The smell of oil hung in the air, my hand guiding the rag along my Iai-Tachi, the sheen of the blade bright against the darkness that pooled around me. The moon floated quietly above, a faint sigh sounding against the crash of ocean waves.
The training grounds were positioned on the edge of Karakuri island, known for its clay-like soil; far more substantial than the usual sand many Kirigakure citizens were accustomed to. Made for good footing, something rare for here.
I'd continue polishing the weapon as I stared off into the distance, the sting of air against open wounds keeping me awake. A scrape across my left leg, a massive gash opened on my back - it had been a painful day. In the distance, one might be able to see the remains of what had been, but the shroud of night made it more than difficult.
A body - no, two - strewn across the area. Their heads were nowhere near themselves, having rolled quietly into the ocean... Hours? Ago. I shook my head, the frustration visible with flared nostrils. "Pain in my ass." Against the black sea, the bobbing waves flickered with moonlight - a boat approaching from the mainland.
"If these guys try to mug me, I think I'll lose it." the words were quiet, my hand releasing the rag into the water beneath. A step up and back, raising myself up as I sheathed my weapon. "Gotta find out, one way or another."
The life of a nukenin was an interesting one – the title itself came with an undeniable target on one's back for those who played in the politics of shinobi. As such, Itada was always in danger – he was always at the mercy of those who would inevitably come to hunt him, whether from his home, Amegakure, or any other of the shinobi nations.
And so, having knowledge of this information, it was ironic of him to be inside of a village foreign to him. He was a relative newcomer to Kirigakure, only stumbling upon its' location due to a merchant stopping here to resupply. As a former ninja, the art of infiltration and disguise was not new to the Uchiha, and through devious cunning, persuasion, and the occasional threat for intimidation, the brandished nukenin would find himself with the walls of the Hidden Mist, with freedom galore.
From what he had gathered from a few denizens in the area, Itada was on the edge of an island called Karakuri, which was plagued with a special sand that was different from the usual that everyone was used to, including himself. As far as he could tell, he actually had a steady footing as he trekked through.
The darkness made it difficult to see, but for a shinobi under the constant threat of being hunted, the moonlight blessed the landscape with enough light for the Uchiha to move about with confidence. Months of skulking about, avoiding patrols and Amegakure hunting parties, had conditioned the boy to be comfortable in the darkness.
Steady and casual footsteps carried him across the beach and right next to bodies laid across the ground, devoid of life and .. headless? He inspected the bodies for a second; whatever blood had spilled atop the sand had dried long ago, but whoever the assailant was had forgot to cover their footprints.
His eyes scanned the horizon for whatever – whoever – had done this, the footprints leading his vision to a man not that far away, blade on hand. Who else could be responsible for such a headless act?
It was in this moment the boy in front would stand and step back, clutching his blade.
Itada approached, cautious but not hesitant – the man seemed dangerous, but the Uchiha approached fearlessly, catching the last of the words that escaped from the boy's mouth.
If these guys try to mug me, I think I'll lose it" – Nomura
Itada smiled at the comment. Mugōn was put away - his true face apparent to the boy before him. A long ebony mane draped down his back, the same color as the hooded ebony cloak that adorned his frame. All his weaponry – daggers, kunai, smoke bombs, explosive tags, caltrops, ect, as well as a few pieces of technology he managed to smuggle out of the village – were tucked beneath.
"If they knew that they would lose their heads, I doubt they would try such a thing", Itada would reply to the boy, his words not threatening, but laced with a bit of poison.
My voice garnered attention I didn't expect, a bolt shooting down my spine as I slowly turned to face the newcomer, the boat pulling onto shore some distance away. A raised eyebrow greeted the man's reply, fingers dancing lightly on the hilt of my Iai-tachi. He didn't appear to be anyone familiar, not that it mattered - drunks tended to disappear and show up months later. Half the time, you couldn't recognize someone who was an old friend, let alone a stranger.
A step in the clay-ridden sand slid backward, wary. "No, you'd probably be right." my poison spilling back, a faint smile pulling at the corners of my mouth. A nod towards the bodies, narrow eyes watching the - now apparent - fishermen out the corner of my periphery. "You ever try reasoning with a drunk?"
My smile widened at the remark, although my stance stayed still. Toes pushed against the ground tightly, the nape of my neck still tingling from the man's seemingly sudden appearance. Damn distractions. My thoughts returned to the boat for a moment, the twitch of a frown at the edge of my face. Some level of suspicion had, no doubt, come from the man opposite myself as well.
So the midnight hands would do their dance, idly waiting for someone else to make the first move.