Date: March 8, 2011
After losing their hold on the Golem Factory, two ninja of Kirigakure meet for the first time.
"A Distraction from Bitter Recollections"
Somewhere in the Land of Water
The Kirigakure forces that were stationed at the now-destroyed golem factory have been driven off the island. How many might have died if Ryuutai had not started evacuating everyone is unclear. But ultimately, many were lost on the side of the Land of Water — and they have lost a major resource as well. The Yotsuki male now stands in a forest within the Land of Water, trying to figure out how it all went wrong.
Was he too weak? Was that it? Did he just not know how to use his abilities properly yet? All of his skills he has developed, all the improvements he has made… All for nothing? When it really counted, he couldn't help his allies. Or maybe… Was his heart just not in it? This war seems foolish… Contrived… Pointless! War is exactly what he had wanted to prevent! And now he has been sucked up in it like a pawn…
Not one to be overly emotional or give visible cues of his feelings via body language, Ryuutai still finds himself breathing out a sigh of frustration through his nose. The dark-skinned man is uncertain. He does not know what the correct path to take is. But one thing stands out to him… He could have killed that Hyuuga girl that attacked him. He could have killed her easily. It would have been justified. Self-defense.
But he didn't. Instead he chose to save the lives of his comrades. He thinks that might be worth something at least. Looking up at the blue sky, Ryuutai sees that the lack of cloud cover is persisting today. The sun is not very visible due to it being overcast… But the weather does not seem to be dark or threatening to rain either. The ocean is off somewhere to the west. Ryuutai can hear it distantly. But right now, he is in a forest. Most of the injured or the evacuees have already been shuttled from the landing point to the capitol, or south, along the coast, until they are within range of Kirigakure. That leaves only a handful of ninja and stragglers, as well as Ryuutai and two particular others.
Much more could've been done, if she knew that was going to be the outcome Tsun would've of been more willing to sacrifice the others. Since when did she care? Why was her outlook on things so wish washy lately? It was as if every sun rise changed her opinion on things. The girl would look up from the floor, looking towards the newer of the Seven Swordsman. Her eyes would linger there for a moment, she wasnt sure why at all but, they would soon drop back down to the ice coffin on which she was seated.
'You should've not held back so much Tsun-chan. I love you so much and you neglect me!' Tsun would roll her eyes, adjusting her seated position as she continues to pick at the charred strips on her jacket. 'Now now how many times have I been wrong? How many times have you ignored me only to find out you shouldve listened? Perhaps you should… you know. Listen to me when it counts for once?'
Of course, Tsun didnt want to admit he was right, he seemed to generally know what's right even if it is a much more gruesome approach. 'You were so much more fun to be around when you and little Owatsumi used to play together! Hmm, remember Tsun-chan?! All the fun things you, he, me, and that artist of a Rokubi would have? Even with Mitsuo! I suppose he was setting himself up to, I guess we'll call it, disappear. Though you seemed to have no issue with mindless slaughter before they d-'
Tsuns bagged eyes would turn hateful for just a moment as she slams her fist into the coffin. The coffin being much more sturdier than the girl itself would not give, instead she would be left with nothing but, bruised knuckles. 'Hmm hmm hmm. A soft spot? Your team is dead Tsun-chan~ Soon your new leader will die too! You havent even had a proper conversation though so, I suppose this wont be as trivial. Lets see, who's next. Perhaps Meruin? Perhaps the rest of the Kaguya clan! Dont pretend to not care, we're soul mates, remember Tsuuun-chaaaan~'
Tsun quietly lifts the hood of her jacket over her face and lightly bow her head, her state of irritation, she normally didnt care though, the beast was really working away. If only she could mute him, she had no idea why it had become so difficult to lock him out lately.
Ryuutai turns away from watching the last of the workers choosing to file away to the north rather than head to Kirigakure. They probably feel that being in a place full of ninja whom are at war with a large number of other ninja is not exactly a safe place to be. So they will stop by Koumorite Village briefly, and then continue on to either the capitol or to some other town. Maybe even just go home.
Ryuutai turns his beetle-black eyes on the young kunoichi that seems to be getting quite frustrated over something… Perhaps it is the loss of the facility. Does she too feel responsible? Ryuutai is by no means a 'people person'. Perhaps he specialized in diplomacy during a past life, but that didn't mean he was touchy-feely or empathic to any degree. Still, he decides that with a new life comes new choices. He can stand around and wait for orders or he can try to console one of those who fought hardest to defend her allies.
He chooses to try the latter. The dark-skinned man ventures closer to Tsun and announces himself quietly before he gets TOO close. "You there," he calls out. He stops a few feet away. He is not quite sure how to start now that he is here… So he starts with the basics. "I am Yotsuki Ryuutai. I do not recall meeting prior to that last assignment… What are your name and rank?"
'So bratty. Look at you, punching things and all that! What will the other ninja think of you?' There would be a pause in his verbal abuse, "Oh right. You don't care, so says the girl that used to carry around so many self given titles she'd forget half of them within the next hour. You just don't care.' Tsun knew he was up to something, she could never really say that he was truly friendly, his friendliness usually went hand in hand with sarcasm. Though for him to be outright downing her everyday. That was something new and really, why couldn't she quiet him down anymore?!
Her hands ball up into fists, she was on the verge of punching the coffin or, perhaps something softer once more. The kunoichi lifted her fist, ready to swing at something just as Ryuutai speaks out to her. The fist would pause, Shukaku would continue to talk her down in the background but, focusing on the voice of Ryuutai made it much easier to ignore him.
It was the first time in a while remembering that she was surrounded by others, despite how long many people have been about her. The realization causes a heavy blush to creep over her face as she looks up to Ryuutai, her eyes unknowingly watery.
She would turn away to hide her embarrassment before speaking up. "Kaguya Tsun… Genin. No we haven't met. I didn't really talk to much of the Swordsmen." Tsun would shrug, "Never needed to." She'd then unball her fist, lightly resting her palms on her knees before gripping tightly. "You weren't looking over here long were you?"
Ryuutai tilts his head. "I am not one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist. Though I aspire to prove myself their equal someday…" He considers the question asked and says, "I noticed you seemed aggravated. I feel the same. I thought perhaps reassuring you that you did all that you could might make you feel the slightest bit better. We both did our best. Further, if we had stayed and fought to the last, we would have lost far more than simply a building and some disposable troops. You protected those who had no fighting skill, no weapons, and nowhere to run when the Leaf came for them. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this war, you did the right thing."
Looking away for a moment, Ryuutai says, "And I do not mean 'right' as in 'according to the rules of war' or 'right by your Village' or anything so… Superfluous. I mean that, as a human being with a conscience and compassion and the ability to choose between right and wrong… You chose what was right." He shrugs. "Or that is how I see it. If none of that means anything to you, then I apologize for the speech." A pause and then, "A pleasure to meet you, Tsun."
Tsun actually cracks a smile, not at all because of his words actually being comforting though his odd approach at comforting.. announcing his plan first, almost made her laugh. The smile would fade away quickly though as she continues to listen to Ryuutai. The mention of them doing their best was not true, at least she knew she didn't. Tsun would bite her bottom lip while her face was hidden, drumming her fingertips on her knees uncomfortably. "It was, obviously a disadvantage but…"
Tsun sits up straight, looking back to Ryuutai once she felt she had fully recovered a presentable face. She would speak again but, not to finish her original sentence, "The speech? No it means something to me. I just can't look at it in the right way." Tsun tilts her head back. "It felt as if I had two options. Wrong and wrong but, the question was which one was more wrong?"
"I'm not entirely a fan of losing. It's why I never really got into anything I know I can't win. Knowing all the golems are gone will only make things harder and maybe cause us to lose… if we do. I feel as if it'd be my fault for not taking more action or… I dunno, stuff." Tsun would roll her eyes at herself, she was being too much of a downer as he tried to cheer her up.
"Ah but, maybe! Maybeeeee, it's a good thing, maybe if we were to win something a lot worse would happen or, maybe the golems would've somehow been our downfall in the future. Right?" The words would be hurried and her volume would be much higher as if trying to block out the negativity she rolled out just moments ago. '…wrong….wrong… wrong!' The whispers would continue as all of Tsun's focus would attempt to be direct to Ryuutai.
Ryuutai listens quietly and contemplatively to Tsun's words. In the end, he says, "In the game of war, everyone loses. There is no winner. Once war has begun, the game is already over. All one can do is try to preserve one's humanity until the board is reset. The ones with a soul left can try again. The ones without…" He pauses to consider his next words. He was going to suggest that perhaps the former Mizukage was one of these soulless ones, but instead he says, "…Will be hated by themselves and others until the end of their days." He sighs. "This is probably not really helping. I suppose what I am trying to say is do what you feel is best. Winding up defeated but still able to honestly claim to be human is better to me than overcoming all opposition and not being able to look in the mirror without seeing a monster."
Partially frowning the girl hesitates, not entirely sure what to think on his following words. "It's sort of… hard to really take that advice when everything you are and everything you were taught goes against it." Tsun plays a bit with her hair, "Mitsuo-sensei… never really did see losing as an option. I could tell he was never really happy with any of my mess ups." Tsun picking up on why she wasn't as aggressive, purses her lips. She wasn't trying to please anyone anymore really. "On top of that…"
Tsun would feel herself getting flustered with the topic, it seemed to be delving in a direction that she didn't want to spend to much time on, so she would get onto her feet. "It's difficult not to see a monster in the mirror when that's all you really are." Tsun tosses him a smile.
"Thanks though, I think it all helped. So uh… maybe I'll see you around in another assignment or, when this is all over. I really should go see if um… I can clear my mind and maybe sleep." Tsun waves as she takes off before Ryuutai gives Shukaku more ammo to use against her in his taunting.