Date: January 18, 2015
In the Land of Rivers, all things tend to come together in one place.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Tributaries of Fate"
Somewhere in the Land of Rivers
The Land of Rivers, nettled between all of the major nations and south of the majority of the tiny nations upon the main continent of the Shinobi world. It was once a place of unmitigated crime, pirating, violence, raiding, and general lawlessness. For a time, it was cured of this, productivity picked up and the skills of bandits were put to more productive use where there was little need of such things in order to survive. That is not to say there was no violence or crime, but that what remained was my symbiotic and cohesive than running wild and rampant. However, that time passed as well. It was not back in its chaotic state… but it was also financially in ruin. It was aimless and those grabbing for power largely mishandled it. In the end, it simply because a geographic location between major powers that held no influence to the big scheme of things.
Still, there was reason to come through the Land of Rivers. Transport wise, it was the quickest way from the main land to the sea aside from going straight to a coast. And there was much undeveloped land to invest in that some people had decided to take part in. Here on this day, the paths of many would cross just as the rivers do. Simply travelling through this non-hub to get where ever they were going, their paths would merge like tributaries of fate… perhaps being swept away in to the sea of destiny.
Looking for money where he could, Hisashi had heard that there was a good deal of work around here. Hisashi had quite often heard of this place, not only was there work about but this was a land in development, he could start his own place of sorts… whatever that may be or, he could find a gathering to assist him in his current end goals.
This of course came with a fault, there was a bit of danger in these areas. Not as well settled as the other lands, not to mention the cut-throat ways of everyone here trying to get ahead of one another. Either way it sounded like the place he needed to be in for a while.
"Is this even remotely accurate…" The wanderer scratches the back of his head, eyeing a cheap map he bought during his travel towards here, noting there was a lot missing on it but he'll assume it has to do with the rapid development of this area. All in all he thinks he can work with this thing.
Ieyasu, settles his samurai swords in place, he too has heard that this place was good for possibly finding help to achieve his goals. He was well prepared for any sort of trouble and was expecting it. He sits quietly on the bench on the boat.
The land of opportunity was truly a place where few hands have taken the time to make it in to something workable. It was a boon for those seeking to cave out their own place in the world.. just as it has always been… and thus why Hanpa would frequently return to the land of his birth. It was were he met some of the best individuals he'd ever come across in his existence, and he would never cease to be amazed what raw talent passes through a place like this as if called by some unknown instinct. At this time, there were individuals looking for new opportunity, and Hanpa would happen upon their way. Masked but observant, he approached them with a bit of a wave. "If you bought a map for this land… you likely got ripped off. It is one of the ways tourists help… "fuel" the economy." Hanpa would warn.. of course too late for anything to be done about it.
Hisashi eyes the masked man as he approaches, immediately placing him in the pretentious and crazy department. He turns away and pays attempts to ignore the man except for the fact he is straight up approaching Hisashi. "Eh?" He looks to the map once more and all the warping of the map his brain did to make it seem remotely accurate seems to melt away. "Well stream. I barely even had any money left as is…" With a grunt he crumpled the map up between his hands and tosses it over his shoulder.
"Would you believe me if I said I never believed in wasting money on maps before that?" He tchs and turns to look at this man in full. His lips purse, obviously not entirely comfortable. "So uh… you from around here? Tall, dark and mysterious?"
Ieyasu, on the other hand, eyes the masked man with a hint of contempt. He didn't use a map, trusting in his sense of direction, and the fact that he looked like a samurai (albeit a poor threadbare ronin) and could use the swords attached to his kimono effectively to gain the necessary directions he needed. He waits until Hisashi has finished speaking and then says, his diction precise, like a lord's accent, "I do not speak with those who hide their faces. I wish to be able to know who it is I am dealing with, starting with your name."
"From around here… actually no, not this province. This province really is where the cultivatable land is, but criminals and pirates don't generally plant seed, so it hasn't ever really been invested in. I actually hail from a province near the great river basin that leads to the southern seas." Hanpa would explain, perhaps truthfully, perhaps not, but he seemed to at least be able to give a thorough answer one way or another. As far as Ieyasu is concerned, Hanpa would simply chuckle at him. "You would be amazed how many Kage have asked me for the very same privilege, ronin." Hanpa stated coolly before offering a compromise. "But as for a name, I am called Hanpa. The rest… you will have to earn. And as for you… while the maps are useless here, the rivers are true. They will lead you to any place that has a worth while amount of people and infrastructure. If it is too far from the river, it likely is discrete or under developed." Hanpa advised. "So… now that I have answered questions… I have some of my own… who are you two?"
Hisashi nods when the man explains himself and the area somewhat. "Makes sense, traveling down a river is much easier than walking on foot. I'm guessing these rivers have names that I'll have to get used to." Looking over, he'd realize he had already forgotten the name of this river if he even ever heard it, live and learn he supposes. It is then that a third speaks up.
Hisashi's eyes drift to Ieyasu, causing the man to smirk. "I suppose I should've said something like that, kid." He settles in, an eyebrow perking up at the mention of Kage. "Kage? Guess this get up isn't entirely for show if you're dealing with those guys, what are… actually right, your turn to question."
Hisashi breathes off heavily, as if he had some whole story to share and what he gives is, "Hisashi, broke as hell and can't seem to keep a home." It honestly looks like that's it as he shrugs immediately after sharing that bit of info.
Ieyasu's lips curl a bit at the appellation of ronin, as well as the affront of having to earn the right to see the man's face. However he girds his loins, sometimes even a Daimyo's heir (at least in his mind, according to his mother) must deal with bandits, thieves, criminals and rebels of every stripe. The fact that "Hanpa" speaks with Kage's doesn't surprise Ieyasu, if he wasn't someone who could help, then he wouldn't be here right now. He glances out the corner of his eye at Hisashi and simply gives the man a curt nod before he gives Hanpa his full attention and gives a courtly bow and says, "I am Goto Ieyasu, Lord Goto Hiroshi, Daimyo of the Land of Rice Field's true heir." He says this voice full of arrogance and importance. The fact that he's just a ronin right now is only temporary, until he can prove his bloodline and claim his rightful spot at the right hand of his father.
"A displaced man with nothing to lose and a young man with everything to gain. Yes… it seems that this is indeed the Land of Rivers." Hanpa would comment as he shifted between the two. Bowing his head to both of them in greeting. "This place attracts fate… it is just like the rivers this land is named after. Many small paths rolling in to one massive destiny. It is why I continue to visit. It is why it is my home. For those who get swept up in the great river's currents… I am the man with the paddle. But you do not have to take my word for it. I am to meet some associates here in a few days. It seems that both of you need a place to rest and perhaps a good meal. I can show you where to get these things, while we have a chat. That is my only price." Hanpa would explain as he began to walk towards the nearest river, angling so that they would go down stream of it. "The good thing about rivers, Hisashi… is that in the end, they all lead to the same place."
Hisashi whistles after Ieyasu's title, "A proper legend right here, way to make me feel like cataract." He winks at Ieyasu, while quietly agreeing with Hanpa's general description of the two, "Only time I've ever been on the same ride as a Daimyo heir and a man who has the ability to deny Kage, guess I can't argue the fact this is a special place." All this time he kept his cool, trying to pretend that he was not all too interested in Hanpa's offer. This is when Hisashi's stomach gives him away, growling loudly.
He places a hand on his stomach and laughs, "Beats hunting in an unknown land I guess. Seems like a fairly cheap price, I'd ask what's the catch but guess you wouldn't really tell us either way, masked man."
Well, that was good, at least 'Hanpa' had some manners, he glances again at Hisashi out of the corner of his eye and says drily, "A pleasure, I'm sure…" At least the trip won't be boring, Hisashi should be at least useful for entertainment, if nothing else. Ieyasu's clogs tap on the road leading to the river and he says, "I would wager my swords you wish to do more than simply 'chat' with us. You obviously were waiting for us for some reason, which implies you have sources of information within the borders of most of the major Lands, am I right?"
"There is no catch. Listening to me is payment enough. Whether or not you do anything about what you hear is entirely up to you. The life of one who wanders is full of exchanges back and forth. All different sizes and circumstances, risks and rewards. Some do it out of necessity and some do it for the thrill of not knowing what comes next. Regardless of the reason, it is not a life style for everyone… nor is it a permanent choice for most. It is a means to an end… but it is also a rewarding experience, with the right company." Hanpa would further explain as he led the way. "I do have sources of information, indeed. Though not as much as I once wielded. It is still.. adequate. If you have not been able to tell, I have a strength in… communicating with individuals. This strength I use to help create opportunity, and through opportunity, see that objectives are achieved. In this process, often times… individuals become part of a group." Gesturing forward, Hanpa seemed to note a plume of faint smoke in the distance beyond the beginnings of a forest a few miles south east. "We are always able to achieve more when others are involved, as long as paths align."
Hisashi can only offer a slight laugh through his nose with the dry comment from Ieyasu. Though Hisashi seems silent all in all, he looked like he was thinking, if he was capable of such a thing. He was focused on the mask itself until the gesture forward is given, in which he turns. "Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong all along, guess a wanderer can't expect to settle in with those that aren't within the same lifestyle, not until they're able to settle themselves." Hisashi nods once more, agreeing with himself mentally. "Yeah why not, like you said there's not much to lose and maybe surrounding myself with others that are capable…" He drifts off and doesn't finish that thought out loud.
Ieyasu simply nods, so this 'Hanpa' probably considers himself to be the 'Shadow Kage', or at least something to that effect. Why else would he be gathering the itinerant, the dispossessed, the disenfranchised, the disillusioned and the assorted rabble that tends to wander the lands, seeking whatever it is they seek? He would follow and listen to 'Hanpa' and when the time came for the boy to make his decision, his decision would be to join. If nothing else, perhaps at some point he could use them as if they were the 47 Ronin of legend and force his father to acknowledge him.
As they approached their destination, a small litle area of civilization with warm bed and food, Hanpa listened back to the responses to his words. He would consider before responding, as bits and pieces of who he was traveling with would reveal themselves. Looking back towards Hisashi, showing the man his own reflection via his man, Hanpa would say, "I have found that most anything is possible with enough drive and the right people. Consider the fact that all civilization is merely the collaboration of mankind." Turning to face Ieyasu, Hanpa would actually apologize. "Unfortunately, young lord, this location will not be of very high standards or regard. But you are on the road now, and luxuary is not part of this existence. I am certain however… there is something you can gain from these momentary toils." It did not appear that Hanpa was kowtowing to Ieyasu so much as he was choosing to accept his story at face value. In the end, it didn't matter if Ieyasu was the king of the world… right now, he was just a wanderer like everyone else traveling to a pit stop on the road.