Date: March 6, 2013
The heads of the Akimichi and Hyuuga clans meet to discuss village matters and chunner a bit.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Old War Dogs"
Sake Bar [Konohagakure]
A well-furnished, and well-presented place where adults can gather in one of the stalls covered with a type of privacy fence to enjoy nothing other than Sake. Other drinks and minor items of food are also available, people often tend to avoid eating here; To this reason the sight of drunk people is not uncommon. The floors are kept clean with red carpeting set in the pathways leading towards each stall. The stalls are medium sized cubes with a large brown table. People sit in their knees when at the table. Although looking glamorous, fights might often occur here due to the drunken state of others.
Alcohol's a funny thing. During Noab's travels as a mercenary, he's seen it destroy the vigilance of entire companies (often followed by the company itself), loosen the lips of enemy spies, enable reckless and battle-turning charges (though more often fatal), provide safe and long-lasting drinking sources that fueled endless marches, and save the life and limb of wounded soldiers from infection. The basic lesson he's learned is, don't ever trust the stuff, but don't discount its value either. e.U So he has no particular objection to meeting with another clan elder in the local sake bar. He sits in one of the stalls, silently contemplating how fortunate it is for him that the seating is built to accommodate the sort of patrons who maybe spend more time drinking and snacking than doing more healthy activities. :P
The Sake Bar, a place that, surprisingly enough, you would not find Miu often. You see, she was too great to be seen in this bar, or at least that's what some believed. Though this was not true at all, she simply had her own personal source for sake that was MUCH better than whatever they served here. However she was out and her shipment was late, something had gone awry, but she didn't have time to deal with this! Now was the time for meeting, why she was meeting was beyond her as her secretary was dealing with most of the stuff and Miu wasn't really listening to the girl when she told the elder to come meet with the old Akimichi.
Nevertheless, her resolve was not shattered and Miu glides in with a smile on her face, nodding to those she knew on her way in and surprisingly enough, no guard is tailing her. "Hmm…" Laziness overcomes the woman and for a short moment there is a light bulge of the veins alongside her head. A quick scan of the area points her out to Noab and she shifts his way, sitting across from him with a plop. "Greetings Noab-kun~" The honorific, probably not appropriate, but the bubbly Miu does not wait to be corrected. "I can't wait to talk about—"
A pen falls out of her sleeve and on to the floor, "Oops." Taking her sweeeeeet time to pick it up, she hopes that Noab finishes her sentence for her.
Noab spots Miu arriving and feels a trained prompt to consider getting up, out of respect for both a lady and a VIP. He quietly dismisses that thought, relying on his leg condition and Miu's nonchalance to overlook it. She'd probably be seated by the time he's halfway standing anyway. e.U "Greetings, Miu-san," Noab responds, inclining his head respectfully — he can manage that much at least. "I'm glad you could make it here today. We don't get enough chances to communicate between the clans." An honest enough sentiment, though said more for the benefit of anybody who might be listening in than for Miu. Noab signals to a server. "I took the liberty of ordering for us. Hope you'll find it to your liking."
As the servers bring out an assortment of appetizers and some sake bottles and saucers, Noab pulls out a little list of items. "Might as well get the minor affairs out of the way first…a few parents in the Akimichi clan are concerned about the level of teasing their children get in the academy, and reportedly it's sometimes from Hyuuga children. Not a lot you can do about that besides pass the complaint on to the parents, I know, but I have to at least report it to you. General food intake for the village has been dropping lately, nothing really alarming yet, but something to keep an eye on. Oh, and apparently a group of young kunoichi have been trying to get the village to fund a beauty contest under the pretext of promoting skill in seduction arts." -.U Noab stops to pour a drink for himself and possibly Miu. "Any news from your end, Miu-san?"
"How gentleman…ly of you." The Hyuuga was not too concerned, if anything an Akimichi knows how to order. For now she just takes the time to think over what she had to say. As for Noab's issues… Miu holds no reaction into the kids of the Akimichi clan being teased, she felt it was appropriate, no matter how much the obesity was related to their clan technique. "Ah… oh? really?" She drums her nails on the table, shaking her head slowly. "I suppose I can talk to the parents, though I wouldn't expect the parents to pass on the scolding to the children." Miu grins and takes a sip of her drink, "Thank you, by the way." Miu lowers the cup, "As for the beauty contest, if they actually want lessons in the seduction arts, I can sort of poke around and /convince/ some people to put money into a class or, seminar of sorts. Though I'm assuming they really just want it to see who's the prettiest and well, they can do things like… bake sales or, whatever it is young girls do now to make money." Miu nods sternly.
"Well, honestly things have been looking up on my end, of course there's no where to go, but up after tournaments in foreign lands." Miu looks off to the side, "The show of shinobi skill has upped an interest in hiring ninja for even more basic guard duty and all that, everyone's in a state of paranoia of being run down by ninja so… we've had a surplus in money." Miu sighs, "Not as much as I'd like, despite the risk level of missions leading us to an increase in pay… we're getting ninja coming home injured much more often… So I've been thinking on actually making use of this surplus right away…"
Miu doesn't go on to explain how just yet, for now she's awaiting Noab's reaction to up and blowing the extra money right off the bat.
Noab's not too concerned about kids being teased in class either, frankly. Whenever the parents came to complain about it to him, half his mind went to imagining how he'd handle it if he had kids who came crying about insults. What's that? You're blubbering like a beached whale because Nauta-chan called you piggy? Well let me tell you, when I was your age, I was in a merc unit with a kid who used to call me THUNDERBUTT, and I dragged that sorry jerk three miles to safety after an enemy trap tag blew his leg off! Suck it up! >.U Okay, slight exaggeration on the age thing, but still. :P Noab also agrees with Miu about the beauty contest, although… "My only worry is that they'll get it into their heads to raise money by using seduction arts." e.U;
Noab munches on the appetizers while Miu says her bit. He has enough self-control not to eat sloppily, but he's not going to apologize for being an Akimichi. As Miu trails off, Noab raises an eyebrow. Sounds like she's getting ready to drop a bombshell. Noab clears his throat. "Having a well-stocked warchest is a wise principle, but it won't do any good if we're not willing to use it when troubles arise. What'd you have in mind?"
"A… preventative measure." Miu still dances around the end result, adding needless drama. "Instead of spending so much money on piecing our shinobi back together, we should be putting it towards them not getting injured in the first place." Noab may or may not have noticed, she went from gently sipping her first drink to now pausing to fill her third and downing it instantly before moving on. "Hmmm, so there have been two options that came to mind so far. The first could be spreading the with along our entire force, paying shinobi to run seminars on aspects like Scroll and Seal work, chakra shaping classes, taijutsu classes, etcetera. You know, give our Tokubetsu Jounin something to do. The issue is, we can not put a direct effectiveness on the money spent, you see ideally we'd want 30 people or so in a class yet, we could end up with 2 for a few of the classes or… all!" Looking over to poor another drink, she doesn't go to chug it just yet as she instead makes time to pick up an appetizer. "Then, there's the potential that a majority of whoever shows up slacks and does nothing with the class at all, leaving us blowing money on ninja who are no different than they would've been otherwise which brings me to the second option, which I personally prefer."
One finger idly taps her bottom lip. "Financing specialist and the gifted for advanced training and gear. Putting money towards those with new kekkei genkai, with raw talent in the Academy, those already working in Special Ops and Intelligence." Miu takes a sip, "This is option two since there may be people who catch on and wonder where all of Konohagakure's money is going, especially if we ever get hit with a time of need. I'm not too worried about future PR issues since I'm sure you've seen as I have…"
Her eyes trail over to a bunch of average shinobi sloppily flailing about at their table, drunk beyond words. Her eyelids lower as a look of pure disgust appears
"One very talented ninja can equal a hundred 'well-trained' ones." With that she munches, pleasant Miu instantly returning as she hums, "So, what do you think Noab-kun?"
Noab chews thoughtfully on a breaded shrimp. "Hrrrmmmm…under certain circumstances, that's true." *coughredshirtarmycough* e.U "There are things that could go wrong with such a strategy, of course. Major investment in specific soldiers may mean you lose less soldiers on average, but when one of those specially-trained soldiers is lost, there goes the investment. Something like an all-or-nothing gamble. There can also be internal troubles…stress on those individuals from having so much expectation heaped onto them, sometimes they'll even turn on you. And the other troops could resent not getting that special treatment." Noab shrugs and downs a saucerful of sake. "Every strategy has its problems. On this one, I'd mainly just advise against focusing resources on too few soldiers. Make sure it's not a disaster if things go wrong with a few of them."
"Hmm, you're right, I'm sure there is some sort of happy medium as opposed to my all or nothing spending spree…" Miu doesn't look too happy with that conclusion, "Though… I do like to gamble, maybe that's why tossing all the money at specialists seems so appealing." Miu grins, "It's a shame Hashiramako stands between my fun all the time~" Miu clears her throat, "Not that it's fun to do what you please with a villages finances." She smiles politely, looking off to the side again. "I'm going to present my ideas to the Nara before going on the Hokage, might as well have some sort of idea on what to do before moving it up to her if it's even to be suggested." Miu sighs, "Then there will probably be another meeting with all of us involved then sub meetings, all that wonderful, wonderful chatting."
Dismissive wave follows as she settles her focus back on Noab, "Well in any case, that's all I have been looking at. The Hyuuga Clan has done nothing, but improve in the past two years. I am mostly concerned with all these younger members being so wrapped up in marriage and children. It is nice and all, though we /are/ a ninja clan, I'm just not sure how far I should let this all go." Miu pouts slightly taking another sip, oh no members of her clan want to settle down, woe is the Hyuuga Clan.
Noab snorts lightly. "Don't take this as a bad thing, but you don't quite exemplify your clan's straight-laced reputation, Miu-san." Says the grizzled and un-chummy Akimichi. ;) "Watch out for how you present your concept. If the word 'elite' or anything of that nature slips from your mouth while describing the sort of shinobi you're looking for, people will think you're trying to get extra resources for your own clan. And conversely, if the program is approved, you may get members of your clan wondering why more of them aren't chosen for it." X)
Noab heaves a sigh and pours himself another drink. "Not everyone can stand to go through life as hard-bitten old war dogs like us, Miu-san. Be safer if there were more of us around, sure, but we have to work with what we've got. And of course, if there were nothing but us, we'd be an unassailable band of veterans, until we all finally kick the bucket from natural causes and disappear with no succession." X) Noab peers thoughtfully into his saucer of liquid while tipping it around in a circle. Come to think of it, that wouldn't be so bad, would it? e.U What's with the obsession with making sure there's a new generation still around after you're gone? Doesn't do you any good once you're dead. :P Oh well. *slurp*
Once again Miu's response to what Noab says, is little to nothing, just smirking slightly. She waits for a break to speak. "Straight-laced? I suppose, yes it's a strange reputation, one of such that even children are born within the clan believing it. Everyone's so stern, it's sometimes painful to stay within the village walls. Honestly I think they only appointed me Clan Head because of my good looks and charm~" There is a slight change in expression on the woman, perhaps the alcohol hitting her. "This straight-laced reputation does help me though. You give a command and it is rarely ever doubted and generally performed to perfection. Saves everyone trouble and keeps us running efficiently." She cleans another saucer of sake. Slumped, she props her head up on a fist. "Mmf, though you're right. I think my reasonings and goals seem to be drawn together as if we are still in the clan wars. A lot of my decisions seem like no brainers when I bring them up, though the Hokage is always opting for other ways, more peaceful ways to achieve anything. Tch… we could've probably eliminated Kirigakure already. Though… that's why she's the leader and why this place exists, banding together, enemies combining. Eh, who knows might merge into a super country and take on aliens, or…. something."
Miu reaches for the sake once more focusing with all she had mentally in order to pour it properly. "Yep. We'd get aliens and then they'd be looking for us vets to save 'em…"
Noab turns the bulk of his attention to finishing off the snacks. "I catch myself thinking in mercenary terms myself sometimes," he admits. "Spent my youth wandering around and selling my blade, so it's hard to look beyond the next contract, in a lot of ways." Noab chews thoughtfully for a minute. Processing…processing…did she say aliens? -.Ua Noab peers at Miu. "Careful, Miu-san, you're starting to look a little rosy. Your attendants will have my hide if you come out of here too buzzed for the rest of your daily duties." Noab attempts to carefully remove the sake bottle from Miu's reach. "So then, any other topics you think we should discuss while we're here? I can get the tab and let you be on your way if not."
What?" Miu leans forward a bit, somehow managing to down two more saucers of sake before Noab finishes, "Selling your blade. Don't you lose it when you… oh wait, talking about you, mercenarying. Right." Miu leans back, grinning at Noab. "If there were other topics, they either barked, or… oh! Right… yeah, we'll talk again, in better conditions." She reaches for the bottle of sake again only to find it was missing! "Huh." Slamming her palms on the table, she pushes herself up. "Thank No-kun~" With a wiggle of her fingers she slides out and away from the booth.
Her expression then goes from a little goofy to serious. There was still a bit of a blush on her face, but all in all she seemed to suddenly sober up. "Shhhhh." She tells him before shuffling out, avoiding moving her limbs all too much less she stumbles and gives away just how drunk she really is.
Noab watches Miu departing carefully. A gentleman might try to help her home, and in the worst case scenario Noab probably would…but it'd be better for her reputation as a clan head if she wasn't seen needing such help. :P Not to mention Noab's not the most sure-footed ninja around himself. Noab shrugs and signals for the tab while gulping down a few more morsels. Note to self: order limited drinks next time there's a meeting with Miu-san. e.U