Date: March 16th, 2010
Yeah, we all know we want a big fight on an OOC level, but IC, we at least gotta /try/ diplomacy first, right? ;)
"Diplomacy Over Land of Waves"
Fire Ferry Docks
Well, things have gotten quite tense here in the Land of Waves recently, and Konoha doesn't like that. It envisions a world full of peace and harmony and love toward all mankind. And plenty of lollipops, while we're at it. Hence, the reports of Kirigakure causing trouble in this poor country makes Konoha feel all sad panda. To determine whether it should move from sad panda to mad panda, the Leaf Village has sent a delegation to talk to some of these Kiri interlopers in person and find out why on earth they aren't conforming to Konoha's happy dream. Yush.
Heading up this delegation is a tall, thin, aristocratic-looking gentleman, bearing a foreign-looking sword with a slightly curved tip at his side. The group is scheduled to meet with Kirigakure representatives in a small tavern just outside the Land of Waves proper, at the docks owned by the Land of Fire. The leader steps inside the establishment, looks about briefly, and bows. "Good morrow to you, barkeep. We are here to meet with a committee of Kirigakure delegates, could you direct us to their company?"
Small tavern or not, it's near a crossroads of sorts and become something of a meeting point for members of the new mobo and moga subcultures that are all the rage amongst the youth, at least the non-ninja youth. So many ninja kids seem to have other ideas of what's the bee's knees. At the moment the house band is playing an instrumental as the soon to be singing singer (Rika) is sipping from a glass of gin and smoking a cigarette attached to one of those feminine extender things. Her right leg is crossed over her left and she looks back and forth, though mostly just watches the band, bobbing her head along with it as a few others are dancing.
Following shortly behind the aristocratic looking gentleman, is Kuroji. His hands tucked away within his black long coat, he stands not that far off from the leader of the delegation, his eyes move across the small tavern, reflections of his surroundings in the blue tint of his shades. He listens to the conversation with the bartender and stands there silently. His face is straight and emotionless, something not very normal for people who know Kuroji. His barefoot moving slightly against the tavern floor as he positions himself in what to him seems the best position for observing the delegation and major happenings of the tavern around him.
A seemingly weary worker sat at his own table, at the moment he was alone however there were several mugs around him giving the impression that his buddies has recently left, or that he was going on a binge. A dazzled look on his face gave a stronger inclination towards the latter. However the drunk man o' fish didn't seem to give off the impression that he was going to be the sort to cause a ruckus. His head down on the table, only his eyes would move at this point.
Outside the inn, a lone Salamander scuttles across the grassy earth. Only an inch or two long, it sort of slithers a little bit, walking, before once again disappearing as it burrows down underneath the ground.
Sitting to the back of the tavern drinking tea was Toukai simply watching people come and go trying to learn about their demeanors and mannerisms to better hone his perception of things. Slowly his head turns to scan the room, but his mind quickly analyzes all that happening around him giving him some good intel, but nothing worth noting. He steadily sips his tea from time to time to help pass the time.
And thus, the vikings crest the hill, heaving with savage power within their chests and howling the battle cries of the age… at least some may consider that to be how Kirigakure would show up. Actually, Yasushi came with very few people, and seemed to be more than relaxed crossing the border of the enemy. He had his weapons, but there wasn't a time you'd see him without them any how. He was a shinobi after all, not a fool. As he'd move towards this tavern of sorts to meet with the Konoha delegates, he seemed rather amused. What could they possibly say that would be worth the lives of his men? And beyond that… what could they possibly say to deter Kirigakure from an excuse to have blood on their hands? What ever the case may be, he'd open up the door to the tavern and look around with a strangely wild grin on his face for a moment. "Boo." he'd say to them before finding a table away from most and letting the heavy thud of his worn and dirty boots hit the table as he leaned back and relaxed on "Leafer" furniture. "So which one of you will be groveling for peace today?"
Getting the singer nice and sauced up is a great start to the night. And so? She makes her way up to the makeshift stage. "Welcome, welcome." She drolls on in that languid, semi-drunk and semi-buzzed fashion that those who are under the influence tend to have. "I've got an edge and I'm all dolled up and this fine little gin-joint's asked me to sing you all a song." She grins widely, though it still seems just a little bit lazy. Her gaze casting over the group, "So it's time for all you guys and dolls to pull up a chair and toss back some booze, or better yet push back a table and shake those hips. Tonight's gonna be elephant's eyelashes and you're all invited to join on in." She giggles, "Hit it," she makes a signal for the band to kick in, and begins to sing along in her sweet timbred voice. She's actually pretty good! And the song a popular one amongst the modarnu crowd in general, one of the hit jazz songs!
Adrian turns his head as Yasushi's entourage comes in. Of course, they /would/ be late, even though they're not the ones who had to cross the waters to get here. Adrian smiles coldly and bows. "Groveling is not an activity with which we are familiar. Sir Kaguya, I presume? I am Adrian, of the House of Dukei." Adrian straightens up and rests his hand on his saber hilt. "We have not been sent to negotiate, at present. Rather, we seek merely to understand, from your own lips, what your purpose in this…provincial country is. We understand that you have made no official claim of conquest, yet your actions appear quite imperial." Adrian glances aside as the singing begins. "Another of those new musical fads, I suppose," he murmurs. "Master Aburame, do you chance to know what that is called?"
Kuroji stood there and watched people come and go taking note of people of interest. his right hand moves out of his goatee slowly and he rubs his goatee for a moment, then Yasushi arrives with a Boo and makes his statement, Kuroji turns and watches Adrian and follows as he moves to converse, his bare feet moving silently across the floors as he walks. His hand slides back into his pocket, he looks over Yasushi for a moment and listens to the conversation, then the music starts with singing and he turns and looks at the stage, it reflecting in his shades before looking back at Adrian, "I am afraid I do not, I am not a really big Jazz Enthusiast, I prefer Classical." he says slowly, in a rather plain tone, turning his attention back to the task at hand.
Toukai indeed saw some people he recognized and some that were…well…..down right suspicious! He remained hidden well within the shadows and listened to the 'negotiations' as well as the ambiance of music in the background hoping nothing bad would come out of this. He's heard of the reputation of the Kaguya clan and was not looking forward to seeing if what was said is true or not….
"Hmmm … what is Kirigakure doing in the Land of Waves…" Yasushi would nudge one of the Kiri nin with him a second. "Do you know?" the man would smirk and shrug. Yasushi would throw a coaster at the head of another, inattentive Kiri nin. "What about you, you slack jawed waste of space?" He'd spin around and just look like a deer in head lights. "Eh… useless. Any how… oh yeah your question. Hmm… your lack of groveling is disappointing…" Yasushi would rub his chin, tapping his foot to the music before he'd say, "We are doing that thing shinobi do. You know.. get paid… and then…do what they are paid to do. And your wasting my time… but I'm still on the clock. So while your at it, buy me a drink, Leafer."
Rika's eyes pass over the massive form of the Kaguya as she's singing, and it almost seems to make her miss a beat, but she catches herself just on time, eyes seemingly a bit more wide. the song's lyrics seem to be an almost goofy story of a man courting a woman couched in so much metaphor it probably sounds more like a story about a random part of a person's day. But that's just how these things work, innuendo and allegorical allusions to hide the more risque bits from the mores of the day. The more traditional sorts, those at least 'hip' to these allusions, might even find it shocking indeed!
Adrian smirks lightly. "Well, you knew it was called jazz, 'twas more than I knew." The words of Rika's song float over Adrian's head as he stares down Yasushi. He could probably interpret most of it if he were paying attention, despite being one of those traditional sorts (though of a different sort of tradition than found around here), but he has much more important matters to think about right now. Adrian ignores Yasushi's attempt to be insulting and pulls out a coinpurse. "But of course. Barkeep, drinks for all of these fine gentlemen, and make mine a greengage wine if you would. Master Aburame, would you care for some refreshment?"
After giving out a copious amount of cash, Adrian takes a step forward. "Might I ask, Sir Kaguya, precisely whom is paying you to occupy a foreign state, deny travel within that country, and otherwise terrorize its citizens? And, if it is not above your station to know, what said employer's aims are?"
Kuroji looks back at the jazz singer for a moment before looking at Adrian. "I suppose I did know the name of this genre, Adrian-Sama." he says slowly. His hands come out of his pockets and he runs his right hand through his hair slowly for a moment as he listens to the conversation, the people involved reflecting in his blue lenses. "I don't require any refreshments at this time, Adrian-Sama." he says with a small nod of thanks directed towards Adrian. His eyes focus on Yasushi awaiting his responses, trying to judge and gauge, his words as he speaks them, rubbing his goatee as he does so.
Yasushi almost seems to be ignorant of the meeting entirely as he bobs his head and quotes one of the verses of the singer, "And when I bent to get my purse he said "What a scenic view!" … that's rich." Yasushi would chuckle to himself, apparently enjoying the entertainment. Glancing at the Kiri nin, he'd nod and they would practically bolt to get their share of the booze while the Konoha nin was "offering". Yasushi would keenly glance around for a few moments before speaking to Adrian again. "Terrorize it's citizens? Did the gnats that you sent to kill my men tell you that?" Yasushi would say, not seeming to be pleased with the accusation from the very ill-informed Konoha nin. "Did the meaningless pieces of paper they almost died for provide you with such… "intelligence" as this? I should have sent them back to you in pieces." Yasushi's feet would be on the ground now, and he would heavily be leaning on the table. "Maybe I should have kept the women so your "intelligence" could have a constant update of what was happening to them on a daily basis. We were raised on a barn…. I'd leave the doors wide open for your little eyes and ears to skitter around on the dirt we stomp and spit on in passing." IT seems Adrian hit a nerve… or Yasushi was simply easily made irate.
The first some complete, Rika pauses to take a breath, and then tip back the glass of gin she brought along. Completely. When she said she's got an edge, she wasn't kidding, and probably even more of one by now. The next song that comes up is a bit more soft and low key, the sort intended to give people a chance to grab a drink before they get back to dancing. A more sultry seeming love song, less witty, more classic though.
Adrian smiles blandly. "Perhaps the term 'terrorize' does exaggerate a touch. Nevertheless, 'tis undeniable that your presence makes the populace uneasy. Why, you have only to look about this very room to see that." Adrian gestures around at the many pairs of staring eyes, though of course most of them look down abruptly. "The incident to which you refer was quite regrettable, of course. To prevent further misunderstandings, we can only attempt to communicate clearly and honestly." Adrian leans over the table just slightly. "Whyareyou doing this?"
Kuroji continues to rub his goatee slowly as he listens. As it seems like tensions are getting slightly more heated he looks between Adrian and Yasushi from behind his shades. Allowing them to speak freely, though he keeps his eyes on the other Kiri Nin around as they enjoy their drinks. In the background he hears the singer change songs, listening to the lyrics a tad bit idly as a small Kikaichu runs up from the high collar of his coat, across his neck and vanishes into his hair, which seems to go unnoticed by Kuroji. His face stays still and emotionless as the discussion continues.
Continuing to watch from the shadows, Toukai grumbles to himself how arrogant that Kaguya was and crosses his arms and concentrates on him specifically since he's the one doing all the talking/insulting. His tea is nearly at an end as he sets the cup down and sits forward to listen in on more of what's going on. He remains hidden in the shadows in case he's needed to back up the diplomats of Konoha. "Geez….why now…….so bothersome…"
Yasushi's smoldering gaze remained on Adrian as he would further press for clarification. "For considering yourselves to be one of the top class shinobi nations… you sure do seem to have a short memory on how this sort of thing works." A waitress would come by to pour him a glass of sake and without looking towards her he'd just take the whole bottle and gulp a good bit of it down. Exhaling haggardly, he would continue. "Shinobi are contracted by those of positions of wealth in order to fulfill their desires. The people are rarely considered in this. Regardless, that is the way it is. These people are scared when they see anything new and different pass through, because their wills have been beaten in to submission by fat cats with deep pockets lapping at the milk they call these peoples lively hood. Why in the hell else would we bother with this dinky little island next to your beloved tree filled wonder land where all is sunny and rainbows? I get sick of looking at your little floral paradise from across the puddle they call a river." Yasushi would grunt before drinking a bit more.
His … aide seemed to be preoccupied with the freebies, and the more subtle tone of the music didn't seem to distract him as much, if he was ever truly distracted at all. "Now… my question is… what the hell do you want from us? You call the murder of my men a misunderstanding. I call it an act of war. Who should I gut to make me feel better? What should I burn to cleanse you of your sins so that when you wipe your little pampered ass you won't feel guilty about the mess you left behind? Do you have sacrifices prepared for me? If not… get out of my face before I "misunderstand" it right here and right now." Yasushi would seem to snarl and grin at the same time across the room.
The music is anything but appropriate to what's going on, though perhaps that very dichotomy is what adds to the atmosphere. A verse is finished and Rika lights up her cigarette to take a drag from it as the musicians do their thing, and she continues looking out over the crowd, seemingly used to not many people really getting into things.
Adrian sighs through his nose and straightens up. "As I mentioned, Sir Kaguya, I am not authorized to negotiate at this time, only to gather information. If you are unwilling or unable to provide useful knowledge, then our business here is concluded." Adrian bows, then heads for the door. After opening it, he pauses. "For what it is worth, were I in charge of the court-martial of those responsible for the fiasco, I imagine their punishment would be exceedingly severe." Adrian flips the barkeep an extra coin for his trouble, then leads his group out of the tavern.