Date: February 24, 2015
Taiki and Soubi meet and finally hash things out.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
A rather non-descript man wearing brown pants, a light-brown shirt, and earth-brown cape sits at an outside table at a restarant. His hair appears black and straggly and drapes over his face and shoulders, only showing his brown eyes and lips. He appears alone, and others are tending to leave him a wide birth as he even smells a little, as if he's been doing some very hard work. His back is against the wall this morning as he is eating a large, cheap meal. Unbeknownst to almost everyone, including the man himself, he is watched, but largely left to his business.
Soubi was conducting business…much like always as of lately. It wasn't often she found herself in the Land of Fire…if anything she did everything she could to avoid it. Never did she think she would conduct business in Kadomai but she did, and she appeared to be wrapping up. The woman herself was adorned in a beautiful jet black kimono, a sash of silky lavender tied about her hips with no defined loop. In her hand was a single scroll while her long locks of raven black hair lengthed all the way down her back her bangs held up through golden hairpins… With light steps she advanced upon the man who appeared to be a little down on his luck, her fingers reaching down into her kimono in order to pull out a few ryo pieces. "Down on your luck?" Soubi questions the man as she leans in, offering a handful of ryo in one hand… She didn't quite recognize him. At least not yet.
The man sniffs, sounding a bit like he's got a mild cold. "Oh, justa b'n a mite sick lately, is all," he says in a slow, hoarse drawl. He looks at the coins for a moment, then reaches out a bandaged hand to take them. The bandages look old and frayed, but still covers most of the skin. Though to someone close who is used to disguises would probably note that it looks… too tight. He palms the offered coins, but leaves a couple on the table as if paying for the meager meal in front of him. "Thank'ee kindly ma'am." The brown eyes look through the veil of scraggly brown hair at the woman, as if trying to discern something… probably motive, or at least that's what most would think of at first.
""Hm, is that so?" Soubi couldn't help but the comment in a rather inquisitive tone. As she retrieves the coins from her grasp she couldn't help but to lean in a bit more closely through that scraggly black hair of his… her eyes a vibrant sapphire remained along the tip of his nose as if seeing just how sick he truly was. "That is unfortunate… you should be inside with a warm meal in your belly… instead of out here… winds chilling you to the bone," Pausing as she motioned back to look over him a bit more fully…she couldn't help but to feel some familiarity to this. "You seem…familiar,"
"The staff… they no be lik'n me n'side miss," the man says as he takes another sniff. "Says I smell…" And he does smell of trash or something, as if he works in or with garbage, and smoke. The poor man's eyes narrow slightly as the sapphire eyes gets closer to his, and just briefly Soubi would notice something. It's almost impossible to see even close up, but there's a glint of crimson behind that hair approximately where the cheeks are. It's small, and covered with some kind of clay, but its there. Still the man leans back slightly and responds with, "I dunno miss… I not b'see'n ye b'fore." Taiki's eyes seem to narrow slightly, however, just before he averts them as if he's trying to look anywhere but her as if to see if anyone is listening in.
There is a brief pause as Soubi is wordless at the moment. Bewildered perhaps due to the circumstances of events… For that moment she hugged the scroll next to her a bit more closely while a light huff finally escapes her lips. "If you are…who i feel you might be. I can only hope that this is an account of mere chance. Someone who I had helped out of a fairly terrible bind…and that I had a good…and bad past with," Soubi brings up these assessments though not goign as far to offer a name. Instead she too gives a glance around, perhaps looking for some feed back.
Taiki's eyes narrow for a moment as one of the bandaged hands twists into an odd shape. Only one of three people would know that that shape means, or that it means anything at all. Soubi would likely remember the sign very well, a sign for 'peace.' His shoulders shrug even as his eyes widen slightly, but again hard to tell through the hair and brief as he looks about once more. He shakes his head and says, "It'd be a fright big chance miss, since I'm here ta meet a doctor friend o' mine. An old friend who be work'n on a problem fer me family. But ye does look faint familiar… as someone who left an impression on me a while ago…"
That sign was some assurance as to his identity, though the reason of his disguise was…a little alarming. "Hmm… you might not be him. The one that I refer to bathe quite regularly. He had been down on his luck to…but for other reasons… Foolish reasons," Soubi alludes as she narrows her eyes. " He's dangerous and a bit impulsive, but he generally means well even if it lands him in trouble… Your name? Stranger?" Soubi voices and finally asks as she perks her brow, she was pretty….convinced of him at this point.
"Sounds like me kinda guy," Taiki remarks then turns his head to cough, the hand covering his mouth forming a sign for 'correct,' though again its only a sign a few would know. "Ah… but ye may not be the lass I b'know'n. Like yer lad she be danger's, an' not without her fer share o' problems. I hadn't been see'n her fer a long while, see, though I be told she did me a right favor lately. Of course, none knew it were her," he says, the last line pitched very low and hard to hear, "But I be think'n it be her." He then shrugs and drinks a bit of his drink, probably coffee, before say'n. "Man, me ma woul' whip me for be'n rude, if she wera alive. M'names Oziho Renton miss. Nice ter meet'chya." He offers his hand and tilts his head to the side to peer at her. He hasn't found a way to change his eye color, so this clear look into his eyes would probably cinch it.
"I'm sure she has her reasons… I'm also sure she feels more at place where she is now…" There were a few awkward pauses and rather than taking his hand along wit hhers, instead she gestured for him to stand. "Walk and talk, Renton-san. Perhaps there are more stories we can share," she suggests while tilting her head briefly. "My name is Soubi, nothing more and nothing less. I'm an emissary and a protector for those too weak to stand up for themselves. So why not allow me to help you… in this instance?" Soubi questions him while lightly perking a brow. "How have you been…since your stream of troubles?"
Taiki looks around for a moment, then shrugs. "Okay miss… looks like me doctor be not show'n." So he stands up, somewhat shakily, then bends over to grab a roll. Soubi would recognize another few hand signs, but this one she doesn't know. He then glances off to the distance as he shuffles around the table and scratches his head before shaking it. "Lead the way Miss Soubi…," he offers in a quiet hoarse voice. "I actually be'n gett'n better, though me work been keep'n me 'opp'n."
Taiki's actions were met with a hint of curiosity, perhaps even some caution as she watched him operate. She briefly clicks her tongue, leading the way a bit further into Kadomai, not very quickly, just enough to stave away the chilling breeze. " What sort of work do you do?" Soubi suddenly asks him, attempting to gain a bit more insight about how things had been going recently. "My own business only allows me to come here sometimes… Despite the Land of Fire being quite popular… It tends to be a place of too much opprotunity,"
Soubi would catch a couple of glimpses of fur, one red, and one white, in the distance that would account for the handsign when he was scratching his head. Unfortunately, where the fur was was a completely wrong angle for the handsign on the table. Odds are, Taiki has watchers. He may be an obsessed, but he is far from stupid. He seems fairly relaxed as he walks with Soubi, but at the same time he's somewhat hunched over in keeping with the disguise. "Oh… been tak'n up the family bus'ness, put'n out fires… try'n te maintain good feel'ns wit' feriners despite… family be'n stupid… that kinda thing."
"That sounds a little more relaxed than what traditional work would bring," Soubi comments lightly thumbing a finger along her cheek. " Tell me more about the woman that lended you some help. What do you think of her now?" Soubi continues to prod of answers as she continues to look about the area. It seems as though she had an idea of her own surroundings, not that she needed to see anymore to gain that insight. Taiki would likely know that there were a few 'odd' snakes treking about the area. Mostly small little buggers defining the space in Kadomai. She too was far from stupid.
Taiki is guarded alright, at least three Inuzuka and their ninken, well versed in stealth, are watching his every move. In addition, Shinobu and Nozomi are in the area, keeping a nose and an eye each on him, and the other eye on their surroundings. In fact, they're up on rooftops, which is probably what the handsign on the table was for. They seem to be following at a discreet distance, but not closing in on them.
In the meantime, Taiki gives a quiet sigh and shakes his head. "Not sure what ta think," Taiki finally admits. "Las' time she left, noth'n was said, an' she came an' left when I was… away on business in the Land o' Lightning. Nary a message sent ta me a' all. Yet she turns up when I be need'n a favor, so I dunno what she is think'n or do'n. Kinda hard ta decide yer own feel'ns when not'ink been 'cided, ya know?"
"You can always asks," Soubi merely replies back in response as she ceases her movements and turns back to look at him. "Does she have a name? maybe I've seen here at some point during my travels… This world is so big yet so small," Soubi further elaborates as she waits for a bit more insight. Despite the situation she was relatively at ease. she stood up a bit more straight, arms crossed along one another as she evaluates him..with honest curiosity.
"Aye, she has a name, but I be not bant'y'n it abou'," Taiki replies as he finds a convenient wall to lean against. "As fer ask'n… Some say she made her wishes right clear. In fact, me family be tell'n me to move on. But heart wills what heart wills, an' all. That, and I be not know'n where ta ask, or if ask'n would be… safe. Might be she be… trav'l'n all secrit like, an' ask'n might put her in dang'r. An' as much as be'in' apart hurts, an' as much as the lack o' understand'n hurts, I still want her te be safe. Rendezvous, 'ventually the issue may be forced, but I not be want'n to put any pressure on her. I mean, it would be nice ta know how she feels, but she ain't gonna tell me if she do' wanna."
"If safety is your concern… I'm sure there is nothing to worry about. The way you speak of her, it sounds like she is able to take care of herself. The onyl danger that would come…is from which she left. I'm sure she had a good reason though. To disappear… or whatever it was that happened," Soubi states while uncrossing her arms along one another. "After all, if things truly was as bad as it looks… Perhaps she would have never helped you with what hever problem you were having at some point,"
"I ain't be worry'n none about me enemies," Taiki says with a shrug. "I be deal'n wit' that all me life. Nay, I be worried 'bou the reason she be hid'n," Taiki clarifies. "I know she be strong. But I no' be know'n why she left. I'd ask her if'n it were me, but she not be lik'n that talk." He then sighs and looks up into her eyes as the hair parts into three sections in the front, leaving his eyes locked with hers. "If'n I be free ta' ask her, I be ask'n her why, an' what she be feel'n, and if she ever be com'n back. But I'm afraid the last answer would be no, and all that goes along with it would mean my life truly is sacrificed." The last is said at nearly a whisper, just loud enough for Soubi to hear it. But the tone implies that he yearns for the answer as much as he fears it.
There was a light frown spread about Soubi's lips, perhaps she too was dreading such a conversation… or at least at one point. Now though it wasn't such a problem…but current circumstances made a truly honest conversation impractical. " You are always free to ask any questions you ever have…if you truly do want those questions though… perhaps you should seek her out. Perhaps to a place where the both of you can feel safe and speak together honestly. I'm… not sure about your circumstances but I'm confident that everything will make a lot of sense… " She pauses and eyes him, with a hint of seriousness. "You don't have to wait for the answers you are looking for. Besides you never know if the answers are right infront of you,"
Taiki closes his eyes for a moment as the time he dreaded has finally arrived. "This not be a talk ta have here," he says aloud, then holds his hands up to flash a couple of unknown hand signals. "I know you know they're there," Taiki signals very quickly with his hands, out of sight of any casual obervers. "They'll follow to a point, but Noz' and 'Bu will be the only ones to appear if you have such a place nearby." After a moment he makes a show of scratching his head. "Any place ye c'n recomend?"
Soubi could note Taiki's caution… and it was likely for here to perhaps not visit this place again. Pulling him out of Konoha was going to be a chore she wasn't willing to do… " Perhaps this can be concluded at the docks then. It happens to be not too far away from here," Soubi states as she points off and begins to lead the way. She doesn't leave any room ddebate upon the subject. Her walk is fairly light as she carried herself forward, and in only a few minutes they neared the edge of Kadomai which opened up towards the waters. Without many people around she finally turned to face him. There was a faint pale red gleam in her eyes as she looked over him. Her sharingan coming to bear as she clears her throat and asks rather simply. "What questions do you have for me, Taiki-kun?"
As promised in the hand signals, the watchers peeled back as Soubi and Taiki neared the edge of town. Only two dogs, albeit two /large/ dogs continue on that point, but they avoid nearing Taiki and Soubi. Instead they seem to canvass the area, looking for anyone that shouldn't be here or anyone that can overhear their conversation. Even the watchers remain out of hearing range, even of normal Inuzuka Senses.
After Nozomi gives a howling-type bark to indicate they're clear, Taiki straightens up and folds his arms in front of his chest, then tilts his head to look at Soubi. "No need for the eyes Na-chan. First, you were about the last person I expected to show up today. Even if I were inclined, which I'm not, the likelihood of me being able to capture you is not favorable. Not to mention you're not on the bingo books, that I'm aware of, so there's no need to go there." Taiki frowns slightly, then shakes his head and says, "Well, I guess I'll start with the non-personal question, what's going on? Specifically, why are you staying out of Konoha?"
"With this life style, even I have to be vigilant…" Soubi states rather promptly, her eyes didn't at all relent, though it didn't seem like she was seeking any sort of aggression. "Narusegawa died a long time ago…or rather I simply evolved from it. Naru was a shinobi from Konohagakure… I other hand… My name is Soubi, I'm not a shinobi of any of the sort. I'm just a normal person much like the many people who walk each of these lands…" She then lightly frowns and shakes her head. "I'm here because I'm helping people. I'm not in Konoha because I /don't/ like Konoha," Soubi answers back, fairly bluntly as she crosses her own arms along one another. " I was hoping to see you… In a little more pleasant nature. But this will have to suffice,"
Taiki nods at first, conceding Soubi's point about being vigilant. "Well, considering I'm here on business, and due to reasons I really don't need to go into I can't really travel out of Konoha for long periods of time and/or without extensive disguise work, this is about the only way you'd get to see me. It's not like I'm not hunted or anything," he comments with a touch of sarcasm. He shakes his head again and then shrugs. "So you don't like Konoha… Well, there are things I don't like about Konoha myself, but you know, I try to change it from within, make it a bit better, even if people do tend to be idiots."
Taiki looks off to the distance for a moment and then shakes off some tension. "Unfortunately, I don't have the option to leave Konoha myself. Yeah, I could probably fake my death or something like that, but even if I could get my enemies to believe that I'm dead, it would leave my family to their trepidations. And by family, I mean my entire clan. Tryst, they nearly destroyed the clan once, that's how I became Clan Alpha." He then looks back to Soubi and asks, "So, Soubi…'chan… I guess the next question becomes a bit more personal. Did I figure in your decision at all?"
"Clans…Villages… There are many reasons you are the situation you are in. and the truth is my problem isn't just Konoha… I don't like any village or institution which conscripts children into a war machine. No matter how things are sugar coated with words and phrases. The fact of the matter is the legacy we bore is bathed in blood. Especially for those who don't have the privilege of being a shinobi… Or don't have ties t othe greater villages. " A light huff escapes Soubi's lips as she merely shrugs her shoulders. "I've travel far and wide to understand the world. And that is the sole purpose on why I refuse to return to Konoha. I'd rather by my time helping those who can't help themselves rather than completing missions to those who have the coin to pay for it."
"You can tell Daisuke this… Actually I implore you to say so. I will never turn on Konoha, and I will always protect it. Much like how I will always love and protect you.. but i will do so with my own rules, with my own power, and my own objectives. I will create a place where people can live peacefully without worry of shinobi, criminals, nuderground organizations… prejudice of ideas… I have no plans to pillage and spread my ideas across the world. I only wish to bring people in who want a chance to get away from how cruel this world truly is… This is something I have to do even if yo cannot be at my side and join me…"
"Children were conscripted into war machines long before the villages were formed," Taiki points out. "But then again, you included clans in that statement. I suppose, prior to the formation of the villages, children sought to protect their loved ones, while after they wind up joining for various reasons and are used to make money. But that's only part of it. I daresay if you ask any child shinobi today, even in Kiri, they'd say that protecting what they believe in, including their family, is pretty high up on their reasons for joining. It was part of mine, even if the need to escape over-rode a lot of it. Do I like that we use kids? Not really. But that's why I am where I am, and will be at the front of anyone attacking my clan or my village. The more I take out, the less will endanger the kids."
Taiki shrugs for a moment and then adds, "Well, it's nice to hear that you love me. I love you too. Only problem is my love for you places me in a rather untenable situation. See, as my sister in all but blood once said, "You're sacrificing your life for your clan. Not your death, but your life." She meant that my life isn't my own any more. The moment I stepped up to lead the Inuzuka, I became bound in chains that my heart prevents me from breaking. And part of that, unfortunately, is the demand that I… build a family of my own. I had hoped, at some point in time, to ask if you'd be involved. But your decision places that outside the realm of possibility now. Eventually, I'll have to give in, and when I do I'll enter a loveless marriage, because my heart will be elsewhere." Taiki shrugs and looks away and mutters, "I guess I already knew that, but I needed to confirm it, no matter how painful it is."
"You talk about being willing to change the village from within, but yo uhave already settled for entering a loveless marriage for the 'sake' of the clan. At the end of the day it will be your choice as to how you determine your life to go. How determined you are to do what you need to do to make things work or each your own ends. At the end of the day you will do what is best for you and I will do what is best for me. Whatever is to become of it…honestly only time will tell," Soubi answers back, a ligth frown spread about her lips. " The reason i do what I do is to protect what I hold sacred… Much like you and any other child being raised in the other villages. People born into such a lifestyle will always want to be figthers, it's the higher calling that the villages have to offer…" Soubi then sighs oncee more and shrugs her shoulders. "If everything works as planned we should be able to see eachother in general terms. As I represent my name home to the Land of Fire… However that will be up to Daisuke and my Clan to support my decision. I'f I'm hunted I'm given very little options…"
Taiki turns back and frowns deeply. "You have no idea how long and how hard I fought that, Soubi'chan. I'm still fighting it. The problem is, this is one of those things that's not about the village, but about my family. Regardless of how bad I had it before, just about everyone in that clan is family. And I've already shown what I'll do for family."
Taiki then lowers his head and shakes it. "If everything works… on general terms… It sounds to me as if you're saying "Don't wait for me." I'm sorry, call me selfish if you want, but I need a bit more certainty and stability than that. I love you, but I'm not willing to play some crying damsel waiting for a day that will never come. Nor will I force you to live in a gilded cage. If you hate the life of clans and villages as much as you appear to, and this arrangement is your final answer, then… I guess there's nothing left to say, is there?"
"I'm making things easier for you. What would they say about a head of a clan that is secretly running off with an Ex shinobi in a distant land? Oh the dysfunction…" Soubi somewhat balks as she shrugs her shoulders once more. "It depends on what you want. Me being apart of your life in the capacity in which you need will make things incredibly complicated. At least right now. I never say never to things. Maybe Konoha will change enough to make me happy, or maybe their attitude towards me will be positive. I cannot tell you no because I do not know the answer myself… I won't hold you in contempt if you decide to look else where… if anything at this point it is expected. But I have a famil ytoo you know. Many people depend on mme to keep them safe… if I'm unwilling to return back to Konoha for you… then it would be selffish for me to expect you to conform to me… That's just the way it is,"
Taiki turns back and nods. "I'll pass on your message, and we'll have to see how things go. At this point that's all either one of us can promise. And if you think this is easy for me, then you are very much mistaken. Do I want you in my life? Of course. But at the same time having you back on my terms would destroy you, and turn you into a person I don't even know. At least right now, I can see the woman I love in there somewhere. You've made your choice to leave Konoha, and I'm making mine to stay. That's where we are, and likely will be. For what it's worth, Soubi'chan, I hope things work out the way you want, and I hope you stay safe. Good luck, and good bye," he says as he turns and starts walking away, slowly entering the same posture his persona held before they came here.
"I suppose that truly what the situation is… for better or for worse," Soubi merely states as she watches as he turns around to continue on about his way… Soubi truly didn't know what to feel about the situation. There was certainly a deep feeling of regret she couldn't shake off… But she needed to maintain her course… Keep things moving and stick to her guns. " Time…to move along thing…" Soubi mentions quietly to herself… There was going to be much work to be done in order to assure things would work out well. Hopefully Taiki would have some success on his side.