Date: February 12, 2016
Kishi has been in holding, bound and unable to move in prison. She's been assured she's just in holding, but the reality betrays the current situation. Hoping to get her side of the story, Hiroto visits and questions her. As was first thought, all is not as it seems, but if that is the case, who is truly responsible for what happened? The evidence is stacked against Kishi and may end up getting her locked away if her case isn't proven. In the meantime, Itami gets to enjoy being bothered by Arika who presents the opportunity to go to Iwagakure. Initially apprehensive, she works up the nerve to use the chance to establish some relations with their neighbors to the north.
"Tatsumihito Chronicles - The Caged Dragon"
"If you wish to go to lunch, you can. You needn't think I would keep you starved just because the village requires hands to clear it of debris," Itami described to those present in her office. "I understand the need to eat. It's important. In fact, I encourage it. So, if that is the primary concern of the hour, then I suggest all of you go take a break and go refresh yourselves and remind your fellow workers to do the same," she offered to them with a smile.
The workers all appeared content with her answer and began to file out of her office to go and take their leave to go and eat. There were a number of shops reopening to the public to service the needs of those who were contributing to the effort, after all. With them gone, she slumped back in her chair, hat tilted forward and covering her face. She had a lot on her mind to think about and one of those things is her currently bound sister. Why would she attack like that?
Hiroto walked in right after the others left and found himself a seat. "Itami." He says before sighing. "I don't think your sister had control of herself there. I don't think she purposefully did anything that happened then, and I think someone placed some of the spores from that one attack into her satchel. It was all too convenient and everything. I don't know who did it, but I think she is innocent."
Itami lifted up her hat slowly. "I don't think so either," she admitted while adjusting it back on her head properly. "I believe you, trust me," she remarked. "I know she's innocent, but the people may not think her to be and that is where the problem lies." She rose from her seat and looked out the window of her office, "I'm frustrated," she sighs.
Hiroto nods. "I can help prove her innocence. I will try to at least. I wanted to know if I could talk to her? Is that alright with you? And..you can be there, but otherwise I want no one to be around. Just me and her…and maybe you if you want to listen in." He spoke up. "In the end it is your decision."
"You wish to take that burden onto yourself?" Itami wondered. "I…I don't know…" She began. "It's not that I don't want you to, but I don't want to make it seem like I show favoritism," she folded her arms and thought to herself. "I'm in a bit of a hard place, but…go ahead and tell me your plan." She finally turned to face Hiroto.
Hiroto sighed a bit. "Itami. I only plan to ask her a bit of questions for now. About everything she can remember. From there I would move further into checking out the area around the….crime scenes I guess." He looked around a bit. "Up to you again Itami… And how would you be showing favoritism? With me or your sister?"
"Towards my sister. While you would indeed be a candidate for that as well, to be honest, showing a bias towards my sister may not be in my best interest, especially since Watanabe are currently targets for issues at least, all but Ume and her group," Itami states. "I imagine they're suspected, but none of them have demonstrated the power to turn into a dragon like me and my family have," Itami explains. "But, I am willing to take risks. So, I'll allow you to check the crime scene." She inhaled deeply only to sigh the breath back out. "You have my permission."
Hiroto nods a bit. "And about talking to her? If I talk to her and it is seen as me interrogating a prisoner that can't be so bad. Everything can be seen as providing evidence to prove she is at fault rather then the other way around or it can just be left secret." He frowns and stands up. "I will work my hardest either way Itami. I won't let your sisters take the blame, and uhhh… We should find out if they can become dragons. And we should also find out just..more about them."
"You can talk to her as well. I am giving you the permission to do whatever you must," Itami offered. "You could frame it as interrogation and it could help your case," she lowered her head a bit to think. "You are a chuunin now, so I will leave it up to your discretion," she smiles. "I know they can become dragons…Others may not know that, but I do for a fact. My whole family can. So, keep that in mind."
Hiroto nods. "I know this too. Which is why it sucks because I know that all of you are capable of doing so. Anyways… I think I will go do so now. Do I need anything to allow me to talk to her? I am sure my word wouldn't be good enough for a prisoner who happens to be the Kage's sister. Any prisoner even. Even with me being Chuunin."
"No, you ought to be fine. Kishi is…perceptive. She'll know why you're there," Itami states. "She comes from the Orange branch and understanding people is one of few things they're particularly good at. At the very least, exploring the depths of how people express themselves and work with the world around them. In other words, they can be shamanistic at times," she rubbed her neck. "At times, their…creativity and approaches can be incredibly disturbing. Oh, I want you to know…the dragon we saw at the Gardens is not the dragon she actually is." Her version is actually much, much worse.
Hiroto nods to Itami. "Alright. I will go talk to Kishi then. It sounds like she should understand everything well, and I hope she does." He stood up straight and stretched. "I might just go check on her now then. And…if that isn't her then… I might need to ask about why she was that and not something worse. Could it be she had some sort of control and was able to hold herself back, or…was it a genjutsu and someone was making us see a dragon knowing that the Watanabe could become dragons. Think on that. I will go talk to Kishi and come back later." He bows and walks out unless stopped, and his destination was to see Kishi.
"It is possible," Itami states. "All of those options, that is. The only way we can hope to gather anything is hope that she has enough mind to remember anything that occured with her and the workers at the Gardens." Itami returned to her seat and tried to relax. "Good luck," she offered to Hiroto in his departure.
Hiroto quickly made his way to the prisoner keep area and had Tenshi come with him. Tenshi might be able to tell if something is wrong better than he could. Either way he wanted to be sure to find out anything while it would hopefully be fresh on her mind. So…he was moving that way and when he made it there would just find a seat somehow and wave to her. "Hey Kishi. How are you?" He seemed to be genuinely asking.
Kishi was lethargic. She looked up to Hiroto and tilted her head sluggishly until she managed to identify who it was. "You were with the other one when we first met in the port town, yes…?" She inquired, trying to get her mind right. "I'm feeling…trapped," she joked despite her current condition. "They have me heavily bound and to be honest, I'm hurting, but I didn't bother to say anything. It wasn't the right time to do so…"
Hiroto frowned a bit. "I apologize. Considering I was partly at fault for you being tied up so much, and was the one who carried you here. But honestly it had to be done. I am sure you know that huh?" He frowned a bit. "I wanted to ask you a few questions…. If you think you are able. I don't want to push you if you need your rest, but considering everything I know I can't loosen your binds. People don't trust you right now."
"…Somewhat," Kishi would rub her head, but for now she has to deal with the ache. "I understand the circumstances or at least, what was explained to me." She looked up to Hiroto. "What are your questions? I'll answer them to the best of my ability. Rest is far from what I'm receiving. I am in no condition to rest with these binds. I am only maintaining."
Hiroto nods slowly. "Again I apologize. Truly." He frowns and lowers his head before quickly looking back up again. "Firstly… I want to know what you were doing today(Assuming it is still same day just nearing night now?)and for about the last week. What kinds of studies and information have you gathered from everything? Anything that could explain this situation?"
"Hmm, let me think." Kishi began to consider to herself what happened with her during the week. "I was visiting the Gardens more often. Most of my time was spent there and if not there, I was outside of Sunagakure trying to research any foreign plants that grow within the Land of Wind. They have all been documented diligently by the workers at the Gardens, but I thought I might wish to do a bit of scouting for myself, familiarize myself with the changes that may have happened. I don't spend much of my time on he surface, as it is called among our clan." She tried to adjust herself, but she was in immense pain and only served to bring herself harm.
"After the attack against Sunagakure, I was helping out with the aftermath and provided healing services while also performing rescue efforts for those that needed it. I came across an area that had samples within the soil that were upturned in the attack. After that, I can't…remember much."
Hiroto nods slowly. "It is good you remembered that much." He ignored her adjusting and just continued to speak." I see, so you were simply trying to assist and all of this happened." He frowned a bit. "Were they a spore like substance? We found some in your satchel. As if you were indeed collecting them. I assume you heard of the previous attack that happened I think before Itami's wedding? They used those to mind control our people. Turn us against each other." He frowns again. "I have to ask. When you change into your dragon form how does it work. And do you only have one form?"
"Hm," Kishi didn't have much energy to feel congratulatory towards her memory. "Spore like substance, small, could have been a type of mold. I didn't have time to research it as I'd have liked," she replied simply enough. "I was here when that attack happened, but I didn't know the full extent of how the spores worked or what they were. When I finished my collection, I speculated that these spores were from that attack, but I wanted to be certain and double check with the Gardens, assuming they had samples to work with. If they're as diligent as I've experienced them to be, then they would, but I didn't make it back to the Gardens to know."
Hiroto nods a bit towards her. "Right now I want you to know that I believe you are innocent. But you know that is where we found you right? In the gardens? In a dragon form, but it wasn't the dragon you actually are. Unless you have multiple dragon forms I assume something is up. Because your sister the Kage told me herself that it wasn't your form. So I have to ask, and trust me on this even if it is some family secret when it comes to details… You can't hide anything right now. I don't want you to take the fall for anything, and anything you tell me right now will be kept secret from prying people."
"…" Kishi went silent for a time as she thought over the situation. She was certain she wasn't in the Gardens. "She's placing herself in a dangerous position sharing something like that with you." She inhaled and winced softly at the tightness of the bindings on her body. "I will tell you more on the condition that I'm relieved from these binds. I understand why I am this way, but there is no reason to keep me this way. I am in terrible pain with my body twisted in this fashion."
Hiroto stood up and walked into the cell. He knew if she was really a bad person that he would have no chance to stop her had she attacked, but trust was needed here. "Fine. I will fix the bindings a bit. Loosen them up, but they won't come all the way off. Not yet." He frowned. "And Itami only told me because she knows she can trust me. So can you Kishi. I am not your enemy." He walked over to her and pulled out his hunting dagger. On that it visibly had a toxin coated onto the end of it. "You do anything and I will have to jab you with this. I am sure you won't, but I have to be careful of many things." Including people watching. "Hmmm." He loosened the binding up a bit in a way for her to at least get a more relaxed/comfortable position. Once he did so he walked towards the cell bars. "So? Anything you have to say?"
"Loosen? I suppose a compromise is necessary. I couldn't have expected to be completely freed, so I suppose feeling only half of my original pain will have to do," Kishi sighed as she toppled over onto the ground, offering herself up for the loosened bindings. "Far be it from me to try anything in my position," she admitted while her bindings were loosened enough for her to have some articulation. She proceeded to stretch her limbs as much as she could afford. It was leagues better than what she felt earlier, but she was still trapped.
"I don't have multiple forms…" She states. "But that's an understatement for the Orange branch. We can take on many forms. The problem lies in attempting to identify the true form. If Itami said what you saw wasn't my true form, then she's telling the truth. Admittedly, I don't know what could have caused me to take a dragon form in the first place. I have no recollection of anything that happened in the gardens."
Hiroto nods a bit. "Don't worry. If I can prove your innocence to others I will happily come down here and let you out myself. But I need to make sure if you are let free that it isn't assumed to be favortism by Itami." He sighed. "You know of the other Watanabe. We are trying to figure out if they have dragon forms as well. If so then maybe some things can be proven false." He pondered. "Also… You lose control of yourself in that state… When controlled by the spores. Maybe that is why you didn't remember anything." He frowned a bit. "I am sorry you had this happen to you Kishi."
Arika had been pestering to see Itami for ages, it felt like, when it's really only been a few days. The girl had gone to the border to search for the cult. But instead of finding the enemy, she found a friend! And now she wanted to go visit that friend! Arika bounced impatiently as she waited for the person to finish with the dragon, grumbling a bit inwardly and outwardly. ~She's busy.~ 'But it's important!' ~Says the one who can be ignored~
Kishi's brow knitted as she adopted a quizzical expression that soon disappeared. "I don't know if they do or not. It may be accessible, but I'm uncertain of how many may possess it. There may be some that can't do it at all, not for lack of trying, but simply because they're not trained in that fashion. Granted, the forms are not something limited to training, but are gained through any practice that helps a person to transcend their limitations," she explained. "Therefore, it does not have a respect of deeds. There are those who are considered evil who can achieve it as well as those who are good and some in between." She adjusted herself on the ground to be more comfortable and stretch the pain from her body.
"You will have to determine for yourself if those people have dragon forms. I don't know for certain," she shook her head. "But as far as losing control, yes, that may explain the gaps in my memory. I can't remember anything I didn't consciously perform myself…"
Back at the office, Itami was busy trying to settle in and relax, but no, relaxation is a lie. It is a dream, an unattainable goal, a tease! A—"You're free to come in," she offered to the one at the door.
Hiroto frowned a bit and nods. "Kishi. I will get you out of here. I promise I will. I will prove that you didn't do that purposefully somehow." He stood just outside the cell and looked in. "Behave yourself in here as I am sure you are fine with doing. I want to make sure they have no reason to blame you besides the obvious." He sighed. "May I ask if you have had any contact with the others? The Watanabe that suddenly showed up?"
Arika yays! And then charges in, not really caring if the door to Itami's office survived. The poor guards … Arika is suddenly bouncing in front of Itami's desk. "Itami-Chan! Itami-Chan! C'n I go t' Iwa?" she asks. She gives the Kazekage puppy-dog-eyes (whatever that will amount to…) and peeks over the desk.
"I will be in here meditating while you go and try to prove a case," Kishi states. "I can appreciate you loosening my binds, but I think you still have a ways to go in freeing me." She took proceeded to take a position and engage in meditation. "I haven't had any contact with the other Watanabe. Offer my regards to the workers at the Gardens and my apologies. Blame will always be upon my head until such a time I am proven innocent. Until then, I am marked."
Itami looked at her door carefully as it appeared to be nearly knocked from its hinges, but it was alright. It was one of a set of strong doors. But now she had more pressing matters. Arika has expressed wishes to go to, "Iwa?" Itami questioned. "Why would you want to go there?"
Hiroto sighed. "Blame may always be on your head even afterwards. This isn't a time to enjoy even when you are free… I will be back to free you soon enough Kishi. Hang in there." He then started to walk away and would head quickly back towards Itami's office. It would still be forever though so ehhh. Not like he would barge in yet.
"Cuz I wanna visit a friend! 'member? I tol' you 'bout him," Arika says. Though maybe the jounin /didn't/ include that she had met someone specifically and just said 'encountered Iwa nin' or something. "'Cept he's all the way in Iwa. I wanna see if he took some of my advice or if I gotta make him buy me all'a mochi ever."
Itami was still sitting back in her office trying to make sense of what Arika was asking her. "You may have to remind me because I can't remember wha you're talking about or…I don't know what you're talking about," she scratched at her chin. "Can you run this by me?"
Arika huffs a bit. "Cuz 'member I went t' go fin' the cult? Up near the border by the Land of Earth and Wind. 'cept instead I met Akkun and he played iSpy with me while we were searching for things and I talked to him a bit 'til we had t' go," Arika explains. She was sort of skirting details, if only because she forgot how important it was to mention such.
"…" Itami closed her eyes and mentally attempted to prepare herself for what she was facing right now. Once she had enough time to sort it all out, she set her sights back on Arika to speak once more. "I might as well just follow you there…" Itami exasperated. "That's my best option and perhaps I can use this time to learn more about Iwa as a whole." Deep, deep down inside, she was regretting the words she spoke, but she hoped some benefit would come from the future to follow them.
And then Hiroto stepped in the door. Right as Itami spoke about following her somewhere. "What? Iwa? Why would you be following Arika to Iwa?" He paused and then blinked. "Oh is this about that boy she met?" He sighed. "I think she was just glad to chat with someone her own age and who was new I think…. I would offer to come too, but… Probably best I stay. Too much to do here." He frowned.
Arika perks up. "Yer gonna come with? YAYYYYYYY!!!" Arika would cheer and jump up and down and wave her hands all over the place because happiness, and then Hiroto came in and she tackled him. "Hiro-kun! Ne! Why can't you come with? I want you t' come, too…" she pouts. "Dun be a Chuunin anymore. Yer always too busy," she suddenly states.
"Yes, staying would be a good idea and if I don't follow, I won't hear the end of it," Itami spoke as Arika began her celebration. "So, I'm going to accompany her to Iwagakure and perhaps learn a bit about them. I've only been there once and only once and that was when I sat on the Council. Now, I can return there and hopefully see about the village now versus my limited capacity before." She was still regretting what she was saying.
"So, now that I have decided to accompany you, I imagine you should get some belongings and prepare yourself for travel," she indicates to Arika. "As for Hiroto, what have you to report back from your interrogation?"
Hiroto frowned towards Arika. "Sorry Ari. This is a busy time. Once all of this is settled I will be sure to play with you a lot alright?" He smiled and looked to Itami. "Well… It was as I though if she is telling the truth. Her memory stops when she came into contact with the spores, and she doesn't remember being in the gardens. So… There we are. She also didn't seem to be happy with what you revealed to me about your dragon forms and such."
"Fine," Arika huffs, climbing onto Hiro's back. "I c'n go 'n pack, I guess. I dunno what all t' bring… How long're we gonna be in Iwa?"
"So, we know it was the spores, but we still don't have a reason why her actions took place. We'll need to look into that further," Itami answered to Hiroto. "She's understandably upset about revealing that information. It's sensitive to the events that are currently taking place. She didn't wish to incriminate herself in any form, but that's the surface reason, I'm sure. She likely has more meaning hidden beneath the surface," she hummed.
"You bring what you believe is necessary. Clothes, tools, artifacts for keeping yourself from being unkempt," Itami described to Arika. "And some food along. Just the basic necessities."