Date: October 22, 2011
Mushi and Aburei arrive at Mushi's hometown and seek the advice of the village leader.
"The Demon Within - Homecoming"
They travelled for quite a few days, and most of it was actually spent in a horse drawn cart. It costs quite a bit, but Mushi is a good haggler. And Aburei might have noticed that, no matter the situation, Mushi always seemed to have enough money. Half a day away from Takigakure, Mushi sells to horse and cart to another village with just as much haggling. Though she's done her best to hide it, a healer like Aburei would probably notice that her headaches are coming on more frequently. She's paler, quicker to rest, and moody when she's not silent.
At the waterfall entrance they're challenged, but Mushi identifies herself. The man looks surprised at first, but then greets her warmly and even claps her on the back. Once they're inside the sheltered town, Mushi says quietly, "Most here do not know I'm a Jinchuuriki. We never especially requested a bijuu. I got it to prevent it from going on a further rampage. Most just know me as a good healer and, of course, my brother's sister. He would've been the next leader."
They go to a secluded cottage, that's showing signs of disrepair. It's locked but Mushi has a key for it. When the door opens the smell of dust and old paper would be in the air. Inside it's a three room area, with a main area, a bathroom, and another bedroom. It's…messy. Cluttered. But not with clothes or anything particularly feminine. Instead, there's columns of books stacked to the low ceiling and piles of aging scrolls. Diagrams and medical charts line the walls. But just as numerous, on many shelves and counters, are pictures of Mushi's family. A tall, elegant woman with curly black hair and blue eyes. A light haired, gruff man with Mushi's green eyes. Then there's Mushi, a teenager, with a less conservative wardrobe in a tanktop and skirt, Mushi as a younger girl. But most of all there's pictures of her brother, who'd look exactly like her if he weren't a handsome boy instead of a pretty girl. "Make yourself at home," Mushi says, as she starts to root through a hill of scrolls.
Aburei's been sure to watch Mushi's condition, certainly. A bit less than he would with a regular patient, perhaps; it's hard not to feel a little more lax around someone you view as a big sister. Still, the altered mood caused Aburei to pay better attention as they went along. Mushi-neesan isn't her usual self, that's for sure. :/
When they arrive at what is presumably Mushi's old home, Aburei waves a hand in front of himself, although he knows well enough that won't do much to change the content of the air in front of him. "Are we going to be staying here? Gonna need a good spring cleaning if we are. Can't be treating a patient in a poor environment." n.n; Aburei wipes the dust from a few of the pictures. "So this is your family, huh?" :)
Mushi shrugs as she picks out a scroll. "Was my family," she says. "The older woman who looks like me is my mother. She died when I was eight." There's a note of sadness in her voice as she says that. "You can see my father, and his new wife. I might go visit them. You'll see one with an orange haired boy. He was my boyfriend." She pauses before mentioning her twin brother. "And Toshiro. He was a brat and a show off. And he had more potential than any shinobi I've ever met. He'd be called a genius if he were born in one of the Great Villages. Here, he was the next shinobi who'd be the village leader. And gone now. Aha, here it is."
She pulls out a binder with reports clipped into it, and sits down. On it says 'Bijuu Encounter Reports.' She flips to the very end, to the last few pages. "Here it describes the method that was used to seal the bijuu within me." A few more minutes of reading, and now she says a little grimly, "Like I thought, it's one that is weakened the more times it's tampered with. And it's sometimes activated due to anger or other negative thoughts, since this particular bijuu is an extremely violent one. I either need to get a better one, or find out how to ally with the bijuu and control it." Then she looks up to Aburei and smiles, "So…how do I do that?" she asks.
Aburei raises an eyebrow. "Might go visit them? I'd think it'd be a shame not to when we're this close. Besides, they'll probably hear you're back and come around to you if you don't go see them. And they know about your secret, right? Maybe they can help." Aburei peers at the other pictures. "Orange hair…?" Aburei tugs a tuft of his own hair into cross-eyed view. p.q Then he chuckles and lets go. Sure orange hair is fairly rare in these lands, but it's still an awfully big region. What are the odds that there's any relation, right? n.n;
Aburei looks over the books near where Mushi pulled the binder from. Seals, huh…that would be useful to know about. Especially for the current situation. c.c Not that Aburei thinks he can become proficient enough with them in a short time to comprehend the one that's keeping the chakra monster inside Mushi-neesan, but it would help to at least have a basic understanding, right? So while Mushi reads the reports, Aburei finds a primer on seals and starts reading that. Of course, he doesn't get very far before Mushi finds what she's looking for. "Um, well, I don't know anything about the better seals option…and as for controlling the bijuu, I guess the first step to that would be understanding it. What's it want?"
Mushi gives an uncomfortable shrug. "Yeah, I guess I'll go visit them," she says. "Or they'll come to me." She tosses the book aside and brushes her clothes off. "What does the bijuu want?" she asks, and actually rolls her eyes. "Notoriety…attention, I should say. In some ways she's like a spoiled brat. Except… a chakra monster can do much more than cry and scream to get attention. She can deal out death with a single blow and plunge a countryside into chaos. We're not very good for one another. I'm a discreet wanderer and the Seven Tails wants the whole world to know of it. She gets especially rowdy during wartime. And I was thinking recently that… well… war…" She shrugs. "I'll say it. I've been thinking about helping out in this one. Breaking my neutrality and plunging in. And before I knew it, I am seeing everything wrong about people, and wanting to fight so badly I could kill someone." She sighs. "Well, I guess we'll have to go find the leader. Let's—" BANG. The door swings open and in comes a lovely, hazel eyed woman with an annoyed expression.
"Mushi," she says familiarly. "How /dare/ you come without saying hello. It'd almost be a repeat of last time!" She'd hug Mushi tightly. "Hi…Sumi." Mushi sounds as if her lungs are being squashed down. Sumi would be about to speak until she catches sight of Aburei. "Oh my!" she says. "Mushi isn't he… a bit young? And are you not with that pickle boy anymore, that…" Mushi would blush, something she hardly does, and says, "Hey! He's not that. He's a friend. A very /good/ friend. Aburei-chan, this is my mother Sumi-chan. It's nice to see you after so long, mother. Sumi-chan,"
Sumi looks shrewdly at the two of them. "You're coming for the same reason as last time, aren't you? Though with a different travel companion. If I hadn't caught you, you'd be in and out as soon as you could. You really shouldn't worry like that. So are you going to talk with the leader this time?"
Mushi nods. "Yup. Don't look at me like that, mother. I'll go see father, I promise. But for now, I need to speak with Rokuto-san. C'mon, Aburei-san." She'd leave quickly but Sumi would keep pace and chat with Aburei. "Has Mushi-chan been getting enough sleep? Is she eating well? Are you from the Neutral Medical Center? How are things in the countryside now-a-days?"
Aburei sweatdrops. "Eh-heh…that certainly sounds like a creature that'd be hard to appease. Maybe we should focus on the find-a-better-seal option." n.n; Then a stranger arrives! And she thinks Aburei is Mushi-neesan's boyfriend. X) Apparently even knowing about Goh-kun. Is that what mothers are like? c.c Oh well. Aburei gives Sumi a bow. "It's an honor to meet you, Sumi-san." So, Mushi left without seeing her family last time? That's odd, Aburei thought she was on good terms with them. Guess it's a complicated family. c.c Aburei tries to keep up with both Mushi's pace and Sumi's questions. "Well, she's taking care of herself, but we are here because of her not feeling well. Anyway, yes, I'm from the Neutral Medical Center. Things are pretty bad in the Land of Fire right now, but so far most of the other countries seem okay…"
"If it's bad then be careful about travelling around," Sumi reproaches. "Aburei-kun, be sure to protect my daughter if you're both in danger. And if you're with her and nearby, make sure she visits!" She gives another reproachful look to Mushi. "It's not that we're not close, but Mushi finds it hard to let others worry about her. So whenever she comes in need of help, she doesn't even ask her family!" And then she'd reach over and actually swat Mushi on the back of the head.
"Oww!" Mushi says. She puts Aburei between her and her mother. They'd nag at one another the entire way to the headquarters. It's a huge three story building with shinobi coming and going, or training out in front or socializing. It seems part market, part training area, and part office. It wouldn't take long for Mushi to get admitted into the office of the leader. He's an older but still powerfully built man with streaks of white in his receding black hair.
"Welcome back, Mushi-san," the leader says familiarly. "Help yourself." For her homecoming he's set out a huge platter of fruit and fine cheeses. Mushi looks at it warily. There are strawberries. She loves strawberries. She gives way and starts eating them. As she does, the man would look to Aburei. "I'm the leader of Takigakure. Huma Rokuto. I've already heard of why you are both here. You should have come earlier, much earlier. Mushi-san, do you need the bijuu re-sealed?"
So it turned out Mushi had a way to seal her bijuu after all. She purses her lips. "I am thinking about learning the sealing method myself, Rokuto-san," she says. "That or learning how to control my bijuu. Some places have ways to do it, but I dare not reveal that I'm a Jinchuuriki to any of the Great Shinobi Nations. I was thinking of training here for a time, to learn. Do you know how to do that?"
"No," Rokuto says. "We weren't given the bijuu to solidfy peace. It came upon us, so we have no knowledge of how to deal with it. Do you know anyone who possesses a bijuu? What villages they are in?" Mushi shakes her head, and then they both look to Aburei questioningly.
Aburei blinks. "Well, I'd do my best of course, but I'm not a ninja or anything. Mushi-neesan's probably a lot better in a fight than I am. And in healing, for that matter, but there aren't many who can equal her in that anyway." X) Aburei walks mostly in silence on the way to the headquarters, swaying lightly this way and that with the flow of the bickering. Uncomfortable though the position is, Aburei finds himself enjoying it in an odd sort of way. The familiarity which allows them to act this way toward each other without threatening their bond is part of what it is to be family, and here Aburei is in the middle of it. n.n
Once in audience with the village leader, Aburei observes the polite formalities as best he knows them, then promptly joins Mushi in savoring the repast set before them. n.n He isn't expecting to be a big part of the conversation, so he's caught off guard and with his mouth full when all eyes turn to him. c.c; *GULP* "Uhum…first time I ever heard about these things was when Mushi-neesan told me about hers. I wouldn't know where to look for them besides the Great Ninja Villages." n.n;
Mushi smirks at Aburei. "I'm just teasing, Aburei-chan. You would've mentioned if you'd known something right?" She turns back to Rokuto. "But you mentioned that…seal. Wouldn't it be bad for me to learn it since… since the user has to give up their life?"
The leader looks solemn. "The strain of that seal was great for your brother. Given proper training, and with lesser results, it could be learned. But my suggestion is finding someone who can teach you how to master your bijuu. How far have you progressed in your transformations?"
Mushi sighs. "All of them I think. But I can hardly even stay conscious for four tails before I black out and the bijuu takes over. So where should I go, to get training?"
"I think you should go to the monks in the Fire Temple," Rokuto says at once. "I am on good terms with several of them. They would not betray your secret. They could point you in the right direction, and I've heard rumors they may know something of how to deal with this matter. I'll find out. Give me several days while you stay here, and then come back."
Mushi seems to mull over that. Somehow the mulling gets through most of the fruit platter, which she eats without shame. At last she says, "Fine. Thank you, Rokuto-san. Is that okay with you Aburei-chan? You could do a bit of spring cleaning in that time."
Aburei sighs through his nose, his mouth being once again full. Sounds like they have to go the non-seal route after all. But, at least they have a plan now. Aburei grins and throws a salute. "A-okay by me, Mushi-neesan! Why don't you go visit your father while I get on that? The whole point is to make sure you have a healthy environment while you're here, after all." ;) Even Aburei can be sneaky once in a while. >D He scuttles off to banish the dust from Mushi's house, leaving her in the grip of her step-mother.