Date: January 6, 2014
Nariko, the diplomat, and her crew meet with the Konoha Nin
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Midnight Coterie of Foreign Shinobi"
The evening was dark, the sun had set upon the wintery village of Kumogakure. The restaurant sat doors open and inviting, their lights blazing as they serve dinner to their guests as they come and go. We find our young Yotsuki heroine known as Nariko sitting at one of the larger tables set for a group. She had sent letters to the two Konoha guests at their rooms in the hotel as well as to Hiei and Amani.
Had anyone asked, the hotel had heard nary a peep out of the Nara girl once she'd returned to her room. As for when the messenger came with the letter, it had been accepted at the door as she'd headed back in. As for anyone seeing her make her way here, unless they had some skill at detection, was another unlikely scene. But, as she does approach the restaurant, she does step into the light and makes her way into the doorway, pausing as she looks around and takes in the sights and sounds. After a moment, she hmms and heads for the table indicated by the letter. She does wait nearby to a chair though to see if this was the right table, and if she wasn't making a deported fool of herself.
Bother, bother. People required Amani's attention that weren't in phantom pain and complaining about every little detail of basic human anatomy. Maybe it's a good thing or maybe it isn't. It depends, really, but it just so happens that this evening is one where she didn't care to listen to people moan about small problems. Besides, she nearly starves herself trying to deal with them all the time. So, she sets herself out and to the restaurant she was summoned to.
She arrived not long after she left out and sent herself straight inside without being guided by a host. She knew where to go. Huff. "Oh," she started. "You aren't from here," she spoke to Usagi. "Well, please, seat yourself. The person you're looking for is right there," she points out Nariko as she begins to take her seat.
Taiki took a little time after arriving at Kumo to orient himself in the village, at least for major landmarks. He's far from achieving mastery over navigation though, so it takes a little time to find this place. Not always a good thing when leading a group of people, even when it is a significantly smaller group than the one that came into Lightning from Konoha to begin with. In fact, other than Usagi, he sent the majority of the group back, leaving him with an entourage of about 4 people, who take shifts walking around with him. At least 2 of these are Inuzuka, and Taiki doesn't look pleased to have all this effort for him, but it's a long suffering look most of the time, as if he's used to it. Finally his group makes it to this restaurant, with all four of these escorts along with his two ninken in tow. He asks for the appropriate table and is guided to it. Finally he stops and bows at the waist to the group, adding "Hello" verbally to the greeting.
Arriving several minutes after Taiki is Hiei. He had been in the middle of his afternoon workout at his home gym when the letter came, but since then, he had showered and even bothered to brush his white hair so that it cascades down his shoulders along his back. Instead of his usual shinobi outfit and armor, he's wearing a dark blue long sleeved shirt with the Yotsuki clan logo on the back and the words 'Lightning Bolt' on the front. Loose pants and sandals complete his outfit and he had chosen to come unarmed as well. Mostly to show the guests that he both trusts them and that he shows no ill will. Walking over to the table he greets his cousin first with a peck on the cheek. "Hey, Nariko." A hug and kiss on the cheek for Amani as well. "Doctor." And then he turns to Taiki and Usagi, bowing formally to them both. "Inuzuka-san and Nara-san. I hope your stay so far as been enjoyable. It's good to see you again." He stands behind his chair, not taking a seat until Nariko has greeted the guests. He's been taking diplomacy lessons from her, afterall.
Nariko looks up as Usagi arrives at the table, then Amani, with her less than polite greeting to Usagi. She rises from her seat and bows to Usagi and then to Taiki when he and his entourage arrive. "Thank you for coming. The Raikage extends his greeting and welcomes you to Kumogakure. He was unable to greet you himself, but has sent me in his stead." She motions for everyone to sit, giving Amani a shake of her head and return of Hiei's greeting when he joins them. She pulls a scroll from the side of her waist as she moves to sit. "I am Yotsuki Nariko, I will be your attach during your visit here. Which, I hope will be an enjoyable one. Order food and refreshments as you need, it’s my treat."
Usagi looks at the person speaking to her and raises a brow. "I'm not…and thank you" She offers a bow, and after being offered a seat, she does indeed take the seat and leans back slightly. She nods to Taiki as he approaches and smiles slightly. Everyone seems to be so formal, and she does offer a second bow to the lightning bolt, though she glances at the woman who spoke to her first as she's made known as a Doctor. She looks about ready to say something until Nariko speaks, and her attention is diverted there. She nods and smiles at the woman. "I thank you, Yotsuki-san. So far, it has been well on my part" she glances to Taiki as well, to see his response. And with the offer of food, she does nod and smile again, then looks at the menu.
Amani bowed along with Nariko in greeting to the others, having risen from her seat to do so and settle back into it. She folded her arms in response to the head shaking, coming across as slightly closed. Her attention was broken when Taiki arrived with his entourage. A tilt of the head indicated….not even half of what she was thinking. She didn't understand the amount of importance or why these people were following him the first place. This was weird and it made her feel uncomfortable. Meh, maybe she can get over it. She did receive a hug and kiss from Hiei. Be good, Amani. Be very good.
Taiki offers a small smile to Noriko, then takes a seat after her greeting. Only one of the entourage, one of the Inuzuka, takes a seat next to him while the other three stand to the walls. Taiki sighs, just barely avoiding rolling his eyes as he says, "Thank you for your gracious welcome, and I am hoping our stay here will be as productive as it is enjoyable. In a way this will be a vacation, albeit a working vacation, for me, so I hope to have some time to relax." He then glances over to each of the others, offering a polite nod, and adds, "Hello Yotsuki-san," along with a small smile to Usagi before motioning to her. "This is Nara Usagi, my medical partner and teammate, and this," he says as he motions to the Inuzuka, "Is Inuzuka Toru. You probably won't hear much from him, as he's here at the insistence of my Clan Council. Given the recent infiltration of my clan, the council feels its Clan Head should have… escorts while traveling. In truth, they do this even when I leave the clan compound in Konoha, only then they do not make such a presence known. Therefore I must beg your indulgence, as no offense is intended. Normally, there will only be two of them shadowing me, in shifts." The man nods and has already committed Noriko's face to memory, but seems pretty much unfazed by Taiki's long-suffering tones. Obviously this is a long standing argument.
Hiei takes a seat when Nariko does and smirks at Amani. When Nariko says that she's paying for dinner, Hiei doesn't waste time and calls over a server. "Hi. I'll have two bowls of ramen with egg and beef. A platter of pork cutlets with a plate of kebabs. Oh, and a large cup of green tea. I'm watching my figure." He leans back in his chair with a grin and then notices the ninja dogs. (Hiei's one and only weakness). He then goes over to Shinobu and Nozomi and pets them, greeting them as he does. "Hi guys. I'm sorry we don't have any animal clans around here..well we do have a snake clan, but they're not nearly as cool as you guys."
Nariko nods to Usagi and Taiki. "I'm glad to hear that. Pardon my cousin, he has an insatiable appetite especially when it comes to others paying." She eyes Hiei a moment then looks to Amani. "This is Yamayuki Amani, our resident doctor, she will be helping in ascertaining the capabilities of the orb you discovered." She smiles a moment. "Inuzuka-san, I have been instructed to allow you and your team unlimited access to the where the orb is stored, however due to security reasons we are going to have to insist that the orb is the only item you are to interact with. We hope that both villages may work together to find a solution to this crisis."
"Oooh, you have your work cut out for you. Relaxing might just be the biggest lie this season," Amani chuckled to herself as she spoke to Taiki. "Ah, so that's what all those people are for… Hm. Well, no offense taken." She paused. "Oh, right, I am the doctor… I thought I was off duty today," she sighed with mild sarcasm. "But yes, I am the resident doctor. I am here to help you with any medical needs," she smirks. "Hiei, order me something too. I want a pot. Nabe pot. Make it happen, please. Whatever works, I don't really care."
Usagi hmmms softly and orders. "Two bowls of ramen. Shrimp and chicken please. And also some green tea" She's not going for the rest right now, it seems, though she nods at the introduction of the resident doctor. She leans back in the chair for a few moments, listening to said doctor for a few moments. A brow is raised, nothing more. Though she's keeping an eye on the shinobi with the two ninken, smiling slightly at them. To Nariko, she responds. "Thank you again for your hospitality" At the mention of interaction, she hmms softly, then shrugs.
Taiki chuckles at Amani's antics and adds, "So this is what are like when you relax," he says directly to her. Looking to Nariko he adds, "She and I have met, when she came to Konoha in answer of my calls for help." He then turns his head to look at the three against the wall. "Take a walk," he says, causing the three to take themselves out of earshot, but not out of sight. Taiki then sighs and shakes his head, glancing toward Usagi as if saying, 'See what I put up with?'
Taiki then picks up the menu and looks it over. "I'll have the Tempura, and if you could give the large white dog and the slightly smaller red dog that Yotsuki-san is petting a couple of large beef bowls, I would appreciate it." Said dogs are lavishing in the attention, as scritches are always welcome, as is evidenced by their fast-wagging tails. He then turns his attention back to Nariko and says, "Should I send for some specialty medical supplies? I'm assuming that basic medical instruments will be available for use, but I would not like to put too much a strain on Kumogakure's resources. Unfortunately this is a problem that simply cannot wait."
Hiei comments. "I'm sure Kumogakure can accommodate you, Inuzuka-sama. Our medical facility has an excellent research division..I'm sure we can provide anything that you might need." When the food comes, he stops petting the ninken and returns towards his seat. He looks over at Nariko. "That's not the case. I would eat this much anyway. I need the protein and the carbs. You know Atsuro-san's workout regimen takes its toll on me. Though without it, I'd never have gotten these bad boys." He raises the hem of his shirt to display the immaculate rock hard abs that he has. "When I was younger, I asked him what he did to get his. So I've been doing that for three years. Hard work pays off." He sits down and pushes a lock of hair out of his face. "I'm curious, though. I never thought that I'd meet a Nara medic. If Satomi-san is any example, you guys are master strategists, but a little on the lazy side. Usagi-san, if you don't mind, what's your specialty?" He asks this before nodding to Amani and ordering her Nabe pot. He then flashes a smile at Nariko, nodding slightly as if to say 'You're doing fine. Just relax'.
Nariko tilts her head at Amani. "Oh, she's much more animated usually." She winks at Amani and then looks to Hiei shaking her head. "You know better than to mention that name to me. It always makes me sad." She blinks rapidly for a second pretending to fight off tears. "But seriously, those are not attractive." She looks to Taiki and nods. "What Hiei has said. If it is something that we are unable to supply you with, then by all means request it. We will try to the best of our ability to accommodate you and your team."
Usagi shrugs and offers him an all too sweet smile when he looks at her. As Taiki does start talking business with them, she makes to listen for the time being, though when Hiei asks her his question, she raises a brow and smiles….again, with a bit of sweetness to it. "I'd really not rather say. For one, I'd prefer not to incite a panic" And she simply leaves it at that. "Though I'm not as good at the medical arts as Taiki is…I've got a lot of things to work on, sadly"
"Yes. I'm so wired, I've achieved a pure state of relaxation," Amani replies to Taiki. "I agree, though. Kumogakure is headed by the best when it comes to medicine and I pride myself on performing well in my craft. Accommodations, I imagine are possible." This is spoken with some seriousness. She gave Nariko a bit of mischievous side eye and snickered to herself. "Ah, food has arrived. Quick and efficient. Time to enjoy it," she looked at her pot and inspects its contents. "It's those abs that keep Kumo safe. They are an important asset here," she joked.
Uyeda arrives from Kuraido Street.
Taiki just chuckles at Hiei's mention of his abs, and just shakes his head. "He and I have a long discussion going between his strength and my speed. It's a difference in body type to me, and… You'd have to ask him what he truly thinks. To be honest, I've always been more a ninjutsu type, which is why I stick to elemental taijutsu." Switching tracks, he adds, "Good, if I need anything, I will definitely ask. Though Yamayuki-san may be right in that my relaxation may be a big lie, but in some instances it's a matter of perspective. I'm normally caught between my duties to my clan, my team, the hospital, my village, my protégés, and my own training. So cutting a few of those down a little will seem absolutely slothful to me."
When Nariko says that his abs aren't attractive, Hiei cuts his eyes over at her and comments. "That's not what those kunoichi at the hot springs said." Being that the door to the restaurant is open, a hawk flies in and lands in front of Hiei. He removes the note from its leg and then frowns. "I wish I could stay longer but duty calls." He looks at his food and then shrugs. "But I can't let this go to waste." Using a skill he learned from his Sensei, he speed eats, almost inhaling the food into his mouth. It's not pretty to look at. Downright disgusting on the eyes. But it takes him about four minutes to pack it all away before he stands up. "Inuzuka-sama, Nara-san. I'll see you around, I hope." He then offers Nariko and Amani a two fingered wave. "Catch you later." And then he is gone in a gust of wind…another trick he picked up from Ogosokamaru.
Nariko looks at Hiei and deadpans at him. "Yeah, and they didn't say your muscles were attractive either." She waves to Hiei and then looks to Taiki and Usagi. "I hope that this will help to build an even stronger relationship with Konoha." She smiles and looks to Amani. "Maybe you should work more, I don't think they work you hard enough at that hospital." She looks to Taiki and smirks. "When you get a chance, in between working on the orb, feel free to explore and enjoy the sights of Kumogakure. The hotsprings is a very nice spot to relax and one of my personal favorites is the Raiun falls."
Usagi raises a brow briefly at the mention of a spa, then shakes her head with a smile. She nods at the mention of medical instruments and leans back in her chair a bit as the food arrives. She claps her hands together lightly, with "Itadakimasu" Following, then she begins to eat. And with that, she is in her own little world, enjoying an excellent two bowls of ramen.
Amani nearly isolated herself from the conversation as she ate her fill of her pot. She wasn't lying about being hungry. "Bask in the slothfulness," she began after finishing a few bites. "You will love it. Besides, it's the only amount of rest you'll receive if you want this to be a fitting vacation. Before long, it'll be complaining and wails over pricks and minor cuts. Feh!" She resumed eating, lifting her free hand to return Hiei's two fingered wave. "They don't work me hard enough at the hospital. They need to work me hard enough that I need to have an IV attached to my arm to hydrate me at all hours."
Taiki raises his sake to Amani and adds, "Hear hear." He knows more than anyone what that kind of schedule is like. He lives it in Konoha. After all, he left out his search for the Recluse or anything having to do with village security. Some things didn't neeed to be elaborated on. "Though I have to say I don't see much of the pricks and minor cuts. No, I more see the unique cases, which is what brought me to this entire investigation to begin with."
He then turns toward Nariko and nods. "I'm looking forward to working with your medics, and seeing their skill first hand. I also hope this will bring about a heightened spirit of friendship between our two villages." That said, he smiles as the food arrives and starts eating. "So… what's this about a spa?"