Date: March 4, 2013
Goh and Hanako meet for the first time.
"Meeting a Superstar"
The wanderer of pickled goods travels far and wide across the land. At the moment he's in the middle of transit, keen to take refuge in Fort Kyuusen. A place he hadn't been to in months. Well, years to be honest. With his duffle bag slung across his right shoulder, the figure strides along before coming to a stop at the crater. All he does is blink in surprise, a gust of wind blowing through to simulate the sheer emptiness of this place.
All that remains is a crater, which given the position of the sun on this mid-morning, he cannot even see to the bottom of. His eyebrows furrow as he peers over the edge in curiosity.
"What the heck?" He says to no-one in particular. His duffle bag hits the ground with a loud thump as he drops it, the hand lifting to scratch his head.
Reports had reached Kumogakure of a cataclysm near Fort Kyuusen, and being that she had some free time before she started taking missions for the village, Hanako had thought to travel out and investigate the ruins… or whatever was left of the old fort. She approaches the massive crater and her mouth hangs open, gobstopped by the enormity of whatever had happened. "Huh… I wasn't expecting that," she says, scratching her head dumbly as she looks down into the depths in front of her, "How could a whole fort just disappear like that?" When she looks up she notices someone else nearby, and slowly makes her way toward the stranger, being careful not to approach too quick and scare the poor guy.
Goh is left scratching his head for a long moment, pondering what exactly happened. He furrows his brow before he crouches on the ground. An open palm runs across the edge as he feels for what could have caused this. He had an idea on what happened, but nothing concrete. Heaving a sigh he stands up straight, putting hands on his hips.
It's at this point where he notices Hanako. An eyebrow arches as the female draws closer, before he lifts a hand to wave. "Good morning." He calls out. "Looks like you were looking for the same Fort that I was? Looks completely gone." He squints a bit when she draws closer, before his jaw loosens.
"….WOAAAHHH! I know who you are! You're the mega beauty popstar, Hanako-chan!" A dramatic finger is pointed straight at her, helping him to identify the woman. "What the heck are you doing out in a place like this? Am I dreaming? Did I fall into the hole?"
Hanako stops for a moment. She still wasn't quite used to being recognized by people she'd never met before. But after a moment she giggles loudly and nods. "Yes, that's right, I'm Utatori Hanako. Its very nice to meet you… uhh… sorry, what was your name?" she asks, looking clueless. She might be a famous pop-star, but she's been out of the ninja game for too long to remember the important players. "And yeah, I'd heard that something crazy had happened at Fort Kyuusen, but when they said 'crazy' I didn't think they meant 'Blown into a crater'," she adds, putting her hands on her hips and bending over the hole for a better look. The angle probably gives Goh a nice view of her backside.
Goh is a proper gentleman! Which mean he certainly isn't one to leer at the behind of a teenager. Just… take a small peek, before he clears his throat and approaches her from the side, looking down into the crater. "You heard right." He clarifies, though obviously not needing to. "Blown to bits it looks like. Not a naturally occuring incident, either. Or such are my thoughts." He shrugs a little.
"My name is Goh. Champion pickler! I admit that I'm pretty popular in the pickling game, but certainly my name isn't as widespread as the popular Hanako-chan." He muses.
"Are you back representing Kumogakure again? Last I heard you were a lass on the road. Get a bit travel weary? And you're still going to be doing music, right?"
"It'd take at least a meteor to do this much damage naturally," Hanako says, still bent over the crater as she admires the massive amount of damage that must have occurred, "Goh, you say?" Then she straightens up and hums to herself as she thinks. "That name sounds familiar, but I can't really work out why," she mutters, her voice almost a little sing-song as she ponders the issue, then she nods decisively. "Of course I'll continue my music!" she says, sounding surprised, "But Haineko and I have our own reasons for rejoining the military. Important business that only we can handle… or something like that anyway!" She giggles again, greatly amused by the fact that she's sounding all self important.
"That's true. But pretty unlucky, don't you think?" Goh asks Hanako. "For a meteor to fall directly onto the fort with no damage around it whatsoever. That's got to be a one in a million shot. Heck, maybe even more." He turns to face her a bit when she thinks upon his name. "Maybe you saw my name in a flyer in one of the markets? I like to set up stalls in all of the major Villages when I pass through."
A sigh of relief escapes his mouth when he learns that she is continuing her music. "Phew, thank heavens. And I can understand that. Many shinobi have individual talents, y'know? Lots of Villages like to take advantage of them if they can. And people like helping in return." Walking away a little bit, the blonde picks up his duffle bag and slings it across his shoulder.
"So what sort of music is your next album going to contain?"
Hanako nods again. "You're right, the odds would be… astronomical," she says, trying to do the maths in her head but losing track when it gets into six digits, "In any case, high enough that I doubt it was a natural disaster. Knowing Kirigakure, I wouldn't put it past them to have done this while testing a new superweapon." Then she narrows her eyes at Goh thoughtfully and says, "No, no, it'll come to me. I don't think it was for your pickles though. Maybe something else?" She sighs and looks around the area, trying to decide whether to head back to Kumogakure straight away, or hang around a little longer to chat with the strange pickler. "Well, the next album is going to be a bit different. Its called Light & Dark, and its going to be reflected in the music. Some of it will be heavier than we've ever done before, and other songs will be lighter ballad types. We'll be singing a lot of the new songs in a week or two at our show in Kumogakure," she explains, her face lighting up as she thinks about their new songs. Clearly she's still in love with music.
"Hmm. Dunno then." Goh replies with a wry smile. Obviously not caring too much if people recognise him for his ninja-ness or not. "I'm sure it will come to you eventually." His nose wrinkles at the suggestion, before looking down. "A Kirigakure superweapon? Na — I don't think so. Kirigakure aren't really the type to leave evidence behind. If they had a superweapon, they'd try it in the vast amounts of ocean that they have access to. That way, no-one will ever find the smoking ruins like this."
Adjusting the bag along his shoulder, he sniffs at the air. "My hunch is it was just a fight between two titans. Kage level shinobi, given the damage I'm seeing here." He looks once again into the hole. The sun was steadily moving, and was now providing a bit more light into the depths.
"Dark & Light. Hmm. I'll keep an ear out for it. Hey, can I ask you a favour?" He queries, digging into the pocket of his pants. "If you're ever touring again, I know a little town that you could have a sell out concert at." He offers forth a little map. On it leads to the location of an island just South of the Land of Fire.
"Have you heard of Jump? It's sort of this guild for neutrals and wanderers. Anyway, heaps of people there would love it if you performed. There's a stage and everything."
Hanako gladly takes the map and examines it for a moment. "I never knew there was a town there," she says, pointing to the location marked on the map, "But hey, Hai-chan and I will take any chance we can get to perform for a good crowd. Just as long as they don't get unruly during the show." She twists her hair in one hand as she turns back to the massive crater in the ground and sighs. "I hope the fort was abandoned when this happened. I hate to think of the lives lost if there were people here. And if we're talking Kage-level ninja, they're even worse than a natural disaster," she says, and then laughs loudly. "So, where are you headed from here, Goh-san?"
"I can't promise anything on them being unruly or not." Goh replies with half a chuckle. "But they will definitely enjoy it. Me? I'm heading south from here to a camp site. I was going to rest here for a couple of days, but that's obviously out. After that, I'm heading to Kumogakure actually, where you're from. So I might see you again before too long. I'm going to pick up my apprentice, and then we're… well, going to be travelling down south once again. Very far south. Maybe even to the Southern Lands." He rubs a chin.
"But we'll see I suppose." Taking a step away, he lifts a hand to wave. "It was good to meet you in the flesh, Hanako-chan. Be safe. These roads can get pretty nasty with bandits." And with his first step away he begins to head south, just like he said.
"Oh, you'll be in Kumogakure soonish then?" she asks, "Why don't you stay a little while and come see our show? I don't normally do this, but I can even get you a backstage pass so you can come hang out at the after party." She shrugs a little, then frowns and asks, "Wait, you have a pickling apprentice in Kumo? He must be quite talented for you to travel across the continent to come and pick him up. And there's no need to worry about me with bandits. Generally once I start singing, they all pass out. Any that stay awake usually wish they hadn't." She winks at Goh and adds, "The voice can be a beautiful instrument, or the most destructive of weapons."