The Weapon and The Shield


Eremi, Shinji

Date: December 9, 2015


Shinji returns to Konohagakure at long last, blind and looking rather different, only to be recognized virtually at the Hokage's doorstep by Eremi. In a stroke of great irony, the two who would be the weapon and the shield of Konoha manage to come to a peace, despite having wounded each other deeply in the past.

"The Weapon and The Shield"

Konohagakure, Before the Hokage's Domain

Evening approaches, and those who work outside the walls of Konohagakure are beginning to filter through the shelter of the hidden village's gates. Among them is a man who, aside from the black and dark scarlet layers of his kimono, stands out only for the fact that he is evidently blind. A length of black silk is drawn across his eyes and cinched at the back of Shinji's head, holding down what is otherwise a very long, unbound mane of black hair. Similarly, his finger and toe claws are painted black. He walks upon wooden geta toward the gates, with the tip of a cane tapping lightly ahead of him, its handle resembling a dragon's head carved from wood. Perhaps he uses the noise to guide himself along.

With each passing of Konohagakure's own into the village, the guards stationed at the gates would grant them easy access back inside. Recognizing each or at least finding nothing suspicious about those re-entering. That is until one of the guards catches notice of a rather tall, extremely blind individual. Without hesitation the guard moves closer toward the individual. "Excuse me, sir. Are you lost? I don't believe you are a part of Konoha. Did you injure yourself? We can quickly fill out some paper work, and I can allow you access into the village, even take you directly to the hospital if that is the case."

"Lost? Oh, no. I'm not lost at all," Shinji replies to the guard, brandishing a smile without parting his lips. "I have family in Konohagakure. It seemed too long since I had paid them a visit. Well past time." He stops at a distance from the guard and waits, though the young man's head is canted just to the right. Shinji's keeping a bead on the guard and his movements not by sight, but by practiced use of his ears.
Shinji waits for a moment and then speaks again. "Would you mind foregoing the paperwork just this once? It has been a long journey since I set out from … where I began." He further explains, "Your hospital can do nothing for me. My eyes are long since gone. I'm afraid Konoha will have to take me as she finds me."

The guard listens to Shinji's words, nodding a bit, then stopping as he forgets the one before him is blind. "Uh, right. Well, if you've been here before that's no problem. Just tell me the name of the family you're meeting, and I'll write that down." Eventually, as the rest of those that were gathered outside, the other guard notice the blind individual as well. He doesn't approach, but simply watches from a far for a bit before turning his head else where. A blind man was no cause for alarm. The danger that might ensue may be an injured shin from being hit by the cane or a knocked over table.

Shinji lifts his fingers and then brings them down one at a time around the dragon hilt of his cane, tapping painted claws against the surface loudly enough to attract attention. "Inuzuka," he says. "You'll pardon my lack of tattoos. A complicated life as a young man, if ever there was." If anything he says is truthful, that last bit most certainly is. "I admire your diligence as a guardian of the village. That said, I assume I may now pass?"
It's still a subtle thing, that slight tick of his head which keeps an ear focused upon the guard and his movements. He can't write, of course. Naturally. That leaves the guard to do what he will, as the finely dressed young man awaits permission to proceed.

"Inuzuka?" The guard questions while eyeing Shinji carefully. "Yeah, tattooo's would certainly help your claim, but your canine's are a bit of a giveaway as well." Shifting slightly, the guard produces a pen and some paper, making some quick notes before tucking them away once again. "Alright, sir. I didn't catch your name? Though, other than that, you are free to go if…Pardon my rudeness, but if you are capable of making it there on your own?" Assuming a name would be given, the guard would have no questions left.

"Shinji. Inuzuka Shinji," he says. Technically, it's not a lie. Shinji's just borrowing, one could say, from the lesser half of his genetic lineage. "Thank you very much for your courtesy, but though I am blinded now, I remember the layout of the village in my mind clear as day. I had a photographic memory, you see. Have a pleasant evening."
Having heard that he's free to go if he could find his way, Shinji begins to advance upon the gates, cane tapping lightly ahead of him as he otherwise walks with careful grace upon the slats of his geta. The young fellow, more hardened in appearance than he was when last he saw this place, seems to have adapted well to his disability.

As the minutes continue to pass allowing the evening to secure its hold while the darkness begins to envelop the land, a shifting occurs within Konoha. Torches and lanterns scattered about suddenly bursting to life, lit by the night time caretakers of the village. Many shops start to close their doors while others open. Lights from inside flooding the streets directly in front of their entrance as commotions and chatter echo without. Only a few business remaining open at this hour, but far louder than those you find during the day.

How strange it feels to Shinji, walking these streets once more. His Sharingan may be gone, but every sight they ever took in remains burned into his memory. It's like having a mental map of the hidden village, less any changes which have taken place since. The young man passes through the gates and on into the settling village, maintaining his guise in reserved grace without disturbing anyone. However, once Shinji's beyond concern or sight of the guard who registered him, he turns in a direction which wouldn't take him to the Inuzuka Village. No, his new course has him on a direct course for the Hokage's domain. He's in no rush; to rush is to invite undesirable attention.

The night life of Konoha would continue as normal, despite the possibility of an unwelcomed incident. The citizens of the village completely unaware as they join in laughter and drinks. Despite Shinji's casual gait, many spectators would catch sight of the cane and blindfold, hesitant to approach and ask if help is needed. Though after a few moments of watching, they see the man is perfectly capable. Moving as if they weren't hindered at all.

Shinji maintains his new appearance, such as it is, in every way. It's perhaps a touch odd to the uninformed that he seems to know the streets so perfectly despite evidently being blind. However, he continues ahead, maintaining the appearance of using his cane to ensure that his route is clear. "If I didn't know I lacked the blood of hounds, I'd swear I can already smell you. The stench of evil," Shinji says to himself in a very low voice, smiling pleasantly as he speaks the words. They're apparently addressed to the Hokage's demesne.
After a time, Shinji is about as close as he can get without actually ascending the rise. He pauses there for a moment and simply stands, his long hair caught and carried upon an evening breeze. His head is turned to the left, directing his right ear intently upon the structure ahead of him. How many footsteps are shifting about in the fading light? How many are watching the approach? Patiently, Shinji waits and counts. Different shinobi sound differently in their steps, for reasons of gear or weight, or any of several other signs he's practiced following. A pattern for infiltration forms in his mind.

RP: Eremi joins the roleplay.
COMBAT: It is now Eremi's turn.
RP: Shinji joins the roleplay.
COMBAT: Eremi attacks Shinji with WITHOUT-A-TRACE with a roll of: 50

From entering the village to making it to the Hokage's complex, Shinji's approach would remain unabated. A lone individual, blind to the area was no cause for alarm to any that saw him passby. Though the moment the man actually reached his destination did several eyes peer from the forming shadows of the evening. Their gaze locked on the individual and the intent of his actions. The eyes, ready to strike, waited only in silence due to the Captain that lurked beside them, giving them the signal to hold. Their base of operation not far, it would come as no surprise that they would be ready, lying in wait for any that would come by at such an hour.

COMBAT: Eremi finishes his turn.
COMBAT: It is now Shinji's turn.
COMBAT: Eremi attacks you with WITHOUT-A-TRACE and rolls a 50. Action?
COMBAT: Shinji defends against WITHOUT-A-TRACE(50) attack from Eremi with a PERCEPTION-III…46
COMBAT: Shinji loses the roll and sustains 0 damage.

For a fleeting moment, Shinji thinks he hears something much closer than the guards he might've expected to patrol the Hokage's domain at this hour. He turns his head to favor his left ear and draws a breath, holding it for a time. To anyone else, it would simply appear that he was turning his head, but the creative and trained eye might well imagine that his ears had become his eyes.
Shinji smiles almost peacefully. Well, no matter. He'd prefer for the Hokage to not know that he was coming, but it was inevitable that someone would intercept him within the structure ahead. Perhaps that early sense that he might be stalked had just been the body reacting prematurely. The youth resumes his advance, nearing the stairs, tip of his cane rapping lightly against the ground ahead. As he walks, he recites to himself in a light tone suited to the evening, "Humans are born with a firm morality: a sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. I know this claim might sound outlandish, but my continued love for my village can only be proof of the good beyond the hate you birthed."
As he continues with his approach, something within him sparks up, chakra running from his heart and along circuits to every part of his body. His movements become more fluid, though he still approaches at the same pace as he did prior.

COMBAT: Shinji focuses 4307 stamina to turn it into 6000 usable chakra!
RP: Shinji transforms into SIN-OF-WRATH-I.
COMBAT: Shinji finishes his turn.
COMBAT: It is now Eremi's turn.
RPCOMBAT Eremi took 150 chakra drain.
RPCOMBAT Eremi took 150 stamina damage.

Despite Shinji's casual appearance, there was something definitely off about the man. The movements, intentional though misleading, could easily be passed off as nothing more than casual. For the Captain of the ANBU however, as the three tomoed Sharingan peered through one of the slits in the mans ceramic rabbit mask, there was much more to it. Another step and another, the Captain would keep the signal to hold, while he himself moved forward. A quick shift in his position and no longer was he hidden within the shadows, but instead at Shinji's side, a dagger placed firmly against the mans throat. "You have no business here. I applaud you for making it this far, but you go no further. If you value your life, give up whatever it is you seek and come peacefully or die in the streets where you stand."

COMBAT: Eremi finishes his turn.
COMBAT: It is now Shinji's turn.

"Well now. I'm seldom surprised by anything at this point," Shinji says as he stops with the blade at his throat, "but fate always finds a way. How ironic that you nearly killed me like a butcher once, only to offer me a chance at survival, and you do it once again. Takeo would be proud of your inner turmoil, that you at least have that much decency left. Some shard of a conscience." He exhales that held breath into the evening breeze and recalls, almost wistfully, "Your face - or rather, the face you wear to bear the weight of your sins - is the last sight burned into my mind. You struck down a boy filled with hope for his village, for the future of his people. Even hope for you. Left him to die. He survived, but only because what you did warped his hope into hate."
Shinji relaxes his hand atop the grip of his cane and continues, "For some time, I blamed you for the loss of my eyes, until I realized that you'd done nothing less than sever my chains. I was free of the Hokage's grip without the Sharingan. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for my people, and some part of me simply can't let them go on this way." He never so much as swallows hard against the blade, emphasizing the calm control he has over his otherwise advantageous wrath. "If anything can be said to be evil about this village, it's only what resides at its core. You're a knife in the back, my old friend, but the one wielding you is just up those stairs. You still resent him, don't you?"
Enough reflection, perhaps. Shinji calmly explains, "I simply decided that the time had come to make a house call. A short visit. There's no need for you to be concerned, nor for you to stain your hands with yet more blood sinfully taken for the evil you wish to replace."

COMBAT: Shinji finishes his turn.
COMBAT: It is now Eremi's turn.

The voice of the blind one, the memories the individual incites, quickly reminds Hayai about the actions of his past and just whose neck he held a kunai too. Realizing it was Shinji, the kunai shifted slightly in his grip. "Shinji, you are still as dilusioned now as you were when you had your eyes. The village works as a whole, it functions together as one. We all rely on each other to coexist properly. You failed to grasp that and you left, now you return to ruin what we struggled to fix with your absence the first time." The grip on the handle tightening, "My sins are mine to live with, just as yours are your own. You left your people over what I do not care, but whatever the reasoning, you could have helped them more by staying with the village instead of abandoning them. Your return does nothing to help them, and I will not let you further ruin the peace we try to maintain."

COMBAT: Eremi finishes his turn.
COMBAT: It is now Shinji's turn.

Shinji sounds a touch derisive when he next speaks, "Oh, stop deluding yourself. Even I will grant that you're smarter than that. When it comes to the Uchiha, there's no co-existence. There's slavery hidden behind a facade of pleasant little homes and the promise of status - so long as you abide by Daisuke's wishes. After all, those eyes are too precious for him to let go of. He has to control them down to the last pair. If that's co-existence, then it's a twisted vision of it." He lifts his left hand, but only as a gesture. "Then again, that's just one of his sins. In a way, everyone here is at his mercy. No matter how noble they are, no matter how good they may be, they die in the end if they turn their backs on him. This place would be better off on the whole if someone were to replace him. Someone like you, who struggles to commit evil because some semblance of good still flourishes beneath all of that blood. It's what you wanted when we last met, wasn't it?"
"Abanoning them. Either you're correct in that you cared too little to understand, or you're in denial about your understanding," Shinji says of Eremi's claims about what he did. "I left peacefully, without shedding so much as a drop of blood. Do you know what my dream was? I dreamt of running far, as far away from Daisuke as I could, and then training until the day came when I could strike him down. I had no designs where it concerned becoming Hokage, only freeing the Leaf from a tyrant so that a better person might take his place. I never abandoned my people until you gave me reason to stray from my plans. Still, with some delay, I learned to overcome what you had done. To return here and resume what I had started. The dream is different, but it isn't dead. Why don't you join me, rather than opposing me? Together, our victory would be assured. Konohagakure would be free again."

"You're wrong." Hayai let his hand fall away, the kunai leaving Shinji's throat, "The Uchiha and the Senju joined together to create Konoha. Were one clan to leave, the other would fail to survive. There are balances and checks on both. Once you swear your life to the village, then that is the way it is. There is no turning back from that and the Hokage has the hard job of making sure that is the way things remain." A glance would be given from behind his ceramic mask to the eyes that linger in the shadow, watching and wondering what is going on. "Konohagakure is as free as any other village. You join the village for safety, because together you are stronger. Divided…we go back to the Clan Wars of old, before the villages formed and more death would be had then ever before." Hayai would circle around Shinji, facing the blindfolded individual. "You are wasting your time here. I nor anyone will join your cause. It isn't the right way to go about getting what you want.

Shinji simply smiles throughout the rebuke, though he does turn around to face Eremi as he feels the kunai drop away from his throat. That wasn't unexpected. "The Uchiha and Senju did join together to form this village, yes, but under which Hokage? It wasn't Daisuke," he says. "Different times, different circumstances. As I said, you cut my chains when you cut my eyes from my face. Suddenly, Daisuke stopped pursuing me. What does that make you think, Eremi? Does it make you think that I was evil and wrong, or does it make you think that the Hokage saw only the power of my Sharingan? That the rest of me was useless bone and meat, harmless to cast aside now that he had the most valuable cut? Or …"
Shinji slowly lifts his right hand, his left holding the dragon's head of the cane. There's nothing aggressive about the gesture, just an attempt to let his clawed fingers grace the ceramic mask's surface. Callused digits trace their way down the mask if so allowed, and he whispers, "You took them. I wonder if you kept them, as well? It /would/ be Daisuke's way to best reward his most powerful weapon, to further ensure his loyalty." He sighs lightly as his hand finally falls away, resting upon the other which holds his cane.
"You know," he says wearily, "I've been debating this entire time whether or not to attempt killing you, but that thought complicates matters. Maybe it's just my imagination; I no longer have eyes with which to see the truth. If you did keep my Sharingan for yourself, though, then … I am you, and you are me. That's a complicated relationship, but it's also a connection neither of us could ever shake save in death. Do you want to kill me? I would think, knowing the threat that I am, you'd have done so already to any other man who had gotten this close. You have no idea of what I'm capable of now." Shaking his head slowly, Shinji wonders aloud with a smile, "What should we do, you and I? We're destined to be attracted like this forever, unless we choose to accept the cord, or to sever it."

Hayai shook his head, though useless as it was to the person before him, "Taking your eyes was my decision and mine alone. Daisuke wanted me to take your life and the Uchiha Clan Head wanted me to try my best to see your return, otherwise, she did not care. Evil or wrong, does not matter. It is not up to us to decide. It is for those that are in charge, they get to make the rules. They fought their way from the bottom to get where they are and earned their right. Some day, I will as well. That path is not for you, not for those that run away. I know that now, for I did that myself and it did not work."
Hayai remained still as the hand touched his mask, feeling no threat from the blind man, "I did keep the eyes, but it was not a gift to me from the Hokage nor the Uchiha Clan Head. I had to beg for these from her until she finally allowed me to keep just one. The other is in her possession. Were it not for our encounter, you reminding me how weak I am to the perils of Genjutsu, I would not have even dreamed of accepting the eye into myself." A sigh escapes him, "That is for you to decide. I am the weapon of this village, and I will defend it if need be or remain sheathed until called upon. Someday positions will change, and I will be the one making the calls, but that day is not today."

"That day is not today only because you make that choice," Shinji says, the utter determination now apparent in his voice. "Stop making excuses. When last we spoke, you knew that Daisuke was the wrong man in the wrong place. He was the rot at the core of this village. You wanted to be a force for good, and to replace him. Together with me, you and I could topple him. I would happily leave the seat of Hokage in your hands and depart again. If you are the weapon of this village, than I am its shield. I exist, I survived, because there was still a threat to deflect from the people. That threat comes from the top. If you don't think you're high up enough to take the final step, then perhaps the time has come for you to /leap/ to that next tier. Daisuke is helpless without you, and helpless against you."
Shinji again wonders aloud, "Some part of what I'm saying must be getting through to you, surpassing the denial and reaching the man behind the mask. Otherwise, you'd have slit my throat rather than risking the Hokage - or having to hear me banter on. What is it, I wonder?"

Hayai chuckled slightly, "It's not as easy as usurping someone's position. Without the proper backing, taking down Daisuke would only have other people at my throat. While I may not support him, others might. If it could be any other way then how it is now, I would have already taken the steps necessary to overthrow Daisuke. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. I have to bide my time and even then, someone else may take up the mantle of Hokage before I am able to. Then there's the possibility the new Hokage is right for the position. All I can do, all anyone can do, is play their part in this world and wait for the right opportunity. Leaping too soon and you squander away any opportunity you might have had.

Shinji takes a breath and then exhales. "Well, you have that much right. Leap too soon and you may squander any opportunity you might've had. I leapt when I did because I thought, on some distant shore, I could hone myself into an ultimate force for good. I could return home and free it from the bonds Daisuke represents. The strategist simply didn't plan for him to send you, of all people, on the chase. Every opportunity is dead now, save for me to protect this village in my own way." He cants his head to the right and idly comments, "While you've remained here playing assassin, I've been to all corners of the known world. Things are on the move. Dangers far worse than I are looking to these walls, and if Daisuke's sitting in that chair when they come? Konoha may not survive, not without you in his place. You have the power and the mindset to lead them, and without having to imprison them simply for something they were born with."
"Perhaps there's no avoiding it. The weapon and the shield are a pair, after all. Maybe we should have a friendly, honest duel this time. See where that takes us, and whether it settles things in the form of death - or perhaps some new path."

Hayai raised a hand and offered a signal to the eyes still lurking in the shadows, leaving him to be alone with Shinji in the night. "Even as Konoha's weapon, I travel myself, and I agree, dark times are ahead. It's why we need everyone to work together or the village won't survive.' Shinji's next words cause a smile on the agent's face, hidden by his mask, though possibly invisible to the blind man. Yet there was a slight change in Hayai's voice. "I wouldn't mind dueling you, we never had much of a chance to socialize before your departure. However now is not the time or place. Perhaps you would like to rejoin the village? Not as a shinobi, but a villager. You would be free to come and go and even allowed to help where allowed."

"Listen to your own words and imagine how that would /really/ culminate," Shinji says with a shake of his head. "On the outside, I am free to go where I please and do what I choose. If I were to settle again in Konoha, with Daisuke as its leader, then I would live as a prisoner for the remainder of my days. Never again would he allow an opportunity for me to pass those gates, if he allowed me to live at all."
Shinji lifts a clawed index finger to gesture briefly toward Eremi. "There are the consequences for you, as well. You're living with, as I heard it, one of my eyes. Can you cope with that? Or, would you return it to me? /Can/ you return it to me, or are you now too enamored of its power to give it back to its owner by birth?"

Hayai brought a hand up to clutch at the mask, tempted to take it off and reveal the sharingan, though the semblance would be lost. "Your return to the village would not grant you anything in return. You would still be without the sharingan unless you managed to come across them on your own. As for the one I have, the one that belonged to you. It means little to me. I have not seen its true power and may never be able to. It fights me at every turn, barely granting me enough foresight when needed. I do not see the important of the eye. I think I was better off without it…I think you are as well."

Shinji leans forward against his cane. "Let me share a small secret. It's no easier for us to master the Sharingan than it is for you. You're facing the challenge of a power which, perhaps, you were never meant to have. I hope they saved your original eye," he states. "Your answer is unclear, nevertheless. If I return to this village, settle, agree to become a prisoner within its walls … Are you saying that you would return the Sharingan you have, given that it means so little to you? Yes or no. For once, be decisive."

Hayai remained still, despite Shinji's constant movements. "I'm most certain I was never meant to have it and from what I understand, my eye is safe in case this eye doesn't take. A definite possibility." With Shinji's renewed question about returning the sharingan once again, Hayai simply sighed. "If you want the eye, you must ask your Clan Head for it. It is in my possession, but it belongs to her. If she deems it ok for you to have back, I will give it to you willingly. I am simply holding on to it until that time.

"Pfah. Listen to your own words!" Shinji at last seems a touch flustered, waving a clawed hand off to the side. "You can return something sitting in your own eye socket, birthed and grown within my skull, only if my Clan Leader allows it. That sounds no less ridiculous or slavish than if I were to take your hand or foot and promise its return only by the Hokage's permission. It's a part of my body stolen from me, implanted into a man who doesn't even particularly care to have it. Throughout this chat of ours, we run into one contradiction after another which reveals an undercurrent of foulness in Konoha. Does none of it matter to you, truly?"

"It is not my decision to make." A hard answer to give, "I must follow the way things are if I ever choose to get the proper support if I become Hokage. Do I like how things are? No. Does it matter? No." Hayai sighed, shoulders slumping from the weight of it all, "You are Uchiha. Your crime is simply being born into a clan that is apparently enslaved by not only the village, but its own clan. It's not fair, but that's how the game is currently set up. You have to play it or be disqualified. Thrown out or removed…"

Shinji tilts his head in such a way as to suggest that he'd be looking off to the side, if he still had eyes to look with. "Heh. I suppose you'll have to accept that if you're the weapon, always ready to strike, then I am your counterpart. The shield never willing to turn aside in the favor of that which it detests. Are you certain you want that sort of force back in the village? I've stated our relationship, weapon and shield, and I'm afraid I would hold you to it. In fact …"
Taking a few steps forward, Shinji stops once he can hear Eremi's breathing. If it weren't for the mask, they could practically kiss. "If I agree to return and become a prisoner of these walls, it will be so that I can protect Konoha in the days to come. The shield to the weapon. I've already mentioned that you've no idea the power I have gained, but you'll see it when the enemy is at our gates. At that point, you'll have to accept that it was by your encouragement that I remained, even if it mortifies you."
"That, and given what you've said, I would expect you to go before Kurome with me and request that the eye be returned," he says, "and if that fails, you will give me your former eye instead. We will be forever bound together in the truest sense at that point, possessed of each others' flesh and blood. That, of course, is the secondary solution." A pause. "If you were to agree, and then to go back on that agreement after I was safely imprisoned in this place, then I would burn bridges and reduce men to ash in order to reclaim my freedom. You know how firmly I devote myself to my beliefs."

Hayai swallowed hard as Shinji approached, though his breathing remained steady despite how close the man became. In the silence between words, the beating of his heart could possibly be heard. "I'd rather have you by my side, than at my back, Shinji." Truer words had rarely been spoken, "Troubled times are in front of Konoha and they'll need all the help they can get. If you stick with this and see Konoha through it, I doubt they could deny you what rightfully belongs to you. If, however, they do…Then my eye is yours to do with. It is in safe keeping with a friend, waiting for me should I ever need it back." Hayai stepped back slightly, distancing himself from the other. "Some day the leadership of the village will change and past crimes will be erased. You'll get what belongs to you eventually. It's just about patience at this point."

"Say it as I wanted it said, Eremi, or not at all," Shinji states with a shake of his head. "In return for my imprisoning myself within these walls, you will go before Kurome with me and request to return my eye. If that fails, then you will give your original eye to me. Not in the future, but the very day you swear this oath. No delays." He says under his breath, "If you want to hold me prisoner here, as you know will be the case, then you could at least return to me the dignity of sight. I could look upon Konoha again, rather than just hearing her and remembering what the Sharingan burned into my memory."
Shinji concludes, "Now's your chance. Agree or do not. If you do, then sword and shield may well fight as one. If you don't, then one of the two is going to be shattered tonight."

Hayai hesitated slightly, as he thought about what Shinji was asking of him and exactly how it would effect his chances to one day become Hokage. "If you swear to remain in the village, as a so called 'prisoner', then I will go before Kurome with you and request your eye to be returned. If Kurome denies you what belongs to you, my eye belongs to you. However…" wanting to gesture in some way to let Shinji know he was serious, but any attempt would fail against a blind man. "If you break free of the shackles that restrain you once again, I will be forced to kill you. It won't be as easy as taking your eyes and letting you live. I'd rather not have to do that. I want you to live on. I want you to grow. I want you to make Konoha what it should be. For yourself, for future generations…For your brothers memory."

Shinji shakes his head slowly. "My brother is a fading memory for me. He never spared the time to know me, and I invoked his visage only because I thought it would shake some sense into you," he says, clearing that matter up straight away. "I can accept your oath. Of course, you know that I am not swearing off my duty as the shield. You see …"
He takes steps closer again, this time so that his chin hovers about Eremi's shoulder, suited to a whisper. "If my sight turns and I see Daisuke turn his back to me in a moment's weakness, you'll have a choice to make. Side with me in what I would do, and change Konohagakure in the doing, or kill me. My returning here makes him no less my enemy than he was when I arrived intending to destroy him tonight. Can you tolerate that?"

Hayai did not budge nor did he respond to the threats to the Hokage that were being made. Despite the two of them supposedly being alone. There were eyes and ears every where. He still had to be careful with the words he chose within the village walls lest they be turned against him. Leaning in himself, barely audible. "I believe we're done here. It's best you find a place to stay for the night, then reflect on things to come."

"I'll reflect upon things which are yet to be," Shinji says as he takes a step to the right and passes Eremi by. "I'll believe them when my eye is returned to its proper place. You know my half of the oath if that part of the promise isn't upheld." Had he truly agreed to imprison himself out of some sort of twisted bond with Eremi, or did he have ulterior motives? On this peaceful evening, there were no signs to either extreme.
Shinji smirks as he adds over his shoulder, "You really should do something about the gate guard. He treated me like a helpless cripple, never seeming to notice the katana and wakizashi at my hip. I suppose he can't be blamed, though. I suspect you didn't notice the third weapon on my person." Something for Hayai to chew on, perhaps just for Shinji's amusement, as he meanders off back the way he came. An attack on the Hokage's home was very, very narrowly averted, ironically by a talk between two men who had deeply harmed each other in the past. Where he'd be found next would be evident only at dawn.

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