Date: July 29, 2015
The oddest of encounters between the Kirigakurians…
Hidden Tropical Oasis [Land of Water]
Marvelous, strange and exciting. A literal forest domed right inside the large cliff face. Its walls spand high into the sky surrounding the entire area, high above there are large openings where light seeps in providing just the right amount of light to light up this area. The dome shaped area from within the caves is filled with life, trees and bushes. Some trees spanding 100 meters into the sky with thick green leaves. The area is heated in the days and cooled in the evenings, a constant cool wind brushes throughout.
There are vegetables, fruits and a natural source of water in this area allowing the flora to grow. There are rocks, small caverns and openings with flower patches. Further north there are ruins of what seemed to have once been a stone city, now a relic of its former self. Overall this area is a miracle to exist, undisturbed by the human race it is a natural living habitat of great marvel and mystery.
The day was cool but warmer than it had been the last few days in Kirigakure. I the cave-like enclosure that made up the Oasis it was even warmer. Also due to the way it was set up there was little snow on the ground there. For quite some time there had been activity in the oasis and various places that it led to. All done without anyone noticing.
But now that the air had gotten a bit warmer still a child could be seen in a fluffy black dress in the western style, trimmed with white lace and bows. Her dark hair was pulled back into ringlets and she wore a bonnet on her head, her pale skin set off by the strange golden eyes. Still, the child could be no older than 6 or 7. Currently she was crouched down, knees together, watching the water and ice in the stream that ran through the oasis. All around were plants both harmful and useful, but she seemed focused on a leaf-boat or something floating in the stream in front of her.
A message had been sent out, but whether or not his request was one uncertainty Kiyoshi did not trouble himself with. His brother's request still needed tending to, so the youngest Moto sought to fulfill that wish… grudgingly. Kiyoshi made a point of keeping his senses open unlike last time. After all, things did not bode well for a shinobi that cannot pick up on even the most familiar of scents or sights.
On the other hand, he did not bother masking his presence like last time, but neither did he brashly cut through whatever underbrush stood in his path. His training would not allow for it, and fortunately, the lack of extra noise did make it focus in on the subtle. "Hmm… This is… But she shouldn't be here." He murmurs, altering his course despite doubts that plague the mind. It never occurs to him that the course placed him near the same path as the day before.
All that mattered was making just enough noise to grab the child's attention upon confirming with his own eyes that it had indeed was Akane's kid.
Okami is crawling her way back into the oasis. Namely she'd been keeping to the ceiling of the entrance from the cliffs, quiet and considerate of potential tasty things below. But regardless of her height, entering the open dome of the oasis forces her to abandon that height and rappel back to more solid ground, spending as little time as she can on the ground and making her way to the trees. She does not seem to pay any particular care to being spotted. She smells of sun and sand today, and the moist heat of the oasis is like a balm to her slowly lowering stress from dry heat.
Tsubaki makes her way to the oasis, feeling a bit less hopeful than perhaps she ought… She couldn't help but miss a certain presence there. It is only when she notices a giant in front of her (one that didn't seem to notice her) that she pauses in her step. Oh, and a Kit. Two recognizable people on the ground. And a spider up above… Hmm…
The child looked up, large golden eyes moving to where the sounds came from. She was alert for a child, but as far as anyone knew she did not posess any special abilities. Standing up, she brushed off her skirt as if there were dirt on it and tuned to look up, up, up, up at Kiyoshi. She looked serious for a long moment then waved a hand and tried a small smile in greeting.
Kiyoshi would be able to scent Akane's particular aroma, a mixture of honey, vanilla and poison off to one path that led deeper into the trees. She wasn't far, though. Also was a soft barely there scent of the Mizukage.
As Tsubaki approached, the child turned a bit of a smile on her as well and waved again. Being as Okami was not directly within Kit's sight, the child did not seem aware of her, though there were definitely eyes watching the Okumo and watching intensely…..
Although his gaze does not exactly waver, the gesture he returns with seems almost absent-minded in nature. As soon as he is within a foot radius from her, Kiyoshi crouches down and starts to open his mouth, but stops short and looks away. The tension about him eases as the other scent becomes apparent.
"Mommy is playing with the Okumo today?" He asks as the white-furred waistband unfurls itself, revealing itself to be a somewhat bushy tail that swings absently behind the chuunin. He wore an easy-going smile at first, but upon noting at least one other belatedly, he turns about and narrows his eyes in the direction of Tsubaki. "… Tsuba-chan?" He calls out uncertainly. Darn underbrush getting in the way of his view.
Okami is too busy climbing to the canopies to pay much attention to being watched, primarily because her brood were restless and wanted some exercise. She stops high on the trunk of one tall fruit bearer, then lazily affixes herself to the surface while her miniature army of Portia creep out and start leaping about the trees, all draglined to their nest in their hunt for lesser, wild spiders and insects. Okami herself seems to segue into a dreamlike state and stares down with no focus on events below her, back into a state of just existing.
Tsubaki waves quietly to Kit and gives her a small smile, then her attention flickers over to Kiyoshi. "Kiyoshi-san.." she murmurs, bowing politely to the Chuunin before stepping a bit closer. The girl's gaze flickers between Kiyo and Kit for a few moments, then her head jerks up and over in Okami's direction: up. A raised eyebrow… And then a small shrug. "How… are you… Kit-chan?" she asks the young girl, green eyes resting on the younger girl.
Kit tilted her head at Kiyoshi's question. Playing with Okumo? The child shrugged. But when Kiyoshi called out toward Tsubaki she nodded a few times, silent as ever.
Meanwhile, Akane was watching Okami's movements from the trees herself. She remained still and out of spider range for the moment, watching this new presence. It was always up in the air whether or not someone considered her a traitor or an ally….
Kit looked to Tsubaki as the older girl asked her a question. In response, the child curtsied and made a show of a big smile to show she was well. She seemed quite happy with her friends finding her.
Finally Akane dropped soundlessly from the trees and walked out toward the small gathering. She was wearing her mask as she did in battle and her hair was up i it's elaborate fashion, half a doze pairs of chopsticks keeping it all in place. The one major difference really was that she was wearing a fully covering shirt due to the cold.
She nodded to Tsubaki and Kiyoshi in turn, but did not take off her mask. She turned then and looked directly at Okami's location, studying the Okumo's chakra. Though the most that Okami would possibly sense was that intense stare behind the mask
Kiyoshi's visage brightens considerably once Tsubaki stepped into full view. A greeting on the lips is half-abandon when the chuunin catches her glancing elsewhere. Undaunted though she may be, the casual sweeps of Kiyoshi's tail become more purposeful, and his expression more guarded.
"It is good to see you again, Tsuba-san." He says somewhat belatedly. Before more can be said on his part, Akane's abrupt appearance earns a guttural growl that quickly ends as recognition dons on him. "Doihara-san. For a moment.. I… What is everyone keep looking at?" He asks, turning about once more to look up himself. "… Oh! That's uhm.. uh… Okuninushi… san, I think." He looks back to Akane. "She likes to nap here sometimes." He says, though little of what comes out sounds certain.
Okami might as well be asleep, her level of awareness is arguably non-sentient at present. The woman is very clearly drawn inward, or daydreaming. Her brood are committing a miniature arachnocide on the neighboring trees.. or if no spiders to eat are found, other insects. And if not they, then they just return to Okami's safety while she hangs there and warbles. Maybe she's just hungry.
Tsubaki gives Kit a small curtsey in response, then watches when Akane suddenly appears. Phew, that is a bit freaky. not that Tsubaki's expression changes. The girl steps closer to Kit, partly as if to protect her and partly because she simply wanted to be a bit closer so she could show the girl something cool! Tsubaki holds her hands out in front of her and indicates for Kit to copy that.
Akane turned to peer at Kiyoshi, though her expression was covered completely. She had been aware of the spiders and thus that the view person was an Okumo but she trusted exactly ONE Okumo and this wasn't that Okumo. Kit peeked up at where everyone was looking at too and blinked a few times, tilting her head to the side.
Kiyoshi's half comment toward Akane made her nod her head, as close as she got to a bow. "Forgive me Kiyoshi-kun, Tsubaki-kun. I did not mean to startle anyone."
As the spiders continued killing bugs here and there and other spiders, Akane watched silently…. For only a few moments then she lifted her hand where a fireball the size of Kiyoshi's fist appeared. Tenderly she lifted te bal to the lips of the mask and blew softly. The one fireball divided up into several and rocketed through the trees with precision, blocking very specific places from the brood. She raised her voice only to be sure she was heard. "This is a sanctuary Do not consume the population of insects here. Send them into the woods, Okumo-kun."
Meanwhile Kit looked up at Tsubaki and watched her hand motions which she carefully but accurately copied.
Kiyoshi sweatdrops, and grudgingly nods in acceptance of Akane's apology. His ego could endure this hit. Mostly. Again, Kiyoshi seems about ready to add something, only to be given pause. With eyes wide in both confusion and surprise, the Moto girded himself to move a moment's notice in the direction of whatever threat Akane sensed.
"… Ah…" He murmurs visibly relaxing somewhat. After glancing quickly between Akane and Okami, the giant clears his throat noisily while rising back up to his full height. "That reminds me, Doihara-san… Did you get the missive I sent you earlier?" He asks awkwardly.
Okami's Portia don't get too far from her, nor are they being too destructive, they'd only moved two trees away from Okami at most. But fire had happened, and that led to tiny Portia skittering back to their nest and jumping to reel their drag lines for safety. Their nest, too decides to move rather quickly away from the flames, stamping a dragline of her own on the trunk where she was adhered and leaping down, breaking that chakra adhesion. She falls rather freely for a distance before her geta contact bark and she's held up by a mixture of decelerating on the vertical surface, and her lifeline going taut. Said lifeline is harmlessly tugged on and falling onto Okami's person while the Kunoichi takes the now-bearable jump down to the ground and hears the warning. Another warble. The Okumo approaches the source of the fireballs, now alert and coherent while she stuffs the silk up her sleeve for her little ones to assimilate and break down.
"I'll keep that in mind, watchful one." the woman states to the masked stranger. Her tunnel vision fades and she takes note, with spastic and twitchy movements and eye shaking, of the Moto and cold one, and the little one for a brief time. Her attention returns to Akane, staring with her ever-twitching eyes, never entirely still and beyond just idle fidgeting. "What lovely hair you have." she murmurs.
Tsubaki's attention is on Kit for the time being. The girl makes a few handseals quickly, then exhales a bit of cold air, forming a tiny blizzard in Kit's hands. Something entertaining for the girl. Of course, the Shirayuki doesn't do it for long because it's exhausting, and Kit would feel her hands get pretty cold if she kept it up for too long.
Akane watched as Okami made her way down to the ground. Her head tilts just a touch and tilts down a hair, her body language spoke of a bit of a smirk from the crazy medic. But she wasn't here to be aggressive. Taking a soft breath she exhaled, and reached up to turn her mask to the side, exposing her face. Jade green eyes peered out at the Okumo for a time, a scar over her left eye that lay across half the length of her face.
Kit was watching Tsubaki closely as she made the blizzard. It didn't last long but the child was careful to catch as much snow as she could from the ar before crouching down again, forming the snow into a tiny little rabbit shape. A little digging and she had twigs for ears!
Akane glanced toward Kiyoshi tilting her head a little as if thinking. "I believe so. You would like my help with some jutsu? Yes?" She then looked Okami over then saluted Kiri-style, her hand over her heart then 'pushing' palm out in a formal greeting to the Okumo. "I am Doihara Akane and that is my daughter Kit-chan. And you are?" It was clear se was going to wait for an answer, her eyes watching Okami closely.
"Yeah…" Kiyoshi says, absently rubbing at the back of his head. So much for his attempt at defusing things… not that it was necessary, apparently. 'Guess she didn't believe the name I gave…' He thought, mood souring further. After a moment or so, Kiyoshi shakes his head, dismissing the worrisome line of thought. "But it can wait if'n you were in the middle of something earlier." He says sometime after Okami responded to Akane's greeting. Or, well, assuming if she did, beause if not, there may be an another awkward pause fast approaching…
Okami smiles at the visage she's presented with, hungrily almost.. She gives a traditional bow in response to the salute. "I am.. Okumo Okami." she replies, some scared Portia are still retreating to get under her kimono, but for the most part she's par for norm. "You have a lovely little one, Doihara-san." the woman murmurs. "It is nice to see you appear to not be as hostile as you came off."
Tsubaki smiles at the bunny and considers, then makes a handseal to make a pile of snow on the ground for Kit to play with. Build things with. Etc. The girl just wants to make sure that Kit is having fun and the like. While the adults talk… Ahem.
Akane turned and offered a soft smile to Kiyoshi. She hadn't been close enough to hear him earlier. Okami's response made her nod. "I'm a bit more protective with Kit-chan around. But you see this place is like Meruin's garden." So she would protect it. And yes she had spoken the Mizukage's name without an honorific or title as if he and she were on a pet-name basis. Kit blinks at Okami's mentioning her but had her attention fully on Tsubaki. Her contented expression gave way to a wide grin and clapped hands at the snow. Yup. Kit was easy to entertain sometimes. Akane turned to Tsubaki and smiled in a soft way that belied the violence she was well known for. "Tsubaki-kun would you mind bringing Kit-chan home safely? I have a few things I need to do and I don't want her to catch a cold. Ishino should be home."
Then Akane turned and smiled in a way that was not so much soft as it was just a show that she meant no harm. "Alright then what would you like to learn, Kiyoshi-kun?"
Kiyoshi doesn't miss the hungry look in Okami's visage. It is the second time he's seen such a look, and… still he did not understand it. Well, there was the one possibility that popped up once again in mind, giving rise to a blushing fit from the Kirryu. "… Huh?" The man responds with before shaking his head curtly. "Uhm… Yeah, there are a couple of things, actually, though…" Kiyoshi looks about and winces. "This place might not be the best fit." He admits bluntly.
"My other… It was suggested that I started expanding my training, and that you might be able to help me with it. Like, pulling off what you did earlier." He says, gesturing idly at the end. "
Okami nods to Akane. "A good mother is always more protective around her young." she complements the other one. "Though, I keep my distance from our Fair Leader. I'm not one of his brood, and the little ones feel his scent is too like theirs to feel safe around." then, there's a mention of training. "Training? I like training. It helps keeps my thoughts away from.. tasty things. While we may lack diversity in our technique, we are at least proficient enough to be middlings. What kind of training were you inquiring about, may we assist in any way?" she seems rather dissuaded by this shift in topic.
Tsubaki blinks to Akane and nods once. She peeks down at Kit and offers a hand to the young girl so the pair can go back to her home. Good thing Tsubaki knows where Akane's home is! She's visited it a number of times!
Kit blinked a little, watching Akane warily for a oment. Then Tsubaki offered her hand and the child accepted, following obediently and contentedly. Meanwhile, Akane turned back to the two chuunin before her. "Ah, well that little trick takes a lot of control but I can show you the version that doesn't respect wildlife." She grinned cockily, one half of her mouth twitching up. To Okami she chuckled. "Well especially around tht one. We adopted her." Akane grew serious. "In fact she is the lone survivor of a village hit by Yuuma. She never speaks." A glace toward the two disappearing and then Akane tured back. "Indeed this is not suitable for fire training." Akane stepped up to Kiyoshi, not much taller than Kiji really but definitely more intimidating smehow. She looked directly into his eyes. "You are not the only one with an Other. There is no shame in that."
Kiyoshi hesitantly nods in agreement. While he could certainly understand the usefulness of such a technique, the Jinchuuriki hoped never to be forced to use something so destructive. It was bad enough he carried an engine of destruction on his chest…
As he quietly shook his head at the thought, a chance glance grants him one last look of the disappearing children, eliciting a small smile. The smile fades quickly upon hearing Okami's pipe up about training. He warily regards the woman for a moment. In the next, his eyes are on the approaching Akane. The giant was far from intimidated by the woman, but respected the showing in some small way. "Mn… It isn't that I am… at least, not anymore. Just annoyed with him right now." He admits, folding his arms across his chest.
"As for, Okami-san. Don't-…" He pauses and furrows his brows, then sighs lightly. "Actually, you might be able to help me too. It would be sparring, mostly. The type you can really cut loose if'n ya want. Doesss that sound good to you?"
Okami nods to Akane's mention of adoption and the little one being mute. "Such sadness, when a brood is reduced to only one. Yet perhaps to be salvaged is she has found a capable one as Doihara-san." the woman chirrs. She regards Kiyoshi's flickering attitudes curiously, then grins. "A spar is fine too. And don't worry, we were persistent enough to pursue medical training alongside our creators' original goals. It helps when allies and ones you're extracting from stay alive and shine brightest." there's an ominous laugh from her.
Akane nodded to Kiyoshi, seeing the respect in his eyes. She had not been trying to intimidate the man, really, she just had that air about her a lot. After all, wen she had first come to Kirigakure she had not only stared down Meruin (without really knowing who or what he was) but she also managed to lie straight to his face and get away with it. She had little sense of fear. And what sense of fear she did have her Other could easily erase. But as she was not engaged in such contests she chuckled and nodded, giving him a bit more space while showing him a bit of respect as well by turning her body enough that he had a slight angle on her back, a sign of trust.
Those green eyes too in Okami and slowly she nodded. "Sure. We can spar some tomorrow in the pits. And I'll take care of any wounds that may result. But as for now. I must leave or I will be late bringing these herbs to the medical center." She tapped one of her pouches.