Kiri's New Year Celebration: 1/1/9


Hibiki, Yoichi, Isra, Sachiko, Ishino, Meruin, Yuriko, Yuuka, Serafin, Kiku, Yoma, Yuge, Yugao

Date: July 7, 2013


The new year has come and many of the Land of Water's people are ready to usher it in and say farewell to the last. And they do it with a bang.

"Kiri's New Year Celebration: 1/1/9"

Kirigakure's Mist Lake

It was the end of the year and Kirigakure wasn't going to let it go without a proper farewell. The village has been through dissidents, missing shinobi, rumblings of war, some clan turmoil, the death of a seven sword or two, and who knows how many other dramas. It was fully ready to see this year off in the same manner it wanted to welcome the next one in. With a huge, huge party. Everyone in the village that wasn't absolutely necessary for it's sustained defense and any others in the Land of Water were invited to attend. It was even rumored that the Water Daimyo himself would make an appearance at the party for the turn of the year, though some doubted it, speaking of the trouble he'd given Kiri's shinobi by the mandate that none of the peacekeepers should be killed.
Regardless, the sun had set long ago despite it only being about eight in the evening. It was near to the only sign left of Kirigakure's winter. With the masses filling the mist lake's shores and atop it's waters, the heat of the many people served to keep it comfortable, even too warm in some pockets, the light of the torches scattered throughout the area only adding to the temperature. The result were people who'd shed their winter clothes in favor of clothing usually left for springtime, the snow beneath their feet dwindled down to nothing but a light, crunching layer.
Despite it being so early in the evening and a decent chunk of time, the festivities are in full motion and the energy is high. There're many things to do and enjoy. One section off to the western side of the lake has been fashioned into a bazaar of sorts, the number of booths set up almost as though a second marketplace had been erected over the course of the day. Beyond that at the edge of the treeline, there are, of course, places set up for private public bathroom use. Porta potties, of sorts.
On the northern side of the lake there are competitions aplenty. People wrestle and sing and dance and throw kunai and balance eggs on the end of their noses and try to impress women and any number of things one could think of, all in the name of fun and a prize. It is in this section that there's an auction going on. People bidding for the arm of a lovely lady, just for the new year's festivities.
The eastern side is largely one of performances. Firedancers and singers and performance genjutsuists spend their time here, doing their utmost to bring awe and joy to those around them both in celebration and the attempt to spread their name during one of the biggest celebrations of the year in the Land of Water. At this point in time, the largest number of people seem to be congregated here, not yet hungry enough to be in the booths or inebriated enough to make fools of themselves in the various competitions out there.
On the waters of the lake themselves is what looks to be a large pier, stretching across the center of the lake, the wooden railings of pool barricades sprouting from the water. It is here that the sport of fishing is enjoyed as a matter of competition. There are various levels for various ages and ability level. Wading pools for the very youngest filled with small fish are on the outmost edges, just off of the pier. In the center, the largest pool is off of the pier, going to the lake's true depth and quite a sizable way across. There're risers stemming from the pier here for an audience. This is the fishing pool for shinobi only. And it's filled with sharks. And of course, there are no poles for these fishing exhibitions. For all sizes, the name of the game is to grab your fish by the gills and pull it out with your bare hands. A Kiri sport that's grown fairly popular.
There are these things and more happening, and the night is still young.

Of course, in an event this big, there was security around to ensure that things remained as peaceful as possible, relatively speaking. There were those hidden in the trees near the pots, to make sure that nothing was going down on the outskirts of the huge crowd. And others throughout the trees on the outskirts surrounding the lake, still hidden and still there to protect, though they won't step in to interrupt any obviously consenting couples. There were those near the shinobi pool with the sharks to make sure that those who participated were truly shinobi. And there were those who'd been tasked with patrolling the mass of humanity to be on the ready in case anything should require policing.
Okumo Meruin was one of the last. His duty, as he was told, was to go through the crowd of people and watch to make sure that all within his view were safe and would remain relatively free of harm while ensuring that they did not know that he was actually security. In other words, he was to go undercover as a partygoer to allow him to give protection while not setting the people on edge with the presence of the military. And so he was currently moving through the eastern side where most of the performances were, as that was where the largest number of people were, his eyes henged into normal green ones. He wears true clothing as well, garbed in a casual kimono of red and black, the contrast with his pale skin stark. It is a rare day indeed.

It has been months since he was last here - home - and only his first day's return. A swift scrub, and change, and into the warming dusk, the Genin ready to reclaim his village by the leaping into the stirring of its gears.
What sharp, grasping gears of Kirigakure too: the thrill-biting spectacle of bare-handed shark fishing. With awe, and glee, and various tears of meat on a spike, Hibiki watches as several brave shinobi grapple with long-finned, vicious problems. He tears a chew of meat from the stick, eating with glee, shined blind already by the entertainments of humankind, gathered and wanting as they get. Too is there the delight of not having to yet return to duty; a night of abandonment before the need to be again aware of it all.

Bright and colorful lights light up everything, crisscrossing above their heads and lanterns drawing the eye to one game or another. The lights casting rainbows on the gently falling snow that sparkles like glitter as it falls. Drawing the eye towards the many booths of food being prepared, the games shared between children and their guardians, and young ladies dressed in the latest Kirigakure fashions in winter kimonos in an effort to draw the eye of young boys their age.
Yuriko smiles excitedly, dressed in her best kimono as she holds onto her mother's hand while her bright aquamarine eyes try to follow all of the movement of people around them. She was so excited to try everything that she could barely keep still. Yuuka merely chuckles softly at the contained excitement as she gives the small girl's hand a gentle squeeze. "So what do you want to do first, darling?" her mother asks. "So long as we go to the shrine later, we can do anything you want here."

For her part, Yugao was here because it was the thing to do. She would much rather be standing out on a rock over water with her sword held out at arm's length with something balanced on the end as she stared at it and meditated on her future until her arm got too tired to h old her blade out, at which point she'd start practicing with her other arm. Instead, she is here among people…all these people. She looks her usually emotionless self, peering at the various people and walking along, not entirely sure why this is so exciting. It's still just another day of the year. It might be placed at certain moment in the calendar but it is still just a day.

The upper management must really want Yoichi to at least be seen for some reason. Despite not really being a social person, the newest member of the Seven Swordsmen has been assigned to help oversee security at a festival once again. While it's not really what he'd prefer, orders are orders, and so he finds himself standing at the edge of the area with his arms folded over his chest as he hangs upside down from one of the trees in the area of the lake. No expression shows on his face, the man having a rather stony appearance, his long hair hanging down from his head due to his perch at the bottom of the branch. Despite being on guard duty, he still wears his haori and relaxed gi-style pants. His eyes stare out into the crowd, watching carefully, though that might not even be necessary, considering his dual method of gathering sensory information. Still, never hurts to watch for the most obvious things, which some might question how well he's able to do upside down if they don't know of his clan. While there are a few people in the crowd he knows, he seems intent on merely doing his duties thus far.

Festival? Isra is /all over it/. She loves festivals and it's about time this one showed up! Times were gloomy, dull, boring, drab and just plain awful. This was the best way to bring in the new year. Celebrating the new and pushing out the old. She was happy to see this going on and she made certain to participate in the festivities. Security? What is /that/? Ha!
Not that she wasn't part of the security of this place, but no one said security couldn't have fun. Pfft. So how much fun was she having? She was…fishing. Whee~.

Hibiki's eyes burnish in the wading moonlight, the wept sun draped in robes of orange and gold. The heat of the gathered fires the grind and excitement of the events at hand, the celebration of welcoming the new year as night was to be welcome here soon. The youth watch as shinobi wrestle and twist with the fanged watery beasts, but for a moment Hibiki's fascination falters (behind the hailing of inherent training arisen once again), and upward he glances, a thick piece of meat saliva'd in his maw. And in the eye he gleans from it: the upside-down man, gravity extracting our souls minute by minute, and here he was begging to be different.
Hibiki shambles out of the crowd, finishing his piked treat, keeping the stick clenched tight between his forefingers. Over to, and close enough, does Hibiki wander to Yoichi.
"Do you hate the usual world so much you must entirely warp your perspective?"
Hibiki chews slow on a wad of gristle.

Meruin's attention is briefly drawn towards the center of the festivities as a wild cry rises up from the spectators of the shark tank shinobi, a huge gout of water lifting up. But he turns his face away from it, continuing through the crowd attuned to what he sees and what he hears. What he sees is an empty faced girl, drifting through a crowd of celebrants. As he steps in her path and gives a nod to her, what he hears is the sound of familiar voices admist the cacophany of strangers. That of a young girl and her Kaguya mother. "What brings you to such a gathering?" he asks of Yugao, voice loud to be heard even as his green eyes search for the Kaguya pair. Soon, he finds them.

Yuriko beams up at her mother with excitement as she frantically pulls at Yuuka's hand, urging the young woman to hurry towards the lake where others gather, where other kids her age were splashing in ankle-deep water trying to catch tiny goldfish with their bare hands. Yuuka chuckles softly as she lets the tiny hand go, letting the girl hurry ahead of her to the edge of the lake. While she keeps a careful eye on her, the Swordsman couldn't help but smile gently, seeing how excited the child was at the prospect of a new game. And while her mother takes her time smoothly moving through the crowd, Yuriko kneels at the very edge, hands on her knees as she beams at the swirl of fish that play at other kids' feet.

One might wonder at first if Yoichi even notices Hibiki approaching, as he doesn't even glance his way. However, once he is spoken to, he would reply, "Hate would imply some kind of deep passion about it. On the contrary, I'm merely performing my duties in my way. My perspective is not so limited as those who live in the light their entire lives, so why should I conform my habits of watch to fit theirs?" He would finally cast a glance toward the boy, offering a nod in greeitng before looking back ahead.

Yugao looks up with a blink and turns toward the henged Meruin. She stares at the man before she shrugs, "It is where you are supposed to be." She then nods her head before looking over at the area around. She shrugs, "It is as things are done, is it not?" She hmms before turning to walk over toward the water, "I will go and see about t hese festivities."

Hibiki turns back to the festivities as Yoichi does, but the boy remains stationary, folding his arms over his chest, tapping the small pointed stick between his fingers on the the shoulder of his coat. A mother and daughter playing in the small pool, the child exuberant and dutiful to the experience of innocence. A grin alights in the steely fat ends of sunshine.
"Oh, but Hibiki believes that is what the shadows are, yes? The masking of light-filled eyes."
Hibiki pushes a finger into his mouth, picking his nail against a tooth until free comes a pinch of meat, which the youth inspects, and then plunges back atop his tongue. He looks leaner now, tight, wound by the coils of wisdom as experience. His neck flinches, and he rolls a shoulder, but forward still he gazes, over the bubbling festival of good tidings.

Festivities… A wonderful place to… be the weirdo Sachiko is. However, she had decided to go the extra length and rather than her usual skirt and blouse, she was wearing a kimono. The outfit was entirely red with wispy purple designs along it and a cut in one side that went all the way up to just above her knee. The Iga was far too impatient to tip-toe around as a normal kimono would require, after all. Her feet had simple geta and her hair was done up. She had it held up with chopsticks but in the place of any decorative hanging pieces, she had… eyeballs.
The eyes hung from optic nerves wrapped around each chopstick, but both moved to take in her surroundings. The glasses that normally adorned her face were nowhere to be seen, either. Almost unrecognizable! Except for… the fact she was a red-headed, blind outsider, which there weren't very many of. In any case, she wandered into the area from the path and took a moment to take in her surroundings before doing anything. So much to do… What would provide the most entertainment?

Of course, in an event this big, there was security around to ensure that things remained as peaceful as possible, relatively speaking. There were those hidden in the trees near the pots, to make sure that nothing was going down on the outskirts of the huge crowd. And others throughout the trees on the outskirts surrounding the lake, still hidden and still there to protect, though they won't step in to interrupt any obviously consenting couples. There were those near the shinobi pool with the sharks to make sure that those who participated were truly shinobi. And there were those who'd been tasked with patrolling the mass of humanity to be on the ready in case anything should require policing.
Okumo Meruin was one of the last. His duty, as he was told, was to go through the crowd of people and watch to make sure that all within his view were safe and would remain relatively free of harm while ensuring that they did not know that he was actually security. In other words, he was to go undercover as a partygoer to allow him to give protection while not setting the people on edge with the presence of the military. And so he was currently moving through the eastern side where most of the performances were, as that was where the largest number of people were, his eyes henged into normal green ones. He wears true clothing as well, garbed in a casual kimono of red and black, the contrast with his pale skin stark. It is a rare day indeed.

Meruin watched for a few moments as Yuuka was towed away towards the pier by her daughter, soon turning his gaze towards Yugao as she speaks to him. He arches a brow at her responses, simply inclining her head as she begins to make her way towards the water as well. "Enjoy the night, then, Shirayuki Yugao," is spoken before he continues on. He hadn't taken more than four steps before stopping on the outskirts of a crowd watching a firedancer. Many kneeled to allow everyone to see. Watching the man flip and somersault, danger and pain whirling about him in a hypnotizing display, Meruin made sure to blink often and turn his eyes from the dance to see the people around. With those he knew heading towards the lake itself, he was watching to see if it was a trend in the people at large and he should begin heading there himself.

Ishino was also there, within his formal kimono for celebration of the New Year as well. While Meruin was dressed in a kimono among the guests on one side, Ishino was on the other, that umbrella held by the older gentleman that always seemed to hang around with Ishino. Indeed the older man had the same kimono that Ishino had as they'd move through the crowds. Alert, sharply so, to make sure nothing unfortunate happen, this side was a little more serious, considering there were the games, the auction and the shinobi challanges going on. However Ishino wore that polite smile and kept his watch as he went, aware of the movement of the crowd so he could maintain his watch over it.

Ahh, one of those few times of the year he would get out and about. Indeed, with that escort of two Jounin in ANBU masks, Yuge would walk towards the crowd in general. He'd nod politely to those who recognized him. A general patrol of the area, checking in with a few guards here and there, mostly to let it be seen that he is there and attempting to be in touch with the people. Anyone who does approach him with a comment or concern is listened to with that formal nod of understanding. Everything would be written down. The better to be looked into later, but no answers of any substance would be given for now.

Having heard of the New Year festival, Serafin decided to attend. His grandparents have come as well but were keeping to the quieter areas though they told him they probably will wander off soon. Noddnig his head, the cocoa skinned Shirayuki walks through the crowds of people, keeping to the outskirts and just watching whats going on as everyone seems to be enjoying theirselves tonight. It was nice to finally see smiles on everyones faces, and with him walking around it is nice to be around others when it's not during a mission or wartime.

The Mizukage is here.
There was a stirring in the people almost as soon as the man strode into the crowd with an ANBU at either side. People turned to look, others turned away to tell their friends, and a choice few simply gave a slight smile and a nod to the man, whether they were looking his way or not. Regardless, his presence was felt by the masses and though there were many, news traveled swiftly. Ten minutes and little more and the word would be spread to everyone, the balance of people beginning to shift towards the south where the entrance is as people moved to catch a glimpse.

Taking off her tiny sandals, Yuriko giggles as she plunges (more or less) into the shallow end of the lake. Meaning that the water comes up to her ankles as tiny gold fish swirl and tickle at her toes and the toes of other children eagerly and happily trying to catch the fish with her bare hands. Yuuka chuckles softly as she finally comes to the lake, overseeing her little girl while she joins in on the fun. On more than one occasion her long sleeves accidentally dipping into the clear water.
The hushed murmurs pull at Yuuka as she lifts her bright blue green eyes, seeing the Mizukage walking through the crowd with his escorts some way off, clearly drawing attention at such a public event. The Swordsman though merely smiles faintly to herself as she returns her gaze to her daughter, just as Yuriko bumps into another kid by mistake. Not that either of them seem to mind as they both erupt with giggles.

As his conversation partner pondered a response, out into the festival does Hibiki look. It is not with little fanfare that the Mizukage is around, outfitted and escorted, but entertaining the magnanimity of the people in their smiles claps and shouts. Hibiki takes a step away from Yoichi, and then another, and another still, until away he is, gazing closer and closer as the Mizukage weaves through the festival, a delegation of joy to intoxicate the people with, those burning with ideas for better times, to a touch a symbol of the possible future.
"Is that the Mizukage?" asks Hibiki of seemingly none in particular. "Yes it- hmm… yes, it is, yes it is."
The boy saunters - a particular, intentional gait - closer and closer with the crowd, to come a moment more to the Mizukage. To glimpse the gossip of ideals.

Ishino broke off chatting with one of the merchants he knew from the marketplace as word of the Mizukage showing up. Interesting that he would come around, although it did make some sense on a certain level. Taking the umbrella with a polite nod to the older man, whom nodded in return, Ishino would continue his patrol of that area. Yes, it would be nice to see the one in charge of the village, but a job is a job. None the less, the older man would make his own way through the crowd, merging with the others to get closer to the Mizukage. He'd not try to approach, simply listen and be attentive. There, in case, as was the ANBU around the kage, of course.

Sachiko watched as others joined the festival, noting that it was people she knew… She gave a — gasp — /polite/ bow to Yuge, a lighter bow of her head to Ishino and the man with him. Then she took a deep breath and moved more into the crowd, mingling, sort of. Eventually, though, she'd shift out of the masses moving to try and see the Mizukage. It was… better this way, kind of. So she moved toward the stalls set up, a soft sigh slipping through her nose. As she inhaled again afterward, she stalled. Glancing around, she pondered before shaking her head. Surely it was just a cook using a particular spice… She went about looking through the wares up for sale, though she certainly wasn't able to get anything.

Kiku is here, but she does the smart thing. She is off to the side, eating some noddles. She's looking over some files, and sighing heavily as she has several profiles that she's looking at. Her first mission hasn't started yet, and the deadline has passed. It wasn't so much that she didn't work on it, just that it was midterms at the Academy for Students and Genin. And well, shockingly enough, Kiku has been pretty good at that. Likely the only reason why Yuge hasn't Jounin bop her for not getting started on her mission.

Yuge's forward momentum reverted to a crawl. Plenty of people were happy to come see him, the ANBU gentle in their insistance that a small space be maintained around Yuge. Gentle but firm. Yuge himself continued to smile politely, nodding to the people as they'd greet him, noting the interactions of at least one of his swordman, a nod given to Yuuka and indeed, a polite nod given to Sachiko in response to her bow. He wasn't able to really talk to anyone directly, due to that fact of being surrounded by those whom did not normally get to interact with the Mizukage, but he was still keeping aware and acknowledging those whom were important to him in that press.

Watching the crowds going quiet, Serafin moves through them and actually have a few people step aside. Watching from whre he is, he looks to the ANBU who is escorting the Kage here. Quirking a brow and figuring that he needs to also have some time off as well, though from teh details times have been hard for everyone. Shaking his head and moving on, though not really watching where he is going, he stumbles past a few people and now not noticing how close he is to the docks. He looks up the docks and walks up the small ramp. Upon getting to the ramp he looks out over the crowds, leaning his shoulder against the pier just watching.

Yuuka watches the little girl a moment or so longer before lifting her vivid aquamarine eyes up at the crowd, catching the Mizukage's eye as he gives her a nod in acknowledgement. Her smile warms, a sparkle of mirth shining in her eyes that hadn't been there for several weeks. And closing her eyes, she bends at the waist to return a respectful bow to him. It was probably the most they'll see of each other that night, considering how busy he is.
Returning her attention to Yuriko, the little girl splashes at the water, jumping several times as she apparently has given up on catching fish and instead joined in on simply making several big splashes alongside other laughing children. Giggling, she huffs slightly out of breath as she stops jumping long enough to brush the bothersome wavy bangs from her face and beam up at her mother.

The people were shifting.
Meruin stepped away from the firedancer, step quick as he started moving in a southerly direction. Soon enough, he'd learned what the sudden movement in the bulk of people was about, hearing the murmurs and shouts of the presence of the Mizukage as people rushed in that direction. And so he broke off from the general flow, heading towards the outskirts, still moving in a southerly direction. He was heading towards the trees at the edge of the area and, of course, it was Kiku who he stumbled across. His henged green eyes looked towards the woman eating noodles and doing paperwork at a celebration and he arched a brow as he approached.
"Why not do this at home?" he calls to her.

One moment not, the next he was there, casually strolling beside Sachiko as if that had been the action he'd been doing the whole time. An idle smile, a small nod of his head her direction as they walked along. "Good evening, Iga-san. It is quite the pleasent day, is it not? I do hope that the celebration finds you in a festive mood? It would be a pity to be in a glum sort of mood when among so many celebrating people." Ishino kept up his patrol of the area, looking about, generally watching and being aware of what goes on around him, even with the umbrella, as they'd walk along.

"Cause I need to get it done. I'm already behind a few days, and I still have class schedules and recommendations to present. Not to mention a mission I have to do. And research on a new chakra weapon thats being developed. Then Genjutsu research…and seal research….", Kiku sighs. She slumps her shoulders down, and takes another sip of the noddles as the paperwork just gets a small growl…

Meruin would get noted in the crowd, even in that kimono, he was still noticed. A small nod given his direction as well. Yuge would continue forward for a bit more, already sweeping his path along in a wide circle of that general area most people had been idling at, to start for the exit. He didn't want to distract them from the celebration too much, more than happy to show up, showing that involvement of Kirigakure in the happiness of the people goes all the way up. He'd continue to have the comments and ideas directed his way written down, things he would definitely be following up on. However with the sheer amount of people here, nothing other than a speech would prove fruitful and Yuge was actually trying to avoid that request before someone thought of it and they all asked.

Sachiko actually jumped at the sudden company, her hand thumping to her chest. "Oh my kami! Don't /do/ that," she instinctively said. Then she emitted a sigh to calm herself and shook her head at him. "Good evening to you, Ishino. It is pleasant, I'll agree." Then a light smirk twitched at her lips and she shrugged. "Festive? Eh," she offered with an uncertain shrug. "Not glum, though." As her heart calmed, she relaxed and tilted her head at him. "Are you here to just enjoy yourself or… business too?" Sure, she understood that if he /was/ on business, it was probably not something he should tell her, but she wasn't the type to care much when she asked such questions.

"You sound productive, Kaguya Kiku," replies Meruin as he steps past the woman, heading for the treeline. "I respect it." Soon enough, he reached the first of the trees and an easy leap saw him on top of it's lowest branch. A few more jumps, simple flexes of the foot and calves, took him higher in the tree and he stopped about halfway up it, standing atop a thinner branch than he'd been on before but one that was fully capable of holding his weight. He looks to the ground, to Kaguya Kiku, and then to the other side of the southern section of the area. Beyond the crowd of people milling about to touch the robes of the Mizukage. To the treeline on the other side. He begins forming handseals.

Ishino chuckles softly with a small nod towards Sachiko. "I will make sure to tick or something, next time. I presumed that you would of seen me, considering the eyes.." Smiling with a small nod given to her. "Not glum is at least a start. I am enjoying myself.. however it is.. business as well. When there is a crowd.. there has to be those whom are ready for what crowds might do." Ishino shakes his head slightly. "However, a pretty woman on my arm is as good a guise as anything else."

While most are having fun here and talking to their friends and such, Yoichi has still merely stuck to his duties. The amount of Swordsmen at this gathering is rather astounding, but not all of them are here on duty. Some people do enjoy festivities, after all. A certain mix of those who do among the one or two who don't really care for such things among the Swordsmen is probably a healthy balance. Amidst all this thought, Yoichi remains still as a statue, staring off into the crowd with his senses raised as he merely watches and waits.

Yuriko is quick to step out of the water, shaking off her feet before slipping her feet into her sandal shoes. And before her mother can even blink she's off like a rocket! As fast as her little legs can carry her and as fast as her lovely winter kimono would allow. She giggles as she runs through the crowd and skirts by legs, actually bumping into Yuge's leg by accident but bouncing off without even so much of a flinch. "Kaatan! I want some sticky dongo!" she says brightly. "Yuriko!" Her mother quickly reprimands, making the tiny girl stop in her tracks and instantly hunch her shoulders. Clearly she's in trouble.

"There are many people here, my dear," Sachiko murmured with a shake of her head. "Even if I did see you, that doesn't mean I realized you'd be… right beside me." She raised an eyebrow at him, listening and nodding in understanding. At his last statement, the eyes in her hair shifted, looking… for this woman he was referring to. It seemed to hit her after a moment and she blinked… many, exaggerated times. "Who—wait, what? Surely you're not referring to me." She truly did seem astounded by such a simple thing.

Yuge was starting on his way out then, there had been plenty who had seen him, indeed it seemed to increase the festivities of the night with his showing up, so it was a good idea indeed. He was pleased with the potential overall of the evening. Another wave given to the crowd in general, eyes seeking out and meeting those few whom were important and he recognized among the masses before Yuge with the ANBU in tow, would leave that area. Still, busy as always. Yuge would pause as he got bumped into. Not enough obviously to knock him over or anything, instead the child that had oh so recently been the focus of some trouble within her clan. A soft chuckle was given, Yuge would crouch down to Yuriko's level and with a palming that was flawless as only a shinobi of his skill level could do, he'd plant a few coins in Yuriko's hand. "Go have some on me, Yuriko-kun. Enjoy.. and keep listening to your mother." A pat given to her head, he'd turn and finish leaving. A small smile on his face as he went. That was a good visit in Yuge's mind and plenty of things to work on.

As Yuriko would play, her mother keeping a close eye, as the Mizukage would make his rounds, overs seeing his people, as the shinobi and villagers alike would share this evening in celebration and in challenge, Yoma was observing some of those brave enough to take on the sharks. It may be only one of the many challenges this night, but it was the one that interested the swordsman the most. He would be sitting upon a barrel, easily tall enough, as he'd watch the test of mettle as well as keep an eye on Yuriko who was always somewhere entirely different when he'd glance back. He'd scanned the area and noticed many familiar faces in the crowd, and he'd smile just a bit at the sheer amount of them. A home… it was still something new in his heart. Then a loud splashing would catch his attention again and he'd be focused on the shinobi having a bit of trouble with the large, vicious sea beast.

The tree branch bends towards the ground and creaks, the young man who was stop it gone. He reappeared in the air, high above the people and the festivities. It was quiet for him as he arced over the crowd of people still vying for the Mizukage, ninjutsu reducing the wind resistance against him by great amounts. The man was leaving, he noted. Though waylaid by the sticky dongo bandit. He watched them for a few moments before scanning the area, using his bird's eye to search for any trouble that may be cropping up. He spotted Time Keeper, but hadn't seen Ishino himself yet. Alas, there were too many bodies to truly make anything out from this distance, and so he opted to simply keep an eye on his landing. It didn't take him too long to do so from then, his descent slowing to a far easier pace to manage. He hadn't managed to clear the distance to the other trees, but he was close. Regardless, he'd crossed the sea of people and could now continue his clandestine patrol on the southeastern side of the lake. He began heading north towards the bazaar.

Her shoulders are hunched as Yuriko tentatively glances over her shoulder, watching beyond the man her mother swiftly approaching. Yuuka slows her steps just outside Yuge's circle of ANBU agents and exhales a small breath of a sigh. "Mizukage-sama… I apologize. Yuriko was just excited, weren't you Yuriko-chan." her voice was firm, urging the sheepish little girl to apologize as well. Instead he kneels down and places a coin in her hand, patting her snowy head. Yuriko smiles a bit bigger up at Yuge, clearly having no clue who the man is as she beams in thanks. "Yuriko." Yuuka repeats firmly, making her appear sheepish again. "Um, thank you for the coin. And I'm sorry for bumping into you. I didn't mean to." Yuriko murmurs, her voice small. She gives him one more smile before the Mizukage rises to his feet and proceeds on his way out once more.

There's a commotion over by the water even as several people stare in surprise as Yugao comes walking up out of the water with her blade at her shoulder and dragging a shark behind her. She stares at a large man who seems to be very displeased with the fact that she has killed such a beast in his presence or whatever and the small girl slides the shark up before saying, "Not so hard." Her usual emotionless state staying as she turns and starts walking toward Yuge at this moment. She just spotted the Mizukage and the sword wielding Shirayuki approaches out of the appropriateness of it. Even now, she is wearing just a piece of cloth over her chest and another covering elsewhere with her snatching up a sack of her clothing. She bows slightly to the Mizukage, "Good evening, Mizukage." The daughter of one of the leaders of the Shirayuki has her duties after all. She then will turn, "I must redress, it is cold." ANd then she is off. Yes, she is a weird one.

And Kiku gets her revenage. She cackles a bit before spotting Yuge. She takes a deep breath, and yells out. "Speech! A New Years Speech from the Mizukage!", the Kaguya calls out. Somebody in the crowd will likely hear her, and start to pick it up. As soon as the crowd starts to pick up on it, Kiku coughs a bit, and then starts to fade from sight, using her Fade genjutsu. Something she picked up from Kitaru when he was around…

Leaning against the pilar Serafin continues to scan the area, though he is brushed by when Yuriko makes her bolt past him towards the Kage. Qurking brow as she is stnaind with the Kage and him offering her somethign to get more of a treat. Then upon hearing someone else telling her to stop and she does, he looks towards the woman. "Ah." he says as he sees Yuuka. Putting two and two together he smiles. Rubbing the back of his head a little, he watches as a woman walks up with only some rags covering her, he doesn't know who she is nor does he know anyone else here. SHaking his head, Serafin walks off the peir back onto land.

Ishino just chuckles at Sachiko, shaking his head slightly. "Obviously I could not possibly be refering to you. Afterall, who in their right mind would think such a thing of you?" Ishino's smile was teasing that he'd toss Sachiko's way as they kept walking. The umbrella might be the only give away of where Ishino was at. Afterall, if the older man, Time Keeper, was in that crowd, then there was going to be the puppeteer to master the puppet. Anyways, Ishino would stop by one of the sweet bread stalls and purchase two, offering one to Sachiko before taking his own. An idle snack to enjoy as they kept walking. "So since you have been here so long.. have you thought about simply joining Kirigakure instead of being treated a second class citizen? Or mayhap get an ambassador tag attached to you from Sunagakure so you have a more offical place, other than the Mizukage refusing to make you leave?"

It seeems that there was a Shirayuki who successfuly used brawn and blade to conquoer the beast. A decent size as well. Yoma would nod respectfully as he watched many other flounder around, trying to impress someone by trying to snare something beyond their ability. Yoma would rise, begining to walk the pier as he'd watch the struggle closely. Perhaps he would rescue them… or let them be defeated and die as a reward to the shark, as it was certainly that way if the shark lost. It was hard to say, but Yoma was very interested to see the out come of the struggle.

"Exactly what I was thinking," the Iga responded, at first seeming entirely serious. However, her lips twitched in a bit of a smirk and she couldn't resist laughing a bit. Sachiko couldn't think of anything more to say at the moment, just settled for an amused grin and a shake of her head. However, when offered food, she reached out for it instinctively before blinking and clearing her throat. Maybe that was a bit too eager. "You really didn't need to get me this…" She would wait for his response and shrug as he insisted. Then she listened while taking a small bite, raising her eyebrows at him. "… But then I'd have to /do/ something," she murmured. Oh, how she enjoyed slacking… "I really… really don't want to go back there, though. So… if I was going to do either, it would probably be attempting to join Kirigakure. I'd probably die in the attempt, though," she muttered with a shrug.

Yuge would glance over as Yugao showed up, a smile with a nod was given in response. He didn't comment, nothing really to say. She showed once again the reason why Kirigakure was as strong as it is. A defeat of a beast within it's own element. What was to speak about. Yuge, at the entrance to the area, looked over at Kiku as she yelled out. Stopping in his tracks to stare at her. Sure, for some, she might fade away. However those eyes. Those eyes bespoke of duties much more worse for Kiku in the future.. or maybe not. Instead he'd turn to look at the crowd, raising both hands as the general murmur and semi-chant started for a speech, calming the crowd to a hush so they could hear them.

"Villagers, Shinobi, people of the Land of Water. We have faced many crisis together, over this past year. We fought together, we won, we bled, we died together. Kirigakure still stands strong. It stands strong because of it's people, it stands strong because of the Shinobi, because of the villagers. We all work togther, one another, to surpass any obsticals that come up for our land. The future is bright. Let all celebrate and make merry over the past and continue on to a bright future."

Yuge would look to Yuriko as she apologized, a smile with a small nod given her way, before he did indeed leave. If the expressions of those of the ANBU could of been read, it would of been of relief. Either way, the Mizukage has left the party.

As another moves through the trees, Yoichi would turn his head and offer a simple nod to Meruin. Still, he seems fairly intent on not really socializing. He seems to not really pay attention to anyone in particular until he hears the Mizukage speaking. Luckily enough, his Koumorite senses allow him to hear the speech perfectly from his perch. He listens curiously for a few moments, a light smirk finally touching his lips. An elegant speech.

Arriving back after she has dressed herself, Yugao has her weapon resheathed and nods to the Mizukage, even if he doesn't see her, at his speech. She then will look at others she may or may not befamiliar with. She walks toward where she had last seen Meruin. She looks toward him as she approaches, not seeming to be all excited by things, "Hello again." She states and then points toward the water, "The men there are not impressive. They fight sharks and pretend as if it were hard." She then looks in that direction directly, "I do not believe they understand difficulty."

Watching others as they move around, and feeling a bit silly. It's time to see what he can do for now, and mostly try to enjoy himself. Seeing where Yuriko has gone, he moves in that direction, which possibly will allow him to bump into Yuuka as well. THough as the Mizukage began clearing his throat, he turns and watches their leader. Listening and raising a brow as he does so, indeed Kirigakure has been through a lot but now it's a new year and time for a new start.
Sighing and looking about, he walks over to where Yuriko who has been apologized to by the Kage. Waiting and as he does he walks over to where the girl is, "Hello Yuriko-chan." he says as eh looks to her, then looking up to see the Kage leaving. "Friend of yours?" he asks.

Isra was still in the central part of the lake, fishing and hoping to catch something. So far, she's been lying back in her boat and growing comfortable with the steady rocking on the water. Her fishing pole was at her feet, bobber in the water floating along without any indication of a fish just yet. Just as she was starting to doze off in comfort, her boat was bumped. There was something around, but it didn't appear to be interested in the hook. She drew it up out of the water and peered over the boat as she was bumped a second time and a third where her boat rolled over entirely.
She didn't see anything for a few moments before a couple of eyes looked back at her in the water only barely reflected by whatever light was picked up. She stared at it for a while before it came for /her/ instead of the other way around. She swam to the surface and just as she started to get her barings to stand on the water, a shark burst from the water after her. She jumped, but it managed to snag her sandal and fall back into the water with her.

Ishino chuckles softly, of course insisting she take it before they'd walk on. A small shrug was given then. "So what you do is figure out how to involve your lack of doing anything, into a skill.. then become a teacher to teach others how to use the lack of doing something to best effect.. Afterall.. good information takes time of someone sitting there waiting and watching what may or may not ever happen, hmm?" Ishino muses for a moment, studying Sachiko before his attention would once more go to his surroundings. "Why would you think you would die joining Kirigakure? Indeed we may even be able to speak to the Mizukage…" Ishino nods in the direction Yuge had vanished to. "About getting a peaceful transfer of your registration from Sunagakure to Kirigakure. Of course.. you may start as a genin here. But, if you are loyal, show your worth in what you do best.. nothing saying you would die."

Yoma did finally recall that the one who had succeeded in capturing the shark was Yugao. She didn't say much, and spoke with her actions far more than her words. Yoma could certainly appreciate that. As th young ones started to get close to true danger, Yoma would bellow, "Get out of the water, no Kirigakure shinobi will be chum this night. Die another day… i'm not all that fond of shark steak." One of the eager young Kaguya simply wouldn't give it up even though he was out classed and even a bit bloodied. Yoma would say again, "What did I just say?!" As he would shrug his mighty weapon from his shoulders, letting it fall with a heavy *CRACK* of the planks behind him. His body was bare from the waist up as his bronzed, rippling form would spread his arms and crackle his fingers in to tight fists.
Leaping from the pier, Yoma would become little more than a blurr of motion as he would land foot first atop the shark that was coming in for perhaps a killing blow on the stubborn young Kaguya. A tremendous splash would be heard, though drowned out by the roar of the man as he said, "No Kirigakure shinobi shall be defeated on this night!" Shark thoroughly dead as Yoma came from the watery depths dragging the corpse by the tail and the boy by the ankle, he would raise them both up and look to them each before tossing them to the sands of the shore. "You, boy… it is time to put on an apron and get in the kitchen. I like my meat rare."

Sachiko laughed at the puppeteers attempts to give her possible things to accomplish, kidding or not. "I don't expect much to happen," she confided in Ishino. "Better nothing at all than something terrible." A pause, in which she sighed and closed her eyes. "Maybe." Taking a deep breath, she shrugged at him. "I really don't think I'd do Kirigakure much good. I /am/ a Genin and the most useful thing I ever did for Sunagakure… was act as bait for an escaped sociopath. Unintentionally, but still… I guess I was asking to get shocked, because he was all for it." The woman rolled her eyes and took another bite of her bread, shaking her head a bit. "I digress, though… I'd probably have to prove myself in some fashion… and I'd probably die in the process."

Yuriko was already in line for some sticky sweet dongo, beaming eagerly and the incident from not even a moment before already forgotten. Her mother exhales a small breath and shakes her head gently, the single loose silver white lock swaying from the motion as a small smile tugs at her soft lips. Yuriko was so spoiled, but it was difficult not to with her it seems. And as Serafin approaches, both the little girl and her mother lift their equally bright aquamarine eyes at the young man, however its Yuriko that instantly beams, giggles and shakes her fluffy white head at him. "Nu uh. He's just a guy!" she giggles again.

Meruin caught the motion of presence of Yoichi as he moved past, looking to the trees and locking onto him. A nod was given, as that was what he was sure he'd been given himself. And then he looked to the other side, slightly behind him, green iris as the corner of his eyes. He nods to Yugao as she steps up to him, motion shifting to gesture for her to walk with him as he enters the booths of the bazaar.
"Is that so?" he asked, stride smooth as he scans the celebrants. "In that case, I shall endeavor to improve the general level of training in Kirigakure's shinobi." He look to the girl for a moment before looking back ahead, asking. "How did you choose your prey, how did you kill it, and how did you get out of the water with it?" His scanning gaze paused as it settled on Ishino and Sachiko, his path taking him in their direction.

"I didn't choose my prey." She states as she walks with him, "My prey chose me. It saw a smaller target and felt that it would do better with me." She then shrugs and walks on, "As for how I killed it, I used thrusts of my blade." Yugao nods her head, "Slashing would not work as well in the water as spear like movements." She then looks to teh side toward the explosion of force down at the water before saying, "Getting out of the water was easy enough at that point. It was dead. It did not put up much of a fight as I swam with it toward shore." She then looks at Meruin, "How would you have gone about such a task? Is it not that one would hold on to their prey and pull them along. Should I have attempted to push it out?" Her questions are not sarcastic, though they might sound it at times. They are serious quesitons.

Some commotion rose at the pier as people pointed out Isra's plight. Fingers pointed to her boat floating just outside of the shinobi's shark pen, now missing the person who'd been within it. Those who had seen it happened began raising shouts, saying, "A shark got out! It's got that woman!" Some who recognized the swordswoman with the firey red mohawk spoke her name aloud, saying, "It's dragged down Swordsman Isra! Somebody go help!" And indeed, a pair of the shinobi guards at the pier did start after her, the shouts turning their attention away from the pronounced Kaguya who save his clanmate by stomping on a shark. They skirted the shark pen, running across the water towards Isra's boat.

As he looks to the woman next to Yuriko, he blinks and smiles. "Ah ok." he says to Yuriko as he bows his head. "You must be her mother she spoke of a few days ago." Bowing his head to Yuuka, "Hello, I'm Shirayuki Serafin." As he looks to both women, "I'm glad to see that you've made it home safely." Serafin is dressed in dark blues and white. Reaching up and pushing those blue strands of hair from teh front of his face, Serafin takes a moment to look at the vendor, then to Yuriko, "Your next Yuriko-chan." eh says to her so that she can get her items before someone jumps into their way. "Was your m ission successful Kaguya-san?" he asks Yuuka.

As his meal is being prepared by the beaten, bruised, and bloodied young Kaguya who looked at him with daggers in his eyes, YOma would reclaim his weapon from the pier, strapping it around his waist and back once again before moving from the area and hugging Yuuka from behind. He ruffled Yuriko as he passed by and have Serafin a measuring look as he continued on. To those perching in the trees, he would give a bit of a nod to each; Meruin, Yoichi, and Yugao. Yuge's speech had been heard before he leapt in to the waters of course, and all seemed well. But Yoma was not content to stay. There were several shinobi whom had left Kirigakure, and Yoma was not going to let that go without a response. "I will see you at home, Yuuka." he'd say to her as he made his way from the area, passing by the young Kaguya and saying "And you will be making a delivery, boy."

Isra was being dragged around in the water by a shark who seemed like it was playing with her more so than trying to eat. Playing as in, it wanted to get its meal all riled up before it started to eat. At this rate, she was going to run out of air as it didn't have any plans of resurfacing with her. One thing she has to admit, it's moving pretty fast. She can feel the water brushing across her face and it's a bit difficult for her to grab the shark while she's being dragged around like this.
Besides, any motions that she made just motivated it to jerk her a bit so she'd be disoriented. Maybe it thought she was weak…She wasn't out there punching them in the nose and getting bloodied up like the others around here. She had a different approach. One this shark obviously didn't fall for. Well, it's time to change that…
She didn't go very many places without her blade and while she was being dragged about, she summoned the sword into her hands and began to agitate the shark with all her moving. Probably a bad idea. It began to jerk her around harder before it finally flinged her from its mouth and sent her for a spin. Grabbing on to her leg this time around, she internalized her shout of pain before freeing herself from its maw with a swing of her blade. A sizable explosion comes from the lake, blasting water and a couple of smaller sharks out with her. The shark that had her was resilient as it didn't let go as they fell back into the water. One thing is certain, it was definitely stunned. The explosion wasn't enough to blow it to chunks, though she was fully capable of doing so.

Ishino muses for a moment, before finally a small shake of his head given. "To stagnate is to die, Iga-san. It's a simple fact.. I understand the lack of desire to press forward.. however you need to do.. something." Ishino shrugs slightly, glancing over at the issue it seems to have occurred with the shark pen and the sharks, a shake of his head was given. There were others responding, so he'd simply way. He was not going to go get wet, if he could at all avoid it. The older man in the crowd would move with them, watching the lake in facination, while Ishino continued his walk with Sachiko. "Mayhap, you need someone to aid you with some prodding, to get in gear for training, hmm?" One more sweep of the local area, before Ishino looked at Sachiko with a raised brow.

Really, a Swordsman being taken down into the water by an animal? Yoichi almost questions whether he should save someone who'd get taken so easily or not, considering she is supposed to be one of the high ranking officers of the village. Still, an ally is an ally. With a crackle of lightning, he would vanish and reappear over where the woman was drug under… just in time to see the explosion and watch the smaller sharks being blasted out. "Since I'm already here," he says, reaching back to draw his own legendary blades, merely placing their tips in the water's surface before a bolt of lightning would race from each of them at the creature in an attempt to make it release the woman. Of course, she'll likely be jolted a bit in turn with it since she's in the water, but it IS her fault for getting taken by a freakin' shark.

The Iga raised an eyebrow at Ishino's satement and she shook her head. "I'm doing 'something'. It just doesn't require any real responsibility or answering to people of higher rank — also known as 'better than me'." Sachiko sighed and shook her head. "If I wanted to spend my days training, I'd have stayed in Suna," she murmured. There was plenty of 'prodding' there. Whether she was about to say something else or not, she was distracted. "Meruin," she greeted, a surprised look on her face. She stared at the kimono for a moment before the eye-decorations focused on his eyes. "Interesting…" She gave a small nod to Yugao after the shock of his new look settled down, but her attention was hardly on the girl.

Yuuka gently lifts a pale brow as she watches the exchange, amused it seems that her daughter has been making friends. Yuriko blinks her bright eyes up at Serafin for a moment before indeed realizing that he was right, it was her turn in line. Beaming happily she quickly turns and presses herself as far up on the booth as she possibly can, extending the coin that she was given, "Sticky dongo please!" The girl's mother softly chuckles as she returns her vivid aquamarine eyes to Serafin, "It had, yes. And since you have already introduced yourself," she dips into an elegant bow for a brief pause before straightening, her smile warm and gentle. "Seven Swordsman Kaguya Yuuka. It is a pleasure to meet you, Shirayku Serafin. It's very generous of you to be concerned for Yuriko-chan's well-being."
Yuuka is caught off guard as Yoma gives her a squeeze from behind, a faint rosy flush rising in her cheeks for but a moment as he tousles Yuriko's snowy hair and departs again. "And that…" she sighs briefly, though the small smile remains. "Was Swordsman Kaguya Yoma. And I have no idea where he's off to now." she chuckles. Yuriko returns with Dongo stick in hand, smiling as she bites into the first dumpling with clear delight.

"I wouldn't have allowed the shark to make the decision," replied the Okumo to the bladegirl. "With the target being a shark and the environment one of water, I would not have stabbed it, instead choosing to use a weapon that would loose less blood. Likely the hands. This would prevent further sharks from trying to steal your kill and make you their prey." His gaze is steady on the pair they are walking towards. "As for escape, I likely would have pushed it ahead, preventing another shark from biting the trailing fish and allow me to streamline my body." He looks to Yugao, asking, "How often do you act without making a plan of attack?"
And then his gaze returns to the pair speaking of futures, usefulness, and true worth. "Quite," he said to her mention of interest. He inclines his head to the two, giving greeting. "Night's blessings, Iga Sachiko. Swordsman Ishino. I trust that the two of you are enjoying the festivities as well as they were intended to enjoy?" He arches a brow, something about the arc suggesting they were not. Philosophical, sigh raising questions were not one of the rides.

Watching as Yuriko buys her sweet dongo, Serafin looks to Yuuka his light blue eyes scanning over Yuuka for a moment before nodding to her as she introduces herself. "Nice to meet you Yuuka-san." he smiles to her. "As for meeting your daughter, I saw her at the…" he pauses a moment, "…the Boneyard Graveyard." It is hard to remember a lot of the places seing as he's not stayed in the village proper himself. "I was a bit concerned due to not seeing no one with her, but she seemed to be pretty aware of her surroundings and upon getting to know her, she shows she is able to do as she needs." he chuckles.
When Yoma hugs Yuuka and gives him a measuring look, Serafin as well does the same to Yoma, watching the man as he leaves. His light blue eyes quickly scan him then turning back to look at Yuuka. Noting the blush on her cheeks, "I take it a loved one of yours?" he asks. Curious in a way, and in a way he isn't. Not familiar with such things, it's a bit of an honor to him to be seeing many of the Seven here. "Well it seems urgent." he says.

"I am not a planner." Yugao states, "I am a survivor." She nods her head before looking at Meruin, "I also lack training with my hands." She nods her head, "I am not trained to fight t hat way." She then shrugs and looks forward at the pair they are approaching, looking at them before looking to Meruin again. She hmms and awaits her position in the conversation, not being terribly familiar with either of them.

Ishino nods slowly to Sachiko, contemplating it for a moment, at least until they were approached. A polite bow, that formal eastern one given to both Yugao and Meruin, his eyes never left them however with that smooth smile. "Indeed, it is quite enjoyable. The walk has been pleasent and the company enjoyable. I continue my duty while still enjoying the festivities." Musing, Ishino would study Meruin a moment. "The look is fitting, Okumo-san. Mayhap you should seek to use it more often, when at least within the realm of relaxing of sorts? I know for one such as you, it is hard to break time between work and play."

Sachiko seemed to have frozen at the questioning from the Okumo. She just blinked and seemed to be chewing lightly on the inside of her lip. Finally, she cleared her throat. "Konbanha, Meruin. I haven't been here long, so…" Listening to Ishino's answer, she took a deep breath and nodded. "Even the simple idea of a celebration such as this is… nice. Enjoyable, even, yes." Good job, Sachiko, be all awkward. She made it worse by offering an enthusiastic nod in agreement with Ishino's last statement and suggestion.

Yuuka's expression softens and she chuckles, "Yes, Yuriko-chan is a little bit of a free spirit. And a tad spoiled. Getting money from the Mizukage, honestly." her lips part with a small sigh, but a slender hand emerges from her long kimono sleeve to tenderly touch at Yuriko's own snow white head, brushing smooth some of the wavy locks while the little girl chews happily. Yuuka begins moving them to the side, out of the way from the lines gathering for the booths. She did not the exchange between Yoma and Serafin, though seems a little surprised when he asks about the large man. "Oh, well, yes." she admits, "I have something of an extended family. Those that I consider my family but aren't blood or Kaguya."

Isra was working out her leg from the shark's mouth when electricity can firing through the water. She lost control of her body up until the currents refrained and she floated up to the surface. She was unconscious until the pain in her leg brought her back. "What the friggin'….?!" She couldn't even get her words out as she was busy tending to the throbbing in her leg which was /not helped/ by electricity. "Why did yo—aaarrgggghh!" That pain was something else. "Okay, need a few moments…" She waited until she was able to take the pain before getting herself up and onto the water. "What in the world made you shoot lightning into the water?!"

Moving off to the side with Yuuka, honestly he is a bit surprised he was being that nosy. "Apologies for my question." he says bowing his head. His eyes narrow slightly as if in a way scolding himself. His expression does soften a bit as he sees Yuriko, then looking back to Yuuka. "I see, so you've made those who are your friends family members in a way?" he asks more then states. There is a bit of confusion on his face as he seems to be trying to understand that concept.

"That," Meruin says to Yugao, "Is something that we will have to see changed. Be prepared for it." His verbal attention shifts seamlessly towards Ishino, a nod given in what would assume to be approval of an enjoyable festival and a pleasant walk. As for the look. "I assume this guise only to ensure that I do not ruin the festivities with my presence. It is a part of my duty for the night to help ensure that people enjoy their evening even as I surveil. It is unlikely that I will use this any more often than I have thus far, as I have little use for time spent in pure play." Another shift, this towards Sachiko. "But I am pleased that you have managed to enjoy Ishino's company. I have found that this takes practice, even in such a setting as this." A jab? A jest?
He gestures towards Yugao. "Regardless of that, this is Shirayuki Yugao. I do not believe that any of you are very well acquainted at this point in time." He gestures to the other two in time with their names. "This is Doihara Ishino, one of our Seven Swordsmen. This is Iga Sachiko, envoy from Sunagakure."

Yoichi doesn't even seem to show any pity on the woman as she floats back up to the surface, simply blinking a few times at her. "You're welcome," he says simply before he'd disappear with a crackle of lightning around him. Reappearing back in his exact same position as before, he'd let out a sigh and simply continue to watch the events of the festival as before.

Interesting, there were certain actions that Sachiko took, especially with Meruin.. quite facinating. Ishino smiles towards Meruin with a nod in agreement. "Indeed, I am doing quite the same.. as told I'm sure by you noting where Time Keeper is at. The fastest and easiest way to effect the crowd with the genjutsu.. if required." Meruin's jest actually got a raised brow from him, before a soft chuckle given in response with a small shake of his head. He'd look to Yugao then, sweeping once again into that formal eastern bow. "An honor and pleasure to meet you. Shirayuki-san. I have seen strong shinobi come from the Shirayuki clan, I look forward to studying your own capabilities. At a later time, of course."

With Isra seeming to be safe enough now, and many of the fish and sharks stunned within their pens from Yoichi's blast of electricity into the lake, the shinobi atop the pier turned their attention away from them and the bare handed fishing. It was over for now. Instead, they began to light up flares, launching them into the sky, the red lights letting out thinly plaintive cries. The celebrants knew what that meant. The new year was coming up and the fireworks were soon to begin to celebrate those final moments.

Yuuka smiles warmly, her expression gentle as she looks past them to everyone that's gathered for the festival. "Everyone in this village I consider part of my family. Its part of the reason I became a Seven Swordsman. So I can protect them with everything I am." The hand that gently rests on Yuriko's snow head gently pets the little girl. "Yuriko-chan is my only blood, but not my only family." The child opens her mouth widely as she takes a large bite from the second dumpling, clearly enjoying herself and the festivities.

A look at the pair and Yugao will simply nod before saying, in her usual monotone fashion, "Nice to meet you." Whether or not it is nice to have met them is unclear. She peers at Meruin before looking forward, "I will be prepared for further training." She nods her head before looking at the pair again, "I am here for the festivities." She doesn't seem that festive either…though she is still a bit damp from going sh arking.

Sachiko's brows furrowed slightly before she shook her head and diverted her attention to Ishino. "I've never found it very difficult to get along with Ishino," the Iga murmured. "Or maybe I have and just forgot about it." She raised an eyebrow and then focused on Yugao. "Yeah, I know her. The one that questioned me — unsuccessfully — about the Peacekeepers." At that, both eyebrows were raised. The eyes shifted to look at Meruin. One stayed on him and the other moved to Yugao, seeing the reaction — probably none — from the two. "In any case… why don't the four of us go find a game to play? Maybe win something…?" She hadn't really looked at what was available for games, but surely it would at least be amusing.

Nodding his head easily now as Yuuka explains to him how she views the village. He moves to stand at her side and looks, really looks at the village. "I've only really been in the village for a few years, I've not grown up here, but as a shinobi of Kirigakure, I view I must do as I can to help protect it as well as my clan." he tells her. He glances to Yuriko who gets her hair tussed by her mother, he smirks. "You have a special child Yuuka-san." he says as he looks at her, "And it's an honor to meet a member of the Seven." A brief pause, "I've heard of them, but this is a first time meeting of you and your friend Yoma-san."

Isra's face twisted up into a scowl, but she didn't mind Yoichi too much. His type were weird that way. She started walking back to the pier when the flares went up into the sky. "Oh crud," she remarked. It was time for the fireworks! And /she/ was responsible! She had to get back. This was her thing and her moment! She had to finish up this night with a bang, I mean, who else would be in charge of explosive things except for her? She did just blow up a shark. Aaanyway.
She hurried herself across the lake with a running limp to land where she weaved her way through the crowd. For those that didn't move out of her way, she threatened them with her blade drawn and ready to strike out at anyone in her path. After what happened in the lake, her threats were probably true.
Snatching a sparkler out of a kid's hand, she slid into place and began to light them up and send them off into the sky. A distinct hiss filled the area as the rockets went up into the sky.

A look at the person making plans before looking at Meruin, Yugao hmms and then states, "I will not be playing games." She shakes her head before looking off to the side, "I will instead go and practice." She nods, "These festivities are taking up a great deal of time." She then turns to walk off.

Yuuka faintly arches a brow as her smile faintly hints with a smirk. "I hadn't grown up here either." she replies, chuckling softly as she returns her gaze to the people, couples, families and individuals flowing with the current. "I'm sure there was a couple of other Seven Swordsmen here as well, however, it's fine if you just call me Yuuka-san. Kaguya Elder and Seven Swordsman, they're just titles."

Ishino muses, watching Yugao go. "You have worked with her a bit too long, Okumo-san?" Glancing over to Meruin, a smile was flashed with that jest, before he'd shake his head, stepping to the side with a motion between Sachiko and Meruin. "Please, you two much go enjoy at least one game together. I would not wish to invade such activity." Ishino shakes his head slightly with a smile, resting the umbrella against his shoulder. "Actually, I must make my rounds, then I will probably reside in a higher point to keep over watch. It seems the grand finale is soon.. If not a bit early.." Ishino glanced over to where Isra was already rocking out the fireworks. "So it will start to disperse enough that I can head to bed. Either way, I do look forward to hearing about what games you two play." That formal bow given to Sachiko and Meruin, he'd finally turn and head off, quickly vanishing into the crowd.

Quirking a brow as Yuuka tells him that she isn't from the village either, but to see her willing to not hesitate to defend this village shows him he shouldn't worry too much. As she tells him the titles, but the one that hits him is that Yuuka is the Elder of teh Kaguya. But before he is able to ammend himself, it's told that he should just call her Yuuka-san. "Alright, I will Yuuka-san." he tlels her. "I'm not really big on titles myself, but I guess it's somethign that is needed for those of higher stations." Stretchinga bit and watching where his arms go, he brings them down and scans the area and just watches everyone as they move about enjoying all the festivities. "It's good to see everyone enjoying themselves, and able to just let go if only for a night."

"After these recent events, I whole-heartedly agree." Yuuka murmurs, exhaling a longer sigh. "I am happy to finish this year and start anew. Maybe this new year will be better than the last." Now that Yuriko is finished with her dongo, her mother reaches down to lift the young girl and rest her weight on her hip, smiling happily at the child as she giggles. "Now then," Yuuka reaches up to touch Serafin on the shoulder, smiling warmly. "You must come to our house and have dinner sometime. We would be honored."

With an agreement on the years end and beginning Serafin turns to look at Yuuka. "I hope it is, a time of new beginnings and in my case the finding of truth." he pauses for a moment then allows a smile to come up on his lips. As Yuriko finishes her dongo and is picked up by her mom, Serafin only smiles a little. Quirking a brow as Yuuka begins speaking to him again, the Shirayuki looks to her, "I would be honored Yuuka-san." he bows his head. "Just let me know when, and I will be there. A new beginning indeed."

Meruin nods at this news from Sachiko, hearing that she and the Shirayuki have met. He gives a nod saying only, "I see," and leaving the matter where it was. And it seemed the mention of playing a game scared Yugao away. The Okumo nods to her as she leaves, and turns to find something of a similar effect being had on Ishino. "Enjoy the evening," is his polite murmur, green eyes watching the man as he steps away, something disquieting in the way they do so.
But he soon turns back towards Sachiko, saying, "I am supposed to be posing as a carouser and I have not managed to indulge in a game yet. I am not fond of failing in my duty." He offers the woman with the eyeballs dangling from her chopsticks his arm, gesturing back the way she'd come. "Shall we find something to take our time with?"

The motion of people moving towards the lake at the sight of the flares abrupt quickens, people starting to jog and call over at the sound of the first of the fireworks being shot into the air. "C'mon!" almost seemed to be chorused. "It's starting!" The people at the pier, began to vacate it, moving towards the southern part of the lake to get a proper view of the fireworks. And the first had already hit the air:

\__ ___/___ ____
| |_/ __ \ / \
| |\ ___/| | \
|____| \___ >___| /
\/ \/

The Iga was a bit bewildered by the other two leaving, but she just nodded. "Well… good night, Ishino," she offered as he walked off. Yugao got a simple nod before Sachiko's attention focused on the Okumo. She had caught a glance at the way he was looking at Ishino and couldn't help but raise her eyebrows at him curiously. In response to his words before the offered arm was taken, she murmured, "I know." Then, her arm wrapped around his, she smiled lightly and nodded. "We shall. I'm not really sure if there's anything I'd be good at, but… I figured it was something to do instead of just standing around…" Lastly, she muttered, barely audible, "being awkward."

"Oooo!" Yuriko wiggles hard in her mother's arms, forcing Yuuka to drop the little girl to her feet. She squeals with pure delight as she dashes straight for the lake, her mother making a face just before she hurries off after her, clearly displeased. Really, that girl just does what she wants. "Pretty!" At the edge of the lake Yuriko jumps up and down, giggling.

It was the countdown into the new year, people pointing and exclaiming at the sight of it. Immediately, the masses began raising their voice, joining in the countdown with a combined voice to drown out everything else in the world. It was the voice of Kirigakure, and it was filled with fierce joy and passion and triumph. It was too big to be subdued.

_______ .__
\ \ |__| ____ ____
/ | \| |/ \_/ __ \
/ | \ | | \ ___/
\____|__ /__|___| /\___ >
\/ \/ \/

___________.__ .__ __
\_ _____/|__| ____ | |___/ |_
| __)_ | |/ ___\| | \ __\
| \| / /_/ > Y \ |
/_______ /|__\___ /|___| /__|
\/ /_____/ \/

A chuckle escapes Serafin as Yuriko manages to escape her mother as teh fireworks begin going off in the sky above teh lake. Not wanting to be left behind, Serafin keeps up with Yuuka and Yuriko. Seeing taht Yuriko does what she wants, he just chuckles a little bit, moving to stand with teh pair at the edge of the lake, himself too looking up then back down helping to keep an eye on little Yuriko.

Isra realized that she fired off the first few fireworks prematurely, but they were only the small stuff. The best has yet to come and no, the sparkler wasn't going to be returned, because the kid that had it was about to light some real sparklers into the sky. She asked for assistance in the effort of lighting off all these fireworks off and used his stolen sparkler to do it. Excited, the young boy rushed over to take part at her beckoning. She stood behind him and held his arm in place, waiting for the countdown to finish.

"Worry not," said Meruin, head lifting to the fireworks shooting high overhead and leaning in near to Sachiko to be heard. "You are good at that." A slight curve comes to his lips, the subtle expression something between a grin and a smile. "It is cute." He narrows his eyes at the fireworks, their glow lighting his face. "I do not reccomend doing it often, but when you do, it is cute."

/ _____/ _______ __ ____ ____
\_____ \_/ __ \ \/ // __ \ / \
/ \ ___/\ /\ ___/| | \
/_______ /\___ >\_/ \___ >___| /
\/ \/ \/ \/

Sachiko blinked at him, a subtle tinge of pink coming to her cheeks as she narrowed her eyes at him and pouted lightly. "I'm good at being awkward? I guess… at least I'm good at something." 'And you think it's good, so that's a plus,' she thought, willing herself not to actually state it. "I'll try to refrain. I was just… surprised to see you all dolled up like that. Very surprised," she added, looking up toward the fireworks. Her face didn't need to be shifted for her to see them, but… she could almost feel the difference with the light against her face. At least that's what she let herself believe…

/ _____/|__|__ ___
\_____ \ | \ \/ /
/ \| |> <
/_______ /|__/__/\_ \
\/ \/

The countdown continues and Isra starts to grow a bit impatient. She thinks she can make this more entertaining by lighting off a rocket for every count of the second until it reaches zero. So, she lets the kid pick out his rocket of choice and fire it off into the air to pop. It shows white and cascades down from the air sparkling brightly.

"I give preferential treatment to the term camouflaged," replies Meruin, at hearing Sachiko's surprise at seeing him in proper clothing and with normal eyes for once. "Now I believe it is customary to join in on the final countdown of the year. So let us see it done." That said, he lifts his chin, adding his clear voice to the others of the Land of Water.

\_ _____/|__|__ __ ____
| __) | \ \/ // __ \
| \ | |\ /\ ___/
\___ / |__| \_/ \___ >
\/ \/

\_ _____/___ __ _________
| __)/ _ \| | \_ __ \
| \( <_> ) | /| | \/
\___ / \____/|____/ |__|

Sachiko nodded her head in understanding. She knew why he looked the way he did and didn't question it at all. At his comment, she blinked and gulped faintly. "I suppose…" She didn't seem keen on the tradition, but at his request, she did, starting to count with the fireworks.

\__ ___/| |_________ ____ ____
| | | | \_ __ \_/ __ \_/ __ \
| | | Y \ | \/\ ___/\ ___/
|____| |___| /__| \___ >\___ >
\/ \/ \/

\__ ___/_ _ ______
| | \ \/ \/ / _ \
| | \ ( <_> )
|____| \/\_/ \____/

________ ._.
\_____ \ ____ ____| |
/ | \ / \_/ __ \ |
/ | \ | \ ___/\|
\_______ /___| /\___ >_
\/ \/ \/\/

___ ___
/ | \_____ ______ ______ ___.__.
/ ~ \__ \ \____ \\____ < | |
\ Y // __ \| |_> > |_> >___ |
\___|_ /(____ / __/| __// ____|
\/ \/|__| |__| \/
\ \ ______ _ __
/ | \_/ __ \ \/ \/ /
/ | \ ___/\ /
\____|__ /\___ >\/\_/
\/ \/
\__ | | ____ _____ _______
/ | |/ __ \\__ \\_ __ \
\____ \ ___/ / __ \| | \/
/ ______|\___ >____ /__|
\/ \/ \/
____ __.__ .__._.
| |/ _|__|______|__| |
| < | \_ __ \ | |
| | \| || | \/ |\|
|____|__ \__||__| |__|__
\/ \/


With the rising explosion of the final countdown fire comes the explosion of the people beneath, the festival's many occupants shouting out "HAPPY NEW YEAR KIRIGAKURE!" And with all of the fireworks ever lit, the sky is soon filled with burst after burst of bright light and shining glory, the celebration of the passing of one year into the next nothing short of a life-filled bliss.

______ _______ _______ _______
/\ /\( ___ \( ___ | ___ | )/\ /\
\ \ / /| ( ) ) ( ) | ( ) | () () |\ \ / /
_) () (_| (__/ /| | | | | | | || || |_) () (_
(_ _) __ ( | | | | | | | |(_)| (_ _)
) () ( | ( \ \| | | | | | | | | | ) () (
/ / \ \| )___) ) (___) | (___) | ) ( |/ / \ \
\/ \/|/ \___/(_______|_______)/ \|\/ \/

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