, and when consideration turned to resolve a moment later, she took a step toward the twitching form of Shingen. That, of course, is when he darted away, and she paused, then kicked off from the wet ground, a softly glowing trail of clear, freezing water cascading down from her back foot as she slipped into the higher branches of a nearby tree. She landed with the grace of her namesake, watching as the enraged Jinchuuriki contorted his form, the sickening sound of bones rearranging and cartilage crunching as it came together once more. What seemed like steam slowly poured off his form as her Sharingan took in every detail of the scene, each curl of smoke or bubbling evaporation of water. Even the powder that flurried with every small breeze was like an elaborate tale of doomed dancers. Chest rose and fall gently in unhurried breaths, watching as she formulated a plan of attack. Perhaps it’s not the best course of action to release Matatabi. It will take time and resources I may not have to seal. Rei dared to hope. The Fox’s cold calculation shut her down. I will have to damage him beyond repair and destroy the beast inside him that way.

That was when she noticed that he was not looking in her direction entirely. Or at least…not specifically. Bestial mouth opened what seemed impossibly wide, and a roiling sphere of dark energy gathered there at its jaws. Realizing what was about to happen, the Fox leapt up a little higher. She needed space before this happened, and – but no. It was going to be too late. In a desperate maneuver that was part her own experience with the timing of Bijuu-dama themselves and a blind trust in her Sharingan without regard to thought in this particular action, she swung a backhand left out in front of herself. She hadn’t realized it, but in that moment, the Fox held her breath. Her knuckles connected with something solid, and for a brief split second panic filled her mind. What if it didn’t work? She would certainly be obliterated. Her chakra, however, repelled and returned the solid mass, forcing it to fly along the same trajectory, directly toward Shingen. She exhaled as it hurtled away, still trying to back away from the inevitable blast, but it would catch her along the outside edges of its considerable range. There was nothing for it.

With grit teeth, she moved along the path of the Hachimon, further enhancing her form, making her more resilient, stronger, faster, and able to heal almost as rapidly as the Jinchuuriki – albeit only one time. She practically glowed with energy, her body releasing a blue-green aura that caused the snow to blow away from the tree limbs nearby, pushing off a wave of heat that left even more water in her wake. Because she had no hope of fully escaping the blast, the Fox did what she knew no sane person would do – as she landed from her leap upon the tip of the tall tree, she leaned, angling back downward as the explosion bloomed ahead of her. Hair was ripped from its bun, flowing freely behind her as clothing ripped and burned away and the Fox’s mask fractured in a hundred tiny places. Her goal, however, was the followup – a cocked fist that aimed to slam into Shingen’s chest directly after the Bijuu-dama’s explosion. The effect would be nearly as catastrophic as the explosion itself.

Hachimon (Gate 4)
Iron Body Style (B-rank upkeep halved)
Strong Fist Style (D-rank upkeep halved)
Uchihagaeshi: Hirateuchi (B-rank, S-rank cost reduced to A-rank)

Stamina Remaining: 84.2%

Str: Legendary
Con: Godlike
Sta: Masterful
Dex: Epic (Minor Advantage)
Agi: Godlike (Minor Advantage)
Wis: Masterful (Epic Precog)]

Author:  Shikaji [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)


As history was so keen to often do, it repeated itself. In over his head, rapidly drowning, Shingen desperately turned to the only life-preserver that he had available, no matter the consequences. He was just a kid. He didn't want to die! Not here, not like this, not at all! The pounding voice in his head demanded release in return for salvation. It was a command through which, only by the strongest application of will, that Shingen was able to resist. He did not grant the voice the sweet, sweet freedom for which it yearned, but the chuunin did choose to drastically weaken his own seal, letting the tainted chakra of the Nibi run through his veins, begging the feline to do anything to save him, if for no other reason than to save itself.

Yes! YES! My freedom is soon at hand!

A terracotta-tinted sinew erupted over Shingen's chakra-covered form, consuming the jinchuuriki in a cocoon of flesh and tissue. The mass rapidly expanded, until the heap of flesh dwarfed the forest in which the battle had been taking place. Four legs manifested, with two tails, a head, a defined structure. A large, sinew-and-muscle feline was birthed into the world with a ferocious roar. It was nearly the size of a natural bijuu, a startling indication of the precipice on which Shingen's faltering seal resided. With a swing of one of its mighty tails, the Nibi shattered its returned bijuudama, creating a massive explosion. With speed befitting the fastest of her kind, Matatabi created a deal of distance between itself and the explosion, so as to mitigate the damage.

However, as the giant concerned itself with the more visible threat, it neglected the human below. A powerful punch connected with the beast's flank, sending it reeling, sliding several hundred yards backwards, crushing thousand-year-old trees as it went. The skinless beast recoiled, readjusting itself and turning to face its minuscule foe, its heterochromatic eyes - one gold, one green - locked on its foe. The feline pressed its front body low against the ground, ready to pounce upon the little fox that dare oppose the mighty tigress. The beast gave a mighty roar, loud enough to rip the leaves and branches off of the trees infront of itself. It was not a roar of hatred or anger, but the roar of a prisoner so desperately clawing its way to freedom.


Two fiery, blue-and-black tails swished back and forth in unison, as a pair of mismatched eyes stared intently at the intruder of her realm. Surrounding the beast was a set of seven crystalline lights, shimmering with a ruddy, dirtied glow in a realm that was otherwise nothing but blackness. There was no floor, no roof, just suspension in utter darkness. The seven crystals were connected by intricate metal wires, giving Matatabi's cage the illusion of being one massive chandelier.

The great beast purred, causing the entire black world to seem to shake in time with her rumbling. Her soft, feminine laughter echoed through the darkness, as if the sound was coming from all around. Her speech echoed off of the non-existent walls, as if she were in a cave. Her voice was soft, but sharp, not unlike a scolding mother to her child. "So you're the one that this boy wants to kill so badly," the beast teased, her swishing tails coiling around her form. The bijuu lay casually in her cage, as if she were completely free of fear. She looked almost like a sphinx, coy and poised to delight on unaware travelers.

"Would that a single generation go by where one of your kind does not torment us oppressed, Uchiha-san," mused the great beast, her millennia-old memory casting its thoughts back to Obito, Madara, and the Akatsuki. "I'm sure you would make Madara proud."

Author:  Junko [ Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

It was breaking free. Even as the Fox’s fist slammed against something solid, she knew something was wrong. Her reactions caught up to her Kekkei Genkai’s ability to see all, and suddenly the ANBU knew that things were going far enough that she wouldn’t need to destroy his seal on her own. There was too much fear in Shingen. She scared him. Unbidden, a trembling shook through her. She was forcing him to give ground to Matatabi, and he didn’t even know what it was. She wouldn’t tell him before, and now he was giving himself over to a demon whose only concern was its own freedom because he didn’t know any better. A curse upon your fool of a sensei. He should have told you. I should have told you, she thought, as a small piece of her mask fell away in the violence, a chunk that revealed a bit of smooth, angular jaw line before being cut off by the high, tight-fitting neck of her outfit. What seemed like the effort a small child would put into a tiny hop carried the Fox forward, following her adversary and prey, and coming to rest just before the now fully bestial creature. This was no longer Shingen – it was Matatabi in truth, coalescing by burning away Shingen’s life force.

Black Tomoe swirled in the mismatched visage of the Niibi, and the Fox used it to tear into the mind and soul of the vessel, to dig deep into that space in which the creature was for now trapped. Fitting that darkness greeted her, that she stood on nothing, staring at the Bijuu trapped by what seemed a delicate cage. Perhaps the seal was not as strong as it seemed, or it had already weakened considerably. Her appearance was similar to the outside – the Fox’s uniform burned away along the front, leaving only a scrap across her chest connected to the neck, and tatters along her arms and wrists. Bright pink skin burned from the destructive blast that they had batted about like a toy showed in the crystalline light coming from the cage, and her bodysuit became frayed and burnt the further it got to her calves, where it had been obliterated entirely. Her mask, cracked but still holding, leveled its gaze upon the tigress, red and black ominously glaring at it as soft black strands fell across white shoulders. Leather creaked as the Fox clenched her fists, then let them relax, listening to the thing speak. It always comes back to who was before me. Who had eyes like mine, she thought to herself – but now more than ever, the Fox didn’t care. Rei didn’t care.

“You’re killing him,” she said softly, glancing around for the presence of Shingen. Of course he wasn’t here – he didn’t know how to get here. “And if you do, I will lock you in a box and bury you where no one can ever find you again,” Rei threatened. Her sudden intent to not just kill, but worse, filled the darkness. “I won’t care about your plight. I won’t care about who has wronged you. I will. Never. Let. You. Out.” She stepped forward, toward the cage, and touched the wire, mere feet from the preening cat. “The world without this boy is worse than it is with it,” she hissed, more intensely than before. “He’ll do wonderful things one day, and if you interfere with that,” Rei continued, gripping the wire with a sudden intensity and focusing her will, trying to shut down the Bijuu’s control.

“I’ll come for you.”

Author:  Shikaji [ Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

The feline predator hissed at Rei's threats, the bijuu's body loudly steaming as it began to boil and bubble as if it were liquid, the bijuu's body slowly dissolving with each popped bubble. If it were someone else who had made the threat, Matatabi would have sneered and ignored it, but those damned eyes made her think twice."Who is this boy to you? He's but some obnoxious brat." The dissipating bijuu stood abruptly on all fours, its rapidly dissolving tails violently swishing back and forth in an tumultuous rage. "Why is his fate more important than mine?!" Roared the beast, the motherly kindness having departed her voice, replaced with a burning hot rage.

With each screamed syllable, the blue flames that made up her form burned hotter, shined brighter, and licked at the black sky, as if feeding off of her anger. It bought her more time, somewhat and temporarily halting the dissipation of her form. "He's an obnoxious brat, need I remind you, Uchiha-san, that you are trying to kill at this very moment!" Matatabi's lips curled backwards in a snarl, perhaps what would have been a jaded smirk if she were a human. A massive, clawed paw swiped out of the cage, towards the Uchiha, only to explode into nothingness before it could make contact with its prey.

"Tch," scoffed the beast, as only half of her body remained. The Cheshire Cat composed herself, padding a three-legged circle around her cage before settling back down on the ground, wrapping her remaining tail over her half-gone body. "How important can this boy possibly be? All he's been doing is beg for a savior, yet no-one has come."

Tapping a long claw on the non-existent floor, Matatabi let Shingen's thoughts echo in the darkness, like a ghost.

"Senpai, save me..."

Author:  Junko [ Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Eyelid twitched in concentration as Rei grit her teeth, jaw set and knuckles white against the wire. The beast had been let free, and normally this technique would not settle such a creature after it had gained so much control over its host. She, however, was determined, and even as Matatabi’s claws reached for her, she did not flinch, the sudden hot wind of the dissipation of the Bijuu’s form blowing her hair to the side as Rei peered out from behind the Fox’s mask. Yes, it was sad to cage anyone. Yes, it was a horrible fate to never be free. Yes – she had chosen someone she cherished over someone she didn’t know. “I have come to realize I’m only trying to kill him because of you,” she replied. “It’s not that your life is less precious. It’s that you can both continue to exist this way,” the girl continued, eyes beginning to water both from the strain of the technique and the emotions welling up inside her. The Fox kept the waver out of Rei’s voice. “Death without price makes life without worth. If I could prevent it, I wouldn’t let him kill you without consequence, either.”

The loud sound of mocking dismissal came after, the shuffling of Matatabi’s sad, injured circle leaving her almost pitiful in her curling, and Rei redoubled her efforts, trying to further reduce the cat’s form and leave it only a shell inside, receded, trapped. The Bijuu’s last words slipped through, and another small piece of her mask slipped away, revealing the uppermost right side of her eyebrow and porcelain flesh. It was a mental slip. Even here, thoughts of Shingen made Rei rise to the surface while the Fox sat neutrally, trying to preserve her identity but not asserting herself. A flash of sapphire winked in her eyes at the voice of the Suna-nin, the tiniest flicker in her crimson and ebony. Her whisper was the smallest breath, as her task was finally completed, using the Matatabi’s word like a proper noun instead of its usual intent.

“No-one did come. And No-one saved him.”

Author:  Shikaji [ Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

The heterochromatic gaze of the Matatabi lingered on the figure before her, as she rested her head on her quickly-fading paws. As the cat closed her eyes, reluctantly drifting back to sleep, she let her voice rumble through the darkness a final time. "We will meet again, Uchiha-san... I'm sure of it. And when we do... I look forward to crushing your misplaced pride, and this boy that you cherish."

As the last of the echoes of her words slowly faded to nothing, the chandelier world began to evaporate, the darkness receding at the edges of vision, distorting as reality was reborn in its place. Trees, snow, and ice appeared where the was once darkness, and an unconscious blonde, his clothes torn to shreds and his skin horribly burned, lay unmoving in the snow. His mouth was agape and his eyes were closed, his face contorted in pain. It might have been more apt to describe him as comatose rather than unconscious, as he was badly in need of medical attention if he ever hoped to wake up again, especially given his tattered clothes in the wintry climate. If left alone, he would likely freeze to death.

Thus was the end of the dance of the Fox and the Tiger, a war between friends disguised as a conflict between enemies.

~Two Weeks Later~

Shingen's eyes creaked open, only to immediately clamp shut again under the assault of the bright morning light that danced through the window of the room. His entire body hurt. He felt exhausted, and his muscles ached. He felt like he couldn't move even if he tried. For a moment, his heart began beating fast, and his mind raced, wondering where he was. The white cot on which he lay, surrounded by large stone walls, was not his comfy bed at home, in the Land of Wind. After a moment of panic, he recalled the last of his memories. An extended mission in the Land of Lightning, staying at the forward base of Konoha, a battle with a masked fox.

However, despite his recollections, there were many questions still racing through his head. How did that fight end? How did he end up here? Where as 'here'? It certainly wasn't his usual room at the temple. Groaning slightly, Shingen forced his mouth to speak words, though his eyes remained shut. "What happened...? Where am I...? Am I dead?"

Author:  Junko [ Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

The Fox had created a clone to take Shingen and deliver him, unseen, to the Konoha base. Then she had completed her mission, assassinating a circle of merchant leaders funding the return of a pseudo-military for Kumogakure no Sato. When Rei collapsed, exhausted, into her bed that night, the sky was pink with the coming dawn. Having anticipated the possibility, her orders and report filing had already been finished, and so a polite request to not disturb her along with the advanced paperwork had been left on a small stone table outside her door. She still awakened ahead of Shingen by a day and a half, and when he murmured his questioning, the attending nurse quickly had one of the two guarding Chuunin run off to the bath that their commander had been taking. The sound of footsteps arrived ahead of the young man, but muted under the freezing water that the girl had immersed herself in. As the door opened, she rose up from the ice, water cascading down flesh pulled taut by the cold, reaching out for a nearby towel and stepping out onto the stone floor. The muscles she had ripped would bruise minimally, at least, and as she covered herself in the towel the door opened. The man that had done so paused, realizing what he’d just done, as Rei’s blue eyes flicked to him. She didn’t have to tell him that he’d neglected to knock. He knew. Clad in a towel, even with the gently discolored bruising along her arms, the Chuunin couldn’t help but stare for a moment. “Uh, ma’am, the uh…the kid-”

“Shingen is awake. I’ll be there shortly,” she replied, dripping onto the floor. And there she stood for another long moment as he continued to stare before realizing again how rude he was being and running out, red faced. Then Rei dressed herself, this time a long-sleeved black sweater and knee-length skirt, different from the kimono she usually donned but certainly not out of her style. Stockings and shoes and small ribbons in her hair, and in the next few moments she slipped into the doorway, only skin above the neck and her hands exposed. The girl moved over to the bed, keeping the shame and flush from her face only by force of will. She had done this.

“Shin-kun,” she said softly, in that likely familiar way he was used to. “Don’t try to move too much. The doctor tells me you suffered extensive damage.”

Author:  Shikaji [ Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Better than any possible medicine, Rei's comforting words drifted through the air. Shingen strained his eyes to look at her without moving his head. "Good morning, senpai," Shingen said with a strained smile, as if he were trying to pretend that nothing was wrong or out-of-the-ordinary. He hated it when people had to worry about him, when the pained and awkward looks on the faces of those he cared about came from his own actions. It hurt just as much as, if not more, than any physical wound he had ever sustained. He glanced around the room, silent for several long moments, as if by some sheer force of will he could muster up some kind of lie that he was fine, but he couldn't sell it. He knew he couldn't. His voice was too hoarse to even muster the energy to whistle during the silence. He had to face it, he had fucked up, and he had worried senpai as a result.

"I-I'm sorry, senpai," Shingen whispered, through a shaky voice that was trembling with emotion. "I didn't mean to go out and get hurt... I just, when I heard the news about sensei, I got so mad, and... I don't know what happened."

Shingen cast his gaze away from Rei, towards the other side of the room. He felt too much shame in the pit of his stomach now to even handle looking at her. He was ashamed of himself and his rash course of action. He was lucky just to be here, just to be in senpai's presence again. In the back of his mind, he wondered if those beautiful, crystalline eyes had shed tears for him.

Author:  Junko [ Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Watching Shingen struggle to move, knowing that he was recovering from fractures caused by impact rings she had made in his back and chest, made a pain in Rei’s chest that wasn’t caused by physical trauma. She had tried to kill him. What right did she have to worry over him, to feel pain and doubt and try to comfort him here? She didn’t, of course, but the part, the character she played, did. It was the only reason she stayed in that moment, as his voice, quavering and feeble, tried to excuse himself for his actions. “It wasn’t your fault. Your emotion was used against you. I am told an independent assassin harmed both you and your sensei and went on to kill several Kumogakure merchant figures. I feel you could have stayed out of the fray, except that your Bijuu took advantage of your fragile state to attempt an escape,” she stated, moving over to the chair near his bed and sitting. Rei smoothed her skirt down over cold legs and let herself stare at him, his face turned away from her. The ache in her chest grew stronger. She had to tell him.

“Shin-kun, when something offers you power…don’t just accept, no matter your feelings. In this life, there is nothing that doesn’t come with a price,” her soft voice called quietly. “Some prices are too high to pay.” It was her turn to look away, toward the window, where a bird hopped about on the newly revealed ground, searching for its meal. The bird struck, snatching up a small bug that had been between two blades of still yellow grass.

“…I don’t want you to die.”

Author:  Shikaji [ Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)

Hearing the last of Rei's words slip through her lips, Shingen's heart began beating faster in his chest. He could hear his blood pounding in his ears. If she where to have whispered such a thing again, Shingen wasn't sure he would have heard it this time. His face flushed slightly, and this time, the grin that spread over his face was real and genuine, a gleaming diamond among a pile of coal. So, she really did care, huh? Even if not necessarily as a lover, she did care about him, at least some how. That thought alone was enough, even if it was bittersweet. Unable to lift his arm, Shingen instead settled for moving his fingers, forming a bed-side victory-sign. Mustering what strength he could, he spoke again, this time refusing to let the pain mingle with his voice.

"I promise you, senpai, you'll never have to worry about me. I'll never die," Shingen decided, with a kind of childish assertion. His near death experience had left him with a new fear of death, and an innocent resolve to conquer his fear. Still, his own words set his thoughts in motion, and the boy went quiet. The reality, and the dread of the situation, began to sink into him.

After a moment, Shingen reflected on the deeper meanings of what Rei had to say. It breathed in him a dread that not even Rei's comforting presence could disperse, though the fact that she delayed its impact by distracting Shingen was impressive in-and-of itself. It certainly did feel like the chuunin made a deal with the devil, and the entire experience had only made Shingen fear the concept of death. He had never been so close to it before. He had always expected that he might be some day, but what he experienced was a hundred times more terrifying than what he could have imagined. "A bijuu, huh..." Shingen mused, finally able to put a name to the thing inside of him.

Matatabi, whispered the voice in his head, causing Shingen to shut his eyes tightly, trying to drown out the silky-smooth voice that wasn't his own. The thing he feared the most right now was contact with that thing of any kind. After several moments and a few shaky breaths, Shingen reopened his eyes. "Senpai, if no power is free... then what is your price? What did you get out of training me?"

Author:  Junko [ Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Memories of the Fox and Tiger (Flashback)


I wish that were true, Rei thought to herself, imagining a fox-masked individual bearing her name sinking a knife into Shingen’s heart. Increasingly, since that night, the young ANBU had the fear that she would be the end of her friend. Increasingly, she was afraid that when that time came, she would feel very little for it. Was this what she was becoming? What would she sacrifice in order to protect what she felt was good? What loyalty would she hold? She was lucky this time. Her mission did not call for Shingen’s destruction, and she could rationalize saving him. If the order came across her desk to remove the Suna Jinchuuriki, however, could she do it? In the pit of her stomach, in the dark place she had cultivated in order to do the hard, harsh things demanded of her and remain human, she knew the answer was yes. Sometimes the price you pay isn’t to someone else. It’s just a sacrifice. Rei had lost that part of her that would refuse.

“I didn’t take anything from you for that. You paid for it with your own sweat and struggle. It cost me nothing to teach you,” she replied softly. She found herself unable to look at him, instead still focused on the window, on the bird that, now that it had taken its snack, took wing and soared away. “Shin-kun, you’re still recovering. Please don’t over-exert yourself. Unfortunately, it is likely you’ll remain here in this bed until your escort arrives from the Sunagakure Joint Operations Base. I believe it’s your sensei,” Rei said, standing. “I have things I must attend.” The girl then let quick strides take her from the room, her jaw clenched with the effort of keeping face and voice steady. The silver bracelet around her left wrist flashed momentarily as her sleeve pulled up slightly, the motion her arm took as her hand pushed against the door revealing it before she left without another sound. The door clicked softly in her wake.

Outside the room, the commander nodded to the guard posted, and made her brisk, barefoot way to her own room, waving away various salutes and the stiff attention stances that accompanied her passing. It was all too much – she had hurt him, had almost killed him, and she could still act as though she were his friend and ally. She didn’t deserve it. How far would this path take her? Who else would she hurt? Who would she kill? The stone was cool under her feet as she quickened her pace almost to the point of jogging, finally making it to her room and shutting the door behind her with a little more force than she had meant. It closed with a bang, and she moved to the very same vanity where she had carefully made herself up in order to join Shingen for the festival those weeks ago. Blue eyes rest upon her reflection, upon the pretty girl so coldly staring back at her, and realized that was the expression she must have had when deciding to kill her friend. A boy she might love. Suddenly, her beautiful face seemed repulsive to her. This wasn’t a girl. It wasn’t even a ninja. It was a monster.

Gaze blurred, and she hurriedly reached to her own slender wrist, pulling the gift bracelet from it. It wasn’t that love was pain, she realized as she stared at the silvery ring. Black and white filled her vision again, and Shingen’s expression as he paused after calling her name, that adoring gaze held as he decided what to say, came to her. It was that loving her was pain. Because she was a hideous thing in a girl’s body. The bracelet was set into a small wooden box, and put upon the vanity, near the mirror, behind all of her other possessions. Love, when it involved Rei, was pain. She did not feel pain and thus should not feel love. Her eyes came back to herself, and this time she held her head higher, chin upturned. A single index finger wiped at her wet eyes, and she sniffed with a slight sound. No more black and white. She would never again see things as though in a photograph. Only full color reality. Only what she was, and what she could be to people – a liar, an actor, an adversary. She’d lost sight of that, and had hurt someone for it.

There would be no more hurt.

There could be no more love.

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