Date: November 8, 2010
Taji tries to relax in a tea house after a friend tries to kill him, Nobu and Hoiishime offer some wisdom
A tea house in Kusagakure, near the small river
Taji has had a rather rough day. In fact he's still a bit shaky, but he's doing his best. He found this little tea house along the small river and it is technically inside the village limits, an important point for him at the moment. He found an empty table near a window and is looking out at the water, as he sips some hot tea. A pot of it is in the center of the table and a small plate of cookies, looking untouched sits next to it. Little plates and cups are set out for up to four people, despite Taji being alone here at the moment. He's not hiding though and the place is pretty empty as most people are out watching the matches.
While the occasional can't-miss-it matchup has caught his eye, Nobu is here in Kusa more as a part of his duties than as a spectator, and hasn't done a whole lot of tournament watching. There's not much for him to do here in Kusa, but sampling the local flavours works well enough. So, having noticed it earlier in the day, he's come here to check the teahouse out. He takes a look around as he steps into the teahouse, and spots Taji. Not having seen him in a little while, and since he doesn't seem to have been noticed by any server yet, he takes a few soft steps over to the table. "Taji-san," he greets, keeping his voice a little low. Apparently, he doesn't want to disturb the quiet too much.
Meanwhile, Hoiishime's own duties as an alternate mednin, have kept him busy, as well as allowed him time to recover from the exhibition matches for which he had been participating. To leave even now, had been for the purposes of continued relaxation, is arrival to the same tea house, being bu chance. The monk mednin would seem to arrive with nothing but what seemed to be a long expanse of white cotton cloth, wrapped about him intricately, almost even now, resembling a robe and cloak. He would walk in, bare footed, and without his tam cap, and hitai ite, his long dreadlocks swing about his back and almost dragging the floor. Hoiishime would approach a nearby table, and seem to toss back a portion of the cloak, exposing his left shoulder, and upper chest, as well as a long beads that would hang across his torso. More beads, for prayer, wrapped about his wrist.
Taji looks up, one hand curled around the tea cup perhaps a tad tightly. He looks a bit pale, a tad green in the gils as it were. He gives a small nod, "Nobu-san…." He offers, politely, "Would you care to join me? I've had a bit of a rough day. Perhaps a friendly face can soothe my jangled nerves?" He suggests, gesturing towards an empty chair across the table from him, "You can even join in the tea, or… try one of the cookies. I hear the are good." As good as he has heard they are, they appear untouched so far.
Taji is a bit nervous from the looks of it, and each new entrant is examined, as he looks to see Hoiishime too. He hesitates, as if pondering if he should say anything but decides not to, yet, and turns his attention back to Nobu, "The tea is good here, please. Have some."
The new arrival might be a bit unusual looking, but that isn't really saying much, considering how full Kusagakure is right now. And full of ninja too, which form a fairly diverse group, even within villages. Since the stranger doesn't seem to want to talk to them (at least for the moment), he shifts his focus back to Taji. "Jangled nerves?" he repeats, sitting down in the chair Taji indicates, "Something happened to you. But, are you alright?" He frowns a little as he looks the boy over, wondering if he's merely nervous, or actually sick for some reason. He takes a little tea, but only because Taji seems to want him to. It's what he came here for, of course, but Taji's got him concerned now.
Nothing would be said by Hoiishime, as he would sit in a high chair, near a taller table near the door. Light seemed to drift upon him as he would open a scroll, and to himself, began to read a listing of sutras.. It was sweet words of prayer, soothing, calm, almost in that of a song.. A sign of prayer would be held to his chest, as he would hum them simply, shaking his arm at the wrist, causing a simple rustling of wooden beads..
"Soothin' rain, cools the hottest of Buddha's creation…
Patience need abound in the hearts of men
But also uniting in strong through tolerance and the presence of love.
The finality of these words, would seem to queue to young waitres to come over. She made odd eyes at Hoiishime, whose chocolate appearance, coupled with his long hair, and white, shiny teeth seemed to glow by comparison to the other patrons.. She would smile.. "What's ya poison, darlin'?", would be asked with a smile and the snap of some gum, before Hoiishime would say, "Jasmine… And if ya be havin', a branch of aloe please.."
Taji looks down at his tea. The prayer words bring a frown to his lips. He looks over at Hoiishime, studying him for a moment then looking back to Nobu. "You know how… my clan was… well, and how I worry? About?" He talks in abrupt cut off terms, "Well, I was attacked by a masked ninja in the village here today. He attacked without warning, threw kunai before I even saw him. I got it bandaged already, but… after avoiding those he tried to burn me to a crisp. Only once I was winning did he flee… and I followed. And just as I was to catch him, Fuyu-sama showed up, and… I discovered my attacker was Abel-san. The Uchiha." He explains, as if this might be all the explaination needed. "I don't know why he did it. But… it was not a friendly act, he was out for blood. Either he knows something, is working for someone or… someone was using him. Either way… it isn't good. I may… I may have to disappear again, for a while."
Hoiishime's recitation of the sutras gets a brief glance from Nobu, but Taji's answer occupies his attention more. "Yes," he says simply, nodding. He's caught the gist of what Taji's saying, even if the boy wasn't able to actually say it out loud. He listens to the story with a serious, stony expression on his face. "Uchiha Abel," he says, lowering his voice, "I know him. Not very well, but…" He bites his lip a little. "Let's talk more about what happened. Firstly, you weren't able to question him? Is it possible he was somehow coerced into attacking you, or he wanted to attack you for some other reason? Can you be sure that he's involved with… it?"
The request from Hoiishime, to the waitress, seemed normal, only until the request for aloe was uttered. She would look to the outside of the shop, and smile.. Guess Hoiishime had seen the plant growing in the gardens out front. She would smile before saying, "It'll be a moment on the aloe sugar, but I'll have it out in a jiffy!", before she'd skip away. "My thanks indeed, Nee-san..", would be said with a smile, as Hoiishime, would return to the sutra's he now read.
The Deeds of this world, reflect the turmoil and joy in ones life.
To live again, and yet remain dead both cycle and remain balanced.
A bad heart destory. A good hear restores.
A brave heart remain's still. A fearful heart yet moves.
A pause would be made with a breath, as Hoiishime would think a moment, his own mind still wandering a bit. He had been reading for the pass few days, to try to seek answers into the miraculous workings of fate. He had been giving lessons in forms for which he still yet did no understand. Each exhibition match he had, had an outcome that was strange, almost going far beyond that of luck or even planning..
Taji is a tad distracted, but… he focuses back on Nobu, "I was unable to question him. The fight was rather intense, and… by the end I had worn him down to near exhaustion, only to have Fuyu-sama step in and take over. Her… last act I think took him out of commission, but I am unsure what she did, genjutsu… or what. In any case he was taken out of my hands. The only thing he managed to say after revealing who he was to me was something about the village of ninja here out to get me… which… I don't understand. I would head back to Konoha, but Fuyu-sama ordered me to stay put, not to leave the village." He glances around worriedly, "He used some of his strongest fire attacks, he was not… it was not a test." He shakes his head and hangs it slightly, "Even though I would have won even if Fuyu-sama had not stepped in… I got sick afterwards."
Taji sighs, "I can fight but it does not… it is not me. It is not in balance. Random violence is too unbalancing. I was taught you could return in equal force what was presented against you, but… I've never had to do it quite like that before." He shakes his head, "Sad thing is, I only used what I had to, I was no where near my limits. I was surprised by that."
"The village of ninja here out to get you…" Nobu repeats. He frowns and takes a contemplative sip of tea. "You don't remember his exact words? Because those ones are… cryptic. I suppose 'the village of ninja here' could mean that one of the villages participating in the competition is after you. Or Kusa itself… But I can't imagine why Abel-san would try to kill a fellow Leaf-nin for another village, even if he is… brash. When he said it, did it sound like a warning or a threat?" He takes a long breath and lets it out. "It's good that you did so well. Although I could have told you that you could beat him. Have you noticed anyone following you since then? Like an ANBU escort?"
The tea would arrive, along with a small portion of aloe leaf, some utensils, and a few napkins. Hoiishime would smile, and nod gladly, before he would smile at the waitress and bow his head deeply. The sutra scroll would be rolled up, and placed on his person, before the tea and aloe would be looked to. A butter knife, would be used to slit the leaf delicately, revealing a gel like pulp which would seem to emanate a very aromatic scent. It, along with the scent of Jasmine, would seem to cause Hoiishime a smile with every sniff. A small amount would be mixed with a spoon into the tea, and with such, change the smell, oddly, into something almost sweet.
Another small portion, would be saved, before Hoiishime, would place it on a small strip of white bandaging.. He would then take and apply the allow, before then, handsealing. The aloe, would seem to flow bright green, and the bandaging, would heat up before being applied to a small burn on Hoiishime's arm.. Hoiishime would cross his fingers, as if hoping that it would work, the burn being electrical. With a quick press and a rub.. the burn would vanish… "Yahtize!!! It be workin!", would be said, as he would take out a small book and document his findings.. A mednin?
Taji nods and gestures towards the door, "There should be two Konoha nin outside, um, watching things. There maybe more watching. Fuyu-sama said I would be watched, but not… stiffled. The idea is to keep me safe, not make me feel like a prisoner, until she can figure out what is going on. I'm sorry I can't recall more of what Abel said, but I was distracted by the fight." He lifts the tea, and takes a sip. His hand shakes a bit, but he manages not to spill. "It almost sounded like he was sorry… if you can believe that." He sets down the tea and rubs his arm, where it is bandaged crudely, "He… I don't know… now I have an armed escort, the last thing I wanted, and… people who I thought were my friends are trying to kill me."
Taji pauses, and looks down at the faint ripples in his tea, "Why?" The words echo around the tea house, oddly. "I went to Konohagakure for a safe place to find my balance again, but… I'm afraid I'm out of time. If the forces who are looking for me…." He trails off, eyes still on the tea cup. Then slowly he turns his head to the actiosn of the strange monk, "You there? Are you a medic? Do you know how to check a bandage?" He asks, turning his attention to Hoiishime, "It is a minor wound but I don't feel right and I'm worried it could be poison. Or something. Can you check it?" He calls across to the only other real patron in the tea house right now.
"Well, I assume the ninja are capable… you're probably safe for the time being." Nobu glances around the teahouse, looking for a window, wondering if he might be able to spot Taji's escort, even though he knows they're probably much more subtle than to be spotted through such casual observation. "If he actually was sorry, then he must have been coerced somehow, wouldn't you think? It makes a great deal of sense, unless you think he'd actually want to kill you, or he's friends with someone who does. Why don't you want an escort?" He turns around to face Hoiishime when Taji addresses him, greeting the monk with a nod, but not much else for the moment. "You should still be safe when you get back to Konoha though," he whispers to Taji, "The fact that it happened now… well, it doesn't prove it, but it seems to indicate that whoever's after you, they aren't in the village."
The words in his journal seemed to be written with excited haste. Findings from one experiment to another.. The infusion of chakra into natural compounds and pulps was something huge to him, and it was good indeed. It needed not alot of chakra at all to us, and as long as you had the right herbs, it seemed to work just fine. Hoiishime would have been a might bit excited for something so simple, needless to say, however, its always the simple techniques that evolve into the much more complex. Hoiishime would smile to himself, and before long, hear someone call out.
Turning slowly, Hoiishime would see Taji, and then Nobu, and with them seeming to be the only few here, it seemed he had been wondering of Hoiishime skill. "Eeee?", would be said with an incline of his head, before he would smile warmly and say, "Sho, mon.. I tink I can ablige.", Hoiishime would look to the shabby bandaging.. It looked hurried.. That could lead to perhaps infection but Hoiishime would not speculate before he would then began to unravel it.. "I be sure I can check it.. But a question while I be checkin? A tool be inflictin of dis wound?" At the same time the questions were asked, as string of handseals would be made, before an painless wave of chakra, would be sent through out Taji's body. He would feel nothing, but the skill was enough to relay back information of his health to the monk. Nobu would not be addressed just yet, but he was bowed to.
Taji starts to unwrap his arm, as he speaks, "It was a kunai, but I don't know if it was poisoned or not. I could just be shaky from the battle." He admits, as he shows the wound, a relatively clean cut. As Taji spies the hand seals he pulls away, however, his eyes going wide. Either it is paranoia or something more but whatever the reason he does not seem to want to allow the procedure, "Stop." He says firmly, and perhaps a tad loudly as at least one head peeks around the door to make sure Taji isn't in trouble. The wound looks fine but Taji seems unwilling to be the subject to a jutsu he is not familar with, avoiding the required contact.
Being fairly familiar with medical jutsu (though not a practitioner himself), Nobu isn't particularly fazed by Hoiishime's jutsu. When Taji objects, however, he blinks a little, but then he seems to get it. "Maybe it would be better if you didn't use any jutsu," he advises Hoiishime, "It looks like you have more medical knowledge than just those. Do you have some way of checking for poison without using ninjutsu?" He glances to Taji, seeming to have some idea of what's going on.
Looking to the person, as he would seem to call him over, and then jerk away the moment he would handseal, Hoiishime, would quirk an eyebrow at him.. He would move to mention about the technique being harmless and not hurting, but for some reason, something was telling him no.. Maybe it was the deep sense of fear in this boy's gesture, as well as the loudness of his shout. Nobu's words would give further confirmation of the use of jutsu being a bad approach, and it would caus him to sigh. "Well.. Nevah mind den.. I be sayin dis instead, since either way, I can see no symptoms.", this of course being said after a brief look at Taji, up and down.
The monk would stand to his feet, and then say with a smile, "Ya don' be poisoned, mon.. Usually, the effects of such be showin in symptoms like fever, clammy skin, cold sweats, and achin.. Not to mention dis wound, don' be showin no signs of degradin, or inflammation.. Ya be fit as a fiddle. Usually, anyting dat enters da body and be foreign, be treated like infection. Da body'll fight back." Hoiishime would then look to the aloe at his table, and the portions that hadn't been cut. He'd take some bandaging, sit it out on a table, and say, "It be a simple trick.. Apply just a tad to da bandagin', and wit' a handseal, focus some chakra into the aloe, much like ya would do a seal tag.." He would then say, "Apply, and after a second strip it off.. It'll seem like nothin' but a scratch."
Taji breathes a sigh of relief, and says, "I'm sorry, a person I considered a friend just tried to kill me today. And… I can only assume someone got to him, made him do it, either through genjutsu or bribe or some other means. I'm a little shaken up. I can't afford to take any risks." He notes as he re-wraps the arm, a simple bandage, the wound looks like it is healing nicely, A minor wound at best. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude. Thank you for your knowledge." He offers.
The ninja at the door goes back to not being seen. Meanwhile Taji turns his attention back to Nobu, "Perhaps I should stay some place less public, until things are resolved. But… there is no way to get information from Abel anytime soon. I think he'll be out for at least a week. I had really done a number on him, and… Fuyu-sama finished the issue." He sighs and shakes his head, "I don't like to hurt people, I was very careful not to do any real harm but… he won't be doing much any time soon. Which means we won't have answers for a while." He glances around, "Perhaps I can talk to Fuyu-sama and get permission to go back early. Only… I'd need some guards, to risky to go back alone."
The kid looks seriously shaken up, although he's not going into great details on why someone would be after him at this level.
"Thank you," Nobu tells Hoiishime, "It seems to be a complicated situation. I hope you can understand." He glances over to Taji. "If you're still worried, just watch out for those symptoms," he says, "But you're probably safe. If Fuyu-sama wants you to remain in the village, it might be hard to find somewhere that isn't public. You might be able to find somewhere during the matches, but once people leave the arena, the village gets crowded. It's true that you might be able to get an escort back. I've been back and forth a couple of times myself, and a few people came with me."
Looking to Taji, Hoiishime's eyes would widen at the thought. "Betrayal, witout a known cause.. I be seein now.. Ya must be scared for ya life den." Hoiishime would look to the boy as he would appologize, and with his own bows, say, "No need, mon.. If anything, I be appologizing to you.. I tink I be a bit hasty wit the use of me jutsu.. Me bed side manner don't be practiced as much as it should.." He would would look to Nobu, and nod to him as well, as he would in turn reply, "I do be understandin well, though I be unable to sympathize. I be only grateful to help.. It be me way of keepin da balance of peace. To restore, be da job of the good at heart. We be havin to much evil about to let the balance slip. If me knowledge help in dat, den I be grateful."
He would listen to the words of the two, the names from Taji unknown to Hoiishime, as well as the totality of the matter. He would feel the sincerity of Taji's wish to not be of harm to people and would sympathize greatly. "Ya know.. I don' be meanin to intrude, but, me monastery's art of grappling be about da minimizin' of harm to the opponent.. I be greatly understandin' where ya come from.. While me art be also about that, we be also good for teachin calmin' techniques and katas that may help in de-stressin' ya out. A calm demeanor, after all, be da greatest weapon one can possess." Hoiishime would then write on a page of his journal, the place where he was staying in town, as well as directions to get there.. "Just in case you be wishin for a friend… or perhaps dis,", this being said before Hoiishime would then pass the scroll of sutras he was reading would to Taji. "…may help in ya keepin ya peace."
Taji accepts all of this, "Thank you for understanding." He offers the strange talking stranger, "And… maybe. It sounds as if our thoughts on life are… not that far apart." He admits, "We could maybe talk about balance, and doing what is needed, but no more than that. My teachers taught styles that left one's foe unable to react, to leave them weakened so that they would be unable to harm others. It… is not that different I think." He folds the piece of paper up, so he has the address for later. "Thank you." He offers, "Ah, name's Taji." He adds, just so Hoiishime knows.
Then Taji looks back over to Nobu, "I'd say I should watch the matches as that is so public nothing bad should happen, but at the same time, a poisoned sebon in a crowd, and I could be dead before anyone even knew I was attacked." He points out, "So I'm caught, public or private, both are risks. That's why I chose here, the tea house, abit of both… really."
Nobu simply sits back and continues to drink his tea as Taji and Hoiishime exchange words. A bit of suspicion crosses his mind, but it strikes him as unlikely that Hoiishime is actually after Taji. Maybe it's just some sort of sympathetic paranoia. "I thought the same thing," he answers Taji, "If the crowd cheers loudly enough, they wouldn't even need to worry about being quiet. You should probably favour private areas if you can't seem to find anywhere that's… a bit of both, as you put it. Somewhere like that makes it easier for your escort to detect someone approaching, even if it's not as secure as somewhere with more people." He pauses for a second. "Not to scare you, but if they don't already, your guards should probably be checking your room before you go in yourself."
The explanation was not ignored at all. In fact, Taji would probably recieve a couple of nods from Hoiishime, showing he had been interested. They had indeed not been far off from that of the Shime style. Taji would speak of his style. It had been very interesting to Hoiishime. Quite. "Indeed.. The Shime Style, in its olda' form, be a purely defensive style… Not an offense in sight, to inflict harm.. Of course me own variation, be made for me use as a nin, but it still maintains da principle." Nobu's suspicion would not be since much by Hoiishime. He wasn't that kind of kid. He simply had been trying to help.
Looking to the thanks, Hoiishime would bow, to both Taji, and Nobu, before making his leave. The introduction would stop him however.. Hoiishime would slowly turn and smile warmly, all his teeth showing goofily before he would say proudly, "Hanma Hoiishime. Monk of the Land of Lightning's Jinrai Shrine, and Genin Medical Ninja of the Village Hidden in the Clouds. May Buddha bless you both." He would bow deeply and head out the door. Of course, the suggestions would not be imputed on, however, Hoiishime had made a mental note.. If Taji had been around, and trouble brewed, he would make himself available to help.. No questions asked.