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Old 04-26-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Deciphering Eki

Deciphering Eki

He entered with a celestial presence.

Located amidst a facility used to house a crowd of Nukenin, juveniles, vigilantes and other such offenders, he paced with unwavering ease. While in passing of these individuals caged behind bars, they shouted. They threatened. They reached for him, but were restrained. Many were hostile, while others solemnly watched, gazing with disgust in their eyes. Quadruplet Shinobi escorts dawning the Hitai-ate of Sunagakure formed a diamond shape around him as they walked, ignoring the crowd of jailed shinobi who beckoned to take the life of the Tenryuu. Silent, his cloak swayed with his stride. Eyes relinquished the notion of fear. Confidence yielded to the control of his will, but above all else, faint curiosity flickered at the back of his mind.

Thoughts of their mission were fresh.

The walls were baked a golden brown, crafted by harden grains of sand lined with metal, dim lights illuminated the hallways they walked through. Located hundreds of feet below ground, this facility was renowned as the stronghold of captivity. A testament to the militant prowess of the former Grand Marshal’s strict ideals, yet, effective systematics. An underground impenetrable fortress. A bastion of confinement.

The Gauntlet of Sunagakure: Kaze no Kuni’s prison.

Formed by vast corridors leading to lower levels and linked by staircases, various Sunagakure guards stood at every entrance and exit, authorizing and taking note of who leaves and enter. When the Shinrai appeared with his escorts, they whispered to one another, peered at him in disbelief briefly, then continued on. They descended staircase after staircase, moving by guard after guard, and officer after officer. They halted at the twenty-seventh level, walking to a door at the very middle of the hallway before the escorts paused:

“Renchishin-taichou,” one of the four spoke, “Protocol of the prison prohibits this bastard from having visitors.”

Lifting an eyebrow, his ruby gaze settled upon the guard. Not one to initially lash out at someone after a single sentence, he awaited calmly, catching himself before he could utter the words your point as a statement.

“But,” a second interjected, her voice contrasting from the gruff tone of the other, “your SHINRAI status overrules the protocol, so...”

The fourth member released the locking mechanism from the door, allowing it to slide open to reveal a darkened corridor that held a single, secluded jail cell. Eyeing Hitoko, the shinobi nodded, “He’s at the end of this hallway, cell to the right...Taichou, we got one thing to say to you.”

Silence, which was interrupted by the hard gulp of the third member of the four guards. Finally, the diamonded quartet spoke in unison:

“Be careful.”

Embracing their kindness with a warm hearted chuckle, Hitoko bowed respectably to the four, who were surprised by his humbling action. Sweeping back to an upright position, he acknowledged them one last time with a smile, then nod, before proceeding down the hallway. With candles brightening his path and guards located pass the doorway standing at key points of the room, Hitoko came to a complete and smooth stop once stationed directly in front of the prison cell of the man he came to visit. Emitting a content sigh, the fabrics of his cloak were pushed aside, revealing a bandana-wrapped, small box held nonchalantly between his caramel fingers. Raising the box to chest level as his eyes stared into the cell, he spoke with the indifference of one speaking to a friend:

Matoke Shigi-san,” An index finger pointed toward the box, “hope you’re hungry. Brought you a bento, actually. Was curious about a couple of things, thought I’d ask the source instead of speculating.

Hopefully, through these questions, the speculation would be put to rest.


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Old 04-27-2009, 10:44 PM   #2
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How had it gotten to this point?

Guided by his god (or a God, if Eki had truly forsaken him), living on his wits and led by instinct, Matoke Shigi had entered the very place he had never thought of returning to: the Wind Country. The months after his encounter with the Kusa shinobi known as Todo had led to a general sort of disconnection with the faith that had sustained him for more than half of his lifetime, ever since his fateful break from Kaze no Kuni. He had not known exactly what had brought about this sense of malaise, nor did he exactly know how to change his feelings. Something had changed. There was no one word that could properly describe Shigi’s sense of loss— the murderous missionary whose doctrine of violence had suddenly lost his will to travel. He was a ship without a port, so he had drifted from place to place with no real sense of motivation. And, he would realize later that with each passing day, the Preacher had been drifting closer and closer to the great desert.

The Voice, which he was already attempting to rationalize away as the voice of his subconscious given voice, had set a path before him when he had most needed it. Shigi was to travel to his homeland again, return to his roots in Bouryoraku and witness firsthand what had made him who he was. And it had been during that very journey homeward that he had been set upon by hunters— shinobi whom he might have once called his comrades now commissioned with his capture. And it had been his very own commandments which had foiled his escape; the God he had began to think defunct whom had ordered his surrender. So surely there was some drop of faith left within him, wasn’t there? Or perhaps his reluctance to escape had just signaled a desire to give up. What was his life without a purpose?

So he had quietly waited for his death in the bowels of the Gauntlet, refusing to rise to the bait of the prisoners who had shouted at him or the guards who taunted him from the relative safety of the iron bars. When restlessness had threatened to drive him mad, Shigi had killed time through exercise— countless push-ups and sit-ups performed on the grainy floor. No news of his fate had reached him, and his demands to know were ignored, even laughed at. So the Preacher had retreated to prayer to sustain himself, only to find that familiar avenue gave him no comfort.

And then he had come. One of the men responsible for his capture. With food, no less, a welcome change from the two square meals a day. And what he wanted in return…

Now come the questions,” Shigi chuckled darkly, approaching the red-eyed man without any kind of reluctance. Taking the proffered box with a hand, the Preacher withdrew from the bars and dropped into a sitting position against the far wall. The bento was set down unopened for the moment. “Weren’t very interested in posing any questions when you were doing your level best to kill me, were you? But, on the other hand…”

Shigi sighed, opening the box and setting the lid on the ground as he took a slow, appreciative sniff of its contents. There was nothing quite like a home-cooked meal to cheer you up, even if you were in prison. The nuke-nin’s lips formed a half-smile as he glanced upwards briefly. “Looks like it’s not poisoned, so I’ll answer what I can. Seems fair.” And to be truthful, the company would be appreciated, even if it was only for a time.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:06 AM   #3
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Now come the questions.

Yup.

The answer was blunt, spoken quickly and without hesitation. Standing in the presence of a Nukenin of this caliber, there was no need for the ruby-eyed Jounin to hold his tongue. But, in no circumstances did he even think of taunting or entertaining the concept of insulting this shinobi. That was far from the reason why he decided to pay the man a visit. Instead, he was quiet, silently listening to the words he spoke while taking the bento from his caramel fingers. As the sentence finished, The Tenryuu cracked a smile, then chuckled light heartedly, contrasting from the darker tint of Shigi’s laughter. Hitoko rose an eyebrow as well, taking a step forward and getting comfortable, a hand rested up against the bars that separated the two – such as their shinobi ideals.

Could you blame me?” Initially rhetorical, he usually formed phrases like those to translate his thoughts to vocalized words. He hadn’t expected an answer, but knew, in the back of his mind, that he’d probably receive one, “As a Shinobi of Sunagakure given a mission, could you really blame me for wishing to complete it?

He paused briefly, leaning into the bar and letting his eyes scan the prison cell, “Regardless of that fact, I can’t speak for my comrades. I had no intent in killing you, unless you attacked to the point where I was forced to. My only concern was to capture you, via...

With left hand risen, his index finger spelt out the letters E then K before he continued, “Ekitai Kenfu,” the abbreviation was fully spoken, “Are you familiar with its philosophy?

Moving away from the browned, grainy bars, Hitoko’s arms disappeared within his cloak, where the scarf worn draped down the centerfold, “It’s Warrior’s Art, it’s Bujutsu, entails the notion of incapacitating an opponent as quickly as possible. As such, it gives me more mental stability within combat. An indisputable direction in battle, such as guidance in a religion.”

The bento box was open, displaying sections permeated with chicken glazed over with a sauce that was blended into a mixture of sauteed onions. On the side were boneless chicken thighs nicely seasoned and dipped in sesame, orange and teriyaki chicken, all divided by the sections within the box. Though primarily stuffed with meat, the bento held both soft and fried rice that could be used in combination with any of the poultry inside. For a balance, it was lined with various fruits and steamed vegetables, and was topped off with sembi, which are rice crackers. The aroma swept into the Jounin’s nostrils, raising his defined chest and further building the confidence he held in his culinary abilities.

And don’t worry, if I wanted for you to be poisoned I would summon a couple guards to hold you down and inject you with it.

He chuckled, half-kidding and half-serious, but refocused:

You were once a member of Sunagakure, but turned your back on the village. I’m curious to know...now that you’ve left and returned...As a Missing-Nin.

The tone of his voice became stern, gleaming with the seriousness of the glistening flames in the depths of his ruby orbs:

What was your purpose?
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:17 PM   #4
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Well, at least Suna possesses one shinobi who can speak directly.

Shigi didn’t bother to interrupt the man before him as he vocally stated the authority of the orders he had been given He was right, of course: every soldier had a duty to follow the orders he had been given, and from what he had heard, the new Kazekage was as capable a leader as any general. Unlike his mother, whom had always seemed to be a little too content with the status quo in Shigi’s opinion, Arisugawa Enzan seemed to attract strength before him, much like the shinobi before him. And if there was anything that the Disciple was bound to respect, then it was strength. Though… His words betray him. The trio of shinobi that had sniffed him out had shown a distinct lack of coordination in their attacks. So while it might be true the single unarmed combatant might have shown the most amount of restraint at a glance, a commander was also responsible for keeping his subordinates in line, lest they shame him.

Inexperienced— not in combat, of course. But Ekitai-Kenfu was oriented more towards one-on-one combat if I remember correctly. And if his appearance here isn’t another sign, I’d guess that he’s used to doing his own thing. Solo— leading others into battle is still new for him, I’d bet.

Snapping apart the chopsticks that been set aside for him within the box’s lid, the nuke-nin dug into the bento box with relish, keeping his eyes on the speaker before him all the while. It should not have mattered whether or not Shigi was rude— after all, he was a prisoner, so what did that matter? And yet, it did. Some modicum of respect had been earned by the crimson-eyed visitor, and so Shigi would listen, deftly scooping up a piece of chicken before depositing it into his mouth. At the mention of poison, one eyebrow rose for a moment before lowering again. Have a harder time of that than you think.
“My purpose?”

How poignant. Would the man before him understand if Shigi flatly stated that he had only been chasing his former purpose? Would he understand that the missionary had returned home on a sabbatical of sorts? Certainly he had talked of direction and guidance… what did he have to lose? “I returned because I had lost that which gave me direction. And what do you do when you have lost your compass, your map, your guiding light? I did the only thing one could do that in that kind of situation. I had to go back to what I knew, even if doing so would lead me…”

He gestured vaguely to the cell around him with his chopsticks, his meaning clear. Some things were better left unsaid, though he had long come to terms with his decision. “Running into you and your team was unfortunate, but with a Kabane, I suppose my capture was meant to be. Punishment for my loss of faith.” His eyes darkened, returning to the meal before him. It was the first sign of regret he had shown since his capture. Reflection like this was more than dangerous, it was blasphemy. Was it worth it? Was any of it?
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
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The sense of being lost, that unshakeable feeling of drifting aimlessly in a sea of uncertainty, these elements were aspects of reality that many a man floats through at certain points of their life. Though it may have come earlier to some than later, as he stood outside golden-brown bars crafted by sand and metal, ruby eyes narrowed on the figure of the Missing-Nin as he spoke. The way the answer was presented, it was fluid; yet, the tone veiled the depths of his uncertainty. The metaphor used to describe the light that guided him back to Sunagakure intrigued the Renchishin, but the answer hadn’t filled his curiosity. His arms crossed before his chest, cloak fluttering in the winds produced as he turned to look away for a moment in order to catch up with his thoughts.

If one is lost, they go back to what they know, such as in battle. Some move with calculation, while others boast with the moment, luckily for Hitoko, he combined both aspects and moved in unison. But, this didn’t hide the fact that, while in battle, one’s body falls into the primordial essence of a human – instinct. So basically, when backed into a corner Matoke went into auto-pilot and landed on the platform of what was close to him internally: Sunagakure. With deductions running rampant, Hitoko refocused his ruby gaze upon Shigi, who uttered the last statement:

Running into you and your team was unfortunate, but with a Kabane, I suppose my capture was meant to be. Punishment for my loss of faith.

And with those words, the Renchishin caught a glimpse of regret, which resonated in the eyes of the captured Shinobi. Pausing to revel in the rare moment, a sigh flowed by his slightly thickened lips before they curved to the side of his face. Reflection was eternal; such as the fate of warriors bound by the field of battle. Stepping closer to the prison cell, Hitoko let his ebony fingers settle upon the grainy bar, allowing the mixture of sand and metal to cool the tips of his skin.

Was it worth it?” His voice broke the silence of the moment, “Was any of it truly worth it?

Hues of ruby locked onto Shigi when this question was asked. Unwavering, the Renchishin stood, now silent, awaiting the answer from the prisoner. Hopefully, on this day, his thirsty curiosity would be quenched.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:35 AM   #6
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Was it worth it?

Ten years ago, when he had been desperately running from his life after cutting down the border patrol at the edge of Kaze no Kuni, it had not been fear or regret that had been most prominent in his thoughts. It should’ve been— for a shinobi to turn his back on a community which had done little, if any, to wrong him was a fateful step. Still, that hadn’t been what had dominated Shigi’s mind. His heart had been in his throat, he ate little and he could barely sleep for more than two hours at a time…and still, he had felt nothing but excitement of the highest type, as if a moment that he had been anticipating for all of his life had finally arrived. Perhaps that’s exactly what it was. And Eki— the faith that had been the engine driving that fateful decision— how much had it factored in at that point?

“How I’ve lived up to this point…”

Truthfully, his religion had been an afterthought, a symptom of the crucial disease that lay at the heart of his own motivations. What he had sought from the start was the spice of life, conflict in any form, and it was a need that couldn’t be satisfied with the day-to-day tasks that a shinobi of the Sand was required to perform. So he had left, and when those who were opposed to that idea rose to stop them, Shigi had struck them down with good cheer, thankful for the opportunity to expend his bloodlust. He had turned on the very same country which had first provided him with the means to perform each and every action he had committed, and that was a painful fact to face. Insubordination. Your general may not have been fit to lead, but a soldier who cannot follow orders is no good to anyone…but himself.

“My motives been selfish, but I won’t apologize for that. Only so much you can do about hindsight,” he said with a slight sigh, raising his eyes to meet the shinobi’s own. It was a bit eerie, staring into those red pupils, as if he was facing judgment from some unbiased and yet terribly important source. Shigi felt gripped by a need to make him understand, even though it shouldn’t have mattered. “Is it worth it to live a life that you can be proud of? …I think so, and I think I’ve found it. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to live by the code of a warrior— my code. I clung to my faith because I felt it justified my reason to live that way, and I attempted to spread that train of thought to others. I suppose I thought it would…justify me, somehow.”

An epiphany. Was that all his religion had ever been: a crutch, a way to clarify why he had lived as he did? Or was it sacred because it was something he chose to live in his actions as well as his words? Perhaps the truth lay somewhere in between. Hard to say. Setting his chopsticks aside, Shigi nodded with an air of finality. “I wouldn’t change a thing, if I could start over. I’ve never felt more alive than when death has been a split-second away. Can you understand? I have a hunch that with slightly different circumstances…you and I would have much in common.”
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:09 AM   #7
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The questions poised were answered effectively, but weren’t as potent as the Renchishin thought they’d be. When they locked eyes, Hitoko’s ruby pupils did not waver; neither did they drift while Shigi spoke. They were alive and attentive, glistening with the intent that gave the viewer reassurance that their words didn’t fall upon deaf ears. And as the logic to his question came, he fell silent, deciphering each syllable uttered like an explorer reading hieroglyphics. He wished to understand it, Shigi’s Bujutsu, but the answer lay layered in this warrior’s faith – Eki. His purpose, the worth of his actions, it all was justified by Eki. Drawing in a breath of air, the Renchishin broke the gaze:

The first Shinobi I’ve ever encountered in my life told me that I had the eyes of a true warrior. Even before then, I’ve had a natural talent in hand-to-hand combat and killed years before stepping into Sunagakure’s Ninja Academy,” He looked back at Shigi, peering pass the bars that separated them, “So I know the feeling. I’ve felt the excitement. And, just as you, live by the code of the warrior. But…

How could he put together the next sentence? Though his mind riddled with thoughts, he presented himself without flaw. There was no hesitation, not even a physical action that could signal such an emotion. Rather, it flowed as fluid as the movements of the Ekitai-Kenfu:

Your faith and my code are two different things, though cohesive in their philosophies.

There was no escaping the truth.

Honestly, I find it weird how two warriors believing in the same conduct have fallen in two utterly different paths.

Everything Shigi spoke, he understood. The blood of fighters ran thick in their systems, but the outcome of their experiences lead them in separate ways. Was it Shigi’s faith that derailed him from Sunagakure? Hitoko could only assume that was the case. But furthermore, if this was true, then would it be safe to assume that Hitoko’s appetite for battle could be suppressed, whereas Shigi’s own went unchecked? He wanted to know.

Deciphering Eki – that’s what I wish to do. Not for Sunagakure, or anyone else, but, for myself,” Chuckling at his own curiosity, Hitoko’s words were sincere, “The teachings of Eki, what exactly do they entail?

A grin painted itself upon his face, presenting itself as cool as the desert breeze at midnight.

Preach.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:34 AM   #8
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Shigi heaved a sigh. This was by far one of the more unusual places that he had ever been asked to preach in his life, and yet he was going to do it. Not because he felt a queer kind of kinship to the man before him: they were indeed two men who could have been very much alike, had Fate worked upon the Preacher differently. It was not because he felt he had an divine obligation to preach, either, because it was a connection that he was coming to doubt more and more. The man honestly wished to know, and that would be why Shigi would speak. Perhaps speaking his motivations aloud would strengthen them. Who could tell?

“Do you know what separates a warrior from a murderer?” He allowed the question to settle for a moment, not expecting an answer. He was settling into a groove, and as such, he needed to work into this gradually.

“It’s not one’s cause, goals or methods. It’s structure. You have your code. I have my faith. Shinobi as a class have orders to follow, rigid guidelines that must be obeyed. A murderer kills with abandon, caring little whom he targets or who suffers the consequences of his actions. A warrior is the opposite— he never fights without a cause, whether it stems from his own beliefs or some outside source. If you wish to know about Eki, then I will tell you, using our own clash as the basis for our education. In this case, your own motivations are clear: you were most likely given a group— the Kabane a necessity— and told to track me down at any case. The warrior and his warlord.”

He did all he could to repress the hint of a smirk playing on his lips, but a smidgen of scorn may have escaped into his tone nonetheless. Shigi had had little respect for the previous Kazekage, and of the new leader, he knew even less. Still, the manner in which the attack had been conducted revealed much. “Just as you acted under certain restrictions set by your leader, so did I. Those who follow Eki have a responsibility to avoid involving non-combatants in the act of war, for the consequences of needless battle must always be considered. I went out of my way to avoid spilling innocent blood while you struck using them as your shields.” He waved a hand dismissively, as if it did not matter what kind of tactics they used, but it did, of course.

“Eki advises his followers always show respect to their opponents, even to the point of arming them, if necessary. Had you provided me with the opportunity, I would have done so, if possible. Ending a battle decisively is always preferable to overcoming the foe through means of attrition. I didn’t have much of a choice in this battle, as the odds were stacked against me,” Shigi said almost apologetically. “Most importantly, never avoid battle, unless the battle is hopeless. And that is where I failed. From the very beginning, my objective was to escape rather than to kill; evade rather than to strike.” He fell silent, contemplating that painful truth. For the life of him, he didn’t know how exactly it had gotten to that point. Perhaps it was the sudden appearance of a group of enemies who could not only provide a challenge, but perhaps overcome him?
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:39 AM   #9
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The Kabane.

Neither did he sigh nor shake his head when The Kabane was mentioned. The team given to him, his allies, both were arrogant in their own individual rights. As the leader, maybe he should’ve quieted their egos, but as a person, he wished to let their personalities flourish. It wasn’t like they’d produce a failure of a mission, right? Yet, every time that certain Clan member was mentioned throughout their conversation, Hitoko couldn’t help but smirk at the tone of Shigi’s voice. A necessity. A capture meant to be. It sounded like he blamed his whole capture on Munsu. This, of course, intrigued Hitoko thoroughly.

Huh…

His breath drew silence.

To escape rather than to kill,” the words were mirrored back, “to evade rather than to strike.

With what he spoke, the truth to Hitoko’s previous speculation shined as clear as glass molded by chakra. During the battle, Shigi only held them off – he didn’t hold his own. As the rogue warrior spoke, he listened, gathering the small hints of scorn and other things filling the shinobi’s voice. He went out of his way to avoid spilling innocent blood, while they struck with them as their shields. A statement filled with falsehood:

A warrior’s shield is meant to armor them against harm, and the shadows are meant to mask a shinobi from sight. The innocent weren’t my shield. Believe that if you chose to direct an attack on them, I would’ve intercepted, ” Easier said than done, but with how close they were during these instances, he didn’t doubt his own words for a second.

But he kept it moving.

What are the origins of Eki? ” Lifting an eyebrow, Hitoko’s curious gaze stayed upon the Missing-Nin, “With your explanation, it sounds as if these tactics are used more effectively with a one-on-one duel basis, safe for minor precautions to the text.

When saying this, Hitoko spoke of minor details such as avoiding hopeless battles, but mind attached itself to the notion of showing the opponent respect. Though true that respect in battle against a worthy opponent was something a Renchishin lived for, to go as far as to arm the enemy tugged Hitoko the wrong way. The faith of Eki and the teachings of the Ekitai-Kenfu had its similarities, but shared its vast differences:

I said before that the Ekitai-Kenfu states that one must end a battle as quickly as possible. But see, the style was developed to be used during war.

Maybe explaining that point would open Shigi’s mind to why he asked about Eki’s origins:

As such, the practitioner is drilled in precision so they are able to take one opponent down while in motion. Whether it’s a one-on-one case, or a group against the single fighter, combatants learned to adapt to any situation. ” Laughing for a brief moment, the white teeth of this Renchishin glistened as his smirk grew, “Folklore of the Renchishin once spoke of Clansmen having the ability to feel waves of pressure surrounding them in the radius of a large sphere. They were able to detect any opponent that came in range, so could easily keep track of enemies during an ambush.

Pausing, he sighed, shrugging as dismissive as Shigi’s waved hand:

Simple folklore though, forgive me for going on a tangent. I’m still wondering about Eki’s origins.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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It was safe to say that Shigi was learning as much about his former opponent and now jailor even as he attempted to educate him. There was no telling whether or not such information would become useful somewhere down the line, but it couldn’t hurt to know. The Renchisin Clan— was the last member of that group standing before him? It seemed quite auspicious to have one of that warrior-clan standing before him. If that was so, then perhaps Shigi’s next bit of information might prove to be enlightening, given his clan’s country of origin. “I am not completely sure where the book of Eki came from, though I suspect that its origins lie in the Country of Water, where the cycle of war and peace has continued since time out of mind. Had I more time, I would have traveled out in that direction to learn more. Certainly the Water Country is one of the most well-known for their history of violence…though there are others which could give them a run for their money.”

“If you wish the true origins of the faith, as I suspect you might, then the story goes as such. Centuries ago, long before shinobi had come into the scope of the world, the people of the Five Nations were a warlike and savage bunch…not entirely unlike today, I suppose. For a time, there was an extraordinary amount of in-fighting as the people of each region struggled to take control.”


Shigi’s voice grew husky; his eyes faraway as he retold the history of the religion— every faith has a Genesis, and this was it: a bloody tale of betrayal and ambition, brute force and political wrangling. There were battles to be recounted, strategies to be studied, gambits and ploys that had led to the rise and fall of long-extinct empires. Out of such chaos, only an avatar of War could be born.

“After a long period of time, a General from each of the Five Nations arose from the ashes to take control of their respective area. From the place now called the Fire Nation, Yoshiaki. From Wind, Goemon; from Earth, Toyokazu; from Lightning, Yukinaga. And from the Water Country, the man that we believe to be Eki took control. A God in mortal form.”

“With their respective homes secured, the warlords looked outward towards each other. For a short period of time, there was peace, as each of the countries licked their wounds, gathered their forces and jostled for the best military position to gain an advantage over the others.” Once more, there was so much that Shigi had to say— re-telling it would take much more time than the Renchisin would care to stay. Of how Yoshiaki had attempted to broker an alliance with Toyokazu only to be betrayed once the war had begun, his right flank left open at a critical point in the battle. Toyokazu had stealthily encroached upon Goemon’s borders for months before the conflict, which had led to his victory. But out of all of them…

“War erupted across the country at once, almost as if it was synchronized between the five. It continued for many years, and to re-count every conflict would take much more time than I have, I fear.” That wasn’t exactly truthful, but nor was it a falsehood. Shigi had no idea what was to become of him in the Gauntlet, whether it was death or a lifetime of imprisonment. “In any case, when the dust settled, it was Eki who took control of the continent. His strategies were unbeatable, his armies invincible, his tactics all-encompassing. So when he mysteriously disappeared a few years later and the country descended into chaos once more, it was natural for the people to think that he ascended into the Heavens once more, weary of playing with mortals. No one ever discovered what happened to him, but his name became synonomous with war- for a time.”
__________________

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Last edited by Ace65; 09-28-2009 at 06:38 PM..
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