Date: November 20, 2016
Goh & Mushi catch up with Itami to bring her up to speed on the latest developments.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Twelve Hunt, part 4 - Beginning of the rally"
After journeying far to the south-west in the Land of Wind, the trip back to known civilisation had been far simpler. The goal at the end was tangible, a known quantity. A known desire. A known /place/. And yet still when they passed in through the entrance, near falling through the gates, both Goh and Mushi were near delirious with delight. They had MADE it! After all their troubles and unluckiness, they had managed to return without any further incident.
After cleaning themselves up and making themselves presentable, the pair had gone on to organise a meeting with the Kazekage. Turns out she was available near immediately, meaning the duo were walking in through her front door without much of a wait at all.
"ITAMMIIIII!" Goh STILL cries out in greeting, a victorious grin splashed across his face. He practically marches into the big office, exuding grandeur and confidence. In fact, it's probably more a strut. With the length of his stride and his arms swinging? … yeah, definitely more a strut.
"Phewww, you wouldn't believe what we found in this country! A sinking Temple in the stands, a creepy stone lady that screamed really loudly, torches that lit on their own… everything! I totally had to rescue Mushi, too." He pauses. "Oh. 'Sup?" He waves, finally introducing himself proper. "How's being Kazekage? Keeping up with the paperwork?"
Mushi walks in after Goh with an amused expression. She had noticed that Goh's drop in formality plunged even further with the Kazekage. They must've known each other before, for him to have even /less/ etiquette than usual. She shoots Itami an apologetic look. Lately, she's been shooting many people apologetic looks as if Goh's behavior is something to apologize for. When he mentions having to rescue her, the medic just rolls her eyes, but says no more on the subject. Nor does she contradict his wild story.
"Itami-san thank you for helping us," Mushi says. "Without your aid this whole mess would surely be ten times worse." When Goh gabs on about Itami's duty as Kazekage, Mushi steps up and places a hand on his shoulder. The gesture is more threatening than comforting. "If at any time Goh-kun gets out of line please let me know Itami-san," she says politely. "I'll be happy to make sure he behaves himself." With force if need be. She squeezes Goh's shoulder and drops her hand. Her smile is almost too cheerful.
Itami wakes up out of her sleep and stands at attention before flopping back into her seat to recover from that initial shock. "You found a thing? Temple?" She questioned. "With screaming women on fire torches…" She winced and rubbed her head. "Okay, I need a few moments," she grumbled to herself. "I'm glad to have been able to help, but right now, I don't know what I helped with," she grinned groggily. "I finished up paperwork, decided to nap and now, I'm in a meeting… I'd say my day is going well so far," she chuckled.
The pickler freezes at the squeeze of Mushi's hand on his shoulder, the man seemingly straightening out almost immediately. "Erm. Yes." He gurgles a bit nervously, tucking hands at the small of his back. He clears his throat, formality perhaps catching up to him finally. "She's totally right though. TWENTY times worse maybe, even. If not for you."
He pauses, eyes squinting. "Huh? YOU WERE ASLEEP!" He cries, finger suddenly pointing at Itami in an incriminating way. He throws his head back to laugh heartily, thoroughly amused by such an action. "Eh eh, don't worry. It's nothing to concern yourself with." Walking forward, the wanderer will plonk himself on the edge of Itami's desk, leaning against it. Well, more sitting /on/ it. "We managed to find the Uzumaki. They gave us this super big-revival pot to seal our enemy in. Um… Mushi can probably tell you more about it than I can." He frowns, looking to the healer. "I don't really know sealing stuff as much as she does."
When Goh starts raving and sitting on Itami's desk, Mushi covers her face in her hands as if in horror. Well if Itami is okay with it, Mushi supposes she doesn't need to intervene. She relaxes after that, and allows Goh to tell part of the story. She lifts her eyebrows when he fails to describe the pot in technical terms. "Super big revival" doesn't exactly cover it all. She rubs the back of her neck, and glances at Itami. How much does the Kazekage know about sealing?
"The pot we have is an artifact," she says. "It's like a summoner dismissing a summon. Except this is a forcible dismissal rather than a contractual one. It forces the target into a dimension, a sealed area where it'll be trapped." She grimaces. "For that reason it's straining and takes extreme concentration. I can't move while I'm using the artifact, much less fight, and I need to be protected. I can't afford to do it more than once, because it sucks up a huge amount of my chakra and energy each time I use it." She smiles. "In other words, we could sure use some help. This thing was once a man, but now he's…well, as Roshi-san put it, a force of nature. Sealing him is the best option."
Itami looks between Goh and Mushi while they both explain their own parts of the situation. "Yes, I was asleep. I felt I could get a nap in and I managed to accomplish that goal. I try to work in a nap or two or many all the time in my schedule," she snickered. "So, you met with the Uzumaki and as a result, you were provided a 'super big revival pot'." She repeated the words and found amusement with how they were used. "And this pot will be utilized to seal up aspects of the issues you're dealing with. Well, I may not be skilled in sealing, but I think I have the idea of how this works. You'll need time to build up the strength to use it…" She hummed. "When do you intend to execute this plan?"
"Yeah, what she said." Goh enthuses, smiling down to Itami on her chair. "But he's still just a man, so don't let the 'force of nature' comment freak you out. Our job is simple though, really. We distract the enemy, or rather, protect Mushi while she performs her technique to seal him. Now, it's going to be tough. To help keep his immense strength in check, he's had to split himself into twelve beings. In order for this to work, for the big pot to seal him correctly, we have to push him back far enough to get him to merge all of his bodies back into the one original." The pickler rubs his face in some worry. "That sounds crazy, I know. But you just have to believe us. At the end it's just a… Uh," He thinks back to his shinobi days. "Pretty basic protect-the-sheep mission, really. With maybe a type-two formation." Goh doesn't oft bust out his shinobi jargon, but it's still there. Buried deep within from his days as a jounin.
"Sooner the better. For the safety of everyone." He answers the question, arms folding across his chest, glancing back to Mushi. "Mushi has some friends that she would like to bring in on this too, but I don't want to delay too long. At the moment, as far as I'm concerned, we have all the cogs to get this mission started. If we can't get into contact with Mushi's friends in a timely manner, then we move on regardless." He glances from the master healer back to the Kazekage.
"You still have that feather, right? I think the plan is now to get to the port of Kumogakure, and Mushi and I will pick up the others along the way. If there are others. Inuzuka Taiki is one guy. We were thinking maybe the Hokage, too. But I don't know him that much." His nose wrinkles. "Anyway. That feather can let you know when to come to the port of Kumogakure, right, Mushi? Then we can just meet Itami there."
"I've been thinking about who to enlist," Mushi says, "but I realized I shouldn't get more people involved. The person who is already involved besides us is Inuzuka Taiki. And the other person I want is…" She grins at Itami. "One of your shinobi. You know who can be trusted, who has the abilities, and most of all I want to do this in your country. In an area inhabited by no one for leagues."
She pulls out a sheaf of paper and lays it out before them. "Here's my results from sealing a chakra infused object. And I found I can still seal part of an object and part of its chakra. Even if I'm not able to fully seal the Patriarch (what we call that thing) I may be able to seal most of his power, to a point where he can be defeated. Much like a bijuu is sealed yet the weakened host survives." She glances at Itami. "As Kazekage I think you should choose as to whether you want to endanger your shinobi, and if you'll allow us to stage the final battle in the desert, because we don't need to find the Patriarch. It will find us."
Itami tilted her head a bit and raised a brow. "If I were more familiar with Konoha's ranks, I might have known what a type-two formation is, but it may translate differently here than it does in the Land of Fire. Now, protect-the-sheep is something I'm familiar with. Although I may have had a bit of a habit of eating sheep from time to time," she shrugged jokingly as she rubbed her stomach. "That aside, I still have a few feathers on hand. I've kept them safe and outside of reach from any hands that have no business touching them," she explained.
"I can't say I know much about the current Hokage myself. I knew of his relatives, even worked with them to some degree, but that's about all I can say on that." She hummed. "Admittedly, I do agree with Mushi. A small group would be best. Less people in danger and more manageable. We may have ourselves stretched a bit, but nothing that we shouldn't be able to handle. I will see who among my shinobi should attend to this mission. It may be a bit difficult to pick, but I'll see if I can manage someone. I have some reservations about bringing one of my own along, but we'll see."
She leaned forward in her seat to observe the paper set on the desk. "Staging the battle in the desert is fine. I have no qualms about that. The shinobi, on the other hand, that will take some consideration."
"What?" Goh reels a bit at that revelation from Mushi, standing up from Itami's desk to look at her more fully. "You want to bring the fight /here/? I was thinking we would go on the offensive and get him at his own hideout. Make sure him and all his Phantoms are gone. That way, we aren't left wondering if we got them all." Goh rubs his chin in thought, considering it all. "Though in the desert we do have the home ground advantage. And aren't exposed to any of his traps."
Goh chews on his lip. "The Patriarch was the head of an old clan during the Clan Wars." Goh explains to the Kazekage. "He's from a clan that allows him to naturally absorb natural chakra and process it. It's a bit of a long story, but he's the only one left from that clan. And now he's united. Like Mushi said, if we just sit idle for long enough, he will come to us. Eventually, anyway."
Listening to Itami, the pickler nods in agreement. "Alright. And type two, sort of a loose triangle formation around the sheep." Then, he looks back to Mushi. "Exactly who did you have in mind, Mushi?" He cannot help but wonder. "I didn't know you wanted to pluck someone from Sunagakure's ranks for this."
Mushi looks a bit fretful. "It's too dangerous just going in headlong," she says, "but I suppose he is weakened." She chews nervously on her lip and paces back and forth a few times, breathing deeply, just letting off a bit of the tension. It seems to work and she turns around. "I guess it'd be dangerous at any time," she says, "and the reason I don't want to involve Daisuke-kun is because Konoha no longer trusts me. At least not the higher ups, not after the blunder I made. Taiki-kun is a different matter. He'll come willingly, for no other reason than he knows there is danger that may threaten innocent people."
She rubs the back of her neck. "And the reason I want one of your shinobi to come is because…well…" She shrugs. "You're Kazekage. I know your shinobi. Every single one of them would want to come to aid you, and I think at least a few have amazing abilities. The three people who come to mind in your village is Kuoroke-san. Keiji-san." She grins. "But most of all, why not Sousa?"
"Hmm…" Itami thought to herself aloud. "I'll still go along with bringing the battle out here. This is ground we're more familiar with, but if he knows how to absorb natural chakra, then we have some advantage, but not a great one. Natural chakra exists all around us," she gestured around the area in emphasis. "Even in the desert, where it appears there is no life. There is plenty of life here and with it, chakra to utiize. Still, I imagine if the Patriarch is not well traveled, he may not have enough familiarity to work in the desert, but I question how much adaptability he has," she leaned back in her seat, folding her arms in a resting pose.
"There are other reasons not to bring Daisuke along outside of a village's mistrust. I do believe Sousa would be a good pick for this mission. Given the weight of it."
"Sousa." Goh slaps his forehead in a bit of embarrassment. "That's such a good idea! Well done Mushi, I hadn't even thought about that. I mean, well," He starts. "He's retired and happy now, right? It might be some effort to get him out of that sort of state. And he might be mega rusty." Pause. "Maybe." He doesn't really know, actually. "Sousa is the only shinobi that I've ever really been truly frightened of." He admits. "I mean, some of those Kirigakure shinobi can be badassemblies, but… Sousa? I dunno. Something about him is just… yeah." He doesn't need to explain it any further. The others likely felt the same.
"That's three thumbs down for the Hokage then." Goh chirps, seeming at least positive about that. "Alright, so here's what we'll do. We, or maybe just me if Mushi doesn't like Konoha," Goh smirks at Mushi in a sidelong look, "Can go and get Taiki, or at least prep him and see if he's interested. Then we can just… wait out in the desert. For him to come. It could take a day, it could take a week. We can set up a camp far enough away that the Village won't get caught up in all this."
Twisting in his seat, Goh looks down to the Kazekage. "Oh, Itami. There's something else I wanted to talk to you about. Completely unrelated. How easy is it to get permanent residency here in Sunagakure?"
Mushi is nodding in approval to Itami's knowledge of the desert. This is the kind of stuff they can't get anywhere else. Someone with a powerful terrain advantage. If she doesn't know about it the Patriarch probably won't. But Suna nin would. "I think the Patriarch will come to find us soon," Mushi assures Goh, although who wants such assurance? "Why are you a threat? Because you may make the world aware of his existence…just as you're doing now. Time isn't against us it's against him. That or…I believe he has something of a vendetta against you. You escaped, and then you escaped his wraith, and now you escaped him. If he's human at all that has to chafe a bit."
She claps her hands together, with a cheerful expression. "He operates alone. Even his 'minions' are merely extensions of himself. He can't understand that we grow stronger together. This alliance is a level of cooperation between individuals he won't possibly be able to grasp, just as he wasn't able to keep his clan united and alive. That's why we'll win. And that's why…hey, I thought we were going to discuss this more in private Goh-kun!" Mushi yelps, when he asks Itami about residence in Suna.
"Retired, yes. Happy as long as he's conducting his experiments," Itami states with a mild air of caution. "No worries, he tends to…worry me also," she admitted under her breath. "But, I feel he may be valuable to us on this mission, given his nature. I will have to take a leave from my duties here if I intend to camp out in the desert, ensure that the village is secured and in the hands of the council," she sighed. "The nature of this threat requires it, I believe. I'd like to take action now instead of waiting for my village to once again find destruction within its walls," she shook her head shamefully.
"But, knowing all these things about the Patriarch, we stand a chance against him. We may have our power tested, but with all of us together, we're bound to overcome him. If he does not understand the strength of cooperation and friendship, then that is the greatest strength we have and the greatest weakness he has. Now, as for permanent residency…" Itami chuckled.
"I can have it arranged for you. Generally the process takes having lived here before or in the very least, having some form of established residency here. Contributing to the village both in service and in civilian life. I believe you've accomplished most of these things. Now all you need is a home to live in. Once that is squared away, I can have you both on file and registered with the village. I can then have you placed in for permanent residency."
"It can't hurt to know how difficult it will be!" Goh protests to Mushi with a laugh. "For all we know, Sunagakure aren't accepting new citizens or residents to their place. Maybe they have super strict restrictions? So our chat about them wouldn't even be needed." Though by the sounds of it, that's not the case. The pickler even flicks a couple of thumbs up to Mushi. Good news!
Standing up straight from his seated position, Goh beckons Mushi to follow. "Come on, Mushi. I need to eat some food, and I'm sure Itami has a whoollee load of stuff to do. Not to mention try and recruit Sousa into this little adventure." A hand lifts to wave to the Kazekage, where he tips his head. "Thanks again for your help, Itami. We'll probably see you around the Village, huh? We'll keep you posted!" And with this he departs, heading out the front door.