Mist in the Fire


Hashiramako, Sakura

Date: June 6th, 2010


Sakura sneaks into Konoha to meet with the Kage

"Mist in the Fire"

Hokage Office

Sakura slipped quietly through the Land of Fire. It wasn't so hard as Kumo, given the Land of Fire wasn't on nearly so high a state of alert. Nor had it suffered any attacks, so that Sakura's pose as a normal wanderer remained untested the entire way. However, as she neared Konoha the security began to tighten and her identity changed to that of a Tea Country envoy, enough to give her access, but not to arouse hostility. Tea Country wasn't the smallest, but it was a minor country made up of tiny villages and a self-supportive industry. For the occasion Sakura donned a black wig and a white kimono that went down to her knees, tied with a wine colored obi. Below she wore linen bandages and raised geta sandals. She carried a plain sword at her waist with a strange silver hilt, that would seemingly be no more than a sharp katana. And as she stood outside the Hokage's office, she would have willingly let it be detained if they wished. But in her
current appearance she seemed far more feminine and far less formidable than her usual gear. She gives a light tap on the door and would enter if given permission. "Hokage-sama."

Well, the Land of Fire wasn't exactly a cakewalk, but being that Sakura had come by herself and being a person of her rank and stature in her village, would have had the experience and knowledge base to know how to enter a country and not attract too much attention to herself. Besides, it was quite possible she had learned more than a few tricks of the trade from that infiltration specialist, Jayde.
As the girl went to tap on her door, one of the Kage's guards would attempt at least to catch and stay her hand. The guard would then ask her name, being it was at least somewhat customary for him to announce her arrival to the Hokage so she would not be completely surprised by some foreigner's entrance. Once the formalities were taken care of, Sakura effectively announced and allowed entrance, Hashi would look up and nod. "Greetings, I am Senju Hashiramako, Kage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves. How may I help you?" she said, her voice cool and confident.

As the door closes, Sakura glances at the guard and then the Kage. Then she'd say quite calmly, "I'd like you to hear me out uninterrupted for the next minute, Hokage-sama." She pauses. "I am Tachiro Sakura of Kirigakure. I do come as an envoy, but given your alliance with our opposition I wanted to reach this office without being cut down. Feelings are running high and I imagine Kirigakure isn't much loved at this point." Another pause, and this time she goes on very deliberately. "Will you speak with one of the Seven.. calmly.. despite my rudeness? I assure you my intentions are diplomatic, and I speak with my Kage's voice." She smiles then rather dangerously, giving no doubt that she's not usually sent on ranking missions as an envoy. But for this she seems quite peaceable in her actions, speaking in a level and complacent tone as she stands there with hands folded, unprepared to take any blow.

Hashi nodded her head slowly and stood, on guard, just in case this was a trap. The guard at the door tapped the door and it opened as a robed ANBU slipped into the room and stood quietly by the door. "I will hear you out, uninterrupted. However, I first request you to understand that we are acting as neutrally as possible in both the Land of Waves and the Land of Lightning. Konohagakure's intentions are to protect the common villager. Those who cannot protect themselves against the those who are trained in the arts of the Shinobi. Protecting them, helps insure the economy and prevents civil war from later befalling either country." She said calmly, her voice not inflectuating at all. "Now, that that is hopefully made clear, I will hear you out."

Sakura smiles softly. "That is why I was sent, I can actually hold my temper," she says. "And because I understand the importance of your neutrality in this war. I simply came to give our side of the facts about this struggle. It starts with us occupying the Land of Waves and claiming it, with standing orders not to war with the natives. The reason we did this was…look at a map. It's a place where we can connect with the mainland so we don't have to land in Kumo…or Konoha…to meet with our allies in the Wind, treat with the Earth country, or other business. I myself consider what Kumogakure is doing expansionist greed. They don't even know what to do with all that bloated land they already have. They came second and attacked us, no matter the current state of things now. And now what might have been a peaceful occupation has turned to a melee battle with the Wave inhabitants caught in between. It's a bloody mess there now, and with no good
way to solve it. Soon Sunagakure, our allies, might join the war and all our nations and the Land of Waves will erupt in an escalating war." She looks then at the Hokage almost amusedly. "What do you think?"

Hashi nodded, "I have seen the maps and that is part of what concerns me. Land of Waves is a good staging area for an attack on The Land of Fire. Right now, you are not targeting us directly, but you have denied passage of any shinobi assisted caravan through the Land of Waves. The reason we have not fought to drive you out of the Land of Waves, is because the Daimyo of that country has hired the Kiri shinobi to guard it. The reason Kumo has invaded, from what I gather, is to drive you out of the Land of Waves. However, what would happen after that? I don't know. I feel Konoha would be in a better position to take up the responsibility of defending the Land of Waves if Kumo drove you out. The reason I say that, is because what ruler of any country likes to be told by another that they didn't hire the right people to guard it. Obviously, Kiri couldn't do the job, and Kumo was too pushy to get in. That would break the trust as Kumo brought the
war." She said calmly. "I will say this though, it appears Kumogakure is not doing as I had requested, pull out of the Land of Waves. Which means it will soon be time for my forces to withdraw from the Land of Lightning."

Sakura doesn't look surprised. Invading the Land of Fire…well every country thought of how best to do that to other countries every now and then. She nods. "Yes that is one way to look at it. Hostility. But in truth it was to isolate the Land of Waves so we could forge some kind of relationship with them in peace. I won't say it would be a completely mutual relationship, but we could help that underdeveloped country and come to some sort of agreement. Kumo coming in violently degraded Land of Waves, so they feel both sides wanted to conquer with warfare in the first place. We didn't. But now…we might have to, given Mizukage-sama's orders." She actually chuckles. "To drive us out… we never even had any hostile relations with Kumo beforehand. I wonder how my fellow shinobi felt… genin and chuunin I heard… when shinobi they were taught to hold neutrality to came in and slit their throats from behind. The unprecedented nature of that took
my breath away when I heard." She runs hands through her black hair and shakes her head. "Anyway, for both of you this is a battle of village to village. For us, we have actual /reason/ to occupy the Land of Waves. I think it's why the Daimyo hired us rather than you two. We have an actual interest in them, using them, helping them, not just waging a war that will kill all of them."
"So why do I tell you this? It is so you will remember it in the future. Where we came from and where we may be going. It was our first try to do something peacefully rather than violently, and Kumo made sure that attempt was destroyed. For that, I have no compunctions in savagely killing those complete idiots, but I will tell you that if you have the Land of Waves best interests in heart, it would not behoove youshould we emerge from this struggle victoriousto leave us in peace."

"I could speak freely about why I think the Daimyo of the Land of Waves chose Kirigakure over other ninja villages to defend his country. But I won't to you." Hashi said calmly. "However, because of proximity, the Daimyo of Fire wants to remain in the good graces of the Daimyo of Waves. However, your presence there, leaves us a little uneasy because while your kage is trying to go about this peacefully, Kirigakure has a stereotype of being a very bloody place and I don't think that's going to go away with just one peaceful act." She said. "I feel that Kumo may be acting preemptively and may be focused more on their own survival than on protecting and/or liberating the Land of Waves. There is a saying, Strike First, Strike Fast, Strike Hard. Leave a mark that won't easily go away. It seems to me, the Land of Waves doesn't want liberating, so that is why we haven't moved against Kiri directly. Also, if Kumo doesn't pull out of the Land of Waves as
I requested, then I will pull my forces from the Land of Lightning and they will join those in the Land of Waves to defend the civilian population. That is my plan at this moment anyway."

Another of those smiles, cold and soft. "A peaceful act…with an entire country. I think that was about the most widescale peaceful act in the history of my village." Her eyes seem to shine like a dangerous cat when he mentions why Kumogakure is striking. "You are right," she muses. "They did strike first." Then she goes to lean against the wall, and fold her arms. It's the most relaxed position she'll likely ever get into. "That's interesting…that you think the Land of Waves populace will side with you. We claim that we defend them as well, and have shown it in our actions, because as you said the best defense can sometimes be an offense. Drive the Kumogakure shinobi out… who have indeed slaughtered many villages already." Then she'd straighten up and give another bow to the Hokage. "It was very nice to meet you. If ever you want to send a hawk or even an envoy to us, I give you my word that they'll find their safe passage comparable to
that which you've given me. Think on what I've said." Then, she'd leave.

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