Takeo's Sage Journey - What Do I Seek?


Rockpath, Takeo

Date: June 9, 2015


Takeo speaks with Harukaze a bit about Sage Mode.

"Takeo's Sage Journey - What Do I Seek?"

Land of Earth

Well, to be fair… Harukaze wasn't going anywhere. As a turtle, he didn't have much to do but live. As an island, all he had to do was maintain what he was gathering. As a leader… The meeting wasn't for another decade or two. So there was no pressing matter that Takeo'd be interrupting.
Tamotsu waits by the edge of the village for Takeo, planning to bring his partner to the ocean shore himself. If his companions want, they could join. But Tamotsu would have told them that this part of the journey was mostly for Takeo.

Takeo has a rather different image of things in his head, having been atop Harukaze's back and so forth. He thinks of the great turtle as swimming about over vast distances, his island cruising from one destination to the next, there one day and gone the next. Apparently, they're all as sedentary as Tamotsu seems to be, right up to the top of the family.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," Takeo says to Tamotsu as he approaches, donning his robe on approach, travel satchel left behind in the ryokan room. "Is it just you and I for visiting Lord Harukaze? Just as well, I supose." He takes in a steadying breath and admits, "I'd never even realized Sage was more than just a title until you explained it. Hard to imagine what he'll be wanting me to do, if it took the Four so long to learn this."

"It doesn't take so long to learn… The Four Great Sages need to learn more than Senjutsu, though. They need to learn how to maintain the environment, gather energy, and continue life. They also need to learn when the time is right to choose a successor." Tamotsu makes his way to the beach, once more using his earthen chakra to travel a bit faster. "They are responsible for turtle-kind. They bear all its history. THat is what takes the longest time, I think…"

Takeo walks alongside Tamotsu as they head for the beach, taking in the lesson on what it is the Four Great Sages do with their power and time. "I won't be one of the Great Sages, but I'm assuming they don't teach this to many turtles, much less a human. Wouldn't I have responsibilites, as well? To the world, I'd think, if the world's sharing its chakra with me in turn."
He keeps his steps in time with the motion of the turtle's earth jutsu, so that he doesn't literally trip over his own feet. "It took me a long while to master Bijuu chakra, and there was always the risk of Isobu proving stronger and taking over. Maybe the knowledge of unusual chakra will help? Either way, heh, a short amount of time to you's probably not so short for me. Remember how long you live."

Tamotsu shrugs his shoulders. "You are should ask Harukaze-sama about that. Senjutsu… You are pushing my knowledge when it comes to it. I can tell you what I know, but it isn't much," the turtle rumbles. "Hehe… Too long for some. Too short for others. When we get strong, we can move mountains. When we are weak, it takes not much to fell us." Then they reach the shore. Nothing is there for the time being, just empty ocean. Much like how Takeo had last come here.

Takeo shakes his head once toward Tamotsu. "I knew a turtle of sorts, once, who I suppose will live forever. Part of that's still within me, maybe the only thing keeping me alive. I think I'd rather keep my friends for eternity than not." He pats the turtle upon the back, hard enough to be felt through the shell but carefully avoiding any spikes. "Besides, you're not weak at all. In the time we've trained together, I've seen you grow remarkably. Or, maybe you were just going easy on me!"
Then, at long last, they stand upon the beach where once Takeo had been some time prior. Another breath is taken to steady himself before the young man steps forward and bows low, raising his voice over the din of the waves. "Lord Harukaze-sennin, I have return! Inuzuka Takeo, now family to your clan, seeks the wisdom of the sages if you think me worthy to be taught. I would be honored if you would speak with me, my lord."

There is nothing at first. Then something… small tremors that cause a sort of butterfly effect as waves lick the shore. Then the turtle begins to rise, appearing with water streaming off his shell. The island is untouched, interestingly enough… "Welcome back…" he rumbles, voice shaking the very ground. "… I heard.. You wished to learn of Sage mode…" the turtle says.

Takeo holds his respectful bow as Harukaze rises from the water. When one's new family member is a turtle gigantic enough to host a mountain, one takes no risks. "You already know, my lord? I wasn't aware that Tamotsu had slipped away …" Or, perhaps he didn't. The young man thinks to add, "I have cared for him as you bid me to, and we've learned much from each other through training. I understand some of the basic essentials, and while I would not join the Great Sages, I must humbly imagine this to be knowledge rarely shared. If my resposibility would not be to the clan, then to the world, surely?"
The young man's questions answer Harukaze's in advance, but he catches his own tongue so as to speak with respectful restraint. "Yes, my lord. After learning that a spark of Isobu keeps me alive, I have a wish to find a new path and purpose. He did not wish me to waste the continued life he has granted me, and I don't wish to waste that life by discarding the prior obligations I felt to all life."

Harukaze peers at Takeo. "He had… He is not always with you. When things need to come to me, they come," The turtle rumbles, considering for a long pause what to say next. "When we share knowledge of the sage… 'we-summons', I should say… We ask that the individual works together with us-summons. You will see… There is no 'duty', only 'life'. That is what you will experience. The life of everything around you. I feel it… From the ocean, trees, rocks… And you. There are no bounds but yourself with this power…" He pauses again, still thinking. "The Four Great Turtle Sages are…. Not specific to the Turtles. The Sages for us are the Clan's rulers. You will not be one of the Great Turtle Sages. You will merely be … A Sage. For the humans, this means you are capable of wielding the natural energy." He pauses again, then doesn't speak. If Takeo has questions, he should ask them.

"I think that would honor Isobu well. The spark of life he gave me, used to achieve a kind of unity with all life," Takeo says of that explanation, a touch quietly, after a moment's thought. "Perhaps it is not custom, my lord, but I would consider myself obligated to the life I'd become a part of. It's simply who I am, for better or worse." Inquisitively, he asks, "Is it not so that I would take on the qualities of the turtles in the body, as well, due to having learned from you? It's one of the few things I was able to find in the stories we had back home." A pause. "Otherwise, my lord, I do wish to pursue this if you find me worthy of being taught. There is a great war in the world with a terrible people, the Recluse, who would threaten life in terrible ways if they succeed. My new state as a Sage could save many, or at the least, help me to better protect my home."

Harukaze considers, gaze steady on Takeo as he considers… Then he lifts a single claw out of the water, the motion sending off a tidal wave… But it never quite reaches the shore. The turtle touches Takeo on the center of his chest, then the Inuzuka would feel a rush of energy. It was an odd energy… It seemed to overwhelm Takeo, shifting him… Changing him from the inside out. Then he would feel a thump on the back of his head, knocking the energy completely away from his soul. "Senjutsu… It is balancing that chakra. The Tailed Beasts are nothing like this power. They can overwhelm, but you are always there. With this… If you are overwhelmed, you will die."

Takeo draws a sharp breath as he feels the rush of energy into his being, and then out, like a refreshing breeze followed by a gale. It takes him a moment to recover before he can speak again. "Nothing like that, no. Isobu's chakra was bottomless, but it was founded in anger. I had to master it, to bind it separately from his control, to become a true Jinchuuriki. We were both safer for it," he says.
After that, Takeo shakes his head once. "However, I hear the sense in what you tell me, and in what I have felt. There is no binding the power of the world. This time, it will be holding myself in check, with all of my faults. Can it be done, though, when a piece of the Three Tails sustains my life?"

Takeo draws a sharp breath as he feels the rush of energy into his being, and then out. The first taste of senjutsu. It begins as a rising breeze and follows with a tearing gale through his spirit. The initial imbalance between his own chakra and nature's.
It takes him a moment to recover before he can speak again. "Nothing like that, no. Isobu's chakra was bottomless, but it was founded in anger. I had to master it, to bind it separately from his control, to become a true Jinchuuriki. We were both safer for it," he says.
After that, Takeo shakes his head once. "However, I hear the sense in what you tell me, and in what I have felt. There is no binding the power of the world. This time, it will be holding myself in check, with all of my faults. Can it be done, though, when a piece of the Three Tails sustains my life?"

Harukaze considers the statement a bit. "You are… asking the wrong questions? No… Stating the wrong things… You do not understand what Senjutsu is quite yet… The principles. Why it exists… How it works… I thought… Tamotsu would have explained, but he is young." The turtle rumbles a bit as he thinks, wondering what to do with Takeo. "I am the beginning…. But you seek the end. Perhaps Natsuen… Can assist…"

Takeo bows low before stating, "Lord Harukaze, I must respectfully dispute that I am saying the wrong things. You have explained that, to be a Sage, I must be in balance. Within myself, with the world. What keeps me alive today is a force which is inherently unbalanced. Is there no validity to you in that pondering?"
Clearing his throat lightly thereafter, he lowers his voice a bit. "Natsuen?"

Harukaze sighs, which results in a spray of water. "Apologies… if I am not clear.. The human language isn't what I usually speak." The turtle considers, trying to figure out a way to say this clearly. "Senjutsu is made… of three components. Chakra is made of two… Mind… Body… The new component is natural energy. The first step in becoming a sage is gathering natural energy and keeping it balanced with your own." A pause, then, as he thinks. "Isobu-kun… He is a part of your 'Mind' and 'Body' chakra, so you do not need to work to balance him. You just need to work to make sure there is more 'you' than 'him', and that will be easy now that he is gone." Blunt, but that's how one gets to the point! "Natsuen no Kame… (Summer's Heat of the Turtles). He is another Great Turtle Sage. He holds dominion to the west, so perhaps a visit may help. I will show Tamotsu the way… And he can lead you."

Blunt, indeed. Isobu's loss is still rather a sore spot for him, and the revelation that the Bijuu's last act was to ensure his survival yet a shock. Still, Takeo keeps most of himself in the present and listens to the wizened leader of the local beast clan. "You are wise, Lord Harukaze. I would be content to study under you, but if you feel that I should seek the tutelage of Natsuen no Kame …"
The young man inclines his head further, as if to finish his statement with silent consent. He then rights himself and looks up at the Sage. "I hope you do not see disrespect in my question. In my own land, I hold the rank of a teacher, though I think not so experienced as you. I've always taught my students that to question is the path to wisdom, because it opens the door to an answer."
Takeo takes a few steps back, then. "I gather it will be a very long time before I achieve this state, if I succeed at all, but I promise you that I will do well by the Turtle Clan and by the living world in the end. Hopefully, we will have a chance to meet again once that's done."

There's a bit of light rumbling as Harukaze thinks. "Mm… You are fine. There are forces at work… That seek to destroy your peace. So I hope you find the strength to get you through this leg of your journey. Perhaps you will meet more companions, too… We will see each other again, I'm sure. The final Turtle Sage enjoys surprising us…"

"Life in general surprises me. I've gone from being an Inuzuka, to a Jinchuuriki, to something after that state, to a member of the Turtle Clan, and perhaps now to oneness with nature itself." Takeo does allow himself a smile at that. "In the span of a human life, that's more than most would experience, and I'm only eighteen." He bows low once again and offers, "You've given me a second chance, as well, my lord. I hope that I can do it justice. Until then."
Deciding now to leave Harukaze in peace, he starts up the beach and toward where he expects Tamotsu to be waiting. There's a long way ahead, as well as much learning and changing to be done before he reaches the path's end.

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