Awake The Snake - Pt. 2


Matsuri, Anzu, Shuuren

Date: November 15, 2016


Nagamura Shuuren drops a few bombshells on Anzu and her adoptive mother, and a decision must be reached about whether to accept a very tempting offer that threatens to split their family apart.

"Awake The Snake - Pt. 2"

Miati Forest - Clearing [Land of Fire]

Three ninja, though only one of them is both advanced enough to meaningfully qualify as one AND cognizant of their own abilities sufficiently to use them, are seated around a table in a mostly-dark dining room of an out-of-the-way inn in Miati Forest. Though they have candle light, little effort has been made to illuminate things otherwise. They don't want to wake the other guests, after all… Those doors are made of paper.

"So, Anzu-san… I can't tell for certain without a more thorough diagnostic of your condition, but You have memory issues, correct?" Shuuren began, waiting a moment before saying, "I know this is likely a terrible thing to learn of who you are, but, as a former member of the village those men were from, I can affirm that you are who they say you are, that being a member of the Hebisuuhai Clan, and that you are wanted in Kumogakure."

Shuuren took another sip of his drink then gave a pause for Anzu to process that information before settling the glass down again and speaking. "That being said, you may relax. You are in no danger from me. I don't know what your circumstances are that led to your incident, but I'm sure there is a side to it that you are unable to recall due to your condition. In fact, I would like to offer to speak to Kumogakure on your behalf to call off the hunt for you for now. The condition I would tell them is that I will help you recover your memories so that you can one day present your case to them to have a fair chance."

After another pause, he continued, "And there is another offer I'd like to make to help you reach levels as a shinobi most people can't dream of attaining. You see, your clan and I have something in common…" He closed his eyes for a moment then before opening them again to reveal that his gentle greenish blue eyes were actually something of a farce as they were replaced by slit-pupiled eyes similar to those Anzu presented earlier. "…But I am no Hebisuuhai. What I am is something most shinobi aren't even aware is real… I am a summoner of snakes with a power called Sage Mode. This is actually part of why I came to speak with your mother. There is a war going on in the world of summoned creatures, and I wanted to know if she knew anyone that might be a good fit to train to join forces with my side. Now that I've seen a glimpse of your true chakra level and your potential with your own clan's jutsu, with the proper training, I believe you can attain this kind of power as well. The road will not be easy, and it is not without risk, but I will do my best to guide you. I simply need to know if you are interested."

Silence then hang in the air afterwards, Matsuri stunned that her daughter is being recruited into some kind of… War, when what she thought they were going to discuss was the orphanage. It had been in the back of her mind since those Kumogakure ninja caused trouble earlier that perhaps the inn was not the safest place to be anymore. She even considered asking Shuuren to take Anzu with her, at least for now, when he returned to the Land of Tea, to keep her safe. Going through with that alone was an enormous effort on Matsuri's part. To entrust a man she barely knows with the well-being of a very vulnerable young woman, who knows so little of the world, with people gunning for her, and Matsuri nowhere nearby to help? Not even to comfort Anzu?

But this is something else entirely. "Shuuren-dono," Matsuri begins after taking time to process what was just said herself, including the parts about what Anzu had done in a past life, as hard as THAT was to swallow. "I apologize, but I only wished to discuss the orphanage. I can not allow you to take my daughter on as a student if it means turning her into some sort of soldier. I'm not sure what evidence there is to link her to whatever you are saying she did, but she is still a child. Whatever potential you see in her will have to remain in slumber for now."

Knowing what Shuuren is after now, she isn't sure if she can even ask him to take Anzu with him to Tea. Once she's out of her sight, who is to stop the Daimyou from making her a child soldier anyway? Anzu may be a teenager, but in Matsuri's eyes, that is still a child. Further, Anzu is different even from other teenagers in the sheer scope of her naivety, innocence, and lack of understanding. She is younger in mind than in body. Matsuri knows that Shuuren was asking Anzu, but she is Anzu's guardian, and she is not going to permit this. She looks to Anzu to check if she is okay, knowing that being accused of being some kind of… Criminal? Saying she was a member of a Hidden Village? Talk of Hebisuuhai, and summoning, and sages… All that is certain to be overwhelming for the young woman.

Anzu is still staring, blinking occasionally, and just looking confused and shocked and uncertain even after Shuuren finishes speaking. The change in his eyes is just one more surprise among all the information just dumped on her. "I… What?" she asks, putting her head in her hands, and looking down at the table as she tries to just process everything that's been said. Her mother's words just add another level of confusion and internal conflict as she feels like her whole world has just been pulled out from under her.

She doesn't understand half of what was just said, and the parts she understands she isn't sure how to react to. "What's a Hebisuuhai? Summoning? Sage mode? What did those men think I did? Or… That I actually did or…?" She shakes her head, not in rejection but just in an attempt to make her thoughts stop spinning so much, to try to jolt some comprehension into place.

"You want me to… Train with you to fight in a war!? I… I barely know you! Why would you want ME!? You're saying I have a life as some kind of… Of criminal from before my life with mother!?" She can't even give an answer to the question, can't agree with or deny Matsuri's protest, can't wrap her head around everything that just happened.

"How can any of this be real? This has to be a dream, right?"

"You misunderstand me a bit, but that is probably my fault for giving so much information at once. I'm not saying she would have to fight. In fact, having her fight right away would be foolish. However, since I am in danger from many sides, I feel it pertinent to pass along some of my knowledge and abilities to someone of the potential to utilize them," Shuuren says as he looks to Matsuri, his voice as gentle ever. "There are other benefits. It would help her be strong enough to defend herself against those that come after her, and there are abilities that come along with it that could help her recover what she has lost. Until she is stronger and has recovered, I would keep her away from the conflict. If she chose to fight alongside me after that, that would be up to her, but hopefully things will be resolved by then."

He then looks back to Anzu, giving a pause before he speaks again. "I know what I've told you is a lot to take in, but these are things you need to know… And I am sorry, but this is not a dream. It is true that you are wanted for killing a Genin in Kumogakure. Whether you actually did it or were framed, I cannot say, but Kumogakure themselves are convinced that you did. Unless something is done to sway them to spare you until you can present your case, they will come after you again, especially now that they know where you are."

"As for the Hebisuuhai Clan, they are a clan that partners with snakes in combat sort of like how the Inuzuka of the clan nearest here partner with dogs. Your kinship to snakes is also the reason you bear some of the traits you do, such as the color of your skin and eyes and heightened senses. There are a few Hebisuuhai that have had enough snake-like sense to even be able to detect that I have some similarities to them."

Matsuri opens her mouth to protest against Shuuren's words again, especially seeing how Anzu is taking it, but she presses her lips together again moments later. While the points about making Anzu stronger so that she can protect herself are valid, especially since Matsuri was doing the same thing recently, that doesn't mean she should entrust that task to Shuuren. She may not have given birth to Anzu, but the girl, whatever her history, is essentially Matsuri's daughter as far as she is concerned.

But she also knows that she can't protect Anzu by herself. And she can't abandon the inn to go looking for someone else to guard Anzu or teach her. There are others who call this place home. If it weren't for the incident with the Kumogakure ninja earlier, she wouldn't even be considering this right now. And if she didn't know that Shuuren was the Daimyou of the Land of Tea, she'd actually suspect him and those Kumogakure ninja of possibly having worked together to stage all this, sparing them a fight and allowing Shuuren to slip Anzu away under the guise of protection to be taken back to the Hidden Cloud or… Whatever!

But that level of paranoia, as healthy as some paranoia may be for a parent, doesn't seem to fit here with what she knows of this man (what little she knows, at least).

Ultimately, Matsuri isn't sure what to do. She should stubbornly insist upon 'no' and just start making preparations to leave, to gather the rest of her children and GO. After all, if they're still here when those cloud ninja come back, but Shuuren and Anzu aren't, they might try to get the information from her. And there are many ways to do so, including simply threatening the rest of her family. "Anzu-chan, it's up to you." she says finally. She realizes it's unfair to put the burden of this choice upon Anzu. But the choice Matsuri is telling her to make isn't the same one that Shuuren is. It's whether they leave here together with the whole family and go somewhere else, or if they go with Shuuren. Because she isn't abandoning her daughter.

Anzu closes her eyes and tries to calm down. She has to think. She has to think about a lot of things all at once. And it seems like there's a time limit of sorts. People are trying to hurt Shuuren? So he's asking for help, and offering to help her in exchange. She is perfectly okay with him speaking on her behalf to Kumogakure to make them stop trying to hunt her down. But having to talk to them at all, even to prove her innocence, is a frightening prospect for her. Especially given… What if she isn't innocent? She'd be delivering herself right into their hands under the promise of accepting the results of whatever is decided, only for it to be decided she has to be locked up or… Or worse!

She's still naive and ignorant of the world. But one thing she is not is stupid. Child-like though she may be, she isn't going to throw her life away for something she can't even prove she didn't do.

She decides to just ask outright. "What if I did kill someone? What happens to me then?" The pale-skinned girl looks towards her mother, and then to Shuuren. "Will you still protect me if they decide to… Imprison me or something?" It seems like she's more concerned about all this stuff dumped on her about her past than the once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes opportunity to possibly learn an extremely rare ability like Senjutsu. But given how little she knows of that kind of thing, and how much else is being given to her at the same time, that might be slightly understandable.

Shuuren is nothing if not patient. He waits with a patient smile for each of them to deliberate, taking a few bites of his meal and sips of his drink as he does so. This might seem too tense a conversation for most to want to eat at this point, but one might assume this man deals with earth-shaking events on a daily basis… and the food is good. It'd be rude and a shame to let it go to waste.

When Matsuri at last defers the decision to Anzu, he offers a respectful smile to her then turns his attention more to Anzu as she speaks. "To be blunt, they most likely want you dead. I'm pretty certain I can get them to stay their hands for now, though. I will be certain you do not wind up dead or imprisoned."

After a brief pause as he takes another sip of his tea, he would add, "Even if you are guilty, that doesn't mean what happened was your fault. Once we know more about who you are, what happened, and why, we can present your case to Kumogakure. Perhaps we can even do something to resolve the situation and get you pardoned if not your name cleared. Failing that… I will create a false corpse of you and present it to them and give you a new identity. I can change what you look like easily enough, and there won't be any signs of it noticeable. That type of surgery is actually one of my specialties… Whatever happens, I'll do my best to keep you safe."

The things Shuuren is saying add another layer of suspicion and fear about what kind of man he is onto Matsuri's already-burdened conscience. He is practiced at giving people fake identities? He just casually mentions having corpses on hand he can doctor to look like Anzu? Or is willing to make a new corpse? Shuuren seems to be going all-out to convince Anzu to come with him. And that is making Matsuri more and more convinced this is a bad idea, and is dangerous for Anzu. She bites her tongue for now. A lot of things are whirling around in her head though, including all that she was thinking about before.

She really has to wonder what the Daimyou is actually after though. Going through all this just to pass down rare secret techniques to someone he just met? It sounds incredibly suspicious. No, not even suspicious. It sounds totally implausible. There has to be something else. And she's going to find out what when this conversation is over.

She reaches across the table and takes Anzu's hand, squeezing it lightly to reassure her. Then she says, "What if Anzu takes the night to sleep on it, and we can approach the matter in the morning? Surely you do not intend to leave before sunrise, yes?"

Anzu is so totally lost right now that she would totally cling to such dubious reassurances. So the fact that her mother recognizes that and pulls her back to reality, reminding her that she's still there, and that she doesn't have to do this alone… That helps immensely. She smiles at Matsuri, appreciating the gentle warmth of the older woman's hand engulfing her own. Then she looks to Shuuren and says, "I really do need some more time to think about this… Is that okay, Shuuren-dono? I'd also like to know more about these 'Hebisuuhai' and the other things you mentioned… Summoning and Sage Mode… You've used a lot of terms I'm not familiar with. I haven't been much further than this house since I can remember, and I only recently started ninja training. I'd like to hear more about all that first. Then, if it's okay, I can give an answer tomorrow."

She looks to her mother again. "I understand you must be under a lot of pressure to hurry… It sounds like you're in trouble. So I'll try not to keep you waiting. But this is also a pretty big decision, you know?"

A commoner asking what amounts to the ruler of a nation for extra time might be seen as an insult to some of higher status. But maybe Shuuren will understand.

"Of course. I planned to enjoy my stay for a bit, and I hadn't expected an immediate answer on such a matter. If there were some extreme hurry, I'd have probably just picked someone among my ranks now to try and fill the role, but I find it better to seek someone I think may have an aptitude for it," Shuuren assures them both with a smile. "And I will assist you with your issue with Kumogakure regardless of what you choose, just so you know. If you choose not to become my student, I'll try to help you recover what you've lost another way."

He takes another few bites of his food then, allowing a pause for thought before he speaks again. While he does notice that bit of tension in Matsuri, he will allow her to speak on whatever concerns she may have when she chooses. "I'm here, and I don't require much sleep, so, whatever questions you may have, start wherever you'd like."

While the questions and request for time might be seen as rude or insolent by some snobby ruler, Shuuren doesn't have that sort of attitude. Of course, while he's always been rich, he wasn't always royalty. Some part of his life has allowed him to stay in touch with that part of himself that realizes titles aren't all that matters in the world, and those he obtains are only a means to an end…

Matsuri nods to Shuuren's reassurances, smiling politely. She isn't about to antagonize him over her overprotectiveness. Instead she allows Anzu to ask her questions and get answers. She feels pride in the fact that she managed to raise Anzu to show such foresight and to not just blindly trust spectacular offers from fashionable strangers. It gives her some hope that she won't be as easily misled as she feared. Though it's still possible to overpower her, even with this 'hidden potential' of Anzu's… And there are many bad things that can happen to a young woman out on her own in the world.

It's that fear that keeps rising hotly in Matsuri's throat and making her want to protest so strongly. The fear of something happening, her not being there to stop it, or even knowing.

Anzu nods slowly. That sounds like a lot of good news… To just stumble upon a protector like this… But she still wants to know more about what's entailed. "So, um…" She gestures, and repeats her questions. "Who are the Hebisuuhai exactly? What do you know about them? What can you tell me about them since you said I'm one? And… What is this summoning thing? And 'Sage Mode'? And how can any of this help me recover my memories?" She isn't sure if she WANTS them back now, though, if it means finding out she might be a murderer.

It helps that Shuuren considers Matsuri an ally and probably considers helping keep Anzu alive an easy enough favor to offer due to his position. Of course, it may make a few people in Kumogakure a little angry at him, but one problem at a time. "Perhaps it's best we take this one subject at a time so it's not too confusing…. Like most clans in Kumogakure, the Hebisuuhai are from a region of the Land of Lightning. The clan was in hiding before joining the village and has plenty of secrets, so you'd have to ask one of them some facts about their past. They are one of the newer clan additions to Kumogakure, but I've met a number of them and know enough about them to know their traits."

He picks up his glass then, taking a few sips to finish it off before setting it down again and looking back to Anzu. "While there are some clans that might exhibit similar traits in some ways, the Hebisuuhai are the only ones that maintain the level of serpentine traits like you have. Your skin and eyes and such visible traits along with a hint of a serpentine-esque scent mark you as a Hebisuuhai to most who can detect such things."

He gives a brief pause then to allow her some thought before continuing, "Due to the traits they share with serpents, they tend to be Taijutsu and tracking experts, though a number of them do branch out into other types of jutsu. That all being said, I can't know that they are your origin for certain unless I do a more thorough scan of you." Stretching his hand across the table to her then, he offers it to her. "If you want to know, simply place your hand in mine. It won't hurt a bit, I promise."

At this point, Matsuri isn't certain what to contribute. She knows that Anzu is becoming her own woman, at least physically. She is growing up. It's her mind that the innkeeper worries about: that she might be too trusting, not be able to discern the pitfalls of a great big world full of people who would like to take advantage of a naive teenage girl. She worries, because of her own history, and the knowledge she gained of human wickedness in the process. When ninja become involved as well, it's even worse.

She is so over protective because she knows how much there is to fear in the world. It's why she is so intent on setting up safe havens for children. Both here, in this inn, and in Tea. But who knew that her own efforts to make a safe place for orphans could have resulted in one of her own being separated from her?

Matsuri's hackles rise when Shuuren wants Anzu to give him her hand. Again, probably unjustified, but she is protective of her daughter. They've only known each other for a few years, and yet it's like they've always been together. Strange men putting their hands on her children makes Matsuri very, very unhappy.

And yet he's a doctor of sorts, isn't he? And she's right here. And it's just her hand. She tries very hard to relax. If Shuuren is genuine, if everything he is saying is truth, if he's honestly interested in helping, then she would be doing him a huge disservice by not giving him some small amount of trust.

And yet she can not help but have that mother's fear within her generous bosom. That protective desire that overrides common sense.

Still, she tries. She keeps one hand holding Anzu's, even as Shuuren requests the other. "If she is one of these 'Hebisuuhai', does she have… Biological family who might be able to protect and look after her?" It's not that she wants Anzu to go live with a different family, but if there are others who have a vested interest in protecting her, that might be good to know about.

Anzu can practically feel the tension radiating up her arm from Matsuri, despite her mother's attempts to remain calm and reassuring. And she can understand them. She looks to older woman and squeezes her hand, smiling. She says quietly, "It's okay." Then she looks to Shuuren, appreciating the Daimyou separating the subjects out for her. While not dumb, she needs time to process all this information. So now, with the subject of the Hebisuuhai being address separately, the young kunoichi tries to deal with what Matsuri said just now even as she looks at the hand the man before her is offering.

She hadn't even considered the possibility of 'other' family. This is her family, here at the inn, as far as she is concerned. But what if there are people out there looking for her, worrying about her? Should she seek them out? At least to reassure them? …And then what? Just explain she has a new family now and she's going to stay with them?

This is such a complex situation, and it's giving her a headache.

She puts her hand in Shuuren's, and says, "Let's find out for sure first before we assume anything else, Okaa-san. Once we know about this 'situation', we can discuss the other subjects more readily, I think."

Shuuren can easily tell there is a bit of tension and some needed thought, but he is patient as he holds his hand out for her. It's a lot to take in, this sort of thing, and he can recall once being in a place similar to her own, though he was much younger at the time. Perhaps that understanding is part of what aids his patience in such matters.

"It is entirely possible, as she was apparently at least seen as part of the clan for some time," the Daimyo says with a glance Matsuri's way. Feeling Anzu's hand touch his own, he looks back to her a nods. He would offer her a reassuring smile before closing his eyes to focus as he sends a pulse of chakra through her body from her hand that radiates throughout it to get a full diagnostic directly.

As he reads the information that comes back, he furrows his brows a bit and sends two more pulses of chakra through her to verify what he's found. There is a slight look of curiosity and maybe even confusion for a moment before he opens his eyes again and looks her over as he gently releases her hand and moves his own back to his side of the table..

After what might seem like sort of a long pause, he says, "There are some abnormalities in your makeup… But you were not born to the Hebisuuhai even though you would appear to be one in basically ever manner outwardly… In fact, you are actually more like me than them in how your body was crafted, but I would need to speak to the elders to see if they might know more about you before I could truly affirm your origins."

Another brief pause later, he says, "But actually now that I know more about you, you actually have something of an aptitude for the kind of jutsu we spoke about because your body has already experienced the effects of the kind of chakra it takes."

Matsuri isn't sure how to take this new information. But strangely, for whatever reason… She actually trust Shuuren a little bit more. He, thus far, has swooped in and seemed to be ready to provide all the answers and promises that Matsuri and Anzu needed to hear, to be a 'miraculous savior' who also just happened to get what he wanted out of it. But that he turns out to possibly not be right about one of his previous assertions, and openly admits it, which might make him seem less competent or less trustworthy in the eyes of some… Actually makes Matsuri place greater faith in his honesty.

It would have been easy to just claim that his findings are exactly what he expected them to be. It's not like Matsuri or Anzu could contradict him. Though Matsuri is also a trained medical ninja, and can also use the diagnostic jutsu, she doesn't have the familiarity with the Hebisuuhai or whatever jutsu Shuuren uses to be able to differentiate as he apparently can.

She'll still need to talk to him after all this. But she's more inclined now, from that simple display of honesty, to lend credence to him than she was moments before. "I'd wonder if perhaps she is like me, if you hadn't just spoken of her similarities to you." Matsuri glances to Anzu and then to Shuuren. "My surname is Mitsuhara due to who raised me, but I apparently belong to the Kirryu by birth. If you are unfamiliar, as I was for so long, the Kirryu possess a Kekkei Genkai which allows us to take on the traits of an animal with whom we have an affinity. Potentially even transforming fully into such. But it sounds as though you are not a Kirryu yourself, and my own examination when I was treating her didn't reveal anything to support her being the same as I am."

She shakes her head. "It sounds as though there are many mysteries surrounding my little serpent. As much as I don't like to admit it… I'm not sure she will find the answers to them if she stays with me."

Anzu feels a slight tingle as the Chakra travels through her body. She is watching the hand as much as Shuuren's expression during the examination, anxiously waiting to find out the results. They are… Not what she expected. Now she has even more questions. But at least it leads nicely into the next subject of conversation. 'What the heck is sage mode exactly and what sort of power does Shuuren have that Anzu apparently has been exposed to?'

The words from Matsuri, however, as the Daimyou's hand withdraws, have the snake girl's heart rate speeding up with anxiety. "Wait, you're not sending me away are you, Okaa-san!?" she asks, since it seems as though that's what her mother is suggesting. "This is just… A training trip. If I even go on it! And to help Shuuren-dono! I'll be coming back to you eventually, you know?"

As Anzu is panicking, those three Chakra presences that Shuuren might still have been peripherally aware of, waiting out in the woods, suddenly start going 'dark'. One just suddenly isn't there anymore. Dead. The other two Chakras become agitated, but the second one also blanks moments later. The third one lingers several seconds afterwards, while Anzu is having her freak out. It surges to Jounin levels, not unlike Anzu did when she was threatened, only for an even greater power to reveal itself for just a moment. Then the third Kumogakure ninja's Chakra is gone like someone blew out a candle, with only traces left over.

The mysterious fourth Chakra extinguishes itself moments later, though more gradually, indicating an effort at concealment instead of its owner being dead.

Three of those Chakras were human. The fourth was… Distinctly not.

"Kirryu and Kemonoken are both clan with some possibility of having such physical attributes," Shuuren says as he looks over to Matsuri and nods. "But each clan is a little distinctive. The power I'm talking of doesn't come from a human shinobi clan."

He looks back to Anzu then, smirking just slightly. "I'm certain she understands you're not leaving permanently, nor does she want you to. Take it from someone who's lost his entire clan and family to the wars of this world, family is something you hang onto. I would not seek to separate you permanently by any means."

After a brief pause, he says, "The place we are going is a place very few people in history have ever gotten to see, but I think you will have a lot of questions answered there and will grow a lot. Those are things she knows you need."

As he detects what appears to be a battle in which three Kumogakure shinobi have perished, his brows would furrow just slightly. He had hoped to have them recalled to their village rather than killed… He will perhaps have to deal with the source of that conflict, but for now he simply continues on with the conversation.

Matsuri is quick to look apologetic and try to soothe Anzu. "Of course not, dear. I just meant that right now I'm not in a position to help search for any relatives you may have." Not that she wants Anzu to find them, honestly. After all, it might very well lead to the girl going away more long-term if she has a family who wants to keep her from Matsuri. But that's horribly selfish of Matsuri to think. And yet she knows that's how she feels.

Even so, she tries to take in the rest of what Shuuren is saying. About a place that humans rarely see. It seems as though this is even more of a big deal than she thought, but it's a bit outside her realm of experience so a full appreciation of what is being offered is not quite there. She does want to check something though. "Will, we be in contact during all this? Can I expect to keep updated on what is happening, and whether she is okay? And whether your own safety is intact, obviously?"

Anzu takes a deep breath and tries to calm down, but this all just… Overwhelming her to the point of getting a headache. It sounds like, to get the answers she is looking for, she'll have to agree to go with Shuuren first. Wherever he will take her then will explain everything. "You probably don't want to reveal this information, if it's so secret, without confirmation I'll help you, huh?"

She closes her eyes for awhile, and just thinks. "…I do need to take the night to sleep on it after all, I guess. But I know which way I'm leaning already." She opens her eyes, and says, "If you need anything else tonight, let me know, Shuuren-dono. Otherwise, I'll help clean up when you're done eating and head to bed."

She pushes her chair back, stands, and bows to the Daimyou.

"Telling you its name or location before you've decided would probably earn me the ire of my 'clan'," Shuuren says with a nod. "I look forward to hearing your answer. Rest well." With that he looks back to Matsuri and smiles. "Of course. I'll be sure you are kept apprised of the progress of our journey, should she choose to come along. I'll have messengers bring you word periodically."

With that he would start to eat the rest of his food. "The messengers will be snakes," he informs Matsuri. "Some will be able to speak. Others might simply bring messages on scrolls."

After finishing his food, he stands and bows his head lightly. "Thank you for the meal. It was quite good. I suppose I'll see you both in the morning." With that he would turn to make his way back up to his room to turn in for the evening.

Messenger by snake? Despite everything that's happened tonight, Matsuri allows herself an amused little smile. "Well, that would be quite the sight to see…" She looks to Anzu, noting how tired the girl looks. "I'll take care of clean up, sweety. Why don't you get some sleep? It's been a long day."

Then she stands as well, one arm crossed under her chest to keep from knocking over any dishes with it in the process of getting up. "Thank you for all you've done, Shuuren-sama. And… I apologize for my suspicion. I am not a woman prone to trusting blindly."

With that, the three can adjourn for the night, and attend to their own matters. Though Matsuri will be visiting Shuuren's room once Anzu is asleep. She still has something to discuss with him.

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