Date: November 11, 2014
Itami speaks with Sousa about taking a greater burden in Sunagakure's leadership.
Mystic Flower Gardens [Sunagakure]
The inside of this building is fragant with the smell of plant life, something incredible rare in the harsh desert. The stone walls of this building have vine tendrils growing up towards the roof, thin and small offsprings spreading away from the main vines, and latching into the walls. The roof is actually a large wooden hatch, to allow limited sunlight to enter on calm days.
The building can fit about 15 people comfortably with all the plants. There is a large pathway, not formed of stones. Instead, it is lined with stones, and people walking along it are actually walking on a soft carpet of grass. Shoes are required to be left at the door, so as to avoid damaging the tender grass shoots.
The center of the building is actually a small pond, about 10 feet across. Growing from the center of the pond is the largest flora in the place, a single lemon tree, growing proud and straight up towards the roof. It is kept well pruned to avoid damaging the walls, and to allow light to reach the other plants. The rest of the plants in the room are mostly smaller flowering bushes, and ferns. Simple, green plants, to give some much-needed natural life into the lives of visitors.
While the world outside endured the last of the heat from the sun's setting, the gardens maintained the cool it was known for. It always felt like a spring day in here, granted different sections did have different temperatures to cater to the needs of the plantlife, but a nice evening under the lemon tree was preferable.
Itami waited under said tree, walking around it in slow circles as she attempted to gather her thoughts for this meeting. She felt it was going to be a lot to say and just as much to take in. Much of her wished to shy away from it, but that betrayed her intents and her nature. She didn't back down and wasn't one to quit though she can admit she'd been feeling this way for some time. She sighed to herself and shook her head. No need for thoughts like those. She needs to maintain focus. Maybe in the meantime she can enjoy some lemonade. Seeing one of the attendants to the garden, she inquired about the refreshment and saw the attendant off as they sought to obtain it for her.
"Tea might be more helpful in your current conditon," the attendant remarks. "Your pacing clearly indicates nervousness, sugar would likely heighten that sensation." *POOF* Kazekage in da house, yo. "Of course it's rather hypocritical of me to advise you toward a calm state right before potentially startling you, but I have my selfish enjoyments much like everyone else." ;) Sousa holds out a cup of lemon tea. Compromise, hm? "So then, you wish to discuss a matter of some importance, Itami-san?"
Arika caught wind of an important meeting! Well, she really happened to be in the gardens at the right time. She was small enough that the attendants didn't catch her trying to peep into the meeting, the young girl hiding in some nearby bushes as she watches Itami pace back and forth. When the attendant poofs into the Kazekage, she has to try really hard not to jump or make any noise of surprise. 'What d'you think they're here for?' ~How am I supposed to know? It's not like I'm in /their/ heads too!~
"Err, well, you're probably right. I suppose some tea ought to…" *POOF* Kazekage. Of course. "Do the trick," she finished her statement and took the lemon tea as compromise. "No, I think this advice is good. I should've known, but it looks like I still have my work cut out for me. As long as I've worked around you, I haven't figured out your disguises," she chuckled. and sipped her tea. "But yes, straight to the chase. For sometime now, I've felt like we needed to do a bit more regarding our current situations between us and other villages. That is to say, our relationship with the outside world. I feel like we haven't done quite as much as we could regarding this and could stand to do more. Part of my reasoning is our operations. We tend to operate in the shadows and it's what we do best by far. I'm not saying to change that, but I do think we need to place a face to that sort of thing. To make it more relatable and I'm willing to he that face. In other words, I think we may need a second kage." After she finished, there was a cool that washed over her body that she sought to control by drinking down the rest of her tea. All that blood rushing away wouldn't do her any good here.
Sousa raises an eyebrow. "Fascinating." Sousa strolls slowly around the tree. "There is, of course, precedent for that sort of arrangement. Konohagakure, which invented the Great Shinobi Village system, had two Hokages from nearly its inception, although the fact that they had familial bonds doubtless made that easier. I must confess the prospect is tempting for me as well. A Second Kazekage would likely result in a lessening of my administrative burdens, leaving more time for in-depth research."
Sousa looks over his shoulder at Itami. "I hope you've given some thought to the consequences of the position, though. A Kage is the primary target of any enemy of our village, whether in pitched battle or in assassination. As my administrative duties would be lessened, yours would be increased, and you would have less freedom to go where and do what you will. There are also social consequences to consider. You would become an authority rather than a person in the eyes of many people, and any decision you make would be scrutinized for possible personal motivation, including the benefit of your own clan. A small fraction of the population may become convinced that I assigned you as Second Kazekage due to romantic affiliation between us. Another segment might not have such presumptions, but believe we should be married. All sorts of pressures like that." e.e
"Watanabe-sama's gonna be the second Kazekage?!" Arika gasps. 'Oh wait, that was aloud, wasn't it…' ~Yep!~ 'Dangit!!!' Arika tries to crawl a bit deeper into her hiding spot, though her exclamation likely gave her away.
"I understand. I've been through much here. I've seen this village through its infancy and up to now and even now, I still don't believe I've done enough service to it. I may not ever be personally satisfied, but I always do my best to satisfy the people. I think I'm ready to bear that weight. My work and my scars show for this, I believe. I don't want to do this to maximize my role, but to maximize potential. I realize that having this position is one that will come with all manner of questioning against me, but it's nothing I haven't experienced before and nothing that will go away." She inhaled deeply and sighed, turning her attention towards the bushes. She observes them for sometime before returning her focus to Sousa. "The wildlife can be a bit loud at this time, hm?" She joked. She lifts her cup to drink the trickle of tea left at the bottom. "I'm ready for these pressures. This is a new step in my life and one I enter into willingly amd with understanding of what it comes down to…" she paused. "Arika can vouch for that," she smirked.
"No, you don't have understanding," Sousa remarks. "Not full understanding, anyway. These matters are too complex for thorough prediction. Not that we should necessarily abstain because of that, science would never make progress if we needed to understand something before experimenting with it." Sousa looks over toward where Arika is hiding. "If you go about spreading rumors of this, make certain to imply we were trying to be secretive about it. Few things boost the effectiveness of covert operations than others thinking they've already found out your secrets." ;) Sousa looks back to Itami. "Of course, we'll need to discuss this with the rest of the council before affirming anything."
Arika peeks out from her hiding spot fully, then steps out of the bushes and brushes some of the twigs and leaves stuck to her. "I won't tell! Well… I might tell Kuroki-sama if I see him, but he will probably know already." She nods a bit, then wanders even closer, though a tad slowly, and settles down near the Watanabe unless shooed off.
"Also true. Kage is nothing that I think it will be and if I continue to see it like I do my current duties, I doubt I'll make progress. I must be open to learning and experimenting," Itami nodded. "I will wait for the council to speak further on the issue and I'm grateful that you allowed me the time to speak of this with you." As Arika draws closer and settles in nearby, Itami reaches out to place a hand on her shoulder saying, "I have things to discuss with you personally. We'll meet about this later over a treat on me. Is this alright?"
Sousa nods. "You're quite welcome, Itami-san. It's rare that the matters you wish to discuss are a waste of my time." Sousa walks out toward the exit of the gardens. "I'll prepare a memo for the other Council Members to inform them that we'll be considering this. You may wish to prepare yourself for the debate. Write a speech, brush up on village affairs, think of a positive spin on that thieving episode someone will inevitably bring up, that sort of thing."
Arika looks up to Itami, eyes wide with curiosity. "Something to discuss? What is it?" She gives a small nod. "But okay! Can we get Mochi?" she asks, bouncing a bit at the prospect of Mochi. "Byebye, Kazekage-sama! Have a good day!" she calls over to Sousa. ~I'll kill him when he's having a bad day, then?~ 'You can't kill the leader of our village!'
Itami wasn't in much of a mood for a debate, but its all part of this position she supposes, so she may as well prepare for it. She watched Sousa out of the garden while Arika spoke. When he was no longer within sight, she stretched her limbs to shake off any remaining nervousness. "We can go get Mochi. I'll let you know more once we get to the restaurant. Until then, we should probably leave here. We won't get any dessert standing around here," she laughed.