Date: March 9, 2011
Now back in the Land of Wind, Kanami is left to haul the massive Snake Contract across the desert… And beyond, as she goes in search of her first serpentine ally — other than the useless Bannin, that is!
"Serpent's Servant - An Alliance In Namegata"
Namegata - Land of Grass
It had not been easy to haul the huge Snake Contract scroll from the half-broken pillar in the desert to her present location, but Kanami had done it. Physically weak to a degree rarely seen in adults who are not terminally ill, Seishino Kanami has Ninjutsu at her disposal to aid her in surviving the hostile environment that is the Land of Wind. She also has a very small garden snake by the name of Bannin accompanying her. This is, however, more of an impediment than an aid.
"Oiii! Delicate one!" calls out the high-pitched voice of an old man with a Chinese accent. "Why do you continue to walk away from me? I am your beloved! We should be consummating our marriage!" Kanami stops suddenly, long, black hair flying out as she turns to peer at this 'Bannin'. "My what? Consummate our WHAT?" Bannin halts his persistent slithering as Kanami comes to a stop. Her erks at her apparent anger, a sweat drop forming on the side of his head. "Eeto… <That is to say…>" Kanami hmphs and just starts walking again. "Wha—Wait for me, delicate floweeeerrr! …Say, what IS your name?"
Kanami sighs. "Seishino Kanami," she answers. Bannin nods wisely. "Aaah… A lovely name for a lovely woman! …As your elder, however, I must protest this treatment!" "Hm…? What are you talking about now?" Kanami asks without really wanting to know. "Forcing the great Bannin-sama to travel behind you instead of carrying him! This is disgraceful for a carrier of the Snake Contract!" Kanami actually pauses to consider that. Bannin may seem useless and he may be incredibly annoying and a pervert, but he IS a talking snake… Perhaps he has information Kanami can use.
As Bannin keeps on talking to himself, Kanami turns around and bends down to be more or less eye-level with him. Bannin lets out a surprised 'Eh?' and then looks up. He sees right down Kanami's top. "O-Ohh… That is very good… <3" Kanami snaps her fingers. "Snake! Bannin, or whatever your name is!" Bannin jerks and looks up at Kanami's face. "O-Oi?"
"What do you know of making alliances with your kin?" Kanami asks. Bannin blinks his tiny, slit-irised eyes and if he had hands he would surely be stroking his pointed beard right now. "Hmm… Alliances… Hmm… I suppose the best place to start is to know who you wish to form an alliance with!" Kanami blinks in confusion. "…The name. The name of the one you seek," Bannin explains. Kanami 'ah's and tilts her head. "Very well. What about Manda?" Bannin flinches and then looks around carefully, "Do not speak Lord Manda's name so loudly!" Kanami sighs. "Then could you suggest one who is skilled but not overly important? One who has no command over others, for instance?"
Bannin hmmms. "There is one that comes to mind… Allow me to travel in your blouse and I will speak his name!" Kanami just sighs and rubs her forehead. And that is how the two got to this point… A field in the Land of Grass.
The field is one of many in this country. There is nothing in particular special about it, or really anything to distinguish it from the other fields. This is only true visually, however. The earth the grass grows upon >curves< gradually and continuously, turning what would otherwise be flat terrain into something resembling a convex lens — only without the glass part, obviously. The overall impression is that one is being held up to the sky to be examined by some incomprehensible, impersonal force. The slope is so gradual that one does not really see it so much as feel it. Though the terrain is elevated there is no sharp drop off or definable 'sides' to the field… Thus it is less like a 'hill' and just… An upraised part of the land.
This field is located in 'Namegata', a place near the capitol city of the Land of Grass. It is said to be having issues with supernatural snakes…
Kanami glances around the field, aware of the feeling of being closer to the sky than usual, but not truly understanding the source of the sensation. On the whole, this place is new to her and suitably dramatic for her needs. But she sees no sign of snakes. Rumors aside, shouldn't supernatural serpents be evident by now? Well, maybe not. "Bannin," Kanami begins. The perverted snake looks up from where he hangs about Kanami's throat like a necklace. It was a compromise between him being in her blouse or not being in her blouse. "Haa?" he asks as he raises his head. "How should I announce my presence in such a way as to bring this 'Jatai' into the open?" Bannin hmmmms thoughtfully. He hmmmmms some more. Then he mmmmmms as he finds himself staring downwards again. Kanami snaps her fingers repeatedly. "Bannin!" "O-oi!?" "I asked you a question. Answer it or you will slither on the ground!" Hurriedly, Bannin answers, "There is no need for such hasty actions! No need for such at all, Kanami-chan! I shall announce your presence FOR you!" Kanami settles herself and says, "Very well. You may proceed." Then Bannin clears his throat and yells out, "JATAIIIIIIIIIII!" at the top of his tiny lungs. Oddly, it is rather loud and carries rather far, despite the minute amount of air being expelled.
Kanami sighs and rubs her forehead. "I could have done THAT myself," she says. "Oiiii! So ungrateful! So disrespectful to your elders! That is not all that there is to this! You will see, Kanami-chan!" Bannin retorts angrily. Then the two remain where they are and wait expectantly.
Eventually, a disturbance in the grass becomes evident. The bending of blades of green comes closer, and eventually a larger-than-average black snake reveals himself. He rises up off the ground, arching his body and tasting the air. He says nothing at this stage, and just coldly observes both Kanami and her living necklace. Given that no other snakes have come forth, it may be reasonable to assume that this is Jatai.
Kanami observes the snake coldly right on back. She reveals no emotion on her face, keeping her countenance schooled and the messages sent via body language to a minimum. Bannin, on the other hand, begins speaking to Jatai in a hissing language that is likely what intelligent snakes normally use to communicate. Kanami is not very pleased with being left out of the conversation like this, but interrupting at this stage could harm the 'negotiations'.
The black snake's forked tongue continues to flit in and out of his mouth, as Bannin speaks to him. It is not until Bannin finishes, however, that Jatai responds. And even then, it is not in any audible form. He just… Nods his head once, apparently in agreement or acceptance. Then he begins to slither closer to Kanami, until he is within arm's reach, and then waits there. He has yet to say anything, but appears to be waiting. Can he even speak at all?
Kanami looks down at Jatai cautiously. Bannin appears to be pleased, as he goes back to lying against Kanami's collarbone. Kanami asks, "Was an agreement reached?" Bannin 'hmm's? And then says, "Aa! Yes, Jatai has agreed to ally himself with you, and serve your needs. The act itself of being able to observe the world outside of the field is all that he desires as payment. A collector of information and experiences, he is!"
Kanami considers that. She too enjoys taking in all the experiences that life has to offer… She looks down at Jatai and smiles thinly, almost snakeishly. "I think we will work well together, Jatai-san." And with that she slowly bends down and offers her arm for the black snake to climb.
Jatai says nothing still. He just looks back into Kanami's eyes with his own emotionless, yellow, reptillian orbs. When the arm is offered, he slithers up it until he is able to swiftly move to encircle the Nogakujin's narrow waist. There, the black snake changes coloration and appearance to seem as though he is nothing more than an obi. If this serpent is capable of speech, he appears to prefer not to make use of that capability. Still, he can clearly understand Kanami's words, at least. That should ease the difficulty involved in cooperating.
And so, the story of how Seishino Kanami obtained the first of her serpentine allies as well as the Snake Contract itself, comes to an end…