Code/Nickname/Alias: The Rising Phoenix
Sun: Pisces (Knowledge)
Rising: Gemini (Sleight)
Moon: Scorpio (Technique)
Occupation: Father, Administrator, Councillor, Intern
Special Ability: No
A Fire Elemental born in Toushin on the 14th day of the Fish Season as a Firus and to a Firus mother (Yui) and a Weapons Specialist (Yamashita) on the outskirts of the town of Kaito (from which his name originates seeing as his great grandfather on his mother's side (mother's father's father) founded the town) alongside Ninsho Lake. His great aunt, the Fire Mage Taiki Kuroda, gave him the name after studying the stars at the time of his birth, finding the name (meaning "flying ocean") to hold great relevance to the boy "born of water with a mind in the sky." She predicted the boy might be mute or prove mentally slow. She was somewhat correct as he chose to practice muteness and made decisions carefully, often after much consideration. But his skill in learning both physical techniques and philosophical ideas were surprisingly quick. They pushed him hard but he seemed to always push himself harder.
When the boy worked, he did so in a diligent and disciplined manner, but his "play" was never much more than wandering mindlessly or sitting in one spot and staring at a fixed object. He didn't speak much, but it was always insightful or curious when he decided to do so. This being the case, his parents didn't push hard to force him to speak. When they had during his earlier years, he proved himself more stubborn than their attempt to get him to verbalize what it was he wanted and would neglect himself of food or drink rather than telling them what it was he needed or wanted should he be unable to attain it himself. But his muteness was only because he was forever receiving information and didn't want to risk the chance of missing something when he decided to speak. He rarely demanded attention or answered a question verbally because of this, trying to absorb everything he could and reflect on it when able, making his nights often restless.
Before he was a teen, he was a skilled hunter and a promising Apprentice, if unofficially. He remained socially inactive, though he had his brother born seven years after Kaito due to reproduction complications between Yui and Yamashita. Because of this sibling, Kaito trained harder knowing he'd have to protect him should the occasion arise. His overall goal was that of protection: both of his own health but, more importantly, that of those he cared for. In spite of this, he never truly "succeeded," at least in his own sense. He continuously struggled throughout his training in his desire to improve himself and push himself past mediocrity, which shouldn't have been a developed concept within the boy. But his failure and struggle was its own success, though he hadn't believed such at the time.
Kaito and Sonoda developed an odd relationship, being more professional than familial. This didn't come unnaturally. Kaito was cold and calculating, his emotions drawn and forever the observer. Sonoda, named after the prospering garden his mother was learning to grow throughout the years, was reserved and competitive, protecting his pride while trying to express it at the same time. Kaito sought to allow Sonoda's confidence to grow as everyone knew of the jealousy toward him when his parents treated Sonoda arguably better than him.
Somehow, Kaito found a way to train and hunt by himself, eventually provinding for the family rather than his father, who spent more time training Sonoda given the fact they were both Normal while Yui had little more to teach her son since she believed the principles of Fire would be their own teacher to Kaito rather than herself. He continued to learn how to tell the time of the year and day by both the weather and the position of the sun. He also developed excellent navigational and tracking skills. His mornings started with a sprint around Ninsho Lake, improving his endurance, and then a rigorous workout shifting and lifting logs in a variety of ways.
A significant turn of events occurred when Kaito awoke one evening to find Sonoda covered in blood and over the bodies of his parents. Kaito literally exploded with rage and sorrow, blasting the house apart and creating ashes of his parents' remains. At the age of 14, Kaito had stored enough heat to be so devastating. The seven-year-old psychopath miraculously escaped and was not to be seen again for several years. The two years that followed, Kaito remained to cast his parents' ashes into the lake, carve stones in memory of them, and rebuild the house himself and learn to survive on his own.
These two years were all it took to have the shack once again along the bank of the Ninsho Lake. He labored for resources not found in his immediate surroundings in the town of Kaito and also Toushin's capital, Nenryo. By now, he solely went by his family name, Sakamoto, which his great aunt and uncle, Taiki Kuroda and Michishige, had found out and addressed him as such when they arrived to pick him up and continue his training at the prestigious Jisuikafuu Academy. Kuroda knew Sakamoto would not do well, but the boy had power in him which burned like a sun since the day he was born. He'd reverted back to a muteness since the tragety that was his parents' murder by the hand of his brother, but it was believed that this was a mechanism to keep his explosive potential in check.
He arrived upon the isle of Hinomoto in mid summer, during the Season of the Lion, allowing Sakamoto the time to adjust to his new environment. It took a long time as he often slept, preferring the silence and calm of slumber to the chaos of learning about new surroundings. After a week, he was exploring on his own, walking kilometers to reach the coast of the isle and swimming for hours if he wasn't training with his father's bo staff or his mother's sai. He showed potential with other weapons, but he preferred these for whatever reason. He quickly fell into a rut of solitude to train in the hot sun, deepening his already-impressive tan.
Come the beginning of the academic year, he made his way straight to the Southern House, or the Fire Dorm if speaking colloquially. He was placed on the sixth floor, a year behind what others his age and birth date would have been placed. If they knew of his skill, they would have had him as a fourth year, rather than a second, but the Administrators ruled that he would prove himself and his place would be decided by the end of the semester. For now, the thirteen-year-olds flooded the floor and he made a poor impression to his roommates, continuing his muteness even among an atmosphere completely foreign to the boy. He spent the rest of his first day sleeping in spite of the noise and chatter among the halls.
The next day, he began his new routine before the sun was to rise which included a sprint to the southern coast and back to the Academy building and into the seventh floor training room until classes were to begin to which he quickly dressed and rushed to the second floor and into his Offense Class. All Firus students were to attend classes on Offense, Resolve, and Accuracy as well as the four major academics. Needless to say, Sakamoto stood out in a most negative manner. This continued for the length of the semester and he refused to participate the way he was instructed and effectively failing every Elemental course. The academic courses were mindless to him and he marked moderately in them.
These scores worked against him and they kept him in the second class throughout the Jisuikafuu tournament. This event pitted classes against each other, separating the Elements, and ranking each student. Sakamoto lost his first fight, refusing to do anything more than absorbing his opponent's fire (which none were capable of performing) or simply dodging them. This went on when he was picked on and bullied throughout the remainder of the year. He was chosen to spar against more than anyone else, though he'd never break a sweat if only because he conserved his energy by performing simple maneuvers. During this, the Instructors and Trainers would shout at him to behave more like a Fire Elemental and less like a coward.
The other students would try to physically harm and harass him, but he'd quickly move out of the way or avoid contact with them completely. This was until an Expert Trainer decided to use him for practice one afternoon. At first, the man went easy on the boy while still trying to trip him up with slightly sleightful maneuvers and tricks. Sakamoto brushed them off easily, making the Trainer escalate his efforts to solidify the lesson being taught that day. The twenty-eight year old couldn't overwhelm the fifteeen year old even when he threw everything at Sakamoto. Of course, the boy showed fatigue, but this was the first time he ever had and it was still less than their Expert Trainer. "Why don't you strike back?" the Trainer asked. "I am not in any real danger that could cost me my life," Sakamoto responded calmly, speaking for the first time since he arrived at the Academy.
Of course the Trainer was offended and the students and Teachers took this as a statement of superiority to the Trainer, but the statement was bare of any further interpretation. A Counselor, reserved only for the Waterans and Airish of the floor, approached the boy, knowing exactly what had transpired. The Academy was holding the boy back, refusing to expose him each Discipline and gauging his fighting skill and technique against the stereotypical Firus standards. After that day, Sakamoto was removed from the Academy and worked as an Intern for the Mages' Conclave while learning what he wanted to learn and what was pertinent to him.
Aunt Kuroda helped Sakamoto learn how to master the Sai and Bo Staff while Uncle Michishige pushed the many philosophies and practices of Fire onto the boy. He was the first man to have Sakamoto willingly produce flame in the absence of lethal danger. He was also the only one to expect more from the boy than the boy would himself. Michishige was a harsh teacher, but he was effective. After two years, the Fire Mages would argue for Sakamoto to be an Expert, regardless of his age. The other Mages would not allow it if only for the well-being of the boy and the tendencies for the populace to practice harsh prejudice.
He was placed back into the Academy as a Seventh Year, two or three years younger than the others in the class. The entire Conclave overruled the Administration of the Academy which insisted he be placed into the Third Class. Again, he practiced his rigorous training at dawn and was forced into Offense, Resolve, and Accuracy classes alongside the major Academics, which he surprisingly scored moderately for regardless of the lack of formal education. But unlike two years ago, he was vocal, sharing his understanding and Knowledge which refuted the general propaganda being spread by the staff. It went against everything being taught and was easily disregarded and argued against.
He partook in many duels, using them to teach the other students while they fought. His opponents could not land hits and struggled in an attempt to find an opening while Sakamoto easily dodged and absorbed the attacks and spoke in a calm tone. He drew much more negative attention than before and was shunned by most everyone though the threats and bullying stopped. There was a small crowd that enjoyed listening to him, however. They were mostly Water and Air Elementals, but they taught him more than any Teacher could. He sparred with them willingly, honing his skills and understanding of the Elements as a whole and actually performing Firus techniques. It wasn't long until the five of them skipped their Elemental classes to spar each other and teach what they knew of their own Elements.
When the Jisuikafuu Tournament arrived once again, Sakamoto was purposefully pitted against the best Seventh-Year in his class. Like the Expert Trainer two years past, the Ace Student couldn't land a hit on Sakamoto. Firu was declared the victor when he collapsed onto the arena floor from exhaustion even when Sakamoto stood across from him, physically unaffected by the duel. From there, he flew himself out of the arena, something no other student could do, and back to the Conclave where he spent the next four years with the Mages as his personal trainers.
When he was 21, the Mages placed him onto the Council of Masters after a fair test against the currently seated Master of Knowledge. It was deemed that the 86 year-old knew less than the 21 year-old. Though most of the Council was appalled by the ruling of the Conclave, they were forced to accept the change. Sumiko Mei, the Master of Tact and the youngest on the Council before Sakamoto's arrival, was the only one to accept him readily. She taught him what she could about pressure points, something Sakamoto showed keen interest in learning. But this had to be done between missions and tasks, which the young man was elected to perform before anyone else. It took him three years to effectively perform, but through his diligence and determination, he could hit the most debilitating points with ease, though nothing strategic or efficient.
He hadn't ever forgotten Sonoda and his insanity, often visiting his home and refining the tombstones he carved for his parents. In fact, the Kyoujin, or "Shadow's Hand," had been following him since he was sixteen. The child had rallied a group of Normals to exact revenge on Elementals. Sakamoto quickly adjusted to the feeling of being watched when it was clear they would rarely act upon their target. Also, being amidst the best and most powerful Elementals would not have been wise for them.
He'd actually met a girl in Kaito which he soon married after becoming a Master and they quickly had children in Sakamoto's old home. Their first child was Masahiro and born Normal, like his mother. A year later, Saruwatari was born, also Normal. Two years later, she bore twins, Kawazoe and Nanaho. They were all healthy and strong, but all Normal, though Sakamoto believed that to be more a blessing than a disappointment. Sonoda wouldn't kill his kin should they possibly join him.
He soon had to leave his family as the duties of the Council increased when the Kyoujin were actively searching and assassinating members of the Republic's Houses and participating in the Earth-Fire Wars between Atsusa and Keikoku with help from their mother Countries. He met Muro Ishi during his investigations and they eventually befriended each other and sought out the Kyoujin and dismantled them from the top after much difficulty.
A year later, he was called to Administrate the First Years in the Jisuikafuu Academy. The Conclave had, more or less, infiltrated the Administration of the Academy and rebuilt it from the ground up, in terms of the Elemental courses to be taken by all students. He met Ito Saelufu, forming a bond with the Wateran that almost turned romantic in the absence of his wife, Shinobu Satomi. After the two years leading up to this, both departed from the Academy, their work having been solidified for the future generations to benefit from the teachings of each Discipline rather than a select few. With him, he took his only Apprentice, Kaneko Keitaro.
A few months of peace passed before veterans of the war and defected members of the disbanded Kyoujin joined together to form the Regulators under a mysterious and disturbed leader bent on controlling the Country and changing it in his favor. Sakamoto met Amuro Kano and Gol Emerson, both powerful Elementals, the latter originating from Eiszapfen. Sakamoto's skills were tested more than any other time before and he was shown his shortcomings in a most violent manner.
Now he continues work as an Intern with Keitaro to the Conclave where the Council has been shown his prowess and skill now that he is at the age of thirty, showing nine years is all it took for them to accept him.
Knowledge: He observes before he strikes back, which is only when his life or the lives of those he cares about are in danger. He can track up to five opponents at a given time before resorting to Offensive tendencies. Along with this, he can quickly identify what Disciplines his opponent is utilizing and assess how to effectively defend against them. Otherwise, he will allow his opponent to wear themselves out or he will disable them utilizing pressure points taught to him by Sumiko Mei, the Master of Tact.
Technique: He is diligent and precise in his strikes and is hardly ever satisfied by his own skill. This is moved onto others, but to a lesser degree, miming that of Taiki Michishige's teaching style. Whether Elemental, weapon, or physical-based, his strikes and maneuvers are disciplined and expertly conducted.
Sleight: He doesn't speak directly unless it should benefit him. Otherwise, he speaks in circles or keeps things to himself. He works his opponents slowly, controlling the fight as much as he can, even when it looks like he isn't. Though he is a capable Elemental, he prefers to use his weapons before resorting to the use of Fire. This is so he doesn't grow a dependence on the Element but also will throw people when they see that he's very skill in his use with Fire.
Sakamoto is silent, intuitive, paternal, and observant. However, he can also be intense, passionate, diligent, and even cold. When his emotions stir within him, he reverts to his muteness as a way to silence his inner turmoil and distract himself with his environment. Otherwise, he is responsible in his duties, whether that be Fathering, of the Council, or Internship items. When threatened with his life, he is calm and determined. Threaten a loved one or his children, and his rage explodes violently and with little control.
Clothes, Appearance, and Equipment:
He wears a white fireproof Hakama that is relatively fitted and cut below the knee. The red sash which keeps them up at the lower naval holds two Sai of his mother's. They are unremarkable and not very valuable. He wears nothing underneath to improve mobility, showing off his bare hips and thighs. A white undersized vest with red hems covers his torso, wrapped around it a black sash that holds a six-foot Bo Staff that is carved with an octagonal shape and is obviously worn but surprisingly resilient. Without the sash, he uses it as a walking stick or allows his arms to be hung by it from his shoulders. He remains barefooted, making them callused and hard.
He stands 6'2" tall and is about 235 lbs. He is muscular and lean due to life-long training and practice. His skin is a deep but healthy tan from sitting in the sun and absorbing its rays for extended periods of time. His body shows many scars from practices, duels and fights. The only burn on his body is on his right forearm, twisting on the inside from the bottom of the wrist to the middle of the top of the forearm.
His facial and bodily features are sharp other than his gray-blue eyes which show the only hints of softness within him. His mahogany hair, wavy, mid-length, and unkempt, changes colors with the seasons, seemingly on fire during mid-summer and darkly chilled during the middle of winter. He keeps unshaven and an even coat of hair on his torso and legs, having matured since the age of nine.
He carries with him only the Bo Staff and Sai, preferring to work for food and shelter rather than paying for it. Because of this, his skills extend from that of combat into regular life. Of course, because of his disciplined nature, he makes everything more difficult than it needs to be as to push and improve himself. In actuality, he's mediocre in all that he does unless he works harder than most others would have to at the item with which he wants to Master. At the same time, he picks up new items quickly and reaches this "mediocrity" in a short amount of time. So, while he's not the best quality worker, he can do many different things should he be required.
At his home in Nenryo, he has an albino stallion which he's yet to name. Also, there is a shed connected to the house which holds a wide variety of weapons and tools which his son, Masahiro, trains with daily.