Date: September 29, 2013
Etsu is chosen as Konoha ambassador to Kirigakure
"Salting the Slug of Warfare"
It is an early summer morning in Konoha, and the Hokage has already started her day. The smell of a chrysanthemum tea fills her office, and while Hashiramako would far prefer to be just relaxing and enjoying a cup, maybe even taking a day off and playing some games with the young members of her family, her duties keep her here. All in all, though, she's really ready for there to be an actual time of peace. Just when things were looking up between the Great Shinobi nations themselves, now it's looking like there's an outside threat. And, right now, she's reading a scroll about that threat, and giving a long sigh.
Despite a late night, Etsu is up at morning and ready to start the day. She makes her first order of business, handling business. So, she makes her way to the Lookout and to the Hokage's office where her arrival is announced with a few taps on the door and an announcement. After the door is opened, she steps inside and bows saying, "Hokage-sama. I have arrived. There are things that need discussion." She pulled out the information she received regarding this parasite threat.
Hashiramako stands up, and returns the bow. "Good morning!" she says, sounding glad for the company. "Yes, there are actually a number of matters that we need to discuss. Please, sit, and share a cup of tea while we talk about them." she says, and, without waiting for any words of assent, she pours a cup for Etsu. By the time that Etsu might reach the desk, Hashi has already settled back down in her chair, and pushed the scroll that she was reading aside. It can wait. The Hokage would rather be chatting, and, all things considered, this is likely more important than the contents of the scroll, anyway.
Etsu nodded as she approached the desk and took the cup of tea in hand prior to settling in. While making her way down, she was already sipping at the tea and nearly finished it before meeting the cushion. Seems like she was thirsty. Setting the empty cup down, she proceeded to pour herself more saying, "I thought to acquire the role of ambassador for Konoha. I thought I would be a decent candidate for it. I was wondering how the selection was coming along. I also received this information that shows some concerns over chakra parasites. I think it obvious the concerns I have regarding it, but can state them anyway. What issues may arise from breeding kikaichu to defend against this threat? I can think of some, but free consequences are not coming to me due to some lack of knowledge."
Hashi can't help but smile. "You are certainly rapid fire this morning!" she says mirthfully. "Let us take this one at a time. First, the selection process for the ambassador. If you will have it, I would like the Konoha ambassador to Kirigakure to be you. As you were coming here to ask about the position, I expect that you will accept. It is actually the primary reason that I included you in the recipients of the intelligence report on the chakra parasites. If you are going to be in Kirigakure, I wanted you to be fully informed, so that information could quickly get to Takeshi-san and the Mizukage."
Gettin' down to business. That was Etsu's way…sometimes. Depended on how she felt, but when it was time for serious business, then serious business would occur. "I humbly accept the position as ambassador." She bowed her head in thanks. "And I thank you for selecting me. As for this information, I will give it to Takeshi-san and Mizukage-sama as soon as I arrive in Kiri." Though she didn't like Kiri, she thought to at least go there to learn something and keep an eye on them. Yet, her primary focus would be the good terms they were on. "Is there any indication on how these parasites may affect kikaichu or is that still being researched?" She inquired as she took in more tea.
Hashiramako's smile turns meek. "I am sorry, I should have done this in the opposite order." she says apologetically. "I did not mean to keep you worried about your beetles. There is nothing intrinsic to the chakra parasite that harms the kikaichu. However, in their natural state, they can not detect the chakra parasite. While they can be bred to be able to do so, this breeding is costly to them. It may be possible to breed a hive that would detect the parasites but is otherwise inferior. If those parasite detecting beetles were to then breed with the normal kikaichu, then the cost for developing a counter to the threat of this parasite may well be a long term diminishing of the beetles' other capabilities. Worse, should any of these parasite detecting beetles be captured by an enemy of your clan, even if your clan takes great care themselves to keep them separate, the enemy might release the beetles into your normal kikaichu population, and again lead to a long term weakness. Because of these potential threats, it has been decided to not yet develop parasite detecting beetles."
Etsu weighed the situation regarding why the kikaichu couldn't detect the beetles. She understood well and would rather not have her beetles abilities diminished just to search out a few parasites. She drank down her tea and set the cup down while considering other options. "I can't think of much else, but it's alright. I'm not worried, just wondering how I might have been able to be of some additional use. I'm sure other options will come up as this is further researched." She states.
Hashiramako leans forward, resting her elbows on her desk, and then her chin and cheeks in the palms of her hands. "It more or less gets worse from here. I would love to be sending you to Kirigakure with the mission of telling the Mizukage what we have found out as soon as you get there. But, I have already gotten an earful about revealing the secrets we have discovered. So, right now, I am trying to get a few clan heads to agree that telling the other nations is what is in the Land of Fire's best interests." As an aside, she comments, "Then grumpy elders would have to yell at all of us." Then, back to Etsu, "As soon as I get even some of them to sign off on it, you will be among the first to know. I want us to be able to start off this ambassador relationship by us sharing information instead of holding it tight to our chest. But, for now, we are going to have to trust that Kirigakure's security apparatus is fine even without what we can tell them, and that politics in Konoha is going to move faster than whatever escalation comes after these spy parasites."
Etsu didn't show emotion much, but that didn't mean she couldn't read it. She could only imagine how difficult it was to handle all this and with grumpy elders yelling all over the place. She was well aware of politics, but it wasn't a climate she thought she wanted to be included in. Still, she may have to place her foot in should she want to understand and glean more. "I will wait patiently for the information, then. My lips will be sealed in Kirigakure. They should have no problem defending themselves as they are formidable." And frustrating. "For now, I will go to Kirigakure strictly regarding relations until the air clears."
Hashirmako straightens up. "On that," she says, sounding more upbeat, "do not be shy about getting involved in activities within Kirigakure. You are going to be acting at your own discretion, but I do have some advice. If they will have you, travel along on Kirigakure missions. It is not likely that any you are along for will be of great security concerns, but fighting along side of them can only lead to improved relations. Try not to hold yourself any more apart from them than they will already do so - if you can make friends, all the better." Hashiramako leans forward, and lowers her voice. "And, this is not me being a matchmaker, and this absolutely is not an order, but if you end up with a boyfriend from Kirigakure, you will not ever get any problems from me about it."
"Understood," Etsu remarked. Even if she normally didn't sound thrilled at sitting, this time she almost let slip her disapproval, but, she supposes she'll just have to stuff it. Deep, deep down. This was going to be a lot of work, but she was up to the task. "I will try to make…friends. Hopefully…" She lofted a brow as her voice trailed off. Boyfriend? From there? Were there even any good candidates there? She tried to think over the clans she kne—wait. Wait a minute. This is Kiri. She mentally dismissed that idea and thought, maybe, it might have to be sunk with her feelings of isolation. Maybe. "Perhaps there…might be some good to come out of there, but…I'm not making any promises."
Hashiramako laughs - a good, deep hearty laugh that she'd been needing. "Really! That was not an order!" she exclaims. "You look like I just told you to eat a slug! Oh my gosh, you should see the expression on your face!" Settling down, but still smiling impishly, she notes, "They are just people. Like you and me. It is easy to forget that when they are raised in a different culture, but when you get there, it will be all too plain that they have hopes and dreams, love and friendship, and that their ideals are not that alien to our own. Their clans used to be in conflict, just like ours. And if they can come together and form a village, we can all come together and have peace between the shinobi."
Etsu sometimes forgot about the creed this village goes by. After dealing with Kirigakure, she found it difficult to see them as much more than objects that needed to be fine away with, but perhaps there's more of a reason why she thought to be ambassador. She felt it was a good opportunity to keep an eye on them, but it might turn into more as she goes. She sighed in defeat and the smallest smirk found its way to get face. "Maybe my ideas will change when I get there. But there's nothing worse than slug. I've had an experience with one that I don't want to repeat. Kiri is like living that all over again, but I'd rather conquer it than stray away from it.".
"Etsu…" Hashiramako starts, her tone warm and welcoming. "I have nothing but faith that you will do fine. None of us should feel trapped by the experiences that we have had. More than once, our villages have gone to war. But this is a chance for us - for you - to stave off conflicts." She grins a bit, and adds, "To salt the slug of warfare before it grows to large, as it were." The hokage furrows her brow, and wonders if that was one mixed metaphor too many. Oh well, onward! "You should not feel pressured to leave Konoha immediately, if there are people with whom you would like to say goodbyes, then by all means, do so. But, on the other hand, do not dally too long. I am going to announce that you have been chosen for the position today, so we should not keep Kirigakure waiting too much."
Salt the slug of warfare…? Etsu lifted a hand to her chin to rub it gently. "I have no one that I'd need to say goodbye to. I can leave as soon as possible. I'd rather not sit in the village when my time can be better spent on my duties." She rose up from her seat. "If there's anything else that requires discussion, I can stay. Otherwise, I'll be on my way." She bowed once more.
The Hokage stands, and returns the bow. "You are going to be a long way from home, but carry Konoha in your heart. We are all standing with you!" she says, and gives a thumb's up to the chuunin. For a wistful moment, Hashiramako wishes that she could travel with the girl. Go around the world, and just work to bring the ninja together. But, as nice as that goal might be, she has responsibilities here in Konoha. She is this village's Hokage, and she has to protect it first. And, unfortunately, that means back to the scrolls.
"Thank you," Etsu offers to the Hokage genuinely. She then turned to leave out, seeking to make her way to Kiri immediately. She has to admit, there's some sadness present in her heart, but in keeping Konoha close, it may all be easier as time goes along.