Date: May 30 ,2012
Hikan is blinded to the state of Kirigakure and it takes an assumed traitor, Maikeru, to talk some sense into him. He's troubled at having to relieve his position, fighting reality with his fantasy, but ultimately finds it within himself to make a change before the village fell into chaos at the looming rebellion.
"Path to Recovery - Hikan's Decision"
Mizukage's Office - Kirigakure Adiministration
After hours at the Administration Building, and not many are left still here. Most are done with their work for the day and have gone home. The old janitor was a bit unfortunate to have been grabbed and taken to another location away from the village for safe keeping on his way back from the docks where he was fishing. Unfortunate for him, fortunate for a certain S-Rank Criminal that needed a way to sneak into Kirigakure. After a few weeks spent watching the village from afar and calculating, Maikeru has finally decided to make his way into the village to confront Hikan. He had originally planned to wait until after he'd gone through the process of fully assimilating Jigoku to do this, but things seem to only be getting more tense as more people discover his presence. While many of them do support his cause, he doesn't want the village going into an all-out civil war if it is not necessary. Instead, he has made his way in by suppressing his chakra to a quite low level and disguising himself as the janitor that cleans the Administration Building in the evenings.
After getting past the Chuunin guarding the gate, amatuers compared to the man walking past them, the 'janitor' walks to the broom closet and grabs a large-ended broom out of it to start sweeping. He has a maid clean his house, and now he's going to sweep this place? That's a touch amusing, but only a faint thought as he starts his treck in sweeping across the floors of the building, gathering the dust of the day in the broom. The pile of dust gets bigger and bigger as he makes his way down the hall, heading toward the office of the man who the rebellion is rising against, many of them backing the man who has snuck his way into the building. Still, hopefully filling the streets with blood can be avoided, and Kirigakure can be on its way to a brighter future, but that remains to be seen.
Staying in the Administration building after hours was nothing to Hikan. If business needed taking care of, he'd stay and get it done. Today, business was not the usual, instead, it was much more focused on the rebellion and how to quell it. Times were troubled, the village was in disarray and couldn't keep continuing in this same direction if there was any hope of it surviving and he can't help but feel all of this is related to things he can't remember.
The frustration is evident, though he doesn't show it in his face, his body language reveals more. He's tense, quiet and thinking. What must he do? He doesn't want to give up his power just yet. He knows there's more he can do, but his mind doesn't permit him past the black mass of a barrier that are the empty thoughts consuming a large amount of his mind.
There have been times where he's had outbursts, emotions that couldn't be controlled due to everything colllapsing in him. With him degenerating in such a way, how could he possibly function? The defying spirit in him wishes to keep going, but…realistically…
Amidst all of Hikan's troubles, one of the more potent ones is on his way to see him… in the form of an old man in a janitor's costume currently. If he must act as if he were feeble for a short time to pull off his goal, that is what he'll have to do. Sweeping in a steady motion, he continues to make his way down the hall. Finally approaching the Mizukage's office, he sweeps up the pile he has onto a dust pan and dumps it in a trash bin before turning and knocking on the door.
"Mizukage-sama, I'm here to sweep up and get your trash," an feeble voice rings out, practiced from actually speaking to the janitor after capturing him. After all his time training and preparing to be able to take on any challenge, including a Kage, the time has come to confront the one whose actions are what drove him to leave Kirigakure and strike back on Kei and her monstrosity in the first place. But will it be a physical battle or simply a verbal one?
Hikan didn't respond immediately. He was too focused on his own thoughts to pay any mind to what was going on outside his door. Eventually, he'd drift back into reality and inhale deeply as he removed his glasses from his face and set them on the desk. He rubbed his eyes and face surrounding them in a manner indicative of stress. He was tired, mostly mentally as his physical body didn't give him many problems. "I'll be out in a few moments…" He remarked to thhe janitor outside the door.
Rising up from his seat, he picked up his glasses and gathered up any documents he'd need to take to his home. He'd then approach the door and open it up saying, "I'm finished in here."
After waiting a few moments for Hikan to answer and then for him to open the door, the 'janitor' smiles and gives a nod then steps into the Mizukage's office. "Long day, Mizukage-sama?" he asks politely as he starts to sweep before a sheet of blood red chakra appears over the door slams it shut if Hikan doesn't react quickly enough, sealing them both inside. As this happens, the same happens to the windows in the office, giving no exit save for busting straight through the building itself.
"Actually," the feeble voice rings out and starts to change into a much deeper voice, smooth and dark… The voice of the leader of the Onryou Brotherhood. "Why don't you stay a while and have a chat with me?' A sly smirk crosses his face before a puff of smoke jets out around the old man, reversing the Henge to reveal none other than Maikeru himself standing in Hikan's office. Of course, he's gotten a tan and cut and dyed his hair, as well as changed his attire quite a bit since the last time he and Hikan saw each other. "Try to relax. I'm not here necessarily to kill you. In fact, that is the least favorable option here, but we do need to talk, old friend."
Hikan didn't react to the door being shut in his face. Blood red chakra, he's familiar with this. "I suppose I can grant you this wish," he stated to him as he turned back around and find his seat once more. "So, you don't want to kill me, but you want to talk. I don't know what to make of this situation. 'Old friend' is a strong term to use for someone that decided to leave this village behind to be turned over to opposing forces," he explained in a calm tone while taking to his seat. "I'm as relaxed as I'll ever be, so what is it that you want to talk to me about?"
"If you mean when I helped destroy that monstrosity of a weapon and end that pointless war, yes, I did that, and then I left so I wouldn't have to kill any comrades once it was done," Maikeru retorts as he moves to take a seat across from Hikan, the same seat he sat in when he first came to the village and Hikan inducted him as a Jounin. Rather nostalgic in a way. "And then you started a mockery of a war with Sunagakure to kill off shinobi you thought were weak, right?" While he seems relaxed, the look in his eyes is quite stern and intense as they narrow on the Mizukage. "When I first came to this village, you welcomed me to protect and further the village. You were someone I could look up to as a shinobi, but now you allow too many lives and resources to be wasted on this foolishness. This village is on a fast track toward ruin, whether by poverty or by the other villages ganging up and wiping it off the map, all under the care of a man I once held in the utmost respect. So you see, what I want to know is quite simple." He pauses briefly as he sits back in his chair, eyes lock on Hikan. "What the hell happened to you?"
Hikan's lips drew down into a subtle frown. "They were weak…" he thought to justify his stance on it. "That's why they were gotten rid of. We don't need to tolerate weakness here. Kirigakure is the very essence of strength," he leaned forward in his seat at this point in the conversation. "I don't see why your view of me has changed. I've been the same as I always have…" He said this, though there was some hint of uncertainty in his tone. "I've led this village, following the orders given to me by those above. I haven't wasted anything. No one will attack us. They'd be foolish to even try." Despite knowing the reality, he denies it, feeling that it is not the truth. "Nothing has happened to me. I've been doing what I'm supposed to as the Mizukage… Are you trying to threaten me?" Whatever threat it was, only Hikan seemed to see it. Maikeru couldn't possibly be trying to take his position from him.
Listening to Hikan's rather delusional speech, Maikeru blinks and even tilts his head a bit. Could the Mizukage really be this clueless? After several moments, he finally chimes in. "… Are you really that big an idiot, or are you just blind?" the Rogue asks in a dry tone, lifting an eyebrow. "Rather than put your soldiers through more potent training, you kill them, and you waste so many resources and lives on Kei's sociopathic science. Your people rise up against you, and you think this village is as strong as ever? It is getting weaker by the day. As order begins to fall away, chaos begins to ensue. It won't be long before Kirigakure erupts into a full-blown civil war if things do not change." Pausing a moment, he looks directly into Hikan's eyes as he says, "I am not here to threaten you. I am here to save Kirigakure. I'd prefer you didn't die in the process, as that would only create more chaos, but I am far from unwilling to exact vengeance for the thousands of lives your reign as Mizukage has cost if it comes down to it." A faint smirk tugs at his lips as he says, "I'm sure you know what happened to San Sara. I am not the same barely above average Jounin you met that day, which I'm sure you know as well by the four million you're offering for my head."
"What?" Hikan questioned Maikeru with his hand gripping the arm of his chair more tightly. "The village…this village will not fall. We're going through a period of change. There are times where things may not be simple, easy or even peaceful in the way that they must be reached, but soon enough, we will get through this and Kirigakure will rise up again. Chaos will only last for a short time and order will resume. Civil war will not happen here. The villagers know this as well as the shinobi. Outside this place, life continues on and you're bothering me with war and issues that I don't see here." He doesn't see it, though it is evident amongst the population. "The only one Kirigakure needs saving from is from those that seek to attack it. If you present yourself as a threat against it…or against me, then I've no choice but to defend. What happened to San Sara will never happen here. Just the mere fact that you feel that you can use that as a means to go against me shows that you're foolish."
As Hikan continues speak as if he has no clue what goes on outside his office, Maikeru quirks an eyebrow and tries to figure out what really is the deal here. No one should be this oblivious. "Are you truly this blind?" he asks, quirking an eyebrow and staring directly at Hikan. "The world around you is on the brink of war, and you act like it's a simple argument that will pass without consequence. It makes no sense that you are this clueless, unless you took some kind of massive blow to the head that took out part of your brain." He brings a hand up to his chin, trying to gauge the true meaning of Hikan's words. He finds it hard to believe Hikan is this far gone. "Are you sure you're even mentally competent to maintain your position as Kage? It seems you are more a danger in it than a help to anyone."
Hikan began to retaliate, but something Maikeru said made him freeze and think and when he thought, he came up with nothing. When he came up with nothing, he grew frustrated and when he grew frustrated he began to deteriorate. What was it that was blocking his mind? He couldn't find a time, place or anything else that could help him to remember, not even vague instances. He was telling him the village wasn't okay, but Hikan had every reason to believe otherwise. What was going on?
"Don't insult my intelligence!" He shouted…and then silence. He needed to think. "…Is what you're saying true?" He didn't want to ask, but there were smaller parts of him asking this very question. "I only see Kirigakure moving through a period of difficulty, but if it's as you say, its worse than I thought…"
Watching Hikan actually seem to start to fight within his own mind, Maikeru furrows his eyebrows slightly in curiosity. Something is definitely wrong with this guy. When he finally shouts, Maikeru smirks slightly and simply waits. "Yes, it is," he replies with a nod, still wondering what in the world could have happened to Hikan's mind that he can't see all this going on. "If you can't see this, I honestly think you should resign and go get some medical attention. There's obviously something wrong. I'm a little screwed up in the head myself, which is how I can tell and why I'm not jockeying for the position myself. The village needs someone of sound mind in leadership to change things, to get the village back on the right track to greatness. I'll stick around a bit to help push things along, but it needs to be your hand that helps elect a new leader without the village falling into chaos. That is what it will take to keep Kirigakure from falling."
Hikan didn't want to believe Maikeru at all, especially after he sneaked in to the village and assumed the role of a janitor. Naturally, he knew the reason considering he was an enemy to Kiri now, but his words…even for a traitor, couldn't be wrong, could they? He seemed serious and he couldn't shake up his mind to find any reason to think that he wasn't telling the truth. The reason for the village's anger…is because they were in two wars…watched as it began to deteriorate and finally….nothing. What was /behind/ all of this? He doesn't quite know. "Perhaps…." He started and sighed from the deepest depths of his weary mind. "I will step down…if Kirigakure is suffering because of it." He looks up to Maikeru, his expression somewhat pained, even if he was a stoic sort to ask, "Where did I go wrong?"
Maikeru seems to be rather patient, all things considered, but then again he is here to help Kirigakure, not just for Hikan himself. When the Mizukage finally seems t come to some sort of resolution, the Rogue gives a nod of approval. "I've told you most of what I know. I'm sure there are things that went on here while I was gone that I didn't know about. It's rather odd that you yourself don't know. As good as I am with Seals, it's hard to imagine the level of Mastery over Seals or Genjutsu it would take to have this sort of effect on you. Perhaps your advisors or someone close to you might know. I wouldn't ask any of the Swordsmen or suggest them as possible candidates to assume the position. They're strong warriors, but most of them seem to be sociopathic in one way or another." It may be rather harsh to say such things, but it is fact that the number of people in this village that can be trusted as such are limited, especially those that can be trusted in helping get the village back on its feet.
"Hmmm…." Hikan thought long and hard. "I don't know who to elect to this position, but we'll have to search one out. I think it best that I announce my resignation in the hopes that it will quell the tension, but I don't know if it will be enough. We'll need a new candidate that can lead Kirigakure in the direction that it needs to be in." He admitted. "Perhaps I will have to consult some others on who this might be, but for now, I think my own issue needs resolution first."
"I'm sure it will help. Just be sure to announce that your council and such will keep order during the transition and election to be sure we don't end up with some kind of power feud," Maikeru says with a nod. "It's best you take some time to take care of yourself and find out exactly what's going on." He sits up in his chair a bit, seeming a bit more relaxed now that Hikan has become agreeable. Having to fight it out with him in the middle of the village would not have been fun. While he's confident he would survive, the collateral damage would have likely been massive. "I can come around and help things along if you like, but I'll need the bounty taken off my head to do so without causing a panic in the streets." After a slight pause, he says, "You're doing the right thing. This is what will save you and the village."
"Mm," Hikan nodded. "I will do what I can. Hopefully, I won't fail as much as I have up to this point." He rose up from his desk, intending to continue his overtime work here at the office. He just needed to go and get something to keep him going. "The bounty…on your head can be lifted, but you must not work against Kirigakure. We…have drifted away from our true purpose. We are strong, but weak all the same. The physical strength is monumental, but I believe the mentality needs work. Let's work towards a better Kirigakure."
Listening to Hikan's new resolve, Maikeru actually finally smiles a bit and gives a nod. "On that we can agree," he says before standing up and offering his hand to shake that of the now-retiring Mizukage. "I'm glad things could work out this way. Kirigakure's reascension to greatness starts here… I'll see you soon. Take care of yourself." With that, he turns and starts walking toward the door. "I've gotta go get the janitor and bring him back so he can get to work before he drives my maid crazy." With a poof, he returns to the form of the janitor, using that disguise one last time, as he doesn't need to be attacked before Hikan makes the announcement of his pardon.