Date: December 23, 2013
Meruin summons the final two members of the future Team Blueprint to pass along both words of wisdom and to explain exactly what is expected out of its members. Kaydin, desiring to pass along Yuriko's lunch, is present as well.
"A New Current With An Old Undertow"
Kakari's Clearing - North of Kirigakure's Infamous Mist Lake
Mist Lake [Kirigakure]
A large crystal clear lake with a small yellow sanded island set in the middle. The lake is surrounded with large trees and lush green bushes. There are berry bushes, some poisonous and some not. The grass surrounding the lake displays patches of long and short grass with the odd stone set allowing for great seating. Villagers and ninja tend to wander towards this area for relaxation or training. Filled with an abundance of fish, here also tends to be a great spot for those interested in the fine sport of fishing.
Orders were received.
Their sender was, perhaps, just as clear by the nature of the words as it was by the signature at the bottom of the missive. Short, economical and and uncompromising prose. The contents of the letter? Very simply 'You are to meet with m at Kakari's clearing, tomorrow, Wednesday 11/19/9, reporting at precisely 2:15 pm.' And it was signed, of course, by the Okumo Meruin.
Kakari's clearing was a small section of forest west of the Mist Lake that was cleared of trees. It was made famous as the favorite training ground of Iwaren Kakari, the shurikenjutsuist who was said to have never missed a thrown weapon since his graduation from the academy. The trees are scarred from the training of both him and the many who picked up the training location after him. It is a spot as well known as the Cold Springs, though much less notorious, and is popular among the genin and, betimes, the students. With the sun shining down into the clearing, keeping the sting of impending winter at bay, it was a fairly comfortable place to be. Even more so considering the fact that Okumo Meruin was not there.
When the missive was passed down from one of his brother's, Kiyoshi regarded it suspiciously. Unfortunately, he would have to actually read it to learn anything about it since his brother was only passing through at the time. Divided between excitement and dread, Kiyoshi would eventually arrive at Kakari's clearing with only a handful of hours of sleep under his belt. Although besides the obvious bags under his eyes the boy seemed more wired up than actually tired.
When he arrives and finds neither the usual rabble that frequented the area or Meruin feelings of dread begin to stir. As subtly as he could manage, the green-haired youth scanned his surroundings for any signs of an ambush. All the while he cursed himself for having left behind his cleaver and jacket, though the latter still required cleaning after his foray in the swamp with Hissori.
A letter from Meruin-sensei. Yuriko can only assume that this has something to do with either training or a mission. She /hopes/ it's a mission, but somehow the littlest Kaguya is doubtful. She makes sure that her shinobi gear is all set, content to feel it on her leg as she jumps through the treetops, heading northwards, and arriving a few minutes ahead of time. When Yuriko drops from the tree, she spots Kiyoshi nearby, giving him an odd look as she glances him up and down. "You look awful. Have you been getting sleep?"
Kaydin followed Yuriko out, with a backpack on his shoulder. He had a konohagakure forehead protector with the entire plate slashed across as he follows along. He remains silent for now, watching the goings on with curious interest but doesn't join the two.
Kiyoshi literally jumped up as soon as mini Kaguya spoke up and whipped his head around fast enough to give the viewer whiplash from just the sight of the act. A sigh of relief escapes his lips, and the smiled at Yuriko. The overall like is one of person bordering on mania. The truth, thankfully, is that the youngest Moto simply naturally pulled off that look whenever fatigued enough. "Ah, sorta. Mostly. Sleep has been kind of… rough, lately." He admitted, losing the smile as he turned his gaze to the ground and scratched at the back of his head.
The young kunoichi continues to give him an odd look, only to then openly frown when Kiyoshi admits that he's been having trouble sleeping lately. After a moment or so, she makes a face at him and sighs. "Well, we'll work around it." Yuriko murmurs, lifting a hand to point at him, as if she's the one in charge here instead of Meruin. "But you have to make sure you get sleep. You don't want to let the team down, k? Have to work your hardest!"
Kaydin remains silent as he stands there, away from them, watching them curiously. His sleeves meet and he puts his hands into the sleeves of his Kimono as he watches and waits for anyone to show up, for now, remaining calm and neutral.
"You will explain your presence now."
These words were spoken by Meruin just after he seemingly materialized behind the Hyuuga, silent steps taking him forward. He moved past the men, stepping towards the exhausted looking boy and the girl in charge. The Okumo examined the pair as he approached, not seeming to notice the two large spiders that adorned his shoulders. He didn't arch a brow at them. But it was a close thing.
The boy's continued to comb through locks of forest green as the young kunoichi spoke. Never once bothering to look up until the question is posed. A blank look is given in return. Realization eventually dons on the boy with flaming hair, prompting him to make a silent 'o' with his mouth and drop a hand balled into a fist into the open palm of his other hand. An idea has struck him!
His eyes grew narrow and brows furrowed in thought. He >had< an idea. "Mmmph… Honestly tho', what is taking Meruin-sensei so long. It ain't like him to be late like this." He commented warily. His answer comes swiftly and elicits another start from him. Kiyoshi is hesitant to turn to the source due to what happened after their last meeting. A furtive glance is given to Yuriko. Then a less expressive one to Meruin briefly before he inclined his head. "Hello, Meruin-sensei."
Yuriko doesn't have a chance to reply to Kiyoshi, as she blinks her bright eyes up at Meruin when he suddenly appears. Like a ninja (gasp!). This being her first team in any case, she pauses thoughtfully for a longer moment as he approaches, before lifting a hand to press at her forehead. In some awkward form of salute. "Meruin-sensei."
"I was given to Kaguya Yuuka-sama to serve her and her family. I came to see how Yuriko-sama was doing and to give her a homemade lunch. I was also curious as to her training regime." He says calmly, not seeming unnerved by the man seeming to appear out of nowhere and questioned him. In fact he was expecting someone from the Kirigakure higher ups to question his presence in Kirigakure. "IF you wish me to leave I will, Okuma-sama." He says calmly.
Meruin inclines his head in greeting to the pair of genin, raising a hand to ward off Kaydin's willingness to depart. "That won't be necessary," are the only words he spoke to the man. He'd already known of his presence and already known of the reasoning behind it. There was no true reason to discuss any further. All was… well, one might say.
"Tidings, Moto Kiyoshi. Kaguya Yuriko." He comes to a stop a pair of yards away from the children, looking to Yuriko. "it seems that you, at least, have already learned of the news." He looked to Kiyoshi then, saying, "You two are here because I have been assigned a team to develop. You two," he speaks, now regarding them both, "being within it. You may consider this a formal welcome to Team Blueprint and the time where we will settle the terms of your membership."
Kiyoshi's head jerked upward in response to Hyuuga's voice. The rest of his body soon straightens out without the Moto losing sight of Kaydin during the process. Suspicious is a gross understatement to the look he gives Kaydin. Everything about the man is given a double glance. A third would've followed, but alas, Meruin's voice immediatly grabs the boy's attention, commanding it wholly.
"Hnn… Neh? Meruin-sensei? Aren't genin squads s'pose to be composed of three?" He asked with his head tilted slightly to the side. Then cast a wary glance over to Kaydin, wondering if /he/ might be the third member. An odd choice… but the higher-ups choice in the end. Doesn't mean he won't give the Hyuuga a hard time from this point on, good background story or not.
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes again at Meruin, nodding quickly as she uses a finger to point at Kiyoshi to indicate that in fact he's the one that told her. Which, the boy had. The young girl continues to listen, and quickly frowns from swiftly forming questions. Kiyoshi asks one. "'Blueprint'?" she repeats. It's a weird name. "Who came up with that name? What's it supposed to mean?" her frown deepens with further confusion. "What do you mean by 'terms'?"
Kaydin remains still and simply nods his head when Meruin said that he could stay. The expression given to him by Kiyoshi is noticed and he seems to disregard the boy. When the girl speaks he tilts his head slightly before his white eyes go to Meruin. He remains silent, studying the man with a neutral expression. The closest emotion to describe him currently is simply curious.
Meruin looks towards Kiyoshi, setting about the task of answering questions in the order they were presented to him. "Yes, genin squads are typically organized in groups of three, discounting the jounin or chuunin squad leader. Ours is no different. Our team has a third genin member. However, Okumo Sei, your teammate, is currently gravely ill and will take time to recover from the various toxins that he has been subjected to. As such, you will find the final position filled by other genin from about the village. For now, however, you two are the functional core of the team."
He looked towards Yuriko then. "Who decided upon the name Blueprint is unclear to me at this time, but it refers to the premise behind the team. It is composed of young talent. Young shinobi of a genius level of talent for their age, led by someone ho was the same when they were younger. The hope is that we will serve as a model for future teams as well as discover new tactics and protocols for whatever may come. To put it more simply, the purpose of our team is to fully develop our greatness so that it may be emulated for future shinobi. You will be responsible for the new age of Kirigakure shinobi, come time."
Meruin's chin lifts slightly. "As for the terms that I spoke of, there will be a number of responsibilities that come associated with being a member of this team. I have explained to you just what it means to be a member of this team and I will be telling you of my expectations and requirements." He looked between the two. "Are there any questions before I do so?"
From out of his peripheral vision the finger pointed in his direction is captured. He turns to Yuriko with a look of confusion before the meaning dons on him. A half-hearted smirk is issured forth, and then quickly replaced by an overall look of curiosity directed back at Meruin. The questions are given in short order, though it is the first in particular that nearly elicits a growl from the boy along with that very same anger being reflected in his eyes. As quickly as the name of their third teammate had drawn out anger for the boy, it evaporates the instant Meruin explains the boy's absence. He tried to in earnest to hide his elation at the news. Unfortunately, the boy is still far too ill-equiped to mask his emotions perfectly.
The rest of the news on the otherhand hardly garners more than a more serious look about Kiyoshi and a brief glance given to Yuriko that bespoke of suprise. He'd chide himself much later for thinking otherwise before this point. "Geniuses, huh?" Kiyoshi murmured. "… Mmm, Nay, I'm good for now Meruin-sensei." He says before glancing at Yuriko to see just how she took the news.
The reason behind the team's name catches Yuriko by surprise. It's allot to take in, and even at her age she realizes that it's allot of pressure to place on their young shoulders too. She gives Kiyoshi a hesitant glance beside her, looking to him to see how he takes all of this just as he looks to her too. "Um…" the young girl hesitates as her frown deepens, a tiny hand appearing from her enveloping sleeve as she reaches up to scratch at the side of her head. "I guess I have one more. This genius thing…" Yuriko says slowly. "Do you think that's the reason why the spider shinobi attacked us?" It couldn't be a coincidence that two of the three people that's been sealed by the mysterious shinobi is on the same team.
Meruin looks to Yuriko. "There is a possibility that you two were specifically targeted by that shinobi. However, I have not found any evidence supporting the theory but for the traits that see the both of you on this team. Neither, though, have I found any evidence to the opposite."
"Now then. The majority of my expectations and requirements will be unsurprising for you. I recommend treating your time on this team with a high level of seriousness. You will soon find that it means even more than you believe now." He looks between the pair. "We will have training exercises for a minimum of 3 times a week, keeping in mind that training isn't bodily exclusive and will involve lessons of a more mental nature. We will complete a mission once every two weeks. I will be examining your dietary habits to see if they are detrimental enough to need changes. Should you need to take an absence from training for any reason, you will make sure to inform me before hand. If you have any issues that you cannot find a solution to or need aid in achieving, you may come to me as you please.I will do as I may."
"There is one more large responsibility that you will have to take care of as a part of this team," he speaks, gaze calm and discerning. "The both of you will receive 100,000 ryo each. You will be using these funds to found your own organizations. Within a month's time from today, you will come to me to inform me of what organization you would like to create. You will be the head and it will be your responsibility to see that it grows into a success. I will advise, but I will not run your company for you. Keeping this in mind, I suggest that you choose an organization that means something to you. It will prove beneficial to actually care about the goals of your creation. Give it thought and attempt not to limit yourself too heavily. It scarcely matters what you choose to create with viable options running from a charity to a dojo to most anything in between."
"Now then. Are there any questions?"
It takes a moment or so before Yuriko's question clicks in mind. When it does the dark eyes of the young Moto are immediately set upon the Okumo following a mental kick for having not thought of that angle sooner. Then again, the boy was still wary about both attacks were launched by the Okumo for one of their mad experiments. The belief is misplaced, but harbored nonetheless. Meruin's response to it however only lodges it in deeper in mind.
Such thoughts are quickly shelved in favor of the present. As meruin predicted the first half of what is expected and required isn't that suprising. As far as Kiyoshi was concerned if it meant less fish being on the menu than the change was fine. Although knowing Meruin he might just try add something worser to the mentu. He shuddered to even think about the heathy junk that might be shoved down his throat. It… helped that Yuriko might suffer more when it comes to the diet changes given her sweet tooth, though then again, Yuuka might step in regards to that. Maybe. And if not, there was always the stealth and stash training she'd — both of them would get out of the changes.
Kiyoshi started to rub his forehead. Sleep plus all of this thinking was doing a number on his brain. Unfortunately, there will be no relief for the boy when it came to the second half of Meruin's expectation. Kiyoshi's eyes grew as wide as saucer, and would remain that way for well after the Okumo had stopped speaking. "Meruin-sensei! You can't… you can't be serious!? Your just gonna drop 100,000 ryo on a ten year-old and six year-old AND expect us to run an organization!?!" He yells as soon as the initial shock finally fades. He doesn't stop there as well. "Is… Is that even legal?" He asks more softly this time, arms all shaky from just what Meruin was implying.
The little girl's frown deepens. Partly because of the backwards way of replying that doesn't really make sense to her. 'Neither confirm nor deny'. Yuriko exhales a longer breath and dips her chin with a nod, as if she understood but only further confused. So she falls quiet, her bright eyes watching their mentor as he explains the requirements he expects of them. The part where Meruin is going to be monitoring their 'dietary habits'? That earns a weird look, her face scrunching as she looks from Meruin to Kiyoshi. And the fact that they're going to be given money to fund an organization makes Yuriko just as confused as her teammate. He seems more alarmed than she is though. This is weird. "Um, why?"
Meruin arched a brow, saying only "Yes," in response to Kiyoshi. The single word and tone answered all of the boy's questions sufficiently. The bigger, and perhaps better question took his attention and he looked to Yuriko to answer it.
"Partly because it is a lesson that teaches you a great many things. The first of which is that you are capable of more than just killing. You can create. You can build. You can lead. Your ideas are valid despite your age and your insight can in no small way beneficial. It will help you with time management, money management, discerning issues and solving them, understanding what people truly need, the demands of success, very likely how to fail, accept that failure, and continue on and far more besides. Too many lessons to name in this instance.
"Another part is your image. You must remember just what you are supposed to be for our village. You are to represent the most elite of your generation, and you shall. When people think of you, -genius- must be one of the first words that reach their ears. You will become celebrities within the realm of Kirigakure, and this is just a single step that we shall take towards making Team Blueprint the entity that it was requested to be."
Meruin's chin tilts slightly, chin lifting, "As the final major reason, you will have the opportunity to do some good for Kirigakure. Almost regardless of what you choose to create, charity or business, it can be beneficial to our village and land's economical clime, improving the situation of those living within it. Which is as fine a reason as any. So trust that this is not a purposeless assignment, even if it is going to be a difficult one. I would not give you a serious venture that you were not capable of completing."
Kiyoshi deflated almost instantly. Meruin's words all but fell on death ears because the boy still couldn't quite process it all. It was ajoined with the reason why he dared to not even look up at the Okumo in spite of his pride demanding otherwise. At the very least a certain voice that has been nagging him since the incident at the ruins left him alone to his own thoughts. Although strangely enough, Kiyoshi found himself wishing it was around, if only as a distraction from the present. He is without any such luck.
"This ain't right." He murmured. "Just a joke." The last word is follwed by the boy's jaw growing firm and his turning to literally try and walk away from it all. What Meruin was saying was >not< what he signed up for.
Meruin's replay wasn't what's expected, though the little Kaguya didn't really know what she expected for a reason. Her bright eyes blink, a small frown forming in her brow for several longer moments until her expression finally falls. For reasons different from Kiyoshi's but perhaps similar in reactions. Yuriko seems to withdraw into herself, her aquamarine eyes looking to the ground near her feet as a small hand instinctively reaches up to grab at Kiyoshi's sleeve next to her, as has become habit. "They already don't like me…" she whispers. This will just make the resentment worse, other kids that had been in her academy class.
It hadn't been the first time she's been in the spotlight. She's been there all of her life through the light of her mother. But this was something else entirely. It's her own talents that was pulling her into something much bigger. Yuriko's grasp tightens on the sleeve.
Meruin inclines his head to Yuriko, murmuring, "Excuse me a moment" just before he vanished from before her to reappear in front of Kiyoshi, chin lifted slightly. He would address the little one's concerns after he spoke with his older student. "There is a certain level of decorum that I hadn't expected to require saying, Moto Kiyoshi. I have not yet dismissed you. Surely it was a mistake that you had started to depart without my allowance, yes?"
Meruin doesn't have to move very far to catchup to Kiyoshi. He hardly had to go further than a step from where the boy first stood in order to intercept him thanks to Yuriko grasping his sleeve, holding him in place with a simple action that spoke volumes. The dark eyes no longer reflect ire but concern as he peered back at the girl, though, the instant Meruin spoke up the anger returns. He closes his eyes and grounded his teeth behind close lips for an extensive moment. Afterwards his eyes are turned upon Meruin. The anger has not left his eyes but at least he had the sense to try and bury it.
"Then dimiss me." He replied evenly.
Yuriko doesn't know what the word 'decorum' means, but Meruin was talking to Kiyoshi, not her. They're barely a few feet away so she couldn't help but hearing, though when the boy beside her started to walk away her small shoulders tense visibly. Tiny hand grips the sleeve tighter before her gaze falls to the ground at her feet again, just before she releases his sleeve, letting Kiyoshi go.
"Moto Kiyoshi," speaks the Okumo, voice darkening. "You have tasted some of my training, it is true, but you have never endured my punishment. Trust me… when I say that you do not wish to. I am not fond of delivering the same message more than once. As such, I tend to fashion the painful ones in a manner that does not bare repeating. And if you should prove obstinate enough to require it, as you may, you will find the escalation to be unpleasant for more than just yourself.
"You will not test me. Are we clear on this?"
For his part, Kiyoshi does not shirk away from the Okumo as his voice took on a different tone, and with it, a different meaning. He stood his ground and listen, knowing that every word that left his sensei's mouth was the truth. That knowledge alone is not enough. His nerves are already shot from lack of sleep, so on top of the bomb dropped on him earlier, it was a miracle the boy hadn't outright flipped out at this point and started yelling again at this point.
"You would threaten a ten year-old just cuz he wants to leave and clear his head? You would drop on this all on us and expect us to just sit there and take it? You would… you would…" Kiyoshi breathing started to grow heavy. "… Let me leave."
"You should listen to him." Yuriko mumbles, without really glancing up. "He once made me push a boulder. Just because." Granted, there was a reason. And it /was/ a punishment, even if she hadn't realized it at the time. The small girl shrugs her even smaller shoulders before she plops herself on the ground, pulling her legs against her chest as her arms wrap around them. "Boulders are only fun if you have bigger people to push them with you." That's the true moral of the story.
"You are allowed further leeway than most, Kiyoshi, but it fast wanes." Meruin chin dips, gaze direct on the boy. "Yes. Despite your desire to leave and sort things out, I am demanding that you stay and complete your assignment. Another time, you will consider it lucky the first assignment where you had to do so in such a state was only to sit and listen until all words were said and you were free to go."
The Jounin crouches, becoming more level with the boy. "Hear. I understand something of what you feel. But you must learn to put aside fatigue and frustration to perform to the best of your abilities. You must learn that your individual issues do not outweighs the needs of the group, the expectations of your leader, or rules of conduct between us. The way you go about things makes an extreme difference. Asking permission to leave to clear your mind may grant you permission. Walking away without leave only brings you nearer to a twelve hour lashing session.
"You have been entered into a demanding situation, under a demanding teacher. There is more that you must be, now that you are mine in more ways than before. And worse still, you must be that in less time. Due to that shinobi's poison, your bodies, including your brain, are maturing at two and a half times the rate it normally would. That means that you must learn, must /live/ at two and a half times the rate you normally would to keep up. Otherwise, not only would there be a discrepancy between what the public sees in you, but there would be one in how you feel of yourselves. And you in particular, Kiyoshi, need no more reasons to feel split within your own mind. Now you will stay until all issues have been addressed, and you will speak no more of leaving beforehand, or you will lose tomorrow for punishment and the day after for recovery from it. I am sure Yuriko will now refrain from speaking too much further for your sake." Which will likely mean problems further down the line. It is the way of one disruption to ripple into others.
He looked to Yuriko then. "As for those who do not like you, young Yuriko, you must swiftly come to terms with that fact. There will always be people who envy you for one reason or another if you are doing anything of worth. There will always be people who do not like you. In your particular case, it is largely because your mother is one of the seven swords and you display a natural talent yourself. You are very young, and kinder than many of them would ever know how to be. You are much too different, and in ways that only cast shadows on them. The nature of children allows few of them to accept this with grace. This is the truth, and unless you would fade into obscurity because of weakness and fear, it is something you must become used to the idea of. The best that you could do is to work hard. Ceaselessly strive to progress. This, at the very least, will get you the respect of people to combat the jealousy of others. If you manage to stay kind all the while, you should not doubt that you will find more people who will love you. You are easy to fall in love with, young Kaguya. Just give it time. Things will smooth out, you shall see."
Kiyoshi's gaze flickers over to Yuriko briefly when she speaks. But her words alone are not enough to convince him to listen to Meruin. While Kiyoshi doubted that Meruin would let him off that easy (as the Okumo would later express), he refused to give ground to someone easy. It is not his way. In spite of what he felt for the Okumo at the moment he still turned to look upon him when he spoke up again. He grounds his teeth against one another when the Jounin crouched down to eye level. For the initial lecture — a reminder of what he already knew — Meruin earns a glare from the boy. But he still listens…
By the end of it all, Kiyoshi is no less angry at Meruin than when he started. He understood the Jounin's perspective well enough. It is being put down that truly gets to him. Out of respect, Kiyoshi held his tongue and feigned compliance long enough for Meruin to speak to Yuriko. After which time he turns his gaze back to the way he took to get to the clearing in the first place. "Meruin… sensei." He says, eyes still glued to the exit. "What will happen to either of us if we fail that… test?"
Yuriko had been listening too, and the 'refrain' comment causes her to hugs her legs a bit tighter against her chest. The more exact words towards her make the girl shut her eyes, silent as she listens. "I don't want to be hated. And I don't want to be different." she mutters, few and simple words that held so much more meaning that could be put into just that. Words. She didn't want to be a celebrity.
She mumbles something that didn't quite become a full sentence as she grumbles again. Yuriko may not like it, but she wanted to learn. To her, that's the important part. Unlocking the next level of the game and more challenges along the way.
"Sometimes, children…" spoke Meruin, voice quiet but carrying, eyes shifting from Yuriko to Kiyoshi. He rose to his full height in a single supple motion, pale figure striking. "You are not afforded an option." A brow rises just the slightest bit as he continues speaking to Kiyoshi. "But you may consider yourself fortunate that if you fail in this endeavor, it only means that you shall have to try again. It will mean some ridicule and the reaffirmation of those who doubt you, including yourselves. It will hurt your standing, present and future. But in the end, it mostly means time spent learning and the need to start anew better equipped, unless you should fail in such a manner I deem requiring punishment."
"Now then. Are there any other questions to see answered?"
"None from me, Sir."
Everything took time with him, for as he listened, Kiyoshi teetered on the edge between acceptance and denial, peace and anger. Each side presented their own dangers, their own sacrifices that needed to be made. Ultimately it is the threat to his pride when Meruin mentions being ridiculed that decides things for him, drawing the youth's dark eyes to Okumo's face. The anger remain and so to did hate. But above all that, Kiyoshi just appeared weary beyond words. Try as he may, even holding on to the former two emotions is more exhausting than actually invigorated. His spirit has been all but broken. Which is why his words came out more hollow than evenly as originally intended.
Yuriko watches the ground near her feet still, her small lips pressing together as she shrugs her shoulder and shakes her snowy head, resulting in her long bangs to fall in her face. She huffs a breath to blow them out of her eyes, quickly reaching up to brush them out of the way as her twin tails bounce from the motion. "No Meruin-sensei." she murmurs. She didn't like this as much as Kiyoshi, but she didn't hate Meruin like her team mate did. Yuriko knew that she could never hate him. But that didn't mean she couldn't be grumpy.
"Very well," spoke the Okumo, receiving the answers from the genin. "You have three days to prepare for our first training session together however you desire. We will meet at the village gates at 0700 hours. Make sure that you have eaten before you arrive. Before then, however, expect individual training and assessment." He then turned with a simple nod and began to walk away, saying, "You are dismissed."
Meruin gave a slow blink as he strode away from the pair, leaving them to stay or go about their way as they pleased. This first meeting had gone… just about as well as he'd expected it to. This team had a few true issues before it had even become official, and it appeared as though things had only worsened in the interim. And moreover, there was heavy stress and high expectations for them all. There was plenty of work to see done. Time to spend, words to say, and perhaps a little luck to wish for. The team may succeed, or the team may not. But he intended to do what he could to ensure that they made it through to where their potential could be. And if they did not, then it would be because he simply didn't have what it took to see it done. It was a burden he was prepared to shoulder.
An answer he was ready to find.