Recherche

BY : Eggburtshamslice
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Kakashi/Iruka
Dragon prints: 1525
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor do I make any profit from this work of fanfiction.

Recherché: (French) "something very rare, exotic, or choice, arcane." The tale of an aeon, the undead who feasts on the living, and of an inexperienced demon slayer, determined to end its reign of terror. Fueled by hatred older than time itself, both seek revenge. Inspired in part by Bram Stoker's Dracula.

For Hatake Kakashi and Umino Iruka, the path to passions forbidden is a SLOW one, with an exceptionally high body count. Set in 1880s Konoha. AU.

Let's get the warnings out of the way first as there will be:

descriptions of VIOLENCE

GORE (dismemberment)

FLESH EATING

References to past SEXUAL ASSAULT/ABUSE

NON-CON (in later chapters)

WEREWOLF like creatures/WEREWOLVES

the UCHIHA MASSACRE will be revisited

Minor and MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH(S)

Additional characters: Maito Gai, Kinoe (Yamato/Tenzou), Sai, Senju Tsunade, Morino Ibiki, Dan Shizune, Shiranui Genma, Hagane Kotetsu, Kamizuki Izumo, Uchiha Fugaku, Uchiha Itachi, Shimura Danzou, Orochimaru and Ebisu.


There, in the northwest, lush emerald pastures sprinkled with lavender and clover, carpet the gently rolling hills where prize sheep and cattle graze; to the dense forests in the northeast, ancient conifers almost touch the sky amidst their teak, pine, mahogany and cedar brethren.  Temperate climes and fertile soil bring forth choice grains and produce all year-round; from a complex of hothouses in the east, come the rarest medicinal herbs and horticultural specimens in the entire five nation region.  

Long before Japan’s ports were forcibly opened to trade with the West, the lumber and textile mills of Konoha were the largest producers and exporters of dry goods, construction and shipbuilding materials in the Orient.  After the Meiji Restoration’s implementation, however, Konoha became the only territory in Japan to establish balanced trade protocols with European markets.

Bounded on the east by sparkling aquiline seas, merchant ships daily pull into her ports offloading freight of exotic spices, textile dyes, and raw cotton.  These same ships steam homeward, their cargo holds laden with bales of superfine wool, pallets of top grain leathers, dried herbs, lumber and barrels of aromatic oils.

A center of industry, the hub of domestic and foreign commerce and polestar of mechanization, that was Konoha.  An unsullied blend of the bucolic and the cosmopolitan, a land steeped in the tradition of its ancestors and yet, current and relevant as tomorrow’s newspapers.

The providence of the kami made Konoha and by extension, Fire Country wealthy; the people inhabiting the land made it rich beyond measure.  Whether dwelling in stately manor homes in the west, lowly row houses in the northeast, or humble bungalows scattered throughout the territory, there was a sense of community and dignity which bound them together.

Fire Country … a land favored by the gods.

Konoha … the crown jewel in the kami’s chest of treasures,

at least it was… until seven months ago.

Years ahead of its time in matters social and political, it was the first territory ever to entrust administration of a powerhouse of industry and commerce to the oversight of a woman;  

Senju Tsunade, her lineage, storied and esteemed, within and beyond the boundaries of the region.  She was the descendant of Senju Hotaka, a farmer with radical ideals.  In addition to revolutionizing animal husbandry, his experiments led to hybridization of indigenous plants, vegetables and trees.  It was because of him that Fire Country was recognized as a leader in all things agricultural as well as a pioneer in the field of veterinary medicine.  With the land’s abundant resources and a handful of willing workers, he built storehouses, amassing rot resistant grains, wild honey, dried fruits and herbs; dispatching his children abroad, he built a wider consumer base for Konoha’s bounty and ratified trade agreements between the five nations.

Over time, small factories sprung up to keep pace with demand.

Travel between the nations became a tedious and dangerous enterprise in the days of Tsunade’s great great great grandfather, Senju Atsushi.  Draft horse or ox drawn carts were easy pickings for roving brigands; should they reach their destination with cargo intact, it was still a fortnight’s trip.  Travel by sea shortened delivery time, yet perils from contrary winds and corsairs brimming with picaroons posed a risk for those aboard the tiny boats.  Atsushi began sending trained and armed security with every shipment whether on land or by sea; dressed as humble farmers, the incidences of robbery declined and Konoha’s reputation as a people not to be trifled with grew.  

To this day, ox drawn carts play an important role in the annual celebration commemorating Konoha’s growth.

Her great great grandfather, Senju Katsuro designed and built the ports that provided a safer environment in which to lade cargo.   He financed and built the mills which produced revenue for the then tiny village and established schools specializing in medicine, shipbuilding and perfume compounding.   Spearheading construction of rail lines and improving lanes from the farms, mills and factories, he ensured rapid turnaround times for incoming and outgoing ships. And with the revenue generated he purchased larger parcels of land, annexed the schools and founded a medical research facility.

He lived to see the day when Konoha became a prosperous and independent territory within Fire Country.

With a steadily growing population, Senju Hisao, her great grandfather strengthened Konoha’s infrastructure; upgrading existing sanitation methods, he ensured a reliable source of potable water as well as an underground system of waste disposal.  During his time as Governor, he designed and built the Administrative complex, moving the constables closer to the sea and instituting a mounted patrol; they maintained checkpoints along the borders and kept the land safe from intruders.

Lastly, her grandfather Senju Hashirama was instrumental in the reforestation of Konoha's indigenous trees and the introduction of new genera of plants and herbs within the land.  He overhauled the local government hierarchy, setting up a separate branch of government to handle monetary concerns related to foreign trade, which in turn, freed up the Governor’s office to focus on providing for the social, cultural and economic needs of those who lived in the territory.  Tsunade capitalized on his work, ensuring the continued financial stability of the territory. She oversaw construction of transient housing alongside the port area, effectively segregating wearied crews from the general populace.  Annexing the medical facilities, she founded a state of the art research laboratory; there, new medications were developed and tested and cutting edge medical instruments and equipment were manufactured. Lastly, she instituted a training center for artisans and craftsmen, that the traditional work of their ancestors might be preserved.  

But if Senju Tsunade was the heart and brains of this realm, Morino Ibiki was its brawn.

Son of an equestrian breeder and brother of Idate, Ibiki dreamt of the day he might escape the predictability of farm life. But as the eldest son, he was expected to take over the family business; a life too sedate and monotonous for such an ambitious young man.  By age sixteen, he begged his parents to lie about his age that he might join the ranks of a growing military force.

With heavy hearts, they allowed him to do so.

When he returned home after twelve years service, mother and father deceased in his absence, he was a highly decorated, honorably discharged man of the world.  He walked with a slight limp these days -- the muscles in his hip and bones of his left ankle, irreparably damaged when his mount was felled by a samurai’s yajiri.

As long as he lived, he’d never forget that day.

Somehow freed from the weight of his horse, he lay in the dust of a foreign land as the iron covered boot of a warrior came into view.  One swing of the samurai’s katana put the horse out of its misery; another swing almost deprived him of vision, leaving behind a scar that ran from his right eye and extending past his jaw.  Writhing in pain, a final slice split the flesh next to his left eye and across his top and bottom lips as the samurai left him to die.  

A marked and bitter man, he spent the first six months back in Konoha wasting away his savings at the opposite end of a sake bottle.  The time for sorrowing over his fate sluggishly passed and in the harsh cold light of day, he took stock of his life and talents as he stood before a mirror in his lonely boardinghouse room near the port.  When not fogged by alcohol, he had a sharp mind, an eye for detail which saw what others missed.  Years in the military taught him to be a leader of men, to communicate his thoughts and ideas concisely and how to motivate others to accomplish defined goals.  

These were qualities that could be parlayed into a successful second career, of this he was certain.

However, a scarred face and irregular gait kept most of the ‘decent, marriageable’ women at bay for they feared interacting with him, convinced somehow that he was cursed by the gods.  But he wasn’t the sort of man who needed definition by the ties of marriage and children; his heart beat only to serve and protect the land and the people of Konoha and he would allow no impediments to swerve him from the desire of his heart.  His imposing physical presence and stern demeanor paved the way to sporadic employment and placed him on the path of service.  Hustling drunks from the taverns along the docks or protecting the assets at the bordello/boarding house, put money in his pocket, food on his table, and alcohol in his gullet.

But this was not the life he intended to live forever.

With his brother married, raising a family and overseeing the newly streamlined business of horse breeding and veterinary medicine, Ibiki fell back on the only marketable skills he possessed; he sobered up, applied for and was accepted as one of Konoha’s constables.

This he believed was his true calling in life.

He quickly moved up the ranks from border patrol to commanding units near the docks, to Supervisor of patrols and finally, sergeant in the newly formed investigations unit.  When the Commandant of Constables announced his plan to retire, Ibiki was the first choice for the position, however, the Governor had other plans.  She did away with the title of Commandant and appointed him Chief Inspector, granting him authority over every aspect of law enforcement.  

Under his guidance was a training center established for civilians; they were deputized upon completion of schooling and called into service during yearly festivals which attracted hordes of tourists and a sophisticated criminal element.  These ‘ready reserves’ also acted as search and recovery teams in times of natural disasters -- typhoons, mudslides and such like.  He tirelessly lobbied for a dojo specifically for the constable’s use and made it mandatory each officer take part in a martial arts program, for gone were the days in which a badge alone was enough to deter lawbreakers.  Since interlopers from other nations were becoming bolder and their attacks more brutal as they dared to break through Konoha’s rearguard, he tripled the number of uniformed officers patrolling the docks and outlying areas of the territory.   For those patrols, Ibiki acquired lightweight, protective under armor to keep them safe as they dealt with untrained hooligans wielding katana or tanto.

Through his efforts, the incidences of crime perpetrated by outsiders dwindled to single digits; his men were united in purpose and mind.  

All was well in the land and in his heart . . . for a time.

He’d lived through the horrors of war - seen evisceration, corpses swarming with maggots and bodies drawn and quartered and left in the streets as an example to others.

But the events of these last seven months were the most terrifying things he’d seen in years.

Notes:

The Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), was a chain of events which led to the consolidation of a political system under the Emperor of Japan.  During this time, the nation underwent a period of accelerated industrialization leading to its rise as a military power.  But before the far-reaching changes made possible by Emperor Meiji took firm root, every region in Japan maintained its independence.  Japan is in reality an archipelago, so whenever reference is made to the ‘five nations’, it refers to those self-governing regions not yet unified by one language or system of education.  It’s my weird way of melding the world of Naruto with some of the events that shaped the real nation of Japan. Though some events of this period serve as backdrop, our focus is on a hellish force older than time itself.

Archipelago: a large group or chain of islands.

Polestar: something that serves as a guiding principle; in the center of attention or attraction.

Hotaka: “step by step.”

Katsuro: “victorious son.”

Brigand: bandits, especially those of mountain or forest regions.

Corsair: a fast ship used for piracy.

Picaroon: rogue, vagabond, thief.

Hisao: “long-lived man.”

Ya:  Japanese word for ‘arrow’ used by the samurai during the feudal era of Japan, it was close to a metre in length or longer.  Parts of the ya are: the no or shaft, the hane (feathers), the hazu or nock {the nock is the piece at the end of an arrow having a notch for the bowstring} made from goat or deer horn, and the yajiri or yanone (war arrowhead). 



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