Date: August 8, 2015
Arika and Itami decide to deal with Gyuki some more, after a few failed attempts…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Eighth Tailed Beast: A Deal is Struck"
The library is the first sub-floor of the Administration Dome. It is literally just down the stairs on the east side of the Kazekage Administration Dome and it is located one floor below the lobby/ground-floor of the structure. The Library is publically accessible and has a variety of texts in the form of books, scrolls, and similar. Below the Library, on Sub-Level 2, the Records Department lies. These records are more or less also publically accessible and thus there is next to nothing stored there that might be considered "secret" or particularly relevant to the business of ninja. The two floors below the Records Department both comprise Sub-Level 3, or "Restricted Access Records Department". It is guarded, watched, and requires authorization to enter — especially for foreigners, who may also be escorted. The only Sub-Levels lower than 3 are not actually part of the Dome structure at all. Sub-Level 5 and lower are called simply "the Catacombs". The Catacombs are a vast network of underground tunnels that predate Sunagakure by centuries, or perhaps millennia.
People stay out of the Catacombs.
They are very bad.
Weather patterns in the desert have been fairly strange, if that could be said. It's not as if it can't get cold here. It gets very cold, really. When the sun goes down and the temperature drops, it's freezing, at least for most who are accustomed to the warm weather, but this time it's far more colder than usual and snow has actually fallen across the village. Children are attempting to take advantage of it while they can and instructors at the academy have been driven mad by the lack of attention paid to their lessons, but such is life when weather like this happens. Even some adults are trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
Yet, while the weather is providing certain cheer and perhaps even some jeer from others, Itami is deep within the earth, hoping that in this attempt she can be of some service to Arika in her training. "I don't want to hold you here long if you'd like to witness the snow, but I have to know how much progress you've made since I've attempted to assign as much help as possible with your bijuu training."
Arika bounces in her spot. It had snowed, and she wanted to go out and play. But apparently some training had to take place first. "I dunno. I managed to steal some chakra, but that's all. Miya-chan had to keep me from getting blasted to oblivion, too. And … umm… That's it." She shrugs a bit, not sure what else to say.
"What do you mean by 'blasted to oblivion?" Itami questioned, narrowing her eyes a bit. "Did you get harmed?" She stepped closer to her to inspect for damages. "What happened?" She was beginning to question if handing her over to be trained by her was a good idea.
"Hachi-jii tried to kill me!" Arika exclaims. "We went into the dungeon and then we attacked him. Or I did, I guess. Miya-chan just watched until Hachi-jii tried to blast me away."
Itami inhaled deeply and sighed. She wasn't sure of what to think. "You're still here…." She remarked. "So…he hasn't killed you which is good. It means that you fought and lived. That's admirable," she struggled to say that, though not because she didn't think Arika could do it, but that she really feared this situation. "Are you sure you wish to engage in more training after what happened?"
Arika nods. "I wanna keep training. With Miya-chan's help, I managed to get this far! Why should I back down now?" The girl asks. She seems determined to get on better terms with Gyuki, and if this is the only way, then so be it…
"Do you wish to fight or engage in another way? Unfortunately, I'm…not very good at engaging in any other way." Itami admitted regretfully. "I have tried talking, tried…not hurting you and now I don't know. What can I do?" She wondered. "I need a little help trying to figure this out. I want to do my best at whatever is offered." She folded her arms. "I don't think the 8 tails will be in much of a mood to talk to me anyway after trying to kill you and all…"
"I dunno. Miya-chan said I had to talk to Hachi-jii and figure out a way to work with him after everything was done. I think we're almost done, but we still gotta do the contract thingy… Or come to some sorta agreement. I'm not good at that stuff, though..". Arika frowns a bit…
"Do you wish to try and talk to him again? If anything happens, I can attempt to disable you this time so that you won't have to suffer from being attacked once again," Itami offered. "I don't have skills like the others, but I can weaken your body so that it can't be used against you. I think at best, that's the most I can do," she offered. "Is that alright?"
"I dunno. It might work this time. Or he might just be super grumbly at me," Arika says with a small shrug. Part of her is scared that the Hachibi will outright refuse her, even after all that work of trying to prove herself to it. The girl rubs at the back of her neck a bit, then sighs. "D'you think he'll even agree to anything, though?"
"I believe there's always something someone can agree to, but trying to find out what that is from a bijuu is quite difficult," Itami sighed. "I've attempted to do as much research as I could regarding bijuu and even with all the effort I've put in, including having met some, I still find them hard to understand. I know that they are more than just beasts, but that's about all I can manage. Perhaps you can make an appeal to him of some sort?" She lowered her head in thought. "Perhaps I can…I don't know. I know he's angry at me for participating in sealing him. Maybe I'm just as much at fault for his anger."
Arika chews on her lip. "I c'n try and get him to talk to you a bit… He might get mad again, though… I dunno what he'll do. But I can try, if you want…" The girl fidgets in her spot.
"I'll try, but if it starts to get troublesome, I will do everything I can to keep you safe," Itami offered. "I'll let you take over from here. You know how to get to him." She went quiet. "…Be careful," she added.
Arika gives a small nod and takes a breath, closing her eyes and making her way down to the cage that Gyuki is within. Assumedly, Kuoroke sealed it nice and tight so the eight-tails would be able to get out. So now she didn't have as much fear about the whole thing. "Hachi-jii! Itami-chan wants to talk to you a bit," she calls out to the dark cage, the girl not moving from her spot that is about ten or fifteen yards from the entrance.
Gyuki did not like being disturbed, and his whole body coiled and flared when he heard Arika's screeching voice, a pair of tentacles lashing out of the darkness to thrash powerfully against the bars of its cage. When he spoke, his voice was seething. "You can tell Itami that I have absolutely no interest in being her puppet. Same goes for YOU, runt. So why don't you run off and leave me the arrangement alone, while I plot out how I'm going to bust through these bars and KILL you…"
Arika's voice isn't screeching! It's kid-like! The girl is 10, after all! "If you're talking, you aren't her puppet. And it's just for a little bit," Arika points out. "Besides, if I die, then you die, too." At least for a little bit… "So you don't wanna kill me. And you'll probably just get all caught up again, since Itami-chan's here!"
Gyuki came forward slowly, then, his massive, grayish face appearing in the fraction of light behind the bars as he peers down at the little girl who is his cage. "Temporarily," he growls, knowing full well that his 'death' via death of host would be impermanent. And there were times when he was perfectly willing to take that risk. "You just keep testing me, runt. You'll find out just how long my patience lasts before it runs out and I snuff you like a candle." He paused then, his eyes regarding Arika with obvious contempt. "… What the pact does Itami want with me, anyway…"
"Talk to her and find out!" Arika challenges, pointing a finger at the Eight-tails. "And do you /really/ wanna spend a few months regenerating just so you can break out? Wouldn't it be better if you… Umm… I dunno… Were able to take the reins whenever you like?" she questions. The girl takes a step back and points upwards. "The show's yours. I'll be watching from the stands." She gives a grin, then hops back to see what Gyuki does…
Gyuki only growls with obvious frustration, before his chakra explodes out in a powerful wave, visible to the outside as his chakra cloak enveloping Arika's body. Ah, the taste of what freedom he possessed, no matter how little… In these moments, Arika was his, and he could do with her as he pleased. Maybe even rough up that pledged Itami a little. "What, have you come to laugh in the face of my imprisonment?" he growls out to the older kunoichi, his eyes narrowing murderously. "Why can't you people ever leave me alone for five blasted minutes!"
Itami waited for Arika to make the connection, though her mind was preoccupied with how to defend her properly should the 8 tail try anything. With the wave of chakra that announced his existence, she lifted her arm to guard herself, though it wasn't all that effective. The chakra washed through her and sent a chill through her body that was beyond unpleasant. At least it wasn't on par with the Silence. "I haven't come to laugh at anything and I'm certain I've given you some space to work with…" She began, "But I'm not here to argue with you, I'm here to make a proposal. I'm here to call for peace between the both of us and by extension Arika, but in order to achieve that peace, I'd like to negotiate terms with you that I hope can work out for the both of us."
Gyuki peered at the woman silently as he slowly processed her words. "… Terms," he repeated, his neck craning and popping slowly. Admittedly, she had piqued his interest. "… What sort of 'terms'… I warn you now, if you try any tricks or deciet, I WILL decipher them… And you, and this girl, will be buried in a shallow grave."
Arika pipes in for a second, hearing the whole conversation. Yet only Gyuki would be able to hear her. "Actually, it'd be a pretty deep grave! This place is right under Suna, so if you tried to crush us, we'd just be buried under here!" The young girl smiles brightly, as if what she just said weren't an issue at all. "And be careful!" she whines. "That's /my/ body you're using, y'know!"
"There is no trickery involved here," Itami reassured the bijuu. "I only wish to talk them out with you. For sometime, we've been at odds and each time we've lost someone to this village due to disconnects and disagreements. I don't wish for that trend to continue. You have been treated as an enemy for a long time, but we've desired you for your abilities and strengths. That is unacceptable and unfair to you. Though I can't free you, I do hope that in some way we can agree to work together. Arika is a young girl that had the misfortune of being someone having to carry the weight that comes with being a jinchuuriki, but she brims with a bright personality and positivity that I believe you and I could all benefit from. Would you be willing to work with her?"
Gyuki's eyes narrow suspiciously. "You claim to desire to make peace with me, but the first thing you do is deny me the only thing I wish. My freedom. Now how can I put value to any of this drivel… Offer me something of /value/, and I MIGHT cooperate. Until there's something good in it for me, until you can find a way to TRULY benefit the both of us, then I have no desire in making treaties with EITHER of you." The Hachibi was ignoring Arika's small voice in his head, for now. It was a good thing he had learned how to do that.
"I don't know what you may value aside from your freedom. I can't free you and I'm being honest about what I can't do," Itami states. "Other villages have bijuu as well and I can assure you that their freedom is just as unlikely, but I am attempting to try and find some common ground between us aside from what I know won't be done. I offered you that much in truth, so at least you can trust me not to try and slip anything past you," she explained. "What else might you desire that is within the realm of my ability? I need your help, truly."
"I haven't been that bad of a host," Arika pouts to the hachibi. The girl sits in her little spot that she has in her inner mind. It is a room filled with games, toys, mochi and snacks, and a lot of comfy cushions. "How come you don't wanna just throw in the towel and partner up with me?" she asks.
"Unlock the transaction cage," he says dryly, moving a little awkwardly in Arika's body as he shifts closer to Itami. "Quit binding me like an animal. What good is this 'cooperation' you seek if you won't trust me…" Not that he had given them much reason to trust him. But they were the ones seeking /his/ help, not the other way around. 'Shut up in there,' he echoes back to Arika within the spiritual realm. 'You're much too weak to handle me, and you know it.'
"I can unbind you, but I have to know that you will cooperate. I won't treat you like an animal anymore if I know that you can be decent enough to work with Arika. She isn't your problem. She is your host and I feel she's been doing more than a good job at maintaining with you. She's bearing a burden that should be respected. You should know that when people see her, knowing what she is, they don't see her for who she is much like I didn't see you for what you were. I can see you for whatever you wish to be, but she has to project for the both of you. She doesn't get the privilege of just being seen as someone normal anymore. She has to bear your burden as much as she has to bear her own personal issues. Not only that, but she is an active shinobi in this village and it's not always through your power that she has accomplished her missions. These things should be taken into consideration before you think that it's just you we rely on. You don't carry the weight of this village. I do and she does and the other shinobi that dedicate their lives to it."i
"Want me to fight you?" Arika challenges within. The girl glares at the Hachibi, looking like she could very well attack him. "Meanie! You don't trust me, still! How come we can't work together?" she asks, partly whining in her questioning. "It's not fair! I can't even tell people about you cuz otherwise they get all unhappy around me!" she pouts. "The only good thing is that not many people know about you, so at least not everyone treats me like I have the plague!"
Gyuki inwardly rolls his eyes at the pipsqueak's challenge, glowering slightly as he watches Itami pace and listens to her droning on. They just wouldn't leave it alone, would they? This was becoming a huge pain in Gyuki's tentacled contract. Finally, he releases a hot and forceful breath, tinged with his contempt for the situation. "A trial, then," he proposes, glaring unwaveringly at Itami. "I cooperate with the girl on a trial basis, to see if she's worth the effort. In the meantime, YOU unbind me from this compromising prison. But I warn you now, if the girl fails to prove herself worthy… I kill her. That's how it goes. Take it or leave it, final offer."
Yeah, he was a little bit grumpy about all this. But they'd been riding his back so hard, it was almost worth it to pacify them a little so he could stretch his legs. And maybe stop having to listen to their bellyaching.
"You have a great amount of audacity to speak about a trial period considering your length of time spent in there, but alright, I'll take you up on this trial period and will have you unbound. Additionally, I can't have her enduring this trial by sitting here, so with this agreement I am also granting her freedom back. She can leave the village as she pleases, hopefully without anymore issues," Itami turned her eyes upon the form of the 8-Tails, undaunted by his appearance at this point. He's tried to kill Arika before, but if he thought he could do it again and not meet her wrath for it, he has another thing coming. "I believe in her and her skills. All I want to do now is believe in yours."
"What, I haven't done enough?" Arika grumbles at the Hachibi. The girl huffs from within. "And isn't killing me a bit much? Also, we need Kuo-kun to unlock you. Itami-chan doesn't know seals as well." The girl perks up, though, upon hearing she can leave the village and does a little fist pump.
"Fine. Then we have an agreement," the Hachibi growls to Itami. "Now, get me unbound. I don't care if you can't do it, get me someone who can. I won't do a THING until these bars are removed." And with that, the Hachibi's chakra recedes and the cloak surrounding Arika dissipates, leaving her quite in control of her own mind.
"Are you alright?" Itami questioned after the cloak's recession. "It's still snowing outside if you'd like to go and enjoy it. I can also grab us some outdoor seats for mochi at the usual place," she offered.
Arika feels Gyuki let go, then she watches his chakra slip back into his cells. "Meanie…" she mutters before resurfacing. The girl blinks a bit, then rubs at her eyes. "Hachi-jii doesn't know how to blink," she whines, but then she perks up. "I wanna play in the snow! And then we can get mochi!" She nods and hugs Itami before zipping outside.