Date: November 25, 2014
Yuuma has Story Time
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Silence - Yuuma and a Snack"
A civilian village
Mid day has come, and, just as he said in his invitations, Yuuma is sitting at a table of an outdoor cafe with a bottle of sake and a saucer in front of him, along with a meal that appears to have mostly been eaten. A book sits on the table by the bottle, waiting to be opened, a rather ancient looking tome. It's almost a miracle it's survived the centuries as ancient as it looks, but he seems to view it rather casually to simply have it sitting on the table like that. Really, despite the assumption that more than one person, possibly more than one army, might be coming to assassinate, the Dark One seems incredibly calm. He merely sits back at his table, waiting for those he's invited to arrive.
Akane or Kyoujin.. it was hard to tell sometimes, had arrived in the town spoken of in the announcement not long after it was sent. She kept to the shadows that night, avoided citizens and Yuuma alike, though she figured he knew she was here. She waited. Patience was a virtue sometimes, though Kyoujin wanted to storm up to his room and confront him that night, Akane managed to keep the crazy spirit in control. So it was that she ended up in the town tht felt the icy breath of death on the backs of it's neck.
Akane booked a room and… went shopping. Yes that's right! She bought a nice dress and a pair of relatively comfortable but stylish shoes to go with it. Then she did her hair, making it even more elaborate and decorative than usual with little jade stones and mother of pearl hairsticks and resin combs holding the crimson hair in place. She touched up her lips faintly and traced her eyes in a smokey eastern way. The one thing she did not do was really change anything about her face. She left the scar there, fully visible on her face, crossing her left eye. he had shown him her ATrue Face and felt it would insult them both if she changed that now. A touch of makeup was only there to enhance and honestly…. She liked feeling femnine now and then. She struck an attractive figure.
Carrying a single bag she strode along the town quietly. It was nearing time… The kiri medic had left the girl child she'd taken from Yuuma's last conquest with the farming family she knew and come as soon as she'd heard of this new trade of invitations between Itami and Yuuma. The Suna council woman had lost Akane's faith in her and All of Kyoujin's trust. But Kyoujin saw things differently. The darkness wiithin Akane was far more likely to save herself than others.
There. the time had come and Akane mad her way to the assigned street, locating the man quickly. He was… She tilted her head for a moment, looking up at him before she moved. Striding purposefully forward, Akane/Kyoujin approached the table and sat down across from the man with a small grin. "Hello again."
As information trickled through the grapevine about a meeting with Yuuma, it had reached the ears of Kumogakure's military commander. Hiei had arrived in the village in question several hours before the meeting was to take place. Since he was representing Kumo, Hiei had decided to dress the part, appearing in his formal wear. His katana is belted around his waist as he makes his way to the meeting location. It wasn't hard to find. All he had to do was sense the dark chakra in the place and follow the trail. He enters a few minutes after Akane, lips pursed as he eyes Yuuma for a long time before taking a seat. For the moment, he doesn't say anything.
Itami accepted the invitation to come to the cafe, thinking she would take this time to try and learn a bit about her enemy or whatever could be learned. It wasn't something she felt could be passed up, so might as well take it as it is. She wandered into the town it would be taking place in, taking note of the population around here. They didn't seem to be too concerned with his presence here or rather, were tense enough to try and ignore it. Someone like him had to have gained a reputation by now, right? Guess there are some isolated spots that haven't heard much.
She took directions from locals to the cafe, pointing out its name in the invitation and soon arrived to see others had come before her. She nodded respectfully to each of them before taking a seat close by so she could listen well.
Ryouji is in his formal clothes as well. One must look the part in these meetings even if he's only the tag along in the Kumo group. Ryouji, like Hiei, has his weapons strapped to his back and sides but isn't expecting to use them. They're just here for show. He's been told to look and listen and that's exactly what he's going to do. He sticks with Hiei and Naruko, hands folded behind him but his eyes darting around, taking in the activity and those around. He looks where Hiei is, looking at Yuuma for a shorter time, only noticing where he is and what he's doing. He takes a seat in a chair next to Hiei.
Dressing the part was something Naruko wasn't entirely happy about. Formality wasn't her thing, at least in little settings like this. Nevertheless she moved at Hiei's flank, body adorned in a vibrant orange kimono, brown leaves etched into the fabric. Along her waist was a deep blue sash, tied in an elegant bow. "This is so stupid… Shouldn't we be beating him up or something?" Naruko asks Hiei, not really wanting to play chit-chat with the big baddy. "If he makes one wrong me I swear I will…" She keeps that last part to herself, joining to the seat next to Ryouji, putting an arm around him and leaning to his ear. "Careful, we might not one what to expect from this guy…"
Yuuma would peer up to the shinobi as the arrive, sipping on his sake a bit as he waits for more. Akane would receive a nod, the Dark One saying, "Hi there," with a small smirk to the one whose split personality has become somewhat an associate. Itami, as well, is given a moment's longer attention than the others, a nod in greeting given to the woman who made the deal with him that's brought the villages temporary peace… if one could call it that. Naruko is cast a glance as she speaks, Yuuma smirking a bit at her and raising his saucer. "You could attempt it, but you should count the cost before you do anything foolish," he says then downs that saucer and picks up his book.
"A rather low turnout if you ask me," Yuuma says with a smirk as he cracks the book open. "Or maybe you've got an army hiding somewher behind the buildings waiting to try and kill me. I'm always curious to see who makes a bad move first… and who actually thinks whipping out their pretzels and trying to go all or nothing will be anything more than futile." After glancing for what he's looking for, he says, "May as well get started…. Tell me, has anyone ever known a clan to by two names purposely? This is an ancient diary of a woman of a clan called Boei, a clan that was sworn to protect the world from its own Kekkei Genkai by destroying any member of their clan that happened to be born with it. The part of the clan that guarded the world against what they felt were monsters of their own blood were called Boei. They called those who were born with if Fuzen, separating them even by name distinction from the rest of the clan because they despised the Kekkei Genkai so much. Supposedly it was too dangerous to let see the light of day, which it had not done for centuries thanks to their practices. Remarkable devotion to their cause, to not have a single incident of a parent trying to save their child from the fate of the Fuzen for hundreds upon hundreds of years."
Kuoroke, naturally, expects an ambush, so he's gone out of his way to take a careful look around the area and check for anyone that looks suspicious before arriving. He's found nothing, however, and arrives with the punctuality, crossing the threshhold just as Yuuma begins speaking. The Kuroki doesn't sit. Instead, he slips towards an easily defensible position from where he can see both the entrance and Yuuma. Not the most defensible position, because that's where a trap would most likely be set up, but an advantageous one still. He crosses his arms, and starts paranoidly glancing from Yuuma to the door and back from behind his glasses.
Hiei murmurs towards Naruko. "Be easy. We can't take him and he knows it. Arrogant creampuff. Even before he absorbed the Crawler." He crosses his arms over his chest and frowns as Yuuma begins his story. Honestly..he didn't really give a jelly belly. He was here to gain any kind of inkling on what his next target might be. He cants his head forwards while denying himself the satisfaction of squeezing the life out of the man with his bare hands. That would just be foolish at this point. The last time he attempted to fight Yuuma was on an island and he knew then that he wasn't nearly strong enough to even scratch him. He takes note of the people that are here, Kuoroke catching his attention as he walks in. He looks over at Akane, silently wondering why she was so damned giddy in this man's presence considering who he is. The expression on his face when he looks at Yuuma is pure, unabashed, openly shown hatred.
Akane glanced up as Hiei then Itami approached the man's table and sat down as well. This made her slightly nervous, her eye sflicking back and forth, hardening into a deep forest green when she watched Itami sit down. The woman bothered her and for a moment her eyes nearly flickered into Emerald again…. She had nearly allowed Kyoujin full control simply by being there. And Hiei who had recently met the darkness of Akane, might notice the dark shift in her aura. Barely restrained violence seeped from her and her posture shifted as well, becomming more languid.
The many Kumo nin joining them got a flicker from the side of her eyes and she simply shifted a bit toward Yuuma to allow them room. Ryouji she did not know well. Hiei got a mischeivious tilt of her head before she glanced him over as if appraising his clothing and body. Naruko, however got an elegant eyebrow arched at her and a cold stare. Her expression clearly wondered if the girl was daft. But then she looked away again, turning her attention back to Yuuma.
Lifting a hand Kyoujin snapped her fingers and ordered the waitress to bring her a tea and some cookies. The girl skittered around, watching Yuuma closely and when she brought Akane her tea and cookies she brought Yuuma a refill on whatever it was he was drinking as well. (Apparently sake.)
Yuuma's words made her chuckle. "A small turnout indeed." The crazy medic of Kirigakure, the woman willing to sell thousands of souls for a short term goal.. Hiei.. and his followers. She grinned at Hiei, a bit more of Kyoujin peeking through. "You know This One thinks she has never seen you without an entourage, Yotuski-san~." She was teasing and making a point at the same time. He'd brought two genin to a dangerous and delicate situation and one of them was already being mouthy with the centuries old Host.
She sipped her tea then listened to Yuuma speak, telling the story of the clan with a Kekkei Genkai that was so terrible that they killed children born wiht it. Something struck Kyoujin's eyes and her aura darkened a bit farther. She looked like she'd eaten something sour for a moment then sipped her tea again. Setting it down on the table she glanced up as Kuoroke entered but kept his distance. No matter. She turned to Yuuma and shook her head. "This One has not heard of such a clan but it's entirely believeable."
"We're the guests here. Our presence should be enough to fill your time," Itami stated to Yuuma. She regarded Kuoroke with a glance as he arrived and smirked faintly. "This may be the best turnout that you get. So, let's make the best of it, hm?" She saw orders coming around, but didn't seek anything for herself other than water for now. The aura radiating off of Akane didn't go unnoticed by her, which in some ways made her more concerned about her than Yuuma at the moment. She kept her peace about her and settled more comfortably into her seat as she tried to organize what bits of the story were being told about now. One clan by two names and they engaged in a cycle of destruction between one another over kekkei genkai. She thinks she understands so far.
Ryouji leans over to listen to Naruko, "I know, I don't trust him either. We're here to protect Hiei in this meeting." Not that it was really needed, it just looks good. "I hope it won't come to that, but you never know." As Yuuma begins speaking, he puts a finger to his lips at Naruko and smiles before looking back at the big and bad guy. He listens and nods slowly, picking up the story. Though why he's telling it is beyond him. He's not exactly paranoid yet, but keeps an easy attitude, keeping his senses open for any traps or more importantly, ambushes. For him, all he orders is green tea. A waitress hands him a small cup filled with the green liquid, which he does not touch for now.
Michiko wasn't late at all. She was just having a hard time figure out what to wear for this meeting. Admittedly, any formal clothes that would have shown off her 'beauty' didn't seem to suit her, so she decided to just stick to her typical shinobi outfit.
The girl comes in behind Ryouji, Naruko, and Hiei, the air about her calm. There was neither a hint of hatred nor aggressiveness towards Yuuma, oddly enough. She looks curiously between the people who are present. Akane/Kyoujin, Yuuma, and two from Sunagakure who she vaguely remembers. The girl offers a light bow in greeting to all the shinobi present before her attention is on Yuuma.
The Iwata decides to be quiet for now, intent on listening to Yuuma's tale. His question throws her off-guard, and she quickly tries to recall any information that she had heard of involving Kekkei Genkai. Akane's words are noted lightly as she realizes that it's Kyoujin present, but she offers a slight nod in agreement to them when they are about the bloodline abilities.
Naruko had caught Akane's eye and she returned the favor by sticking out her tongue. Her eyes also stirred back out of frustration. Merely sitting in close proximity to Yuuma was enough to get her to fester and fidget in her seat, especially after his annoying commentary. "What's with her anyways, and why is she goosing up with the old man?" The young Uzumaki spoke in a soft whisper amongst her teams mates, ceasing her whispering once Yuuma began his tall tale. Could they really trust him anyways? She refrains from speaking and being disruptive, instead she leans back in her seat, azure eyes peering up at the ceiling, sniffing out the air for anything that might attract her attention. Nothing but sake and brewed tea…
"You wouldn't have heard of them any time recently," Yuuma says with a glance over to Akane, smirking slightly as he takes a sip of his sake. His eyes glance over to meet Hiei's for a moment, seeming a bit amused by the hatred pouring forth from the man's eyes. Then Itami gets his attention, the Dark One nodding to her and saying, "Good point." He then looks back to his book, starting to glance through it again. "This part tells about a great war that was going on while the woman who write this book was getting ready to give birth. The Medical Ninja that was assisting her saw that the children needed to be cut from the womb rather than birthed, so he got to work, but what he found when he retrieved them caused him to try to kill them, which led to him being struck down by the twins' parents. They knew it was their duty to destroy any chance that this Kekkei Genkai could get out into the world, but what wrong had their children done just by being born with the mark?"
With a brief pause, Yuuma flips another page, glancing over it before beginning again. Seems he's basically read through this whole thing himself before deciding to present it. "So the father of the twins came up with a plan. He created a seal on the boys that suppressed their Kekkei Genkai, restraining the hunger so that they would never feel it and they could live normal lives without ever knowing that they'd been born with a curse that should have been their end the moment they came into the world. Perfect solution, hmm? But we all know life doesn't go according to plan, and eventually one's deeds catch up…"
Kuoroke notices Hiei's glare and can recognise his own emotions in it. However, he keeps those emotions in check, standing aside neutrally and with a degree of detatchment. Although he meets Itami's gaze, the Kuroki doesn't make the slightest motion of recognition: he's too focused on his eyes and ears right now, trying to keep track of both what's happening around them and the minute details of Yuuma's tale: his choice of words, his intonations, his motions. Truth be told, it's not just anger and hate that he feels - in part because his medication suppresses those. He's also genuinely afraid of the man telling a 'story', for himself and for everyone in the room.
Kyoujin saw Itami's look directed at her and smirked lightly. She enjoyed making people wonder about her. But Naruko's childish behavior turned her expression cold, covering up that hint at empathy from before. Emerald eyes narrowed and for a moment itwas clear she was considering putting a cookie into Naruko's chest like a shuriken. A slight wnce and she let out a 'che', taking another sip of her tea. "This One sees you have yet to teach them proper manners, Yotsuki-san. And none of us are deaf." Her eyes turned on Ryouji then, a firm warning in her eyes as they whispered. did they honestly think they could have a conversation privately here?
She glanced at Hiei, arching a single brow as if to say 'really?' then looked back to Yuuma. His continued story was one far too familiar to the woman. But she sat quietly as he continued. It wasn't everyday that someone engaged Kyoujin rather than Akane and Yuuma had done so. She sat back lightly in her seaat, relaxed but still setting off tht dark aura, still nothing compared to Yuuma, but strong enough.
Michiko's entrance made her blink. even more genin. It intrigued her tht Hiei would bring so many young ones with him to the slaughter for that was possibly what this was after all…. She glanced at Kuoroke then turned back to Yuuma, listning with a quiet sort of patience. There would be a time for talking and action once he was done telling what he would tell. He was mostly ignoring them in favor of his story anyway.
"Ah, this is getting good," Itami states with some mild sarcasm. If this hunger is what she thinks it is, then she's been chewed up and spat back out, to say the least. She could still feel her skin itch from the burn, but it's mostly phantom pains. She'd long since healed, but the one half of her body that took the attack still had visible scarring along her face and arm. Healed, but there.
Kuoroke's tension was felt by Itami, even if he didn't show it. They'd worked long enough that she came to pick up on the queues that were hidden. She balled her hand into a soft fist and released it. She had to keep it together. At least the banter going on with the Kumo shinobi was entertaining enough.
Ryouji continues listening to the story. It's interesting at least. He pays little attention to Kyouji, only glancing at her, backing down with the firm warning glare. He's not about to start a fight he can't possibly win at this point. Even if he's a chuunin, these guys are probably on a whole different level.
Michiko's eyes narrow a bit as the tale continues. So it Yuuma had a Kekkei Genkai, then. Something that was so powerfully terrible that being seen with it would mean immediate death. And so did the brother. She made several guesses: the Kekkei Genkai was Yuuma's ability to absorb chakra; to eat it and gain someone's abilities. The girl considers the story, wondering if this is an exact history or just something that works as a similarity. Of course, she doesn't let her emotions show on her face. All she does is continue to watch, listen, and stay still. She also decides to order some tea to drink, wanting to keep herself somewhat occupied.
With Naruko's eyes looking through the ceiling, she wasn't really able to see anyone elses expressions, instead she yawned quietly, listening to the echo of Yuuma's tale. It was pretty sad to hear, that is if he was talking aboutr himself. Still though even know there wasn't much input for her to add. "Bleh," Naruko sighs softly at Akane/Kyou's comments, not wishing to press things on any further. Instead she crosses her arms at her center, looking passed Kyou and setting her sights to Yuuma. 'Oh what a sad story… Let's destroy the world and everything in it' Naruko thought to herself. She waited before speaking, maybe something else could justify his actions.
Yuuma glances around after that last sentence, gauging the reactions and stances of people in the area. They are rather amusing to him, noting fear even amongst the higher ranking officers. Finally, though, he'd look back to the book and continue, skipping past a whole section until he finds a more interesting part. "Ah, here we go. It's over a dozen years down the road, and, of course, wars are still raging. This time, though, it comes right into their village. People are dying by the dozen, and it looks like all hope is lost… until the twins finally snap, and the seal can no longer hold back their Kekkei Genkai. Within hardly time at all, they killed the shinobi that had infiltrated their village and saved the rest of the clan. They'd hoped this would make the clan have a change of heart about their Kekkei Genkai since it had been just that that saved their lives that day."
A dark look briefly flashes across his eyes, though he merely smirks and pours himself another drink from the bottle that he starts to sip on again as he tells more of the story. "Of course, that didn't go as hoped. The boys' parents were executed right in front of them by the people they once called family as punishment for hiding this secret from the clan for over a decade, then it was going to be the boys' turn next…" As he gets to what appear to be the last few pages that are written in, he says, "And that's where someone else takes over writing the journal. From what I gather, it was one of the elders of the village filling in the blanks after she died, but some things are a little blurred. This book is almost two thousand years old, after all." A brief pause would be given before he'd get ready to read more.
Kuoroke continues to listen, quietly. It occurs to him that if this references the brothers, as he suspects, that such a seal may work. He'd be capable of producing one. But then, Yuuma would not be likely to toss them so obvious a story of his weaknesses. So it might be a trap. While he's weighing these considerations, Yuuma gets to the part where this is over two thousand years, and for a brief moment his eyes lock onto Yuuma's face. The young man -could- be thousand of years old, sure, but it's not very likely. So the story might not be about him in the first place. In any case, he's got a time and a thing to look for. Now just the place.
Kyoujin heard the sarcasm in Itami's tone adn smirked lightly. It was clear to Kyoujin that Itami had something she was thinking about, but the woman didn't know what that something was and didn't inquire.. not yet anyway. She could tell her glance had cowed Ryouji and Michiko was paying appropriate amount of attention to Yuuma. Naruko seemed to be trying to be as rude as possible. Well, perhaps Yuuma would deal with her. If not, well, she had a long memory.
Yuuma's story caught her attention once again and she sipped her tea. She had a sinking feeling that this was going in a certain direction and she was right…. Akane and Kyoujin both fell into a thoughtful pose, leaning backwards against the back of her chair before she looked at her cup. Twins with a kekkei genkai that would cause them to be executed. Who saved their village, their clan from invading shinobi. And thus revealed their secret. She clenched her hand, her anger rising, giving Kyoujin the feeling of power rush through her.
The twins watched their parents be killed in front of them. Watched their own family do it…. She assumed it had ended with the boys killing their way out of the village. She clenched her hand around the tea cup so hard her knuckles turned white….
Itami frowned. "Hm," she started. It was a bit anticlimactic, but she could roll with it. Granted, speaking of death of parents shouln't really be considered such, but so much of the story was skipped, her anticipation faltered. "So, it looks like these characters weren't killed or so it seems. I don't know," she shrugged. "Did they fade into history? Become hermits to keep themselves from using heir power again?" She questioned. "It seems they managed to save their clan, but their clan didn't appear very appreciative. How did they handle that issue?" Inquiring minds wished to know.
She lifted her glass of water and proceeded to drink it down to half a glass. "All that intensity dried me out a bit, but I'd like to know more about these twins."
Michiko is keeping an eye out on everyone, not just Yuuma, as she receives her tea. The girl takes a small sip from the cup, murmuring a soft 'thank you' to the waitress. Kyoujin draws from her the most attention at the moment, noticing the whitened knuckles and the tension in her body. "Kyoujin-san," she murmurs, trying to calm her down a little bit. Or at least draw her attention away from the anger.
Naruko is given a faint look when she sees the Uzumaki disrespecting Yuuma. Well, it wasn't entirely off-base… And certainly understandable. Fortunately Ryouji was behaving well now. Hiei had gone into listening mode as well. She shifts her gaze to Kuoroke and Itami, then, especially the latter when she speaks. She's rather certain that Yuuma will tell them eventually… The girl decides she wants to talk to the Suna-nin after Yuuma finishes his story, actually. She sips her tea, waiting for the Silence brother to continue.
It was all rather anticlimatic, and honestly a bit irritating as Naruko continued to listen on. She too simply just listened on, waiting for the story to get to where she would have liked to hear. From the sound of things, there wasn't anything to justify what Yuuma was doing, making her even less sympathetic to his story. Though she did appear to at least listening in a bit more…
The gathering near the cafe includes many villagers as well, from wary businessmen to curious children, the latter of which most are soon pulled farther back by a doting mother or joined by a father. In almost all cases, none of the civilians seem sure of which party they should be more concerned about… The presence of Yuuma is most disconcerting to those that realize who the man is. However, the attendance of the shinobi, in a somewhat large group, is hardly less worrisome by the glances they get.
The discord even among the ninja only fuels the uncertainty among the villagers. Most if it is subtle, but even a single person noticing and showing fear bleeds into those around that person. Soon enough, many of those listening are showing great amounts of fear and some even whisper among themselves.
'Are we a target…?'
'I hope they don't attack him here…'
'Why are they here?'
'What do we do?'
The children still appear curious more than anything, the story being told not unlike any other they might get to hear at bedtime… if a bit dark.
Yuuma grins slightly at Itami as she seems to be a bit interested in the story now, glancing around at the others as well before looking back down. "Let me read some excerpts from his writing: I'm not sure how many days it's been. It's nearly impossible to keep track anymore. Day after day the elders of the clan have been subject to watching our entire legacies, our posterity, destroyed in front of us the same way we subjected those boys to watch their parents die. Most of the village has been destroyed around us while they hunt down each and every last member of the Boei clan and kill them with their newfound power. The more they take, the stronger they grow. Most of us have reserved ourselves that it is now our fate to die, but perhaps this is our legacy, that we let the darkness we have seen create a darkness that won't stop growing with that never-ending hunger rather than even attempting to help them cope. I fear that this is all the shinobi world will ever be from now on, endless destruction, and we who lead it must shoulder the blame for our hatred and the darkness we instill in the hearts of those who follow us. May we find rest on the other side if it is deemed we deserve such a thing. It will not be long now until they've finished us and move on to the rest of the world."
Kuoroke decides to see how Yuuma responds at being prodded a bit. "So, they tried to stop this… hunger from destroying the world. They failed and what they tried to avoid happened just the way they expected it to." He comments from his corner. "Somewhat linear, but I suppose they did understand the threat quite well."
Kyoujin looked up at Itami over the rim of her cup before she poured herself another serving of tea. She disliked the woman, that was clear, but Kyoujin had never been an open book about her reasons or thoughts. The story was simply too familiar and it didn't matter which side of her listened. They were in rare accord.
Michiko's soft intonation got a suspicious glance at the girl but it pulled her from her inner world at least. She glanced at Michiko and ther was a hint of connection there before she looked away. To cover for her own distraction, though she let out a 'che' and sipped the tea." You know, Yuuma-san… This One thinks you should try this tea. May This One pour for you?"
The villagers and children were at the corner of Kyoujin's awareness. A specific child caught her eye and she lifted her gaze to watch the mother trying to distract the boy. He had red hair, much like Akane's, but the mother had black hair. She shook her head as if to clear it.
Yuuma read that final piece of the journal aloud and Kyoujin looked up at him, curiosity in her eyes along with everything else. "Why did you stop?" Her tone was kind of curious. She had found a resonance with Akane that allowed her to feel more than rage. Even a bit of empathy for Yuuma and his brother…..
Things were finally starting to click as she listened further to Yuuma. Lightly she rubs her thumbs against her temples, maintaining silent contemplation. It wasn't until a gurgle in her stomach did she cringe and swiftly rise to a stand. "I….will be right back," Perhaps it was karma but suddenly Naruko found herself very swiftly slipping out of the eatery, and more interested in figuring out a place to relax for the time being… Hopefully no trouble would erupt while she was gone.
Itami nodded to herself. "I see. So a story that relates to the shinobi, so to speak. At least, in some respects. This story can still be seen today in some forms and I think I have a general idea of what it's saying. Of course, I don't understand everything, but some points seem a bit more clearer than others," she stated. "It is an unfortunate tale, at the least, but it is only just a tale," she made certain to point out. She was all for a good story and reflective periods, but that doesn't change anything as it is now.
Watching Naruko raise up and take her leave, she raised a brow at Yuuma as if he was to blame for what happened. "Admittedly, your story can be a bit headache inducing…" she stated as an aside in regards to the shinobi's condition.
Michiko's attention drifts a bit from Yuuma to the crowd that's formed. She's not particularly worried about how the civilians would fare unless someone here does something stupid. Like attack… She inclines her head to Kyoujin at the look, sipping again at her tea when the look between them ends. "Interesting tale," she says, just as soft as her earlier words. "Is there any more to the writing?" she asks, then, a light tilt of her head offered so she can seem curious. She was, actually, but was trying to limit just how much emotion she shows.
The story was rather sad. She could maybe not be as empathetic as Akane/Kyoujin, but she can certainly be sympathetic. She didn't know what it was like to be rejected by her family; by her clan. She never knew them, and the effects of her past didn't impact her as strongly as they might have were she even younger than she is now.
The boy Akane and her alter took particular attention in was displeased that his mother was trying to keep him away. It was difficult to hear from farther back… and why couldn't he listen? The mother was distraught, clearly wanting to keep her child from the situation. With everything that had happened recently, she didn't feel that her son was safe near these people.
The story, while enthralling for those children that could listen, was highly disconcerting for most of the elders. One man in particular makes a face at Kuoroke's assessment of the story. It seems he thinks the councilman wasn't listening very well, but he keeps whatever comment that seems ready to boil up to himself.
Like Akane, most of those who are listening seem to be waiting for the rest of the story. A couple do wander off, plenty freaked out or perhaps just disinterested, but for the most part, those that were actually paying attention seem to be waiting for the Silence representative of sorts to say more.
As he is spoken to, directly rather than in simple commenting, Yuuma looks over to Kyoujin and nods. "You may." He then looks back to the rest, listening to their various reactions curiously. A brief glance would be given to Akane at her next question, the Dark One smirking slightly and saying, "That's where the writing ends, but, from what I've gathered, the brothers destroyed many shinobi over the next decade, destroying and sparing villages on a whim. There are many clans besides the Boei who don't exist in the world today because they stood in their path and were annihilated. Then one day they battled another great evil, and both vanished from the face of the earth."
Finally he'd take a pause again to down a glass of sake before saying, "It may be just a tale to you, but the world is no different than it was back then. In fact, it's worse. You mask the darkness with paperwork and smiles like you're somehow better just because you commit the acts in secret as a group rather than in the light where all can know you for what you are. It's also been proven this world is not above sacrificing hundreds and thousands like the Boei Clan before it just for temporary peace. Not all of you, but there are those among you who'd feed this village to the mouth of the Crawler and let me walk away without another word just to be allotted a longer time of peace that you can prepare for what is to come. So why should you be allowed to keep these foolish masks when, underneath, you are nothing but darkness and rot covered by a few measly flowers. You see the people around here? They're not worried about what I'm going to do really. I'm an afterthought. What they're worried about is what they've always been worried about. What are the shinobi going to do? Is this finally the day that they kill us all just for happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?"
"That, of course, is nonsense. Demonstrably so." Kuoroke answers, looking Yuuma in the eye. "These people can hire shinobi services. Or their village can, if they cannot afford it individually. If they don't have the money, they can negotiate another way. Everyone has -something- of value to trade. They don't have to guess - we work for them. They tell us what we do." The Kuroki motions to the civilians. "That is our entire -livelihood-. As for feeding these people to the Crawler… It's well-known we have plenty of reason to want you dead. You've thousands of deaths on your conscience, some of them friends and family. You've stated your intent to continue killing our friends and family. From here, there are two possibilities. One: we cannot defeat you. In that case, attacking you is a senseless waste of effort as you would kill us and then these people. Two: we can kill you, but stay our hand because you're holding these people hostage. In either case, we're putting these people's well-being ahead of our own needs."
Kyoujin leaned forward again, lifting the teapot gracefully, the skill of a courtesan showing in her grip and the way she poured the tea for Yuuma, first his cup then hers setting the pot back down, angling it in the traditional way, indicating herself as the server. Yes. She'd been well trained.
Yuuma finished his story and Kyoujin-Akane seemed to consider it. He hadn't denied that it was about him and his brother, but he hadn't given up that it /was/ either. And perhaps they were the descendants of the twins. Who knew? 2000 years was a long time.
Green eyes flickered, but did not flinch or look away when he accused them all of lying and covering themselves in shadow. That they would allow him to walk away and kill everyone here for an extension on the time limit. But Kyoujin's reasons were different. She smirked a bit though. Yuuma had already had a taste of Kyoujin's price range for aiding him. Kuoroke's bit of opinionating was not responded to by Akane or Kyoujin, though she did look back at that boy. A sip of her tea and she sighed softly.
"This One knows that one of your… calibre… would notgather We here for nothing, Yuuma-san." She knew there was a purpose here and she knew he had absorbed the crawler. Perhaps ther is something he wanted to ask for or offer, or maybe he just wanted to share this story of his. In any case she was here to listen until he was done. Then she would choose her next actions.
"And therein lies our problem. Let's pull the strings on the shinobi to make them appear bad so these people won't question the man behind the puppet," Itami agreed with Kuoroke. "Puppet mastery is a skill and one shinobi have attempted to perfect over time, but you're truly a master at this craft. He knows what these people are thinking or does he really? We can't take a risk on that because either way, it will be a problem." Itami looked at her glass and swished around the water before drinking it down.
"Your story is filled with enough holes to empty a bucket of water. You intentionally withheld some truths and then told us 'you're the bad guys like these people in the story'. No, I don't believe it. A good story contains elements that allows us to understand both sides and so far, we only have one large one," she stared Yuuma down.
"So answer the demon woman. Tell us what you truly wanted with us and this story," she remarked with some spitefulness.
Michiko doesn't have much to add to the conversation, though it's hard to tell if she's disappointed by this fact or not. She returns the teacup she had emptied to a waitress, thanking her for the drink and giving her a bit of ryo for the tea and service. Then her gaze falls to Yuuma as she considers. Akane had dealt with him before… Itami had too. She studies them next, just listening to the conversation as it continues. She'd rather listen and learn. But that one comment from him…
"I would rather not sacrifice a whole village for more time," she says, eyes narrowing at his words. The girl lets her gaze shift to Akane again as she notices her paying particular attention to one boy in particular. Was she interested in him too? She hopes Kyoujin/Akane won't take him unless it's absolutely necessary, and she's almost inclined to try and stop Kyoujin from taking the kid…
"What popcorn are you spouting?" One of the civilians questions in response to Kuoroke. "One of you just gave these guys permission to destroy villages. You call that protecting? Did those people have the option to pay you for services? No, I didn't think so… because that wasn't part of the deal, now was it? I think it's /you/ that has thousands of deaths on your consciences… He's just a representation of your decisions coming back to bite you in the snowcone." Most of the others standing around still say nothing, but there are a few expressions of agreement.
The boy that caught the attention of the red-haired "women" was held back by his mother, but he could still hear much of what was going on… and he did notice this time that he was looked at in particular. He seemed uncertain of how to react, but just looked back at her unknown to his mother.
Once the councilwoman spoke up, though, another individual piped up, "Where are the holes you speak of, exactly? What difference do they truly make?" This one, unlike the one who challenged Kuoroke, was not so much aggressive as honestly looking for an answer, it would seem. She appears skeptical, but a little more open-minded.
"Sure, sure, your livelihood. That's all good and convenient to say until you're in the middle of a bloodbath and scorching through this little hamlet is your only means of winning a war," Yuuma says, smirking over at Kuoroke. "Tell me something, Councilman. Would your hand be stayed so easily were it my brother sitting in this chair, the hot-headed little one who killed your cousin because he felt it was a betrayal to make her way into our camp and then use her time there to kill a number of our men and steal back a few pieces of paper? Someone like you mentioning the word conscience is laughable at best, simply another mask for that darkness, that anger and hatred you're trying so desperately to hold away from the light so that those who follow you do not revolt against you as I'm sure has been threatened already because of the deal your village made with me."
Then his eyes fall to Itami, the Dark One merely smirking at her words. "You can fill in what's missing quite easily yourself. The Boei clan saw their Kekkei Genkai as a major threat, so they killed hundreds of newborns over the centuries. The hole to fill, why is this? Something happened in the past to make them fear this power, obviously. So does the end they sought justify the means in which they did it? Would you feel it justified if, at the end of your war with me, the world around you decided to kill every last person that was born with a Kekkei Genkai for the mere risk that they might wreak the same kind of havoc I have rather than try and help you all find a way to better control it? It may seem ridiculous now, but it's a very possible picture for fate to paint. Fear and darkness plague this world worse than they ever have. You are simply able to hide from it inside your village walls." Then as the civilians begin to demand answers of the shinobi, the Dark One merely picks up his sake saucer and begins to sip.
"Thank you." Kuoroke answers, nodding to Yuuma. There's a slight mocking flicker, reserved only for Yuuma, in his eyes. "Until you told me just now, I didn't know which one of you two had her blood on his hands. Which, I suppose, answers -your- question. Until just now I considered the both of you equally accountable." He straightens. "And why should I -not- be angry? People like you throw around big words, big -lies-, and in the process kill civilians. You may say I'd sacrifice them to win a war, but you fail to mention you'd murder them because you -felt- like it. Because you miss your mommy and daddy, you think it's right for them-" he points to a random kid in the audience, "to feel the same pain. Why should I -not- hate a man who'd murder innocents for no reason at -all- except their whim and then begin this pompous grandstanding about how others -may- sacrifice them when their hand is forced."
The Kuroki begins naming names, names of villages, with numbers attached to them: the death toll in each. "These are the people you killed. Why? To gain a strategic advantage? Because you had to, perhaps? No. Because you woke up with an itch. Because you needed your fix of children's blood. I know who these people were. I feel the pain of each of their deaths clearly. You? To you, their deaths were fleeting entertainment. -We- are accountable to the people who hire us. These people have no reason to fear us any more than a hatchet they use to hack away the weed. But you? You destroy because you want to. -You-'re the one who, as you said, kill people for being in the wrong place in the wrong time."
Kyoujin nearly NEARLY choked on her tea when Itami referred to her as the Demon Woman. After she set down her cup she cracked up. It was a short burst of laughter but it was the kind of laughter that was half sarcasm and half enjoying the new moniker. Perhaps she should get some armor, yes a helmet with horns! She reached up to press her fingers into her hairline as if searching for horns then looked at Yuuma and shrugged as if she didn't know /why/ Itami would say such a thing.
During this moment of distraction she spotted Michiko's glance, read the expression there and smirked lightly. But she did not try to intimidate or use other scare tactics on the girl. She was far more interested in Yuuma's story than the kid. She was just keeping an eye on him… For now.
Kuoroke's words followed by Itami's tone put her on edge and she sat forward, sipping her tea, glancing between the Suna leaders and Yuuma. After Kuoroke's reaction and accusations Kyoujin thumped her cup down on the table with a loud THUNK, her green eyes blaxing, her aura dark and menacing. She did not move to attack, but she was clearly agitated by his pointing at a child in the way he had. She took a deep breath and looked at Yuuma. "This One Understands more than The Yuuma would know. This One…." What? she couldn't tell him in front of Kuoroke and Itami and Michiko, she couldn't explain what her secret was because it would most certainly kill her. Shaking her head she looked back at the table. Firmly she spoke. "Enough. The Yuuma will tell This One what he wants so This One can choose her path."
"I get that the clan had some dark beginnings. Boei the protecters and Fuzen the carriers. If Fuzen are the 'illness', then the Boei are the cure. A wrench is thrown in the plans and the parents decide to break the mold and go against the grain. They spare two children by sealing their abilities. Question, if they were capable of sealing in the first place, then why not just have these seals placed on the children to begin with? This power is known to be as a destructive hunger and if it was, then a seal should have been ineffective. It should have essentially disappered due to its nature of being a jutsu. Especially so if it is the same jutsu that had been used against me," she rubbed her chin in thought. "Additionally, from what I've observed, this same jutsu is released and contained through seals, so it could stand to reason that seals would be the most effective weapon against it aside from killing people who may or may not show signs of it. The deaths that occurred became ones of fear, but it likely soon developed into ritual if it came to be something carried on for hundres of years. Fear is natural and can lead to destructiveness. This is true of people of all kinds, not just shinobi," she admitted.
"Second. Wars are still raging, I'm guessing from shinobi, but what do these shinobi have to do with the Boei or Fuzen clans and what they did? Are they descendants of this clan? I don't know, dozens of years down the road came along, so I don't know where to place them, but considering the timeline, they're not included. Now, did these wars occur because they feared this clan or was it for other reasons? And who initiated these wars? I don't know what the time and place was for these wars, but I guess it's all irrelevant in the long run. The Fuzen brothers saved their home by taking out this threat. They saved the day. Good, but it meant that their parents were executed. They did not follow the ritual killings and thus were killed for being a perceived threat of the clan. He stopped the story and mentioned that the book is almost two thousand years old. Given this man's lifetime spent in the world, I find it difficult to believe he wouldn't know this story by heart. Why would he need this tome to recount a tale that was within a time frame he could remember and have experienced?" She observed Yuuma as she asked these things.
"After my questions, it's centered back toward sthe clan once again, but now these Fuzen are characterized as the 'shinobi world'. I can see the relation, but now these are men who were now tragic figures. The Boei blame themselves for their corruption, but why didn't they just stop with the clan responsible for their parents deaths? What did other shinobi have to do with how their family died at the hands of their own family? No, the Fuzen didn't just stop there, they decided to take their abilities and attack other people of the world that were in no way related to what happened to them. I'm just…not seeing this story for what it is."
"So you weren't told by the one who escaped what befell her? Interesting," Yuuma says, smirking slightly at Kuoroke in amusement. "And I'd look for proof in things in other than words pehraps."" With that he'd turn to Kyoujin, canting his head at her and shrugging his shoulders. "What I want is simple," he says as he picks up his bottle of sake, grabbing some money from his pocket to toss it on the table, enough to pay for everything that was ordered all around for this party. Once that's done, he'd turn to start to walk away. "I just want you to open your eyes."