Date: December 2, 2015
A caravan arrived in town and brought with it a host of people, all of them wearing black. Was a funeral taking place? Fortunately, it wasn't that kind of procession. The clothing worn by these people wasn't for mourning, but for order, tradition, and perfection. These were the Watanabe of the Fukurokuju Branch and they were here on official business to establish relations with Sunagakure. Eager to begin, they express with great delight the desire to be within and hopefully, part of the village. First impressions have set in and they are bittersweet to the palate.
"Tatsumihito Chronicles - Abrupt Advent"
"More Watanabe here? Not unusual, but they're not normal to this village. They might as well be considered foreigners. The only one with an overwhelming presence would be the Kazekage," described a man. He wore black garb, overlooking the village from one of the spires before turning towards the building and entering inside. "That's what some are thinking. That's what I'm thinking. It may not be safe to establish such a strong presence here, especially in the face of the Kazekage…"
Inside the building were a number of people gathered, each having entered into the village at different time so as not to draw too much suspicion. "You're too concerned with these things. Be calm. We are here like this for a reason. An established presence need not always be a bad thing," a woman answered him with a chuckle. "We're here in good will. Your fears will be alleviated soon." The man nodded in understanding. "I see. I'm being too cautious. I'm sorry. I'm just concerned…"
It was bright and early in Sunagakure, the sun was rising over the village and welcoming a new day. The people were being freed from the icy grip of the night and entering into the warm embrace of the day. Itami was walking along with the most boggling situation on her hands. Watanabe came here with the intent to establish ties with this village? She was excited, but worried. "I am more than willing to make this happen, but I still have to treat them with the reservations I would anyone else. I may need someone else around to help me with this. I don't want any bias to go past me," she offered to an assistant.
Hiroto was walking around and all of a sudden the heat seeking Tenshi flies over to where he spotted an Itami. He circles for a moment so she sees him before going in for the landing! Hiroto comes up just now to see what Tenshi got off to and what do you know it is Itami again. "Oh hey Itami. Why does Tenshi like lying there so much. Weird bird." Tenshi seems to clare at Hiroto before getting comfortable.
Itami watched the shadow that circled around the area and braced herself for the landing of Tenshi on her head. "Hi there, Hiroto. I'm not sure why he likes lying there. Maybe it feels similar to nesting?" She shrugged. "I've been a little busy today," she started. "A number of Watanabe have showed up in the village wishing to make ties here and I want to welcome them, but I can't just allow them to come in. They still need to make their reasons known."
Hiroto stares for a moment. "More Watanabe? Well isn't that gonna be fun. So you don't know their reasons for being here yet?" He finds a spot to relax as they speak somehow before continuing. "And is there any way I can help with this interesting issue of yours?" He chuckled some as he waited for a reply.
"No, not yet. I'm going to meet them today," Itami spoke. "Now, actually. So…it's short notice, but at the very least, this will set us up with an appointment that will be more official." Her assistant was keeping up with the both of them while trying to get used to the image of a falcon on her head. "You can definitely help. This will be a decent way to work your way around in diplomacy. I don't know what to expect, but I'll likely need you there to balance things out for me. I know I may have a bias and I wish to address it and keep it at bay by having you around."
Hiroto listens closely to everything she has to say taking a mental note of it all. "Okay so similar to with Sorano. You want me to be a voice of reason that takes everything into account instead of letting bias and past encounters control the flow of this diplomacy? I can do that though I wouldn't say it is something I am used to. Maybe this would be good for me though. Hard to imagine me being any form of a diplomat honestly. Or anything of importance really." He follows along letting her lead the way.
"I know how hard it is to imagine, but it's ok. Don't think too poorly of yourself. You may be able to accomplish more than you think," Itami admits to Hiroto, genuinely. The two of them would find themselves heading up the spires and above the village where the upper tier housing was located. Strangely, it was here that the Watanabe wished to conduct business. Itami didn't have any issues against their meeting place, but she did feel it was odd. Upon arrival, the door would swing open to welcome both her, Hiroto, and Tenshi inside. She gains a few stares, but otherwise, all is normal. The man bowed at the waist to Itami and her friend respectfully as he closed the door behind them.
She looked back and then forward as the room significantly darkened before her eyes adjusted to the place as a whole. It was carefully padded so that light wouldn't enter so easily. "Please, forgive the state of this place. Our eyes are sensitive to the light, you see. So, we have the windows shut out until we have time to adjust," a woman spoke up. She was just ahead in the sitting room. "You are the Kazekage, correct?" She rose from her seat and stepped forward to pay her respects. "Greetings Kazekage-dono. I am Watanabe Ume," she bowed before her, but as she rose, Itami was able to see her better. She was a woman about the height of Itami spare for a few inches. She had white her just like her, but it was clear she was an older woman. She didn't look it, though. Hm. Just like the door greeter, she also wore black clothes. "Who is with you, if I may ask? He bears the scent of a Hayato…but his name. I wish to know it. Him and his falcon. It feels unusual knowing he is perched on your head. In times past, that would have meant certain death for a Watanabe."
Hiroto followed along smiling some at her words. Upon walking in his eyes adjust quicker then most would since he has trained them well. Right away he would take in the sights of the others here quickly to try to size them up for the most part. He lets all of them speak for a moment, and keeps an eye on all their movements if he can. Maybe it is him being untrusting of these people, but he does try to examine more closely. Tenshi was doing the same, but mostly he was ready to strike at the mention of him being on a watanabe meaning certain death before. Hiroto decided to introduce himself. "I'm Hayato Hiroto. Nice to meet you all." He bows slightly to show respect for them. No reason to bring up past issued between clans.
Arika suddenly barges into the scene with no idea what's going on. Naturally, she just happens to take perch on Itami.
The sudden entry of Arika drew all eyes to her in the room. When she perched atop Itami, their eyes followed her there too. Soon, they all descended upon Itami herself who now had the weight of the room on her shoulders, well, in addition to Tenshi and Arika. "Well then," Ume smirked. "We have company. A former enemy and a young child. You keep quite the circle, Kazekage-dono," she spoke. "Hiroto, Itami," she knew the woman's name previously, "And who is the youngest, here?" She seemed to be highly curious of everybody here, perhaps a bit too curious. Itami's eyes had adjusted enough to capture additional details and she has to admit, being around so many Watanabe feels more odd than it does welcoming. Their eyes are just like she remembers, narrow slits, aside from being in darkness where they're free to dilate. If that's the case, she knows that they're not entirely bothered by light… Still, that doesn't mean they can't be. "I don't mean to interject, but I unerstand you all are here on business, correct?" Itami questioned.
"Ah, yes, yes. We are here from the Fukurokuju branch, wishing to extend ourselves into Sunagakure. It's one of the only places we haven't expanded to here and setting up good relations with this village will be helpful to us."
Hiroto was also surprised by this sudden appearance of Arika. His eyes went to her position upon Itami quickly sizing up why she was here. Maybe she is like Tenshi and has a heat seeking method aimed right at Itami. Unlikely but who knows. He would let her introduce herself to these people while he himself stays silent for now. He wanted to see how this played out some without his interjection. Though he does take a mental note of every single word that is said.
Arika blinks at all the Watanabe and tries to make sense of what they're talking about. Then she squeaks and henge-s into a lizard. A small one that crawls onto Itami's shoulder and sort of perches there… in a 'I'm hiding, dun bug me' kind of way. The lizard-Ari is.. being shy, apparently c.c;
"Only your branch? I suppose, but I'm willing to lend a hand," Itami offered. "Good! I'll start right away with what we'll need. As you well know, Fukurokuju are people that thrive on knowledge and areas related to knowing things. In this village, we have observed, from a distance of course, the things it values most appears to be information. The good news is that we can assist with that endeavour. We scour far and wide searchig for all kinds of information and knowledge that can be useful for nearly all things," Ume explains. Itami nodded along with her so far. "Of course, we also have people skilled in shinobi ability. Jutsu, if you will. We are ready to dedicate our people to these tasks if you're willing to explore this opportunity." Itami hummed to herself.
"I am not opposed to it, but I would like to have a more formal meeting about this at the office where we may be able to discuss more about it. My apologies, but I didn't expect to be in a meeting today." Ume clasped her hands behind her back. "That's reasonable. A meeting sprung up on someone is absolutely rude. I wouldn't have done such, but I felt you were a busy person and needed to capture your attention somehow." The rest of the Watanabe were focused on Arika, who had just assumed the shape of a lizard.
Hiroto listened closely, and so far it seemed to be going well. Though this next meeting he would probably end up joining as well. "Okay. So it seems pretty reasonable. Though I suppose meeting in her office would make it more official and all. Sounds like a good plan in all honesty." Tenshi was moving a little now facing away from the Watanabe in the room and looking at the lizard Arika. He seemed ready to strike, but simply lay back down looking at her.
"Sunagakure is already efficient at being a force for gathering information. We aren't interested in having parties selling us that sort of thing because we already do that ourselves, but—" Itami began, but was soon interrupted by Ume. "Understood! I see you aren't in need of that sort of help. Still, we would like to contribute in some way to this society. We have trade skills as well if that is desired that could be fashioned at a lower level if not information gathering. No need in staying on the previous subject if it won't be of any help," Ume paced about the room thoughtfully. "We aren't any strangers to work. We are wonderful at organization and maximizing on efficiency, we can also contribute in matters of law and investigation among many other things." Itami inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. "I see. Still, we should meet in a more favorable fashion to iron out these details. Here, I don't have anyone aside from my assistant that will help to record these sorts of things." Ume seemed mildly perturbed, but she could manage the situation at the moment. "A formal meeting will be fine. At your request, we will discuss more. You have my apologies for my rudeness and intrusion," she bowed apologetically.
"I suppose you're already familiar with the story of your birth, right?" She questioned. Itami winced. "How did we move from the previous subject to this one?" The woman shook her head. "No reason. It's something that came to mind quickly. I just remembered because I know your mother," she stated. "But it wasn't anything I should have brought up. Please, forgive me."
Arika squeaks and then hides wanders all the way up onto Tenshi's leg. CLING. c.c;
Hiroto listens and when this woman continues to change subjects to other things he frowns. He waits while they speak before saying anything himself. "Yes. It isn't anything that needs to be brought up. There is a time for that, and now and later when we are at her office are both not the time or place where that should be brought up." Tenshi looks at this lizard on his leg and gently pecks it once before rubbing his noggin against the Ari-Lizard. "So… Anything else that needs to be said before we meet again at the office?" :/
"Nothing, nothing at all," Ume waved a dismissive hand. "You all are free to go. We'll meet later." She moved back to her seat to rest. "I'll have Taro see all of you out." The man looked upon Itami and her small crew before looming in front of them and gesturing them to the door. "She needs her rest now," he spoke dutifully. "Allow me to escort all of you to the door," he wouldn't budge an inch until they took the first steps so he could follow up behind them. "Of course…" Itami stated. "Let's go."
Hiroto looks at them and frowns for a moment before heading to the door. "Yeah lets go I suppose." Tenshi up there lies back down with the Ari-Lizard, and gets comfortable on Itami. "So now what Itami? Anything you wanna do before that, and would you be calling for me when it happens?"
Taro follows closely behind the group until they're ushered outside and closes the door behind them. "Not even a polite departing gesture," Itami huffed while walking away from the housing they took residence in. "For now, I don't know what I want to do. That initial introduction was…strange," she shook her head. "I'm not sure of what to make of it. I will have an additional meeting, though. It's the fairest thing I can do and their later propositions weren't that bad," she hummed. "I will call on you again and perhaps some others. The bigger mystery is her words about my birth."
"Is your birth something that you know about? Like do you know what she was speaking of?" Hiroto keeps walking as long as she does following on. "Also what do you think of them. They seemed off some, but is that how all Watanabe are? Sorano is…different in her own way, and you seem normal…or at least normal now." His mind flashes back to that one story.
"It is. I mean, I don't know all the details about it, but…I know about it to some degree," Itami lowered her head shamefully. "I don't know what she was speaking of, but now that I have this on my mind, I may have to ask my mother about it." She sighed. "Watanabe being like them? Not unusual, but not quite to their caliber," she rubbed her neck. "I'm not sure what to think of them," she admitted. "Sorano is different in her own way, but she is a bit…similar to that group."
"Sorano being related to you probably helped some with being here huh? Anyways I am sure this is nothing we need to speak of now, and I don't think I need to be with you when you speak with your mother about it. Seems like it could be a personal thing you know?" Hiroto frowns as they continue walking… "Though it is in the end up to you whether you are okay with it."
"In some ways, yes. Granted, I've dealt with personalities like these before, but Sorano's variety definitely did help," Itami nodded. "It would be a very personal thing to speak about. I intend to address her about it. I don't mind others being there, but I'm not certain of how she feels. I'll have to get an idea of how she feels when I bring it up later. I doubt she'll be ready for this line of questioning, but…I want to get it out of the way."
"Well I am here for you if you need it Itami. Even though i'm not much. Even a little bit helps." Hiroto smiles before looking around some. If they were outside he would eye the area where the Watanabes room would be. "I wonder if I could have Tenshi check that out up there."
Arika squeaks in agreement
"You could, but I'll leave them be for now," Itami looked back up to the spire they took up for themselves. "We can check on them at another time. Give our meeting some time to simmer down. Maybe then…" She smirked to herself in appreciation of Hiroto's and Arika's support. "I am happy to hear that. I know I do things on my own sometimes and it's not very helpful, but…I feel like I bear responsibility for anything that happens to you all or this village. It's fairly selfish."
"We are the shinobi of this village. It is all of our jobs to help you protect this village. You alone will never be enough because one person without allies can't win anything. Which I have learned recently honestly." Hiroto chuckled a moment before looking around. "Well I suppose we could go then? Unless you had something in mind to do?"
Arika squeaks in agreement!