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Seven Colours (Naruto)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Planeshunter, May 29, 2020.

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  1. Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    [​IMG]

    And the unfortunate story of the Shimada family should teach us the dangers of using socials as dump stats ;)
     
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  2. LurkingInTheDeceit

    LurkingInTheDeceit “Brave” Explorer treading “new” land

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    Google-sensei says rainbows do have seven colours... checks out. I’m gonna treat it as foreshadowing until proven otherwise.
     
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  3. Threadmarks: 016 - Chakra Control for Dummies
    Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    Right! So 3-4 chapters till we end Arc 1, assuming things don’t get out of control again. That’s somewhere between one third and halfways the story, depending on a number of factors. I’ll probably take a break afterwards, my enthusiasm is kinda dwindling and that’s not fair to anyone.

    About this chapter in particular, it’s kinda sort, but the next one is already written so you can expect more tomorrow? It’s more a matter of pacing that volume of text anyway.



    016 - Chakra Control for Dummies (and being in the wrong side of prodigiousness for once)



    Compared with the near miss in Honebue, the rest of the month we spend with Grandfather is pretty unremarkable. We’re worked to the bone, Grandfather gives us offhand advice on how to deal with different sorts of merchants, Karin sings, our cots mysteriously end up closer every night, we go places, we do things, we meet people. The works.

    Also had the stupid verbally beaten out of me. I don’t know what I was thinking all those years ago when I decided that investing in a double-crossing little shit like Gato was a good idea, but Grandfather took great pleasure in disabusing me of the notion. I still have no money to invest and my investment projects are already ruined.

    Maybe I could take my money to Snow? Nah, same problem, Doto will just take it and forget I exist. And them I’m not actually sure will recover from the recession anytime soon. That whole ‘Let’s change the country’s climate with big-ass heaters’ plan doesn’t sound all that bright to me.

    Meh, I’ll think about it once I have money to actually invest.

    By the time Grandfather returns us to Kusa, we’re tanned by the harsh climate of Wind Country, full of experiences and knowledge we most likely won’t ever use again and about done with the world in general and slave-driver relatives in particular. Unfortunately, that’s kind of a permanent state of being for me, returning to Mother doesn’t really change anything.

    Speaking of Mother, she’s there with Uzumama to pick us up when we return, and she’s positively glowing. She must’ve used the chance to cut loose and do something special. Probably slaughtered a whole civilization into extinction or something like that.

    Huh, Uzumama also looks better than usual. That’s good, that’s good... She’s obviously enjoyed her own vacation time. I swear sometimes it’s like that woman doesn’t know how to take a break.

    “Ran.” Mother greets,

    “Mother.” I answer.

    Then we remain silent for a while, staring at each other and vaguely aware of the way Karin tackle-hugs her own mom.

    “Did you have fun?” She finally asks. There’s a certain quality in her voice that hints at a hidden ‘Are you feeling alright? A month with Father can’t be good for anyone’s sanity’, but I might be imagining things.

    “Can’t say I didn’t.” Is my, technically true, answer, lilting my voice just so. ‘For the love of god save me from the slave-driver. I’m about ready to sleep for a week!

    “Good.” I internally slump in relief, Mother understands. “Now that you’re rested we can start with your chakra training.”

    !!!

    … There’s obviously been some miscommunication there.


    Chakra training is different from anything I’ve ever experienced. I mean, sure, my old life didn’t have the stuff so duh, but it’s more than that. We’re taught chakra is used subconsciously, even without training, every time we push our bodies.

    Training sticks better and achieves more, willpower directly turns into physical power... that sort of thing. It’s how we can casually perform supernatural feats of skill and strength before reaching a two-digits age.

    As opposed to the subconscious use of chakra I've employed so far, actively controlling it takes visualization and focus. Which doesn’t only mean it feels weird as shit while it’s happening, but also that it’ll mess with my coordination and challenge my capability for multitasking until I get used to it.

    Also, Obaa-san took a look at what I was doing and promptly declared I wasn’t to put a finger near functioning seals until I had conscious control down to pat. So I’m confined to non-reactive ink and paper during my practice seals now, even while supervised.

    I swear that woman is far too skittish about the art. I have never blown anything up! She seems to believe explosions aren’t just inevitable, but the longer I go proving her wrong, the bigger the explosion she seems to expect. I have half a mind to prove her right, between you and me, the lack of explosions kind of detracts from all the fuuinjutsu mystique, you know?

    ... Getting off topic. Case is I spent the rest of my vacation trying to visualize and manipulate esoteric flows of metaphysical power through my body while dodging projectiles sent flying my way at the worst possible times. Mother’s only concession to my need to split focus was to save the sharpened projectiles ‘for later’. As if metal balls didn’t hurt like a bitch by themselves.

    It took me until we restarted at the Academy to get my perception to the point where I could begin trying to actually manipulate anything. Meanwhile, Karin took a couple of hours to get the same results. I don’t think she realized she was doing something she wasn’t supposed to, but if that wasn’t the [Mind’s Eye of the Kagura] at play I’ll eat my non-existing hat.

    And she didn’t have to dodge the Bullet Hell of Motherly Expectations at the same time.

    No, I’m not bitter.

    Control itself, once you’re done with the introspection phase, is the fine art of leveraging your willpower against the natural flow of said preternatural energies so their behaviour will be altered to fit your purposes. In other words, you have to out-stubborn your own life-force.

    If my stupid Shimada blood has given something, that’s sutubbornness.

    Sit thigh and wait Karin, all debts will be repaid!

    ...Still not bitter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  4. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    She spent the vacation slapping the stupid out of the people who were effectively torturing Karin's mother? Of course she enjoyed her break. That's a lot of slapping.
     
  5. LurkingInTheDeceit

    LurkingInTheDeceit “Brave” Explorer treading “new” land

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    And I’m not actually sure they will recover from the recession anytime soon.*

    I have never blown up anything!/I have never blown anything up!/I’ve never blown anything up*

    Getting off topic.*

    Stubbornness*

    high and wait/by and wait* unless you mean: Sit on my thigh and wait* which is one way of getting her to work off her debts. :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    Some were intended, but thanks for the heads up! Fixed now.
     
  7. Threadmarks: 017 - Ryūzetsu Interlude: Clan Honor and Personal Honor
    Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    017 - Ryūzetsu Interlude: Clan Honor and Personal Honor.

    I used to have more ego than common sense, I probably still have. When one grows amongst a group of people, one tends to absorb their traits. Not everything is bad, of course, the tenacity to chase down our goals and the wit to find the path to them, are the Haizuki most valued virtues, and they’re strong in me. As often happens though, it’s the problematic traits that have me in this situation.

    When I first met the bitch, I only knew her as the child of a traitor who married into a fading clan. Nobody told me the Shimada were fucking monsters, nor that the bitch herself was a living stereotype of her clan. The whole year, I tried to act as was expected from me, to assert dominance in my age group and show the bitch her place.

    … That went as well as anyone who knows the bitch can imagine.

    She showed me up in theory classes, and beating her a fight meant nothing when she wasn’t even trying. My family held me to the unreasonable standard she held and, no matter how much I tried, I simply couldn’t keep up.

    Back then, I was convinced she was some sort of heartless, mindless zombie. She didn’t do idle talk, she didn’t do playing, she didn’t even do smiling. She just studied and learnt, mocking us with her ‘special classes’ and ‘losing’ her sparring matches.

    And then she meets Uzumaki, and suddenly she has a heart? Honestly, back that first day, when she saw the skittish weakling trying to sit besides the bitch, she was half-expecting to see blood spilled. Instead she practically adopted her. We all remember why Ami wears an eyepatch.

    I only learnt this recently, but my family had been waging a very aggressive discredit campaign against her after the events during the Haizuki yearly meeting. When I ranted about the new girl befriending the bitch, they jumped at the chance to turn the relationship into a lever to rally everyone against them.

    That… that too went as well as anyone who knows the bitch can imagine, actually.

    But Uzumaki didn’t remain a weakling nerd forever. As months and years went by, I saw her rise higher and higher in the physical rankings. By now, the only ones who can consistently beat her besides the bitch herself are Muku and me, and even Muku eyes her carefully when they’re made to spar with each other.

    By the Sage, there’s still another year in the Academy. If she keeps improving at this rate she’ll leave us all in the dust.

    And that’s without mentioning how they’ve spent this last year blatantly practicing chakra control in the classroom. Narutaki-sensei tried to call them on it, but they’re also paying attention to the lessons at the same time somehow, so there’s nothing he can really complain about. I tried to do the same, but to focus on the exercise I had to ignore sensei, and that didn’t work very well. Muku can do it a bit, with the simpler exercises, but that’s all.

    I eye the bitch put away the senbon she was using for today’s exercises and get ready to leave the classroom for the day, and let out a sigh. Now matter how much I want to nail the showoff in the face, she’s not doing anything actually wrong. Also I’d probably be the one who ends up with a bloody nose anyway.

    These first three years in the Academy were my time to make a name for myself, when my clan training would’ve set me as the queen bee before chakra lessons officially began. Next year, the great equalizer that’s wielding chakra will be introduced, and things will be significantly harder for me. Everything was supposed to go differently, but that’s something I’ll never see now.

    Lately… I also feel like it all was handled poorly.

    The bi— Shimada was never hostile to us, even when we went out of our way to make her life difficult. It makes one wonder how things could’ve gone with a more friendly approach, but that’s something else we’ll never see now.

    In any case, stubbornly sticking to methods that don’t work is beyond stupid. Recently, other’s attempts to get to her just make me wince. I’ve had to hide a smirk of my own sometimes, when a specially dumb idea fails spectacularly.

    Yes, this is ridiculous. There is such a thing as trying too hard, and stubbornness only becomes tenacity when it’s accompanied by success. At what point does a child become disillusioned with her elders? How long can one indulge the pettiness and obstinacy from those above one’s station while pretending to still believe it to be ‘wisdom’?

    Heir or not, I barely have any power within the Clan, and what little I have has failed to convince the rest into accepting the loss of face and dropping this fool’s errand before it our constant failures makes us lose even more face. And yet I will be the Clan head one day, assuming Shimada-sama keeps tolerating our antics and there is a Clan to be the head of by then. If I want some chance of picking up the pieces of this disaster, it’s time to swallow childish pride and make amends.

    I take a deep breath, and approach the two of them right as they are leaving.

    “Shimada.” Uzumaki subtly tenses at my unexpected approach, but she doesn’t cower, she’s certainly come a long way. Shimada herself doesn’t miss a beat, barely shifting her head enough to get me into her field of vision.

    “Ryūzetsu” That’s another thing about Shimada, she doesn’t give a shit about propriety. I can count myself lucky she at least uses my given name, there are people in class she keeps calling ‘whatsyourface’ after three years.

    “You’re a tough bitch.” I comment as nonchalantly as I can manage, studiously staring at the railings in front of us. “It used to drive me spare.”

    “What do you want, Haizuki?” Yes, Uzumaki has come a long way, and not always in a direction I feel particularly pleasant. But I resist the urge to snarl. I’m here for a reason.

    “But now I think… I think I can respect it.” I say instead, turning towards Shimada and, for the first time in my life, bow my head down to her. Not low enough to make this an apology, the elders will throw a fit if it reaches their ears I apologized to a Shimada, but low enough to show respect. “I tried to make it stop, but I failed.”

    I know the bitch enough to know she won’t answer to my words, except maybe with an arched brow I have no hurry to see, so I turn and leave. I failed to make her bow, I failed to make her break. I even failed to make amends. Reached this point, this is the most I can do, so this is what I’ve done.

    Yes, I used to have more ego than common sense, I probably still have. But I’m trying.

    Timeskip because I don’t want to deal with Academy chapters, this isn’t Harry Potter. If it wasn’t for some things I need to write from Ran’s PoV, the next chapter would be Uzumama’s interlude and the end of the Arc. As things stand, 2-3 more chapters.
     
  8. Edifier

    Edifier Trusted within thoughts.

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    You'd be surprised how little time was spent in the academy, between missions, and d ranks in the manga. Most of that filler was skipped or time skipped in favor of adventure. Tho I fail to recall how that changed as naruto progressed, truth be told I can't recall what happened after Sasuke ditched. Was that where the biggest timeskip of all happened, into Shippuden?
    While most fanfic I can recall are exclusively that, academy days, d ranks, and off in their own heads and plans.

    No matter, no matter. I'm enjoying the perfectionist tremendously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  9. Selias

    Selias Experienced.

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    What are you talking about? The manga starts just before they graduate.
     
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  10. M4DM0XX1

    M4DM0XX1 "Always love a good tip."

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    Ughh but the anime filler flashbacks.... repeating the same story over and over and over again...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
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  11. Diver

    Diver I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Someone in this idiotic village actually sees the writing on the wall. It’s impressive that she realizes she fucked up and tries to make that peace overture to Ran despite the rest of the clan holding on to their idiot balls.
     
  12. DbDRAKE

    DbDRAKE Possibly some sort of Actual Dragon?

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    yeeaaaaah

    I like your chracterization of whatsherface; glad she isn't gonna be a draco malfoy
     
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  13. Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    Yeah... the 'off in their own heads' part is certainly strong in this one. The academy days only gained relevance when I tried to expand a bit the original one-shot, and I'm still unsure of how I'm handling it, but the alternative is to say 'four years went by, shit happened and then we graduated' and be done with it, not conductive to actually ahave a story. About the D-ranks... well, we're not there yet ;)

    What do you expect of a place who worked to death their last adult survivor of a prominent clan and treated her daughter, who had a whooping total of three different bloodline limits like an expendable? Darwin has something to say about them, and it's not something nice.

    In all honesty though, not everyone is an idiot, but those are always the loudest and Ran isn't looking too closely either.

    I'm assuming you mean Ryūzetsu, whatsherface is just a generic name Ran uses on anyone she doesn't bother remembering, when she can't be arsed with politeness.

    And yeah, the comparison is certainly adecquate. Both are rivals coming from well-off families suffering from both expectations and swollen heads. But Ryūzetsu is actually being trained to be an excellent shinobi in a world where that basically means 'competent at everything' and, being fair, she's good at it. Third/fourth in a class with two disgustingly outstanding genius is no small feat. So yeah, she pays attention and uses her brains. She's also reaching that age where everything her elders aren't simply blindly followed anymore.
     
  14. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Hey remember that swing Naruto used to sit on sadly when he was a kid? It's had more screentime via flashback than most characters, lol
     
  15. M4DM0XX1

    M4DM0XX1 "Always love a good tip."

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    Definetely more screentime than TenTen that's for sure.
    Two somewhat cool moments, and she lost directly after one of them

    ... i guess she's the straight man in Rock Lee's springtime of youth... but I don't think that counts
     
  16. Threadmarks: 018 - I’m way too spushial!!!
    Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    018 - I’m way too spushial!!! (That’s not a good thing)



    As Ryūzetsu walks away, I’m surprised to notice I’m sagging in relief. As if a muscle that’s been tense so long you no longer notice it finally relaxes, and I realize that somehow, deep down, I’ve been putting her face on the mysterious figure trying to make Karin’s life miserable.

    Immediately afterwards I realized something else. I no longer feel like dealing with this shit myself. I think it’s past time to have a chat with Mother.

    “Uh… Ran-san? You’re making a scary face.”

    “Am I?” I’m just smiling, swear! “Don’t worry about that. We were planning the end of term celebration, weren’t we?”

    “Ah, yes! Mama said your mom had something in mind for the four of us!”

    “I hadn’t heard.” I comment with a small slump of shoulders. Sometimes I feel like Mother gets along better with Uzumama than with me. “Those two really like to scheme together, don’t they?”

    “Hm!” Karin nods enthusiastically. “Mama is always more cheerful when your mom is around!”

    … And now I feel guilty about feeling jealous.

    The ‘celebration’ consisted of taking us to a ramen restaurant, which nearly gave me a heart attack. You see, I’ve spent the last two years doing my best to keep Karin the hell away from the, as far as fanon has let me know, highly addictive substance for Uzumakis. It’s not like I didn’t enjoy a bowl every now and then in my old life, it's just that cancerous meme about ‘the food of the gods’ thing that I find distasteful and vaguely disturbing.

    Karin enjoyed the meal, but no more than any other savory dish. Two years of stressing about nothing and I can only be glad about it. Because let’s be honest here. What were the chances I’d keep her away from ramen for a whole lifetime?

    Wait, doesn’t this mean she’ll never curl up happily in my lap after stuffing herself with ramen? Damn, that’s definitely a problem. Will have to machinate orchestrate fabricate find an alternate way. Or get some Shokugeki no Souma cooking skills.

    That sounds like a great use of my time, like those waifu catalog stories with their fairy feast. It’s not like I have something to do while practising chakra control anymore, and it even ties to my studies in chemistry. It was about time I found a specialization in that field too…

    Back to the topic, the meal was great, even if Karin left with Uzumama to spend one of her rare free days together. It doesn’t matter, because this year we’ll keep with the tradition of taking me out of the village to drive me to the ground somewhere without child abuse laws train, and Karin is coming with again.

    She even seemed enthused with the idea of training under Mother alongside me. Oh, sweet summer child...


    The next day, barely an hour after departing from Kusa, Karin is starting to regret her enthusiasm. At least I got some serious practice in moving through trees last time Mother brought me along, but for her it’s the first time visiting Konoha’s border.

    “Mother?” I ask, abandoning Karin’s side to match pace with her.

    “Yes, Ran?”

    “How did you manage to bring Karin along?” I’m not going to complain, but the adorable redhead that’s trying her best to keep up with Mother’s hellish pace is still both an Academy student and a Village Asset. “Did you make her an apprentice too?”

    “I can’t just take anyone as my apprentice, Ran.” There is a hint of amusement in her voice that I know means she won’t be giving a straight answer.

    “Somehow I doubt you’ve kidnapped her.” I dig for an elaboration anyway, knowing is a vain hope.

    “I have said all I will in the matter.” Yeah, called it. I know she’s not actually annoyed with my questions, just… feeling playful or whatever is Mother’s equivalent. Which means she’s actually told me enough -and just enough- to get the right answer. It’ll even be obvious in hindsight, I’m sure.

    So annoying...

    Mother only lets up a couple of hours later, in a forest clearing whose beauty I’m frankly in no form to appreciate. And I got off somewhat lightly, judging by Karin’s state, the whole trip has been calculated to bring her to the limit of physical exhaustion. All through our cool down exercises -not necessary for those with chakra, but still a good idea when you can afford it- she’s incapable of catching her breath, so instead of trying to strike a conversation, I just nod towards a particularly inviting tree and sit against it.

    ...And I’m somewhat surprised when she plops right on my side, collapsing sideways on my shoulder with half her body doing her best to sink into mine. Two years is a long time at our age, and she’s been progressively relaxing and displaying casual trust along the way, but this might be the first time she’s initiated something like this. A hug here and there? Sure, if short and not very often. Pretty much collapsing into me? This is a first.

    Tentatively, I raise my hand to scratch the back of her head, and she answers by pressing herself against it making a face of utter delight. Only the purring is missing.





    Give me a second, I’m afraid my heart is melting.

    Okay, Ran, deep breaths. Ignore Karin’s soft body against you, and don’t think about her smell coming from right besides you. You are the cool senpai, so you are not going to burst into hysterical giggles. There’s only the Flame and the Void, throw all the unnecessary thoughts into the flame, feed the flame, feel the void all around you as temptations and worldly desires get drawn into—

    Karin shifts slightly, and all my hard work crumbles. Damnit Al’Thor(1), your teachings don’t work in real life!

    “If you’re done catching your breath...” Mother drawls from right in front of me, nearly giving me a heart attack. “I brought some chakra paper. It’s a bit soon to explore elemental transformations, but knowing your affinities has other uses. Grab a single sheet and push your chakra into it, how it reacts will tell us what’s your main affinity.”

    Oh, we’re doing the chakra paper thing before leaving the Academy? Cool! Always wondered why it wasn’t standard procedure. I mean, once you learn how to channel chakra, it costs nothing to just pass around some sheets around the students and figure out their affinities.

    Well, it does cost something, sure, but if everyone gets tested the Academy can buy in bulk. Probably even justify a budget increase just for that. Unless the money-pinchers upstairs are being obstructive jerks? But that shouldn’t be the case. Obstructive jerks crippling Kusa’s future army carry a serious risk of suffering steel poisoning. As in, ten inches of steel through the throat for high treason.

    “Chakra paper can give false positives if used before a certain degree of chakra control is achieved, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you two.” … Oh, that makes sense too.

    Karin goes first. I’d love to say she frowns cutely with the effort to coax her chakra out of her body, but we’re way past that point by now, so instead I just get to see how the paper she’s holding turns into a sopping mess.

    “Water affinity.” Kinda boring, but it fits. “The fluid element which is, ironically enough, the second most tangible one, after Earth. Good against Fire, strengthened by Lightning and weak against Earth. Those are just rules of thumb though, the Water element is very flexible, and it’s easy to find workarounds for supposed weaknesses with a creative mind and enough training.”

    In other words, there’s a training hell waiting for her once we have the reserves to pull it off. I’m curious about that ‘very flexible’ comment though, I seem to remember a kiri-nin using [Water Release - Oil Rain] in the fillers. If that’s actually canon, that means the correct water release application can feed on fire like the normal one does with lightning. Kind of what Jiraiya does with his toad combination jutsu.

    “Water-aligned shinobi are also traditionally encouraged to pursue the healing arts,” She continues. “But that would be disgustingly redundant in your case. Do resist any attempt to pressure you into that, it will do you a world of good.”

    Heh, called it. Told her exactly that a year ago.

    Then it’s my turn to hold the paper and I won’t say I’m not feeling at least a tiny bit giddy about it. I mean, this is sort of a big thing, isn’t it? An affinity will dictate what I should put my efforts towards for the best results, and that’s without mentioning the possibility of an elemental Kekkei Genkai. I have my stupid Shimada blood, after all.

    Holding the sheet with two fingers, I channel a bit of chakra into it. It’s actually easier than expected, the paper practically drinking it out of me with the smallest effort, but there’s no reaction just yet. I guess that’s not enough chakra? I didn’t want the paper to explode or something -unless that means I have Explosion Release, of course- so I went easy on it, but if it wants more, I can give it more.

    Progressively increasing my output, I start getting nervous. The volume I’m channeling right now is enough to keep me stuck in a wall, and as light as my almost-eleven-years-old body is, that’s still a considerable amount. But there’s nothing I can be doing wrong, the exercise literally only needs me to channel chakra into the paper.

    Mentally shrugging, I increase the flow again. Soon, I’m sweating again under the effort of first pouring my maximum sustainable output and then going beyond that, and start depleting my reserves. The fucking paper still sits fat and lazy between my fingers, not showing any reaction. There’s something obviously wrong with this, but I’ll be damned if I give up now. The thing will react or I’ll pass out from Chakra exhaustion!!

    “Huh, this is certainly new.” Mother mutters, interrupting my duel of stubbornness with the inanimate cellulose-based object. “You appear to have no affinities.”

    “And what does that mean?”

    “First and foremost, that you’re one of a kind, so I won’t be able to know anything for certain. Still, if I had to make an educated guess I’d say is as simple as you being incapable of enjoying the advantages of having an affinity, but the disadvantages won’t weigh you down either.”

    “It could also mean I can’t use elemental transformations.” I shoot back, maybe peeved a teensy little bit with the situation.

    “Don't get sassy with me, Ran.” She doesn’t make her eyes roll, because that’s not something Mother does, but the feeling is there. “Learning a style of elemental transformation will certainly be harder for you than the average chunin, but there’s no reason to assume you will be handicapped beyond that. People do learn elemental transformations not their affinity with some hard work. On the contrary, this might be an opportunity. You’ll have an easier time than the Third Hokage to master them all.”

    “Handicapped in the commonplace, gifted on the extraordinary, then?” Stupid Shimada blood… “How very… Shimada of me.”

    “Indeed, you’re my daughter after all.”

    … I’m not blushing, damnit!

    But seriously, what am I supposed to do with a void affinity? This is not Zero no Tsukaima, no Void Mages here. And I doubt very much something as convenient as being able to use all elemental Kekkei Genkai is going to fall into my lap either. As Mother said, this means all elemental transformations will be equally hard to develop.

    Being a special snowflake is supposed to give me an overpowered ability, not this… whatever this is! And may Madoka have mercy on me if Orochimaru ever hears I exist. Strapped to an operation table with the organs of half a dozen bloodline-users grafted into my body is about the best possible turnout from that. I would probably be unlucky enough to survive the process too.

    Seriously, stupid supposedly special snowflake Shimada blood…

    (1) She’s talking about Tam Al’Thor, from The Wheel of Time series. Who taught that meditation technique to his son.


    “Well now, this is unsettling...”

    “What’s wrong, Mother?”

    “I have just been summoned to a nearby outpost. Max priority, expect intense combat on arrival. No great village should have any interest in the area, could be some missing-nin with more guts than brain.” It’s obvious she’s frustrated by this, I can almost see her tsking in annoyance. “I can’t just ignore this… Seems like you’ll have to prove your mettle in the wilderness a bit sooner than expected. Now, Karin, don’t let my daughter do anything stupid while I’m not here, alright?”

    And with that, she [Body Flickers] away, leaving us alone. A cricket can be heard in the background.

    Eh? EEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHH!?!?!?!?!?!?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  17. App E

    App E Know what you're doing yet?

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    Cool, a bloodline ability that's both powerful and not, quite a good fit, all things considered. I certainly wouldn't have any complaints.
     
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  18. JamesEye

    JamesEye Know what you're doing yet?

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    Heh. I love the reoccurring Shimida line. Of course the first time I read Shimida my brain went
    Naruto->Shi->Shimura Danzo-> p a n i c

    Was relieved when I Read it correctly.


    Also can you spoil me if there’s going to be a huge tragedy planned aka super Mama-Shimida being killed in front of Baby Shimida?? The more fluffy and cuddly it gets the worse my anticipation of typical SI tragedy becomes! It’s terrible!! I keep feeling happy but then looking over my shoulder preparing myself for trauma feels ahhhhh.


    Really fun to read though, I like your style. Thanks for writing.
     
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  19. Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    I liked the idea because it was something original (at least I haven't seen it used before. I'm sure someone in the infinite sea of Naruto fics has thought of it before tho) that didn't actually mean much in terms of balance. As Mother said, not having an affinity means there's no element you favor, but also that there's no element you have particular trouble with. A bit like a D&D generalist Wizard in a world where everyone else has a favored school. Out of the norm, but not really an advantage.

    Will take the chance to point out that chakra paper revealing kekkei genkai affinities is fanon, and Ran's elucubrations in-story shouldn't be taken as confirmation one way or another for this story. She's, after all, someone who's internalized a lot of fanfiction read during her past life. And her Shimada blood specifically doesn't help her sorting through those memories.

    All we know for certain at this point is that Ran doesn't have a predominant nature.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Shimada is a name I picked before the world of Naruto became relevant. Actually I'm a bit surprised nobody else commented on it.

    ... While we're at it, I might as well mention that name was also picked before Overwatch was a thing, since that's another obvious logical jump.

    Won't get into specifics, but there's some tragedy looming in the horizon. Next chapter will make pretty obvious what about.
     
  20. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Ye, like I thought, she'll pick up all 5 base elements and Yin Yang in a few years.
     
  21. LurkingInTheDeceit

    LurkingInTheDeceit “Brave” Explorer treading “new” land

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    world of good.
    not this... whatever this is!

    That last snippet of writing that wasn’t included seems designed for getting the MC and Karin alone together in the wilderness, but I guess there’s no reason to include that if relationship development is planned elsewhere. Melting Remora-chan is overwhelmingly cute btw.
     
  22. Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    Fixed now, thanks for the heads up!

    Yeah, half that, half trying to inflate the wordcount for the summer just because. I had a bit of a story about falling through a hole and Ran remembering Madara had been hiding somewhere in the general area and getting all paranoid. But there was absolutely no point in that, so I scrapped it.

    Next chapter ends the arc btw, and should be ready by saturday
     
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  23. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    I did have to look up Danzo's family name to double check that there wasn't an explicit connection there.
     
  24. Threadmarks: 019 - Uzumaki Kurisu interlude: A mother above all else
    Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    019 - Uzumaki Kurisu interlude: A mother above all else.



    I never should’ve survived birth.

    Mother’s pregnancy was difficult, and I was born weak and small. For what I’ve heard later on, my early years were ones of constant sickness and fear for my life, of sleepless nights taking care of the feverish girl that constantly wore on her parent’s own cheer and energy.

    It took me years to grow healthy enough to leave home by myself and, even then, I was never quite strong enough to play rough with the rest of the children. My sisters never resented it where I could see, but I’m sure they were exasperated with me and the constant limitation I was to their own games and playtime.

    Then Uzu was razed to the ground and, by some sick joke of fate, I was the only one in our family to survive, escaping the massacre with just the big gash to my forehead that now scars my face. Alongside the old soldier who saved me from the invasion, we joined a caravan and wandered the Elemental Nations. Still too weak to pull my own weight, it was only a mix of Takami-baachan’s hard work and the caravan’s goodwill thatI was able to survive at all.

    I should’ve been thrice dead by then.

    Instead, I met a man who made my heart beat faster and married him. While I loved Hikoboshi though, my feelings for him were more a tool to keep my dark thoughts at bay than a miracle cure. But then I had a daughter, and with her came the best time of my life. For ten years, I became someone I never thought I could be, and forgot about all my fears and regrets. I had a family, a loving husband and a little girl who was the light of my eyes and kept the darkness away with her mere presence.

    Everything changed when the Kusa-nin attacked.

    The hunt for surviving Uzumaki had relaxed with the years, but that was simply because most of us had either found a patron to protect them, or… a patron had found them. My caravan was hardly either and, when we were found by shinobi, they never should’ve tried to fight back.

    For the fourth time, I stared death in the eye. Bad thoughts came back to the forefront after years of being relegated to the darkest corners of my mind and with them, old temptations. I remember thinking that the coward’s way out would be preferable to what awaited me if the Kusa-nin took me to their village.

    But I couldn’t do that. Because, if I did, why had Hikoboshi bled, trying to protect us? What would be of Karin without me to take the brunt of the abuse? I put a kitchen knife to my neck, and bargained my family’s safety for my surrender.

    We were ‘escorted’ into the village, Hikoboshi was given ‘medical assistance’ and we were ‘graciously granted’ temporary lodging while a real living space was arranged. Just another way to say they were waiting for my husband to die so they could go cheap. ‘Wounds suffered during the scuffle’, they said. The bastards didn’t even bother trying to look sorry.

    Things weren’t quite as bad as I had feared. Their doctors soon realized I didn’t have the vitality that most of my clan was famous for, and that I wouldn’t survive excessively rough treatment. Still, with my cooperation guaranteed by the unspoken threat hanging on Karin, I was forced to long hours healing the people of the village, or just away from home for them to make a point.

    The darkness came back. It was hard to keep it at bay, when I woke up bone-tired in the morning and went to bed utterly exhausted. But I couldn’t give up yet, Karin needed me. By that point, my best bet for my daughter’s future was to help her be assimilated into the village, become an asset in her own right, so she wouldn’t be forced to take my place once I couldn’t keep up anymore.

    It was working, even. I won’t say Karin didn’t realize anything, because she’s a smart girl and my own act slipped more than once, but she got in the good graces of a little monster of a girl who didn’t hesitate to visit grievous harm on her peers to protect her. I can’t say I found the situation ideal, but considering the circumstances, it was about the best I could hope for.

    Better the hoard of a dragon than meat for the meat grinder.

    I couldn’t deny them when the Shimada decided to take her away during the school holidays either. As much as I wanted to see her at the end of the day, to remind myself the reason I was enduring all this, trying to make her stay would mean her being alone the whole day, with me busy and her only friend away. That’s assuming asking me wasn’t just a formality, and my decisions actually had a weight.

    That’s how I used to think, back then. Before I saw how the little dragon who claimed my daughter behaved in her own house, before I met Onee-sama and was taught things only a woman can teach another woman. I don’t love her, but I think I could have, if only things had transpired differently.

    Things improved after meeting her. My ‘working hours’ weren’t so long anymore, I began to have free time on the weekends… I even feel like the work itself became less grueling. But it was too little, too late. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Karin is safe, Ran-chan may be a little monster of skewed morality and a nebulous sense of compassion towards fellow humans, but she will sooner see the world burn than allow harm to touch her and that’s all I need to know. While I’m unsure of how the future will play out, the things that matter are well taken care of.

    Day by day, I’m slowly dying. After all those near-misses all along my life I know better than anyone. The Shinigami’s breathing on my neck, waiting for his due.

    Oh, Onee-sama offered to help and I don’t doubt she would’ve managed, one way or another. But I refused. Too many ghosts, too many regrets. She may have turned my last years from a nightmare to something I can enjoy, but even she can’t lift the weariness of my soul. This is just a dead woman’s last taste of earthly pleasures before I finally rejoin my family.

    My sweet, bright daughter… Please grow happy and strong. Rely on those who would help you become the best person you can be and ignore those who would see you dragged down into the mud. If even your wretch of a mother could live long enough to see you be born and grow, then someone like you has the world at her feet.

    Arc 1: Halcyon days of youth, END

    And there we have it. Shorter than expected, but I finished when I finished. As I mentioned before, I’ll take a break for a while, to review my notes and prepare the next arc. On another news, the first ‘chapter’ of ‘Crow or Bust’ is up. Just character creation for now, without any background, because it’s up to you guys what the background will be.

    Uzumama doesn’t have the cheerful personality most confirmed Uzumaki and pretty much every fan-made character shares. She’s an introspective woman who naturally tends towards depression, and she’s been suffering survivor's guilt since Uzu. She doesn’t see her own life as valuable nor cared overly much about her own survival for the longest time. The only reason she made it this far is Karin.

    Her love for her daughter and the need to protect her acted the part of what in a well-adjusted individual would be survival instincts. That’s also why she tried so hard once they were taken to Kusa. She could’ve gotten away with not working to exhaustion every single day if she wasn’t so terrified Kusa would make Karin pick up the slack for her, but she never dared try.

    Then met Mother, and her life improved a fair deal. If she didn’t fall in love, she was at least happy, and her job was a fair deal easier after Mother had words with people. The more she knew the Shimada, the more she grew to respect them. Unfortunately, that meant she inevitably decided Karin would be better off without her.

    Bullshit, but a lack of self-worth makes you miss some pretty damn obvious things.

    Mother tried to help her, but she refused and if Mother respects something is the right of self-determination. She won’t impose her help on the unwilling, even when it would’ve been objectively the right thing to do. As she mentions in another story, ‘Even my own flawlessness manages to create flaws by itself’.

    You can’t fuck the suicidal tendencies out of someone.

    … at least, not out of anyone.

    The old soldier was named Takami for the Sekirei character, the husband was called Hikoboshi because that’s as generic as you can get with a male lover japanese name.
     
  25. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    We'll look forward to your enthusiasm returning.
     
  26. Diver

    Diver I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Ah damn, it was as bad as I feared. What will Ran do when she has confirmation that the Village killed her very bestest friend’s mother through bloodline abuse? Seriously, I know that Shinobi villages are all black ops child soldier manufacturing hate pits once you get past the sparkle of the manga/anime but do they never think that enslaving someone might come back to bite them in the ass? From everything in canon, Uzu was a genuinely nice place with genuinely nice people mostly content to sit there and do there own thing and then they were attacked by overwhelming force and despite being wiped out managed to take most of the bastards with them. And their big fucking ally, the great Konoha, didn’t go and wipe out any of the villages in revenge or gather all the scattered Uzumaki. They sat back with the princess they just happened to have, said shame on you to all the offending Villages, and did fuck all. So honestly, with my bias towards Uzumaki, I would be perfectly happy watching Ran and Karin implode Kusanagi (because explosions are for amateurs) and go off adventuring at some point. Sorry about the mini rant, can’t wait for the next arc.
     
    One-who-reads likes this.
  27. LurkingInTheDeceit

    LurkingInTheDeceit “Brave” Explorer treading “new” land

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    *chuckles*


    Clearly delineated arcs are a rarity tbh, which is a good sign for the fic. Really enjoyed what I’ve read so far, so you should take as much time as you need to get your muse for this story back.


    Will check this out, don’t expect too much out of my plans though (not read much fanfiction from the setting, Nvm the actual show).
     
  28. darknessfalls

    darknessfalls Not too sore, are you?

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    Lol, I had the exact same reaction.
     
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  29. Planeshunter

    Planeshunter [Verified Slimegirl Whisperer]

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    Is this a bad time to mention the original plan was even worse? In the first draft, Uzumama never personally met the Shimada, thus never had that last year of happiness, nor the reassurance that Karin was in good hands.
     
  30. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Yeah, that's around what I expected from Uzumama's character given what we've seen of it. The surprise is Mother being bi and willing to respect others' self-determination, if anything.
     
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