Date: May 2, 2012
A discussion between two members of the Tao Shih and their plans takes place by a lake in the Land of Lightning, beneath the moon
"Broken Memories Pt. 3 - Peculiar Sense Of Justice"
Raiun Lake - Land of Lightning
It's late in the evening and being here in Kumogakure, Shinji hadn't thought he would be back here again. Granted he did enjoy himself pretty good the last time. The skies are clear and a gentle breeze can be felt wafting through the area as the moon floats high in the sky and glowing brightly. Having gotten asked to join Mune here was a bit of a surprise and honestly there hasn't been much activity within the Tao-Shih that for Mune to have sought him out was to be commended. But now having gone through this training which was putting a lot of stress on his body due to the cursed seal and now him trying to work on chi manipulation, Shinji takes a rest. Sitting down and placing his feet into the cool water after taking off his shoes, Shinji lies back and rest.
The darkness is not total. The moon's pale light shines down on the cliffs and the grassy terrain surrounding Raiun Lake in the Land of Lightning. The temperature is chill up in the mountains — nearly frigid, even. However, it is not quite so cold that Mune has to resort to bundling up. She is used to the temperatures here a little bit after her weeks of travel through the vast wilderness of the Lightning Country, but she also has a wool blanket wrapped around her shoulders to counter-act her lack of a shirt under her white long coat.
Approaching where Shinji is resting near the lake, Mune settles down near him and looks upwards — seemingly towards the cliff that overlooks their position, or perhaps the night sky. In truth, she looks towards Kumogakure, to the north. She can't wait to tear it all down. "I take it that you've been acclimating to the heavy metal poisoning to the extent you aren't in constant pain and discomfort?" Mune asks conversationally. Discussing the side-effects of Cursed Seals is the closest to casual chatting that she gets, apparently.
Hearing the foot steps coming close to him, Shinji did sneak a look to the person coming towards him but then turned to look back into the sky. HIs body has been going through a lot of changes and well that first week once the seal was placed upon him he really did think Amuro was trying to kill him. Despite having helped keep the other members of the Tao Shih from getting killed in that crazy ass hospital they were at. That place still gives him the creeps. A sigh escapes him as he glances over as Mune sits down next to him, granted he still found it odd that she went through all this trouble to find him, when she could've easily gotten the other women to help her. Granted he isn't complaining, he seen guys look at her when she walk by and he can't help having done the same thing when he first met her.
When asked about the seal, he shrugs a little. "It's taken me a few months but I'm doing alright. Still a little off balance but I will be well in time I guess. It's not like I have the option of taking off the seal y'know." he says as he continues looking up into the sky. "How are you doing Mune-chan?" he asks. "I'm still surprised you went through a lot of channels to find me. Why me when you could've easily asked one of the others to come with you."
Mune doesn't really reply to the question of how she has been doing beyond a grunt. Her vividly cyan eyes are still focused on that point to the north… But eventually she lowers her gaze to the lake and the unstable image of the moon reflected on its gently sloshing surface. "The others are focused primarily on subtlety… Genjutsu, bodily possession, assassination techniques… They excel at working from the shadows. That's why the Tao Shih has been so successful. We aren't flamboyant. Even participation in the tournaments has been done for purposes that those who observed us did not suspect. They have been marching to Amuro-sama's tune without knowing it, without even hearing the music, for far longer than I've even been alive. If I wanted to secretly eliminate the Raikage or subvert the Hidden Cloud, I would have gone to them. You are not really the sneaking or subtle type, Shinji."
She leaves off an honorific or personal suffix to show familiarity. She's comfortable enough with him to do that. But then she looks aside to Shinji as she pulls the blanket tighter around herself and draws up her knees to her significant chest. "But that's why I came to you. Datura has already done her part in weakening the Hidden Cloud for me in secret. My goal here is not to lurk in the shadows and quietly hurt Kumogakure… I intend to send a message to everyone. I want Takahashi Raiko, the Raikage, to be CRUSHED beneath my heel and for the ENTIRE COUNTRY to see what a weak, pathetic, failure she is. She killed my family. She didn't even have the guts to do it herself. She just ordered them executed. My mother knew that she wasn't the one who killed the Dead Brothers… My grand-father, Yotsuki Raiga, weakened them enough for her to slay them. She is nothing and has always been nothing. My mother knew that, and Raiko had her killed for that reason. To bury her dirty little secret."
Hate laces Mune's voice, the passion that she sometimes exposes from her 'true self' deep within, the emotions that constantly war with her logic and reasoning abilities… "I don't want this to be secret. I want EVERYONE to know the price of betrayal, and I want everyone to know the price of following a betrayer. The Hidden Cloud is going to be broken when we're done with it. I can't do it alone, and that's why I asked you to help me. You're strong, and you're the designated 'guardian' of the Tao Shih. You and Tomoyo-chan are here to protect the rest of us. I'm trusting you and the 'Ultimate Shield' granted by the Cloud of Bronze Seal to defend me during this mission. No one else can do that."
Taking the quiet as a sign of her thinking, Shinji doesn't press but he did have questions. Though he's pretty much have grown close to the women of the Tao Shih, all of them were his responsibility so if any of them had need of him he would come to them without a second thought. When Mune begins speaking about what the others were doing, and how they worked. Shinji is all ears, not uttering a word not wanting to interrupt her at all. This is something he didn't know about what the others did, but honestly Mune is right, that isn't him. He can be stealthy when he needs to, but he moves like a whirlwind destroying whatever is in his way and he's proven that time and time again.
Catching that Mune left off the honorific, he smiles. Guess he can just start calling all of them by name only. When her Cyan eyes look to him, his breath seem to catch, looking at her for a moment he seems lost in her gaze. Watching as she pulls her blanket about her, Shinji sits up and draps an arm about her waist if allowed to and continues to listen to her.
As Mune tells him about what the Raikage did to her family, Shinji only grew angry. It seems that he and Mune shared betrayal to their families and as she finishes, he nods his head. "I know what you've gone through with the betrayal and death of your family and I will do everything that I can to make the Raikage pay, but you will have the killing blow, that is a family situation that must be dealt with by you, I will make sure you ahve your chance." he says as he looks to her. Shaking his head, "I may be the Guardian, but I'm also a friend." he tells Mune as he gives her a hug. "Now how and when do we get this started?" he asks.
Mune stiffens as the arm goes around her waist but continues explaining things until she is done. Shinji's response is what she had hoped it would be. He will work with her to destroy the home of thousands of people, because that home has been built upon a mountain of lies. One day, the illusion will crumble and take the Village with it. It is better, to Mune's way of thinking, to knock it all down now so that it can be rebuilt CORRECTLY, on a PROPER foundation. It's true what Datura said about Shinji.
Many things she said about him are true. He may not be too smart, but not everyone needs to be smart. If everyone were smart, then everyone would be the same. Shinji has his HEART in the right place, and he has the strength that she needs to make her dream of justice become real. Yes, 'justice' not just 'vengeance'. From what she has learned, the 'Fuchi Clan' have a very PECULIAR sense of 'justice'… Amuro taught Mune what justice is. He taught her what he saw as justice. Now she seeks to enact it for herself.
As Shinji hugs her closer, she tries to relax. She once despised physical contact with others. Even when she faked being intimate with those men she would soon have drugged and dissected for organs on her operating table, she hated their hands on her. Mune's very first lover was Datura. But Datura had told Mune that she thought Shinji was interested in one of the women of the Tao Shih but hadn't said who. Is it Mune herself? Datura already has someone: Kanami. Who does Mune have?
Does she even want anyone?
She doesn't know. She contemplated using Shinji's emotions, manipulating him like a tool by feigning care for him. Using him like she has used so many other men — hinting and teasing and never delivering. Taking and never giving. Removing what she wants and discarding the rest.
Eventually she decided that was too close to how Amuro did things. Amuro possesses power and knowledge that she wants for herself. She doesn't just want to be as strong and knowledgeable as him, however… She wants to surpass him. That means she can't wait until she's over a hundred years old to start forming connections to other people. She has to find someone now. Someone among the living to protect, after she has finished obtaining justice for the dead. She has decided to try to get over her own fear of getting too close. Strength, to her, is removing whatever is making her weak. Fear is a weakness she must be rid of. Thus…
She leans a bit closer to Shinji as he gives her a one-armed hug. She doesn't return the hug, and doesn't rest against him exactly, but she doesn't pull away again either. Instead she answers him quietly, "It's already begun. We just need to obtain more allies within Kumogakure. People who can see the truth about Takahashi, and will support us when we move against her. We're not trying to kill everyone, mind you. Not everyone in Kumogakure is guilty, and vengeance is an indiscriminate thing that hurts everyone — even those who enact it. No, the only one who needs to die here is that damn Takahashi Raiko. Even she can be left to meet her own end at the hands of those she betrayed if we must. The reason we're here isn't vengeance…"
"It's justice. Vengeance hurts and then incites reprisals. But as Amuro-sama has taught me, justice is when you hurt the guilty and those who follow them SO BADLY that the fear of experiencing that pain again will keep them and EVERYONE ELSE from ever CONSIDERING repeating what the guilty ones did in the future. Justice is pain. Without pain, everyone would just do whatever they wanted, right? Pain is a lesson. The lesson is 'do not do this again'. So… We're going to teach the Hidden Cloud a little something that Amuro-sama calls the 'Lesson of Pain'. We're going to teach it to them so hard they'll be bleeding for years to come."
The stiffening is felt by Shinji, but he doesn't let her go. Shinji never really was the smartess but honestly that didn't matter to him. What he does have is heart and loyalty to those who have shown him the same. Amuro has given him that purpose, took him from being a lowly mercenary to actually one who could be trusted join his small group. One who has proven themselves to be some of the most resourcefulness and skill. Shinji has never felt like he belonged anywhere since his family and ninja were betrayed by the Fuuma Ninja, his anger and skill was tempered into something else by Amuro and the women of the Tao Shih has shown him that outside of their own skills that they needed one who would stand strong for them, guard them and destroy whatever stood in their way or meant to cause them all any harm.
As for having someone close to him, he did once, she was killed by the Fuuma, since then Shinji just closed himself off and honestly did like the women he traveled with, but one stood out more so then the others. She kept herself closed off to him until now and that is Mune. Looking at her as she spoke, Shinji never really interrupted her as she spoke, nodding here and there when appropriate. He did feel her cause and it was one that is just. "We will do whats needed and the people will know pain and by knowing pain will not make the same mistakes twice." he says to her as he looks over to her. Mune having leaned in against him a bit though not hugging him back, he didn't care. Maybe she still needed time, but time is all they have and he would wait for her. "For now though allow your mind to rest Mune." he tells her. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. We know the course, now we only need travel the road to get to where we need to be then take our actions then." he explains.
Though she will feel him shiver, then go warm. Closing his eyes Shinji takes a few deep breaths, in through his nose and out through his mouth. He does this a few times until his body calms down again. Opening his eyes Shinji lets out a sigh, but he keeps his arm about Mune's waist.