Date: June 19, 2013
Taiki finds out some very interesting things about the Yamanaka he didn't know…
"Looking at other Clans"
Toshiba Forest training grounds
Nori is in his earthen igloo, or at least that is what he calls it. He's never seen an actual igloo, only read about them, but this is what he imagines one to look like (and he's fairly accurate). There is a large earthen dome with two holes, one in the front for an opening, and one off-center of the top to release smoke. Currently, smoke is indeed billowing out of the igloo.
As the boy exits his home, he carries with him the last of the supplies he had for winter. He loads it onto the cart and then looks at the horse that is loosely tied to the cart. The young Yamanka nods to the horse and the creature begins walking off. Nori follows along on foot, apparently not needing to guide the beast to wherever it is the horse is going. As he walks, Nori whistles into the air.
Taiki has a few hours free, so he has decided to go to his spot in the rocky area of the forest to procure some more rock for his hobby. Normally this trip is relatively short, for he knows the area very well, but this time he's decided to take his time and wander a little. Given recent events, he needs the time to relax, away from the pressures of his clan and the danger it, and by extension the rest of Konoha, finds itself in now. Shinobu and Nozomi walk alongside him, and smell the smoke about the same time he does. Curious as to what is going on, they start to make their way toward the source of the scent, keeping their senses alert as they go.
Nori isn't too far from his home when he comes across Taiki and the pups (or large ferocious creatures…but they're all pups to the young Yamanaka). The horse is the one that actually stops, whinnies for a second, and then starts getting skittish. Nori places a hand firmly on the horse's neck and 'shhhhhs' him. The boy then calls out to Taiki, "Hello?" The smoke from Nori's home can be seen rising above the trees behind the cart.
Taiki's dogs are actually mostly friendly, and very intelligent. When the horse starts to react in fear the dogs stop and step backwards a few steps slowly, watching for the horse to calm down. Of course most dogs can't do that without crouching down, so it may look like something else to the unintiated, even though their tails are wagging fast. Taiki takes a step forward and holds out a hand, palm forward. "Easy boy… no one's going to harm you…" Taiki looks at Nori briefly, though he's keeping an eye on the horse. "Hello Yamanaka-san. Did you know there's a fire in the woods somewhere behind you?"
Nori smiles at the dogs, guessing that they are indeed trying to help the situation and not make it worse. The horse on the other hand doesn't entirely seem to be buying it. He is skittish now. Taiki's hand is even chomped at, though it is unclear if the horse is actually trying to bite Taiki or just warn him off. Nori again pats the horse firmly on the neck. Bowing, Nori says, "Inuzuka-san. Ano, hai. That is my home. I'm making a little more soup. I've managed to clear out the last of my supplies for the winter. Now that the villagers in the Toshiba clearing are finally heading back to their homes out in the Land of Fire, I figured I'd give them whatever is left of my stores to get them safely home. It is the least that I could do seeing that I come from people just like them. I hope to go see my family soon. I have not heard from them since all this started." It is easy to see that he is worried about them.
The reason that Taiki held out the hand the way he did was to keep from giving the horse something to bite. The teeth come down in front of his palm, for Taiki's reflexes are quite good. For a brief moment he considers actually letting loose a blast of killing intent, but decides against it in favor of stepping backwards. No sense in making it harder for Nori to control the beast. Instead he continues to divide his attention between the horse and Nori as he speaks. "Ah… so it's from a chimney then…" he comments, not asks. With a nod of satisfaction he then adds. "That is a good thing, as I was concerned it was a free fire in the forest, which could be dangerous. You stayed out here with the refugees?"
It is probably a good thing that the killing intent wasn't released. Nori probably would have reacted much in the same way as the horse…skitter off and hide. Of course, the horse was trailing the cart and would get even more worked up with having something chasing after him.
Instead, the boy herms a bit, "Well, not entirely. The refuges have taken more of the forest to the north. I've got a permanent home here." Nori herms and says, "I know this may be a bit forward, but are you okay Inuzuka-san? There appears to be a lot going on within your clan right now."
"A permanent home?" he asks, tilting his head to the side. "You mean you don't live in your clan compound?" Taiki seems a bit surprised by this as he tilts his head to the side and blinks a couple of times. "Why not?" After about half a minute he realizes that may be rude to ask, so he follows that up with, "Don't need to tell me if you're uncomfortable, I am just curious." He doesn't say anything about his emotional state, as he seems to be attempting to figure out what is going on with Nori.
Nori laughs, "Clan compound? Our clan home is in Kadomai. Sure, they have something small setup here in Konohagakure, but few, if any of us utilize that space. Most Yamanaka are out on assignment too often. Personally, I prefer the solitude. I've grown up in a large family. It is nice to have a chance at peace and quiet. Plus, being the son of a farmer, I tend to be much more of a survivalist than even some of your Inuzuka bretheren. Atsuro-san even wants me to teach him how to butcher animals that are common to find…like rabbits and squirrels." Nori chuckles and then just shrugs. "There really aren't all that many of us here in Konohagakure anyway, not like the other clans at least. We only joined the village a few years ago. I think my older sibling might even have been the first Yamanaka to graduate from the Academy."
Taiki nods and then takes another step back, almost evening up with the dogs. "Ah… I see," Taiki says finally. "I just thought your clan was smaller than most," he adds in admission. "Not that that's bad or anything, since I have great respect for your clan, but with the closeness the Yamanaka tend to share with the Nara and the Akimichi, I just figured everyone joined pretty much at the same time. My apologies. Though I have to say that living on one's own is a ood thing in many ways."
Nori considers it. "Well, Nara Satomi-san is my new team leader. I have only met Akimichi Noab-sama, so maybe that is part of the issue. I would agree that we have similar personalities to the Nara clan, but even still…there is much about us that is different. For one, I think shadows are cheating." He winks and considers the Akimichi, "I would love to be paired with another Akimichi, but my team assignments so far have not allowed it. I do know a few of the Inuzuka Clan though. I hope you all pull through alright. If you need help with anything too, let me know."
Taiki nods solemnly, though he disregards the 'shadows are cheating' comment. Instead he simply nods and says, "Things are bad for the clan right now, but we are working to improve them and I am confident they will get better. We just need to pull together now more then ever to weather this storm and find the culprits responsible for the deaths. In the meantime, I must caution everyone to be on the lookout for those people who suddenly start fighting progress, or any kind of gain of power beyond the average. For we have reason to believe that the danger can spread to all of Konoha if people are not vigilant.
Nori listens and nods, "Oh, the threat of power, wealth, fame, love, beauty, and health…all are things that can make someone seek out the darkness inside their spirits. Still, I will be on the look out." He bows and looks back to the horse, "I should probably get these wares to the refugees before they leave. If I find something odd, I'll let you know Inuzuka-san." With that, assuming Taiki allows it, Nori would start guiding the horse around the Inuzuka trio.
Taiki bows a little toward Nori and gives him a small smile. "Thank you for your concern Yamanaka-san. And please do keep a lookout, the threat can be very real indeed. In the meantime, good luck with your endeavors." And with this Taiki does indeed stand aside and let Nori pass while keeping the dogs well away from the horse.