Date: March 3, 2013
For separate travels plus an up-and-comming Okumo researcher cross paths on one of the few routes to Kirigakure. From there sparks begin to fly, though all go unhurt from this potentially explosive meeting. Well, all except one in any case…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"A Diplomatic Solution to Bloodlust"
A Path to Kirigakure
Path Through the Mist [Land of Water]
This path is composed of packed dirt and winds through a forest in which a thick mist seems to always linger, obscuring vision. No sounds of native mammals or birds penetrate the mist, leaving the area in a natural silence. Continuing along this path in one direction will lead you to the ferry and fish market, the other direction will lead you to Kirigakure.
Kirigakure's silent forest runs deep with the currents of the islands lifeblood and namesake, it's mist. The moist veil raises to waist height on the average man just now — should one look down, it would almost seem as though half of their body had been swallowed. Consumed. Simply gone, but for the few times a small breeze makes its way through the tall trees, disturbing the heavy blanket.
Abruptly, a pale figure rises from the depths of the mists, having been crouching beneath it. Meruin, the foreign featured Okumo with two large spiders on his shoulders lifts a slim fingered hand to the bark of a tree, running it along the bark. Scorches. Someone had been playing with fire. Likely the reason the mist was so low today…
he sun is just a whisper above the treetops, sliding down swaying leaves and stoic bark the ease of day. The afternoon seems trapped in itself a wondrous gem, sparkling of its joys and gleaming of its wonder. But not here: not within the grounds of Kiri, blood and history boiling together to leave entrenched the ever known, infamous mist.
It is through such natural annals that Hibiki walks, churning the mist beneath his knees, the lightest ocean there ever was. THe boy's head is down, his eyes just ahead of him, distracted enough on his way to the fish market (for what good is the water if not for fish) that he just steps aside enough to miss from colliding with Meruin.
"Oh. Excuse me."
Today is a day that both of the Jounin hate the most, but they enjoy the most. A day of physical training with Kiku. The two Jounin charges keeping watch over the young Kaguya are silently watching from above. They know their charge. They know her tactics. They expect her to charge out of the mist straight for them. Kaguyas aren't known for waiting around. They keep an eye on the mist, smirking a bit, dispite knowing what Kiku is capable of doing.
Kiku takes several deep breaths as she waits. The woman spots the two Jounin, who are waiting for her. She knows that she can't take on a Jounin. Shard, she can barely manage Genin most of the time, but the woman does have a few things she can do. A small bone plate raises just below her left eye. It has the character for fear etched into it. She pokes her head out of the mist a little bit, and looks at one of the Jounin before sending a small burst of Chakra. For a second, the Jounin blinks in fear before he brings his hands together. "KAI!", he barks. The genjutsu is released before it got started. Both jounin rush in towards Kiku, bringing their kunai down hard on her. Bone plates meet the blades, but not before they cut a bit deeply into her shoulders…Blood is starting to flow already…
Humming, moving along with a leisure stroll comes the big bad Hyuuga, at least you'd expect a big bad Hyuuga to lead the clan. Though honestly, it's just some woman with two guards at her sides and what can only be assumed to be her son behind her. Muttering among each other, she eventually calls out ahead. "Hello there~" Anyone in the loop would know Miu was coming, and honestly the group didn't approach with much hostility.
The young boy activates his Byakugan, taking in the surroundings before dropping it, whispering to Miu. "Hmm, oh that's nice. Well." They slow down a bit, Miu rubbing her chin in thought. It seems as if they were waiting for something.
If Kiyoshi had had his way there would not be fish for dinner this eve. However, his elder brothers were quite clear on the matter, so he kept on meandering down the Mist covered path with a bag of fish slung of his shoulders. Throughout his journey he walked stiffly, agitated with both his brothers as well as the mist itself. The latter of which being the main source of his ire, because it kept fogging up the lenses of his gas mask.
He cursed, both mentally and physically, wondering not for the first time in his short life just why the heck did he land it such a terrible place. Such thoughts slowly slipped from the genin's mind, for with a start, he was given pause at the sight of a pale figuring rising from the depths of the mist just a few meters ahead. He gulped audibly. "I-I-I swear if this i-is another of Koto-teme prank's I'm gonna…." He trailed off with eyes narrowed now at the newcomer.
Kiyoshi's whips his head in the direction of the noise. "And, this gets even more… irritating." He finishes as he turned back to see even more people approaching.
Meruin tilts his head slightly as he peels a small piece of brittle bark from the trunk of the tree, taking a moment before he places the voice. An image of a calm voiced comrade below and a trampling crowd above flashes through his mind. "Blessings, Onkyou Hibiki. How do you fare this day? It finds you well, I hope." His voice was calm, tones only subtly inflected. But the sounds of sudden combat push through the muffling mists, the sound of a genjutsu kai being employed easily recognizable. "Excuse me," says the Jounin before he vanishes, reappearing in the treetop above.
His misted eyes swirl deep blues and purples as they scan the world around them for the source of the disturbance, soon seeing them. The most severe source of sound and movement. "HALT!" is the roar that suddenly pushes from the Okumo's throat as he leaps from his tree branch to one nearer by. "Cease combat immediately or face punishments!" Jounin rank is somewhat annoying, at times. When he was a chuunin, he could've simply walked away and let them each make their own mistakes.
It is at this time that Kiyoshi is noted, the masked boy standing off to the side. And then his pupiless eyes slid over to the Hyuuga and her escort. His eyes narrow just the slightest bit and he shouts to Hyuuga Miu, "You there; Pause for questioning!" What had started out to be a leisurely investigation quickly turned into what could be a very large headache.
Hibiki was - with all intent and little delay - planning on simply moving on, not even bothering to look up at the individual into which he nearly collided. Upon his name being mentioned, however, the youth's head flips upward.
"You know-" are the only words that stumble from Hibiki's mouth before Meruin leaps off into the trees, bounding after exclamations and the calm-shattering sounds of combat and shouts. Hibiki himself does not move. He simply stands, his eyes drawn wide, as a rather large collection of individuals and actions materialize before him, gaining ground amongst the brewings of his brain.
The two Sensor-Jounin kinda glare a little bit at the other Jounin calling a halt. They hop back as Kiku gets into a low defensive stance. Her bone plating starting to come out, and the mist rolling over her. The two sensor nin tch, and start using their sensor-fu to keep an eye on the Kaguya. Meanwhile, Kiku stays put, focusing inwardly without drawing chakra. Sometimes, you don't need a a 8 foot long by 3 foot tall chainsaw to perform surgery. Its just more fun to do it that way!
"Ah! There we go." Miu grins her hands folding into her sleeves as she looks up and about, her veins not really showing as a very weak Byakugan was active, she wanted to see what was reported by the guards, herself. "This one must hold rank, look at him go." Miu's pleasant banter with her group is met with complete silence and straight faces, the guards maybe not human… or deaf. Regardless, Miu seems used to this, not bothered by the lack of response. "So, exciting! Much more exciting than you three." The two older guards make no reaction, the young boy though bows his head looking a bit disappointed.
…This barbaric village(At least that's how Miu often saw it) always had something interesting going on, when it came to beating each other up.
While she waits for Meruin to get everything in order, she pulls out her kiseru, already loaded from within the confines of her sleeves. Leaning over, one of the guards lights it with a weak fire jutsu and she takes a few puffs to get things going. When she does finally get Meruin's attention, she speaks up, "Hyuuga Miu, Jounin."
She then takes a deep drag, waiting for Meruin to explain what his status was before going in too deep to explain anything… if she needed to explain anything at all.
Kiyoshi released an exasperated sigh and shook his head. In just mere moments things had become ridiculious chaotic. Perhaps not as much as they could have been, but still greatly displeasing to be apart of. Things, of course, was made only worse by Miu announcing her name and title. The former of which he vaguely recalled as being affiliated with Konohagakure, and as a result drew his immediate attention despite Meruin's command to essentially cease all movement.
Though perhaps he meant that only for Kiku and Miu's part only? If so, it mattered very little to him. The Okumo was barely older than him from what he saw and did not offer proof of his rank along with his command. So, Kiyoshi simply regarded those within range of his view one last time before adjusting his package and returning back to his journey home.
Meruin sees that the random Konohagakure ninja appears to be complying with his demand, and thus turns to the Jounin. They also appear to have stood down. Good. "This is not the place for training. This is an often used travels pace between Kirigakure and anywhere else with low visibility, used by civilians and shinobi alike. Fighting here is foolishness. Should you need to continue then do so, but elsewhere before you see someone harmed or killed." All said, he slipped down from the branch, a hand sliding along the bark of the tree until he hit the ground in a low crouch. He looked over to Hibiki and Kiyoshi, ensuring their welfare before starting towards Hyuuga Miu.
Usually, with such a situation, he'd see the area vacated as Kiyoshi had decided to do. But with Hyuuga Miu here… Clan Head of one of the most powerful Konohagakure clan in unofficial enemy territory with only two guards? They could easily become dojutsu donors. It was unlikely that this was a lie — It'd serve no purpose but to put them in harm's way.
Meruin inclines his head upon reaching speaking distance of the woman, stepping no closer than need be. "Blessings, Hyuuga Miu, Clan Head of the Hyuuga clan. I am Okumo Meruin, Jounin of Kirigakure. Before you proceed any further, you will have to tell me the nature of your visit. For what purpose are you here, how long do you plan to stay, and have you sent any forward notice?"
Curiosity draws with silver string the threads wound within the hearts of the young, twisting around its finger with such poise the wandered musings of those so young and marveling; thus, does Hibiki take a step forward. And another. And then another. But slowly again, slooooowly does he approach the declarations of Meruin; slowly does he come to the ease of Mui's softly smoking pipe; slowly to the dripping wounds of Kiku. Away from the expected, the usual, he dashes, careful to keep his physical place lest his mind wrench him into danger. The boy whispers, to what seems himself:
"No! I am not going any closer."
The two Jounin pause a moment. "Sh**! She's coming in fast with all three styles!", the first one goes. A kunai flies out, and hits a tree to the side. Kiku explodes out of the mist with a large bone spike coming out of the palm of her hand, and tossing a Genjutsu at the one clost to Meruin. "KAI!", he says, releasing it as it hits, and he jumps away. Kiku spins in the mist, lifting the mist around up a little bit. She forms a hand seal as the other jumps away…Wait, the kunai on the tree?! Explosive?! Nope…Barrier, which the second Jounin hits…head first at full Dodge. Rather unique way to use a barrier…The woman growls, and a small bone spike with the character, sleep comes out of her hand…Apparently she hasn't heard the word stop. And…is she using bones? But…Kaguya don't use…Genjutsu…and little ninjutsu…So….Whose this little uppty brat?
Miu returns the bow to Meruin. "Not a problem, I'm not surprised with me being here right now to be a little unexpected." Smiling the Hyuuga gnaws on the pipe, "We weren't supposed to be here for about another 10 hours. The owners of the ferry saw us approach and invited us to ride on his prototype ship, run by ninja. Much faster than the average ship, Wind and Water jutsu used in a magnificient way! Anyway, let me at least answer your other questions before getting too re-excited about that again."
Miu looks Meruin over, mildly impressed with his appearance, noted with her perked eyebrows. "I plan to stay a day, at the most unless the situation develops in a way." She gnaws on her bottom lip, "Though you'd probably be aware if it did. I'm here to talk about a case that happened a while ago, involving your… Kaguya Keisuke." Miu grumbles, "There have been much to much rumors on the follow up on the member of my own clan." Miu notices Kiku firing up again, "I'm looking to see if anything matches up, you understand."
As the attacks start flying about, she seems to pay it no mind, talking regardless if Meruin goes off into action or yelling again, "Don't want a dead body of a kekkei genkai holder laying about." It looks like Miu isn't worried about all this action, though raises her hand, signaling she'd wait for Meruin to handle the situation.
Meruin frowns slightly as the sounds of Kiku springing into action restart, and he turns his head to the side, eyes looking over his shoulder. He nods towards Miu saying, simply, "Excuse me," before vanishing. He reappears next to Kiku, simply moving to lay a hand on her shoulder. Should her touch her, she'd find her pain receding and her senses dulling until a pleasure fog overtakes her for a small while. "This is something of a sensitive issue," he calls to Hyuuga Miu. "I will escort you into the village and to our administration building." He looks towards the sensor Jounin above, uncaring for whatever state of disarray they appeared to be in. He opened his mouth before pursing his lips and looking towards Hibiki. "Onkyou Hibiki. Go ahead of us and see to it that word of Hyuuga Miu's arrival is known. We will enter through the front gate in approximately half of an hour. Ensure that there is a host awaiting us."
He looks, then, towards Kiku, briefly pondering his next step with her.
There was no need to look back. Kiyoshi did not want to look back. He REFUSED to look back. But like a moth to a flame, Kiyoshi hesitantly looked back over his shoulder. Afterwards he stopped and turned around for a better view with the hopes of satisfying that dastardly urge known as curiosity enough to keep on going. Sadly, he does not succceed, but instead only entices it to start crawling out the pit he buried it in.
"I'm immortal, 'nd I'm gonna be blamed for this somehow anywayz." He stated dryly after turning back to peer down the road to the village. Then, he relunctantly kept on going for a couple more meters before using the shadow of tree along with the mist to hide himself from view. Kiyoshi would stay quiet, observe, and pick apart a way the situation until he found a reasonable and non-conflicting excuse for later.
Hibiki's own rapture dissolves at the command of Meruin. His heartbeat - so thrusting before, so gigantic in sound and fury - melts into the usual mush of normalcy: the low, repetitive murmur of duty. The youth nods.
And he dashes into the fog, the swirling of mist scuttling away from the forward legs of the hurrying lad. Oh, but were there more he could have witnessed; oh, but were there more that he could have seen! Life is as fresh as rose blossoming its pretty fingers, and Hibiki is stuck just passing it by.
Kiku growls a bit, as Meruin places his hand on her shoulder. A rather large shield comes out of the shoulder before the bite takes hold. This is much bigger then the normal Kaguya bone plates…Its not long though before Kiku's growls get less loud, and she starts to get dizzy. She falls to the ground, and starts to take a nap before the two Sensor Jounin sigh a bit. "And I was hoping she would do something like attack the Hyuuga…At least then we could have been taken off of babysitting duty. Keisuke's little bratty student is too much of a handful to deal with.", the senior one grumbles…
The young boy's resolve breaks, taking hold of Miu's robes, a bit of childish innocence apparently still kept within the small guard. Miu simply reaches back and pats the boy on the head. "So quick." Given the frenzy the young girl was just in, she wouldn't be surprised if she escapes and so she waits and then, everything calms down. "Oh, excellent." A few light claps follow, "I was worried I might get involved." She glances towards the Jounin that mentions they were hoping she'd attack. "Ah, don't wish things like that. If things like this keep up, the name Hyuuga in this land will be synonymous with death."
Miu then follows that up with a very girlish giggle, quickly retracted. "Ah. Oh, well that wasn't a very good joke." Miu clears her throat and returns to smoking, looking Meruin's way. "Well…" She hopes they can move on, seriously, she didn't want to get dirt on her robes or something awful like that!
Meruin nods towards Kiku, sparing a glance towards the pair of sensor nin — but only that — before turning his attention towards the Hyuuga delegate. "Please excuse the disturbance, madame," he seems to not have noticed that Miu had made anything resembling a joke. "Worry not about the Kaguya woman. The two Jounin will see her brought safely home and well taken care of. To avoid heavy punishment, if nothing else." He gestures towards the north, saying, "The village is this way, mistress. If you would? I'll follow right along."