Date: August 1, 2014
Teacher and student meet for tea to catch up and have a heart-to-heart. Ishino receives new puppet blueprints and Renai receives a special assignment.
Hidden Tropical Oasis, Land of Water
Hidden Tropical Oasis [Land of Water]
Marvelous, strange and exciting. A literal forest domed right inside the large cliff face. Its walls span high into the sky surrounding the entire area, high above there are large openings where light seeps in providing just the right amount of light to light up this area. The dome shaped area from within the caves is filled with life, trees and bushes. Some trees spanning 100 meters into the sky with thick green leaves. The area is heated in the days and cooled in the evenings, a constant cool wind brushes throughout.
There are vegetables, fruits and a natural source of water in this area allowing the flora to grow. There are rocks, small caverns and openings with flower patches. Further north there are ruins of what seemed to have once been a stone city, now a relic of its former self. Overall this area is a miracle to exist, undisturbed by the human race it is a natural living habitat of great marvel and mystery.
There's a slight, cool dampness in the air of the cavern. The faint mist from the air above trickles through the openings in the sealing, reaching toward the floor of the underground forest. The soft rays of light shimmer through it and make the air sparkle in a mystical sort of way. It must still be fairly early outside.
Renai is in the clearing, wearing a rather formal dress for such an outing. This must be some sort of occasion. Her shoes are laid to the side and she stands bare-footed on a rock. Those heels would leave her trapped in the mossy, damp earth in a heartbeat. She seems to be studying a pair of mushrooms on a tree from her perch, looking down at them with a slight smile on her face. In her hands is a small blue box, wrapped with a silver ribbon. Fingers tap on the top of it, as though she is waiting for someone.
The exact moment for when he was actually there would be virtually impossible to tell. One second, nothing, the next, a single tick of the clock and Ishino was there with the old man, holding a scroll in hand as he'd check it over. Finally, snapping it out to unroll before him, that chakra was added to it to enable that table to *POOF* into existence. The chairs with it as well as a teapot that looked like it was holding fresh tea. Smiling, Ishino would sweep that elegant western style bow to Renai then. "Shall we, Renai-san?" Straightening up, he'd offer that gloved hand to her, to help her go sit at the table.
Renai's head turns away from the mushrooms as she hears the ticking behind her. She watches as the table is set out, grinning. She'll never get over how easily he does things like that. Taking Ishino's hand, Renai steps down from the rock. She pauses before sitting though to extend the small box to her Sensei. She would wait for him to take it before relaxing into a chair. Her hands smooth the dress down against her skin and, for once, she actually looks like a little lady, back straight and her hands folded in her lap.
The girl would wait for him to sit before speaking, "How are you, Doihara-sensei?" Her words seem to have a bit of weight to them as though she didn't mean it as a glancing question that a simple 'Fine' or 'Well' could satisfy.
There's a slight hesitation to him taking the box, but he did. Smiling lightly, he'd settle it on the table next to where he sat, before settling into his own chair. Pausing, the extra hint of weight to the words not lost on him, he'd study Renai for a moment before nodding. "There are many ways to answer that question. Most of them lengthy debates at the least. Ultimately, Renai-san, I am doing surprisingly well. For what I have lost. What I have gained and what has returned to me."
She listens quietly as he speaks, her hands lifting to take the cup of tea before her. Renai watches him as he speaks, studying his expressions and his pauses to gauge the genuineness of his words. She blows on her tea lightly to cool the surface and takes a sip. It's not that she thinks he would lie to her. She knows he would hold back and he would be entitled to do so.
"That is good, then. You seem to have had your hands full." She makes a slight motion to the box. "An apology of sorts. For disappearing like I did. I mistakenly assumed you would be given a report on what happened."
Ishino opens the box after a moment, smiling lightly as he'd pull out the buttons to study the ninja wire within them. "There's no need to apologize. While I am who I am, that does not give me superiority over a clan and their young. Nor would I seek to kill them all to assume that authority. I'm simply too busy." He'd shrug slightly, setting them back in the box and closing it, for TK to take it away. His own cup of tea taken up then, he'd look at Renai. "The question, of course, does return to you as well. How are you?"
She looks about to argue when he says there's no need to apologize. Of course, there is! But she pushes the argument from her mind to ponder his question. Her eyes stare down into her cup for a long moment. "Well, I'm adjusting." Renai looks back up to him, her gaze distant. "Everything is different now. Everyone seems much older and the people I knew are either gone or don't know me." She lifts one shoulder in a shrug and sips her tea. "It will take a while to get used to things, no?"
Renai reaches forward to set the empty cup down and folds her hands back into her lap again. "Tell me about Akane, sensei." She looks up to him, "Unless you would prefer not. I would just really like to know what all happened while I was detained."
"Hmm." Musing, Ishino drinks some more of his own tea a moment. Finally, he'd lower the cup a little. "Adjusting is good.. and yes, change happens. Especially when locked away in a basement… I do plan to schedule a time to have.. words.. with your clan's leadership on that." Shaking his head a little, he'd muse, looking into his cup. "Akane.. is a woman from Fuuma Alley. Grew up there. Dealt with that sort of thing. I'm guessing you know what I mean?" He'd look up at her with a brief smile. "She came to Kirigakure and worked with us. Was tested by us and was found compatible. At the time.. I was.. alone.. and had gained an interest in Sachiko.. indeed.. I accidentally fell in love with her." He goes quiet a moment, lifting his cup to drink again. "She left. After something Meruin did. I.. followed her. Got rejected.. and returned. Akane.. attacked me. I almost killed her. Honestly Renai? I almost killed the village." He'd shake his head slightly, setting his empty cup down. "I didn't. Obviously. Things progressed from there."
Renai listens intently to his words. She lifts up when he says he nearly killed the village. Her body leans forward slightly, a look of deep concern in her features. "Sensei.." She says the title as if she could envelope him in a supportive hug, but she doesn't, of course. Hugging isn't exactly her style. For him to attack the village would mean something serious happened. "I wish I could have been here to support you. What happened with the village? Was it a near accident or..?" The idea of him being so enraged that he could turn against Kirigakure flits through her mind. It rattles her to even think of the possibility, but she figures he could never do anything like that and dismisses the idea.
Ishino is quiet for a moment, before he sighs softly. "I accidentally fell in love. It wasn't return.. I.. broke. Renai-san." He shakes his head, looking down. "I didn't attack the village. Akane attacked me. I stopped. I cried.. and she held me…" He shivered slightly, arms folding subconsciously across his chest. "I'm still human. No matter how much training, how much control. no matter how good the illusion I maintain. I'm still a man. I still have my weaknesses. For a moment I failed.. and.. Akane was there to help me stand up." He'd look up to Renai with a small smile and a light nod. "It was a year after you were gone. I'd missed you often Renai-san."
Renai listens quietly, her eyes fixated on him. She is quiet for a few moments after he finishes, seeming frozen in her seat. Her eyes seem to be turning red and watery as though she might burst into tears. The idea strikes her somewhere in the back of her brain that she can't remember a -person- affecting her this way, not since she was little. What he has gone through and the pain her absence may have caused.. For whatever reason, she had assumed he had continued on as normal without her.
The Touketsu rises quite suddenly and walks around the table. If allowed, she would embrace him then in a tight hug, if for nothing more than to hide the expression on her face. "I missed you terribly as well, Sensei. They said I could return to your training if I survived the treatments. I told myself every day that I would. You kept me going in there."
Ishino takes a slow breath, pausing, surprised. Then he'd hug her in return. Simply holding her gently for a moment. "I'm glad you kept strong, Renai-san. They refused to let me in. I petitioned daily. I couldn't keep going though.. Work required.." He shakes his head slightly, pausing again before gently releasing her. "Either way.. I am glad you're back.. and I'm more than happy to continue to teach you. I don't see a loss in your potential. Even if you've had time away. Life.. is about change. You'll come to see that eventually. I'm sure. Saisho is much stronger now.. in the Academy too. I obtained the frame work for HARPS from the west.. a grisly affair that, other puppeteers doing the wrong thing.. The gremlins are.. recent. A whim that has proven fruitful."
Once released, Renai returns to her seat. She nods in response to his first remark about his petitions. "They wouldn't let anyone in. The nature of much of the medicine is hallucinogenic, especially in my case, and they were quite afraid I would do something to get myself injured or killed. I was rather unstable." She flicks a hand dismissively though. He should have read about all that in her reports.
At the mention of her potential, she smiles. She considers his comment about life changing and nods. "I look forward to seeing all you have achieved and being able to study your puppets more closely in time. That HARPs thing is.. incredible."
Her hand disappears into her skirt and she retrieves a small folder, perhaps 5" by 7" in size, from a hidden pocket sewn into the material. "Do you remember when you told me to never follow or focus on only one path?" Renai pauses, waiting for his answer and pressing her fingers down on the folder as she sets it down on the table to keep it closed.
Ishino nods solemnly in response. "I can show you some of it. Some of it is secure enough.. even Akane doesn't see it." He shrugs slightly as he'd watch Renai. "I did read about that in the report. It doesn't make it any less of an insult to be refused. At the least they could of let me see you while sleeping to verify you were still alive." He'd muse, frowning. "I almost attempted to infiltrate it with a puppet.. If I had the gremlins then.. I would have." Ishino pauses a second before nodding in agreement. "Of course. It's something I do myself, Renai-san. So I would hardly forget such a thing.."
Renai grins at his idea of infiltrating the Touketsu Complex. Oh, that would have been.. She would have love to have seen their faces!
Suppressing a feminine giggle, she continues, grinning and opening the folder and turning it around before him. They are drawings, done in her own hand with light, delicate strokes. Numerous calculations of density and pressure are written in the margins and on the backs of the paper with the tireless determination of someone who was very bored and had all the time in the world to think.
Puppet blueprints. Very detailed puppet blueprints. The limbs are made of so many moving parts it's a bit hard to follow until one looks at the expanded diagrams in the following pages. Every part is meant to be broken with a certain degree of force without damaging the puppet.
Obvious mistakes here and there. She isn't a puppeteer so all she has to go on are books about it and engineering. Her voice continues while he looks, "I would like to start training in the Taijutsu styles of my clan. But the more advanced training.. is inefficient." Renai sits back and watches him as he studies her drawings. "The Touketsu aim to break the human body when we fight. It's dishonorable and dirty, but efficient in battle. We put way too many people in the infirmary. Sometimes we can get contracts with Kaguya which is better, but.. I'm fortunate enough to have you as an instructor." Her eyes motion to the blueprints. "I wasn't sure if you may have already had something like that so I started drawing while I was gone. Can you make it?"
Ishino reaches out for the drawings to pull them closer. Musing, he studied the work that Renai did carefully, looking over everything as he went through the stack. He gives a small nod, holding his hand out for a pencil to be settled into it as he'd go to work on correcting a few of the mistakes that Renai had made. "A puppet to deal with having limbs broken without harming someone physical. It'd take a puppeteer to keep this moving.. This can't be a normal dummy.." He'd thread the strings through the puppet with that light pencil work, musing as he'd look it over. "but. But it should be possible to do this. I have most of the parts already.. Nothing in here is too complex to do nor requires anything too special either."
Renai's smile widens as he starts to make alterations here and there, taking absolutely no offense to the correction of her work. If anything, she seems complimented. Renai watches him draw the chakra lines in fascination. She has to admit that the idea of taking on the Touketsu Taijutsu styles makes her a bit nervous. It's a dangerous technique. She's seen Touketsu go to the length of breaking their own bones in order to land a damaging hit. Her body will have to be much stronger than it is now.
"It will be.. oh.. maybe a year before I'm conditioned to start the training. I'll be working in the more basic style until then. Is that enough time, Sensei? And, I can help with any other parts you need."
Nodding slowly, Ishino would hold his hand out, another paper given to him for him to put down next to her notes. In that precise script that was so befitting the puppeteer, he started writing. A list of items, nothing too complex to get, but obviously not simple items to gather at the local item shop either. "Mechanics like this are best retrieved from Sunagakure. We're allies with them.. if you remember.. so it's not a complicated matter to travel there. Obtaining the parts in question, however, may be a little more complicated. The puppeteer HQ there is.. picky.. about who they'll give this to." He'd underline one particular part. "It's a chakra transistor. Basically, the core of the engine. The strings connect to the system, charge this, that makes it go. I don't have a non-modified one handy.. So I could make do.. but if you want to help.. that's it right there." Carefully closing the folder, he'd put the list on top with a smile and hand it all back to her. "I can make it.. and would easily have it done within a few months. I can have it done within a month if you get that item. Longer if not."
Renai listens quietly to Ishino as he tells her about the chakra transistor. She nods in understanding and sits back as she accepts the folder. Her eyes move over the list, a slight nod here and there as she notes items she has seen him use for other projects. Her mind is already rolling about in excitement at the thought of travelling to Sunagakure. These are not the sort of items Renai would trust to be shipped and she feels that neither would the HQ. "Do you want me to pick up anything for HARPs or the gremlins while I'm there? And, should I bring anything as a token of sorts? To show I'm there on the good faith of a puppeteer?"
"Money." Ishino chuckles softly with a small shake of his head. "I don't know of anything that would get it any easier for you. There are plenty of wandering puppeteers, outside of their Brigade. I just know it to be the easiest location to obtain those items from.." He'd muse, thinking about it before shaking his head. "HARPS is a custom build I did from a western puppeteer's framework. It doesn't fit anything at all that they have. I've already tried." Chuckling softly. "As for the gremlins.. I could give you the part list for me to build more.. but I haven't come to a conclusion on how to make them better yet."
Renai's fingers tap lightly over the folder and she closes it with a nod. "Well, if I could learn a couple of basic scroll techniques before I go, it would make bringing all that material back much easier. And I could make the funds more secure should I be attacked en route to Sunagakure. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to make a scroll of provisions as well, just in case." Her brows furrow a bit as she thinks. She never thought she would really need scrolls. What a foolish thought. She idly ponders petitioning the Mizukage for a team and then shakes the idea out of her head. She can travel faster and more efficiently if she is by herself.
Ishino holds up a finger. "I can teach you the storage, or just provide the scrolls. However, you will not go alone, Renai-san…" He hesitates, pausing, before sighing softly. "I lost you once, to unforeseen circumstances. Don't make it something that could happen again.. ok? There are other genin that can travel with you. Pick up a mission while you're there to aid Sunagakure too.. But please, don't go alone." He shakes his head solemnly. "Even if you don't share why you're going with others.. the report to the Mizukage should be done."
Renai's eyes sober at her Sensei's words. The sparkle is gone from them just like that as the sudden realization of what going alone and not coming back would do to him. She watches his expression for a moment, studying. Then, the genin nods her head once, her eyes falling shut in confirmation. "Of course. I will not disappear again, Sensei. I'll be sure of it." She means it, even with the knowledge that sometimes she'll have no control over what may happen. At least with that sincerity to her tone, he'll know that she'll fight to keep that promise.
Smiling softly, Ishino lowered his hand. "I know you wanted to be out and about Renai-san.. I don't blame you. I know I enjoy travelling myself.. Just.." He shrugs lightly. "I just got you back. So, at least let me know you're safe. At least for a little while. I won't hold you back.. I refuse to do that and will remove myself from your life before I did that." He frowns and shakes his head. "It's just.. something. Ok?"
Renai would lean forward at his words and give his hand a light, reassuring squeeze. "I understand. I will take every precaution to protect myself. I know what it means to you. You do the same for me, okay? I would get way too lonely if it weren't for you, Akane, and Saisho. Something has /got/ to get me out of my house or I'll go insane." Renai stresses her words to add lightness to the situation. She really doesn't want to get weepy on him again.
After a moment, she rises, sliding the folder back into her hidden pocket and smoothing out her dress. "I'll see a training session for the scrolls in my schedule, yes?"
Ishino smiles gently in response to Renai. A nod given. "Indeed. I'd already figured that'd be the case. We need to resume it. There are a few others that could use some extra lessons as well. Naoya. Kokuro. They started on the basics of tree walking. I'm contemplating helping them further. But I need more information."
Renai nods to him. "I'll see what I can find out about them and wrangle them up for a training session. Well, I'll attempt it.." Renai pauses, "You know, I'm really glad we got to talk one-on-one. Things already feel like they're falling back in place." She smiles brightly, her entire demeanor seeming more pleasant.
The girl takes a deep breath, preparing herself to go so they can continue on their schedules. She has a lot to work in between studying and training now. "If that is all, Sensei, I'll take my leave and get to work."
Ishino smiles, standing up with a nod to her. The items were quickly returned to scrolls once they stood and Ishino bows to her in that western style he always used, the elegant formal courtly bow. "Of course Renai-san. I do feel they're a bit better too. Keep strong and safe, Renai-san. I'll see you at our next lessons."