**Lightning Fires**Chapter 8

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    PeinQAkatsuki
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    **Lightning Fires**Chapter 8

    Post by PeinQAkatsuki on Sat Aug 07 2010, 04:41


    CHAPTERS
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5
    Chapter 6
    Chapter 7
    Chapter 8

    Pein had never been to the northwestern canyons, and if her village hadn’t been recently burned down, she’d be excited to see what it was like there. But after seeing her village in ruins, she couldn’t bear to feel much excitement. As they trekked through the woods again, the stench of burned buildings was beginning to subside. Pein found she missed it, even though it really did reek. It was like a little reminder of home.

    Home. Pein thought. What a thought. Just yesterday we had a home to go to. Now look where we are. Homeless. I hope Clair lets us stay in Inferno. She kept her eyes downcast as they continued. Aki had her arms crossed and her head down as well while she walked.

    This sucks, she thought sadly. Why Storm? This isn’t fair. She looked up and glanced around at the ninja that were as depressed as she was. Even Reshii looked mournful. The birds were singing in the treetops, and a burning prairie wind blasted through the forest. At this rate, Aki thought. Something could spontaneously combust. Though I guess there’s no village for miles. She sighed. It was farther to Inferno than it was to Mist. More like a six or seven day journey. You couldn’t even see the canyons from the Kage office, though it was said on a clear day (which there never was) you could see to the Sand Village Desert, which lay directly south from the canyons.

    Six days of uneventful travelling went by. Nothing much was said between the five unless talking was necessary. Soon the humidity changed again. Plains humidity was drier, more like a blast furnace. Ocean humidity seemed like you would never dry out. Canyon humidity was another story.

    The one-hundred degree heat radiated off the rocks as the ninja approached the cliffs leading to the village which lay below, burning their skin. Pein could see the river where they were standing. There was only one major river in WOTN, the Ryuuiki. The mouth started in the mountains, and it travelled through the bottom of the northern tundra, down through the canyons, bypassing the desert entirely, and ending up in the ocean some miles from the Mist village. One of its tributaries, the Kawazoi, ran through the eastern plains of the Storm Village.

    “So that’s the big river.” Darnas said as he gazed down from the cliffs at the body of water that could only be described as a large creek. Aki nodded.

    “Yeah I guess so. The Kawazoi river is even smaller than that, isn’t it?” A mile upstream was the Inferno Village, and Pein could see the Kage building from where she was standing. A pang of homesickness went through her heart as she noticed that it looked exactly the same as the one in Storm had.

    “Sooo…” Reshii started. “How do we get down there?” Closer inspection proved that, indeed, the bottom of the canyon was nearly half a mile below. The pause after her sentence was nearly tangible before Darnas spoke up.

    “Anyone like bungee jumping?” he asked.

    *********
    Clair looked out of her window in the Inferno Village Kage Building. Her vision ratcheted into focus to the five blobs on the cliffs a mile from where she stood. She recognized the headbands on their foreheads, seeing that all but one were Storm ninja.

    “Hm,” she said before calling the guards outside her door. They walked in dutifully. Clair smiled at their headbands, her village’s symbol. She took great pride in her village. She remembered when she first moved to the Migrant Sun village. Dark Raptor was her Hoshikage. And then, she remembered when she took over as Hoshikage, and finally settling her village into the northwestern canyons, becoming the Kajikage of the Inferno Village. She remembered this all in the instant before asking her guards to fetch her vice-kage. Within moments, the sound of soft footfalls reached Clair’s ears as she turned back to the window.

    “You asked for me, Clair?” ThiCup asked softly. Clair smiled.

    “Yeah. C’mere Thi, and look out the window. Focus on the blobs about a mile from here.” Thi did as she was told and focused her hawk-like vision on the ninja on the cliffs.

    “Oh,” she said softly. “More are here? Oh, there’s Reshii!” Clair nodded.

    “I guess so. Ketsu said that there would be more ninja coming, though I didn’t expect a Mist one also.” She turned to her vice-kage. “Do you think you could go help them? I know you’re fast. Help them find the trail that they’re almost stepping on, and bring them here.” Thi nodded.

    “Okay,” she said, and smiled. She ran out of the office and out of the building. Clair watched her go from the window behind her desk. She smiled and sat down in her chair.

    “Well,” she said aloud. “Now we wait.”

    *********
    “Okay, honestly,” Kaga said exasperatedly. “There is absolutely no way down from here unless someone has a rope!” They’d been searching for any sort of trail that could have taken them down the sheer rock face for nearly a half an hour.

    Stupid canyons, Aki thought. We’ll never get down there. And if we do? Great, but what if Clair didn’t let us stay there? How do we get back up? Though I suppose that climbing up is easier than going down-- Her thoughts were interrupted with someone calling down below the rock face.

    “HEY!” they called, making the ninja jump. “NEED SOME HELP?” They all peered below into the canyon and saw the girl down below, waving up at them. Aki waved back.

    “Yeah! We could use some--” she began yelling back.

    “THI!!!” Reshii exclaimed suddenly, making a move to climb down the rock face herself. Pein, Aki, and Kaga squawked and pulled her back by her shirt. Reshii was looking straight down, arms flapping trying to catch her balance, even though the three Storm ninja had a hold of her.

    “Are you NUTS?” Pein exclaimed, the last word reverberating back to their ears.

    “Sorry!” Reshii said as they pulled her back up. “I just haven’t seen her for a long time! We were good friends when she visited Mist with the Sun Village!”

    “I’ll help you down!” the girl called up before walking up an easy trail that the ninja hadn’t even noticed before. She was at the top in less than five minutes. “I’m ThiCup,” she said, shaking the Storm ninjas’, who introduced themselves, hands. “But call me Thi.” She turned to her friend and grinned before hugging her tightly. “I’ve missed you!” she exclaimed.

    “I missed you too!” Reshii said excitedly. The hug ended and Thi grinned at the Storm ninja.

    “So, you guys are Ukatousen Clan?” she asked. Pein looked at Aki, who looked at Darnas. Kaga glanced around at all three of them, hoping someone knew something she didn’t.

    “I’m sorry,” Pein started. “We’re what?”

    “Ukatousen Clan!” Thi exclaimed, walking over to Pein. “You have the mark!” She pulled back Pein’s short hair and poked a spot on the right side of her neck.

    “Gah!” she protested, swatting at Thi. “That felt weird! Don’t poke my neck!” Thi paid Pein no mind before going to Aki.

    “You have it too!” Aki looked at her suspiciously.

    “How do you know that?” she asked.

    “Oh! I’m part of the Metsuki Clan! We have extremely enhanced vision. Sometimes we can even see through things.” She said the last part cryptically, causing the Storm ninjas’ faces from confused to dumbfounded and embarrassed. Thi laughed.

    “I’m kidding. We can’t see through clothes.” Four relieved sighs were released. “We can see vague outlines through things, like I can kind of see that boulder behind… Darnas was it? Yes, I can see a vague outline and shadow, but nothing more.” She turned her eyes back to the ninja. “I saw your small marks because I’m up close to you. Those of us who have the kekkei genkai can see even the smallest details up close, even those that normal eyes can’t distinguish.” She smiled sweetly. Reshii giggled.

    “Don’t worry!” she said, still giggling. “I was freaked the first time she pointed out my marking that showed that I was a member of the Teishoku clan. I didn’t even know I was! But then I asked Ama and found out about my clan and why I can change color!” She rapidly changed her eye color for emphasis. Thi smiled and turned to the trail she came up.

    “You were almost stepping on the trail down, you know.” she said. “Though it’s hard to see. The only reason we can get in and out of these canyons is because of the Metsuki kekkei genkai. Though not all of us villagers are members. Like how not all Mist villagers aren’t part of the Teishoku clan. And even then not all members have the kekkei genkai. It’s quite complex, but interesting as well.” Soon, the six ninja were at the bottom of the cliff that seemed unable to scale just minutes before.

    “Come on!” Thi said. “It’s just a mile to the village. You can run right?” The ninja nodded. “Good! Then follow me!” she exclaimed before running off faster than the other five. They arrived at the village ten minutes later huffing and puffing from the humidity.

    “You’re slow.” Thi said, frowning slightly. “Anyway, let’s hurry up. Clair wants to see you.” They began walking to the Kage building. Pein glanced around and saw Inferno ninja she recognized and… was that a Storm headband?

    “Pein! Aki! Darnas! Kaga! Hi!” called Claud, the owner of the headband, from a market stand. “Finally get here, huh?” The Storm ninja ran over.

    “Yeah, we did,” Aki said, smiling. “How’s it been in the canyons?”

    “Pretty good actually! Though it’s nothing like home…” Claud furrowed her brow for a moment. “But none of that melancholy stuff! Go talk to Clair. And in the building Ketsu has a temporary office as well! Someone will show you around, even if it’s me!” Claud laughed and returned back to what she was doing.

    “So,” Kaga said. “I guess Clair’s letting us stay here?” Thi nodded.

    “Yep! She thought that since we were once a migrant village with no set-in-stone home as well, we may as well pay back the hospitality that we were shown.” The walk to the Kage building was a little ways upstream, and Pein enjoyed the sound of the creek’s lazy pace. The water was clear enough so she could see the rocks at the bottom, along with little fish that flitted back and forth between them.

    “Does this thing ever flood?” Pein asked.

    “No,” Thi said. “Not really. Unless we’re having a really rainy season, then maybe it will get up to the market stands, but not much more than that.” On the other side of the creek bed, Pein could see the residential districts. The homes were made of stone rather than the concrete that was used back in Storm. But the thatch roofing brought reminiscent memories to Pein. The homes in Storm had thatch roofing. As she pondered this, Kaga, meanwhile, had tripped over a large rock and went tumbling into the creek.

    “Gah! It’s cold!” she spluttered, standing up abruptly. The ninja looked at her before breaking into laughter. Kaga looked at them indignantly.

    “Well, next time one of YOU should trip over a rock. Then tell me how you feel!” she protested. Aki stopped laughing for a moment to reply.

    “Well, next time you’ll be the one laughing, and you can tell me how you feel!” she countered, giggling still. Kaga rolled her eyes in annoyance and stepped out of the creek, shaking the water out of her shoes. The shoes squelched the rest of the way to the Kage building, adding insult to injury. The guards at the doors eyed Reshii suspiciously, but Thi waved them off, promising that Reshii was a friend and was travelling with the Storm ninja. The spiraling staircase brought Pein’s claustrophobia back, and she scurried up the stairs in front of the other ninja.

    “Claustrophobic, Granz?” Darnas asked lightly.

    “No. I just don’t like enclosed spaces. Like that staircase.” Pein waited for the others to arrive on the third floor landing, their footsteps changing sound tones. Two more guards stood outside of Clair’s office, but again Thi waved them away easily. She knocked three times on the wooden door. Footsteps were heard on the inside before the door opened.

    “Thank you, Thi.” Clair said, opening the door wider for the ninja to enter. “I can’t ever leave this office during the day. ‘You have too much responsibility!’ they say. Which is why they guard my door. I used to sneak out during the day to visit the marketplace,” she explained wistfully, shutting the door. “Then they started noticing my absences and began guarding my door during the day. Now I have to rely on my kekkei genkai to see the market.” As if she had said this all to herself, she turned to the visiting ninja.

    “Well,” she continued. “Welcome to Inferno! I’m sure this is different weather and geography than you’re used to. We haven’t had rain in months, let alone a thunderstorm.”

    “We haven’t had much rain either, actually.” Darnas said. “Which is why Reshii is travelling with us. We were supposed to bring back two Mist ninja to help put out the fires, but as you know the village burned down before we could get there. Reshii was one of the volunteer firefighters, but decided--”

    “More like demanded…” Aki muttered. Pein elbowed her.

    “--to join us. She’s trying to bring her clan together again.” Darnas smiled to himself, proud to relay the information. Clair blinked.

    “Well,” she said. “That’s cool. Reshii, you’re welcome here. I saw from my window that you and Thi are good friends?” Reshii nodded vigorously. “If you don’t mind me asking, what clan are you?”

    “Teishoku!” Reshii replied immediately. “Do you know about our kekkei genkai?” Clair shook her head no, and as Reshii began to explain her bloodline trait to the Kajikage, the Storm ninja began to talk amongst themselves.

    “So where do you think we’re living?” Kaga muttered.

    “Dunno,” Pein whispered back. “Probably in some undeveloped part of the village. Somewhere near the gates probably, assuming they have gates.”

    “I didn’t see any.”

    “Neither did I actually…”

    “It’s probably because of the cliffs and canyons.” Aki mused. “They’re so tall, and with their kekkei genkai, I’m sure they can see any intruders coming down through the canyons.”

    “Yeah, but what if they DON’T come through the canyons?” Darnas asked. Aki shrugged as Reshii finished explaining.

    “So…” Aki said, as if they hadn’t been talking just now. “Where are the Storm ninja living?” Clair grinned.

    “Over there, just outside of the marketplace.” She pointed to an area of white canvas tents that they hadn’t noticed before. To Pein’s surprise, they were living right in the village. “Ketsu’s office is two doors down from mine. She’ll help you get your tents squared around. All she’s been doing is bookkeeping, keeping track of her villagers.” Clair smiled serenely. “She’ll be happy to see you guys are all safe.” Taking this as a dismissal, the ninja left Clair’s office saying thanks.
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    sabaku no ketsueki
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    Re: **Lightning Fires**Chapter 8

    Post by sabaku no ketsueki on Wed Aug 18 2010, 21:55

    Rawr!
    No evil villians in this one?
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    PeinQAkatsuki
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    Re: **Lightning Fires**Chapter 8

    Post by PeinQAkatsuki on Fri Aug 20 2010, 00:55

    Not in this one xD haha~

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    Re: **Lightning Fires**Chapter 8

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