Scholars of the Jade Hall - The Jade Tower


Ryuusei, Saki, Shuuren

Date: August 8, 2016


Hisui Island, an island belonging to a clan wars order known as the 'Jade Scholars' was recently discovered by a merchant who ran aground upon it. Nagamura Shuuren was the first to find and learn about an order of scholars who operated before and during the clan wars who believed in freedom of information to all people. An order abandoned shortly after the formation of the Hidden Villages that was dedicated to archiving and making knowledge available to all people. Shuuren and his bodyguards find evidence of why and how the order fell apart, and find a serpentine guardian who belonged to the deceased founder of this organization, Hebisuuhai Youka.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Scholars of the Jade Hall - The Jade Tower"

Hisui Island - An Island found in less-traveled waters between the Land of Tea, and the Land of Water

The reports were not necessarily new, but were deemed unimportant given the visit of Ishino at the time, and the progressive increase in activity by the Storm Brigade. It was off the coast between Tea and Water Country that an island that was masked in a thick fog was suddenly discovered in an area that showed very little ship activity. Actually, the sailor went to the Land of Water to report it first after his ship went through the fog and wrecked into the shore of this island. Sadly for the shinobi of the Land of Water, the report hit Shuuren's desk first thanks to his own information network
Upon the island was a structure of great size, a temple of sorts that was almost like a tower. When the sailor sought refuge in it, it's stone doors were sealed shut and the entire building had an odd electrical current coursing through it. Upon it was a curious symbol. A symbol of two snakes, one black and one white, encircling and baring their fangs to a symbol of a half-crescent shape at the top. The structure was eight stories tall, made of white brick with a wide based that tapered up as it moved towards the sky. Surely the thematic was enough to lure Shuuren to it's doors. Given the island's position, large ships would likely meet their doom upon entering the colorless fog. That area had long been known as a shipping hazard after all.
The island was more than just this tower, but was itself carrying a sparse few trees and plants along it's sheltered sandy beaches.

Having received the report about this place, Shuuren decided it was definitely something worth checking out… but not with a large number of people knowing. In fact only two people would even be allowed to know about the mission, those being the two who will be attending it since they are two of the only people in the village the daimyo trusts to come along and keep the knowledge to themselves… even if they haven't exactly gotten along lately, Ryuusei and Saki. Both would have been instructed quite clearly where to meet and not to let anyone else know about the mission.
Standing on the deck of the ship, the Daimyo is at the helm this time rather than letting Saki sail the ship. Not that he doesn't trust her growing ability, but there is a large difference between chasing down pirates and finding things that ought not be found. Adorned in his signature suit, the Daimyo has a number of Shadow Clones moving around the ship to keep things functioning as they need to be. No need for a crew other than the clones. There is a look of curiosity and determination in the Daimyo's eyes, perhaps a bit of a thrill. It's been a long time since he went on a journey to a place like this. Of course, the last time he went on one of this level of mystery… Things led to where they are now with the Order of Darkness chasing him and a whisper in his mind from a dark figure that he tries to ignore in the shadows wherever he is at that no one else sees.

Saki got the news that she should be at XXX location at YYY time, and it managed to break her out of some of her depression … Temporarily. She was still a bit sore from Ryuusei… The girl dressed in a navy blue kimono patterned with pink flowers today, the kimono designed such that she can fight in it should need be. The girl stands beside the Daimyo in case he does call upon her to drive the ship, though judging by his expression he probably won't ask. She's a bit nervous today… Given that it would be only three people, Saki would grip the sword that the Daimyo had given her specially rather than her father's weapon. "Umm… What all do we know about this island..?" she asks Shuuren hesitantly. If Ryuusei was about nearby, Saki would be keeping a distance and avoid looking at the Takaha.

Ryuusei had also arrived, at the prescribed time, and while the mission parameters were rather vague, it wasn't her place to question why they were sailing to a place that seemed to rest in waters that were almost neutral. Ryuusei was adorned in white, with brown leather in key protective places. She tried to do the best to keep her place by Shuuren's side, without alienating Saki any more than she had. Shuuren knew more about the island based on priliminary reports, but Ryuusei speculated, "It's an island, but the center of importance isn't the land, but the building that rests upon it I'm certain." Ryuusei slipped her hand to the pommel of her seastone estoc as she looked at the great fog wall.
The Order would not follow him here, that much was certain. Saki ought to be nervous for more than just the fact Takaha Ryuusei was nearby. It was as if this particular section of sea was all masked within mist that made navigating a difficult task. In fact, it seems as if this was done on purpose. Even penetrating the wall of mist was difficult with sensory abilities. That said, the water was starting to get shallow, and little rocks beneath the water's opaque surface threatened to tear a hole in the vessel's hull of navigation was not ship-shape. They were not even close enough to witness the island, and the fog was clearly artificial. It's clear that this place was attempting to remain hidden.

[NPC System]: Ocean Obstacles roll(s) Navigating the Rocks (Stealth) vs Crew from 45 to 80 and get(s) a 71. - Rolled by: Ryuusei

If the waters could not be successfully navigated, the ship would likely catch on a rock, damaging itself in the process and making the process of sailing impossible. That means going by foot would become the only viable way of making it.

RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SAGE-ART-CHAKRA-SENSE…66

Shuuren is quite an awesome sailor, but this place is rather hard to navigate through even for him. He even grabs one of his special soldier pills to take and try to boost the output of his sensor jutsu… but not quickly enough. As luck would have it, the ship grazes enough on a rock to puncture the hull. The Daimyo frowns as the ship rocks and gets stuck, letting out a sigh.
"… Looks like we're on foot from here. Ryuusei, stay close," Shuuren orders then looks over to Saki. "Since you can't walk on water yet, climb on my back. I'd just carry you, but I don't want to be caught off guard in case I end up needing to use Ninjutsu." He turns toward the way they were sailing then, crouching down slightly so Saki can get on his back and they can get moving upon the water. Assuming she does, he would hop off the ship and beginning moving along the water's surface toward where he believes the island should be.

"D-Do you think?" the Assistant would stammer when Ryuusei speaks up, swallowing a lump in her throat. Talking to Ryuusei was painful… But she had to survive. Communication was important for every mission. Since she wasn't driving, Saki just watched the fog to try and figure out if there was anything to be wary of. Her perceptive abilities needed some work, though, and she cannot warn the Daimyo in time (if she even saw those rocks ._.).
Saki wobbles a bit when the ship crashes into some rocks, and she frowns as well. "I… guess it's a good thing that… I wasn't driving.." she mumbles. The girl doesn't like the idea of having to swim, though. But apparently swimming isn't on the agenda since Shuuren was going- wait, what!? "Oh… Oh… Hai…" she says weakly, climbing onto the Daimyo's back and wrapping her arms hesitatingly around his neck. She would wrap her legs around his waist as well for maximum latching in case there is an attack…

The ship getting caught by the rock causes the entire ship to shake, and Ryuusei even stumbled a little. As Ryuusei turns quickly to make sure that the Daimyo was alright, the half-skirt that flows down her leg shifts with her movement. "I'm… I'm somewhat certain." She replied to Saki as she received her orders and promptly moved to the Daimyo's side, likely jumping off the ship and landing into the water as Saki mounted the Daimyo. She looked up to the ship as she waited for the Daimyo to finish preparing. As she waited, of course, her hands reached up to one of her pig-tails, which were curled into spirals. She seems transfixed on giving them a few playful tugs. Ryuusei had been the target of a few ambushes before, and it seemed like the critical opportunity to attack would be soon if it was coming. That caused her to pre-emptively draw her blade in preparation for a fight, even if it was or was not coming.
The thick fogwall would have to be traversed by foot, but the three would be in no more danger than if they had traversed it by ship. Nevertheless, Shuuren at least could easily determine that the mist created around this island was the result of ninjutsu of some sort. The kind of ninjutsu wasn't clear, because the chakra used to feet the roiling storm of fog was not humanoid. Humans and animals have different kinds of chakra, ones that can be determined by skillful sensors. The fog was no different, though it's aura was rather familiar and was flowing from a central point. Clearly, the island.

Hisui Island
The dense fog was only a five hundred yards thick in length, and eventually when Shuuren and company had breached the thickness, they would come to a small island. The island itself was only 3/4ths a mile across, and on the northern end of the island overlooking the ocean was a rather tall tower of white, with carvings upon it that weren't easily identifiable from so far and likely weathered. Yet, the building in the distance did not seem that entirely old, perhaps it had been abandoned only twenty years ago based on the level of decay. There were signs of moss growing upon the white bricks that line the large path leading up to the tower, and also signs that Earth Ninjutsu had been used to create the barrier around the island. In other words, this structure was likely dated during the clan wars. Yet, even from a glance no one could tell what purpose it brought, or why it was here. That is the purpose of this mission, however.

Once Saki is secured on his back, Shuuren runs along the water with Ryuusei through the fog. Luckily the trip is pretty safe along toward the island, the main danger being the rocks, which they are moving safely above. He furrows his brows a bit as they move, trying to figure out exactly what might be casting this jutsu. It doesn't feel human… perhaps a summoned creature or some sort of ninja animal.
When they finally reach the island, the Daimyo would stop about teen feet onto the shore and crouch down slightly to allow Saki to get off his back. He looks up at the tower in the distance as they would begin walking toward it. "… This place has been empty for a while by the looks of it," he comments as they walk, keeping his senses up in case there does wind up being an attack from somewhere. Otherwise he studies the island and details of the tower's structure as they move.

Saki would slide off the Daimyo's back, looking just a bit guilty that she had yet to learn about chakra control that a majority of Genin in the shinobi world knew. She would sigh softly, drawing her sword as her green eyes dart around the area. This area was spooky… "A-Are you sure it's… deserted?" she asks of Shuuren, falling back to her original plan of ignoring Ryuusei's existence because she would just prefer to ignore her for now. She was glad that the fog was behind them, at least. It's hard for her to fight in such thick fog.

Which is good, because Ryuusei was having trouble looking Saki in the eye as well. In fact, she did not even have the chance to look into the Daimyo's eyes right now or risk facing the person she hurt for purposes that aren't even that clear yet. "I don't think it's deserted by life, but it does look deserted by people." After all Saki and Shuuren could certainly look and feel within a short distance. There were snakes here. Lots of snakes. Snakes in the grass, in the trees, in the bushes, but never on the white brick path that lead up to the tower from the shoreline.
These snakes all had something in common. They had black scales and yellow eyes. Likely, part of the island's defense were these venomous snakes. Each one seemed to have some level of intelligence, because each raised it's head and seem to acknowledge the presence of the incomers. Each one seemingly took hidden positions and laid in wait. That said, even though Shuuren's scent is clearly serpent and likely not to provoke the ire of the serpents, the same cannot be said for Saki or Ryuusei. "This island has a rather strange feel. Not just because the air is rather humid and cold…" All three would likely notice the smell of ozone. A smell that seemingly managed to get stronger as one neared the tower.
Said tower's purpose started to become more apparent as they group would approach closer and closer. Shuuren would notice that his senses had trouble penetrating the thick white stone, while all three could take in the tower's smooth outer architecture that seemed to lead up to the top which might have been flat. There was a strange sphere at the top, as well. Perhaps this tower was somewhat of a lighthouse?

Shuuren blinks a few times as they walk toward the tower, taking a whiff of the air and seeming a little confused by who… or rather what is here. What is this place, Snake Island? Shuuren hasn't sensed this many snakes around since he was visiting the Hebisuuhai in Kumogakure or in Ryuichi Cave. He considers whether he should summon Ryutaro at this point, though neither Saki nor Ryuusei have met him yet.
"Be careful and do not move suddenly," he instructs them. "There are a large number of snakes on this island, and they don't seem quite normal…. So, no, it's not deserted, but no humans live here." Odd way to put it, but, as Saki knows, Shuuren has some relation to snakes. As they walk, his eyes study up at the tower again, somehow not worried about what the snakes might do… at least to him. "This is new…"

Saki chews a bit on her bottom lip as she looks around, the girl seeing a lot of snakes. A lot more snakes than she would like… And even if Shuuren has a special relation with snakes, him telling the two girls to be careful has her on edge. "I… really don't like this…" Saki mumbles under her breath, her grip on her sword that much tighter on the hilt. She can't help it! This was really spooky. Also, because she only has her eyes to spy things, she doesn't get to see as much as Shuuren… So she isn't sure what else to do but move forward and sorta to the side of and behind the Daimyo. Saki taps a finger with her weaker hand against her side, glancing at Shuuren. "Umm… What… do you mean? … Like… the tower?"

Ryuusei's feet move across the white stone pathway. The stones ring curious to Ryuusei, because each brick is an interlocking pattern of curls that seem to provide the roadway with further stability, and only a few examples of cracked bricks are upon the road. Though the small snakes might be able to communicate with Shuuren to some extent, the group carries onward out of the paved area that crosses the wooded part of the island straight up to the white tower. The stench of ozone is impeccably thick, which means there was some sort of electric current running somewhere. Honestly, Ryuusei had no idea what was causing this smell she wasn't quite familiar with. She seemed to take the initiative by observing the stone wall directly with her hand as if she wanted to feel the grain of the stone, but she would be the example that proved that the tower was guarded against penetration through the fact that it seems to hold a current. Thus, as soon as she touched the stone a crackle could be heard. Ryuusei almost immediately dashed backward, "It's… electrical…"
Then there was the door. Just as the fisherman had described it. A staff with two serpents coiled about it, fangs reared at the top of the pole. One black. One white…

RPCOMBAT: Ryuusei took 150 damage.

"Just stay close to me. I can summon more snakes than are on this island in an instant. We're fine," Shuuren says as he looks over to Saki then nods. "Yes, the tower." He looks back ahead then as they walk, continuing to study the area around as they walk ahead. As Ryuusei reaches forward, he almost reaches forward to stop her, but it seems she gets the message.

RPCOMBAT: Saki defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…41

Saki keeps closer to Shuuren, watching Ryuusei from behind and sort of slipping into a bit of a daydream (day-mare?) about things… It's when there's a crackle of lighting that she realizes why it smells so much like Ozone: Storms —> Lightning —> Ozone. "Weird…" is all she manages to comment, feeling that much more intimidated at the symbol on the door. Saki takes a breath to try and calm herself. She looks around for a few more moments, trying to figure out if there is anything strange going on around them besides the whole snake thing… Also, if Shuuren's communicating is audible, she can't help but feel a bit creeped out.

Ryuusei would grumble a moment as she places the finger that had been shocked in her mouth, eyes narrowing as she looks at the tower with fair more suspicion. Even then, she does not notice anything off. Sadly enough, she would certainly stand there grasping her blade tightly… Said blade reacted to the lightning in a way that had never reacted before. It was dripping water without it's owners command. "I'd say we could walk up the side of the walls to see what is at the top, but I'm afraid that's not an option…
Meanwhile, Shuuren gets a clear response from a first generation snake. They are first generation because they have had about twenty years to grow. He comes crawling out from the grass, rearing it's head at Shuuren. It was fifteen yards long, and quite thick. It seems to be in a defensive posture. ~Mother… Mother requires the blood of the serpent to enter. Impale your blood upon the door and you will be given access, if you are truly as we are. If you are not, then the door will not open and we will kill you.~ This giant serpent is a mouthy sort. Clearly one that was the self proclaimed protector, it's giant serpent tongue flickers from it's mouth as it's head weaves.
Saki would find something interesting. It seems there is a sharp metal protrusion coming from the door which exactly where the serpents were raising their fangs at. That is where the Daimyo's blood is required perhaps? Neither of his comrades have any serpentine blood in them after all.

Shuuren glances slightly at Saki as she speaks, noting how close she's keeping with a slight smirk. He looks back to Ryuusei then, saying, "Hold on. Let me find out more." He then turns his attention to the larger snake as it comes, nodding to it. ~Understood, brother. Thank you.~ He looks back to the door and steps over to it as Saki assumedly tells what she spotted while he was talking to the serpent.
"Hold still a moment," the Daimyo instructs the two as he lifts his hand and impales it upon the spike. His blood flows onto the spike, Shuuren allowing it to do so as much as he figures it will take to trigger whatever mechanism locks this door before withdrawing his hand and wrapping it in a cloth from his coat.

Saki's eyes somehow manage to catch the strange protrusion on the door, and she would step over to examine it curiously. Not knowing what the snakes said, she didn't know Shuuren was looking for it specifically, but she was going to report it to the person leading this mission, sooooo… "Sh-Shuuren-dono..? I… There's… something odd…" she says, pointing it out. When Shuuren makes his way over as well and then stabs his hand onto the spike, she flinches, but she stays where she is. "Umm.. I… h-hope you knew what you were doing…" she mumbles, looking unhappy. This temple area was really creepy, and it was getting creepier with the whole blood/chaka sacrifice going on. "What… exactly is this place…" she wonders under her breath, peering at the door to see what happens next.

Ryuusei seemed to be in shock as the Daimyo impaled his own hand upon the spike. "S-shuuren-dono! Please, don't do that… There are safer ways to extract blood!" Ryuusei moved up to Saki, close but not so close, as she tried to get the Daimyo's attention. "Lord Nagamura, we're far from Tea, if you get hurt there might be no way to help you recover should you be too wounded to heal your own wounds!" Ryuusei's arms flail comedically, as her eyes close shut with a worried expression.
It was necessary to gain entrance, but it was taxing on the Daimyo. It seemed the blade had chakra absorption properties, but it fueled the mechanicsm that opened the door (500 Health, 4000 Chakra). In short order, the door slowly began to open, and as the light began to pour in through the slowly opening door, the insides of the tower were revealed.

Nagamura Shuuren, Himawari Saki, and Takaha Ryuusei had entered the Jade Tower.

The Jade Tower - The Upper Expanse
The front entrance leads into what appears to be a great library that has suffered very minimal damage over the years it has been unoccupied. The most notable feature that would strike one as they entered was the great spiral staircase that spiraled each other as a double helix would, only each stair represents a serpent. One black, one white. A duality, common in the studies of 'Yin' and 'Yang'. This spiral staircase leads to the multiple levels of the very, very dark building. Only a single pillar of light seems to scale from above, which does little to light the actual walls. Walls that were not walls of brick, but walls lined with thousands of scrolls stuck into categorized sections. The Jade Tower, as a result, is clearly a center of information archiving. Knowledge that was lost during the clan wars resides here in mass. It is probably one of the few living relics that remained untouched during the clan wars.
Of the more noticeable artifacts in the room were three statues in the back of the giant room, each one representing a person important to the foundation of this place. Who they were requires reading the engravings in the front of each statue.
In the center of the room, a space between the spiral staircases, and bathed in the light that focuses from above, is what appears to be a figure upon it's knees in a black robe. The hood of the robe has manifestations of snake's eyes on either side, and it appears that a very, very odd blade is thrust into it's midsection. Indeed, the figure is not alive but appears to have committed suicide. The blade appears to be a Nagamaki, with a blade that seems to have a green stain. Examining the skeleton within might provide insight to who it is, but the skeleton also has a scroll in her lap. A letter.
The final objects of notice are a rather strange scroll that the skeleton of a serpent is coiled around. The scroll is dyed half pitch black, with the other half white. It appears to have information regarding a certain researcher's work before their death.

"This is why I told you to hold on," Shuuren says as he smirks back at Ryuusei when she freaks out about him cutting himself. Despite the heavy chakra drain, he keeps up a strong front of not being harmed in the least as he looks back at his two guards… Well, guard/gardener and guard/assistant. "I'm fine. I can heal my injuries without issue." Just to prove it, he brings his hands into a seal, doing just that and causing the wound on his hand to close up with a glow of chakra around it. Once it's closed, he looks at her and asks, "Better?"
The Daimyo looks briefly to Saki as she speaks, trying to gauge her expressions. Long as she doesn't freak out too much, things should be okay here. "That's what we're here to find out. Let's do that."
As the door at last swings open, Shuuren looks inside a moment to be sure there are no traps right by the door before stepping through and looking around at the rather impressive structure. It's the type of place he himself would be proud to build if he were more open about the type of knowledge he has and his abilities as a Snake Sage, so he is actually rather impressed with whichever of his predecessors built this place. Hopefully he can find out more about that person from the scrolls and tomes.
For once the Daimyo actually looks excited to find a new place for reasons other than diplomacy or enjoying spending time with someone. There is knowledge here to be gained and a lot of it at that. He gazes around the room with definite curiosity, ready to check out everything here.
Eyeing the statues and, in particular the figure with the sword stuck in it, Shuuren lets out a 'hmm' then glances to the giant scroll with a snake around it. He ponders a moment which he should check out first and decides to go with the former first, stepping over and looking the skeleton over with respect before he picks up the scroll and opens it to read what is inside.

Saki can only assume the door opened because of chakra or some other dark magic. Certainly, it was nothing usual… While she seemed a bit spooked, judging by her face going pale, she didn't look like she was ready to bolt or anything. And she would sort of glance at Shuuren when he healed himself, almost frowning. Should he really be wasting energy to heal himself when a bandaid would have sufficed? Well, it's not like she knew the status of his chakra, and she actually looked a bit relieved that he wasn't bleeding. But still, they didn't know what they were getting into here…
After Shuuren steps in first (shouldn't the guards be doing that?!), Saki would wait for Ryuusei to move into the room as well before entering behind the Takaha to take her own opportunity to inspect the inside of the tower. She was surprised at how well-preserved it seemed despite the lack of humans around to help upkeep it. Everything was fairly impressive, though the fact that there were so many snakes was… disturbing, to say the least. A thrill of fear ran through the teen, and she forced herself to take a few calming breaths to make sure she was ok. Everything would be fine… Totally.
The first scan across the room would allow Saki to take in everything and note what seemed interesting/important/dangerous. The second scan in reverse would allow her to confirm her findings. And the third would seek out something for her to inspect even further. There were several things that piqued what natural curiosity was held within her being. The first: the scrolls that seemed to line the walls. Saki hadn't ever been to a library; the most she had seen were the files that Shuuren kept as records of the Land of Tea. And what little she worked with were … Well, suffice to say that this tower looked more like several libraries in one.
The next items that caught her interest would be the three statues. She decided to make her way to them first and foremost. While those three statues would be her first goal, however, walking towards them would allow her to pass through the center of the room and into he light that came from above. Provided nothing bad happened, Saki takes a moment to look upwards and try to find the source of this light. Since Shuuren chose to inspect the nearby skeleton, she paid it little heed except to rest hand on sword once more. After all that zombie princess got Shuuren good, and she didn't want a repeat of that incident -_-;
After a short few moments of looking at the room's light source, Saki continues on to the statues to examine the lettering/characters etched on the assumed nameplates (descriptors?) in front of them. She was hoping to read them and perhaps gain more insight on this mysterious tower… Of course, this is all assuming nothing bad had happened. Paranoid guard is paranoid…

"I have to be extra careful… As your bodyguard I have to keep you out of danger. Was that not what Daoma did before me?" She asked with narrowed eyes. Taking a deep breath, she raised her hands to her face to calm herself. "I am getting the feeling that this is a piece of history. I wonder what you plan on doing with this place now that you've entered it?" She asks. There was much that Ryuusei was indeed curious about herself, particularly the statues It was there that she waited as she read each of the name plates. Saki would supposedly join her in a moment. After all, she seemed -pretty- focused on the walls full of scrolls.
Scrolls that were likely filled with knowledge that Saki might find relevant to her studies. It seemed on the bottom floor were maps, and culture notes as well as a history of the land during the clan wars. The middle floor were personel files on every important individual in the shinobi world during the time of the clan wars. The top contained biological topics, and mathematics. The island was going to be a center of learning at one time. It seems as Saki peruses the books from afar, she would notice that there was a door leading down to an entirely new section. An underground section of the tower. A place likely to contain countless scrolls with chakra information like the scroll that had a skeletal snake surrounding it that was within plain sight. Then, after a few moments, Saki joins Ryuusei to view the statues.
"They appear to be the founders of the 'Hall of the Jade Scholars'". Ryuusei said as she rubbed her chin. The woman in the middle's name read 'Hebisuuhai Youka', and beneath her name was the following piece 'Founder of the Jade Hall. Scholar of Illusory Arts and the Archivist'. The statue depicted a rather modest and reserved woman. The next read 'Shirayuki Hyjinko, The Scholar of Physical Chakra arts' The statue depicted a fiery Shirayuki, with almost lion-like features. The last's name was scrawled out, and the head of the statue was removed. The only legible writing was 'Scholar of The Body, The Wolf'. That statue appeared to be ruined for some reason. However, one thing was clear. The chair the statue sat upon was made of bone, singaling that it might have been the statue of a Kaguya.

Shuuren could likely tell the skeleton was female, just based on the smaller proportions despite being cloaked in tattered and old clothing. As Shuuren picks up the letter, the skeletal figure dropped upon it's side. The letter would provide plenty of background. It was a letter designated to 'Hebisuuhai Korose'.
The Letter in dead hands read as follows: Korose, my miserable son. When you find me, I will be dead by my own hand. I curse you to the grave, because it was you that supported the idea of a military establishment that was not under the direct control of the Daimyo. Do you realize what this will do to my precious Land of Water? Do you understand how you've trampled upon the freedoms of all common people? I raised you with the ideals of free information for all people. A land where everyone had the knowledge to make important decisions. A populace in our Land of Water that could create a strong state that could check the power of the weakling Daimyo who bent the knee to the Kaguya. Polished Kaguya.
You chose to keep the books out of the peasant's grasp. You chose to throw everything I had worked for a hundred years into the past. You are still my spawn, however. I vowed when I was born in Tea Country to my mother, a woman ousted from the clan, and my lowly peasant father that I would break the traditions of leaving children behind to let nature decide their fate. That tradition can burn in hell, and so my spawn, I leave everything within this tower to you and your offspring for generations to come. My vision to bring the Hebisuuhai people to a utopia of knowledge in the Land of Water is over, but you had best keep my legacy alive…
Only one lingering warning remains, my spawn, beware the Usurper who steals my face and name. If the Hebisuuhai Clan remains beneath the mountain, they will breathe their last beneath it. -Youka

The Daimyo's eyes scan carefully over the letter, his eyebrows furrowing slighty at its first few lines. Really, though, he's not so surprised that this is basically a suicide note. As he reads more about the woman's obviously shaky relationship with her son over political differences, he then comes to the information about this place and what it was meant for. This makes quite a bit of sense, even with the lock on the tower to keep all but those with the blood of snakes from being able to enter alone. The final piece of information causes him to furrow his brows a bit… One who steals her name and face. So there is a traitor or a spy somewhere trying to use this woman's legacy…

Reaching into his coat, the Daimyo withdraws a scroll large enough to place a body on and rolls it out on the floor. He then pulls the naginata from her bones and sets it aside before carefully laying the skeleton out on the scroll as he speaks in the snake tongue. ~Sleep now, Sister. I will lay you to rest properly and I will take care of your unfinished business.~ With a handseal then, the skeleton vanishes into the scroll along with the letter, so he rolls the scroll up and places it back in his coat before standing upright once again and looking to see what Ryuusei and Saki are up to.

While he observes them, he steps over to the dual-colored large scroll that is wrapped in that snake. "I suppose this ought to be the next thing I examine," he says as he starts to look it over, being certain he won't trip some sort of trap by pulling the scroll from its bonds.

When Saki was still walking with Ryuusei, she managed to catch the Takaha's words to the Daimyo. Despite the two not being entirely happy with each other, Saki still found herself agreeing with Ryuusei. Protecting Shuuren was the most important task at all times, even if Shuuren generally didn't need such protection. The Daimyo was, often, more than capable of protecting himself and his bodyguards… Which sort of defeats the purpose of Ryuusei and Saki, but appearances must be maintained.
While the scrolls were on Saki's list of 'things to examine', her first thorough examination would be of the ceiling. The light that seems to be flooding this tower felt natural, at least. There was definite warmth from it that one wouldn't feel from this far away if it were powered by electricity or something. It was odd, though, that sunlight would be coming down when that giant orb was atop the tower. She decides to think on it some more instead, moving to join Ryuusei finally to examine the statues. She would move so that she was eye-level with the different plates, considering each one. The biggest surprise, to Saki, was that each of the scholars seemed to have ties to the Land of Water excepting Youka, perhaps. A Shirayuki… Something that looked to be a Kaguya… and a Hebisuuhai.
"Nnn… It's … a bit surprising that … so many seemed to align with the Land of Water…" Saki admits. "But… I don't know much about there, so maybe it makes sense…" She would back away from the statues, shifting her attention to the scrolls that were on the wall now. There were a lot of them, and she couldn't read them all in a short time, but perusing a few of the labels that summarized the contents would prove to her that she would probably enjoy living in the tower for a few months to look at their contents.
However, the initial scans that she made of the tower also told her that there was something that might be even more interesting. Certainly, something to explore… Saki would furrow her brow, taking a few moments to debate over whether or not to move, but eventually she would start towards the door she saw. She didn't touch it or try to open it quite yet, though. She just inspected it carefully.
Her concentration is broken briefly to spare a glance back towards Shuuren. His speaking snake sent a small shiver down her back because that was sorta creepy. Also cool, but mostly creepy right now. She also got to see a body disappearing. She decides to pretend she didn't see that and turns her attention back to the door, counting to ten before she spares another look in the other two's direction. "Umm… Should… I try and open this and see where it leads to…? Or should I wait..?" she asks uncertainly.

The scroll that is opened by Shuuren contains a variety of knowledge on the concept of 'Yin and Yang', and the duality of their nature. Much of it is speculation, but it appears at the end of her life, Youka had mapped out a network of various elemental chakra and what happens when yin or yang is applied. One such part reads Indeed, I was quite impressed when I applied chakra that I had been able to refine from various test subjects to my own lightning-oriented chakra. When I added Hatoro's chakra, steeped in chakra that had vigorous energies - those I deemed 'Yang' - The mixed chakra flashed brightly. I applied this concept to Sakyo's chakra, whom seemed far more refined. The result when my chakra mixed with their refined chakra created an absence of light. I consider this refined chakra 'Yin'. The orbs I created to contain raw chakra break each time I replicate this process, giving insight to the instability of combining two types of chakra without some form of tool to focus it. My associate, Hyjinko, is in possession of one such tool. A Kekkei Genkai which allowed him to combine wind and water chakra into a stable form… The ramblings continue, including a list of possible mixtures. Many tables lay blank, however. It seemed that she had committed suicide before completing her research, hence why most of it was speculation. In summation, the chakra that is deemed 'Yin' chakra does not represent 'Darkness' but has an insidious and efficient nature. In the same light 'Yang' does not represent 'Light', but a powerful and inefficient type of chakra. The concept of Yin and Yang in Buddhist Mythology might lead to this belief, but the only reason I have adopted the use of Yin and Yang to explain those properties is because when Yin is combined with Yang, the resulting chakra creates something different. Balance. Homeostasis. I would like to thank Sakyo and Hatoro, who suffered until death to help me realize this possibility. After draining them of their chakra completely and storing it in the specialized vessels I've invented, I will now work on a way to stabilize a mixture of the two types without destroying another branch of the research and development wing in the basement.
As Shuuren reads the scroll for a few moments, the serpentine bones that had been used to seal the scroll rear up and attempt to sink it's fangs into Shuuren. It was less a living being, and more of a puppet of sorts. There were likely puppeteers in the ranks of the Jade Scholars, and this clearly was a little contraption designed by one said puppeteer to activate by itself when a chakra source was close!

[NPC System]: Skeletal Serpent roll(s) Chakra Memory Bite on Shuuren from 55 to 75 and get(s) a 63. - Rolled by: Ryuusei

Meanwhile, Saki has done a fair job at determining what the light source was. It was light focused into the tower from above. A device made of bronze that seemed to use chakra to focus or spread light, perhaps through lenses. Perhaps, even an advanced form of Lightning Manipulation. Whatever it was, it was currently focused so much at the moment that the tower was not as illuminated as it could have been.
"What is the Hebisuuhai? Shira…yuki? I know who the Kaguya are, and it makes sense. They have the distinct ability to shape their bones into weapons, so that statue must be of a Kaguya…" Ryuusei slipped her blade back into her scabbard. "Are all three a part of the Land of Water?" Ryuusei would ask. It's funny how she came from a clan that was of the Land of Water, hidden beneath the guise of Takaha, but she had no real knowledge of what was beyond it's borders. As Saki goes over towards the doors, Ryuusei seemed to be wildly interested in what was behind. "I feel as if the Daimyo should be present for opening unknown doors, Saki-san. For everyone's safety." Ryuusei didn't seem to see the bone serpent attempt to sink it's fangs into the Daimyo's wrist…

RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a UNTOUCHABLE…66
RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a PERCEPTION…34

A scientific journal. Shuuren is starting to like this Youka lady more and more. It's a pity she chose to end her life. If only there were still enough of her preserved that he could restore her, he would most definitely do so. But, with her tissue gone, there's not enough left to work from. His eyes scan the scroll with interest, though, quite enthralled in the information given by it. One would almost think he doesn't notice the mechanical snake about to touch him until he rather nonchalanty moves his wrist out of the way. As his wrist moves, a faint glow of chakra surrounds it as he moves his hand almost like he were going to pet the mechanical beast except he uses a chakra scalpel to sever the cords controlling it without actually doing physical damage to this serpentine work of art. He might repair it later should he choose to re-employ the trap. Of all Shuuren's amazing tricks and jutsu, one might forget he's a watchmaker as well and quite familiar with mechanics.
He finally looks up to where Saki and Ryuusei are by the door, lifting an eyebrow slightly. "Definitely don't open doors without me. I can bring repair pretty much any wound, but that doesn't mean you should want to suffer them." Curious now about the other branch of research mentioned at the end of that scroll, he steps over to that door to examine it for traps and such.

Saki hears Ryuusei's comments/questions since their voices sorta echoed in the tower. Also, it was otherwise silent in here… She hesitates a moment, glancing at Shuuren to see if he was going to answer, but he was too enthralled with the contents of the black and white scroll. So she would take it upon herself to explain to Ryuusei what the clans were. She vaguely recalled information she learned what seemed like so long ago. It was a bit amazing what the brain could remember at the slightest nudging…
"Umm… The Hebisuuhai are a clan…. Sort of like the Inuzuka," she starts. "They partner with snakes instead of dogs, though. And their traits are more in line with serpents, so they might have scales or slitted eyes or something…" she explains. "And the Shirayuki… They're known for using Wind and Water jutsu to make Ice Jutsu. Umm… The Hebisuuhai are actually in Kumogakure, though, but it might have been different in the past…" Saki rubs the back of her neck, feeling uncertain. Some histories were lost, and others were not shared… In this case, the latter could be assumed, if only because that was also true for her sensei as well.
Saki noticed the snake puppet starting to move, and she was even about to warn him except he actually had it all well in hand. So her mouth was just sorta open and no words came out, making her look a bit silly. Since that was over and done with, though, she would choose to reply to Ryuusei, temporarily forgetting that rift that was caused days before this. "Umm… I … suppose that's true…" she mumbles, looking down slightly when Shuuren agrees with the Takaha. Maybe she should have less stupid-moments. "The door doesn't look… trapped," she would offer, though right about now she wanted to sink into a hole. "Umm… What did the scroll say?" she asks the Daimyo uncertainly. "You… looked interested in it…" What a weak commentary. >_>;

There are many unique things in these halls, and while technically Shuuren isn't the inheritor, that doesn't mean he can't partake in it's knowledge. Wait… Maybe he can't quite partake in it's knowledge. Not without reconciling with the current guardian of this sept. Shuuren would notice that there were serpents coiled up everywhere out of sight. They haven't decided to slither out and strike, because it seems that they haven't been provoked to, but reach one's hand in the wrong scroll socket, and ouch. Snakes. With the little experimental puppet in Shuuren's grasp and well disabled, he can focus on other things. The door that was untrapped. It seemed to be run on chakra, the mechanisms seemingly puppet based in nature like the snake. Yet all it took was a pulse of chakra to open this door.
Ryuusei's commentary was just as weak as Saki's. "It might have been different? I wonder if it was because Youka had a falling out with the Kaguya." Ryuusei contemplated as she approached the door alongside Shuuren and Saki. "Specifically… With the Kaguya whose name was scratched out. 'The Wolf' or something." The Hebisuuhai have always been buried in the Land of Lightning's mountains, but it was stated that Youka wanted to change that. She wanted to bring the clan out of the mountains, and shuffle them to a new land and have them abandon some of their more terrible customs. Shuuren got the gist that Youka hated the Hidden Villages as much as the Storm Brigade. She hated them because they both usurped the power of the Daimyo, and oppressed the rights of the people through military action. In Kirigakure, this really was the case. It seemed she wanted to bring the Land of Water to an age of prosperity, but…
It never happened. "Thank you for informing me, Saki… You know a lot more than you seem to…"
As soon as Shuuren activated the door, after exploring how to make it work, it would give the trio access to the…

The Jade Tower - The Lower Expanse
The Lower Expanse is filled with far more scrolls than the upper expanse. As one descends the fortified spiral staircase, it would eventually open up to a very open space that was far larger than what was seen above. In fact, it almost felt as if that the basement level was the foundation that kept the island afloat. In this large open area, with many pillars reaching up and keeping the structural integrity ship-shape, there were many, many rows of high-reaching wooden shelves designed to hold scroll after scroll. It is a shame, but a thin layer of water seems to flow along the floor. Many scrolls happen to be floating in this water, their knowledge lost forever. It seems that the Lower Expanse is tiered like the upper. B-1 contains a variety of scrolls regarding lower level ninjutsu. B-2 is filled with scrolls that seem dedicated to genjutsu study. B-3 is a record of Taijutsu, and a few lost Taijutsu arts might be located here with diagrams showing various stances. This was definitely a place of learning at one time, for there were rooms designed to hold students. Rooms with beds where students and staff could sleep. There are various branches that halls offshooting the Lower Expanse lead to, including one collapsed that reads 'Research and Development'. Water leaks from this collapsed area, and is responsible for the light flooding in the lowest level of the tower. In the very center of the tower is a central area known as the 'gathering of minds'. A place where debate occurred on philosophical topics, direction, and where minds came together to share knowledge openly. There was no doubt that this place would have been an important center of learning had it not been abandoned. A place of free learning and knowledge exchange, and this was enforced by a sign that read in large letters. "All Knowledge is Available to Anyone, but rob your fellow scholar of that opportunity, and you will become a footnote in history." A threat, that stealing knowledge and making it unavailable will seal their doom.

Currently, in the soaked central area known as the 'Gathering of Minds', a giant black serpent laying it's head down lingered. It was wide awake, and it's chakra was being funneled into the surrounding walls. It was the source of energy in this tower, and it was coiled tightly around a large scroll with various symbols upon it.

"It was mostly scientific things. You'd need years of experience to understand it," Shuuren replies to Saki as he looks over the door. He listens curiously to Ryuusei's rhetoric about what may have been the situation here as well, though his main focus is on the door right up until he places a hand on it to push a small burst of chakra into it to cause it to open. "Clans often intermingled back then that would not today. They also often tried to kill each other… which is not so different from today."
As they descend, a certain delight shows in the Daimyo's eyes at the knowledge that is available here. Dozens upon dozens of scrolls for learning. Sure, some were lost, but, in comparison to none of this knowledge being accessible before, losing a few is not so bad. His eyes study over the various areas with interest, particularly the collapsed one since there was obviously some research going on in there…. It will have to be dug up so that what was lost there might be recovered. Maybe even some of the scrolls could be partially recovered at least with some time effort. There aren't many things Shuuren gets truly excited about, but this is definitely one of them.
The Daimyo is still unbothered by the presence of the snakes for reasons quite obvious. He is their kin of sorts, and he also has the ability to summon thousands of them to battle at once and outnumber these easily. As his eyes finally meet those of the giant black serpent, Shuuren nods his head in greeting to it and again begins speaking in snake tongue. ~Greetings, Brother. I am Riku, Sage of Ryuichi Cave, also known as Nagamura Shuuren, the Daimyo of Tea Country. We mean you no harm. We are simply here to learn.~ Maybe Ryuusei and Saki will get used to him speaking like that sooner or later, though one of them at least knows why he can.

Saki can only offer a small shrug to Ryuusei's supposition. "Maybe… It depends… If she had a lot of influence… Then maybe." Saki trails off there, watching Shuuren and waiting for him to open the door in some manner. She'd rather have opened the door for the Daimyo, but he wouldn't accept such an offer apparently, so she was left standing off to the side and just waiting. At his response, she would hesitate before saying, "M… Maybe someday I'll be able to… understand them…" Maybe. Saki seemed to be absorbing a lot of knowledge thanks to Shuuren, so there was a chance, even if it was slight. Once the door was open, Saki would step through it last, moving in behind the other two and taking one last look at the initial chamber before she stepped into the lower chamber.
Seeing the room at first made Saki blink. It was huge… The tower was tall, yes, but this area down here felt as wide as the tower was high. She looks around, eyes flitting over the scrolls on each wall. There were labels to show what the scrolls contained, much like the upper levels. Saki continued to look around the room, eyes passing over the knowledge within the scrolls for favor of the ruined papers in the water that seemed to be filling a part of the room. "Nnn…" Unable to help herself, Saki would make her way down to the water's level to try and grab some of the scrolls floating at its surface. Maybe some of them were salvageable? Hopefully nothing bad happened while she attempted to grab some of the scrolls that didn't look as water damaged.
After 'saving' one or two scrolls, Saki determined that the attempt was pointless, so she would instead move to examine the scrolls on the walls. Or at least, she would have, but then she noticed the elephant - or should one say the snake? - in the room. She hesitates for a bit, wondering if she should actually move anymore, and she glances to Shuuren to check on his reaction about the snake. Shuuren was doing that snakey speak again, so she figured that everything was going alright, at least. There was also some spark in his eyes that she normally didn't see, and she frowns slightly as she considers it before shaking her head to dismiss negative thoughts.
The teen, once recovered, chooses to walk over to one of the shelves, B3, so that she can look over the wall of books. She wasn't sure what some of those scrolls were about, the styles and skills unknown to her. That might not be as big a surprise to her, though, seeing unfamiliar skills. After all, she only knew one or two. Saki chews on her lip, glancing over at the sign that says (in essence) 'Don't steal'. "I'm only gonna look at it… I'll put it back…" she says to herself, hand reaching out to grip a scroll that held was labeled with some unusual type of Taijutsu. … Hopefully none of those snakes wanted to try and eat her. She was fully unaware of them, though, so this might end badly…

The giant serpent, with yellow eyes, remained still as Saki moved around the room. It seemed the serpent wasn't interested in her at the very least. She was on the same floor as the snake (B3), so she wasn't that far from it. Even though it's eyes trailed Saki for a moment, when she basically told the giant serpent that she was not going to steal it trusted her. In the scroll that Saki had picked up, she would have found a manual for a style used by the people in the Land of Wind known as 'Sky Rider Taijutsu'. It was definitely a taijutsu style that was lost to time. From what Saki could read, it was an advanced Taijutsu that relied on the principle of tree walking to keep an individual suspended off the ground a few inches. Like someone on skates, this taijutsu allowed people to glide across the ground and outmaneuver individuals through focusing chakra to the feet more or less depending on how fast they wished to glide. Many of the moves of this taijutsu resemble that of the Konoha or Kiri Strong Fist. Saki could likely look through scroll after scroll, learning lost Taijutsu, Ninjutsu, and Genjutsu arts and ideas and practicum. Those scrolls that Saki had actually picked up were actually waterproof, and note entirely unsavable.
As Saki read one scroll, a serpent who was chilling in the shelf she took the scroll from hissed and attempted to latch onto Saki. It was a baby snake. Black scaled, and about the size of a pencil. It was going to totally bite Saki though and show her who the boss was!

[NPC System]: Tiny Snek roll(s) Bite o w o on Saki from 5 to 20 and get(s) a 5. - Rolled by: Ryuusei

The Giant Black serpent looked very, very depressed. Honestly, it was also a rather old serpent. It was a female black serpent as well, aged about fourty years old roughly. It stared at the Daimyo as he spoke the language of the serpents to her. A language that she recognized. She seemed unresponsive at first, but after a few moments the great serpent slowly raised it's head, tighting her coils around the scroll as she did. "Riku, Sage of Ryuichi Cave, you are not the blood of my mistress. Where is Korose? Where is the traitor Korose?" The serpent clacked her tongue, as she glared at Ryuusei and then Saki. Her hiss was very loud, very guttural. "As long as you follow the rules, you are welcome to linger… Those who find this place are certainly worthy enough. We are Hisomu, the late Hebisuuhai-Shirayuki Youka's honored friend and childhood partner. We are a different ilk than those from Ryuichi." This giant serpent was Youka's partner it seemed. "We are the guardian, and librarian. We live only to keep thieves out anymore."
The large serpent laid her head back down, her nictating membrane slipping over her eyes as she started staring endlessly at the nearby wall. The snake was under a tremendous amount of pressure, and stress. Any Hebisuuhai who dies leaves a lifelong partner behind, a partner with a closer bond to them than a husband with their wife. As a result, the giant snake appeared to be a victim of that kind of drepression. There was nothing left but the final orders her partner gave to her.
Ryuusei stood by the Daimyo's side, looking scared honestly. "Daimyo-sama… Is it a friendly?" Useless guardswoman is useless at the moment.

Shuuren would briefly glance to Saki as she goes to check things out after getting over her fear of the giant snake since he can speak to it. His attention then turns to the snake itself… herself. Luckily she speaks in snake tongue and doesn't reveal what he's told her to Saki and Ryuusei since that would be rather bad form.
~I don't know where Korose is. I've only just learned of them.~ he admits. ~If you need that person to be sought out, I am willing to do so, though.~ He bows his head lightly to her. ~It is an honor to met you, Hisomu… It is true, I am not of Youka's blood, but I find her cause a worthy one to try and rebuild for the days when it is safe to open this sort of place again. I would like to repair this place and make it as great as it once was as well as lighten your load.~
Hearing Ryuusei's words, the Daimyo looks over to her and clasps her hand briefly. "Don't be afraid. She is quite friendly so long as you follow the rules set in place on the signs." He would then look back to the snake to listen to what else she has to say.

COMBAT: Saki attacks target 1 with YANK with a roll of: 33

Saki reads through the Taijutsu scroll carefully, studying one of the first listed moves very carefully and wondering if perhaps she could copy this information down or include it in her own skill set. It used chakra, of course, but … Maybe she could make it work. After all, Shuuren told her he could help her work on that… "It could work…" she mumbles to herself, as if trying to sway her own opinion. "Maybe…" That self-confidence thing again… Then she heard a small hiss, and it wasn't any kind of air or anything escaping from a balloon…
"Meep!" she squeaks out, reacting instinctively to grab the snake trying to eat her. A step back brings her away from the immediate cubby hole that the snake was resting in, and her left hand shoots out to grab the snake by the middle. Hopefully it can't bite her… "Umm… Th-that's not nice, s-scaring people…" she tells the snake, tapping it gently atop the head if it doesn't try to keep biting her. "H-hey… If… If I put you back… Will you maybe not try to bite me..?" she requests. She felt a bit silly having a conversation with the snake. It might not understand her at all, and it looked pretty young, too… So chances of it understanding were far less than she should ever expect or even hope for.
Whether or not an answer was given, Saki moves to put the scroll back in its place before she spares a glance back at her two companions. They both seem content and unafraid (or at least, Shuuren isn't. Ryuusei looks as nervous as Saki on a good day!), so the Assistant would look back at the shelves filled with scrolls to pick out another. Oh wait, she should do something with the snake… That snake would get yet another look, Saki staring carefully before she would turn her hand so that the small snake could rest on her palm and slither back into its cubby hole if it so desired. Only after it seemed to agree on not biting her, of course… That being said, she probably wouldn't have to worry about that particular snake since she wouldn't be poking at that particular scroll anymore.
With the snake assuredly gone, Saki would unfurl her newest find to explore its contents. This scroll was beside the one she just took, off to the right.

The large serpent stares at Shuuren, speaking appropriate serpent tongue to Shuuren. Though her reply was not quick, the great serpent's reply was undoubtedly hesitant. ~Bring me Korose, my mistress' son. He fled his responsibility, believing the hidden villages were the future. The Hisuigenkan, the Scholars of the Jade Halls, did not believe as such. We believed that the coming of the hidden village would disrupt the feudal system and ultimately bring about a transition into a military state. Perhaps now that the world has fallen into anarchy, as my mistress predicted, he will see the error of his ways…~ The giant black serpent's nictating membrane blinked, before posing a question. "The world has fallen into anarchy, as it not? I can feel, far far away, that chakra is being used constantly. Sporadically. More than it was used during the Clan Wars. Especially recently.~ The black serpent's chakra sensing abilities allowed it to feel the world as it moved by, but the scope still left everything blank.
~Regardless. This is not your place to rebuild. My instructions are clear. Bring me the heir of this tower, Riku, Sage of Ryuichi Cave. It was my mistress' last wish before her death.~ It appears that the serpent was wary of having anyone take up the cross, even Shuuren.
Meanwhile, Saki's little serpent would flails around in her arm in surprise. The little black snake had tiny little black eyes. Likely a third generation Hebisuuhai serpent, though Saki hadn't even the chance to talk to it. Upon bopping it on the head, the serpent calmed down. That was a common snake-calming technique used by the Hebisuuhai Clan. Yet, even though it clearly had a fair amount of intelligence it did not understand Saki. Too young. Even as she try, the serpent doesn't seem to want to go back into the cubby however. Likely because the nose bump was ingrained in it's mind as a 'Stop' command. So it stopped. On Saki's palm. Coiled slightly. There it would remain until Saki put it down. Maybe on the table she sat on?
The next style Saki picked was a kenjutsu style from the Land of Wind. It was a Taijutsu that used a large fan in combat, and was attributed to the Nogakujin. Though the style did not have a name coined to it, the particular fans used in this Taijutsu, Kenjutsu even, were flowing moves that were difficult to dodge along with various blocking maneuvers. The colors of the fan could even provide distractions to those combatting a user of this style, and if the need for a powerful blow was ever had, the fan would fold up into it's unfolded form, doubling as a raw blunt instrument that could easily crush skulls. Advanced techniques of this clearly non-chakra form involved gliding using the fan over short distances.
Ryuusei would sit on the other side of the table as she seemingly wandered over from the inaudible hisses Shuuren was using to communicate to his serpent friend. "Saki-san, it looks like you're having fun. Do you like this sort of place?" Ryuusei would ask. Small talk…

Shuuren should've known things would go this way. He has his doubts this Korose will cooperate. In fact he imagines this person will prefer a battle to coming back to this place peacefully and may end up having to be slain before he can take up repairing this place. Still, it is a worthwhile endeavor to pursue this.
~I will bring Korose to you then.~ The Daimyo nods his head in agreement. ~What can you tell me about him so that I can track him down? I'm certain it'll be a bit easier for me than most since I do have snake traits… even if I purposely don't make them obvious because people know me better in this form as daimyo.~
Another brief glance is cast toward Saki and Ryuusei, observing each of them an their interaction. Most likely to see how well they get along.

Saki holds out her hand for a few moments until she realizes that the snake didn't intend to move anywhere. Uh-oh… Did she kill it? No, it looked quite alive… It wasn't limp or anything… Saki looks around a moment, uncertain of what to do with a snake that is all coiled up. "Umm… Sh-Shuuren-dono..?!" she calls out, hoping that she wasn't interrupting anything important. There was a lot of hissing going on down there… It didn't sound angry, but she doesn't really know snake, so her judgment is probably not fully reliable.
Saki can't really open and read a scroll with a snake in her palm, so she gently puts it down on a nearby table and watches it to make sure it doesn't try to bite her again before she begins to look over the scroll. What is within the scroll … Well, she doesn't have any use for it, but it is definitely interesting to see such a unique (to her) form of bukijutsu (weapons Jutsu). And while she would not mind attempting to glide on a giant fan, she felt the style was too much, so the scroll was rolled up and put back in its place. Ryuusei would get a small glance when she would offer her comments, and Saki finds herself flushing a bit with embarrassment. "O-Oh… Umm… H-Hai, I do…" she admits, rubbing the back of her neck. "It's … It's really interesting… Don't you think, Ryuu-Chan..?" Saki would make a vague gesture in the shelves' direction (even though they were basically on all sides). "It… I mean, I didn't really realize how much I enjoyed reading… Until I got to Tea… Because when you're just a baker, you don't have much time to read…" Saki takes a breath, as if checking herself. So far she and Ryuusei were getting along… Good.
"Umm… Do you like it here..?" she asks hesitantly, turning back to the shelves after giving the small snake a glance to make sure it's not causing trouble. Saki chooses to pick up a scroll that was two down from the first she selected, unfurling it and studying its contents curiously. Of course, her mind begins to wander as she looks over the scroll, thinking about how she was acting during the conversation with the other bodyguard. Her eyes weren't quite resting on Ryuusei throughout the conversation…. They flicked from the side of her to the desk, and maybe off again to the other side, but really, she couldn't bear to look at Ryuusei, let alone make eye contact. Saki squeezes her eyes shut upon this realization, then she reopens them to look over the scroll for real.

Taking in all the information given by the snake, Shuuren would nod to her once in a while. The Hebisuuhai Village, a place Shuuren has not visited in some time… a place where people are likely to pick up the essence of the snake in him that others have not. Still, they are part of Kumogakure, his home village from his days as a shinobi, so they are not likely to betray him.
~I will find him and bring him to you.~" The Daimyo would bow his head lightly to the snake then, eyeing that scroll as it occurs to him what it probably is. He's signed one of those type himself… twice actually.
Turning his attention back to Ryuusei and Saki, he smiles slightly at the fact that that they seem to be getting along for now. He also listens a little to what they're talking about before returning his attention to the snake. ~Is there anything else you need of me right now before we go on the journey to find this Korose?"~

Saki's scroll happens to be about another Taijutsu style. Not unsurprising, given the fact that she was looking at the Taijutsu scrolls. What was interesting was that this style relied on a weapon known as a Kusarigama. Instead of sickles at the end, though, it was a sword. Saki found this quite interesting, and she filed this weapon design into the back of her mind before she placed the scroll back in its slot. Then she would turn back to give Ryuusei most of her attention. Almost all of it. Just not looking at her. Saki is glancing at that snake, who seems to still be coiled up and looking anticipatory… "Oh, umm… It was… hard for me too… Reading, I mean… But I like learning new things, so…" She shrugs and would put her palm down on the table for the snake to slither onto it. Said snake would crawl onto her hand, and she blinks a bit. "Oh, umm… You … you aren't useless, Ryuu-chan… Not everyone likes to read… And I'm not … that smart…" she mumbles, running a finger along the tiny snake's body. She would then say, "Umm… I suppose… If I'm allowed… I don't want to 'steal' anything… Snakes included… So if I'm allowed to take it… I mean, it's kind of cute… Don't you think?" She would show the small snake to Ryuusei a bit closer.
Saki would then take a moment to glance over at Shuuren since he seemed to still be talking. Good, he was still talking… Talking means that he wasn't in any danger, so far as she knew. Saki then turns her green eyes back to the Takaha. "Umm… You're… more useful than I am, I think…" she would offer as a piece of encouragement.

~There is no information I could give. It has been sixteen years since I have seen the outside world. If you are intent on helping, I wish you luck. I will be here. I will always be here. Always.~ The serpent remains as it was, perhaps with a spot of hope that one day Youka's spawn will carry on her tradition.
"It would take hundreds of years for one person to learn every scroll in this library, Saki-san." Ryuusei would slowly move from her seat. "I'd ask Shuuren before taking even a snake… …. ….. I mean, do you -really- need to take that?" Ryuusei bobs her head side to side a few times as she sighs. "It… Him… Her?" She asks. Shuuren would know, perhaps? Ryuusei reached out to touch the serpent, and lo and behold it bit her.

[NPC System]: The Littlest Snek roll(s) Bite of Eternal Doom on Ryuusei from 5 to 20 and get(s) a 10. - Rolled by: Ryuusei

RPCOMBAT: Ryuusei defends against with a TENSE…10

The little pencil-sized snake bit Ryuusei, bit her hard! Bit Ryuusei so hard that it didn't even penetrate her skin. The snake was so recently born that it's fangs weren't even that hard. It was simply working off instinct against the big scary creatures. "Oh… That is adorable… It didn't even hurt!" Ryuusei said with a small giggle as she started to realize that Shuuren had stopped talking to the giant serpent. "Are we finished, Shuuren? … … What did you learn!?" Ryuusei wondered. A small smile curled onto her mouth. As serious as she had tried to be this whole time, she did find exploration fun…

~Then I hope to return swiftly enough that your wait isn't unbearably long, though it seems you're quite patient anyway.~ The Daimyo nods to the serpent then peers over at Ryuusei and Saki, lifting an eyebrow slightly at their antics. He chuckles a bit and shakes his head before looking back over to the serpent. ~I assume you are able to speak human tongue as well? Perhaps you could answer that question for them. Just be certain you don't mention my real name to them as they are not quite ready to learn such things. There is a high level of darkness associated with my true identity that they're simply not prepared to take on yet… but maybe soon enough.~ With that he would look between the snake and Ryuusei and Saki, waiting for her to hopefully answer in a language the two can understand.

Saki looks up at the scrolls, considering them all. "Well… I don't… want to learn /all/ of the scrolls' contents, Ryuu-chan…" she would tell the Takaha before she switches her gaze back to the one she was speaking to. "Mmm… Maybe someday I'll become immortal so I can read all this," she says, obviously not believing such a thing considering the small grin on her face. She would then frown a bit. "Ummm… Well… I don't know… I … sort of want to keep it…" she admits. "It's cute…" Saki would tug the snake off of Ryuusei if possible, giving it a small poke on the head in scolding afterwards before putting it back down on the table she initially laid it on. There was still some hissing going on in Shuuren's direction, so she figures she still had time to take up another scroll."
Shifting to look at the scrolls on the wall, Saki would choose to look through yet another taijutsu scroll. Its contents were actually fairly basic, but the topic itself interested her. It was essentially different ways that kunoichi tended to fight with weapons. It covered common tactics such as using chopsticks and hairsticks that tended to be dipped in poison, as well as ways that they could sometimes use seemingly decorative fans that had chakra metal on the edges to harden so that they could slice through enemies. It was definitely fascinating, though Saki doubted she could ever pull it off. Nor would she find the need to, she was sure… Maybe. Possibly. Who knows, maybe such a skill actually would come in handy one day.

The serpent seems to do the snake equivalent of sighing as it's giant body rears up to peer over the scroll-cases at them. "Find Korose in the Land of Lightning. Bring him here. Only the blood of my mistress can inherit this land, and he is the only relative whose name I know." - ~Will that suffice? I am… tired Riku, Sage of Ryuichi. You can linger within the darkness of this tower as long as you wish, but let me sleep.~ The snake would clack it's tongue once more as she once again lays her head to rest… "If I find that anything you take is not eventually returned in good condition, I will seek you out and kill you. Those are the rules set forth by my mistress, and my own blood is included within those rules" The serpent would threat as she slowly attempted to fall asleep. In otherwords, yes… Make sure the snake doesn't get killed though.
Certainly the Daimyo would see that the serpent is the source of the mist surrounding the island and the electrical current that runs through the building. The amount of chakra needed to sustained those functions must be massive, and the old serpent must be tiring herself out constantly…
"Are we… ready to leave Daimyo-sama? Are we… going straight to the Land of Lightning?" The ship was kind of capsized at the moment. A rock had run it aground after all… Though, perhaps expedience is necessary.

~It will. Thank you. We may explore the upper levels a bit more if the girls wish to, but we will be on our way to undertake our new quest to bring Korose back to you.~ Shuuren nods to the giant serpent then and turns to Ryuusei and Saki. He then brings his hands into a seal as he tosses something into the air from his sleeve, causing a clone of himself to grow out of whatever it is that he threw. He nods to the clone before it takes off to leave the tower and head to the ship to repair it. The Daimyo himself then turns and walks over to Ryuusei and Saki, a gentle smile on his face and a look of determination set in his eyes. "We'll be heading for the Land of Lightning, yes. Be prepared in case the Order of Darkness have figured out that we've left the country, though I'm thinking we should be okay due to how we left. If you wanted to explore anything else before we leave, do so now. Otherwise we'll be back soon enough anyway."

Saki considers the snake's words for a moment, deciding that the giant serpent meant she could take the tiny snake with her. The girl then blinks as she realizes that the giant black snake actually spoke. "Wha…" Saki stares at the snake in the middle of the room before she would take a breath. It was completely normal, probably… Just like Inuzuka dogs sometimes spoke… Right? Talking snakes must also exist! … Obviously. Saki rubs the back of her neck and then would move to pick up the tiny snake and plop it in a small pouch, leaving the top open so it can breathe.
Saki would then put the scroll back in its place before she glances over to Shuuren and Ryuusei. "Umm… I… Could we stay a bit longer..?" she requests, feeling a bit selfish… But she wanted to explore just a bit longer, and maybe out of the basement area so it would be easier to read some of the scrolls. She has a feeling that Shuuren actually doesn't mind so much on staying because he seemed as impressed as she was with the vast knowledge stored within this tower, but time was of the essence. "I…" She pauses, watching a clone (what she assumes to be a shadow clone) wander off … "Maybe… We can stay for as long as… umm… it takes for the ship to be fixed..?" she suggests, looking nervously hopeful. Regardless of Shuuren's answer, he would receive a small nod before Saki would move to the upper area.

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