Date: January 22, 2016
Soren approaches Taiki with questions about the hidden villages…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Living History and Politics"
Inuzuka Village Training grounds
Taiki was at one of the more "public" of practice yards practicing his next lightning tiajutsu skill while Nozomi works on refining the aqua fist. Shinobu and Taiki both leap up, jump forward, and spin, but instead of forming twisters they look like lightning-charged buzz saws as they launch toward a boulder that has seen its better days. Even though he's training, he has let his staff know that he is open to interuptions should someone come looking for him, so in addition to her own work Nozomi is keeping an eye out for visitors.
Soren has not exactly been the most active of Inuzuka lately, but certainly he has had his reasons. Today however, he had reasons to speak to Taiki. They weren't something that he was entirely comfortable with bringing this up to Taiki, but it was something that he had to do. So when he found that Taiki was training, he immidiately set off to meet him at the training grounds.
When he finally did arrive, he approached slowly, Ayame just a step behind, as he entered just into range where Taiki could see him, and then pausing, waiting for Taiki to finish up his set, before speaking up. Once Taiki paused, Soren offered a small wave, and started to approach. "Hey, Taiki. How's it going?"
Nozomi givesa bark as Soren approaches, though Taiki and Shinobu had already noticed Soren's approach for a while now. Therefore, they time things so that they finish up just as Soren spaks, allowing Taiki to turn around and smile at the man. "Hello Soren-san, Ayame-san, how are you today?" he asks as he makes his way over to get a towel. He starts wiping his face down as he regards the man, apparently curious as to what they wanted.
Soren shrugged. "Nothing too terribly important… just… something that's been bugging me lately." he says, scratching his cheek, as he approached. Ayame followed shortly behind, and tilted her head. "He's been overthingking things. It's kinda silly really."
Soren grinned, andd reached back, scritching his partner as he approached walking closer to Taiki. "I have a question… and… well I'm not exactly sure who I should ask… you seemed like probably the best person for it." he says with a shrug. "If… I might ask… why… why was the village created?" he asks, tilting his head a bit.
Taiki blinks at this question, then moves to take a seat on a rock, offering a nearby rock for Soren to sit down as well. "Why was the village created? Hmm… Well, we Founders were an integral part of bringing the Inuzuka in on it, so I think I can give you some perspective of the politics involved at the time. You see, it goes back to the height of the clan wars. They were brutal times as you may or may not remember. Each clan fought just about every other clan, some more than others. The average life expectancy of a clan member was about 16 at the time, as children increasingly died in the battles. Especially brutal were the war between the Senju and the Uchiha. Hashirama-sama grew tired of people dying and managed to convince Madara-sama to a truce, with the condition that a village would be formed where all the clans and non-clan people could coexist without warring between the clans. Mutual defense pacts were raised, and each clan brought in were given certain assurances."
Taiki looks up to the sky and shrugs. "Each clan had a different reason for joining. Some probably thought that they could amass more power with less risk. Others, like we Inuzuka, thought that the alliances would be worth it, and that since our area was close to Konoha, it would be best to have a voice in what was going to happen. Others joined for other reasons. But many other clans refused to join, and in fact saw Hashirama-sama's dream as a military move to consolidate power. Other clans refused to join for other reasons, such as distance or unresolved rivalries between clans. They formed villages of their own for their own reasons, some as idealistic as Hashirama's, other much less so, like Kirigakure which I believe was founded because they saw the formation of other villages as a threat."
Soren took in the answer… and let out a long, slow breath. "I see. I suppose I can get behind that idea… generally it was done for mutual safety and protection. If I might ask though… what about the people outside the villages? I know that the villages are tied incredibly heavily to the countries they reside in. How did that come to be a part of the villages? How did the nobility get their claws in?"
"Politics," Taiki finally says after frowning and looking down at the ground. "Shinobi are powerful and strong as individuals. Clans can rival a village's defense force easily, and stronger clans can even endure a small army. But several clans together, each covering the other's weak points? That, my friend, can take on any country's army and win more times than not. There would be heavy casualties on both sides, but it is possible. I, by myself, can take on a company or a battalion of normal soldiers and barely get winded. I'm sure you're in the same boat. So the concentration of what many countries thought of as military might scared them. Even in cases where the leadership of the new village was fairly friendly, such as Konoha and the Land of Fire, there was the fear of a future takeover and the fear of other countries paying their hidden villages to invade. The last two wars between Konohagakure and Kirigakiri illustrate that very well. So the countries in question found ways to forge the bonds with their hidden villages. For Konohagakure, part of it was physical territory and a mutual support pact, especially with the Land of Fire's samurai, who would be the great equalizers in a battle between Konoha and the Land of Fire. For other countries and their villages, other reasons applied. In the end, the politics of the day, giving and taking, tied each village to their host country."
Soren crossedhis arms, and almost growled in irritation. "That's a big hard to believe, given the events of the last few years… but I guess those were more extraordinary circumstances. But… if I wanted to try to change the politics of the 5 villages, I'd have to deal with their nations and nobility aswell." he says, closing his eyes, and sighing.
Ayame stepped forward, and nosed his side. "You knew this wasn't gonna be easy when you started looking into it."
Soren rolled his eyes, and pet her head. "True." He then looked back over to Taiki and shrugged. "Ok… one last thing." he says, astakes another deep breath. "If… what if… bah. Easiest way is always the simplest." he says, pausing, before stating plainly "I want to make an organization that supports and protects all 5 villages, while reducing the amount of military power that the villages, and subsequently the countries they work with, can bring to bear against each other. Primary concerns are reducing collateral damage involved in intervillage conflict, and providing an overall better reponse to threats like the Silence and what not."
Taiki leans back for a moment and thinks things through. "I would say it would be an admirable goal, but realistically I don't see it happening without an overwhelming outside force, stronger than the Silence and the Recluse put together, to provide a threat large enough to cause it. In addition, some of the villages' current kage and most of their support staff would need to change as well. For example, getting Kirigakure and Konohagakui to sit down at the same table and hold peaceful talks is almost impossible."
Shinobu and Nozomi both growl at Taiki's last words while Shinobu speaks up, "Muts my furry white ass."
Taiki sighs and gives them both a nod. "The last time Konoha and Kiri sat down at a table to resolve a problem without bloodshed was when Konoha held the chuunin exams. The first words out of the most vocal member of Kiri's contingent were insults, primarily to my clan and my partners, and then to everyone else. And he wasn't alone in the attitude. Of three Kiri representatives, only one remained civil in the talks, and he was the only person that didn't immediately threaten war unless they got their way completly. I will not sit here and say I was totally innocent myself, since I let the remarks anger me, but I still tried to find a peaceful solution to the problem while saving face for us and them, only to get stonewalled when I asked for a show of good faith from them."
Taiki then sighs and shakes his head. "I had just become Alpha too, and the results of that talk shame me to this day. But the attitudes of both sides were the same in essence: Neither side would appear weak, or allow their position to be weakened. Right or wrong, that stance will prevent you from succeeding without that overwhelming threat to the entirety of the Elemental Nations."
Soren took a long, slow breath. "I never claimed this would be easy. But… I think I could convince Daisuke to support the idea. Infact he has, but he's not willing to support it using personel, which is a problem that we can broach later. I'm pretty sure Hiei would be on board, but I havn't brought it up to him yet. Itami will always put her people first, so as long as I can convince her this is for the good of her people, then that shouldn't go too horribly. Juudai-san… I think I could get a decent audience. Her… I'm a bit less confident about." He closed his eyes for a long moment before looking up at Taiki. "Think the threat of pissing off all 4 villages would be enough to brigh Kirigakure to the table?" he asked, tilting his head for a moment. The thought was honestly a bit ludicrous… but… Soren was confident he could get atleast those 4 villages to talk without too much bullying.
Taiki looks at Soren and says, "If you could even get 4 of the hidden villages to unite, you would surprise me to no end. Don't get me wrong, I only have true knowledge of three of the five villages: Konoha, Kumo, and Kiri. I have little to no knowledge of Iwa or Suna, so I can't say even that goal would be impossible. But what I can say is this: Kiri's existence appears to revolve around the belief that war is a necessary thing for growth. At least, that is how it was explained to me during those talks. To them, peace is a time to prepare for war. There's no other way to live according to them."
"So if you gathered the 4 other major hidden villages together to try to force them to the table, they would likely declare war, not come to the table. Of course, I am far from impartial when it comes to Kiri. To them I am The Enemy, to be killed if I go anywhere close to the Land of Water," Taiki notes, the capitalization very pronounced. "To me, the best I can say about the village as a whole is that they are intent to carve the world in their image. And that, given what I just told you, is being charitable. It may be you find a way, but I fear that it will require more time than you have in life."
Soren turns it over in his head a couple times. "I'm… I'm not as sure that they were representing themselves as they were during those talks. Mor like how they want to be seen. I agree, they are vicious, and they are constantly preparing for war, but I've also seen a good many of their people prove to me that they are more than just monsters. Account, one of my fellow fox summoners hails from Kiri." he says, shrugging. "I think… if we managed to make a case to Meruin that it would strengthen them overall, then it might be possible. But I agree. They're going to be, by far, the most difficult to persuade." he says, scratching his cheek.
"Regarding the other villages… I'm close friends with Hiei, and Michiko, and I'd like to think I have a pretty good handle on Kumogakure culture. As far as Suna is concerned… I spent a year there back when I first lost my arm. They're kindof ground in, and cautious, but they're that way because that's what keeps you alive in the desert. Being prepared." Soren shrugs again. "I don't know though. I think I would have a shot, but I'd need to speak to each of them personally."
Taiki chuckles and shakes his head. "Some of what I just told you was based from the calm person in those talks, and he was a friend of the family so to speak. But Meruin-san and I… we have a past, and the loudmouth of those talks had a sword to grind, if you catch my drift. Its a miracle things got resolved without bloodshed. But… I will watch and see what you can do Soren-san. As I said, I am far from objective when it comes to Kiri. Kumo I think you could get rather easily. As I stated, the others I don't know. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to stop you or dissuade you, but I do think that this may not happen the way you want it."
Soren nodded slowly. "I think… I can get the villages to agree. My… the proposal I have thought up basically involves a volunteer force. The only thing that a village would be required to do, is allow those volunteers to do their work when they need to." he says with a shrug. "Personally, it doesn't sound like anything too horrible, espeically when the potential benefits are considered." He closes his eyes, and shrugs. "But you may be right. But I won't know until I try. Anyways, thank you for your insight, Taiki." he says with a smile, bowing in thanks.
Taiki nods his head slowly in response to the bow. "You're welcome Soren. By all means try. I will look forward to seeing the results, especially if you can prove me wrong." That, unfortunately, is as close as Taiki can come to actually stating he'd follow the plan. Still he stands up and adds, "If you ever can use an old dog's advice, go to Atsuro." Taiki then laughs a moment and shakes his head. "Just kidding. Seriously though, if you need an ear, I am willing to listen and provide as objective of a viewpoint as I am able."
Soren nods. "I tried to catch him, but I couldn't find him. He's pretty slipery for an old dog." he says, grinning a bit, sparing a chuckle. "I appreciate it. Trust me, I'll take you up on that more than I'd like to admit to." he says grinning a bit wider.
Ayame stretches a bit. "I dunno. I think ATsuro's advice is more fun."
"That's because it's served with whiskey."