|Stitch (縫合, Hougou)
|Appears in||Anime, Manga|
|Age||At Least 488|
"AtLeast" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 488.
"'6"" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.
Hougou (縫合, Stitch) is a shinobi that originally hailed from the place Sunagakure would eventually be who fled to the place Takigakure would eventually after committing a crime. There he created the fabled Kinjutsu known as Earth Grudge Fear. He was born during the Warring States Period but due to his usage of the Earth Grudge Fear he has lived until the present day. He is an extremely powerful shinobi who posses all five basic nature releases and two kekkei genkai through the use of his kinjutsu, with all the years he's had practicing he is probably one of the most dangerous elemental users to exist. Though it has long faded into nothingness he was once known as The Ripper a lone vigilante who assassinated corrupted political figures or harsh dictators. Those who were above the Kages touch were slain by him, sometimes even the Kages themselves. His string of murders eventually cost him his sanity, turing him into an unstoppable machine of pure bloodlust. Eventually his terrible reign ended and he reevaluated his life, preferring to wander the world in isolation than harm others like he once did again.
Hougou is a man of extremely large stature, standing at six foot six and weighing 170 kg he is a very menacing person even without his various evil looking features his body shape alone can terrify most. Hougou's eyes are a pale brown as they faded after his death and stayed the same upon his revival, he will sometimes turn them into his head making them completely white to scare people. His hair was always a shiny white and only became a bit dull upon death so after his revival it stayed the same. His body is coved in various stitches and from his many battles that only add to how creepy his appearance is. Hougou's most noticeable stitch is along his mouth, however this stitch is very loose allowing him to speak. His normal attire consists of a loose shirt and pair of pants under a long black cloak that concealed most of his body. He did this to spare most from seeing his scarred body.
When he was younger however he was much more muscular, wearing an open black cloak and a fishnet shirt, partially to show off his abs, partially because it was comfy. He also wore black pants fitted with a red rope that held his katana. His hair was a much lighter color of white and seemed to literally glisten with moonlight. It was also much longer, being tied in a ponytail behind his head. His eyes were also a caramel brown, known to be a chief cause of hunger on the battlefield. He was only 6'1 at the time so his height was never a huge fear factor. However due to his skill his presence was.
During his time as The Ripper Hougou dressed in a jumpsuit that matched the color of his threads. It looked like a traditional ninja garb, showing only his eyes as every other part of him was coated in dark gray. He quickly discarded this the moment he began to lose himself to the bloodlust. His hair became stained crimson with blood. He wore black pants with an engraved belt. Over it he wore a hooded cloak that he let flutter open in the front. Around the hood the cloak has a ring of fur. The Ripper itself appears to Hougou as a much darker image of himself, a twisted version of his mind. It has red eyes and white hair as well as a body composed of threads, twisting in every direction. It wears tattered pants and a ragged coat, as well as a black cloak made of threads.
Over his life Hougou has had many personalities. His perspective has changed so many time that it's quite hard to even know what he thinks anymore. When he was younger Hougou was quite interested in his own desires as well as the village's interests. He was a loyal ninja, willing to follow the village's orders at the drop of a hat. However his own agenda was more about his own body. Hougou was extremely interested in exploring how his new body worked and how it affected others. He tended to abduct others while one his missions. Discarding lives for his own research. However it was how he was, his value of life dampened by the constant killing and war. Even further pushed away by his thirst for knowledge. He believed that since he was simply testing on those he would've killed anyways it meant the same as killing them. On the outside though he was calm and polite. Acting like a functioning member of the developing society. He is extremely pleasant to be around and makes other feel at ease. This is what made him a council member despite not even growing up in the village or being a prominent clan member.
After he eventually left the village his personality became much more corrupted. The constant killing the village had him do got to him and his most recent kill of the leader of Taki filled him with a sense of warped justice. Hougou was more paranoid of humanity during this phase of his life. He view humanity as steadily growing corruption and became very antisocial. He isolated himself and hunted those who he believed to be corrupt. Hougou was constantly battling his inner demons and when he did move into society he spoke to no one and simply mumbled to himself. He was an odd and tall man that stood out and people began fearing him. This lead to even more isolation. Eventually the killing got to him and he snapped. Hougou no longer valued life. He'd destroy small villages for fun. Torturing some, transforming others. He was a twisted monster.
This was helped in part by his threads that seemed to have a personality of their own. They were made of that will that he contained right before he died made of the thirst for life, hope, and his dark thoughts of greed. The darkness of his will manifested mostly in the threads, making them malicious. They can speak voices into users heads and even manifest into a human form in the users mind. Their will is powerful but works over time rather than pure strength. Their personality is dark and corrupting, turing those that use it to commit terrible deeds and bring forth blood. In moments of pure emotion in someone who is new to them they can temporarily take control of their body. Their constant presence slowly driving them further and further to isolation or death.
Eventually everything caught up to him and he finally had to examine himself. Hougou's personality changed once again after vowing to stop this insane rampage of his. He became much more quiet and began traveling constantly, never stopping in a place for too long. He still had a fear of others possibly recognizing him or even attacking him. Hougou was a peace seeker though his instincts kicked in once in a while and blood was shed.
After Hougou finally stopped moving and isolated himself completely his personality became much more simple. He would not talk to anyone. He would simply train and hope to achieve peace and finally erase those thoughts from his mind. His state of mind eventually improved when he decided on more travel and met a young boy named Jouman who he agreed to train. The child's cheer determination and vigor lit a spark in his lifeless self and made him feel emotions for the first time in forever. This wonderful flow left him eagerly wanting more. He enjoyed his time with Jouman, training him to be a top tier shinobi. His departure was a sad one for both of them but Hougou was so happy to have the chance to teach more children. However he was met with an unhappy reality, most of them didn't have the drive. They could all afford to goof off, to not give their all. Hougou hated that and the blatant disrespect that came with it. His anger flared once again and it was decided that if the children could not meet his standards they would suffer. All who agreed to train with him were put through malicious tests that broke their bones and even killed some of them. However Hougou didn't seem to care, to him they were getting what they deserved for slacking off. He became a hated figure and before long he isolated himself again, he didn't want a repeat of The Ripper. Before long he was once again a shadowed figure, hidden in the world.
When Hougou met Kenta, his personality changed once again. Like Jouman the boy made him feel emotion and was an exemplary student. He cared greatly for Kenta and took on a much gentler personality, being both a serious teacher and a caring friend. This personality persisted for most of his time with Kenta, it was blinding. Hougou cared for the boy enough to where he let it physically blind him. He gave Kenta the Jiongu and upgraded it as well, both against his internal wishes but he wanted him to be happy so he could be happy. He was quite selfish even if he didn't realize it as well. During the attack on Takigakure Hougou's acted much different than normal, letting The Ripper out to play in a gruesome display. Over the seven years he spent hunting the sons of freedom with Kenta he just kept blinding himself to what Kenta was becoming more and more, denial being a key to his personality. He acted to keep Kenta happy and thus himself. However Hougou finally snapped and realized that his own greed was causing the downfall of his closest comrade, he had fallen too far. Hougou finally snapped out of his delusion and truly thought of Kenta before himself, honor the promise of killing him when his threads consumed him. After forcing himself to kill Kenta, Hougou became much more grim. He barely communicated with the few he knew and secluded himself to desiring the last of the sons of freedom. He still cared for Kenta greatly though and continued to honor his last wish of watching over his son, while attempting to put his murderous tendencies to rest.
The Ripper is the name Hougou referred to himself by during his days as a vigilante and mass murderer. While it was originally a simple moniker it eventually spiraled out of control into a sort of personality of Hougou's. As Hougou killed more and more his mind was corrupted by the jiongu, his own evil will breaking him down. The Ripper became his own identity for years to come, the name Hougou a mystery to him. Hougou's new personality was almost a completely separate person by the time he came back to his senses. The Ripper barely plagued him after that as he went into isolation.
The Ripper itself is a manifestation of all of Hougou's ill will towards the world combined with his hatred for himself and his village. It is the darkest parts of him from his darkest times, mixed together to make a new identity. It was an outlet for his emotions that could run rampant on its own, leaving him free of the guilt. As "The Ripper" Hougou is extremely violent, blunt, and devoid of sympathy or empathy. The Ripper became extremely sadomasochistic from years of senseless murder and taking unheard of amounts of damage. Interestingly as Hougou can barely feel emotion, The Ripper feels it in spades. It takes pleasure in egging people on and feels genuinely happy as it tortures. While most would think such a violent and horrid personality would be a mindless ball of rage, The Ripper is quite the opposite. It is arguably able to be more calm and calculating than Hougou himself, with a much better sense for strategy and war. As time passed the personality became closer to Hougou as he began to accept that he couldn't just bury his darkness away. However the two could never become one again. Years of funneling emotion into The Ripper would take its toll as most of Hougou's emotion would be channeled there. He could still show emotion but it paled in comparison to what he once could. He gained control of The Ripper eventually, choosing to let it take over and when it would recede.
The Ripper resurfaced in Hougou during the attack of Takigakure, a full release to let the personality play. What followed was a horrifyingly one sided battle with Hougou victorious. With Hougou now feeling emotion from Kenta and willingly realizing The Ripper once, the personality was now able to worm it's way into his actions. While it could not assume control still, The Ripper influenced Hougou to commit extremely gruesome killings during his fights with the sons of freedom. Upon killing Kenta, The Ripper appeared to taunt Hougou about the inevitable death of the people close to him. Hougou managed to silence The Ripper for quite some time however, his overload of emotion forcing it back to the depths of his mind. Though Hougou acted like The Ripper for some time after that, particularly towards the Sons of Freedom, the personality had zero influence on him. Three years after Kenta's death as Hougou debated destroying Takigakure for the pain it caused him, The Ripper began to swell within him once again.
Hougou was born to a small family of shinobi in the place were Sunagakure is today. His parents were both ninja who were constantly on missions so he stayed at a daycare most of the time. One day in the daycare he was fascinated when a young man came into the class with a puppet that stood as tall as him and could mysteriously fly around the room. He was enthralled by this and attempted to learn whatever that man could do all throughout his training. He later became a ninja at age 15. After that he finally decide to attempt the use of puppetry but he could not grasp how it was to be done. At the time it was a symbol of status and was not taught but thought of as a gift. At the age of 17 he finally gave up on his failed training and turned to the only possible option he could think of, stealing from the current puppeteer of the town. He managed to break into the man's house when he wasn't home and stole a pile of freshly drawn documents from his table. Upon leaving the man's house he ran home and grabbed everything he could before leaving the town without a word.
Hougou ran and ran for days, sleeping only when it was necessary until finally he managed to reach a small village known that would later be known as Takigakure. This village welcomed the weary traveller with open arms and gave him a place to stay. Within this small village Hougou finally read the scrolls. They seemed to detail a puppet that contained many metal chords that would allow it to put itself back together. When Hougou saw this he was astounded at the intricacy of it but when gave him even more of a shock was that this idea could be used on humans. In his head he envisioned it working with a few tweaks. Over the course of two years Hougou captured and tested on over 30 people finally perfecting the surgery and notes on it this idea had changed over time and now resembled what the Earth Grudge Fear is. He then attempted to perform to experiment on himself but died on the operating table due to severe blood loss. Some people came by his lab to check on him after he was not seen for a few days. Upon finding the information and his studies they found that it could still be possible to perform the operation on him and even possibly bring him back to life. The people called in the medical unit who managed to perform the surgery on him and implant new organs of the ones that had been damaged. Upon the final stitch the man's body stirred and then finally awoke. Hougou was amazed that his body was still functioning and thanked the medical team profusely. He then took all this notes and sealed them away in the village archives after labeling them Kinjutsu.
However during the two years that Hougou stayed in Takigakure he was constantly out on the battlefield, fighting for their claim on the land. Even with his kinjutsu in its basic stages he was a deadly opponent. His mastery of water was a thing to behold, drowning invading forces. Taki come to be known as the land of dragons for a brief time due to Hougou's extensive use of water dragons and his Water Hydra. His skill with the blade was also nothing to laugh at. His unique for of swordplay left battlefields scarred, overwhelming some of the warring states best swordsmen. During this time Hougou ended up finding something most unexpected, love. One day during his morning jog he ran into a woman, knocking her to the ground. He apologized profusely and offered to help her up and buy her some tea as an apology. Her name was Reikou and by coincidence she was also a Jonin of the developing Taki. She was a beautiful woman with sea green hair and shimmering emerald eyes. After their tea he didn't see her again until he accepted an S-rank mission in the land of lighting. As villages began to form and the warring states end dawned there was still around a year of unfinished battles. It turned out that Reikou was assigned to the same mission as Hougou, much to his delight. They moved to eliminate one of the last remaining armies of the land of lighting, however they were ambushed. The groups were split and Hougou ended up with Reikou. Surrounded and out of options he released his kinjutsu, threads coated the forest in blood. Surprisingly Reikou didn't even flinch and dodged around his threads, using her own ice release to freeze their opponents solid. In the end they were part of the few to survive and were forced to make a tactical retreat back to their home. Hougou and Reikou began requesting more mission together, soon becoming an inseparable duo. Soon their camaraderie turned to love and they began to date. The two lovebirds enjoyed themselves immensely over the next month before Hougou called her to meet him in the forest under a lone Sakura tree. It was there that they kissed for the first time. A wonderful moment that filled them both with so may emotions, too many for Hougou to handle. As he looked down he found them both stained with blood and thousands of threads piercing his beloved. His emotion had caused a complete loss of control in his threads and let them move out of their own will, exploding outwards. Hougou was never blamed by her, she shared that same warm smile with him as she died. However the rest of the developing village thought he should be strung up and killed. It was only because of his powers that the leaders decided to suspend him instead. How funny it was that he was both doomed and saved by those threads. From that moment he began using his threads less and less, and Taki began using him in the field less and less. Hougou soon retired back to his research and the villages since department. However this soon led to a shocking discovery (Add Hero Water Part)
After the mission to assassinate the first hokage failed Takigakure was in terrible shape. trading and revenue were down and the town was in shambles. Their leader told them all that he had a plan asking his community for donations to help with his plan. The public accepted, blinded by their trust in their leader. Hougou who had been visiting the village occasionally after his leave heard of this. Hougou heard of this plan an immediately become suspicious, realizing that this plan was probably a ruse. His suspicions were confirmed when he spied on one of the high council meetings, hearing that the leader planned to take the money and run with his associates, leaving the village poor. Hougou decided that he could not let this happen, deciding to kill the villages leader himself. He donned a black suit, obscuring all but his eyes and readied himself for the job. The next night he ambushed the leader in the middle of the street, running his sword through him before he could speak. He then held his associated by their necks, threatening to snap them if they would not speak of their plans. When they did the people were shocked, some thanked the masked man while other yelled that he was a liar and a murderer. Hougou did not care though, he dropped the two to the ground and disappeared in to the nightWith this deed carried out Hougou ran far from the village determined to see if he could start a new life but everywhere he settled he continued to see the filth of the shiobi world. The atrocities on the streets, most acts of horror carried out by those of higher society. The corruption in the government and the puppeteers behind it. The world around him was an ocean of scum and Hougou was sick of it. He lived a life full of atrocities, wherever he was there was never peace. Finally after killing the leader of Takigakure Hougou no longer needed to let filth like this live. He began systematically killing nobles and leaders of villages. Starting with lower class targets before moving to higher ones. He killed over 150 members of high society in various villages. One of his most famous kills was the candidate for third rakikage. This was a travesty for the entire village and caused so much panic that they temporarily locked down the entire village until a new raikage was elected. Hougou was happy with his clean up job but something else was within him, a craving he couldn't quite satisfy. Ever kill he made had satisfied it momentarily but each one only filled him with small amounts of pleasure. He assumed it was from wiping the scum from society but it was not. It was his carnal desire for killing. Fed by the all the blood he had spilled Hougou began killing much more frequently and on much less horrible people. Innocents were slaughtered, whole villages were burned. nations began to dub this masked beast The Ripper.
It was also during this time that Hougou began to observe another user of his technique, one who was said to be immortal. He observed this man for a long time, learning of his various applications of his own technique and applying them for himself. With these new skills The Ripper was much more open with his killing after this. He would waltz into villages giddily, even taking time to announce himself and let some attacks hit him. He even pretended to die sometimes, right before waking up the slit the leader's throat. It was actually a really good tactic for drawing leaders out, however the Ripper was more likely to simply turn places into smoldering pits of ashes. His very existence was curse on humanity that none could stop, though so many tried. Thousands of bounty hunters flocked to find this man. They laid traps, and fought fierce battles but no matter the plan the outcome was the same, heartless corpses in a field of blood.
Leaving it All Behind
One day after slaughtering another village Hougou took a break and sat down by a lake. As he looked into the swirling waters he saw his own reflection. A sort of foreign figure stared back at him. A blood-soaked man wearing the smile of a serial killer. This wasn't him anymore, he had transformed into a monster wearing his fucked up skin. It was at this moment that Hougou decided he needed to change. He forced himself into a cave near Taki and began to mediate, living out his days in solace. He began thinking on his existence and how to make use of his immortality. Meanwhile the world finally thought they were rid of the madman. Stories of him turned to legends and myths and those turned into tales mothers used on their children. Warning them not to be out too late or stray too far away from home or else the Ripper would eat them whole. As he pondered his own existence Hougou realized he should use his time to benefit society. With this in mind he began roaming the lands of the world helping those he could. Luckily his existence had faded into superstition and none knew what he actually looked like, allowing him to roam as a simple nomad.
He traveled the lands for a long time until one day he came upon a boy crying in the forest near Kusagakure. Hougou wandered up to the child and asked him what troubled him. The child replied that all his work to become a chunin had been for nothing. His master had abandoned him in his failure, leaving him to learn on his own. For the first time in a while Hougou's kindness showed. He offered to train the child into a masterful shinobi and the child, Jouman, gladly accepted. During their six year training period Hougou came to respect and enjoy Jouman's company and Jouman thanked his master everyday for his help. Hougou was finally smiling for real, no more faking. He watched from the sidelines with pride as Jouman tore the chunin exams to pieces, easily coming out on top. After the exams Jouman met with Hougou once again, thanking him for everything he'd done. Hougou smiled with a manufactured tear in his eye and pulled the young man into a hug before departing, leaving to roam once more. The two promised they would meet again one day.
For some time after that Hougou roamed the world again, this time however he did not shy away from others he attempted to help them. However the world didn't want his help. Those who did see him ran and those who actually accepted his training died or were left injured. This only fed the flames and novenas of those around him. He didn't understand, why had Jouman been able to train under him but not others. Was he just naturally stronger and a better man or was it something else. After much pondering Hougou finally figured that it was his will. Jouman lost everything and had no other ways to gain his way back. He was willing to do whatever it took to attain his goals. These others didn't care, to him he was another teacher for them to blow off. However unlike most who would simply lower their training or attempt to make their students interested Hougou kept at it. He believed that if they didn't have the will or the respect for him to give their all he should let them suffer and sometimes perish. If they wanted his help they would have to either give their all or die. It was grim but Hougou was a very grim man. He was hardened by his years of horror and almost emotionless. He longed for those days with Jouman where he would feel something again. Eventually Hougou retired to a cave near Takigakure to rest for a while. It would have been forever but one young man changed that.
That One Kid From Taki
Main Article:A Hermit From The Past
One day Hougou was contacted by a woman named Minatsuki, the leader of Viper's Nest. It was a team of rebels attempting to take back Takigakure from the clutches of their corrupt government. Hougou had conversed with their leader before, in a rather violent way. He did not kill any of them but he made it very clear that he wanted no part in their rebellion. Hougou loved Takigakure and it would always hold most of his good and bad memories but after his time fighting the corruption there it had eventually propelled him to where he was now. It had made The Ripper reality and that was enough to warrant never going back. However she had a different proposal for him this time, to train her son. He wouldn't have to even leave his cave unless he deemed it fit should he accept, along with it came a promise to stop the letters she would send him once a month, urging him to fight for them. Hougou sighed and replied.
If you want your son to die in my cave go right ahead, I've told you of my training time and time again. It isn't for your soldiers and it isn't for your son. If you insist though I'll oblige, just to get you to stop annoying me with those infernal five page letters.
I'd prepare some flowers,
So with the agreement made, Hougou waited to meet the soon to be dead boy. It wan't long before a child came wandering into his cave and Hougou decide it was time to see if he was even worth letting in. He conversed with the child who had fallen into a trap of his, learning that he was indeed who he said he was and that he actually happened to have a backbone. He told the child that his train would make him capable of scrubbing Takigakure clean of its grime. Then he immediately warned him of how serious his training was and that failing would mean immediate death. Hougou waited on the child response and was remarkably surprised when he immediately stated his resolve to never quit and even called him sensei. His face lit up with a smile as he motioned for the boy to follow him into his cave. He asked the boy to tell him about himself and immediately learned that he was weak in every field. "Jouman" was all that came to mind, how unbelievably perfect it was. Hougou once again had another unfolded ball of clay in his hands and a chance to possibly have a good student once again. Hougou's affinity with water aided him in explaining the concepts to Kenta who surprisingly got right to training, failing over and over again. Hougou shared more information with him, using the famous jutsu of Taki as an example of shape manipulation. The boy tried again but still could not grasp the concept. In Hougou's excitement he had failed to notice there bandits who had apparently followed the boy to his hideout. With an annoyed sigh he executed them on the spot with a wave of his hand before harvesting their hearts. He then answered the boy's questions before they were even asked. Informing him about his status as the true creator of the Jiongu and just how old he truly was. He also informed Kenta that his simple wave of his hand that left the three without heads was only water release. That put a shocked expression on the boys face. Then without warning he demanded Kenta shield himself with a swirling shield of water. It was something Kenta did not expect but that he managed to make happen, causing the lighting bolt to get sucked into the water. Hougou was quite delighted, his methods were working and within the hour his student had already made progression. The two took to their beds and the first day was complete.
The boy awoke bound by razor wires and hanging upsi-down above a pool of electrified water, his new teacher smiling at him from across the room. It was quite simple, with only a single kunai and his water circle he needed to escape in five minutes or face death. If he could do this then Hougou would truly train him. It happened too, the boy made it through his deathtrap with relative ease, at least that's what it looked like. Hougou was overjoyed but kept his tone mellow, telling the young man that his day was free but another life or death task awaited him at the end of the day. He could train or not, it was his own choice.
The Plan is Formed
Main Article:Leaving the Cave
The two continued on like this for quite a while, Hougou keeping Kenta on his toes with all kids of trickery. Though when you looked past his tricks Hougou was excellent at teaching Kenta while not being to overbearing or hands off. He provided useful help and information when needed but let Kenta do most of the critical thinking to get their. In a way Hougou was not just training his body but his mind as well. One day after a failed surprise attack Hougou surprised Kenta with an interesting proposition, finally leaving the cave. He wanted to finally introduce Kenta to his only other living student and longtime friend of his, Jouman Gankai. As the two set off they chatted about Kenta's progress with new techniques. As they arrived on hill very close to the blood prison, where Jouman worked, Hougou and Kenta jumped back to dodge a large explosion. Jouman had decided to make a flashy entrance much to Hougou's delight. The two greeted each other, laughing about their own eccentricity. Hougou was ecstatic for the two to meet and Jouman took no time in introducing himself to Kenta, commending him on surviving as long as he did. Hougou just laughed and spoke of how Kenta was getting it easy compared to Jouman. Soon Jouman challenged Kenta to a spar with Hougou revealing that it was the purpose of the entire trip. He wanted to see how well Kenta would stand against his old student. Hougou watched excitedly as the fight kicked off, Jouman pulling ahead but Kenta kept up quite well. Though as Kenta began to wear out a final attack was utilized only for Jouman to completely negate it. However he complimented Kenta on his growing power, having heard of his previous levels from Hougou. Hougou all the while had set up a picnic table and sat muching on food as the two walked over. As they conversed Kenta began looking at the prison more and more, before alluding to it's true meaning.Hougou took him away from Jouman for a moment and the two walked to a cliffside where Hougou confirmed his thoughts. The other reason he had taken him was to remind him that imprisonment or worse could befall him if he pressed on. The two spoke as Kenta mentioned how he was ready to accept that fate for his greater goal, something Hougou respected, even if he didn't want it as an outcome. Kenta went on to explain the entire plight of the village and the deadly program that Taki was working on. Hougou knew about it all along but decided not to reveal it, acting as if it was new information. Taki had done other super solider programs, one of which he shut down, one of which contributed to his eventual leave. He comforted Kenta however, telling him that he would stand by him no matter the decision he made. The kid had grown on him and he was happy for his student, no, friend. It was then that Kenta proposed something preposterous, he wanted Hougou to take over Takigakure as their Kage. His request was only met by Hougou's fit of laughter. Hougou finally revealed part of his dark past to Kenta, he was The Ripper, a notorious criminal form long ago. He'd killed so many that even after all those years they could link him to his old self. He did however state that he could help in all other aspects of it. Kenta however had a much more brilliant idea. He wanted Jouman to become the new Kage. Hougou agreed and called Jouman over. He knew that Jouman had recently been feeling helpless, unable to save innocents no matter his position. With this new plan after the assault Jouman would "kill" Hougou and Kenta, cementing himself as a hero of Takigakure while causing the village to presume to two dead. However Kenta was surprised at Hougou's resolve to help out directly in the invasion. Hougou only laughed and spoke of at this point he was already too covered in sins, a few more wouldn't hurt them. With their plan drafted the two groups parted ways, ready to begin the first phases of their plan.
Preparing For War
Main Article:Lighting the Final Candle
Diving Into The Inferno
Main Article:Into the Inferno
An Old Promise Fulfilled
Main Article:An Old Promise
Hougou retired from watching over Kaworu when the boy reached the age of 22. He figured that his work had been, the boy was able to handle himself well enough now. There was no real point in Hougou watching over him any longer. He retired to his cave, awaiting the day the boy would question him about the true life of his father. It was at this time that a rumbling came from within him. The other him that was the Ripper rumbled to life in a visage before him. It taunted him, telling him that his life was still pointless. "You'll wallow in agony as everything around you dies. Those fleeting moments of happiness will end with death and despair. None will live forever like you, for if they would they'd be cursed by us." The beast cackled. It was then that Hougou realized that it was right, even those cursed by his threads wouldn't outlast him. With everything around him dying he'd eventually lose to the madness. Filled with despair Hougou made a desperate attempt. Deep within his cave he kept a couple keepsakes, treasures to none but himself. One of these treasures was the book Reikou always kept by her side, smeared with dried blood. He shuddered at the memory but it was not the time for those thoughts. Hougou set to work creating a beastly thread monster with a very special heart. He didn't have many of them but there were hearts capable of using the dreaded reanimation technique, Edo Tensi. It was no trouble for Hougou to find a sacrifice, nobody would miss a farmer from Takigakure.
It was late in the night when Hougou conducted the experiment. The thread body performed the ritual excellently, the farmer's cries were on deaf ears as he was ripped to nothing. As soon as the being had fully formed and the ritual was complete, Hougou immediately vaporized the entire body of threads and the heart, ensuring the technique could never be undone. Hougou smiled as he was greeted by the blue haired love of his life, Reikou. He had to admit she looked different. Her once green hair was now baby blue and her once emerald eyes shimmered like sapphires. "Hougou, is that? What is this cruel dream? So real yet, I'm dead." She sobbed. Hougou immediately moved to comfort her telling her that it was indeed real. He held her tight and told her he'd brought her back from the dead, he'd found a way that worked. She scolded him for fooling with the dead and told him to send her back but he said that he couldn't, he'd destroyed the way back. Reikou was about to scold him when she looked into his eyes. She saw the pain of the centuries he'd lived, the pure suffering he endured. In the end the two sat in his cave as he shared stories of his life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Hougou was surprised at how forgiving Reikou was, how after everything he'd done she still loved him. The two were happy as Hougou told her how the world changed, they went out and got dinner with disguises on. It was the happiest time of Hougou's life, for the first time in centuries he could feel love again. A couple weeks later Hougou sat her down with one final story to tell, the tale of Kenta Kanata. He spared no expense, he told her every detail, every feeling, she accepted them all. It was then that he told her of his plans for the future and his desires for Takigakure, that was where it went cold. Reikou outright disagreed with him, shocked that it was his only desire in the world. "I thought you wanted to repent, wipe away your sins and start anew. Hold no grudges and fear nothing. Yet you still have a vendetta against this earth, that Ripper thing still has you. I loved you cause despite what you were you wanted the best for everything. You kept going and attempting to be better no matter how many hardships you endured. Yet you tell me you won't let this go." He couldn't, the place that plagued him so. It hurt him to see it chugging onwards every single day. Before he could say anything more Reikou was gone, the only thing she'd said was she needed time to think. Hougou couldn't believe it, he'd wanted to say he'd give it all up, but he would never lie to her. Deep in his mind his own laughter filled his mind as tears welled in his eyes. Three towns disappeared that night, four patrol groups became puppets, and one child awakened something dark.
End of an Era
Sometime after everyone Hougou knew in Takigakure had died out or left he utilized Dust Release to leave nothing but a crater where the village once stood. With nowhere else to go he retreated back to his cave.
Abilities and Powers
Hougou is a very skilled practitioner of ninjutsu, having over 450 years of experience in using all five basic elements the usage of them comes naturally to him. His most powerful element in his arsenal is his water release which was his main affinity before he gained his others. His skill in water release could be called unmatched he has trained long enough to be able to manipulate things like the moisture in the air and even condense the water particles in the atmosphere. With his skill he can even manipulate the water particles that make up humans making him an extremely dangerous threat. Another feat of his is his ability to actually control water attacks used by others, letting him redirect them. He does this by overloading their chakra with his using the water in the air.However his water release has become so powerful that all water naturally bows to him. He has shown on multiple occasions that he can even take over the bodies of Hozuki's, showing just how powerful his manipulation truly is. Hougou has even shown that he can quite literally separate water from chakra, allowing him to negate water release techniques. Though his mastery of the water in the air is legendary his mastery of existing bodies of water is even greater. Within a extremely large body of water such as an ocean Hougou is completely capable of turning the entire sea into a weapon. His most famous feat was his murder of most of a developing Kirigakure. He utilized the ocean to create a massive visage of Yamata no Orochi that devastated the entire village. With the massive amount of water the beast was invulnerable and even some of the most powerful water users combined could not slow it down. He used this technique again in the battle of Takigakure, causing seven Jinchūriki to all assume second state immediately. He is even capable of using his water release to essentially be ice release.
Hougou's second most powerful element is fire. His skill with it isn't quite his skill with water but it is close. He can launch off multiple fire attacks with ease and even manipulate the heat they produce to a certain extent. His use of fire also extends to the creation of extremely powerful waves of heat and can heat area's in general. He can even produce and invisible flame, burning enemies before they even know what hit them. Hougou's third most powerful element is his lighting release. He chooses to use it more defensively than offensively to create a sort of armor. He can charge his threads with electricity that can harden them to defend his body as well as shock anyone that touches them. He can also use this to electrocute anything that is touching his treads. He does however have some offensive techniques that he created with his student Jouman. These include the creation of extremely deadly bullets of pure lightning. Hougou's greatest accomplishment with lightning is transforming it into pure plasma.
His skill in wind release is quite powerful as well. This allows him to send off many blades of deadly wind in rapid succession or rip the oxygen from an area, suffocating those in it. He can also stop the movement of air molecules close to him. Hougou's skill with earth release is powerful as well, he can manipulate the terrain in a various ways as well as burrow beneath the earth. He also gained the ability to harden himself, much like Kakazu. However unlike Kakazu, he was better. Hougou was capable of hardening other objects such as weapons or even the ground around him. He could even harden other's were he touching them. He can even control sediment and other similar materials much like people control chakra filled sand.
While Hougou is not proficient in the use of genjutsu he is an expert on how it affects the mind. He strived to find this information once he found his body was now truly at his command and sought out a rouge member of the uchiha clan. He befriended the man and used him to study the effects of the ocular genjutsu he possessed. Using the newfound knowledge that the genjutsu came through chakra sensors he severed the sensors in his body that let genjutsu effect him. This rendered all genjutsu of any type impossible to perform on him. Using this Hougou will sometimes lull his enemy into a false sense of security by pretending to be under their spell before striking at their weak points. During his time in Taki during the warring states period Hougou also underwent Anti-Sharingan training. This involved being put into illusions so many times that the body developed a sort of sixth sense whenever it was put within one. This then activated a split second shut down of all chakra, deleting the connection to the brain and freeing them from the illusion.
Hougou possesses two kekkei genkai that he controls from two hearts within him, these two KG are boil release that he stole from a few kiri shinobi and madness release that he stole from a group of cultists he slaughtered. With his boil release Hougou is able to create large amounts of corrosive vapor to eat away at enemies and their techniques. He is able to control ph factor of the mist to make it either poisonous or corrosive. These techniques are very useful in enclosed spaces as well, keeping enemies on their toes. Hougou can utilize this technique from one of his masks as well, allowing it the secrete the mist through it when it is in a separate form. This makes it extremely dangerous at close range. With his madness release Hougou can literally poison the minds of enemies with chakra. He will usually create a barrier that will constantly erode the mind of enemies within it around him or create chakra constructs that will constantly try to touch opponents to poison their minds. Through his Mask he can create sound waves of madness that appear as large red circles. They contain sounds that can drive even the strongest minds to insanity with continued use. This is usually used in a beam or by creating a dome around the opponent. Hougou can also use this release to destabilize any technique that contains yin or yang chakra by destroying the chakra. This can also be used to cause chakra imbalance in techniques that use this chakra such as tailed beast balls. In the battle of Takigakure, causing two tailed beast balls to explode due to chakra imbalance. Though Hougou usually limits the use of this release as it can eventually lead him down the deadly path of The Ripper again. Hougou also possesses considerable skill with most other Kekkei Genkai such as wood, ice, storm, steel, dust, dark, explosion, lava, magnet, scorch and so on. He possesses at least one heart containing each of these kekkei genkai, though his use of them is much rarer than boil and madness.
Hougou could never grasp puppetry no matter how hard he tried, this was the sole thing that turned him into what he is today. Though after he gained his Kinjutsu he finally realized that he could do puppetry now. In a very gruesome way he could place one of his hearts within a dead body or an alive one to give him control of them and technically make them another user of the Kinjutsu. Hougou was ecstatic with this discovery and when ahead to make seven puppets filled with his threads out of corpses. Since they were filled with his own threads they were his to command and control like one of his constructs with a mask.
Earth Grudge Fear
Hougou was the creator of Earth Grudge Fear and has practiced with it longer than anyone. He could use the ability with ease and manipulate the threads that made up his body flawlessly. He could easily attach limbs that had been cut off or even his head if it was somehow removed. His scariest skill was his ability to create constructs out of his threads, these constructs could range from large tentacles that shot from his body to a gigantic ball of spiked threads. Hougou found more uses for his technique after discovering there was another man who possessed it. He constantly watched the man and copied almost everything he did for his own gain. He incorporated the masks into his style of fighting and sewed six onto his back. They each have a heart within them that allows them to use a certain element. Hougou also possesses a very special ability as creator of the technique. He was the man who designed all the threads as well as made them with a little of his own chakra within each. With his abilities he is able to create limitless numbers of these threads out of chakra for use on a massive scale, the threads he creates from pure chakra will eventually fade as they have no true physical form if the chakra is absorbed or wears out. Hougou can however make more real threads with the special formula he used for the originals. With time though and realization Hougou found it was his will that truly piloted these threads, they were their own existence. While they were created from chakra they could not be absorbed or manipulated by anyone but him. Not after he learned the truth. Hougou capable of turning any form of his chakra into these threads. Meaning if he lends someone chakra he could create the threads in their system. Another ability he possesses is that he can control other uses of this since all the threads left with the technique were of his own design and retained his chakra. The only way anyone could us the technique was to retain his chakra filled threads. They also all possessed the will. This allowed him to take control of literally anyone with the threads.
Hougou was also able to control others by implanting his threads into them. During his time as the Ripper he planted dormant threads within people that have been passed on and still exist in the present. In some cases Hougou had whole villages under his control, using them as death traps for his prey. He would lure people into the villages and use the villagers to shied him or even explode them into threads. Hougou also left some people implanted with small threads that waited in them, a dormant threat. These threads can pass on to children by breaking a piece off and merging with the embryonic cells. These people are scattered all around the land and grow with each passing year. Hougou refers to these beings as Threaded and estimates that the population is currently 40 percent threaded, 60 percent human. Hougou can also use this ability in combat by forcing the threads to pierce an enemy and connecting them to their heart and chakra system, using those to multiply the threads until the person is simply a doll. Hougou used this ability against the Jinchūriki he fought in Takigakure, creating a sleeper agent within them. Hougou also demonstrated his superior ability to utilize the chakra of a Jinchūriki after taking the hearts of six of them into one body. Hougou has a collection of dolls that he still sometimes employs in battle. They are various ninja of various skills, some with dojutsu and kekkei genkai. Hougou can also revive the dead in a sense with his threads. When threaded die their hearts stay intact, kept in working state by the threads. If Hougou ever choses to he can revive those hearts by creating bodies out of threads for them. These bodies act as soldiers for him but are more malleable as they lack bones or muscles, allowing them to shape their bodies.
- Earth Mask: This mask breathes sandstorms of sediment that can easily pierce the bodies of opponents.
- Lightning Mask: This mask can send of bolts of electricity as well as charge any threads that it pleases with deadly lightning.
- Fire Mask: This mask can spew massive amounts of flames to burn enemies to cinders.
- Wind Mask: This mask shoots out gusts of pressurized wind that can blow objects away or blast them apart. It can also shoot out a beam of wind that is constantly sucking inwards creating a pull towards the beam.
- Boil Mask: This mask can create massive amounts of deadly vapor that can melt almost anything it touches. It can also coat the threads with the vapor to defend itself.
- Madness Mask: This mask can create waves of madness to assault and destroy opponents minds. This is Hougou's least used release as it can drive him to eventual insanity.
Hougou's skill in taijutsu is very unique as it is based of his Earth Grudge Fear. His style revolves around making the most of his semi immortal body by fighting based on how his opponent does. If his opponent is fighting his with a bladed weapons he will split his body to allow the weapon to pass through, his threads will then grab the weapon and run electricity through it, shocking his opponent or making them release the weapon. When faced with pysical attackers or blunt weapons he can run electricity through his threads to harden them, he can then simply take the attack but he prefers to create a hardened weapon out of his own black threads to counter it. He can easily create weapons out of his threads and uses them to their potential, by unraveling them at certain occasions he can land surprise attacks on enemies. His most favored use of them however is to send them underground to surprise enemies by attacking from below with many needles of death.
Hougou's strength was always lacking, all through his life he seemed to simply lack raw physical power. He possessed enough strength to be able to move a sword around and that is where it ended. This all changed after he gained his kinjutsu he learned that because he lacked muscles in his body and it relied simply on the power of will, his potential strength was massive. He has demonstrated that a simple palm strike can turn two large and study oak doors to fine sawdust. He was able to match the blows with multiple second state Jinchūriki with ease. Using his maximum out put of power he could stop a meteor, though the back lash would probably break his arm and force him to sew it back up.
Hougou was always an exceedingly fast person, as a child he was able to run a mile in around 4 minutes. As he grew he became faster and faster due to lots of heavy weight training and long distance sprinting that he constantly did. Eventually his speed could rival that of a kage. After receiving his Kinjutsu Hougou learned that since he lacked muscles he could attain speeds not though possible for the human body without fatigue, in fact he learned that his body could not even suffer fatigue. Using this knowledge he trained his natural speed to that of the speed of sound since he lacked any limiters on his body.
As a child Hougou chose the katana as his main weapon of choice. He trained with it as he grew and learned the art of using it as well as the skill to maintain it. He used his normal katana until he gained his Earth Grudge Fear, after this he used a blade made of tightly sewn together threads that's durability rivaled that of steel. Later in his life he heard of a mysterious man named Kana Korimachi that was said to be the most skilled smith of weapons in the world. He hunted this man down with one request, to make him a weapon. This was how he acquired his favored sword Mugendai. With this sword Hougou created a special form of Kenjutsu known as Danse Macabre that pertained to the use of his sword.
Hougou is a perfectly capable swordsman even without his kinjutsu. His style is a combination of calculation and rushing. During breaks in an enemy's guard he will charge in and deliver a killing blow. His speed also made him a pain to deal with due to the overwhelming amount of attacks he could deliver. On one occasion he brought down a squad of 20 samurai with just his blade. In this battle he used an unorthodox method of spring boarding off of the enemies themselves and even their blades. After he began to utilize his kinjutsu Hougou found that if he could take a blow in the correct place he could trap the enemy, ensuring a kill. He began to leave calculated gaps in his defense to draw in attacks. Only to have their weapons stopped and their hearts pierced.
Hougou also applied ninjutsu to his kenjutsu as he grew. As water was his most proficient he began there. He would utilize water to create contracts around his weapon, causing it to become an axe,scythe, or anything else he desired. He would also use this same water to create platforms to bounce off of midair. With fire and lighting he would apply both to his blade, giving it either or both of their properties. With wind he could extend the range of his blade while giving it a much sharper edge. While using earth he could harden the blade, making it even more durable. With his sword Mugendai, Hougou created a special form of Kenjutsu known as Danse Macabre. This form utilized the many copies that Mugendai could produce to massively overwhelm opponents with a combination of speed and destruction. The ordered chaos of thousands of blades decimated armies under his command.
Through the use of his Earth Grudge Fear Hougou gained a form of immortality. This immortality was caused by his ability to transplant organs into himself to replace one's that had gotten old or useless. This was found out by him upon being pierced in the lung by an opponent and in a rage ripped out the man's lung and shoved it into himself and put his into the man. This was simply a way of insulting the man as he died but it turned out to actually work. After realizing this he continued to replace organs whenever he could and even keeps stock scrolls of them just in case. He once overheard some people speaking of a bounty hunter with five hearts and began to investigate how it was possible, upon reasserting the man through his sources he found that he had the same Kinjutsu as him. He decided to test this theory by placing another heart inside himself and destroying his previous one, to his delight nothing happened and he continued to live on. After that he always kept himself stocked with seven hearts as well as keeping backup hearts in a safe place, especially for his kekkei genkai. Since his threads have a will of their own they continue to move even if all of Hougou's hearts are destroyed. They will even go as far as seeking out other hearts to place back into him or summoning other hearts from his collection.
Kenta Kanata: When he first met Kenta Hougou thought the boy was nothing more than another helpless shinobi. Another who would fail before him and fall to nothing. However Hougou was quite surprised. From the day Kenta came to him he exceeded Hougou's expectations. He trained when he should've slept. He worked harder and harder no matter how much torture Hougou put him through. In a short time Hougou's doubt had turned to pride. So much so that Hougou decided to join the young man's cause. Out of all his students only two had survived and prospered. His old friend Jouman and his new friend Kenta. (add more)
Jouman Gankai: When Hougou first met Jouman he was a sniveling 16 year old crying about being unable to become a chunin and then abandoned by his teacher. Hougou was confused at first but after listening to his story he found that the boy had been raised as a brutish tank rather than a capable shinobi. Apparently judges hadn't liked his lack of problem solving. At that moment Hougou's old heart felt something very faint but it was there. He agreed to train the child and did so for six years, slowly going closer. To him Jouman was a friend, something Hougou hadn't had in years. Hougou grew giddy after their truing ended and Jouman participated in the exams, easily wiping the floor with them. Hougou was so excited he didn't know what to do. He hadn't felt that much emotion since the only person who'd loved him died. He and Jouman parted ways but Hougou promised to keep in touch with him. When Jouman was promoted to Jonin, Hougou sat within the audience. When Jouman became the head warden of the blood prison Hougou was there. As Jouman became older their relationship became more like old friends than student and master. Jouman even used Hougou to scare his prisoners at times.
"Immortality is both a blessing and a curse. You are able to live to see the world progress and blossom into a wonderful place. You also are cursed with watching everyone you ever knew die." - Hougou about his immortality
"So Jouman it looks like your training is finally complete. You've come a long way and I can assure you, life shall never be the same."
"I don't care what you want Kenta, cookies before training is not good!" -To Kenta
"The world is a place full of trash and scum that's a fact. However not every bit of trash and scum started out like that nor is every bit of it rotted beyond repair."
"This day is the day you all wake up from your illusion and face reality. You support monsters and villains who want nothing but war and the profits they'll reap. I'm a horrible person who's caused more deaths than a war. My body has been stained in blood but I still stand before you all to deliver this message regardless of what may befall me."- Hougou to the people of Takigakure
"We all stand here today for something. Some of us for justice, some for a brighter future, some to simply revel in battle. I don't really care what your allegiance is or why you're fighting. Just know this. Eagles fly down and grab snakes. They pick them up and rip them apart with their talons or drop them to their death. The eagle has the advantage but the snake can win. If a snake is fast enough and moves at just the right time it can bite the eagle. It can bring it down to its own turf and devour it. This is the nest of vipers is it not?. We'll rip away the fleshy curtain and expose the bare bones of this dreadful operation of their's once and for all."-Hougou boosts the Viper's Nest's morale
"Kenta I've assassinated political leaders in almost every nation, killed royalty in multiple kingdoms, and raised whole villages. I left that behind years ago and I promised myself the Ripper would never return."-To Kenta
"I understand it all. The infinite ticking of clocks, the screams of the dead. Those voices in the back of your mind. Your screams are unheard in the void of your mind and the beat of your heart is foreign. The words you speak are not your own but they came from you. Your soul is lost in time and in place of it lies another you. -Hougou's Madness
"I just want you to know you became a fine shinobi, better than I could have hoped for. Regardless of all your ideals now or at any time, regardless of if I disagree. I was so happy that Mina decided to send you to me. We've shared a lot of good and bad times but I want you to know something. Even before in my rage as I called you out for everything, as it seemed I was turing my back on you. I never once stopped believing in you Kenta, never." - To Kenta
- Hougou is one of the Author's favorite characters
- Hougou's favorite food is mostly any meat
- Hougou is still listed in the Bingo Books as The Ripper with a bounty of
- Hougou is responsible for the deaths of over 10,000 people