It's a bit of a Stretch

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Nick
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Mon Nov 20, 2023 11:31 am

Kyoho, Ken's past was, in many ways, checkered by problems and no solutions. When he'd been recruited into the Heart Empire, back before it was an empire and was just a ragtag band of samurai trying to do good by the people of the minor countries, and more importantly in his opinion, save them from Ninja, he'd found something like a calling. A calling that wasn't just killing ninja. He still did that, though.

He wasn't exactly the most selfless man, but spending time with Fuhen, understanding his message, his warrior spirit, had opened him up to helping others avoid the same fates and futures that he was forced into as a youth. This started his communication with his clan again, stretchy chefs who wanted to live good lives. This opened the door of communication to the Heart Empire.

Sen Matsumatsu, the former Aide of the grand Shogun, rode in a cart that had been offloaded onto a boat, taking them most of the way to dragon country. Ken had set up the meeting and was there with him, alongside a handful of other samurai from the empire, including Goro, a Kisama clan member, and of course, Suzuko, who was doing her best not to look exhausted, but she hadn't slept well on the boat, nor had she had time to stop walking long enough to rest. Luckily, the village of The Kyoho was near, and discussions were set to begin tomorrow. She hoped there were good beds for them to sleep on.
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Mon Nov 20, 2023 2:16 pm

What an honor! Jiro was excited to be considered in the conversation for a political event. Never, in Jiro's drunkest states, had he thought he would be involved in anything that involved his mind. As a Kisama Clan member, the overall experience within the Heart Empire was truly fascinating and exciting. I mean, the Brass Warrior was in a carriage with many memorable people. In comparison, Jiro truly didn't see himself as an equal. However, this was a great opportunity for Jiro to learn a little bit about everyone.

The red eyed samurai reached to his side and lifted up a gourd. He would slowly uncork it with a pop noise tipping the people within the cart what he was doing. Jiro looked around the room after he took a quick sip. "Ahhh, delicious. Any one else wantsa sip? I made it myself." His attention got focused on Goro after looking around the room. "Ow about you over dere??". If people wanted a swig, he would generously hand it to whoever wanted some. It was sneaky strong, so the assumption would be that people would only want sips...

If no one wanted a sip, Jiro would place a cork on top of his gourd and put it back on his side. He would look around and leisurely lean back a little bit extra. A hearty smile and a genuine tone to his voice would erupt yet again. Jiro really didn't love silence. "So, what's the plan fer tomorrow?"
Last edited by Texas on Mon Nov 20, 2023 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Director » Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:01 pm

The newly minted Hokage Fanho had been strolling through Dragon Country draped in his Hokage attire. Him and Taiga had just freshly traded prisoners a few days ago just north in a remote part of Heart that was close to bordering Setsuzoku. The Hokage hat gently bobbed as Fanho happily stepped through the town dawning his new leadership garb. The Hokage haori draped over his more formal hakama setup. Much to his discomfort of wearing stuffy ceremonial clothes, he sucked it up for this encounter as it'd be a whole new political gambit. He had gotten wind Heart was here to recruit the Kyoho clan, and being there would be Kyoho Ken. A currently wanted criminal Fanho had personally had the displeasure of confronting at a Konoha outpost.

Oh, I wish I was a silly, slippery snake... The Awai quietly hummed to himself. He had hoped to sway the Heart leadership not away from their decision. In-fact he really hadn't had a stake, but it was a relationship he wanted to foster so he favored them for this. Perhaps a personal endorsement may help form some relationship there, even if in return he'd request Ken's person to be brought to justice. Perhaps a budding political relationship, professional, but at the least a foot in the door to get to rub elbows. He felt slightly superficial in regards to it, but soon enough he'd be personable with them. Right now he just saw an opportunity to shore up one loose end and earn some goodwill from Heart.

Oh I'd slither across the floor.... As Fanho walked he focused his chakra in a wide swath letting his extra sensory traverse the entire landscape. Pinging every chakra signature minor to large within miles. As his foot steps clacking against the hard compacted earth then turned to wet driplets he found himself walking across a small lake. An encampment with a genin sized signature Fanho had learned all too well and more recently before his newly earned Hokage position.

Oh, I wish I was a silly, slippery Suzuko... A grin grew across the Hokage's face as his feet hit dry land again and he began to make his way for the Heart camp envoy, making sure he came in from a well exposed angle to give anyone keeping guard a heads up someone, lets say notable was heading their way. He'd begin to wave at the camp in a friendly manner and make sure his intentions we're well communicated.

"Ahoy mateys! Would you mind a plus one for your travels?"
Last edited by Director on Wed Nov 22, 2023 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
Konshi, Yuichi - Jounin - Kumogakure no Sato - [color=#0051BA]
Awai, Fanho - Hokage - Konohagakure no Sato - [color=#682860]

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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Sat Nov 25, 2023 2:48 pm

"None for me, thank you, and I would request you mind your intake tonight and tomorrow, yes...?" Sen would politely decline, though Goro would have no such avoidance, taking a sip of the strong stuff, and making a face as he swallowed it down, clearly not a fan of whatever concoction the Kisama clansman preferred. "The Kyoho love a party just as much as the Kisama do, from what Ken has told us, but I'm sure they still appreciate a bit of tradition and care in these kinds of situations, yes?"

But now the game was afoot. Goro would be among the first to notice the approaching man, but still he would say nothing until his approach became clearly directed towards them. He didn't recognize the Hokage at first, but as he called out and caught Suzuko's attention, she would squint a bit, and then open up in a rather bright smile. Simultaneously, Ken would shift his head and his otherwise neutral expression would turn into an intense stare and a small scowl. Goro's eyes shifted to Ken, then to Suzuko, then to the man approaching them, pulling a cigarette out of his chest pocket and sliding it into the corner of his mouth with one hand, placing his other hand on the prickly snake's shoulder.

"Fanho? What are you doing out in Dragon Country?" The girl asked excitedly. Briefly she thought about the fact that this was a diplomatic mission, and that perhaps the Hokage was also here on diplomatic reasonings, but it seemed odd and coincidental that he'd be here at the same time all the same. Her inner detective wanted to piece things together, but clearly she was missing key information. She knew very little of Ken, but it didn't take her empathetic chakra to tell her when he pricked up at the site of the man. Maybe he recognized the man, and like many in Heart was not a fan of ninja?

Likewise, Sen dove into his mind palace for a moment, taking in context clues from the man himself, along with Ken's reaction, and the name provided by Suzuko, before gulping. Will this ruin the mission? Will Ken hold himself back long enough? Will young Suzuko be caught in the crossfire? He asked himself, his pale skin seeming to grow paler by the moment, before he caught himself and smiled, bowing his head to the visitor. "Hokage-san, what a pleasant surprise." He said diplomatically, placing one hand on the back of Suzuko's head and bringing it down to a bow, of which she quickly took the cue and bowed her head as well, reminded of the purpose of this mission she was on.

Sen was dressed in a deep green kimono with images of little trees around the sleeves and hem, a mark from his home country that no longer existed, his demeanor as diplomatically neutral as one could expect from someone of his station. Goro, meanwhile, almost managed to look bored despite the hissing noise coming from his companion. He leaned over and whispered something into his ear, and Ken turned around to whisper something back, before Goro nodded, lighting the cigarette with a mechanical lighter, before stopping his travel, and giving a glance to Sen, and making a come-hither motion to Jiro. Sen knew that look he was given, and nodded. "Of course you're welcome to join us. Noujin-san here would find it his honor to fill you in on our itinerary."

Goro approached, presumably with Jiro following, raising a single hand in a gesture of greeting, clearly not full of the same diplomatic vigor that Sen was. "Smoke?" He asked first, holding out a cigarette for Fanho, and if rejected, would put it into his own mouth alongside the first one. "Name's Goro, by the way. Ken..." Goro jerked his thumb back to the cart. "Is a man of... Anxiety. And he tells us you do not have a good history. " He would light the second cigarette as the cart got further and further away, quickly approaching their resting point. "Now, I won't pretend to agree with all of Ken's sentiments, but I would find it awfully strange if someone he knows, of your position, in particular, happened to show up just in time for a very important diplomatic mission, by complete coincidence." He would take a deep drag of the dual cigarettes, turning his head to blow the smoke away from his 'guests' face. "So, off the record, why are you here?"
"Why's Goro talking to the Hokage with Jiro?" Suzuko asked, giving Ken a weird look from the hissing he was doing.
"Oh, I'm sure he just wants to make sure our new guest is filled in on local customs." He lied, and Suzuko gave him a look that said she didn't believe him.
"You need to come up with better answers, I'm not just some dumb kid, you know."
Last edited by Nick on Wed Dec 06, 2023 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Sun Nov 26, 2023 9:00 pm

The red eyed metal man couldn't help but laugh as goro took a sip and didn't realize what he was taking a sip of. When it was handed back to him, Jiro put a cork on the gourd and attached it back to his side. Jiro realized that this was borderline a debut of Jiro's vibe and capability. So when addressed Sen, the man nodded towards him and simply said "you got it boss, eye'll tone down a little bit." What did that mean exactly? Due to him being sincere and cheery in nature, he certainly couldn't hold back his welcoming personality. In this instance, maybe he wont push his personal sake creation... the sake truly meant for a Kisama who had a heavy tolerance.

Upon exiting the carriage there was a white haired man that welcomed them. Jiro stiffened his back and stood up straight. He wanted to look as large as possible. Yes, he was there for negotiations, but he wanted to show off his size and might to those who would even question him. However, he simply couldn't help it. When Goro used his prickly little finger bangers at him, Jiro couldn't help but rip a big smile and walk with the swagger of a toddler that just convinced his parents to not eat the broccoli on the plate and still get dessert. The man put a pep in his step to catch up with Goro and walk to his right, but a step behind. This way he wouldn't be in the forefront, but he was more or less an emotional support Kisama.

Upon walking up to the white haired man, Goro caught more casual than normal. Based on the interactions, Goro and this man had some kind of history. No! Based on what Goro said, him and this snakey boy had some history. The braided haired man wondered what on earth it could be. But based on the white haired man's demeanor and the snake man borderline hissing a storm brewed by no other god could, there was unquestionable tension. What on earth would this man say? Who is this man? Why does he look the way he does?
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Director » Mon Nov 27, 2023 12:38 am

As Fanho approached the camp his eyes took in all the people within noting them down in the recesses of his brain. Like Sen his mind also took note of Ken's agitation, so as Fanho stepped towards them he positioned himself in a way to keep Sen and Suzuko out of it if Ken were to lose his cold blooded rationale. He flashed a smile to Suzuko keeping Ken's signature imprinted in his mind, the only real threat in the area that knew of the history between the two, but soon the rest would know aside from maybe Suzuko. "Well lets just say I was in the neighborhood doing Hokagely things. Just happened to be in the right place at the right time, huh?"

As Sen quickly approached taking himself to a bow, Fanho returned the bow in kind. Even though he felt stuffy in the Hokage's apparel, and it made him feel old being called Hokage-san, he bared through it. Most people in these positions didn't know any other life or the casual stride some people had to their official step. "Please just call me Fanho. Consider this just me wanting to be tag-along to the ride, and when you see a junior-" He reached down and ruffled Suzuko's hair before sticking his tongue at her. "Well you just gotta stop in to say hi to them right?"

With the official greetings out of the way with the diplomats, it seemed Fanho would meet some people more his speed. Less stuffy and political. Just the right amount of cut to the chase and cut-up for fun for him. At the least it seemed Ken was restrained for a higher purpose at this juncture. Otherwise the snake man may have just tried to rip through anyone in the camp to bite at the chance to take Fanho's head.

At Goro's offer Fanho shook his head, "Appreciated, but smoking isn't my speed. Gotta be kid friendly now." He gestured to the hat and gave a light hearted shrug. He listened as Goro's perception paid off, well really it was apparent to everyone here the tension. Just the question now they asked was the why. It seemed at least they'd hear Fanho's part out, and from what he could pick up on it was an affair of clan relations. A delicate hand to be played on Fanho's part to one, not disturb what Heart relations he wanted to start, but two, he wanted to put Ken down as he was a future threat that he'd have to keep an eye out for, but six feet under was a bit easier to monitor Ken at.

"Well hit the nail on the head ya did." Fanho pointed to Goro and gave a nod at his and Ken's lack of a good history. "Well off the record, Ken is a wanted murderer and attacked a Konoha outpost before the great war. His past isn't just spotted but blood stained too. Saw it with my own eyes, and was the one that fought him off. He's just lucky I cared more about saving the people than going for the kill." His eyes kept everyone in camp in view, from Goro, Jiro, Suzuko, Sen, but most especially Ken. While everything was safe, it wasn't like he could just switch off the part of his brain that made him wary of Ken in particular. "The world isn't in an exactly stable place, and Ken is one threat to the village I could rest easier at night knowing he's no longer around. But seems like that'd foul whats happening here."

The Hokage looked at Jiro and back to Goro before shrugging his shoulders at his own realization. "I know what I want, but I guess just Konoha’s presence as a whole isn’t really favorable in these parts. Seems like I’d spoil your potential plans here, and that’s the opposite of what I’d like to do."

The Hokage took his hat off finally getting fed up with the general stuffiness of his ceremonial garb. With a quick snap of the fingers the hat disappeared into the ether in a purple flash known as the Hokage’s realm. His hand retreated to his imaginary sagely beard as it just stroked his chin. “I know at least we’re frowned upon in these parts, and since I don’t want to spoil what you’re working towards. Maybe there is a way to help each other out, but since I’m apart of the big five I’m not as in-tune with the minor countries like Heart is. Maybe you can help give guidance here.”
Last edited by Director on Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
Konshi, Yuichi - Jounin - Kumogakure no Sato - [color=#0051BA]
Awai, Fanho - Hokage - Konohagakure no Sato - [color=#682860]

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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Wed Nov 29, 2023 6:24 am

Goro stared at the Hokage for a long time, gently breathing in the smoke from his cigarettes, before the first one in his mouth burned out, and he let it lazily fall to his feet where it was stomped out, the newer one shuffling over to fill its place. "You've made an understatement of the century." He said, holding his hands up in a shrug. "The people of Heart are many and varied, but most do not look favorably upon the idea of the 'Grand Five' and their villages tucked away in secrecy, less so after the great war." He had complicated feelings about the subject, himself, especially towards Konoha and Kiri.

Kirigakure may have colonized his old home, stolen it from him, but Konoha were supposed to be allies of Tea. From his point of view, twisted or not, Tea had made moves during the war in attempts to help Fire Country, and as thanks, Fire Country had abandoned them to go off conquering far nations in a great, greedy, goldrush of a landgrab. He did not mention this. He didn't need to, really. If Fanho knew anything about the political scene outside of his walls, he'd know that the folks of the minor countries were in a quiet rage. Certainly, they'd all put up a good show of faith, donating to Steam Country, providing aid to other small villages, allowing their conquered nations some shallow independence... But it rang hollow for some.

"Listen." Goro said, blowing out a huge cloud of smoke over his head. "I don't like Ken. He's not exactly brimming with the samurai spirit that Fuhen professed." He took a long drag without exhaling, the smoke lazily drifting from his lips and nostrils as he spoke. "But... We can't just hand him over. He's still a soldier, at least mostly loyal to the Empire. Jiro?" He said, asking for the man to weigh in with his current knowledge, not because he especially wanted or needed the man's opinions, but he had never met the man before this journey, and wanted to feel out his perspective, especially as a Kisama clansman.

"It'd make us look mighty awful to the Kyoho, right before or after our big meeting... You want guidance?" He gave a little rueful chuckle, shaking his head. "My gut says to give the people their land back, and don't ask foreign nations for prisoners." Goro paused for a moment, his second cigarette running out now, and likewise dropped unceremoniously to the ground and stomped out. "But, to be nice, I'm sure Sen there could set you up with a... go-between diplomat, if you're looking to improve your relationship with your conquered nations. Officially, I don't think Heart will ever endorse Fire Country's... relationship with its vassals, but if it makes you leave, I might be willing to cut a deal."
"Hmm... The three of them are part of the same kendo club?"
"Goro doesn't know how to use a sword."
"He could be learning."
"You said 'could be', so he's not."
"Maybe they're..." Sen leaned in very closely. "In a secret love triangle?"
Suzuko's face turned beat red, and she yelled out nearly at the top of her lungs. "Ew!"
Last edited by Nick on Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Wed Nov 29, 2023 12:00 pm

Truth be told, Jiro thought he was brought along to be more of a vibes guy. In any normal instance he would be. However, in this exact moment, the man was put into the spot light to say... something... anything. What would the man say? Was Goro messing with him. Clearly the hissing man did something wrong, maybe something atrocious. Where did Jiro's line in the sand get drawn... If this Ken guy was bad and did things that Heart normally wouldn't agree with, would he be someone to stick their neck out for? Probably not, since he most likely would bite it based on his previous behavior.

For Jiro, he had to stay loyal. He had to be one for the cause. If that meant he didn't fully agree with it, then so be it. As Jiro's brain was figuring out what to say, there was a slight crack. Everything he workshopped in his died and what came out of his mouth was something drastically different than anticipated. "I don't know the man well, but I echo what Goro said." Jiro would smile largely, he genuinely couldn't help it. The man wasn't the brightest, so he was just happy to be involved. "If ya want..." Jiro would lean in a little bit. "I have some sake to help take the edge off." A gesture to Fanho. It had two meanings behind it that Jiro didn't intend. Jiro was just offering Sake because he was ready to party. However, It was a kind gesture and in his own way tried to lighten up the atmosphere a bit.

Although they were close to each other, Jiro would quickly turn his head to a loud ew. Was it because he leaned in too close? The quick turnaround, would re-focus back up with the group. Jiro would continue to listen, give sake if accepted, and learn from being involved.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Director » Sun Dec 03, 2023 10:48 pm

The Hokage's brain in milliseconds processed hours of resolutions, conflicts, issues, and possibilities of the scenarios before him before he was interrupted with the Sake offer. Fanho grinned but shook his head as he patted Jiro on the shoulder and shot a finger gun at him. "No thanks, I think if I leave an opening ol' Ken boy will try to rip my head off."

Despite the interruption, Fanho thought hard though he logically went through each the only one that felt right was as Goro said. A smirk grew across Fanho's face as he fluttered his eyebrows. "Of course we're not liked and you are. So what's say we use that to your leverage. I'm sure its not needed, but a Heart led effort to bring the rest of Dragon Country back to its original leaders would certainly benefit you guys. Too it just seems like the right thing to do."

He touched his chin as he pondered. In his gut it felt right to return the lands, and in his brain it felt like the tactical move to help position themselves in a good place with the minor countries and Heart itself. "You make a lot of sense, I don't want to sit here and justify Fire Countries moves during the war. Not cause I don't want to make you mad, but because I can't justify it myself. I hate what we did." Fanho sighed at what was left to him. A rough uphill start, lots of people dead in this new battle, and now the relations he wanted to build were tarnished by might make right ideology. He patted his forehead with the palm of his head as he hummed to himself at disappointment.

"Well its too late to undo what was done, but I can make it right." Fanho gave a confident nod. He agreed with Goro, but Fanho didn't feel comfortable outright removing themselves from the region. He wanted to maintain a presence to keep an eye on SoF, and a continued investment from Fire Country into Dragon Country. However, that would be a bigger conversation than just two countryman dudes in the middle of an intermediate campsite.

"So lets use this to your advantage. You're on a diplomatic mission right? Then use this to help yourself out. 'Heart Empire is helping Dragon Country regain its territory in talks with Konoha'. I'd like to start building a friendly coalition with the Minor Countries, so lets use this as a start. I can dive into the details with Dragon Country officials later, but you could use this to break the news and buff yourselves up."

The Awai dropped his thick dark glasses as he gazed at Jiro and Goro, "As for Ken, its up to you if you think keeping a risk like that close to you is worth it. He does it to another village that isn't so friendly then they wouldn't give you the courtesy of at least a conversation." He let the point linger in the air for a minute, from what Goro said it was clear they had their own concerns about Ken, but held onto him for some reason unbeknownst to Fanho.

"I can let it go for now, just keep him on a leash."
Konshi, Yuichi - Jounin - Kumogakure no Sato - [color=#0051BA]
Awai, Fanho - Hokage - Konohagakure no Sato - [color=#682860]

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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:11 am

Goro stared hard for a moment. His face seemed to twist and turn through a variety of emotions and expressions as his mind raced, and finally it seemed to settle on a feeling of familiarity. "You never met the Grand Shogun, did you?" He asked, more as a rhetorical than anything, sticking his hand out slowly for Fanho to shake. "He might've liked you. I'm willing to give you a chance." The scarecrow had a gentle smile on his face, and even as the handshake was happening he pulled out another cigarette for himself, letting it dangle there without lighting it. "I'll bully Sen over there into helping personally. He was Fuhen's favorite, after all."

He waited until the shake was done to pull up his lighter again, clicking it several times to spark it up, barely even inhaling and just letting it start to burn slowly as he instead inhaled deeply through his nostrils, the smoke from the tip of the cigarette winding up into his nostrils. For a moment, he looked up to the sky like a man asking a god for guidance, then tilted his head a bit, as if the answer he received was from a nagging mother. "Mmh, if you're not sticking around for long, you should say hello to Suzuko." Which was probably the nicest thing he'd done for her if you didn't include saving her life, casually turning around to walk back to their little caravan.

"Ninja!" He exclaimed loudly, for anyone to hear nearby, spies, passersby, or otherwise. "An unreasonable sort! Nearly impossible to trust." Goro laid it on a little thickly, throwing his hands up in exasperation and sighing hard enough that the smoke flying from his mouth nearly took a passing bird out of the sky.
"Ooh, looks like Goro got rejected by Hokage-san..."
"Yeah, go Fanho, you don't need stinky Goro in your life!"
"Do you think Jiro would make a better husband?"
"Most of the Kisama I've met have been really nice people! ...Jiro's a little bit of a drunk, though."
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:47 am

The man would nod as he was waved off. He placed his gourd down and attached it back on his hip. With a gentile smile, he would agree with Goro, although he himself has never really met Fuhen either... more so he has heard a lot of legends about him. "It was nice meeting ya Hokage, maybe we could get drinks sometime in a more... appropriate settin?"

With those words, the man would do a small bow. He didn't know the appropriate way to address this guy, but from what he learned, a bow is very proper and polite. With the pleasantries out of the way, Jiro would turn and follow Goro's footsteps. The dreaded man walked up to Goro and softly spoke to him. He did so in a way that wasn't too loud. "Goro, I am gettin antsy, when is dis ting startin?" The group would meet back up with the full group where the hissing boy and princess girl were hanging out. He would give a nod to them as he put both of his hands into his sleeves as he crossed them. What on earth would come next.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Director » Sun Dec 10, 2023 6:40 pm

Fanho shook his head. He never did get a chance to meet the Grand Shogun. Heart was created and Fuhen was killed during Fanho's final Hokage trial. He had seen him in passing but never held a conversation with him. Though the reach of a hand signified what he had hoped to be the beginning of the coalition he wanted. With a firm hand in return grabbing Goro's, the Hokage gave a nod and toothy smile at the notion of a chance being extended. "That's all one can ask for right?"

He followed behind the two as he felt the wind start to change. There was a path before him to bridge the gap and form the alliance he had so desired. A path not bathed in blood and that was different than his predecessors. It would anger the old heads in Fire Country and Konoha, maybe even his friends, but it was a necessary change to bring about what Fanho wanted. A place where Fire Country could be friends with Minor Countries without blood shed or forcing their hand. Lead them on a path that was better which from the looks Heart was already accomplishing. He'd simply ride their coat tails and help push in the direction of a more peaceful world.

Fanho chuckled as Jiro mentioned drinks. "Well if you can stomach being seen with a ninja, I suppose we could throw some little shindig." He cracked a smile as he returned the country man's bow. He walked back with the two at least planning to be in the camp until the Heart envoy had to depart to their own negotiations. Then he'd make his adieu with a final bow and a puff of smoke teleporting him back home.
Konshi, Yuichi - Jounin - Kumogakure no Sato - [color=#0051BA]
Awai, Fanho - Hokage - Konohagakure no Sato - [color=#682860]

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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Tue Dec 12, 2023 3:06 am

Suzuko was a little excited to see that Fanho was walking back towards them with Jiro and Goro, but her face turned to an immediate pout as he poofed away in smoke in classic ninja fashion. Her pout turned to a glare at Goro, as she opened her mouth to complain in his direction. "I can't believe you scared Fanho off!"
The Next Day

After a restful night, including dinner at one of the smaller Kyoho restaurants, the gang moved to a different area of town for their meeting, at an exceedingly large and high-end looking restaurant with gentle wording displaying it as "The Dragon's Heart." A well-groomed servant dressed in black robes greeted them all by name without waiting for introductions, which Suzuko found a little spooky, but Goro didn't seem to react, and for once he'd remembered to put out his cigarette at the door without having to be nagged. The scarecrow seemed to stare at the servant with a raised brow for far too long, as if looking for something in the man's features that he couldn't quite place, as did Ken.

They were lead into the primary seating area, which was either not open this early in the morning, or just as likely had been reserved for this special event, and yet somehow managed to look nearly as busy as a full night with only five people seated on a large, comfortable, eastern style low table. They were conversing amongst themselves, some louder than others, and all dressed quite differently. A large number of others, some obviously members of the family, and others simple hirelings, were working tirelessly, moving ingredients from some unseen storage facility to a room in the back that could be presumed to be the kitchen. At a glance, Goro could guess that the five seated before them were the five family heads of the Kyoho, but couldn't place each of them by appearance alone.

Suzuko trailed in Goro's shadow, dressed nicely but in an unassuming fashion, she was here mostly to watch and observe these important high-end negotiations. Already she could feel her empathetic chakra starting to leech into the new people around her, and there was certainly a mix of emotions that was a little uncomfortable, but she swallowed them down as best she could. The servant that greeted them initially offered them seats, before introducing them one at a time to the Kyoho heads present, before preparing to introduce the heads.
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Tue Dec 12, 2023 4:07 pm

The Red Eyed Warrior was extremely excited to be involved in these negotiations. As the group walked over, Jiro looked over at Suzuko who looked like a combination of anxious and excitement. In hopes that she would look over, if she did he would do a playful wink before he looked forward and continued his smile as they walked forward. The Servant said all of their names in full. This was slightly odd to Jiro and peaked his interest. Especially because, Jiro rarely used his full name. It actually has been used so less, his shortened version of his name was on his file within the Heart Empire. This tiny little detail meant that they somehow did extensive research on not only Jiro, but everyone who visited. How could a small family of people get this kind of intel?

Regardless, they all walked in and it truly was a sight to see. Jiro couldn't believe how fancy they were dressed and how delicious the entire room smelt. It was exciting. Although they were there for negotiations, Jiro could extremely distracted by elegance and class of these people. With the intel that they had regarding this family of people, Jiro had no clue that they had this side to them. At the moment, it seemed like they had all the cards and were holding them close to their chests.

Before any of the group could really react, a slight noise of 2-3 harps began to play an elegant song. When the Harps began, they were soft and slow. Only to get faster and louder as time went on, until the climax of the song hit. At that moment the head of the table, the middle of the 5 sitting down stood up. She reached behind her back and at the same time, the other 4 seemed to have reached to the ground. The Ceremony had started.

As part of negotiations this was the standard ritual for starting a conversation that required all of the heads. When the leader put her hand behind her back, the harps softly went back to playing a normal slow, elegant pace. The leader whipped out a cleaver in the air. As she did that, the others took out cooking knives and lifted them in the air. At the moment they reached their peaks, waiters and waitresses placed a small wooden square to the right of their tables where they sat. All 5 of the house leaders spun their blades from pointing up to pointing down. They then, in unison, slammed their knives into the wooden squares and let go of their handles. The blades all rested in the wood and the leader who was standing put both of her hands out as if to welcome them.

She announced that "the ceremony has officially started, please take a seat and we will begin." With those words, the same waitstaff came over with chairs for everyone to sit in.
Last edited by Texas on Mon Dec 18, 2023 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:37 am

None present were familiar firsthand with the traditions of the clan aside from Ken. Goro, at least, was a seasoned warrior who'd met warriors of many cultures and types, and maintained a fairly neutral look to himself even at the worst of times, and so he did not react to the blades being pulled out, nor jammed down into the butcher's block, though his bandages slightly loosened imperceptibly underneath his sleeve. Sen, while not a warrior, was well-versed in the diplomatic goings-on of most known cultures of the continent, and more importantly had grilled Ken on any traditions that he should be aware of, yet still the impact of the blades in the block earned a flinch from him.

Suzuko, being neither a seasoned warrior nor well-versed in any kind of diplomacy aside from occasionally watching what the Kisama referred to 'diplomacy' where they wrestled while arguing. She let out a little 'Eep!' as the blades were pulled free, and uncomfortably shifted into something vaguely resembling a fighting stance for half a second, before realizing nobody else was reacting this way, and trying to make it look like she'd just lost her footing temporarily, causing her to actually lose her footing temporarily, leaning on Goro to avoid falling over completely. He looked down at her with a raised brow. She still had a long way to go.

Suzuko's reaction was likely to earn an amused look from any passersby, or possibly indicate a weakness to be exploited, and she realized that she'd possibly not just made a fool of herself, but all present representing the empire. Her face flushed red, and she began sweating at a prodigious rate. She put her head down as she took a seat, trying to make herself as small as possible, but still keeping a keen look around. She was here to learn, after all, and while she was already disappointed in herself, she was doing her best to not let that spiral into further disappointing actions.

"Esteemed Kyoho hosts, we thank you today for having us, and for the meals we are about to receive, whose aroma already excites our tastebuds yet half-cooked." Sen said, bowing before the heads before taking his seat. Goro resisted the urge to immediately light a cigarette. Suzuko took note of the way he phrased things, and maybe more importantly, the structure of the words. A thank you, a compliment, and an understanding. She didn't know much about Ken or his family, which was part of today's learning experience, but she'd heard him and Sen talking on the way to Dragon Country, and that was enough to start to understand how important food was to the people of the Kyoho.

She looked up, a little unshrunken as her interest was piqued in what was going on with the people around her. Goro nodded to the hosts, and Sen began to introduce those on his side of the table from left to right, but skipping over himself between Suzuko and Jiro to introduce himself last. "Allow me to introduce your guests. Noujin, Goro, member of the Empire's internal affairs, and teacher at Doushikai Academy. Fukazawa, Suzuko, Fuyubushi and Academy student, here to learn. Kisama, Ginjiro, Natsubushi and representative of the Kisama clan. Kyoho, Ken, great snake sage whom I am sure needs no further introductions..." He took a deep breath, and refreshed his pleasant smile. "And I am Matsumatsu, Sen. Aide to the Shogun, and diplomat."
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Mon Jan 08, 2024 3:09 pm

Jiro was silent during this part of the conversation, simply put, it wasn't his place. The man was wise enough to know that this point of the conversation was dedicated for the leaders. His part would come shortly if everything worked out well. The red eyed man didn't mind being arm candy... better yet, a glorified trophy warrior. A prime example of the fruitful success of a clan with great talents that joined the Heart Empire.

The leader of the clan was a Woman named Kyoto, Izumi. Her specialization cooking type that her branch of the family focused on were desserts. Although it wasn't a designated style, they often switched up every couple of years what they would study and master. Because of this technique, they have solidified themselves as the leader of the clan for the majority of the time.

She stood by herself while the other family leaders sat, signifying that she was in charge for the time being. She watched as Sen spoke up, introducing their group. Izumi nodded and stared the man in the eyes as he spoke. Her piercing glare set the tone that not only was she listening, but she was breaking down his tone and mannerisms to determine his true intention. At the end of the day, her clan rested in her hands. Once he finished, she followed up. She kept her arms down, resting on the table as she spoke. Oddly enough, she kept her hand near the cooking knife.

"I see. Well I am Kyoto, Izumi. The leader of the Five Families of the Kyoto. We appreciate the introduction, although we are well aware of each and everyone one of you." As she finished that sentence, her arms would be lifted up and folded over her chest. "We are also aware of your history," she noted as she did a quick glare to Ken and his antics, then to Goro, before continuing. "And we are also aware of why you are here and what it could mean for us. Before I negotiate with myself, I would like to hear from you. Why are you here."

Truth be told, the Kyoto clan appreciated Izumi as a leader and had grown incredibly fond of her. She always put the clan first and had proved in the past that her use of the Kyoto's capabilities aided heavily in her cold/calculated way of running things. She wanted to put the group on edge and wanted to place them on tilt. Izumi was very interested in seeing how their leader would react knowing to their clan having a lot of information on them.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Tue Jan 09, 2024 3:10 pm

Sen's smile remained unphased. Internally, he noted a few things about the way she spoke, and the content was just as important as anything else. "Of course, I would never insult the intelligence of any here by implying you don't already know, but..." He started, mischievously, clearly having done his own research into the proclivities of the clan with Ken's help. "The Heart Empire wishes to extend a hand to the entirety of the Kyoho clan as it has for both Ken and the entirety of the Kisama clan, and it hopes that you will extend your hand as well in a... mutually beneficial partnership." He said, shaking his hands free of his sleeves.

"The Empire would like to make a... generous donation towards the world of culinary research, and fund the creation of, or moving of, Kyoho restaurants within the Empire... And beyond." His fingers interlaced on the table in front of him, nodding briefly to Goro. "Your... Unique talents and specialties are something that the Empire lacks compared to the other large countries. Not to mention the morale boost everyone benefits from having new, exciting restaurants opened around them!" He finished, keeping the unsaid, unsaid, but at least strongly implying he knew more about them than most.

"Dragon country is recovering slowly from the war, and while Heart is already offering aid where possible, such a dramatic loss of land, power, and people in a war cannot be understated. With that said, we'd like to ask what the Kyoho clan would like in exchange for certain... Exclusivity."
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Tue Jan 09, 2024 3:32 pm

Truth be told, Dragon country was a dump before Konoha obtained it. Even with its rule, not much has changed. Sure crime has gone down, but overall Dragon's Breath felt more like an asset, a tool, than the complete set of the Fire Country. With strife comes opportunity. Many members of the Clan have been able to make their way to a various of roles within Dragon's Breath. One of them was even on the puppet council deep in the underbelly. However, with that knowledge, the common theme was the country as a whole would not be able to truly implode without the reins of Konoha being released. In order for Dragon's Breath and the rest of the Dragon Country to improve, they needed to eat themselves alive. If the country were to fall, be destroyed, and then rebuilt, the resources and location of the Country could prove prosperous.

Izumi smirked at the quick tongued leader. He was great with his words and she very much picked up on what he was saying. A good start perhaps... but it might still not be enough. The Kyoto did a great job of being covert in their identity, while also being known with the locals. Not a lot of people messed with their clan, mainly because of the tourist attraction they provided. People all over the world would come to the markets to not only buy black market items, but get a taste of foods that weren't even known to the common world. This made them an asset to Dragon's Breath no matter what way you cut it.

The dark haired woman with ocean blue eyes gazed upon their leader as he finished speaking. Although their place was cemented in the country they resided in, their safety was never truly guaranteed. All it would take would be a lesser kind nation to "invite" them to their country. It did intrigue the leader that this nation was a Samurai based Empire. With the rule of Konoha, she was sick of Ninja, like that snakey snake in their group. "An enticing offer indeed." She would look around the room to the other leaders sitting down holding their knives in the cutting boards. Her head would meet back up to Sen. "I will admit, Dragon's Breath and the Country as a whole has structurally grown since Konoha's rule. However, those are bandages on a missing limb. As we stand here, the country is only slowly eating themselves alive." She would begin to gaze into each member. Starting with Sen, Goro, Snakey Boy, Jiro, and she would finish her statement to the young, but interesting girl that attended. Truth be told, they actually did not have as much intel on Suzuko. What they did know were only rumors, however her being here and no other young ones might reinforce some things they have heard.

While her eyes were locked with Suzuko she would finish her thoughts. "That is not good enough. We were forged from the swamps and we have made this place our home. Even if we were to accept your offer, it wouldn't be right to leave this country in the dust with nothing but crippling rule." Her idea of crippling rule was the idea of Dragon's Breath getting better slowly. She wanted the country to truly start over in a faster.... more drastic way. When she finished her sentence, she would gaze upon Sen waiting for a response.
Last edited by Texas on Tue Jan 09, 2024 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Thu Jan 11, 2024 9:56 am

Suzuko's heart skipped a beat with the matriarch of the clan staring directly at her, and she didn't know how to respond. Was she being sized up like a cut of meat? Was she being judged? She knew being invited to something like this wasn't totally unusual, but was she so unwelcome as to be a distraction all the same? She wasn't being spoken to despite the attention placed on her, and while her initial reaction was to dip her head, raise her shoulders, and make herself seem as small as possible while avoiding eye contact... Her mind flashed to a vision of some internal strength she couldn't quite place, and she didn't feel malice coming off of the string attaching her to Izumi. In an instant, her head raised and her shoulders squared, before she locked direct eye contact with the clan leader, able to maintain an air of confidence, for now.

"I know all-too-well what war can do to a proud country." Sen said, taking a much more somber tone, his gentle smile turning into more of a thoughtful frown. "Forest Country was where I once called my home, before the villages decided to play their war games with people's lives..." He gazed off over Izumi's shoulder for a moment, before tracing her gaze back to young Suzuko. "Suzuko, too, is a refugee, sent away from the Land of Holy Towers as a baby to find protection elsewhere. Neither of our home countries exists, these days." The younger girl maintained her prideful eye contact, and made a motion with her torso to display her samurai's badge, marking her country of origin, and her rank.

"But, Forests and Holy City of Towers are not our topic of discussion, today. Just yesterday, we had a meeting with the Hokage of Konohagakure. I'll leave it to Noujin-san here to give the briefing on that."

Goro made a motion with his mouth like he was blowing smoke out, but none would come, as he hadn't lit a cigarette still. He looked almost disappointed, and reached into his jacket to pull one out, sticking it in his mouth, unlit. "Hokage-san had some choice words about our friend Ken, here, and some of his... Checkered past." He didn't bring up the specifics, trusting that they were either unimportant enough, or that the clan and their proclivities may have tipped them off to what Ken had been up to since his departure from Dragon Country. "But, he seems at least partially more friendly to the pleas of the people than his predecessor. With a bit of... gentle encouragement, he has agreed to work to restoring Dragon Country to its former glory, without the leadership of Fire Country souring things."

Sen nodded his thanks to Goro, having already discussed with him the importance of such things. "The Heart Empire is invested twofold in this endeavor." He assured her, making sure to make eye contact with each of the clan heads one by one. "He also mentioned something about returning it to its original leadership... But Heart would prefer in the new leaders of the country were more... Sympathetic towards the little people than its previous, slave-loving leaders were. I'm sure a bit of political pressure from a global power, and the advisement of well-respected locals such as yourselves could make some positive changes happen. You need simply say the word of what you need."
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Tue Jan 16, 2024 12:40 pm

Looking down at Suzuko and seeing her transition to a slight squirm, then to a confident pose caused Izumi to form a slight smirk. There was hope for her yet. She wasn't nearly as timid as she thought she would be. Izumi kept her hands down as she surveyed the room.

Izumi shot a look at one of the "staff" that was working the event. The "staff" member gave her a slight nod. It had seemed that their information gathering was good, but not instant. This type of information peaked the interest of the Kyoho Clan leader. However, in her time as a leader and a member of the five families.... she had learned that nothing is too good to be true. With this mentality, the strong willed woman took a gaze upon Sen and would shift to Goro as well.

"Being born and raised within the Dragon Country's harsh rule of reality, we are extra cautious when it comes to offers that sound too good to be true."[/color] Izumi would shift her eyes to each house leader before continuing her part. "I speak for all of us when I say, nothing is nearly as good as it seems. I find this information a bit too convenient and greatly aids your position. Be honest with me" she locked eyes with Sen before finishing, "because I will know if you are not. What is in it for you? Why seek us out and offer us something that would make us foolish to refuse?" Her glare was piercing. It would feel as if she was looking deep into Sen's soul. Her true goal was to have him bluntly say what was on his mind. At this point, her curiosity was taking full control of her behavior. What would he say?

Due to this clan living and growing up in Dragon's breath/Dragon's Country, they have been forced to deal with many people of different walks of life. Over the years, information gathering became natural to the clan. This trait has aided them in many things such as avoiding assassinations, establishing who is in gangs and leaders of those gangs, and even sifting through people who were honest and lying.
Last edited by Texas on Tue Jan 16, 2024 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Tue Jan 23, 2024 1:05 pm

In a man's life were many choices. In Sen's life, most of those choices had been taken from him. His family was all but wiped out in the great war, what was once a great merchant empire was reduced to rubble before his very eyes, and what were once vast fortunes were replaced with dust. That wasn't to say that he'd had many choices before then, either, as the pressures from his family pushed in on him and gave him little to do but follow the patriarch that had decided his life up until that point. Then along had hopped a frog, too late to save the merchant empire, too late to save his family, but just in time to save him. At first, he followed Fuhen around because he felt like he had no choice. What could he do in a wartorn country besides follow the strongest he could find?

But then Fuhen gave him choices. Many choices. And those choices didn't stop, until he was making choices FOR other people, and that was finally what had given him the "Aide to the Grand Shogun" title he'd held onto so proudly. Now he had another choice. He felt strongly that he could lie, or at least give enough of a political answer that it wouldn't constitute a lie, and the matriarch would be forced to accept his answer either way... Or he could tell her the truth. In this moment of strife, his mind went back to the first day he met Fuhen...

Slowly, his right hand reached into his robes, unhooked a little wooden talisman from a clasp around his neck, and slowly slid it onto the table in front of him. On it, in bold kanji, read his name, rank, and his country of origin, similar to Suzuko's. "Not everybody wants this." He said, rather suddenly, his voice becoming quieter. "I'm not even certain Grand Shogun Fuhen would have wanted this." Sen continued, shifting his eyes to look at Goro out of the corner of his vision. "Those who wish to maintain the sanctity of 'the old ways' say that those who aren't quite... naturally human... don't belong in an empire of samurai. Even those that don't mind don't believe in what they might consider 'dishonorable activities'." He was, of course, speaking of their unique stretchy bodies, and their spying capabilities. Even some of those that respected Fuhen found his frog-like nature detestable.

"Those of the newer generation are generally much more kind towards such things, but my loyalties do not lie with either of them." He moved his finger across the text of his samurai badge, as if he was considering what it meant to him. He certainly was not what one thought of when they imagined a samurai, barely knowledgeable in the arts of fighting, and in some ways, a coward. "My loyalty, and the loyalties of those I represent, lie within the deceased Grand Shogun's vision for an empire called Heart. A village hidden within the heart of its people, not among a forest, not among the mountains, not hidden within a desert, and not obfuscated by mist."

He picked up his talisman, and clicked it against the table a couple of times, before slowly pulling it back into his robes. "But, protecting a class of people seen as barely human by the powers that have ruled the world for hundreds of years takes more than a dream and an ambition. It takes knowledge. Samurai are no stranger to this, wars are fought by warriors, but won by tacticians, after all. But, war can also be avoided through, or caused by knowledge all the same. The negotiator in me should not say this, but the Empire needs the Kyoho as much as, or perhaps more, than you need us. But I'm not here to offer you a trade deal. I'm here to sell you on a dream. His dream. This isn't to say there's no benefit to be had from it, but if you aren't as sold on the vision as you are on the benefits, then I'm afraid we've only wasted eachother's time."
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:17 pm

Izumi stood there, staring into the eyes of Sen. His demeanor, body language, vocal tonal change, and overall aura felt true to the heart. When he initially reached into his pocket a couple of the staff members reached behind them. When the reveal of the token, they all relaxed.

The strong willed woman listened intently. Heart Samurai had proven their worth of being both Honest and Honorable. This is a quality that Izumi and her entire clan were not used to. Although they had good intel on Sen, what they failed to obtain was information about his emotional state and what toll that his life has taken on him. The instant Sen finished, Izumi paused. She looked around at the staff and then she looked around at each of the Family Heads.

She reached down with her right hand and took her knife out of the wooden block. The second she did it, everyone sitting at the table got up and left. Swiftly. It was silent as not only the Heads of the Family left, but the staff members as well. While holding her knife up near her chest, Izumi spoke up when everyone left. "I look out for my Clan and Family first. As you may or may not be aware, we don't choose our leader based on their capabilities. The opportunity for anyone to lead within the Head of the Families is available. Admittedly so, I have not won the head of the Clan every time. However, those that have won in the passed have entrusted me with this position time and time again. Why would they do that? Because they believe in my vision and entrust the future I have paved so far, continue to be successful and prosperous. I am nowhere near the uniter or the warrior that Fuhen was, but within my small community they have entrusted me with leading" She noted as her attention diverted to looking at the knife. She looked at Sen and then the rest of them as she stood there alone, speaking from her heart similar to Sen.

"We appreciate you coming here today. My fellow clansmen, brothers, sisters, cousins, have all made an opinion regarding this situation. Them leaving is the last phase of our conversation." She would lift the knife in the air by simply just bending her elbow. "The decision is made, but not official." She would gaze upon Suzuko again. She was slightly awkward the first time they interacted, and simply couldn't help but put her on the spot again. "As a clan we believe in no secrets between the clan. No secrets between family, that is how we have strived for so long. We do not punish for mistakes, although it rarely happens. We punish for dishonesty and lying. Now Suzuko," she intensely tried to look into the soul of the young girl. "You Suzuko, are the future that your leader Sen is trying to keep together. The past was the creation of this purpose and the future is the reason he is trying to grow and preserve it. Young future of the Heart, answer these two questions honestly. I will know if you are lying. Your answers will solidify our answer. What does the Heart Empire mean to you? How will you help preserve the essence of your nation in the future? And tell me one thing that everyone in this room might not know about you." Izumi held her knife in the air, glared at Suzuko, and was stern in her voice. In truth, the last question didn't matter. It was more to keep her on the spot. What really mattered were the first two questions. The third was just to mess with her.
Last edited by Texas on Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
Test Thread

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Nick
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: Strat's mom's house

It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Fri Jan 26, 2024 8:24 am

Sen's eye's widened, and he wanted to say something, but bit the inside of his cheek instead, hard enough to draw blood. His head remained forward, but he looked at Suzuko sitting nearby out of the corner of his eye and his heart skipped a beat. The girl was as loyal to the empire as any child could be, but she was also just that, a child. Certainly, he'd been giving her political tips and pointers all the way over, but he hadn't expected that she'd be put on the spot like this, especially not with questions like that.

Suzuko did not expect a lot of things. She was eleven years old, after all, and didn't really understand her place in the world, and was just starting to get old enough to question that she had a place in the world in the first place, her evolving brain was an ever-changing enigma of shifting thoughts and interests that even those trained in understanding the brain would have trouble fully comprehending in a short enough period of time to still have an accurate idea of what it was. However, she was, at the end of the day, a child of Heart.

As her name was called, she immediately began to sweat, visibly. The attention on her was a lot to take in all at once, moreso than the staring that had occurred previously, and she did not have the emotional control to not have a panic attack at the table when asked to pass the potatoes, let alone when asked such important political questions... But then Izumi made a mistake. As the last question left her lips, the sweating suddenly stopped, and the question intended to put her on her back foot made her feel more comfortable than ever. A question like that was the kind of cheesy thing that young teachers liked to do when they were trying to get to know their students!

"Heart is home!" She said, rather confidently for an eleven year old, and while Sen continued to bite the inside of his cheek, he didn't hate that gut reaction of an answer. "I don't really... Remember the Holy City of Towers..." She started, making a scrunched up face like she was trying to remember something specific. "And I never had any blood relatives like the other kids... But the Mizutane took me in, so Heart took me in!" Not bad either, even if it was a little different for a child taken in by a noble family to be accepted rather than a common street urchin. "But it's not just me, I've got classmates from all over! Daisuke's from Grass Country, and he lost his family in the war... And he's been given a bed, food, and he gets to go to school with us all the same!" Sen relaxed a little. Maybe this wasn't so bad.

"He's kind of a jerk." Sen blanched and tensed up again. "But he's got the same chance as me, a mighty and powerful noble! The teachers at the school say it's my job as a mighty and powerful noble to make sure that everyone gets that chance, I think that's neat!" Goro couldn't hold himself back, and laughed, a raucous laugh that almost didn't fit his frame. "And, uhh..." She put a finger to her chin, thinking for a moment. "Oh! I totally support Goro and Jiro's relationship!" Goro's laughter caught in his throat, and the unlit cigarette in his mouth fell back in and he choked on it, coughing, not expecting that last answer to Izumi's last question.
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
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Grand Shogun of River
Suzuko
Just another girl

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Texas
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 8:00 pm

It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Texas » Mon Jan 29, 2024 3:24 pm

Jiro was watching this whole interaction, from the beginning. However, he did not expect what would happen at the end. Because of the suddenness of it, the man couldn't help but smile a bit. However, like anything funny in class, it is even funnier when you know you aren't suppose to laugh. This caused the muscular drunk to turn his back to the ground and look the opposite way. He used everything in his power to not laugh. If the room erupted with laughter, he would let if fly and turn around. If it was serious, he would wait until he could truly hold it before fully turning back around.

Over the course of Suzuko's grand explanation, Izumi listened and did not waiver in eye contact. Even when she seemed to get distracted by herself.... However, what the leader of the Kyoho wanted to see was someone who was authentic. There were too many meetings where people wanted something and promised them the world. Their younger members would be coached and give her some bull shit answer on something that she could care less about. No. What she witnessed in front of her, granted this girl was a little weird, was a true and authentic person. This is what she was looking for. Someone they could trust. With their troubles in line combined with a future as bright as the smiles that were hidden in the room, Izumi couldn't help but acknowledge not only the group that schlepped themselves all the way to Dragon Country, but each individual as well.

After Suzuko's rant/speech, Izumi put her free hand up to her mouth. She then burst into laughter. Based on the body language of the others, and Jiro himself trying to physically remove himself from the situation, she could tell that this joke was a good one! After some of her laughter settled, Izumi had a smile on her face that she hadn't shown them yet. This was a genuinely happy smile, one that was warm and welcoming. Almost the exact opposite of her cold, yet calculated looks she would give while analyzing each and every word that the group was saying. "Well Suzuko, there is hope for you yet." Upon finishing that sentence, an eerie silence flooded the room. Izumi put her free hand down while lifting the knife in the air. She would lunge it down to the wooden carving and release her grip of it. "In truth, we had already voted on what we would do with you guys arriving here. With all of us putting our knives in the wooden chunks, we have agreed that this would be a great and prosperous opportunity for us. We only ask that the freedom of Dragon Country be put on your list of priorities. It is refreshing to see a group care about others and have created an empire built on that. We are so used to people only caring for themselves, we have lost trust in nearly anyone but us. However, showing your authentic self and proving you all are more than just a blade and a lie means more to us than anything else."

Izumi clapped her hands twice and then made an announcement. "Now, per our customs we will have a two part party. One will be right here and right now. The second will be when we arrive to the Heart Empire." With that clap, the room became loud! Kyoho were trained to be silent in nature and they excitedly jumped out with massive trays of a million different assortment of food. BBQ, Ramen, Sweets, Roasted Vegetables, and much more. They were going to invite this group to engage in their customs. Since now, this was going to be something that HAD to be accepted within the Heart Empire!
Characters
NameVillageRank
Hatake, TenzinKonohagakure no SatoBannin - [color=#BF0000]Text Color[/color]
Ishiguro, AkihikoKumogakure no SatoChuunin - [color=#FF4080]Text Color[/color]
Kisama, GinjiroHeart EmpireNatsubushi - [color=#80BF80]Text Color[/color]
MurasakiIwagakure no SatoGenin - [color=#FF8040]Text Color[/color]
Shimizu, OhtaWater Country - Kirigakure no SatoGenin (D-Rank) - [color=#BF40FF]Text Color[/color]
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Nick
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: Strat's mom's house

It's a bit of a Stretch

Post by Nick » Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:05 am

Suzuko looked incredibly pleased with herself, while Goro glare at her from the next seat over looking like he wanted to strangle her. She didn't exactly get the joke, because based on her previous conversation with Sen, the relationship between the two men seemed like the most likely outcome of their three-way conversation earlier. She laughed awkwardly with the adults all the same, because she was definitely one of them now, right?

The raucous party was something to be enjoyed by all, and while Heart was already a melting pot of so many different cultures, the culinary expertise and variety of the Kyoho were something new to be experienced altogether. Goro awkwardly avoided hanging around Jiro for the rest of the party for appearances, and Suzuko mostly hung around Sen or Jiro awkwardly, trying a variety of foods until her stomach was stuffed and someone probably had to help carry her to bed.

Even Goro had to admit, Suzuko didn't fuck this one up, even if it was Sen that did most of the work.
"It's so sad!" the reader said to the writer with a frown. "The character in my book just died!" The author turned to her and burst out into tears, "I know!" he said, "So did mine!"
Ninja Info CardsShow

Grand Shogun of River
Suzuko
Just another girl

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