Date: August 8, 2014
Mushi catches up with Aburei, and encourages him to aspire to leading the Neutral Medical Center.
"Inheriting the Heart of Healing"
Beach [Land of Lightning]
At the foot of the mountain, travellers converge on the warm beaches. There are those that aim to travel up the mountain, to the village at the peak. Others have just come down that trail, and are resting on the sandy white beaches. The mountains look very forboding from here, with storm clouds almost always present. The peaks of the tallest mountain can not even be seen, and it is there that Kumogakure is rumored to be located.
Although the white beaches proceeds in both directions, there is a large wooden dock to the southeast, which is where most of the foot-traffic is heading. It is through that dock that people travel to and from the Land of Water, to these mountains. Further north lays the mountain trail, leading skywards up a now dry riverbed.
Aburei would find a hummingbird tapping on his window one day. How it found him regardless of his location is hard to say. Fortunately, it's normal sized for a hummingbird, so he doesn't have to worry about a hummingbird big as a boulder shattering the window with its beak. Once it got the boy's attention, it'd say, "Mushi-chan would like to visit you. She'll be at Kumogakure for quite some time, to witness the exams." And then it'd poof in a ball of steam. It hadn't been much of a request, nor did Mushi come to meet Aburei. Then again, they hadn't seen each other for years. Or months at least. At the moment, Mushi is not in the village, but sitting on the beach outside of it. The water is lapping softly against the sand, and she sits on a blanket, trying to tidily eat a pomegranate. She's not succeeding.
Aburei's got a window? Boy howdy, he's sleeping in luxury tonight. :D Must've been healing folk in some village with somebody well-off and generous enough to let him stay in their spare room. Anyway, Kumogakure huh…well, that's as good a place as any to go to at the moment. n.n No big epidemics or anything Aburei's heard of lately that he could help out with. So Aburei turns his winding, usually-aimless pilgrimage toward the cloud village. When he comes along the beach and spots Mushi, he runs up waving cheerfully. ^.^ "Mushi-neesan! Hi there! I got your message. How've you been?" :D
Mushi's head snaps up at the sound of that voice. And a wide smile spreads across her face. "Aburei-chan," she says. Then she'd get up to run forward, and give him a warm hug. It's so nice to see you." She'd go back to sit on her blanket, and pat the area beside her. "Here's half of a pomegranate. Good luck." Her voice is overflowing with warmth. "How've you been, kid?" Aburei could turn 70, and Mushi would still be calling him 'kid.' It's not a patronizing term, but rather one of endearment. "Save some people? Meet anyone new?"
Yay for warm hugs! Usually also rib-creaking hugs, but Aburei's springy enough to endure it. X) Aburei takes the proffered seat and the fruity snack with familial complacency. "Saved lots of people, though mostly from aching heads and upset tummies. Met lots of new people too, though I probably won't see most of them again." Aburei sucks in a few pomegranate globules and rolls them between his teeth. "But y'know, I asked you first. Are you dodging already?" X)
"I wasn't dodging," Mushi says. "As for me… well, I've been walking the earth." She pauses to let him take that in, and smirks. "I've visited every shinobi illage. I decided to settle down in one, and you know what I've decided? I won't settle down in any of them. I can't. I can't go to a place that would make me commit violence. I have my freedom now, and I decide what I do. And what I'm going to do now is…do what I believe is right." She goes back to her pomegranate, but not before asking, "Is the Center doing well? Is Tokio-san keeping it in good order?"
Aburei tilts his head and watches Mushi sideways while she pontificates. In the end, seems like a lot of rhetoric to wind up saying… "So…do what you've been doing all along, basically." Well, hey, that's a good conclusion to reach! Means you've been doing a good job up to now. ;) "The Center's doing fine, though people there keep hoping you'll come back for a visit sometime. About not settling in a village, though — won't that make things difficult with Shintaro-san?" -.-a
Mushi brightens up to hear the Center is okay, but then looks rather guilty when Aburei mentions visiting. She manages a weak laugh. "Well, you can tell them I'm doing just fine, and I miss them all," she says. It seems that she has no intention of going to the Center. However, her expression turns solemn at the mention of Shintaro. "Shintaro-kun," she says, and hesitates before saying, "I'm not dating him anymore. Nor am I going to marry him. I don't love him enough, and after what I did, I don't blame him if he hates me. He can call me if he needs me for a medical emergency though, as well as Usagi-chan."
Aburei sighs through his nose. "Well, okay then, as long as you're not just avoiding him to punish yourself." Aburei shrugs. "For what it's worth, though, he doesn't hate you." Aburei spits out the pomegranate seeds and takes in a few more globules. "So, you're here to see the exams? Anything interesting happen?"
Mushi nods. She'd been avoiding him because of that, at first. But it changed after awhile. The thought makes her sad, and for a few moments it reflects on her face. But then it passes. "Staying here in Kumo has been fun. I don't help with the healing. I want to keep my hands out of any participation, and no one has died. Although there's been a great deal going on. I met Kaguya Kiku, a skilled Kirigakure Jounin who is overseeing the only Kiri Genin who attended this. Kiku-san is excellent with fuinjutsu. Approaching me in skill, actually. The Genin are real demons this year. One of the strongest Jounin in Kumo forfeited, although I was surprised it took her that long. If I'm any judge, she was nearly dead from poison by the end. Those Okumo…" She shakes her head. "Beyond that, it's been much as any exams are. What I want to see is the Kiri exams as well."
Aburei shifts his jaw while listening to Mushi's account. He gets how fighting is exciting and all, and somebody who's experienced would find a lot of interesting stuff to analyze in an event like this, but…most of it goes over his head, personally. n.n; He's never had much desire to be a strong combatant himself…except that one time when Raili-chan was training the beekeeper village to defend their hives against the bears, that made him want to be a dependable guy for that sort of thing, at least a little. c.c "If I were a genin," Aburei muses, "I think I'd enter the chuunin exams just to heal the other people taking part. And I could do it over and over 'cause I'd never get promoted that way." n.n Yeah, that would definitely work out for an alternate-universe Aburei who is a med-nin. ;)
Mushi lets out a soft laugh. "Aburei-kun you need some perspective," she says. "You're are rather a lot stronger than a Genin. You're very skilled. In terms of healing, you may be on Jounin level." She smiles. "You shouldn't underestimate yourself. You're very humble." She lowers her pomegranate for the moment. "I'm glad you're strong enough to stick to a straight path. I think you should aspire to be leader of the Neutral Medical Center. I told Tokio as much. You seek to improve things, which is what a leader does." Then her eyes glint. "Unless you are with that Raili. Then maybe you can settle down."
Gah, the conversation would turn to that, especially since Aburei mentioned Shintaro. X) "Ah, hehe…I, um, haven't run into Raili-chan since she visited the Center." n.n; Not that he's avoiding her or anything. Just…she's a genius inventor and he's a wandering medic, so how often are their paths gonna cross anyway? Probably never, right? Although the fact they're both members of Kanpei Kaze ought to increase the odds, but Aburei usually doesn't stay there long. And he doesn't leave messages for her because obviously she's got more important things to do than meet up with a nameless medic just because he enjoys her company, right? Okay yeah, he doesn't fully understand his own feelings toward her and he's afraid of looking like an idiot in front of her. u.u And as for being leader of the Center… "Even if I wanted to be leader of the Center, I've got a lot to learn before I could hope to do that." c.c
Mushi watches Aburei's discomfort with a measure of amusement. So it's that way, huh? Well, maybe they'll get together eventually. "Is that so?" she says. "Maybe you should seek her out." But she doesn't want to torture him with the topic, so she changes subjects. "You know, I was about Chuunin level when I founded the center. It came from my idea, my heart, and lots of money. There will come a day when you want to influence the Center. There were a few things I wanted to do, but it'd look as if I was taking back my word. You don't have that problem. Tokio is capable and wise, but she sticks to the rules. You may be the breath of fresh air the Center needs." Then, her look turns sly. "Just think about it."
Aburei looks pretty dubious still, but he nods. "Well, okay, if you say so Mushi-neesan." Inheriting a position of authority just because he's a nice guy…that never happens to anybody for real, does it? :P "I guess I should go find a place to stay for the night, and see if there's any work I can do in town. See you around, Mushi-neesan." Aburei gets up and heads off to register his presence with the Kumo authorities.