"A thousand faces, a thousand lies, all of them true. The deceptions we keep to ourselves inevitably become reality, so the question is which one has become you?"
Akihiko Yamanaka (山中明彦, lit. "Among the Mountains, Bright Prince"), is a renown shinobi of the Yamanaka Clan. He gained notoriety during his Chūnin Exams when he uncovered a ploy by Iwagakure to insert sleeper agents into the village. Through the course of this investigation Konoha first became aware of the threat that the organization Black Crown posed. Though he did admirably in the combat portion of the exam, his effort into rooting out the spies had earned him his place as a Chuunin. Once promoted he was immediately transferred to the Konoha Intelligence Division, where his skills in information gathering and espionage were put to further use.
Over the course of the next few years, Akihiko led numerous and highly successful investigations and espionage missions. During this time he was trained extensively covert operations, and intelligence gathering techniques which served him well when he was finally promoted to ANBU. The intelligence he helped gather served as the foundation for much of the intel that Konoha has on the movements of the infamous organization Black Crown and others like it who desire to see the shinobi system collapse. Recognized by the ANBU Commander, he was handpicked to lead a team of specialists into the start of a covert war between these shadowy factions. In this deadly game where one wrong move could have erupted into open war with every other ninja village, Akihiko became a living legend. He forged several profitable alliances with other countries, ended a war before it could even start between Kusagakure and Takigakure, and prevented the assassination of the Fire Daimyō.
His work as a spy however had left Akihiko bereft of the loyalty expected in a Konoha shinobi. He had not seen his supposed home in years, decades even, always tasked with unearthing some secret, or donning some new facade. The loyalty he once had, that could have been cultivated had been lost in the myriad of politics, espionage and intelligence he had gathered over the years. In the end, Akihiko began working for himself rather than his village and at some point began working under the Fire Daimyo as a magistrate. It was a new position created by the Daimyo giving Akihiko unprecedented power and connections, allowing him to move through Fire Country while acting in the authority of the Daiymo himself. Now he is tasked with fettering out insubordination, and plots crafted by shinobi from all other countries who seek to destabilize the economic and political power carried by the nobility.
Appearing as though he were a paragon of his clan's physical traits, Akihiko has striking long golden hair that reaches just past his shoulders. It falls freely over his face with an unconcern that is mirrored in his stony features. His eyes, a piercing sapphire are as cold and uncaring as winter itself, apathetic to all whose gaze they fall upon. Yet there is a faint light in them whenever he gazes upon the world, a touch of amusement coupled with a distinct knowing as though he and he alone is witness to something only he can see. His face is full, capturing the essence of you but with the sharper more mature angles of an adult man.
It is what he wears and what it symbolizes that tell a different story. Tall with a broad frame and lithe body, Akihiko dresses himself in the the only color shinobi have ever associated with death - white. Whether a testament to his own legacy, or perhaps an indulgence, Akihiko wears clothing woven from spider-silk fibers, possessing a tensile strength that by in far exceeds the bulky steel armor worn by his compatriots. A long white double-breasted trench coat covers his body, it is impossibly immaculate and maintained. Professional, practical and regal, it is everything the standard shinobi uniform is not, but due to its construction offers more than five times the defensive benefits. Adorned across his waist is a wide black belt, with a buckle housing a series of seals housing unknown tools and weaponry worn over the white trousers and shoes. To complete this uniform and like all ANBU operatives before and after him, Akihiko wears a bellowing thigh-length cloak with a hood clasped to the cloaks collar. Together his attire gives him a distinct appearance; a walking phantom, a god of death among shinobi.
When he moves it’s as if he's floating, his feet barely if at all touch the ground, but the movements are sinuous like liquid, there is a unique flow to them, deliberate, casual but cautious as though waiting to tense and spring into action if danger presents itself. His form, lithe yet powerful, agile, perhaps even indestructible; forged by the anvil of war, tempered by the heat of combat, he is a man of action, purpose. Shadows dance in his footsteps, eerie and silent as the dead of night itself. Even at the brightest hour, his form wavers like a living ghost. Obscured by his cloak hints of a sword hilt can be seen, but just as quickly as it comes into the light, it disappears into darkness, as though it never existed.
As a veteran member of ANBU, he exudes an aura of command, and authority, accentuating his already impressive charisma, yet there is an undercurrent of something darker, dangerous, but oddly alluring in its capacity. There are moments, however brief in which his facade falls, and then the prickling sensation turns to fear, for realization dawns on those who understand its significance; a primal instinct long since buried beneath the veil of intellect rises to the surface demanding flight lest there be destruction. He is a messenger of death, a being knowledgeable in countless ways by which to snuff a life and end an existence within a single breath. In the next instant its gone, the palpable fear that gripped the heart, the sinking feeling of approaching death vanishes the instant he smiles bemusedly, offering a polite greeting in its wake. Those feelings are replaced by an aura of calm, a sense of relaxation that washes over with a subtle touch. Dread is replaced by awe, anxiety by admiration, even comfort. When he speaks his voice resonates with an impossibly smooth tone, a welcome contrast to the visage of death that appeared before and those moments prior are forgotten.
What is the deception, where is the truth? Perhaps even he does not know.
There are many mysteries surrounding the mystery that is Akihiko. Among his comrades he is both a great ally and a formidable enemy. His disposition has been the subject of many a debate, though none are truly able to understand him or his actions. His sophisticated and charming persona, mask the cunning of a devious snake. Akihiko is generally polite, if mockingly so, and has a habit of deliberately inserting tid-bits of information about person, only they would know into his conversations simply to put others on edge. Most of the time, they are often deep and meaningful, offering great insight into a person or are used to express his own thoughts and opinions on the person or subject in a roundabout fashion. Quite possibly due to the fracturing of his mind as a child, or the dozens of alias's he's adopted over the years he considers himself as a bit of a free spirit; unbounded and prone to seemingly random shifts in his personality. He can appear serious when light-hearted, relaxed and courteous while furious, even both at the same time, but actually feel completely apathetic towards the situation. Above all else he's good in bed.
He is an impish man whose nature is wrapped in the very deceptions he weaves around himself. His actions one day may be earnest and beneficial, going above and beyond friendship. And like a sudden breeze, the next day he will use all of his resources to destroy that very same person. Perhaps its his perception, or maybe distortion of reality that is to blame. When only a glance can tell him the thoughts of a person and a moment of concentration reveals their memories like an open book it can be very difficult to treat any individual with any degree of seriousness. He's found that people live in their own delusion, a reality only they perceive despite what is happening right before them. Thus he has no qualms about misleading others nor exploiting the very lies they tell themselves. If reality is just one man's illusion that what does it matter that he weaves another right before their eyes? Its for this reason that he finds it all too easy to adopt aliases, and is such a natural spy. He lives to manipulate others and find himself morbidly amused with the act. So he beguiles those around him with a practiced ease, pulling the strings of influence like a master puppeteer. His skill in bed is likewise, masterful.
Sometimes though, the master is fond of cutting the string, and watching it dangle helpless before him. Yet in the same hand he may shed genuine concern and worry over one of his many thralls. To become embroiled into the lives of those he manipulates one must invest a part of himself to make the illusion even somewhat true. So however rare it may be, Akihiko may find himself showing genuine concern and worry for those he has enthralled. He uses this persona to draw himself closer to the people around him, who often wonder what is beneath the cold and emotionless exterior. To find that he possess any emotional at all only seems to endear him. It is the perfect trap. But it is not as though Akihiko is above experiencing the spectrum of human emotion, he is not a sociopath, at least not conventionally. His lovemaking is cool and mechanical, but at the same time deeply intimate.
So it is very unusual that Akihiko remains such a staunch and loyal supporter of Konoha. He has spent more time joined in battle with shinobi not of his own village. He has trained with them, and on occasion enjoyed their company and pleasure. The ANBU who have worked them with him are wary and rightly so given his earnest attitude in executing his duties as a shinobi of Konoha. Though know not whether he is truly loyal to Konoha. Yet his information is rarely false, and he appears to care a great deal about his comrades and subordinates, often leaving them gifts or throwing welcoming parties for successful missions. However he has on occasion been rather devious and malicious in his actions, for seemingly no discernible reason at all. But then again, others simply can't read minds with the ease that he can. There is a running bet as to whether this is to demonstrate that he is capable of his own ruthlessness and is very well able to betray any one of them at a moments notice...or if he's doing so for his own personal amusement. It can be very difficult to tell either way when it concerns Akihiko. His cold and expressionless face would seem disturbing in bed, but this is a consequence of his overwhelmingly strong focus on his performance.
For a man gifted with cunning, and a talent for manipulation, Akihiko strangely does not lie about the kind of person he is. He warns others that they should not trust him or anything he says, yet his actions only seem to draw them nearer. He is apparently a man of his word, assuming any can get it out of him, but even if he does, whether it ends in their favor is up in the air. Despite such warnings he has somehow forged deep and powerful relationships in every village and country. Are they real and true, or merely a facade, a stepping stone towards whatever goal he has in mind? None are sure where his true motivations lie, for everything he does is a contradiction. Many are unsure of whose side he's even on, yet they all seem to overlook the most obvious answer ---his own. The previous Hokage and the current are both aware of this and despite all evidence to the contrary have such trust and faith in the man. He never fails to disappoint, in bed.
"Knowledge is power, and knowing a person's secrets gives you ultimate power. Secrets can ruin the noblest of heroes. Secrets can topple nations, or whole countries. Secrets are everything; they are our greatest triumphs, and our greatest failures. When you know your enemies secret, you hold the key to your victory!"
Born after the horrors of the Fourth Great Shinobi War had recessed into memory but its lessons not forgotten, Akihiko's parents raised their child for war. Unlike the rest of their clan who were prone to spoiling their children in this new-found era of peace, Akihiko was raised with the belief that conflict was inevitable and to survive it he would need to be prepared. Though Konoha had begun to rebuild, chaos and anarchy was rampant all across the elemental nations, it was only a matter of time before they were embroiled into conflict once again. Thus Akihiko was trained in the ancient arts of ninjutsu to prevent future war from engulfing his village.
Though difficult and often brutal in their teaching methods, Akihiko treasured the time he had with his parents. The day he graduated from the Academy and seeing the pride in his parents was the happiest moment of his life. Sadly this would end tragically for the young child. A training accident had ripped open his mind far beyond what someone of his age was ready for, exposing him to the full brunt of his parents mind's and their memories. The minds of his parents were irrevocably decimated sent into a vegetable like state and he was thrown into a coma as his mind raced to piece itself back together. For three months he was incapacitated and the diagnosis was grim, they believed he would never again awake. But after that time, he awoke from his slumber only to find himself in a nightmare. His parents gone, and vilified by his clansmen for what they had done, counselors and the like all hovering over him, constantly berating him with their thoughts and feelings.
Only he learned that this was not exactly true. During his coma he had been diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition in which the still forming tenketsu and chakra pathways in his brain mutated. Their conclusion was that even if he did awaken, he would have soon succumb to his condition regardless as his mind became overloaded with sensory input. That did not come to pass but his mind was open. He could easily sense the presence of minds without any effort. He discovered that with a casual glance he could discern a person's surface thoughts and that by concentrating deeper he could delve into their mind and see their memories. He did not reveal this at first, he was traumatized by his experiences and uncertain of the changes that had occurred within him. But overtime he eventually learned to live with his condition.
Invincible Under the Sun
In the intervening years following the Fourth Great Shinobi War, there were those who believed that war was behind them, that the shinobi could finally enter an era of peace. But the terrible wrath of the Shinju and the maniacal machinations of Obito and Madara ruined that fleeting dream. Despite the efforts of its heroes the world was plunged into chaos, wars rampant across every border, famines stretching from one city to the next, power-hungry warlords, smugglers and opportunists exploiting the weakened and fractured national powers. With over half of the shinobi forces dead and half of the remaining suffering crippling injuries, to rebuild the new future, the demand for labor and ninja arose to an all time high. And the only ones capable of fulfilling this demand were the children forbidden to participate in the Fourth War. Now however, they were to become the soldiers for a new era.
Akihiko was almost seven when he received the missive that would launch him into the front lines, under a new designation: Younin (陽忍, Open-Ninja). The bitter conflicts the engulfed the world were reminiscent of the Warring States Era, where children were thrown into the battlefield to wage war on the behalf of others. These Younin as they came to be called were of a generation of genin who would spend months if not years out in the field, securing supply lines, assassinating rival leaders, and sabotaging the efforts of others. All of this chaos, this madness would pervade the elemental countries for nearly half a decade, before a semblance of stability would emerge. During this era, Akihiko grew from a youth training with his parents to a veteran of war, leading entire squadrons of fellow children into combat.
Powers & Abilities
Though there are many in Konoha's forces that boast chakra reserves on par with a tailed beast or having some innate relation to the equally infamous Senju or Uzumaki clans, Akihiko's prowess is barely worth mentioning. His chakra is strong, that there is no doubt, for he is a member of ANBU and more than that he has fought in war for nearly two decades. His body has been honed into a lethal weapon of destruction capable of extraordinary feats of endurance and resistance. His mind is sharper than any sword, and his spirit remains unbroken. Yet all that pales to the power houses in the village, and that is acceptable. What he lacks in raw overwhelming power, he more than makes up for in sheer experience and control. Chakra control while considered necessary is something that most shinobi only use for the purpose of unleashing the destructive forces of the elements upon their foes. When he awoke from his temporary coma, Akihiko was forced to undergo various rehabilitation exercises, most of which included his ability to feel and mold chakra. During the course of his recovery Akihiko developed an insatiable curiosity for just how far he could push himself.
After discovering his new-found mental capabilities, it became increasingly necessary to control the chakra flowing through his body. In the early stages of his development the opening of his mind to others was instead a great burden, and it was through his experimentation that he discovered exactly how his ability worked and why. He struggled for years to learn how to properly control his chakra, suffering migraines, vivid dreams where he experienced anothers memories, and a disassociation with his own identity. Chakra control was not a means to power, it was a path of recovery and mental stability. He trained relentlessly in a variety of chakra control exercises, honing his ability to mold his chakra, manipulate and understand its flow within his body. What he gained in understanding was worth the suffering he endured. He obtained several chakra related skills that would allow him to bridge the gap and reach new plateaus of power.
Trained in the art of warfare from the time he was a young child, Akihiko was trained to turn anything in the environment into a weapon. He is well versed in all forms of shinobi weaponry, skills which became necessary whenever he adopted a new alias. Even how he handled the weapon was important, for certain techniques and practices were village specific. As a member of ANBU Akihiko took a personal preference for the sword, becoming an extraordinarily skilled swordsman, a trait that proved invaluable when he began spying in Kumogakure where he honed his skill even further. Throughout the wars hidden in shadows and subterfuge, Akihiko, or perhaps as he was known as at the time; Gensai Takamura became infamous in the underworld for his Hachimon no Heikishou Ryuu (八幡神の兵器廠流, lit. "Armory of the War God Style"), a hidden weapon style where he battles using hundreds of different weaponry spawned from within the folds of his clothing. There is some debate as to whether it was fuinjutsu or a space-time skill but he was known to have been extremely proficient in a vast arsenal of ninja tools, raining weaponry down on the battlefield. He was particularly known for his penchant for unleashing dozens of weapons with a flick of his wrist; spears, swords, maces and shuriken in a single volley. Chains erupting from beneath his sleeves with shuriken or even explosive tags attached.
As one who revels in games of deception it is no surprise that the art of illusion holds such interest for him. Years spent in fighting shadow wars and manipulating entire hidden villages, to nobles and kings he has become a master of weaving subtle illusions whether on himself, another person, playing upon perception, using only the barest of effort change one's entire world. He enjoys using his fearsome telepathic abilities to nudge his victims along the paths and choices he desires. From the arch of an eyebrow, a dazzling smile or even a nondescript gesture, his illusions can take hold and overpower even the greatest of minds. Though it would seem that it is largely due in part to his extraordinary mental prowess, his power in the illusory arts is in fact a byproduct of his own understanding of its fundamentals and their similarities to his clans own abilities. The basis of the Yamanaka Clan techniques is functionally the same as any genjutsu. Chakra is sent into a targets nervous system allowing him to wrest control and manipulate the body. Genjutsu differs in that rather than brute forcing domination over control of the body, one merely alters the perceptions of the victim instead. His mastery of the Yamanaka Clan techniques, had a pollinating effect, granting him a unique insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of genjutsu.
One feat that Akihiko has repeatedly heard claim of is the notion that Yin Release is capable of creating form from nothingness, and that when combined with Yang Release enables the use of the technique Creation of All Things. He has in his research of the nature of chakra discovered that the romantic sentiments of that phrase are patently false. Yin Release does not create form from nothingness, because if that were true fuinjutsu would not be possible. Fuinjutsu relies on seals, or symbols that symbolically represent a concept, thought or action. Therefore the idea that Yin Release creates form is absurd, especially when the context of the human mind is taken into account. He has discovered through his own experimentation's with Yin Release that form is derived from an echo or memory of that which has existed or was previously created. What makes Yin Release so unique is that human imagination is capable of taking the most basic of concepts and rearrange them into something new, original or not, the spark of inspiration is there. But it was the concept of accessing this spiritual memory that gained his interest. Illusions created through either genjutsu or ninjutsu differ only in the manner in which they are employed. One alters the perceptions of its victim and the other simply creates a figment in the world.
Akihiko however has developed the ability to tap into both at the same time using what he refers to as Sympathetic Transformation (変化共鳴, Kyoumei Henka); a form of advanced chakra control, quite similar to shape transformation that when applied to illusions, both phantasmal and illusory allows for the creation of echoing effects. One of his most promising examples is the use of ghostly flames. To the apparent eye, they are pale blue flames that emit light. It burns as fire does but emits no heat yet is capable of igniting something aflame as if it were an actual flame. Akihiko describes this manifestation as a memory of fire, capable of interacting with the world so as long as one believes it to be real. To create form from nothingness requires the simultaneous use of Yin and Yang Release, but Akihiko has to his amazement discovered a means of emulating such a feat, even if it can be defeated simply through disbelief. With proper chakra control he can make the flames change their color, and by suffusing the act with genjutsu to alter someone's perceptions he can make use their own perception to reinforce its existence. With this knowledge he is capable of weaving illusions so grand and luminous as to be real and true to any observer. They would be free to interact with the illusion and if they failed to grasp the deception, the illusion would be as real as anything else in the world. This discovery has made Akihiko's genjutsu abilities even more powerful than before, surpassing those who have come before him.
If there is anything to fear from Akihiko, it is his immense intellect and vast library of knowledge and secrets. Despite all appearances, Akihiko is a shrewd man, with a highly perceptive eye and remarkable intuition. He possesses a genius that is rarely matched, and it is prevalent through his years of success as an undercover agent. Country, creed, village, and allegiance are labels, they do not define a person though they may believe otherwise it is far from truth. His understanding of this has allowed him to see past the blind misconceptions that loyalty and devotion are prone to cause, giving him an objective view of the world. Thus he has been able to foster relationships and alliances with individuals many shinobi bound by their nindo otherwise could not.
But among the traits that define his intellect, his ability to discern even the most closely guarded of secrets is where his true prowess lies. Though he is capable of prying such information directly from a mind, even he knows that subjectivity bleeds into that which is fact and delusion. Intelligence, reliable intelligence is acquired through human interaction. Thus it is no surprise that from the powerful nobles of the court, to even the lowly servants, there is nothing beneath his notice, no secret left unknown. He has over the past 17 years created a massive international spy network the likes of which is unrivaled given its lack of organization and leadership.
Espionage is a game of deception and unless either loves it or is extremely talented at it, they would not stay for nearly two decades. Akihiko displays such pleasure in his ability manipulate the hearts and minds of others around him. Coupled with his immense intellect, and understanding of human psychology, he has developed considerable experience in discerning the ambitions and motives of those around him. His ability is nearly prodigal in its capabilities, and immensely widespread in its influence; he has shown to obtain favors from the Daimyo himself, to secretly pitting whole countries against one another. Yet he is particularly ruthlessly in exploiting their weaknesses; using their doubt and fear as powerful weapons of coercion, should the need arise. Even after revealing his betrayal to others he still manages to manipulate those who ought to know better. Yet if there is knowledge one desires, a secret that one wishes to unveil, you go to him. In a world where words cut as deeply as any sword, he is either an invaluable ally, or deadly adversary.
Akihiko has been familiar with fuinjutsu for quite some time, though he did not delve deeper into this field until he was already in his twenties. At the time he had uncovered the mythical Flying Thunder God sealing formula hidden in the most unlikely of all places- the bathhouse. Instead of attempting to master the seal he began a steady studious course into understanding the very nature of seals themselves. He spent years going over the notes left behind by those considered experts in the field, practicing his calligraphy and exploring the world to more thoroughly understand the concepts centered around seals. He spent vast sums of fortune acquiring sealing scrolls detailing their structure, learning of the different sealing techniques from other countries when he was abroad.
To his credit, Akihiko has over time adopted a system of fuinjutsu that could be considered its own theory. Rather than follow the precepts established within the Yin-Yang Five Elements Theory, or the Spirit Language Theory of Taijitu, Akihiko's methods use a mixture of both and more. He proposes that the symbols governing the attributes of fuinjutsu are distinct yet operate on a foundation of duality. Rather than use symbols that describe what something is, he uses symbols to describe both its concept and action. Normally the seals remain separate, allowing for a robust means of changing the nature of the symbolized concept in accordance with the action or intent designed by its crafter. Akihiko however uses the former method as a means of expressing the duality present. For him to contain or seal something he might uses the symbol of a cup; it can both hold and dispense but neither action is discrete. He's found that using this method he can create entirely new symbols specific to himself making deciphering or even modifying his own sealing array's an impossible task unless the decrypter in question has detailed information on his life.
As he advanced in his understanding of fuinjutsu he naturally began experimenting with the seals used by Hidden Villages to contain, and extract the Tailed Beasts. As chakra constructs he found their physiology unique and pondered on its relation to the aspect of sealing itself. If the Six Paths Sage was able to use the Rinnegan to split the Tailed Beasts and given the complexity of the task, he theorizes that a very grand and complex sealing array was used to distinguish the nine entities. After comparing his own research with the notes found in other villages with regards to their own containment and sealing procedure's he found that were was indeed a correlation. Often when in ages past when a Tailed Beast was not sealed within a human it would often be sealed within an object. This was where he originally came upon the idea of changing his perspective of fuinjutsu. Often a gourd or some other container was used, and when he realized why he found himself opening up to an entirely new realm of fuinjutsu.
Fuinjutsu as he discovered is the equivalent to the written and more standardized form of ninjutsu. Where hand-seals exist as a short-hand method to manipulate chakra, fuinjutsu allows for far more control and variety. Though slower in execution, with enough time it is possible to replicate any feat ninjutsu is capable of simply by designing the relative sealing array. Now he also discovered that there was no correct way to do so, some techniques can be executed using completely different arrays, so as long as the overall concept remains the same. He's even found that despite lacking an elemental affinity, by arranging the seals in a particular pattern he can recreate the effect despite lacking any of the requirements. This he found during his sojourn to the ruins of Uzushiogakure. To his amazement he found that he could also modify existing sealing arrays so that their intended effect was either altered or changed entirely. Of course this feat is only possible due to his own ability to alter his memory and quickly analyze and decode the extremely vast amount of seals present in any complex array.
In an attempt to simplify and classify his sealing array's Akihiko developed a three tier system which describes the level and target of interaction for his seals. The first are seals that manipulate or alter the environment. Placing seals on a surface and activating them to create a ninjutsu-like effect is well within his capabilities. It is for this reason that despite his lacking in elemental affinities, he is able to alter the environment yet not to the same scope nor speed of execution as a specialist in said element. The second tier of sealing is those that effect the individual. Seals can be used to alter the varying degree's of a targets capabilities, such as reducing their physical strength or speed. While the seal itself is relatively simple to craft the amount of power required to effect a given person however is proportional to their overall strength.
Lastly he has seals that are able to influence concepts themselves, such as space or time. These are perhaps the most complex seals requiring a dizzying array of seal formula, and require a greater deal of finesse and specificity than the others. Applying a seal that manipulates the given spatial dimensions of an interior room for example is a favorite use of this skill. The benefit of fuinjutsu over conventional ninjutsu is that once a seal is affixed it remains so until either destroyed or altered in some way. This allows him to anchor an effect to person, location or environment, and so as long as there remains enough energy to power and maintain the seal, the effect will continue to remain in place. Through such studies and labors Akihiko has fashioned himself in a sealing master of the likes that would rival the Uzumaki sealing masters of old.
Though his journey began by happenstance, Akihiko eagerly began researching and experimenting with space-time ninjutsu when he came across the fabled Flying Thunder God technique. Not out of a sense to obtain more power but a professional curiosity. In his studies he became increasingly familiar with the rogue concepts such as a bubble dimensional theory which proposed that space was composed of tiny interconnected pocket dimensions, and those accepted by the wider shinobi community such as the dimensional void, a vast empty plane of existence the overlaps with our own where space and time cease to exist. Unfortunately as much evidence that supports these, there are an equal number which either disprove or contradict them to make any one theory implausible. Even his own research has generated an entirely new hypothesis Mapped-Earth Translocation, in it the earth possesses a geo-spatial coordinate chakra system that is influenced by the movement of heavenly bodies. Of course after he discovered this and tried to replicate his findings he was forced to come to another hypothesis; Dimensional Refraction of Heaven-and-Earth which proposed the actual folding of local space through the dimensional void as if it were a lens. Sadly in his later experiments both hypothesis's proved to work equally fine so as long as their individual rituals were completed. Exasperated and perplexed, Akihiko shelved his research into understanding the phenomena behind space-time ninjutsu and began concentrating on developing his abilities on actually using it effectively.
Yamanaka Clan Techniques
Akihiko has mastered his clan's most secret techniques, honing them to a level far beyond any before him. When his mind was ripped open by the accident it was a miracle that he survived. In order to repair the damage inflicted on it, his body began a desperate gambit at repairing the damage. His brain amassed an unusual number of tenketsu and chakra coils to heal itself, but the result was a mind capable of harnessing the full potential of the Yamanaka's hiden. Living things unconsciously release chakra, but it is the chakra centered around the brain, the yin aspect that Akihiko is particularly sensitive to. His mind is capable of passively intercepting and interpreting this subconscious and passive chakra, allowing him to read the thoughts and minds of others. As he grew in his skill and power, Akihiko discovered that he could communicate telepathically to any person or group of people. As a sensor he is capable of recognizing others by the nature and feel of their chakra, and his sensitivity allows him to read the minds of any individual he can sense.
The exact range of this ability extends to at least the diameter of a Hidden Village, a feat he can accomplish without the use of any peripheral devices though he hints that his exact range goes even further beyond that. He is also capable of establishing a "network" allowing others to communicate telepathically using his mind as a medium. His prowess in his clan's technique brought the attention of ANBU who expressed an interest in his abilities. After he was recruited into ANBU he would exceed the expectations of his peers while operating in the Konoha Intelligence Division. His Yamanaka abilities were crucial in the acquisition and decryption of valuable intelligence that Konoha had gathered, and continued to prove himself for years to come. Due to the nature of his abilities he was often requested to assist in the interrogation and torture of suspects, earning himself valuable training and prestige within ANBU. Using these skills he became an extremely powerful tool for Konoha to deploy in espionage and indeed was able to slowly build an international network of alliances and assets for the benefit of Konoha.
Mind Reading Techniques and Sensory Perception
One of his most defining abilities is his ability to sense and read the minds of others. His mind possesses a fine-tuned sensitivity to the subtle and subconscious release of chakra from other individuals. More specifically he can read the emissions radiating outward from the crown chakra and interpret their surface thoughts as a passive ability. Concentrating allows him to delve deeper and read through their memories without having to use physical contact. The only drawback to such an ability is that delving deeper immediately alerts an individual that their mind is under siege as memories race to the forefront of their mind. However by establishing physical contact Akihiko can perform a more subtle and far more efficient means of extracting information, and without alerting his victim. His mind reading ability exists as an extension of his ability to sense the chakra of others, therefore the manner in which he is able to detect them is considered wholly unique.
Whereas most sensors are capable of detecting the chakra nature and possibly even its fluctuations, Akihiko's sensory perception is emotive; as in he detects not only the associated memories but the emotions as well. This makes him a rarity as he is capable of detecting emotions in addition to the chakra signature. Using these abilities together he is able to detect when others are not only being deceitful, but can even analyze their overall state of mind. His mind reading abilities are further enhanced by his mastery of nenjutsu, which allows him to alter his own perceptions. By triggering the various techniques that augment or stem his own senses, Akihiko can fundamentally change the manner in which is he able to perceive anothers mind and chakra signature. With his memory alter he is capable of organizing the massive store of memories he has experienced or extracted from others without causing any bleed over into his own psyche. By changing his visual, olfactory, and tactile senses he can detect, examine and memorize the exact feel of another's mind, their memories and chakra signature. This makes it nearly impossible for others to disguise themselves against him.
His mastery of nenjutsu combined with his chakra sensing and mind reading capabilities grant Akihiko numerous tools by which to perceive his environment. By attuning his ocular senses to his chakra sensing, he can visualize the flow of chakra. Using this same concept he can attune his other senses to perceive chakra in each of their own unique ways. This synergy of abilities grants Akihiko a potent form of sensory perception that could potentially emulate the famed abilities of more prominent doujutsu. To him chakra has more than just an instinctual feel, it has texture, a plethora of scents and evocative sensations that breath an entirely new level of life. Akihiko can go beyond just merely sensing what a person's chakra nature is, he can grasp their emotions, where they've been, associate the kind of techniques they specialize in. These means of detection make Akihiko one of the most skilled sensors in all of Konoha, possibly even the entire shinobi world. Were his discretion any worse, the extent of his capabilities might actually be known, but to the wider public, Akihiko possess if nothing else an above average if highly specialized means of detecting chakra. No one, not even the Hokage or her predecessor are aware of the true extent of his abilities.
Any expert in espionage knows that to properly infiltrate a military institution, one must first learn how they operate, what their tactics are, and most importantly how they fight. Nothing gives away a spy faster than using a fighting style that is not native to the village in question. As such it is universally understood that to maximize one's ability to infiltrate, the ability to analyze and imitate another country's fighting style was crucial. Akihiko's ability to perfectly memorize even the most minute details, along with the ability to alter the rate at which he perceives time, allowed him to essentially cheat his way into memorizing hundreds of fighting styles. This ability is comparable to the mimicry displayed by the Sharingan, though fundamentally different. Whereas the Sharingan imitates the movements, Akihiko's memorization is a complete codex. Rather than perform the movements as they were copied, he is able to within his mindscape analyze every movement, every attack, stance and body position in intricate detail. With his heightened senses he can view these movements in all their glory at his leisure to obtain a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the art, allowing him to not only learn but innovate as well.
Since birth Akihiko has honed his body to become one of the most deadliest weapons in his arsenal of techniques for it epitomizes everything he adores about deception, and strength. His movements are small and gentle, like a leaf fluttering in a summer breeze, or the rush of water in a small stream. The attacks of his opponents simply fail to find purchase, as Akihiko slips through the onslaught with the barest hint of effort. He is always moving, never resting, never staying in one position, it is the dance of death. His attacks appear as though he were trying to touch and caress the air itself as one would a lover. His fighting style is every bit as romantic as it is deadly, for the power held in any one of his strikes carries such devastating power that a mere touch is capable of obliterating an enemy outright. Hundreds of fighting techniques blended seamlessly into a singular combat style. His senses capturing details no other warrior could, his very mind slamming against the walls of his opponents will, reading and deciphering every strategy they employ.
His skill has reached such a frightening level of proficiency he is capable of performing extraordinary, even superhuman feats with simple gestures and slight movements. Such feats generate rolling masses of power, the world bending and distorting as a mere stab of his fingers causes lethal forces to barrel into his opponents with the ferocity of a storm. With a flourish of his arms he can unleash waves of rippling energy that are so potent they serve as a formidable defense in the face of the destructive power any ninjutsu. But it is not these feats that make his hand-to-hand ability so fearsome. While they are considered extraordinary in the eyes of their master, they are but childrens' parlor tricks. No, his real ability lies in the sheer level of skill he has accrued through rigorous training, and countless battles stretching across known and unknown lands and wars. His experience in battle and assassination, make him an extremely deadly, efficient and unpredictable combatant.
He has acquired a veritable library of fighting styles, both armed and unarmed, and honed his techniques until they became a fluid, near liquid form allowing him to transition from one movement to the next seamlessly. He has demonstrated the ability to defeat powers of unknown ability and origin with just his bare hands, deflecting burning swaths of fire release techniques with practiced ease as though he were fighting and disarming an armed opponent. He has fought and laid waste to entire squads of shinobi, without sustaining any visible injury, while only incapacitating his adversaries. Sometimes, rather than kill his opponents, Akihiko simply disables them so thoroughly that they are simply unable to ever fully recover. Some would call this mercy, but Akihiko believes it to be purgatory; knowing that instead of your life, it was your skill, and power that were not just beaten, but killed, and destroyed, forever gone.
The art of taijutsu is an unending journey of self-discovery, but when it concerns mastery over any one art, and their lethal effectiveness, Akihiko is would be considered one of the strongest and most powerful practitioners throughout the elemental nations--- were he actually known. At the core of the shinobi fighting styles are the Great Five (大五, "Daigo"); Stone Heart (Iwagakure), Shifting Sands (Sunagakure), Silent Waves (Kirigakure), Thunders Sword (Kumogakure), Leafs Shadow (Konohagkaure). Each style is native to its village of origin, emphasizing various methods of combat and assassination. The Stone Heart style of Iwagakure makes use of the practitioners chakra to defend and ward off attacks, exercising powerful defensive stances with equally deadly counterattacks. Chakra is expelled to reduce and often times negate the damage of incoming attacks. It is said that from the earth they draw limitless strength and durability granting them the ability to withstand all but the most powerful attacks. Against a master of the Stone Heart, their body becomes like that of a mountain; eternal and enduring, and all but impossible to destroy. The Shifting Sand style of Sunagakure emphasizes fluidity and precise chakra control, releasing controlled bursts of chakra at the moment of attack to dissolve and blow away their enemies. Their movements are like the sifting sands beneath their feet, using powerful legs to move with lightness and speed. In the desert these masters move with an ethereal grace, hands open and flowing as chakra whirls around them spinning wind and dust.
Silent Waves style of Kirigakure, a pure assassination style emphasizing stealth, pressure points and liquid attack patterns. Like the waves that crash on its shores, their attacks are swift, and relentless encompassing a barrage of deadly precision strikes designed to obliterate their enemies. They use chakra to mask their location, hide their scent, and to enhance the edges of their attacks so that they hit with the pressure of a tidal wave. Neither slow nor exceptionally fast in their movements, they are trained warriors who waste little energy in frivolous movement. Then there is the Thundering Sword style of Kumogakure possessing all the power and fury of an awakened beast descending from the heavens above. With the sword for which they are so famous for, their techniques are as simple as they are brutally efficient, turning the owners own body in a living sword. Their strikes cut with the certainty of any blade and backed by enormous power. A single thrust of their hand is capable of cleaving whole swaths of earth apart. Those who have met them in battle must learn to fear their brutality, for even the simplest of attacks possesses such immense speed and cutting power, it was if the edge of lightning itself manifested.
Leaf's Shadow is the signature style of Konoha, a highly acrobatic free flowing movement emphasizing disorienting angular movements, with an overwhelming onslaught of swift attacks designed to stun, misdirect and ultimately destroy an enemy. Like leaves fluttering in the wind, they move they dance around their enemies attacks, hiding within their shadow striking when the enemies guard is down. They are a whirlwind of shadows, attacking from all angles, never stopping, nor relenting. It is the signature style of Akihiko, a taijutsu he was born and raised on.
Hidden Weapons Style
The signature fighting style of Gensai Takamura, an alias Akihiko developed while working undercover. Employing what he referred to as "the hidden space" he was able to store untold numbers of weapons on his person and sleeves. It is a result of a enhanced speed sleight of hand to draw his weapons instantly and attack, as well as a clever combination of sealing array's on his person. The fighting style comprises using overwhelming numbers of weapons, most attached to chains or other ropes with weapons such as sai's, swords, hammers, iron claws, armored gauntlets, spears, etc and unleashing them against his opponent. At its height he was able to seemingly summon weapons from thin air, having them simply "appear" midair where he would grab them and wield them with expert proficiency in combat.
As a well traveled man, and indeed one who dabbles in arts of any kind, Akihiko is well practiced researcher and scientist having spent his years away from Konoha, broadening his horizons. Akihiko wasnt driven by some noble motivation nor the often seen "scientific mindset" that plagues the mad and insane whose experiments are as grotesque as they are astounding. No, Akihiko delved into research and experimentation simply because he could. He had the intelligence, the ability and most of all the simple curiosity to see it through. He could peer into the minds of humans or other sentient creatures with ease, but the same could not be said for nature or the very world itself and so found himself a most entertaining hobby and distraction. So he asked himself 'why not uncover the secrets of the world'?
Tools & Equipment
Radio Communications Headset: This multi-band radio transmitter-receiver is constructed to be worn on one ear. It enables hands-free communication between anyone on the same frequency. This military-grade coms gear has been treated to survive heavy abuse, even full submersion in water.
Sealing Scroll (封印巻子本, Fuuin Kanshihon): Are scrolls of varying size's containing chakra enriched parchment and ink containing a variety of materials and tools necessary for a shinobi. Due to the nature of the missions members of ANBU are typically assigned, sealing scrolls are regularly used for storage of their equipment.
- Utility Gear: At any point in time, Akihiko carries with him a variety of useful tools that are sealed within the folds of his cloak, in the pockets, and in his utility pouch strapped on his side. For a typical mission and for everyday paranoia/caution, Akihiko carries three gas-masks with replaceable filters, a water-proofed overcoat, gloves, slacks, boots and additional articles of clothing. He also carries a basic medical kit for on-site injuries. In addition, Akihiko has on his person basic survival supplies (knife, matches, tinder, fish hooks, sewing kit, flash light, canteen of purified water, local maps of the region, etc).
Antidotes (解毒薬, Gedokuyaku): are types of medicines that act as a cure or anti-toxing for various poisons and pathogens, and can be administered through several mediums. While many poisons are simply extracts from creatures found in wildlife or plants, some can be complex and thus creating the proper antidote requires careful attention to detail, and knowledge otherwise it could kill the victim. While bandits and mercenary's are less likely to employ poisons due to their cost and requisite skill in producing them, the fact that he is participating in an event predominately for shinobi indicates a high probability of poisons being used in the exams. Research into the local wildlife and flora of the participating villages yielded the most likely toxins, and poisons a typical genin would carry, and so Akihiko has stocked himself and his team with several doses medicine for the duration of the examine.
Poison (毒, Doku): are all poisonous, intoxicating substances - powders, liquids and gases - that can be used by ninja in combat. Poisons come with a variety of effects, ranging from body weakness, paralysis or death. Akihiko carries a number of poisonous substances on his person:
- Atropine - Akihiko uses this in combination with his genjutsu for its psychoactive benefits. Effect: Increased and irregular hearbeat, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, photo-sensitivity, loss of balance, confusion, hallucinations and coma. Type: Ingested or injected. Onset Time: One hour.
- Cyanide - Akihiko uses both the contact and gas forms of this poison in combination with paracematol. The toxicity of cyanide results in an excruciatingly slow and painful death. Effect: Muscle in-coordination, convulsions, respiratory suppression, dizziness, headaches, asphyxiation. Type: Contact, injury, or inhaled. Onset Time: Ten Minutes.
- Hydrofluoric Acid - This powerful contact poison is a great boon to Akihiko in combating the abilities of dojutsu. He employs both its gas and liquid forms. Effect: Severe tissue damage, severe pain, tissue death. Type: Contact, inhaled, injected, ingested or injury. Onset Time: Immediate.
- Opioids - Akihiko employs many forms of opiate to great effect in influencing his opponents' mental states. Generally used to assist him in interrogating enemies and potential leads, he thoroughly enjoys seeing his victims succumb to its effects. Effect: Painkiller, sedative, respiratory suppression, instills euphoria. Type: Ingested or inhaled. Onset Time: Ten Minutes.
- Paracematol - Akihiko typically employs this in combination with slow-acting, lethal poisons. His opponents become unable to feel the sensation of small injuries, and often overlook the effects of his later poisons. Effect: Causes liver damage or failure, and reduces pain sensations. Type: Injected, injury or ingested. Onset Time: Varies. Higher concentrations and heightened physical activity can increase the effects.
- Venoms - Akihiko uses venom from the box jellyfish most commonly, for its intense effects. Effect: Extreme pain. Type: Contact, injected, ingested or injury. Onset Time: Immediate.
Military Rations Pills (兵糧丸, Hyōrōgan): are special pills that replenish one's chakra and nourish the body. It is made up of powerful stimulants and nutrients, said to allow the user to keep fighting for three days and three nights without rest.
Akihiko and Kasuga have, something or another in terms of their relationship. During their younger years, Akihiko was a frequent visitor to the then Sixth Hokage and his protege Kasuga. As a result he would often attach Akihiko as either a subordinate or partner depending on the mission. As a result the two grew close. Well as close as two monsters of frightening power and potential could anyway without slaughtering the other. There's is a relationship that few words can describe, for its complexity exists outside the normal realms of rivalry and friendship. They exist as counterpoints to the other, but there is an undercurrent of trust, however strange and obtuse it is. At one point he betrayed her and Konoha, though that was later revealed to have been a ploy by Akihiko and the Sixth to further some hidden agenda of Konoha. With Kasuga, Akihiko tends to drift more easily between the extremes of his personality, playing both the eloquent trickster and the diabolical monster he is deep inside. Despite his eccentricity and her own disdain for his presence, Kasuga does indeed place a great deal of trust, at least from the perspective of lord and leader to one's most faithful subordinate. It is an odd relationship but it is one of the more honest one's either party has.
- Akihiko has a number of past-times that he enjoys in privacy. Among them and what is a subject of rapport with the author, is his love for Icha Icha Reborn. He has also shows interest in civilian manga series depicting fictional characters and superpowers. He often tries to find means of replicating the powers thought up by civilian authors.
- As a spy and world traveling shinobi, Akihiko has a surprising number of contacts. He tends to "drop in" from time to time to eat, drink and relax with enemies, nobles and other shinobi whenever he has the time.