Date: April 4, 2014
Two Jinchuuriki from different lands find their wits and stamina pitted against one another by unusual means. Before long, Mushi loses the 'contest', but still remains determined to delay settling up the debt.
"A Shochu, A Shochu, Mushi's Kingdom for Shochu!"
Hidden Tropical Oasis [Land of Water]
Marvelous, strange and exciting. A literal forest domed right inside the large cliff face. Its walls span 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 spanning 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.
Kiyoshi might have guessed where Mushi was, when she could be found nowhere in the village. The Oasis was where they first met, after all. But it's different, so much different. The sense of unease the poisonous snakes and spiders emanated would be nothing to the growing sense of danger as someone drew to the center of the oasis. It wouldn't take much to find Mushi. There's a path of destruction to her. Trees not only destroyed, but uprooted and thrown like toothpicks. Rocks reduced to rubble. The ground hammered in as if it were made of cotton. All without a hint of chakra based techniques. This was done with pure stamina and power.
The sounds of destruction have stopped though. There's a chilling, ominous silence. And right at the center by the oasis is Mushi. Leaning against a tree, calmly drinking shochu from a jug bigger than her head. In the village she had a discreet flask from which to consume alcohol, but here without decorum Mushi is chugging it back as if it were water. If the gallon-sized jug were full, it's now half drained judging from the sloshing sound within.
Despite Kiyoshi's promise to start following his instincts more, the boy remain hesitant at times to rely on them on account of the razor's edge that needed to be danced on exchange for their services. Nevertheless, the boy eventually found strength of will to do so, and would spend however many hours or days it would take to follow the edict of the loudest feeling since the Mist Lake Party. It is only after exhausting scattered leads about the Medics whereabouts in the village that he recalls the momento she left behind. His frustration nearly resulted in his trying to summon her to the village, but thankfully he saw sense in time and made his way to the Hidden Tropical Oasis.
An hour or so later passes with only one final bend in one of the dark connecting tunnels stood between Kiyoshi and Oasis. A whisper of warning gives him pause for a moment, then prompts him to err on the side of caution. He would later wish he had brought one of his weapons, if only for the comforting presence amongst the destruction wrought by something… or someone.
"…Mushi?" The words came out unbidden as the body chose to break cover from behind the destroyed remains of a boulder and approached the medic without any regard to safety or forethought further.
There's no immediate answer as Kiyoshi ventures forward. Mushi finishes her shochu, and then upends it to get the last few drops. Despite her constant binge, Mushi has yet to show the worst signs of regular and heavy drinking. It's more something about her spirit. The life has gone out of her, which once Mushi radiated. No smile, no luster to her face. Her eyes which were bright as leaves glowing in the sun are now dark, wilted, flat. Kiyoshi would see that when he eventually made it to her. For some, it would invoke pity, in others almost a sense that they're almost shamed looking on her when she's been brought so low…by herself.
Mushi does eventually look up to Kiyoshi. "So Kiri's Jinchuuriki arrives," she says harshly. "Did you come here to mock me? Report me? Or need my help? You should leave. In all three of those questions, I'm no help. Unless you need some shochu." And then she laughs coarsely, before rummaging through her pack and pulling out a small scroll. A roll, a puff of steam, and now Mushi has another gallon to hand.
What Kiyoshi saw now — allowed himself to truly see — was a sight that truly shook him to the core. Mushi indeed provoke pity in his eyes… but that lasts for all of a second. After that there's but a flicker of anger or… annoyance perhaps? Again, It is only a flicker before the boy gives Mushi and exasperated look. Not that she would see thanks to the gas mask at present, BUT that is quickly remedied with his removing of it to ensure she saw as much. He plops down not long after that, hands at rest in his lap as he listened, though not all that attentively by the seemingly bored look in his eyes.
"Give me the Shochu." He states rather dryly.
Mushi looks dully at Kiyoshi. He doesn't seem happy. Within a moment she's summoned more shochu and hands him another jug. It seems her supply is…ample. Perhaps endless. Some have wondered how Mushi hasn't killed herself yet from the amount she's been drinking. But Kiyoshi could guess; an improved constitution, advanced regenerative abilities, and perhaps even her medical chakra have given Mushi an unbelievable capacity. She takes a few gulps of her shochu. "Kid," she says. "I'm drunk and staying that way. Your village has been ever so accommodating of that, including the Mizukage. Follow his lead and give me some space." She sounds tired. For a moment she closes her eyes. But she keeps a firm grip on he shochu.
Kiyoshi stares back at her with that same apathetic expression bearing thinly vieled agitation. An expression that does not waver with his request for Shochu, in response to her words, or anything else for that matter. On top of that, instead of an immediate reply or acknowledgement of her 'suggestion, Kiyoshi merely pops open the jog… and downs its entire contents in one go without hesitation. Even if he was a jinchuuriki with advanced regenerative abilities, there should have been signs of the drink having some effect on the boy. And yet, there's nothing. Disconcerting, perhaps.
"Another." He states dryly.
Mushi doesn't fail to notice the ease with which Kiyoshi downs the jug. She tries to think back to how long it'd usually take her to feel the effects. Eventually she'd open a scroll and there'd be six shochu jugs. She says, "You'll feel it soon. One, maybe two. If you vomit, don't do it on me. Or in the oasis. Huh…got buy more soon…" She sighs wearily, and starts chugging the jug back. It seems she's not much disconcerted with his first jug. It'd taken more as much and more to start feeling the effects.
She looks him up and down, and she says, "Women get drunker quicker than men. Hehehe. It's not about size. Men have this…huh…what's the word. Enzyme, yeah. An enzyme that processes it before it reaches the stomach. Jinchuuriki bodies have stuff for it too." She's almost finished with her first jug.
Kiyoshi smiles — just a little — for the first time since they've met. She hadn't caught on to his trick. Granted given the state she's in it's not all that surprising. But still, It was amusing to the youth. "Them sounds like fighting words." He says, even though internally he wanted to kick himself for uttering such words in such a manner! "But the way you are now and the way I suspect you used to be you've never been much for fighting… Still, Care to make a bet?" He baits her, and perhaps incite her further by being the first one to extend a hand for them to shake on the deal.
Mushi scowls. "Never been much for fighting, but I could flatten anyone in this village," she says. "Anyone besides that natural disaster you call a Kage. I can crush any bet you make, kid." Hook, line, and sinker. Although it may be ruined if he retorts about her calling the Mizukage a disaster. She finishes off her first jug and reaches for the second. Misses, reaches again carefully, and this time she grabs it. She opens it slowly, sloshing a bunch of it over the jug, but she manages to get it to her mouth. "Shochu," she says. "Wonderful stuff for summer…and things. Mmm."
Kiyoshi sweat-dropped, then again when Mushi seemed to have sort of went on tangent near the end. "Uhm… Okay." He takes a deep breath to steady his nerves. "The deal is this. If I can finish every Shochu on your person, including in your scrolls, then I win and you not only have to tell me everything you know about the Bijuu and being a jinchuuriki, but also-…" He trails off, wondering if earnest if he should up the ante in further than that. If she catches on to his trick then… A shake of his head dispells the troubling line of thought. He only needed to focus on victory. "If I can't without puking it all up then you win, and can ask of me — command me to do whatever you want for a week solid. Deal?"
Mushi looks at him, and her expression is obvious. Anyone could almost see the money signs in her eyes. Kiyoshi will go bankrupt buying her all the shochu in Kiri, if he loses. She looks down at the jugs. No way he won't throw up after all those. It usually only takes her three before it all comes back up. Speaking of which, Mushi suddenly chokes and then heads quickly for the trees. She retches out what little food she'd eaten that day. She holds her hair out of the line of fire. There's the slosh of liquid, but this time it's just water she's using to rinse her mouth. Apparently she's practiced at this. She comes back, looking a bit green, and then nods. "Try it, kid. But remember the bet if you lose." Mm. She can almost taste the shochu. The non-vomit shochu, that is. Despite having expelled it from her stomach, Mushi is already ready for more. She gestures to the five jugs on the scroll. "That's what I have left, big guy. Hehehe."
Kiyoshi could practically hear the gears turning in her head, and anticipate just what was on her mind. It took ever ounce of willpower in that moment to keep from smiling mischievously. Mushi made that considerably easier by running off and eliciting genuine concern out of the boy. The sounds that followed killed those feelings almost instantly. He sighs in exasperation and shakes his head. The sight of the latter being what greets Mushi upon her turn before he focuses fully upon the older Jinchuuriki with that same indifferent expression from before. "I stand by my promises… even if it'll kill me." He says, murmuring the last part as he reached over to take the first bottle.
Unlike the first drink, Kiyoshi needs a moment of mental preparation. Once the firm imagine of his elder brothers more disgusting dinners are in place, downing the first three in relatively short order pose no visible problem for the boy. It is on the fourth one he hesitates and sways a little while holding the bottle. While the majority of it was an act, even Kiyoshi couldn't deny the negative effects starting to get to him. While a few subtle modifications would've cured him of the problem, he chose to abstain from that to better keep up the illusion.
Minutes later, the fifth one is practically slammed down at his side with Kiyoshi wiping his lips clear using the back of his other hand. In place of words, Kiyoshi only puffs out his chest a little and gives Mushi a look that said it all. Time for her to pony up.
Mushi comes back in time to watch Kiyoshi drink another…three…four…wait… what's happening!? "M-My shochu," Mushi gasps. Far from worrying that she lost the bet, the more immediate concern for her is that she's now out of alcohol. She stands up. "Fine, fine," she says. "Just after…we'll do in a few days…after I stop drinking." It seems the lessons will begin after Mushi decides to stop drinking. Which may be for a very long time. This is especially true since Mushi is literally going on her way to get more alcohol as they speak. They hadn't set any terms about this instruction being instantaneous or later. Mushi is left to try and stumble back.
Kiyoshi clenched his teeth behind closed lips to try and keep himself steady, but a low, guttural growl still emanates from the boy's person. Of all the things he could've left open, the matter of >time< was the one he chose. The hidden oasis might very well have ended up with a few less trees and wild life if not for Mushi's attempt to leave having provoked his anger further. He's up within seconds, and unless stopped in form or another, Mushi will be taking a ride over his shoulder after a bit of quick maneuvering (and perhaps a bit of pre-emptive tripping up) from the boy. For a kid as small as him to be manhandling a woman as big as Mushi, the sight is downright comical. That is, IF he should succeed. And if so, Kiyoshi would march on out of the Oasis with Mushi in tow.
Mushi is glad now she made that little path. Maybe she'll get out now without getting lost. Why did she do that in the first place? She can't really remember the reason for her path of destruction. When Mushi tries to think about it, her head throbs and she winces. It feels like she's being jostled around. Wait, she is being jostled around! She's being carried. "This wasn't part of…let go!" Mushi says, and she'd hit Kiyoshi in the back. No real force behind it, since Mushi isn't concentrating any of her stamina, but hard as a normal non-shinobi woman could. "I'll kill you," she snarls. "I'm going…I'm getting…put me down!" Now she's kicking /and/ punching, albeit not from an advantageous angle.
Silenced would've been preferred, both on her part and his, but all of that struggling eventually wears on Kiyoshi's currently thin patience. "If it'll get you to stop drinking then do it. Kill me. Do it as many times as it takes." His tone was flat yet caustic, but there was no attempt at subterfuge behind it all. He honestly and truly did not care if she harmed him, maimed him, or even killed him, so long as it meant she'd change for the better. "Care to make that deal? Or would you rather keep acting like a baby 'till I get you home?"
"Stupid kid," Mushi snarls. "You can't even begin to understand me." The act of talking seems to wear Mushi out, and she sags. She'll just think of this as a ride, with shochu at the end. She probably couldn't even make it on her foot feet. However, she tenses when he mentions her killing him. That hadn't sounded…like an empty glare. And somewhere besides the unbearable need to drink and lose herself in a haze, she feels a flicker of disgust. Not at him, but at herself. "P…put me down," she says. Her tone is quieter, more serious, and though it's blurred she doesn't sound as if she's faking anything. She then says, "I'll do as much as I want, as long as I want. But I suppose you did win the bet. I s'pose…the first thing to being a Jinchuuriki is…having another type of style. Something if everything with your bijuu goes wrong. Have something? An element? A taijutsu style?"
Scathing comments, brutal remarks, and other such things hanged at the tip of his tongue after the snarl from Mushi. And yet, not a one slips from his lips. Later he would tell himself that he just didn't feel like arguing with a drunkard any more than he had to, but the truth of the matter would be far from it. Even after Mushi does sound and feel like she genuinely did change, stubbornness and pride in being a man of his words in the literal sense at the moment would result in his refusal to comply or even acknowledge that she said something at all about new arrangements. "Save that for later. For now I rather just focus on getting you home." He said, and then add in thought.
'And maybe on sleeping too…'