Date: November 30, 2014
A meeting of 3 village representatives about the Silence
"The Silence - Potent-ial Allies"
Hokage's Office, Konoha
Daisuke had arranged for a few hours of his time to be spent with an envoy of sorts, from all different regions, pertaining to the Silence, the recent deal struck, and all information pertaining to such things. The envoys (especially Nariko) were welcomed into Konoha with an escort to the Hokage's office upon arrival at the gates. Daisuke did not know who would be arriving when, so there were a few details awaiting them at the gates, all good looking young Jounin men of course.
Meanwhile, Daisuke is in his meeting room, or the war room if you so see it, with a few close personnel discussing things and preparing for the meeting. Documents were out with information gathered since the attack on Konohagakure and it was expected that at least one guest would have more to add to it. And so he waits.
Itami traveled lightly. She felt it best considering the circumstances. No use in trying to draw too much attention, at least more than what she's already drawn with her name coming up in the news of various villages and nations. She would have spent some time enjoying Konoha, but as soon as she arrived, there was business to tend to. Perhaps after the meeting she could spend some time around and enjoy the sights this village had to offer.
She followed said good looking jounin back to the office, giving them a bit of notice every once in a while to their looks with a bit of a demure smile. Maybe she might score one of them before the end of this evening.
Upon arrival in the office, she met eyes with Daisuke and bowed before him. "Hokage-dono," she greets him. "I've arrived from Sunagakure to discuss matters of importance to you as I imagine you're well aware."
Arriving at the gates, after having discussed terms with her partners in crime, was the young and lovely Yotsuki girl known as Nariko. She had traveled this long distance to speak with the Hokage about the missive that Itami and sent her, as well as the information that she had heard from Michiko's report. As she arrived at the gates, she spotted the good looking Jounin men and shook her head. "I wish the other welcoming committee was here." She shrugged and was lead to Daisuke's meeting room/war room. She smiled as she walked in, hands clasped in front of her and her outfit more formal. She bowed slightly to Daisuke and moved inward. "Hello Hokage, pleasure to see you again. I wish it were on better terms though."
Akane had been helping with the arrangments of storage for the last of the harvest when the messenger had arrived in the small farming settlement just beyond the crossroads where she had been staying. She had expected the Hokage to want to speak with her if only for the information she'd gathered. So she pulled on her jacket and made sure the child she had brought with was tendd to and followed the messenger.
At the gates of Konoha she paused, taking a breath. It had been forever since she'd been here… Or so it seemed. One of the jounin bowed and lead her through the streets. She brought several stares as they moved. Many people connected red hair with Tsukino and then further mumbling ensued when they spotted the hitai-ate about her neck. Kirigaure. And she was both armed /and/ not bound! She sighed as the jounin led her to Daisuke's office and opened the door for her to enter.
Doihara Akane stepped into the Hokage's office, her hair done up elaborately with many combs and hairsticks keeping it in place. Her clothing was leather. A bustier that exposed her midriff under a leather jacket and gloves, leather pants and boots on her feet. Jade green eyes flicked about the room then landed on Daisuke. He was younger than she'd thought he would be, but that was of little matter. The scar over her left eye made her expression seem harder than it was, but she was openly taking in Daisuke.
Then she glanced around the room. Her eyes darkened to a forest tone when she saw Itami, her body tensing and her posture going ridgid. Sliding her eyes to nariko, she then looked at Daisuke and bowed formally to him. She remained silent but it was clear she was watching every move Itami made….
Daisuke looks up at the first arrival, Itami of Sunagakure. He had last met the woman during the Sunagakure Promotional Examinations when they were looking for a princess of sorts, and he idly wonders if they had ever found her. "Welcome, take a seat and we will begin once everyone has arrived." he says to the woman with a warm smile and a nod.
As Nariko makes her way to the office and says her hellos, Daisuke brightens up and points to a seat. "Welcome Nariko. I'm sorry Atsuro couldn't welcome you, he is actually busy for once, though don't tell him I admitted that he does work sometimes. Please, have a seat."
"We have another guest coming to give us some very interesting news, so I ask you two to wait but a moment." he says to the duo as he glances to the door. As Akane entered, Daisuke noticed her rigid posture and chuckles. "Please, come in. Everyone is here to discuss the looming threat over us all, the Silence, nothing more." he says to her, gesturing to the remaining seat closest to the door and across the large table from Daisuke. "I'd ask you all to feel at home, or at least comfortable, but this is, after all, the first time we have had four people from Four of the great Nations together in one room. Either way, if you require drink or food, please don't hesitate to speak up." he says, addressing all three guests now as he picks up his folder of documents to stack them on the desk and looks around. "I would like it if we talk one at a time, lets just say in order of arrival. Watanabe-san, if you will."
Itami rose up from her seat as she was addressed and bowed to Nariko and Akane both before making her statements. "Greetings to all who have arrived here. I understand that my recent efforts have been spoken of, but to those that have not heard, I suppose I can reiterate what has happened. In a battle that took place at a settlement within the Land of Wind, one of the two leaders of the Silence was present along with his numbers and the Crawler. I thought it was a beast that was long since sealed, but it appears it was released once more upon the world. After our efforts at this village proved fruitless, I was given the offer to allow him to attack particular settlements in order to have all of his forces withdraw from the corners of all the lands to leave us six month's time to gather ourselves accordingly. I accepted this offer in the hope that we may utilize it to band together and eventually remove the Silence as a threat entirely."
She cast her sights upon the officials around the table and locked on to Daisuke. "I understand that my decision has created some…division among various circles, but I made it with the intent of us gaining the time to build our reserves and launch a strike against the Silence and their waves upon waves of men. Up until this point, we've been sending dispatches to fight our battles and they've all come back unsuccessfully from their attempts. We are not strong enough as individuals, thus we must become stronger as a group." She inhaled deeply and sighed.
"It was my hope that I may secure Konoha's support for this. We don't have much time to spare and I urge for a quick response on this matter, with all due respect."
Nariko looks to Daisuke and chuckles. "Well, your secret is safe with me. I am a little saddened I didn't get to see him though." She may even stay for a little bit in Konoha, afterall, it was a long trip home. She looks to Itami and smiles. "Pleasure to see you Itami." She moved to a seat, pulling it out and sitting in it comfortably. She turned to see Akane walk in, bowing her head to her in greeting. She looked to Itami, listening intently to what she had to say. She moves her hands on top of her arm rests and steeples her fingers, pressing her lips to the fingers. She doesn't speak quite yet, seeing as it was Itami's moment in the spotlight, but what Itami said resonated wih her.
Akane watched Daisuke silently as he assured her they were all there to discuss the situation. And for what seemed like a long moment the warrior stood before them ready to storm out. A wild expression crossed her eyes and she closed them, took a breath. When they opened again her eyes were once more a placid jade tone and she nodded to Nariko, in a formal way slightly less respectful than the full bow she'd given Daisuke and to Itami, well she got what another chuunin of Kirigakure would get from her, a curt nod. She was not here to start a war. But she had the impression that Daisuke might take her position in Kirigakure a bit more seriously than he should. Ah well. She had watched what had transpired that day… She alone had been able to see what was actually going on…
Idly she wondered if Daisuke was going to take issue wiht her stopping Isura from attacking Yuuma. The act could be treason, the reasons behind it proved otherwise. Stilll, she would wait.
Daisuke indicated Itami should begin. Akane leaned back in her chair to watch her, taking in her expressions and her tone along with her words. Unfortunately, what she said was a politician's rationalization for a bad choice. Akane saw Nariko seem to connect with what Itami said. But she saw the woman hold off from her own comments for the moment. Akane scowled at the table before her then lifted her eyes to see what Daisuke would say to this'official' channel, knowing full well that despite Itami's technical position in Sunagakure and Kiri's connection to them, Meruin was rather annoyed by the deal she'd made in everyone's names.
There was a fire in her green eyes that smouldered, but Akane was a relatively patient person. She would wait her turn… There were many threads to be woven here and they all had to come about in their own way and time.
"Stay awhile and you will." Daisuke points out to Nariko with a wink, always enjoying when Kumogakure folk come and enjoy what Konohagakure has to offer. He then turns to Itami and listens politely. "What's done is done, and while we may have been given a time of peace, I truly wonder what the Silence needed to accomplish in six months without us hammering their number of men down constantly. You have come here to seek our aid, yet I am reminded of a time when the Mizukage and his alliance with Sunagakure asked of us and Kumogakure to unite and dispatch the Crawler the first time. While we showed up in force, both Konoha and Kumo, sadly Kirigakure and Sunagakure were somewhat lacking in support. What assurances do we have that you and your allies are behind us in this endeavor, when the stakes are that much higher?" Daisuke asks of Itami, folding his hands on the table and waiting for a response. After Itami is given a chance to respond in kind, Daisuke would let Nariko have the floor to discuss her reasons and thoughts. A jounin med-nin in the room offers Akane some water, perhaps noticing the fiery looks she was giving like Daisuke had.
Seems like their relationship is fairly close. Itami took note of this between Daisuke and Nariko and inwardly, she was amused. "In my eyes, I saw no end to their numbers. Their numbers were far more than I have ever seen in any war. In comparison to the conflicts of the past, their numbers almost double and triple what we've seen of our forces in those alone. Somehow, they manage to constantly produce warriors in some form and I am not certain what the source of them are. I do understand they are able to manipulate masses of people and have found some support in converts," she shrugged mildly at a loss in what more to say to that. "But…I can understand what grievances you may have in regards to this problem. We did receive notice, but we were still recovering from the attack that we suffered from the Silence. As I understand it, your battle was one of very little successes that occured in this fight against them using the strength of Kumo and Konoha alone. That is a testament to your abilities together. Kirigakure…unfortunately will be a separate matter…" her face soured as she withheld her rage.
"Kirigakure has decided not to lend their support this time around. I can relate to the feelings that you had at the time where our help was called, but I do not intend for that to happen again. I do not believe there is much I can do regarding them. The Mizukage's words tend to be absolute and unquestioned. I doubt I will have much influence in turning him against this so I will not try. If…Kumogakure also wishes to join," she gestured to Nariko in particular. "Then I believe the three of our villages will stand a better chance than what we've done at the moment."
Nariko looks to Itami and Daisuke as they interact with one another and then brings her fingers down, pushing her chair backwards to stand. "I had gone to Suna before the deal with Silence was created in order to create and see if they would be willing to join the forces of Kumo and Konoha to stand against this threat. One of the few people I spoke to about this was Itami herself." She puses, resting her hands on the table. "I believe that Itami made a wise decision, though be it very unconventional and with the enemy, to bring about a moment of peace so as to come together. I believe that we need to band together and commbat this threat." She looked to Akane and then back to Daisuke. "And though we might not all agree in the way this was handled, we all have lost something in this war with the Silence. Itami made a sacrifice to bring us to this moment where we can come together as one." She looks to Itami. "I have spoken with Hiei in the matters of military about this and we have agreed that standing besides both Konoha and Suna in this is a wise decision. One that we will not take lightly if it will protect those that we love."
Daisuke looks to Itami, and then to Nariko, listening to their words. There was no sense in dwelling on what was done, and even though he did not take Itami's word as the absolute truth, it sounded like Sunagakure was a little more eager this time. After all, why wouldn't they be after their village was attacked, making it personal, right? Daisuke unfolds his hands and looks to Akane. "I believe we have someone here with a little more insight into what exactly the Silence is doing on their break. Fujikujo-Doihara-san, is it? Please, if you would let us know of this information you have on the Silence, so that everyone knows the scope of the situation?" he says in a friendly tone to the red-head.
Akane somehow managed to keep her expression solid. inside she was enjoying the fact that Daisuke wasn't jumping at the request for aid. She lifted her hand politely when offered water, thanking the med-nin quietly for the offer. Fire burned in Akane's very soul, but she was not in need of refreshment. Unlike some, she respected and used that fire. Most of the time. Sometimes it got away from her.. like the other day when that little Uchiha had come looking for a fight.
Itami's face gave away much of her inner thoughts. So did the way she was actively avoiding Akane's eyes and passive-agressively targeting her through her connection with Kirigakure. She culminated this with an insult to the Mizukage and specificly leaving Kirigakure out of the 'final' offer of alleigance. Sometimes it was what one did not say that spoke the loudest.
And Akane could easily have taken that insult and ran with it. Itami could even have been said to have been on a power trip. She was making descisions as a Kage should, not a simple councilwoman. And denouncing thier sworn allies, offering to have Suna turn it's back on Kirigakure and break the alliance there beyond repair. It all flitted across her mind and deep inside her a dark voice whispered even darker things that could be done in response to these options and slights. That dark voice cajoled and whispered to her to take advantage of this 'peaceful' gathering and end this woman. Sure she might be killed in retaliation but she might take her down with her…
Slowly the corners of Akane's mouth turned up in a smile. Secretive at first, watching Itami like a viper might watch it's prey. The jounin about them needn't worry, for though Akane's aura was a touch darker than before and her body spoke of tension, she was not moving to obey that dark voice in ehr head. She did, however, seem to get a kick out of Itami's little display.
Akane was not ignorant of her position or location. She was no doubt surrounded by ANBU probably hidden in plain sight or the walls or something along those lines. Still…
The woman laughed.
The sound was harsh and she had to shake her head, one hand going to her temple as her eyes darkened a few shades. "Your little stunt allowed them to gain much more power than you could possibly imagine. You think your problem is Yuuma's grunts?" Her eyes pinched as if in pain then she turned to Daisuke, focused on him, seemed to calm.
"Unfortunately for all involved I neither have political sway, nor do I believe Meruin will come to aid Sunagakure or Konohagakure. He might." She shrugged and leaned back in her chair, letting her hand fall from her temple. Daisuke spoke then and with her eyes on Daisuke she remained in complete control and that dark aura dissipated.
"I answered a rumor that Yuuma was to attack a specific village in the south of the Land of Iron. I and another member of Kirigkure's chuunin fought, though I believe it will seem that we fought for the Silence. This is not reality. The only other shinobi to show up was Uchiha Isura and another, a Sarutobi. We stopped them from fighting Yuuma. It would have been suicide for them. In return for 'doing his dirty work' I was allowed to save a single child from that village." She paused for a breath. "It is not a significant victory but at least a life was spared."
She shook herself again. "In any case, after they retreated, I watched Yuuma… absord the crawler." She looked around, letting that sink in, her eyes landing on Itami. "AThis was part of his reason to ask for time. he is not strengthening his army but rather he is strengthening /himself/." She looked back to Nariko then to Daisuke.
There needs to be an alliance but formal treaties take too long and we have no time to waste on that. Individual shinobi should make our own alliance and let the villages officially ignore us." She stood and looked deeply into Daisuke's eyes before bowing formally. "I offer you my skill as a medic and my strength as a fighter for this cause."
Itami lofted a brow at Akane as she began laughing. She wasn't certain what humor manifested in this situation at this time, but as Akane made mention of what her stunt managed, she frowned and turned her head away. "Hm," she placed a finger to her cheek. She closed her eyes in thought and shook her head. She smirked, having some mixed emotions on the matter. She led to the Crawler being absorbed? "I led to the Crawler being absorbed…" she repeated aloud to herself as if it sounded surreal. "I suppose it was a matter of time until it happened," she stated. "I knew the weight of my decision and didn't have regrets against that. It was my understanding and exprience in matters of war that led me to this. The Crawler was revived prior to my agreement and given the way it gains strength, the constant attacks on villages would have fed it and led to it being absorbed either way. The six months that I agreed to prevented us from wearing down our strength against their unusual amount of fighters as well as preventing the villages at large, both the Great Five and minor from being further attacked, but in hindsight, I suppose we could've continued fighting and saw the Crawler absorbed that way as well," she folded her arms, now showing some actual disturbance if only at the sheer audacity of this situation. Whatever disappointment she had at Itami, it was returned full force as she turned her head back to give Akane all the attention she required of her, but there was a burning within her that could be akin to loathing and even death. She could feel the tension that was being created, but she didn't like the way it was being dished out. She kept her feelings tightly sealed, but it was permeating the room well enough.
"I can say with some sincerety and honesty, that I appreciate that you spared a life in the wake of my agreement. Is it unfortunate that he was strengthened? Yes, but he was already powerful enough as it is and this proves my point all the more. We have to be together in order to make a real threat to the Silence. As for the latter part of your argument, I…have no words…" she left that statement open.
Nariko looks to Daisuke and takes a seat, looking to Akane as she speaks. She nods in understanding and to show she was listening. She looked to Itami as she spoke and wanted to reach out and rest a hand on her shoulder to help calm her, but they weren't sitting side by side. Then she hears the part about individual shinobi alliances. "So, you wish for shinobi of the villages, who wish to partake in your alliance, to join you in defeating the Silence and have the villages pretend these shinobi don't exist?" She blinks. "So, you're basically suggesting sedition?" She tilts her head, looking at Akane. "Your seditious acts goes against everything that the shinobi villages were created to do. Diplomatically Kumogakure cannot agree to that. It would be suicide to consider it."
Akane certainly voiced her opinion of the deal that Itami had struck loud enough that everyone in the room could tell where she stood on it, but the information that came next was the grim part. An already strong opponent that took two Kage's and a few strong Jounin to take down being absorbed by an even stronger one came with plenty of concerns. "So the boss is powering up. We could see that as they are running out of a supply of men, or that the brothers have even bigger plans ahead that require more power." he thinks out loud, chiming in with the others. "Unfortunately, Nariko is right in the latter aspect. We have… four and a half months as per the deal struck to organize something significant to take down the brothers. One bright side is the fact that the Crawler gained strength through death and corpses as Watanabe-san said, and without significant attacks on highly populated villages, this does limit the Crawler-power, whatever it was that Yuuma absorbed. If I agree to this allied group of fighters going up against the Silence, people like Fujikujo-Doihara-san would also be welcomed, I trust?" he says, turning to Itami knowing there was hostility here but not amused by either side of it. "And if we find ourselves alone on the field without the aid of Sungakure, I trust you know we will be turning the other way and not agreeing to anything of the sort for a very long time?" he asks.
Akane looked at Itami as the woman once more rationalized her descision and simply waved her hand as if dismissing Akane's words or suggestions. Nariko was apparently on the same path as Itami. The Kirigakurean medic stood from her formal bow, ridgid as ever, eyes a deep green, her aura radiating anger. This was why she did not deal with politicians. They turned your words around and bound them up in nice little packages no matter what was said or intended. She did not even look at Itami then, but turned to Nariko. "Sedition is speaking against one's leader. I merely have failed to ask permission." Then she looked to Daisuke, waiting, silent and annoyed. She'd given her report, she'd already broken a rule set down for her actions by Meruin and she had saved two Konoha nin's lives. If these politicians found her useles she would fight alone in her own way. The villages be damned.
She winced again as if struck by a pain iin her temple and took two steps backwards, eyes seeming to fluctuate between jade and emerald green. She made a motion for the mask at her hip.. only for one of the Jounin to catch her by the arm. She looked confused for a moment but stayed on her feet. Interestingly enough she did not shake off the man's touch nor fight him on it. Considering her aura and body language, the man had been expecting a fight. What he'd ended up doing was keeping Akane on her feet.
Nariko looks to Daisuke and nods. "I would agree to our villages being allies." She looks to Akane and raises a brow. "The acts of sedition vary quite greatly and by agreeing to join a group of individuals not associated with the village would therefore be considered missing-nin if they were found to have given up their alliegance to the shinobi villages." She looks to Itami and Daisuke. "I think it is in our best interest to create an allied group. I would agree to her involvement, if she is willing to help all of us." She looks as Akane faints and a jounin catches her. "We are stronger together, weaker apart."
After Akane is held upright and asked if she was ok, even if the jounin initially was stopping her from reaching for something, Daisuke turns his head to Nariko and listens. Her weight, and that of Kumogakure as a whole, which was currently voiced by her and Hiei, was important to him, being their allied nation. The fact that she had come to ask for a similar alliance to what Itami came for was one of the only reasons why he was considering the offer. "If Kumogakure trusts this alliance enough to back it, then, as their allies, we will support them. For the record, I have voiced my concerns and opinions on this, and we are helping our allies in battle. I would need some kind of official word or meeting with the Kazekage to work out alliances, if that is even possible in Sunagakure's position with Kirigakure. As for Fujikujo-Doihara-san, please let the nice man holding you help you to go lie down for a bit, and I will ask Atsuro to look in on you later, as I believe you two have met briefly?"
"I hope it should take us three months to gather up our strength and be of assistance. I believe we can truly do this and ultimately end the Silence. I am grateful to you for your consideration, Hokage-dono and to you as well Nariko-san," she bowed. As she raised from her bow, she was about to turn to Akane to explore more on the options of her joining, but she found that she had fainted instead.
"Is she alright?" She inquired, not certain if she would be heard or not. "That momentarily aside, I understand the weight of working with you and your ranks and not showing for it. I do not intend for that to happen," she offered to Daisuke. "I do not wish for our relations to be as detrimental as they were before. If…turning over a new leaf is an appropriate idiom to use?" She was not particularly familiar with Konoha culture, but she'd understood the phrase to be something positive.
Akane watched silently as Daisuke continued his discussion with Nariko and Itami, basicly agreeing to the deal tentatively. He would speak with the Kazekage first of course. That little fact seemed to help Akane, though she still seemed agitated. The jounin could look at the mask and see that there was nothing overly special about it if he so chose, the eyes were blacked out like sunglasses but otherwise it just looked like a kabuki mask. Still, she shivered in his grip. She had offered her abilities to Daisuke specificly. Not an alliance. And of course she held no political sway in Kirigakure. Meruin had been clear he was not behind this del of Itami's but had not yet come forward with a plan. Surely he had something going on but she was not privvy to it.
Itami's show of concern got a lifted hand and a nod from Akane, interestingly enough she seemed calmer with the woman than she was a moment earllier. Her voice spoke of physical pain and a measure of tolerance that had not been there at first. "I'm alright."
Daisuke's tone made her still then she bowed and allowed the jounin to lead her from the room. She would not allow tests to be done on her medically, but she allowed basic exams to be sure she was alright. Though it was hard to explain that she was having a moment with her other self…. She would no doubt see one of Daisuke's agents soon enough and she was actually worn from all of this. She had nearly boiled over from the rage Kyoujin threw at her… She needed Ishino.