Takeo’s Turtle Quest - Finding a Match


Rockpath (emitter), Kaido, Takeo

Date: May 29, 2015


Takeo and Kaido continue on with their journey, eventually encountering those of the Turtle Clan. What do they have in store for the two Inuzuka?

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

"Takeo’s Turtle Quest - Finding a Match"

Land of Earth

Takeo and Kaido had enjoyed a pleasant, if short, stop off at the village they'd planned to visit enroute to the rocky shores of the Land of Earth. While there, they enjoyed the comforts of the local ryokan an hot spring. Supplies such as dried foodstuffs and medicines were also in supply, which was a blessing as they prepared to head off in a less civilized direction.
Before leaving, one of the old men of the village offers the pair some advice concerning a more direct route to their destination. It seems to match up on their map, so for several days since, the pair of Inuzuka have been following the route laid out in advance. There's been little trouble since the bandit incident, but that keeps Takeo wary. Peace and quiet always seem to be a prelude for disaster around him.
"We're making great progress. Looks like the old man back there was on to something," Takeo says to Kaido, sounding almost cheerful. "This is looking more like what I remember from my last trip to the Land of Earth. If we're lucky, maybe the ocean's just over the next hill or five."

Bandit and Bolt are happy, old man Bandit managed to be pampered by the women in the ryokan and so was in a much better mood then he's been already. Bolt's happy because everything is all new to him and a huge adventure and is roaming here and there making such comments like, ~Look at this Seifu! This flower smells like honeysuckle yet not! What bird is that, I've never seen that before! SQUIRREL!!!~ Bolt runs off, chasing a squirrel that popped out of the trees to chitter angrily at Bolt for disturbing him. Bandit just manages a sigh and a tired smile and says to Kaido and Takeo, "Pups… I'll go get him… he shouldn't get himself into any danger… hopefully." With that Bandit would run off after Bolt yelling at him to get back here.
Kaido had listened to the old man carefully and made sure his map and the old man's directions were one and the same. Kaido himself was in a pleasant mood, he's always enjoyed wandering the world, whether it was for a mission or just for the sheer pleasure of seeing new things and meeting interesting people. He's a lot like Bolt in that respect (probably why Bolt is such a good partner (or will be) for him) in that he likes to remain somewhat optimistic in his outlook on life to balance out the cynicism and calculation his style of fighting takes. Being a shinobi that relies on research, recon, strategy and clever tactics along with his grounding in poisons, medicines and other such things isn't exactly the happiest of paths.
Kaido's a little more paranoid however than Takeo, and when Bolt ran off, his nerves stretch terribly tight as he says to Takeo, "I hope he wasn't leading us into a trap, knowingly or unknowingly… there's plenty of spots around here for ambushes." He cranes his neck to keep an eye on Bolt who is trying to climb the tree the squirrel ran and hid up with Bandit behind barking orders for Bolt to "TEN SHUN! FRONT AND CENTER MAGGOT!" kind of things.

"He was just an old man. Relax," Takeo says, chuckling as he slings an arm over Kaido's shoulers. "Since he's more of a local, I figured he might be able to narrow down a better route for us. We /did/ lose time hanging around the village a bit longer than planned, after all." Not that it wasn't his fault. He's traveled extensively, and remote little villages like that have always been some of his favorite destinations. Takeo took his time in appreciating his surroundings, just as he appreciates the wilderness now surrounding them. A deep breath is drawn from the air and then slowly exhaled.
The young man sighs and drops his arm from Kaido's person. "I do wish I still had Isobu, but if he /had/ to go, then it would've been nice to get my old nose back. I'd know we were close by the smell of saltwater on the wind," he says. "You know, I was once told that the people of Earth only tolerated living near so much water because there's salt in it. I think that was how it went, anyway." Probably not.

Kaido makes a face and says, "Exactly, he's a local, we're not, he might have a grudge against shinobi, or an accomplice to a group of bandits. Heck he might not even be a willing accomplice… You gotta remember, this ain't Konoha or the Land of Fire we're in." Kaido is a bit ambivalent about remote little villages, he prefers the wilderness himself, but that's only because it's out in the wilderness and off the beaten path that he can find all sorts of flora and fauna that he can use in his experiments in poisons and medicines and the like.
He glances around once more, letting his own Inuzuka-enhanced senses see what's out there as he gives a piercing whistle that make Bandit and Bolt perk up and then both peel off and run towards Kaido's side. Kaido then says, "Guys, stay sharp, and stay close, this means YOU especially Bolt, just in case…" He looks askance at Takeo, "I just have a bad feeling we're about to encounter trouble." Bolt and Bandit obediently move to take position in front of the two being vigilant about watching (and smelling) for anything suspicious.
Kaido says then to Takeo, "They can have the salt water… anything biger than a lake is too big for me, I can't swim very well so the ocean gives me the heebie jeebies." Bandit snorts and says, "Should I tell Takeo about the time I had to drag you out of Konohagakure Lake because you screwed up training how to water walk? Let's see, you though you could water walk all the way across the lake and ended up running out of chakra half way across… the expression on your face when you fell in was hilarious." Bandit smirks at Kaido who just sighs, "Yeah yeah… laugh it up why don't you."

It might take some time, but eventually Kaido and Takeo would notice something that wasn't quite right… The sun hadn't moved much in the sky, though it would feel as if they were traveling for hours. Their surroundings looked the same as they had several hours ago, though it was changing before. If they moved forward, it would change a bit. If they moved back, it would change appropriately. But …. it was still the same, in a sense.

It takes Takeo a short while to notice that something's off. After all, he's lost his blooded senses, and genjutsu has always been his weakest point. If someone tries to play a trick on him via such means, odds are they'll find success. Fortunately, as said earlier, Takeo is a traveler. He looks up from time to time to gauge their progress according to the sun's position, and the last several times he's glanced up, there's been no change.
"I think you should take a good sniff of the air," the Tokubetsu requests of Kaido at a subdued volume. He continues to walk, though, to keep up the impression that he hasn't recognized a problem. Who would be using genjutsu on them out here, so close to their destination? That one perplexes him a little, but it's happening even so.
"Actually, you're swimming in water no matter where you go," Takeo says, trying to maintain the illusion by resuming conversation. "How do you think I get the water when I use jutsu? It's in the air!" A big smile ensues. Yes, we're all a big, happy group roaming into a potential trap. Or, perhaps this is how Isobu's point of contact greets visitors, if he wishes to think on the positive side.

Kaido just gives Takeo a LOOK, he's noticed that something's wrong, but that's because he was expecting it. He makes a couple hand signals to Bolt and Bandit, signs that they'd know mean 'Enemy Near' 'Stealth' 'Search' 'Identify'. Kaido looks around surreptitiously and sniffs the air some more and makes a mental note to start working on identifying and protecting against genjutsu attacks. He continues the conversation with Takeo by saying blandly, "Oh really… thanks for sharing… so you're telling me I'll drown even on dry land? That's a BIG relief…"
Bandit and Bolt note the signs and are immediately, but not visibly on higher alert and Bandit says to Kaido, "Bolt and I need to go water some trees, we'll be right back." Even though it's obvious that they won't get out, it's a good excuse for the nin-ken to roam around and try to define the actual boundaries of their prison as they head to a couple of trees to pee on, to mark and to see if they can.

Bandit and Bolt would discover that their marking trees had almost no effect on the surrounding area. While it would show up for now, if they came back to it, it would no longer be there. Interesting… It was an obvious hole in the genjutsu, but for someone to do this while Takeo and Kaido were walking was impressive. Was that hole intentional? No person was nearby to smell, is another thing that would be noticed. Everything smelled like trees, rocks, and … all that good stuff. There was, oddly, a faint scent of ocean coming through, though.

Takeo's nose may have been robbed of its Inuzuka gifts, but there's still enough there to be useful. The fact that the sun isn't moving is enough to convince him that they're trapped in a genjutsu technique, and reasoning follows. Not much is known about this Turtle Clan, and they don't receive many visitors. If there's any truth to the scent of the ocean upon the wind, then they might well be trying to determine what these rare visitors are about.
"My name is Inuzuka Takeo," he decides to offer to the emptiness of the illusion, extending a respectful bow. "I am a Tokubetsu Jounin of Konohagakure. My companion is my cousin, Inuzuka Kaido." There's a pause as he allows that much to sink in, before getting to the complicated stuff.
"If I address a member of the wise Turtle Clan, then I do so with respect. I was, until recently, Jinchuuriki of the Three Tails. As we were being forcibly separated, my friend insisted that I should come to you for companionship and tutelage. I don't know what ends he saw in those goals, but it was very important to him. We've come far for this chance to speak with you." Now, to wait and see if that gets him anywhere.

Bolt tilts his head quizzically towards the tree and says to Bandit, ~If you pee on a tree and nobody is around, doesn't it stay?~ Bandit faceplants and then says almost exhaustedly, "You ninny! We're in some sort of genjutsu prison, it's there, but hidden so that we can't use it to figure out how to escape" Bolt just looks even more confused and says, ~But I peed right there, I don't see or smell my pee… that's not right.~ Bandit nearly sobs in frustration and says, "Let's just get back to Kaido and Takeo, ok?" The two nin-dogs turn and trot back to Kaido and report what Kaido and Takeo already know, that someone's trapped them in a genjutsu prison.
Kaido just nods at Bolt and Bandit and motions them to stay quiet. He himself stays quiet, although he's quickly preparing in case this ISN'T the Turtle Clan and they're under attack by the Recluse. He listens to Takeo and tries to use his nose to determine where the ocean scent is coming from so that he can use that to try and break the genjutsu if necessary.

Nothing happens. At least, nothing obvious. Slowly… Very slowly… The genjutsu begins to fade. Two suns are in the sky, then only one, this new one being a bit lower than the first one. Then the landscape begins to change. It is no longer the forested area that Takeo and Co. were walking through. Instead, there is sand beneath their feet and an ocean right in front of him. With the genjutsu broken, the smell of salt water is that much stronger. Bandit and Bolt would realize that they were standing in the surf amidst many puddles, which is probably why the scent continued to disappear.

"This is it. We've reached the shore," Takeo observes as the genjutsu begins to fade. At long last, their destination, or somewhere close to it. He's further reassured by looking up and noting that the sun's about where it should be. From left to right, he looks about, trying to sight the creator of the genjutsu or some indication of a settlement among the rocky shoreline.
Takeo takes in a slow breath, holds it for a moment, and steadies himself with an exhale through the mouth. This was very important to Isobu, his coming here. He couldn't afford to screw it up and carry yet more weight upon his conscience.
The young man further announces, "We're peaceful. We mean no harm, if we address the wise Turtles. I ask that you show yourself, so that we can speak properly. With all respect." This is their territory. The Tokubetsu may be right next to an ocean, but they can probably do far worse than he can. Every bit of his demeanor is concillatory.

Bolt and Bandit just blink and then yelp and jump backwards to get out of the surf and are quite affronted by all this. Bolt says, ~How did we… I mean… sand… big big lake…~ He plops down on his butt, his head spinning a bit. Bandit just shakes the water from himself and says, "Yeah, this is going to end well…" Bandit smacks Bolt on the back of the head and says, "Get your head on straight lighter, now is not the time for messing around" Bolt ows and whimpers at Bandit, ~But Seifu…~ Bandit growls, "NOT NOW!" He motions Bolt towards Kaido and Takeo trotting to stand in front of them, but not close to the water in case the Turtle Clan thinks to drown them.
Kaido continues to stay silent, he's not quite as sanguine as Takeo is that this is the Turtle Clan or that this isn't some sort of trap. The fact of the matter is, he takes nothing for granted and he glances around, marking escape routes and things they could use for cover in case it turns bad for them. Kaido mutters to Takeo, "You've got 10 minutes, if they don't show themselves or welcome us by then, I'm dragging you away from the shore. We can always come back tomorrow, a little more forewarned and forearmed and try again. I don't know about you, but I DEFINITELY don't want to have to fight someone that can trap us THAT easily in a genjutsu prison that could easily have led us to walk into the ocean and drown without ever even knowing how or why."

There's nothing… Then something? The earth is starting to shake! The waves are picking up, all of them pressing forward on the shore. It's not that they were trying to drown anyone, but there was enough force behind them that they would completely cover the beach while the tremors continued.

Takeo was so certain that he'd finally come to understand the last instructions Isobu had left in his mind. Could he have been mistaken about the intent, about where to go? Surely, they hand't come all this way to find enemies, rather than a potential salve to his pain.
Then, the tremors begin and the waves rise. Takeo takes a few steps back, but also lifts a hand just slightly toward Kaido's chest. "Don't do anything hasty," he calmly advises. It occurs to him, the tales of these summon clan beasts being as big as a house. If they were to rise up from the water, well …

Kaido is getting increasingly nervous as the tremors and the waves rise up, Bandit and Bolt yelp but stand their ground as they turn to face the ocean. Bolt says quietly to Bandit, ~I don't think I like this part of adventure, the ground shaking is making me queasy…~ and indeed Bolt looks a little green as he tries to keep his balance while everything is going on. Bandit on the other hand says, "Yeah kid, I don't blame you… this is WAY WAY above my pay grade."
Kaido just watches and shifts his stance to keep from losing his own balance from the way the earth is shaking and says back to Takeo, "Might not be a bad idea for us to at least back away a bit so that we don't get drowned by the tsunami… you might be alright being able to handle the element of water, but I'm not." He motions for Bandit and Bolt to back away slowly with him until they're on high enough ground that the waves won't swamp them and then suck them back into the ocean.
He still looks around in case this isn't the greetings of the Turtle Clan but some elaborate trap by the Recluse or some other group of strong shinobi looking to capture or kill the two vagabond Konoha nins.

The water begins to shift as a large half-bowl rises from the water. Then a large head comes up as well. Before both Takeo and Kaido is … a GIANT TURTLE!!!! o.o It moves rather slowly, and its back happens to host a full island on it. Huh. "So… you know Isobu, huh?" the turtle rumbles lightly, watching the two intently.

Takeo looks up in awe at the great turtle for a time. On the one hand, he's stunned that Isobu didn't steer him wrong; in the end, he truly had sent him to the Turtle Clan, to some manner of solution. On the other hand, it's a gigantic turtle with an island upon the back of its shell. Hard to not be impressed by that.
"I more than knew him, I would say, great lord," Takeo replies, once again bowing before the impressive beast to show his deference and respect. "I gave of myself to carry him for more than a year. In the end, I was a Master Jinchuuriki, but Isobu and I considered each other to be friends."
There's a pause before he slowly rises from his bow. "Isobu was … stolen from me. Ripped away from me, when neither of us wanted it to be so. As he was leaving my body, he told me that I would find my new path here. It was by his instruction that I came here to, as he put it, seek the tutelage of the Turtle Clan. A new path, a new purpose."

Bolt and Bandit both yelp when the HUGE turtle rises out of the ocean and scramble backwards quickly. Even Bandit, the grizzled veteran isn't immune to being overwhelmed when confronted with something that massive. The two nin-ken hide behind Kaido who looks up and up and UP at the great Turtle. Bolt shakes a bit and says to Bandit, ~That turtle would make a LOT of turtle soup… but I don't think I want to eat it…~ Bandit SMACKS Bolt and hisses, "Shut UP idiot! You WANT to make something that big MAD at us???" Bolt yelps and hides underneath his paws and whimpers as Bandit STARES up at the Great Turtle and hopes that he doesn't have a taste for dog.
Kaido on the other hand now is extremely nervous and realizing the futility of trying to fight and the likelyhood of escape as with how huge the turtle is. In his imagination, he can see that all the turtle would have to do is drop down quickly and the water displacement would be enough to instantly kill them all. He bows just as deeply a shade after Takeo, staying silent and trying to nudge his nin-ken to be quiet themselves. This 'battle' is now up to Takeo to win, he's as useless as a horse's tit having never met a Tailed Beast or one of the great animal clans (other than his own nin-ken of course).

"And you survived, too. Good job," the turtle rumbles, clearly impressed. "What are your names?" the turtle asks, something about its voice slow. It doesn't seem to be in any hurry, that's for sure. As it speaks, smaller turtles begin to crawl from the water. A few of them have fins, and others do not. There are all sorts of turtles just coming onto shore, swarming around both Takeo and Kaido (ninken, too).

Takeo slowly nods his head in response to the great turtle's first comment. "I did, though I'm not certain that it was the best outcome. Without Isobu, a part of me feels … empty. He just seemed to think your clan would have some way of filling the void, so I came." He pushes his already open robes back and displays his stomach, or more specifically, the risen scar which looks exactly like his Jinchuuriki seal did. A dismal reminder of what once was, but proof, as well.
"I am Inuzuka Takeo," he says, half turning to gesture towar Kaido. "This is my cousin and … student, Inuzuka Kaido. The other two hiding behind him are Bandit and Bolt, Kaido's ninken." The young man further explains to the turtle, "When I became one with Isobu, I lost all that my Inuzuka blood once gave me. The scent, the ability to bond with a ninken. I'm afraid none of it returned once we were ripped apart, but I did retain the control of the Wave as he taught it. Somehow."

Bolt and Bandit both peek out from behind Kaido's legs as Takeo introduces them. Bolt looks wide-eyed at all the turtles and yips without thought, ~Look at all the turtles! It's a turtlepalooza!~ He tries to sniff one of the turtles that are closest to him. Bandit on the other hand waves a paw carefully towards the Turtle God and says, "Uh… yeah, I'm Bandit… and that's my student Bolt… How do you do…" Bandit just looks at all the turtles swarming around them with growing alarm as they are definitely outnumbered, outclassed and with nowhere to run or hide.
Kaido on the other hand let's Takeo introduce him, this is his gig after all, he's just here to make sure Takeo manages to complete his journey safely and to remind the young man that even though he's no longer the host to Isobu that he still has friends and family who care about him and want to help him. He does however say, "An honor to meet you Turtle-sama."

The turtle that bolt sniffs at just stares at the ninken before making its way so that it is in position. The turtles surround the Inuzuka, and they would have to wade through the sea of summons in order to escape. Perhaps turtles are known for being slow, but it took very little time for the quartet to be surrounded on all sides. The head turtle watches them, unmoving. Considering. "I see…" he says, voice shaking the very atmosphere with how low it is. "I apologize for your loss."
There's a bit of shifting as the turtle considers the four before it. "My name is Harukaze no Kame. I am the keeper of the turtles here in the north," he says. "Inuzuka … Takeo … Why are you here?" he rumbles, even as the smaller turtles seem to have all their attention on Kaido and his ninken.

"It is our honor to meet you and your kin, great lord. We've heard you don't often receive visits from outsiders." Takeo bows low before Harukaze once more, and then a slightly shorter bow for the horde of various turtles which has suddenly appeared. He thinks no less of them for their smaller size in comparison to the elder, knowing well that this is their environment. Every movement remains deferential, and while he speaks with confidence, he holds his volume to a respectful tone.
"The honest answer is that I don't now for certain, Harukaze-dono," the shinobi confesses. "Isobu and I didn't have time to discuss his reasons. He poured his energies into me to keep me alive, just to buy the moments he needed to direct me here." He pauses, thinking back on an unpleasant memory before exhaling. "In those moments, I told Isobu that I had achieved inner peace existing in union with him. That he was my friend, my ally, my comrade in defending those I love. I told him to stop trying to save me, because death was the right thing for a severed Jinchuuriki - and the merciful thing."
Takeo concludes, "He always was stubborn, even if he was my best friend. He kept the link as long as he could and told me to seek the tutelage of the Turtle Clan. I knew then where to go to find you, but not exactly what it was he wished me to learn. I'd gather he thought a summoning contract might fill the terrible void this has left, but otherwise …"

Bolt sneezes a bit and shakes his head and Bandit kicks him to stop possibly kindling off the Turtle God. Bolt just tries not to act too scared about being surrounded by reptiles. Bandit for his part just tries to keep Bolt from doing something monumentally stupid and setting off a diplomatic incident that could very well end in their deaths.
Kaido, for his part just lets Takeo speak, it's his struggle and there's very little he could add at this point except to offer his full and complete support for the young man. He puts his hands in his pockets and keeps one eye on the giant turtle and the other on his nin-ken and the turtles surrounding them.

Harukaze shifts in his spot, which results in waves washing over the shore. He doesn't move much, waiting. Watching. Then, after several minutes, he finally speaks. "The one with two partners… This is not your journey, is it…" That is more of a statement than a question. But then Kaido is all but ignored by the large turtle as he directs his voice to Takeo. "Find a turtle." is all he says.

Takeo once again half turns to gesture toward his cousin and the ninken. "They are my family, and their loyalty is deep and honorable, Harukaze-dono. Kaido, Bandit, and Bolt weren't told to accompany me." He can't help but chuckle once, explaining, "I'd been going on about turtles for a while as I tried to understand what Isobu had said, and then, I was leaving on the journey. He volunteered, even knowing I might've been hallucinating."
Having extolled the virtue of his companions, the Tokubetsu resumes his respectful, serious disposition. The command given to him is an unexpected one, but when you're told to pick a turtle from something the size of an island, you pick the turtle.
Takeo closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. His approach here is to let instinct be his guide. Don't plan or plot, just follow the first path that comes to mind, wherever it might go. The ex-Jinchuuriki follows in the footsteps of Isobu's wisdom as he at last walks among the Turtle Clan.
Ultimately, Takeo comes to a halt before one turtle in particular. He's many times the young man's own size, with a spiked shell and plated jaws. He bows before the turtle as a respectful introduction, and then partly turns to speak to the elder. "My feelings guide me to this member of your clan, Harukaze-dono."

Kaido raises an eyebrow at the statement by the Turtle God but makes no real reply. No, it's not his journey, but this isn't about Kaido, this is about Takeo, and helping him achieve some peace in his mind and heart and soul. He might not ever have been carrying a Jinchuuriki like Takeo and he can't even imagine what it must feel to lose a piece of himself like that. He just knows that if something every happened to Bolt or Bandit, he'd be just as devastated, just as heartbroken, just as empty. If it came to that, and Kaido were the one to go on a journey like this, he'd like to think that Takeo would have volunteered as his friend to go with him.
Bolt and Bandit kind of cringe when they hear Harukaze speak about them and Kaido, suddenly coming on this journey doesn't seem like it was the greatest idea. Bandit tries to catch Kaido's eye and let him know that maybe they shouldn't exactly be here, Takeo's probably safe because obviously the Turtle God knows Isobu, but they don't have that sort of luxury themselves.
Kaido takes a deep breath, considering the best way to politely leave and maybe set up camp somewhere a polite distance away in case his presence is somehow offending the Turtle God.

Takeo once again half turns to gesture toward his cousin and the ninken. "They are my family, and their loyalty is deep and honorable, Harukaze-dono. Kaido, Bandit, and Bolt weren't told to accompany me." He can't help but chuckle once, explaining, "I'd been going on about turtles for a while as I tried to understand what Isobu had said, and then, I was leaving on the journey. He volunteered, even knowing I might've been hallucinating."
Having extolled the virtue of his companions, the Tokubetsu resumes his respectful, serious disposition. The command given to him is an unexpected one, but when you're told to pick a turtle from something the size of an island, you pick the turtle.
Takeo closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. His approach here is to let instinct be his guide. Don't plan or plot, just follow the first path that comes to mind, wherever it might go. The ex-Jinchuuriki follows in the footsteps of Isobu's wisdom as he at last walks among the Turtle Clan.
Ultimately, Takeo comes to a halt before one turtle in particular. He's about the size of one of the ninken, albeit bulkier, with a spiked shell and plated jaws. He bows before the turtle as a respectful introduction, and then partly turns to speak to the elder. "My feelings guide me to this member of your clan, Harukaze-dono."

Well, Harukaze isn't a god. He's just a really really huge turtle with an island on his back. Regardless! Once Takeo has made his choice, all the other turtles just disappear with *POOF*s of smoke. Wonder where they all went. "Remember him well, then. His name is Tamotsu." The great turtle waits for Takeo to say something… Signal that he is ready. Then, there are a million and one Tamotsu-looking turtles. Oh boy… "Find him, boy. You have three chances."

Takeo looks about as the massive horde of turtles disappears, leaving the beach empty once more save for craggy rocks and sandy shores. Well, the lot of them evidently have some sort of ritual concerning his situation. "Tamotsu-sama. I am honored," he says, once again bowing to the turtle of more manageable size. The young man then turns fully to listen to and then address Harukaze.
"I understand, Harukaze-dono," Takeo nods, getting the idea. Somehow, he expects those turtles who'd just disappeared to reappear shortly. It's to be a Where's Waldo of giant turtles, but at least he has confidence that he's taken in his choice with an observant eye. What's more, he was led there. It may have been randodm chance, but he'd like to think it was destiny.

Harukaze, not wanting Kaido to feel /too/ left out, tumbled curiously to the remaining Inuzuka. "What do you seek, Inuzuka Kaido?" The turtles that exist have begun to scatter, mixing themselves up to make it that much more difficult for Takeo to find the real Tomatsu.

Where once there was a large variety of turtles to be seen, Takeo now only has a beachful of those clan members who closely remember Tamotsu. His first thought is that this will take some time, but then, he reconsiders. No, it really shouldn't. His instincts had drawn him to the tough looking turtle, and they might well od so again, paired with what he'd taken in visually. These turtles are old, and they all have their distinguishing marks, no doubt.
Takeo, having formulated his plan, lets his eyes to the searching but otherwise allows his legs to take him to wherever they will within the crowd (taking care to avoid all of the spiked shells). He watches for little details like a chip seen in the plating of the beast's jaws, or the pattern of his spikes. Takeo's hopefully heading in the right direction, with a spiritual link of sorts leading the way. Isobu knew he could do this, and perhaps more thereafter.
"Tamotsu-sama?" Takeo pauses before the turtle he believes to be the proper choice. He thinks he sees the proper marks, but Tamotsu's sort are a rough looking bunch. Who's to say whether his faith in destiny would hold out?

Kaido literally blinks when Harukaze speaks to him, it's so unexpected that for a few seconds, he can't even answer. He finally looks up at the giant turtle's eyes and says, "I don't know what I'm looking for honestly… I guess if I had to answer honestly, I wanted to repay a debt to a friend and mentor. But I also wanted to come for myself as well. I want to learn new things, new ways of doing things I normally do, I wanted to give Bolt…" Here he looks and smiles down at his nin-ken pup fondly, "My nin-ken a chance to see the world like I gave my other partner, Bandit." He indicates Bandit who snorts and mutters, "Yeah, and I'm surprised we survived this long…"
He closes his eyes and says, "I don't have Takeo's goals, but I guess I wanted to see how a summoning contract happens, because maybe I'd like one for myself one day…" He blinks, "Oh, not a turtle though, I… ahh…" He chuckles weakly, "I can't exactly swim and water isn't an element that I'm capable of controlling, but maybe something that fit my personality more, like a raccoon or ferret or something like that." He shrugs helplessly.
Bolt then moves forwards and yips, ~I just want to know one thing, Oh Great Big Turtle-Sama! How did you get so big? And why is there an island on your back? Doesn't it hurt to have that? It must be REALLY heavy! And…~ Bandit blinks and dives on Bolt and hisses, "Oh bonfire! What have you done?!?! Be quiet!" Bandit looks up at Harukaze and says quickly, "Please excuse my student, he's young and silly and doesn't know any better!"

As Takeo makes his way through the turtles, they all stare at him intently, their eyes watching for any sign of hesitation, nervousness, fear… Among other qualities. But they give no indication that they are the turtle Takeo seeks. When he comes before the supposed Tamotsu, there's a pause. And no response because the earth has begun to shake!
Harukaze gives a small nod, this nod only making a few little waves. "I cannot help you with your Summon, Inuzuka Kaido. But perhaps… You will find that which is destined soon. Take care on your journey back." A dismissal. Then Bolt yips his questions, and the turtle pauses. Then he begins to chuckle. Then laugh, which causes the earth to shake. "Hahahaha. I am old, pup. The island is special, and only the Four Great Sages can host them. We are not meant for battle because of it, but we oversee the growth of all generations after us. Waiting for those who are destined. It is a part of me, and it does not hurt."

Takeo is left without any indication as to whether he found Tamotsu or not. That's where he feelings led him. Then again, Harukaze said he had three guesses, and the mighty being is withdrawing after only one try. Whatever the case may be, he's quick to dip into a low bow while he can, clawed toes igging into the sand in hopes of keeping steady amist the small quake.
"It was my honor to meet you, Harukaze-domo," he says, trying to speak over the loud noise of the island-sized turtle's withdrawal. "To know you was to go down the path Isobu thought would give me healing, or a new purpose! If your people live here, but beneath the waves, then I promise to return able to visit your home."
There's a pause as he listens to what the elder says in response to Bolt's question. The answer extracted from the query piques his interest. "The Four Great Sages? What are they?" It's more of thought accidentally voiced out loud, but what's done is odne.

When the ground begins to quake - perhaps heralding Harukaze's withrawl back into the water? - Takeo looks to the elder for a moment to see what's going on. That shaking seems to have been the reason for the absence of reply, whether the elder's leaving or not.
Rather than speaking, Takeo turns to face the turtle again, matching his gaze. Silence ensues as the Turtle Clan member is left now with an opportunity to voice himself. Is this Tamotsu? Were his instincts, his heart, correct on the first try?
As he waits, what he overhears Harukaze telling Bolt piques his interest. "The Four Great Sages," he whispers, committing that term to memory. After all, he wasn't sure that finding a companion was the only thing he was here for; Isobu /did/ say to seek their tutelage.

There was much sweatdropping and almost burning of pants as Kaido contemplates his death when the ground starts to shake thanks to the innocent, but impolite questions of his younger partner. Kaido was about to also apologize profusely for Bolt until… the Great Turtle… laughs??
Kaido stares at Harukaze for a long moment as Bandit and Bolt gird their loins for potential destruction before opening their eyes and staring as well at Harukaze. It almost doesn't register that they've been dismissed, but regaining his senses and wits he bows to Harukaze and pulls off his pack, and gives Takeo what's left of his supplies.
He says to Takeo, "Well, you found the Turtle Clan, here, I'll give you what I have left of supplies and head back to that village we were at to resupply. Since you're going to be staying here for some time, you'll need it. I'm going to head back to Konoha now, the Recluse are still out there and they'll need me. Remeber Sensei… Konoha and the Clan is your home and family, don't ever forget it no matter what mysteries or wonders you learn here. We still need you and we still want you. Come home as soon as you can.
With that said, he whistles to his nin-ken and says, "Bandit, Bolt, let's go, it's time to head home." Bandit and Bolt move with alacrity to Kaido's side, glancing back nervously at Harukaze as Kaido bows to the great turtle, "Thank you Harukaze-sama for allowing me to meet you and to accompany my cousin and Sensei here… please take good care of him." With that, he starts to walk up the beach in the direction of Konoha.

The turtles disappear, one by one *POOF*ing with a cloud of smoke. They start at the edges until there is so much smoke, not even an Inuzuka can sense what is a few inches before them. The breeze clears it away, though, and Tamotsu is the only turtle remaining. Takeo isn't too far from him. It seems the Inuzuka had chosen correctly. Kaido and his ninken are able to depart with ease, the Great Turtle not minding that they are going. He had dismissed them. Their time would come, but with another clan.

When the smoke clears and the same turtle stands before him, looking like a little armored tank with claws, Takeo is supremely pleased. He doesn't precisely understand how he had recognized Tomatsu out of his many kinsmen, but he simply did. Perhaps that would be part of what he'd learn, assuming things went well. "Tomatsu-sama," Takeo says, offering a respectful bow. "Thank you for remaining, but I don't wish to force you simply because of the elder's trial. Would you do me the honor of speaking with me of your own will?"
He opens his mouth to continue, only to find Kaido at his side. His cousin's decision prompts him to tilt his head curiously. "Why are you leaving, Kaido? I don't think the Turtle Clan takes any offense at your being here," the Tokbetsu assures. Although perplexed, he lifts his hand in a staying fashion. "You keep the supplies. It's a long journey back, and I'd rather you were prepared for anything if you're going alone. I'd rather you weren't making the trip without me, admittedly."
A faint smile ensues at his cousin's kind words. "You've more than repaid any debt my accompanying me here, cousin. It was welcome relief to travel with you and have that peace for a time. Rest assured, you have my word that I'll return to Konohagakure once I've learned all Isobu wished for the Turtle Clan to teach me."
He then looks to Tomatso and bows again. "Excuse me for shifting my attention, Tomatsu-sama. Given how many relatives you have, I would at least imagine that you know the importance of family."

The setting sun frames Kaido and his nin-ken in a corona of light as the man turns back and give Takeo a smile. His words are measured as he says, "That may be true Sensei, but I have a bad feeling that if I stayed here for too long, I'd end up drowning. I'm sure the Turtle Clan would be saddened and apologetic and it'd be accidental, but I'd still be drowned." He looks up into the darkening sky and says, "I can take care of myself, besides, you'll need all your concentration to learn what you need to learn and I'd just be in the way."
Bolt turns and looks sad at Harukaze and yips, ~I'm gonna miss you Giant Turtle Island-Sama! I'd love to visit you and your island sometime.~ Bandit facepaws and smacks Bolt on the head and says, "You numbskull! He's too busy and has too much to do to visit with someone like you!" Bolt yelps and holds his head and looks at Bandit with a tear in his eye, ~That hurts! You're so mean to me Seifu!~ Bandit snorts, "If I wasn't you'd be dead by now… grow up!"

The Great Turtle simply watches the Inuzuka depart until only Takeo remains, along with Tomatsu. And it is now that the turtle finally speaks. "I look forward to working with you, Takeo. Let us skip formalities, though." Then Harukaze speaks. "We shall need to train you a bit more, but for now, rest. You've had a long journey." Takeo would find, after a bit of searching, a dry spot to sleep on.

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