Ouza Island

Jeriah

Owner and Founder
Staff member
Administrator
LEGENDARY
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Ouza Island. Home of the reclusive Kitsune Clan, operating as a self-sufficient Sovereign Monarchy. Until this most recent Chuunin Exams, the island nation has had little to no dealings with the Shinobi world around them save for the founding of their own hidden shinobi village named Yokugakure - a village that was formed only as a method of self-defense against potential invading forces in case anyone showed an unhealthy interest in them. Their primary source of business comes from their international gambling industries, shrines for granting blessings depending one one's karma, and their seafaring trade in the form of exotic fish, pearls, and other things that can only be found in certain temperatures of water that so happen to be within Ouza Island's jurisdiction. Namely, the Northwest Arashi Ocean and Southeast Usagi Ocean, where the warm and cold waters meet.
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Upon his return to Ouza Island right at the gates of Yokugakure, the first thing Okami did was record the sister seal he appeared at within a scroll, and recorded the seal that sent him back to his homeland in a separate scroll - both for research purposes and to potentially create his own variation during his free time. Okami would then use a small Fireball Jutsu to destroy the non-recorded seal that he'd appeared on, preventing potential invaders using that method. With that taken care of, Okami would then go to a nearby breakfast diner/café where he would eat a large and hearty breakfast. Naturally, news of his return had been quick to spread which had inevitably lead to an interview... As heir to the entire island as well as their sole representative during the Chuunin Exams, he was quite well-known. Okami had no problems answering questions once the initial excitement had settled down, and one such question had warranted considerable thought: "Why did you go for the kill during the second part of the exams despite clear rules being in place that prohibited such actions?" Okami had needed to pause and actually think about how to put it into words, but when he did, it felt as if he himself had been given a reality check, his eyes fully opened to the darker meaning of what it was to be a shinobi.​

"That's honestly a difficult question to answer... At the time, I had only been following my senses and battle instincts, almost fully absorbed in a state I call battle meditation in order to further strengthen my own senses. But in hindsight... Well... To properly amswer your question, the only thing that actually mattered was ending the match as quickly and efficiently as possible in as few moves as possible - preferrably with as few casualties as possible to my own team. My reasoning for this is because the facts are that we are Shinobi. Honor means next to nothing to us, and we rarely if ever play by the rules. We lie, we cheat, we steal, we kill, and so much else and so much worse all for the right price - or has the fact that we actively, knowingly, and willingly train children how to fight and kill before they've even reached their double-digits not quite registered yet? If the powers that be want to preach to me about honor and playing by the rules, then they themselves fail as Shinobi - only a fool would make a rule to prohibit killing in the Chuunin Exams of all events and expect every participant to blindly follow it. Our world and the society we live in have no place for such naïve beliefs."

Those had been Okami's exact words with a firm tone that held a sense of finality, his amber gaze betraying nothing as he vocally aired the cold, bitter and harsh reality of the world they lived in and the society it was founded upon to the public while also answering the initial question. He also held no fear in the face of the fact he'd also questioned the legitimacy of those who had imposed such a rule in the first place and foolishly believed there wouldn't be those who knew what it really meant to be a Shinobi... And subsequently disregard that order, just as Okami had done. It went without saying that due to Ouza Island being the one area largely untouched by the rest of the world's problems due to Yokugakure primarily existing as a means of defending the island, its people, and its interests from those who sought to destroy it all, and having been a neutral party and actively staying out of it all due to the island primarily functioning as a peaceful fishing nation... They had a clearer grasp on their world's history than most other nations, and an unbiased grasp of it at that. History that factually gave proper weight to Okami's words - after all, he himself actively used the Shadow Clones to read up on as much of that history in the local library as he could whenever he had the time. He knew fully well what he'd signed up for the moment he wore his headband for the first time.

Following the interview, Okami was no longer in any mood to properly celebrate his promotion when he'd entered his apartment to find a letter from his parents formally acknowledging his skill and awarding him the rank of Chuunin - along with a more personal note that had made him smile. They'd seen the live international footage of his actions during both phases of the exams and were proud of how he'd performed. They were proud of how he'd prioritized the lives and well-being of the civilians to the point of using two of their clan's techniques to do so for maximum efficiency in the little time available to him during the first exam, and were equally proud of how quickly and efficiently he'd taken charge of his team and demonstrated that he was not afraid to disregard the rules and genuinely aim to kill if it meant minimizing casualties to his own team as well as essentially ending the match as quickly as possible. Okami's parents had also made a note stating that they hadn't missed the ease with which he had adapted to constantly being in a nine-tailed state, therefore bypassing the need to actually earn his tails entirely. People in the capital were already hailing their son as a genius and a prodigy, capable of learning and mastering anything he put his mind to that wasn't a Kekkei-Genkai... It was humbling and flattering in equal measure to know that he was already gaining a reputation of his own, and it brought him no small amount of joy to know he was no longer just the heir to Ouza Island.

Such faith in him and his abilities... It was enough to light a figurative fire in him. The flame of ambition, the desire to constantly improve himself. If he so happened to surpass all who came before in the process, then that would just be an added bonus. Thinking on it a bit, Okami figured that gaining more real-world experience and having more missions under his belt would be the best place to start. But first, he needed to take some tome to properly adjust to being back on the island nation he called home after being overseas for over two weeks. With that in mind, he went back outside and climbed up onto the roof of the building where he would sit down, his tails lazily plopped down and spread out behind him as Okami meditates, his naturally enhanced senses taking in the smells and sounds he'd grown up knowing. Merchants bartering with their customers, customers haggling with more merchants over prices, the local blacksmiths forging all manner of arms and armor, and the familiar salty sea breeze carrying a number of other familiar scents he'd grown up knowing... He'd missed this, and despite everything he'd said, he would protect it all with everything he had.
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STORY

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LEGENDARY

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A powerful bolt of crackling yellow lightning suddenly struck the center of Ouza Island without warning, sending debris flying as it impacted the earth. Yet no malice emanated from the energetic arrival. It was merely an unconventional mode of transportation. As the dust and smoke cleared, a tall man wearing a flak jacket stood revealed. This was Indira - a highly skilled jōnin shinobi hailing from Kumogakure, the Village Hidden in the Clouds within the Cloud District. However, Indira currently served the greater interests of the overarching Shinobi Alliance.

"Greetings, Kitsune Okami," Indira called out in a resonant voice. "First, allow me to congratulate you on passing the Chūnin Exams. Your steadfast commitment to strengthening your jutsu is proof that the future of the Shinobi Alliance is in capable hands."

Indira paused, gauging the young ninja’s reaction before continuing. "I understand Ouza Island is your home. However, I have been assigned to escort you to the Cloud District, where you will be temporarily living and training. I sincerely hope you will cooperate with this arrangement. Your participation would be greatly appreciated by Alliance leadership."

As he finished speaking, Indira subtly shifted into a relaxed yet upright posture, hands open and visible. He hoped Okami would acquiesce to this sudden request without conflict - but Indira was prepared to apprehend him with force if absolutely necessary. The stability of the entire shinobi world depended on ensuring Okami's formidable talents were mentored responsibly within Alliance guidance.
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Location: Ouza Island -> Cloud District
Posting Order: Okami Kitsune-> Indira
Post Time Limit (PTI): 3 Days
Skip Points: ll​
 

Jeriah

Owner and Founder
Staff member
Administrator
LEGENDARY
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Indira hesitated, caught off-guard by Okami's bold request. While the young Kitsune shinobi had showcased maturity in battle, Indira remained unsure of how wise and reasonable he would be in a diplomatic situation. "I believe you may have overestimated my influence," Indira responded carefully. "As a jōnin, I am bound to obey the orders of the Raikage. I am merely a messenger - it would be beyond my authority to allow you to remain neutral." Indira studied Okami, impressed by the young man's poise and rational arguments. Perhaps Alliance leadership had underestimated the independent thinking and personal codes of honor that still persevered amongst the scattered shinobi clans. "However..." Indira continued "Your request is not entirely unreasonable. You should communicate your position to the Raikage directly. He will decide if a compromise allowing your neutrality can be reached. Though I make no promises that she will be fair.

Extending his hand, Indira concluded "For now, come with me to the Cloud District's gates at least. Once there, I pledge to represent you faithfully to the Raikage before any decision restricts your clan's cherished autonomy further." If Okami accepted his offer of safe passage, Indira would reverse-summon them both to the very gates of the Village Hidden in the Clouds through lightning teleportation. Perhaps this young shinobi's wisdom could help reform the Alliance's overbearing policies after all. There was much Indira himself had come to quietly question in recent years...
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Location: Ouza Island -> Cloud District
Posting Order: Okami Kitsune-> Indira
Post Time Limit (PTI): 3 Days
Skip Points: ll​
 
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For the past three weeks since his return home from the Chunin Exams, Okami had spent his time furthering his studies and increased the difficulty of his training regimen. Now that he was no longer considered a runt due to having proven himself to his clan (and especially his parents) and demonstrated that it was indeed possible for a Kitsune to be strong without being able to access his clan's "Nine-Tails Development" ability, there was a certain fire in his eyes that hadn't been there before. The fake confidence he'd used as a defense mechanism against the sheer weight of the expectations placed on his shoulders was no longer fake, though he knew that he couldn't afford to slack off. Part of his new training regiment involved maintaining a constant nine-tails state, and weight training in order to further increase his speed, strength, and durability. Okami wasn't so foolish as to expect any immediate or significant results after just three weeks, and absolutely refused to use his Adaptive Development for such a thing - he did not believe in taking shortcuts in the pursuit of greater power, especially after all the genuine hard work he'd had to put in to get as far as he did. The sole exception he'd made to his self-imposed rule, however, was if he was ever in a situation where the use of that ability could make all the difference between living to fight another day, or certain death.

Today, however, he was focusing on something quite different while taking the day off from his increased training regimen. Okami was currently meditating within his personal living quarters, debating with himself on something that had been bothering him: Namely, his lack of ability to use the "Nine-Tails Development". Even though his clan and homeland had finally gotten off his back over it, the fact remained that it would always be a sore point for him, and was the primary reason he'd aimed for a more diverse set of skills in the first place. Even with his luck as horrid as it was, he couldn't just leave it alone forever. Okami knew that nobody on the island currently possessed the ability to forcibly draw out one's locked potential, and he'd much prefer to make his luck better than it currently was the hard way: By building positive karma. Unfortunately, with the island still officially being an isolationist nation even though everyone knew his father had plans to change that, it meant they pretty much never got any missions from their neighbors on Nagi Island or even the mainland due to their complete lack of allies... Which left only one course of action: He would need to make the journey to other nations, making use of his other, more unique position as Ouza Island's eyes, ears, and voice.

For a fresh Chunin, that was a huge responsibility, but it did mean he could freely leave Ouza Island to go to other nations so long as he didn't betray Ouza Island or start a war, and could even forge contracts himself - with the only thing he'd need to do being to forward them to his father for a final decision. He also only had to let the guards know he was leaving, and why. Being the sole living heir of Ouza Island's Sovereign Monarch had its perks, and it was high time Okami started making use of them. Eventually, Okami would make his decision to do exactly that. Although... He really wasn't looking forward to making yet another two-week trip by boat just to reach the mainland, and it left him hoping someone would just randomly show up and offer to take him there. But as far as he knew, there was no way his luck would be kind to him long enough for that to happen, which meant unless he was somehow proven wrong in that regard, he was indeed stuck going there by boat... Again.
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Okikurmi Kitsune, the current Satoosa and Sovereign Monarch of Ouza Island, was fully aware of his son's grievances. How could he not be? The man hadn't lead his people for a full seven decades just to not have anything to show for it - he had long since developed a keen eye for these things. It was also his duty as a father to know these things. At the current moment, Okikurmi was seated in his office, a contemplative frown settling on his face as he internally debated the admittedly very few ways available to him to make things a little easier for Okami as well as his people. For Okami in particular, the only means immediately available to him was to use [Ward Technique: Karmic Blessing] to improve the boy's luck, but it would only be temporary - what he needed was a more permanent boost. As for his latent potential, the very thing that allowed clan members to draw further power from their tails... Unfortunate as it was, Okikurmi had no such technique to forcibly draw out said potential in his possession. It was something he regretted every day: Not being able to help his son in the exact way he needed it most.

Shaking his head to get rid of the depressing thoughts, Okikurmi would begin to think of other things. The fact was that Okami had proven that out of every other Kitsune clansmen within his age group, he was the most skilled due to having had to train at least twice as hard just to not fall behind - and three weeks ago, he returned home from the Chunin Exams with a promotion to show for his efforts. Said promotion also meant he'd been recognized by the major nations in the Mainland, which could only be a good thing in the long term. The truth was, Okami was actually much stronger than Okikurmi had been when he was his age because of his much more intense training methods. Okami may not currently have the potential to use the very things that made the Kitsune Clan what it is, but that wouldn't stop the boy from surpassing him in sheer skill by the time he became a Jonin at this rate. That realization was one Okikurmi could be proud of... But that didn't mean he'd just simply let it happen. No - if Okami was going to surpass him, then he'd make the boy work harder than he'd ever pushed himself before for it.

But first, he had more immediately important matters to attend to, such as finally sending off letters of introduction to the Kage of the five major districts like he'd been meaning to do for some time now. When he was finally finished with them, Okikurmi would send them to Nagi Island using Falcons trained to be messenger birds. The man chose that location not only because it was neutral territory, but also because he knew the letters could be forwarded to each Kage from there faster and more effectively - Ouza Island did not currently have a reliable way of sending or receiving messages directly to or from the mainland on their own. The letters would read as such, each addressed to a district's respective Kage:​

"To Lord Hokage/Lord Kazekage/Lord Tsuchikage/Lady Raikage/Lord Mizukage

I pray that this letter finds you in good health, and I am aware of the unfortunate circumstances your people find themselves in. I am also aware of this time of peace coming to an end, and am hopeful that my people and I may be of whatever assistance you require of us. Ouza Island can no longer afford to maintain its isolationist policies or its stance of neutrality during this time of crisis - to which end my people and I humbly request to take part in the Shinobi Alliance.

Unfortunately, I cannot claim to be asking this without requiring something in exchange: Resources, and access to Missions in order to properly develop a fighting force. Ouza Island is home to an abundance of tropical resources, but small as our island nation is, I fear for the day our population becomes too great for our resources alone to sufficiently provide for them - not without having to relocate a portion of my people elsewhere. In the meantime, Oil Vents, Salt Rocks, Pearls, Island Timber, Island Fruit, and Sand as well as certain exotic breeds and species of fish that can only be found in specific temperatures of water by themselves will only continue to sustain us for so long.

Suffice to say, I - as well as the people of Ouza Island as a whole - cannot and therefore shall not continue to fool ourselves: We cannot hope to survive on our own for much longer, even with the founding of Yokugakure, which was created myself solely with the intent of being a defense force. I am not blind - we need the aid of you and yours a lot more than you need us. It pains me and my people to admit it, but foolish pride is folly at this juncture.

I am perfectly willing to meet in person to discuss the matter further at your earliest convenience if needed - even if it must be during the upcoming Summit. I hope to hear back from you soon with a positive response, for only by standing together can we all hope to overcome this crisis.

Sincerely,
Okikurmi Kitsune
Sovereign Monarch of Ouza Island
Satoosa of Yokugakure

Okikurmi had wisely left out that as a result of being an island nation that had little to no prior dealings with other nations and even fewer as a shinobi nation, much of their way of living was sorely outdated, and that the only reason they had any metal to work with at all was due to the tropical storms that came every summer... They tended to get bad enough that even larger ships were torn apart within the span of minutes, and the wreckage as well as much of the cargo on board ended up washed up on the shores of Ouza Isand. Suffice to say that while these storms were as much a danger to the island nation as it was to anyone caught in said storms, they were the island's natural defense.

With the letters taken care of and sent off, Okikurmi would take a deep breath and hope for the best, allowing his posture to relax as he leaned back in his seat. This was a huge step towards finally getting his people the resources they needed - he hadn't been joking about the risk of overpopulation. Even if it didn't happen anytime soon, he'd much rather already have it handled when it did.
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Location: Ouza Island, Yokugakure (Satoosa's Office)
Posting Order: Okikurmi Kitsune -> [Undetermined]
Posting Time Limit (PTL): 3 Days (Approx. 72 Hours)
Skip Points: II
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All around Ouza Island's many ports that made said nation's perimeter, the bulk of the GHOSTS that had been personally hand-picked and trained by their Satoosa and his second-in-command over the past seven decades were keeping an ever-watchful eye on everyone that came in and out of the island. Disguised as civilians among the Kitsune Clan with each operative's chakra suppressed to that of a civilian with just enough training to defend themselves from bandits and the like, it was just another day at the office for them: Have everyone coming in and out go through a check which involved passports and all other necessary paperwork without exception, search all incoming and outgoing vessels for any form of contraband and other such undesirables, and catalog any and all incoming and outgoing cargo. Such precautions were necessary and even expected of a nation or village that makes its income primarily off of the sea's vast, nigh-inexhaustible bounty despite their supposed isolationist policy - it was how they'd been able to throw off any cause for suspicion on part of the mainland for years.

Another part of the established procedure was that all operatives were to provide their reigning Satoosa with hourly reports at fifteen-minute intervals between each port, with the only exceptions being attempts at infiltration by more unsavory groups, especially other nations - it wouldn't be the first time, with that particular honor belonging to an attempted invasion during the final years of the reign of their previous Satoosa. These reports were given by way of specialized seals that allowed each GHOST operative to discreetly and wordlessly pass them between themselves and Okikurmi via scrolls in an instant. Such was why each operative's chakra suppression seals were not made to suppress their chakra entirely. Each of these particular operatives were old enough to remember the first time shinobi from the mainland had set foot on their soil with naught but hostility on said invader's minds, and as such these veteran men and women were the most keen-eyed due to having absolutely no desire for anything remotely similar to a repeat of that.

Thankfully, such a thing hadn't happened in years, though the GHOSTS never once dropped their guard. Their home was Ouza Island, and its location by itself provided a wealth of natural defenses that made it very difficult to reach. The selfsame heat that was the result of the island nation's close proximity to the equator gave rise to tropical storms that were massive enough to span the distance between Ouza Island and Nagi Island, and mighty enough to still end up causing mayhem to both islands. These storms were most frequent and at their most powerful during the summer, with the time between late fall and early spring being when these storms were at their least frequent and most mild. However, the sheer severity of these storms made them predictable to anyone with the know-how, which meant any respectable seafaring sort worthy of their name and their job. But even without these tropical storms, one still had to brave waters filled with all manner of predators of the seas. These were not so easily predicted, and unlike the storms that had a penchant for "claiming a blood sacrifice" at least one occurrence per year and were barely a threat during a specific period of time, these predators were a year-round threat to anyone remotely unprepared and lacked sufficient means to fend them off - something that Ouza Island's residents had spent an entire century with, and would continue to do so. It was, after all, a big part of their livelihood, and provided good experience for their Genin in terms of getting their first kills as well as learning how to survive in the wilderness.

In simpler terms... It was very rare that anyone successfully reached or left Ouza Island with hostile intentions. The GHOSTS themselves were a line of defense on their own, and nobody came in or out of the island nation without their leader knowing about it - just as nobody could just smuggle their way to their home and hope to remain hidden for long in such a small area of land.

Nobody would get past them without them knowing. Not a soul. Never would they be deceived or caught off guard. The GHOSTS - the shadows cast by the light - saw all and heard all.
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Current Location: Ouza Island - Harbor Checkpoints
Posting Order: Ouza Island GHOSTS -> Undetermined
Posting Time Limit (PTL): 3 Days (Approximately 72 Hours)
Skip Points: II
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