Path of Hope - Trust and Blood


Goh, Sanshouuo, Tobiramako

Date: March 8, 2011


Goh returns to the Salamander Caves to report on the Stone of Nature's strange metamorphosis, only to find he is not the only visitor to the Throne of Fire…

"Path of Hope - Trust and Blood"

Throne Of Fire - Hitokage Hora

With permission from Sanshouuo himself, Goh and Mushi had returned topside to help Konoha in its defense against the Kirigakure invasion. It had been a little over ten days since this happened, but already, much has happened. The blonde Akuu had rescued a branch member Hyuuga from Kirigakure captives. Additionally, he had taken a small team deep within Kirigakure territory, using the Salamander allies to not only sneak into a base, but also capture some enemies! And finally, Goh was in a small team that attacked one of these mystery 'clay golem' factories--delivering a heavy hit to their production. During these events, he had been in other combat too. Such as with Kaede. So all in all, it was a busy week or so for the ex-Jounin.
Yet through it all, Goh had realized something. While he was strong in his own right, many of the other shinobi around him had external forces or something else to 'power' them up, so to speak. Whether it be Fuyu and her Sharingan, Tsun and her … weird transformations, or Kaede and his own abilities. They all had something to push them well beyond their normal capacity. Goh, largely, did not. Whilst he could likely fight nearly anyone on par if they were in their normal form, this was hardly practical. Since…people won't stay in their normal form if it meant they were losing.
Remembering something about 'natural chakra' and Sages from the Salamander below, Goh has thus taken this opportunity to return to the Caves. If nothing else, he can deliver some important news if Senjutsu was off limits.
And thus he approaches the Throne of Sanshouuo--this time, without setting off any alarms (hopefully!). It's taken him a bit to traverse this far, but he needed to know if Senjutsu was an option or not. That, and he can ellaborate about Wanpo's revelation that the Stone of Nature was a girl now. Oy. Weird.
Mushi had remained topside.

The Throne of Fire is just as large as it was last time Goh was here. And no, no alarms go off this time. Of course, he had to >walk< here instead of just being teleported around, and Kaito indicated it was Hiro teleporting here that set off the alarms before. When Goh arrives at the mile+ tall hunk of solid metal that serves as the throne of the Great Elder of the Salamanders, he finds someone perhaps unexpected already in a meeting with the Sanshouuo. The gigantic, dragon-like being is larger than his own throne in terms of mass, but the upper portion of the throne rises above his head — barely. Oh, but then again, he is slouching in his seat so maybe he is taller after all. His form is a mix of overlapping 'plate-like' scales, jagged skeletal structures, and crystals that glow yellow-red from within. These crystals are quite large in some cases, and appear to be >growing out of his body<. How ancient does a lizard have to be to not only grow to such proportions but to be altered physically to the degree of becoming a >dragon<… And then to be changed further on some kind of elemental level so that such a once-tiny salamander seems to be more a >part< of this underground realm than an organic lifeform?
Goh has seen Sanshouuo once before, but that was only part of him, and within the confines of the Gallery. To see him in his own element, upon his throne, towering over the vast reaches of the volcanic plains, mountains, ravines, and so forth, is much more striking. Every breath that Sanshouuo takes creates an audible rush of wind. Every exhalation sends sweltering heat and a firm pressure wave of heat to wash over those nearby. However, Sanshouuo is not the individual that Goh may be surprised to see. Instead, it is the younger sister of the Hokage herself, Senju Tobiramako. Her spiked white hair is pretty recognizable, even if her combat uniform of the Senju Clan was not.
She seems to be speaking to Sanshouuo, though from where Goh may be as he approaches the Throne he may not be able to hear her. And if he can't hear her, then how can Sanshouuo hear from literally a mile away? Either way, Sanshouuo speaks, his voice rumbling and vibrating the ground. "I must interrupt you, Tobiramako. We have another seeking an audience, and he may be able to shed some light on this matter." With that, Sanshouuo turns his glowing eyes on Goh, and Tobiramako turns to see who has arrived as well.

Indeed, the site of Sanshouuo is … one that Goh can see from easily a mile away. The huge beast of unworldly proportions is hard to miss, that much is sure! The surprising thing is that Sanshouuo just … keeps getting bigger. As you approach. You almost expect to be at him, when in reality, you're still five hundred feet from him! He's that big. Almost trembling as he, for the first time, spots the Elder Salamander, Goh just stares for a little bit. The sheer bass of his voice is enough to cause his bones to vibrate slightly. Sort of gawking at the Throne, he manages to peel his attention away from the Elder to Tobiramako. The Hokage's sister.
"Y…you. Tobiramako, right? You're Hashi's sister. What are you doing here?" To be honest, she had kept a reasonably low profile compared to her older sister. But that may be the wisest thing to do in the grand scheme of things. Exactly /why/ she was here is anyone's guess. Unexpected, but Goh must proceed.
"Elder Sanshouuo. I will shed light on anything I can." There are very few who can cause Goh to garner sheer respect for them. Even to the Hokage, Goh is very buddy-buddy. But if the Hokage could make Goh's bones shatter just by speaking, maybe he'd look at her more like this. "…first, I have news to report. Wanpo may have relayed such information already. But I have some more specifics. The Stone of Nature has been found." The Salamander already likely know this. "…but it has taken the form of a human being, named Gaia. She currently wishes to see the 'good' points of humanity, pondering whether or not she should give her support." Something like that, anyway. "…she's currently being escorted by Taji, a Konoha ninja. But instructions are to bring her back here."
That should be enough to get things rolling!

Tobiramako nods to Goh when he gets close enough to speak to. She says, "I am. I came here to see if the salamanders might know a reason why I was trapped in a space-time prison. I would not ordinarily have come to inquire with them, but it was one of them, Hiro, who saved me and an 'acquaintance' from being killed in an explosion. It seems it was good that I came here, because Sanshouuo-sama knows about this explosion already… Or knows that it is supposed to occur in the future, at least. The details are still unknown. Just that Konohagakure will be obliterated in the near future if we do not stop it."
She takes a breath and then says, "And I know the date it is supposed to happen on. The second of April, this year. We have less than a month to prevent it. And I think that someone was trying to keep me from doing so. I am still not quite certain how that other woman was involved, but…" She shrugs and allows Goh to finish reporting to Sanshouuo.
The mighty dragon just watches Goh the entire time, both while the white-haired woman speaks and when the blonde-haired man provides this interesting information. He remains silent (or relatively silent given the volume of his breathing) for awhile, before letting out a deep, rumbling, thoughtful noise in his partially-crystalline chest.
Finally, he narrows the glowing orbs that are his eyes — each one easily larger than twenty of Goh — to slits and offers, "If the 'Stone of Nature', as you call it, has chosen to take on a new form, then…" Shifting in his seat, the sound of scales clattering and grinding together sounds like an impending landslide. "…I wonder if the World Pillar's >opposite< has done the same."
Tobiramako is confused, but… Sister of the Hokage or no, she holds her peace for now. Sanshouuo will elaborate if he feels it necessary.

Goh sucks in a deep breath when Sanshouuo just sort of stares at him as he talks, the blonde shifting an almost nervous glance to Tobiramako.
"I wonder if it has anything to do with Kirigakure invading?" He suggests. "I just can't see them holding the sort of firepower that… well, the painting depicts though. Something else, maybe?" The ex-Jounin shrugs a little, unsure of the future as well. "April two … alright. That at least gives us some time."
When the mighty beast Salamander rumbles again, Goh feels his bones and joints tremble. "The opposite?" Goh queries, sounding confused. But like Tobiramako, he stays quiet. If Sanshouuo wants to elbaborate, he shall. If it's important, anyways. "I believe the Hokage is also in possession of one of the Stones. Other than the Stone of Spirit." He proceeds to say which one it is. The Stone of Yin-Yang. "It's one I had not heard of before. Uchiha Fuyu found it in some weird cave."
However, this is when he dips his head a little. "Great Elder Sanshouuo! I remember Kaito speaking of Sages, able to use natural energy to amplify their own. Please, let me undertake training to harness this senjutsu. If nothing else, I can use it to help protect Konoha from this fate."
It may seem a bit random, but Goh best say it before he forgets to request it!

Sanshouuo's eyes widen a bit more from their focused slits, and the light that previously lit Goh up like a pair of large laser beams now turns into a more searchlight-like glow. "Your Hokage is in possession of the other?" Sanshouuo is either surprised or angry. It is difficult to tell. Tobiramako speaks up, protesting this claim. "I have not heard anything about this! You said that Uchiha Fuyu found it?" Turning to face Goh, Tobiramako seems very unhappy with hearing that name. "I thought they were too dangerous to leave in human hands! And the hands of an Uchiha are the >worst< place of all to leave a weapon of such magnitude—" The dragon raises his taloned psuedo-hands from the arms of the Throne and fold them together beneath his chin. Tobiramako cuts herself off. The rasp of dry scales, the crackling and crumbling of stones that had been lodged between them, and the resulting plik-plok of said stones falling a loooong distance and hitting everything on the way down accompanies this rather simple re-arranging of appendages.
After a moment, it appears that anger is not what Sanshouuo feels. The Great Elder says, "We call it the Spirit Wall. It was unknown to be one of these 'Sage Stones' before. Some of those amongst us even thought it to be a myth…" From the way Sanshouuo says this, it appears he was not one of those who believed such. After a moment of grinding his gigantic fangs together, resulting in everyone present feeling >strangely nervous< for some >inexplicable reason< (even some of the salamanders standing guard!), Sanshouuo completes his thought. With a brain as large as his, perhaps it takes a bit for things to happen up there due to the distance that electrical impulses need to travel
"The Spirit Wall is dangerous in >any< person's hands — or claws. In the possession of the >wrong< person, it could cause great death. In the possession of the >right< person, it could change the world for the better in the short term, only to cause disaster in the future. And if wielded by the >worst< person of all…" A dramatic pause, and then Sanshouuo says, "…The whole world could only >dream< of the mercy of dying."
Sanshouuo suddenly bursts into action! Which mostly means focusing on Tobiramako and saying, "Tobiramko, it is required that you remove the Spirit Wall from the possession of the Hokage. Place it somewhere as difficult to reach as possible. Tell no one where you hide it. Not even your family." These orders are given as though the Great Elder expects them to be followed. Rank among humans is probably completely irrelevant to him. Then his glowing gaze is cast upon Goh again, "How fortunate that you are interested in the training to become a Sage… For that shall be my 'request' for you to attempt. Eventually, the World Pillar will come to a decision about humanity — good, ill, or simply neutral. When that time comes, I would greatly prefer that someone be capable of >preventing< it from taking action against human beings… Just incase. That means being able to wield Senjutsu Chakra."

"This isn't the time for your old Uchiha/Senju feuds. Leave it behind." Goh speaks calmly over to Tobiramako. "Fuyu did retrieve it, yeah. But she quickly realised that the thing could kill her. The power of that Stone must be far greater than the fire one. So she gave it to Hashi, who sealed it in a box much like the one I found." A pause, before he looks up to Sanshouuo as … thoughts process. "As far as I know, your sister still has it in a box. Somewhere in the office. You should be able to find it easily, right?" They were sister, after all.
Goh nearly freezes, no doubt becoming somewhat petrified that the Elder is thinking so severely. Jeez! "Why can't we just try and destroy the thing? If even bad things come of good natured actions .. then it's like a piece of rotting flesh. We should get rid of it, shouldn't we?" Of course, such a thing may not be possible easily.
"The World Pillar? You mean Gaia?" He nods a little, a smile coming across his face. "Oou! I like the way you think, Elder! Let's start right away! I'm ready!" A glance goes over to the white-maned Tobiramako, "Can you tell the Hokage about this? I won't be available to her for a little while I'm training for this." A pause, then he shows a flashy, toothy grin up to Sanshouuo. "I'm gonna dominate it!"

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