Date: October 15, 2014
After a long period of silence from the Land of Tea, Shuuren comes to assist Kirigakure with its wounded and offer information to Meruin about the Silence.
"The Silence - A Helping Hand"
Early morning in Kirigakure, and a group of shinobi the village may not've been quite expecting has arrived at the gates and come through. In reponse to the battle at the capital and kidnapping of his colleague, Nagamura Shuuren, Daimyo of the Land of Tea, has brought several of his apprentice medical shinobi from his village to assist in saving lives and mending the wounded. Half went to the hospital, and the other half went to refugee camps to help out there. The Daimyo himself, however, had a very specific destination to go to first, the office of the Mizukage.
Adorned in his suit with the Daimyo's cloak worn over his shoulders, he approaches the door with his attendant, a glasses-wearing secretary type medical ninja that the Council he hired to oversee the rebuilding of Tea Country absolutely demanded he have, the Daimyo would lift a hand to knock then look over at her. "The Kage and I have much to discuss, Hana-san, things I don't believe he'll want outside our discussion until the time is right. Go see if you can help out in the hospital for a little while, hmm?… And don't go ransacking their file system just because your OCD says it could perhaps be done a better way." With that he'd look back ahead, awaiting permission to enter after introducing himself, "It's Nagamura Shuuren. I've brought some assistance along… and some information."
The door would open, the way blocked by a single shinobi.
Meruin's calm gaze studied the man, pale mists subtly shifting within his black orbs. The observant moment was swiftly passing, however, the Mizukage lowering his head in respectful inclination to the ruler of the Land of Tea.
"Fair tidings," he spoke in greeting, stepping out of the way and gesturing for the man to enter. "I had not expected to see you here after hearing no reply to my offer." After the other entered, the door would close quietly behind him to the sound of the words:
"You say you've come to offer information?"
After offering a light bow of his head to the Mizukage in greeting, Shuuren would enter the room and take a glance around. "Ah, actually, that was received a bit later than anticipated," he replies, reaching to pull the letter from his coat then tuck it back in. "I've recently returned from a quest for the very information I've come to give you and received the letter only after I got back to the village since I forbade any of my subjects from pursuing my path for any reason except absolute dire emergency."
A brief pause later, the Daimyo says, "While the offer is alluring, at this time, I would imagine it best Kirigakure keep all its resources on hand that it can to invest back into your own country for rebuilding when this war is over. I am, however, ready to assist in whatever ways I can in destroying the newest threat against our world." With that he'd retrieve a different scroll from his coat and unroll it on the Mizukage's desk, revealing what appears to be a map of a maze of a cave network. "Or perhap it's not so much a new threat as no longer dormant…. This is a map of a place few men dare ever trod. Even those who once guarded it were slaughtered, never to be replaced by their brethren… and even I myself was only able to keep the monster that resided within it at bay in their absence for so long before it was able to escape and attack our world. If there is a such thing as hallowed ground in this world, this place would be its polar opposite, the most unholy of places one could dare trod. Books and scrolls I've found in the ruins of the village tell of times before us that the monster was able to tear across our world, long before shinobi record." His finger then points to a spot in the cave that seems separated from the rest of the cave, appearing to have some sort of thick structure keeping it separate. "With that in mind, what could be so bad that such a monster would create a vault to keep something even it viewed as dangerous locked away?"
Meruin gave Shuuren a nod, starting towards his desk at the explanation given of the previous offer extended to the man. As Shuuren smoothly transitioned into the next subject, laying out the map, Meruin let the subject go and bent over it, hands on his desk and hair settling itself along his back.
He listened as the man spoke, Shuuren perhaps able to sense the rise in chakra in the Mizukage as he enhanced his senses and processig speed. Swiftly, he committed every detail of the map into his memory.
Shuuren's one comment identified just what he was looking at. Just what the man was speaking of. The creature that had come out of the Land of Tea not too long ago, wreaking havoc and sewing fear in the world before the Great Villaged banded together to put it down.
He draws his attention back to the separate block on the map — it had caught his attention as he'd memorized the scroll — as Shuuren points it out to him in addition to the question surrounding it.
"Trouble," he answered. "Only trouble. I imagine that it was the doing of those who'd sealed the Crawler away, but whichever the case may be, it could be nothing safe for us." He looked up at Shuuren, keeping contemplations and questions at bay and instead allowing the man to speak his piece. He was the more knowledgeable here and he did not wish to impede the man from speaking his piece.
"Exactly," Shuuren says with a nod. "I had actually been informed by another of the potential of his breakout and did what I could to prevent it, which worked for a few years, but it eventually found a way out. This cave isn't in the Land of Tea, but it chose to stem its attack from there obviously." With that he'd look back down at the map, directly at the section of the cave that had been blocked off. "From what I could tell when I went there, the Crawler himself had put up a massive seal in this area himself and locked hundreds of the Hitokage in the vault with whatever he locked inside. The scars to the structure inside gave me the impression of a never-ending battle that probably went on for centuries so long as the Crawler's power remained in tact to keep regenerating his monsters to endlessly fight whatever he had trapped inside… Which leads me to believe that, when we killed it and the Hitokage vanished along with it, that is what gave whatever he had hidden in this vault the opportunity to escape." Finally looking back up at Meruin, his expression goes a bit stern as he says, "And we now have two chakra-absorbing shinobi with power enough that they've taken on Kage with Jounin support and only laughed in their faces to whom we have no trace of their existence before they began gathering soldiers, whose abilities to absorb chakra are so deep that I think even the Crawler feared for his existence since they may've been robbing him of even the part that normally came to him when humans die… In theory, by winning the last war, we may've allowed this one to be set into motion…. And that is not all."
Meruin's gaze grew more and more grave as Shuuren explained his thoughts further and further, the potential implications running through his mind. By the time the man looked back up to Meruin, his face was solemn indeed, seeming almost irked by the situation. He is nodding as the Daimyo refers to Yuuma and Tsuneo, his thoughts running in the same vein.
At the prospect of more, he looks up.
After letting that sink in for a moment, Shuuren says, "Not only are we potentially dealing with a set of shinobi millenia old who've been planning a siege of the world since before recorded history… But I felt chakra that I shouldn't have when I went to the cave. The way these men are doing war this time, they are specifically letting people die by the dozen without absorbing large numbers of them as their Kekkei Genkai would normally indicate they should do. It's hard to imagine they would want to revive him if my deductions are true, but, if they are, that means they have a rather deadly plan… and what we've seen from them so far may only be the warmup for what's the come."
Meruin is silent.
There was nothing definitive…. which meant there was everything to consider. The Crawler was dead. But just how much did they know about it to say that it would have to stay that way. It was a construct of sentient chakra, as far as could be told, in much the same way that a tailed beast was. Who was to say that it would not someday return in just the same way one of them would? Who was to say that these seemingly millenia year old shinobi, perhaps held by the Crawler itself, would not know a way to create or hasten the process? It was…
"Quite," Shuuren says with a nod before rolling his scroll back up and tucking it away. "I need a team of strong shinobi, including Earth or preferably Metal Ninjutsuists and Seal Masters. If we can beat them to the punch and seal the cave off for good, we might avert disaster. If we don't stop them, this war might be nearly impossible to win. If there's anyone you know of that you can suggest for what's likely to be a hard fight, I need to gather this team in a hurry."
"I will consider our needs and draft a list of recommended shinobi for such a mission," spoke the Mizukage. "It will be delivered to you before morning's light, barring something unforseen." Meruin settles backwards into his chair, hands easily resting upon its arms, eyes turning back down to the map. "I do not believe it wise to give up chase in order to try and cut them off at a location wrought with unsurety." He looked back to Shuuren, "Especially considering all that I know of its whereabouts are that they aren't in the Land of Tea."
"The location of the cave is an island so far south into the sea that shinobi generally don't ever cross it except by accident," Shuuren explains. "It was completely out of touch with the shinobi world for some time until a man from your village who was marked a rogue at the time was commissioned to come try to repair the seal holding the Crawler in. The journey itself will take some time because the only way to get there is by ship, so we'll need to leave as soon as possible." With that he'd take a step back, saying, "If there's nothing further we need to discuss, I'll go see what I can do for some of those in more serious condition from the recent attacks."
Meruin makes a closed-mouthed noise of understanding. "There is nothing further to discuss. If the way is by sea, then there will be no worry of reaching the place faster than The Brothers; not if there are Kirigakure shinobi aboard our vessel. Please, send an approximate distance — through time traveled if need be — to my office by the end of the day. It'll be a consideration in both who'll be suitable and who I can spare for the mission." The Mizukage inclines his head to the man.
"We of Water do thank you, Tea Daimyo."