[Legends] The Pebble That Started an Avalanche

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[Legends] The Pebble That Started an Avalanche

Post by Ace Trainer » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:48 am

Mistaki, Shio stood at the center of the circular room, his hands behind his back. In the 3 years he had served as Tanshō, the small boy had not grown at all. It perplexed the samurai that served under him, but as Tanshō they were obligated to respect him out of tradition, and even then he had earned that respect two-fold during his tenure. Iron had long stood as the 'peace keeping' force of the world, and the samurai had long missions where they would intervene and serve to defend people against the activities of shinobi, it was their solemn duty. It had appeared, however, that Shio had other plans as Tanshō, he was quick to begin offering support to other nations, not in the form of force, but in the form of knowledge. Shio did not hesitate to dispatch his trainers and teachers alongside his samurai, and empower the minor country of Pebble to grow in strength. This change in course was similar to what they had done in the past, but meant that their exit would not have the potentiality of a vacuum, something they had found to be deeply consequential in the long history of Iron.

"هذا جيد", he would offer in the local tongue of the samurai. The two samurai at his side would nod their heads and walk off to both of his sides, exiting the room. This left Shio with 3 men in the room, all men much older than him, likely in their 30s. They were practically identical, long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, tanned skin, large hands covered in calluses. These were native men of Pebble, transformed into warriors by the samurai forces of Iron. Each had risen through the hierarchal structure that Iron had introduced to Pebbles army, and a once simplistic country ravaged by war had transformed into a military state.

"Its a pleasure to see you all.", Shio would say, turning to look at each for a moment, "You've done a great job, in a rather short period of time you've gone from a country eternally struggling between to superpowers, to a superpower in your own right. I'm glad we were able to accompany you for that journey. But Iron Country has other priorities to manage, and you all are more than capable of tending for yourselves at this point. I regret to inform you that Iron Country will be exiting your land. The Land of Fur, and all the land we have moved through together is under your control, Iron will retain only its homeland.", the tone Shio was using implied this was some sort of conversation, or that there was an intent to create dialogue, but his words were firm, more like instructions than suggestions.

"And what of us?", the first would speak. His name was Hanzō, and Shio had taken a particular liking to him. Hanzō was slightly younger than the other two men, perhaps 31 or 32. His face was hardened by war, a broad jaw that seemed to always be clenched, thick eye brows that always seemed pushed together in thought. His most distinctive feature was the scar that crossed his lips and extended down to his neck, a wound that spoke lengths of the man's durability to have survived. "Who will stand in your place?", he asked.

Shio turned to look directly at Hanzo, pausing for a moment. "My initial thought had been to follow the customs of Iron, and you three would fight for the title of Tanshō much as I had.", albeit Shio had the advantage of chakra to benefit him. Hanzō practically flinched at the notion, he was likely the least confident of himself of the three men in the room. Despite having been the first to speak up when it came to meetings with Shio, he was often the most docile of the three, and didn't seem to enjoy engaging in conflict.

One of the other men would speak at this point, "It hardly seems appropriate for the top men in each of our forces to meet each other in combat.", he had a gruff voice. Going by Ujizane, his most stand out feature was his beard, which had grown quite long in the time Shio had gotten to know him. The thick curly beard was mostly brown, with strands of red and black peppered into it.

Shio's eyes thinned, Ujizane had been Shio's least favorite to work with. He was extremely disappointed that Ujizane had risen so far through the ranks, having found working with Ujizane to be quite a headache. Every move Shio made had been questioned by Ujizane, even when it was clear Ujizane didn't know what was happening around him. Unlike Hanzō who used his brain in combat, Ujizane had clearly survived by brute force and brute force alone. "Yes.", he nodded, "I agree. Which is why I won't be proposing that. But, a country must have a leader. Who would you elect?", he asked.

"Would we not just each vote for ourselves, then you would be left to decide Tanshō-sama.", Hanzō offered. He wanted not for the authority of the entire country, but if it came down to him or either of these men, he would regretfully take the position. Ujizane nodded in agreement, he was far to confident in himself to bend the knee to either of these men. "There must be another option."

Shio had considered this, he'd also considered compelling them to vote for someone not in the room, but thrusting that authority onto a lower-level samurai seemed contradictory to the hierarchy he had installed in the country. To be quite honest he wouldn't mind the men fighting each other, perhaps even to the death. Ujizane certainly wouldn't win, he may be the strongest among them but these were the elites in their military, brute force alone wouldn't suffice. Shio would be pleased to see the fall of Ujizane. His mind wandered at the thought, perhaps due to his growing distaste for having to continue this meeting. Taking a deep breath, he brought himself back to center, "What alternatives do you have to offer then?", it was frustrating that he was having to guide these grown men to determining a resolution on their own, perhaps more frustrating that Shio didn't have a straightforward answer.

The last man, having said nothing thus far, would speak at this point. Ieyasu had a scar that crossed his left eye, and the grey iris and pupil would betray his partial blindness. In spite of that, Ieyasu was without question the most skilled samurai in the room, his broad shoulders and stature betrayed the immense strength he had control over. His words came slowly, "Perhaps nothing should change.", he suggested from his seat.

Shio turned to him, curious. He had always had a problem getting clarity as to what exactly Ieyasu's deal was, what he was about. Ieyasu projected very little energy, his words always had been deliberate, much like the way he fought. Ieyasu had lead the charge on many of the minor skirmishes Pebble had fought as it paved it's path across the continent. "What do you mean by that?", he asked.

Ieyasu stood at this point, "We stand as the three leaders of Pebble's forces. Pebble's reach now extends far. We should exist as a tribunal, with each of us guiding our forces separately. When intervention is needed, the leader best suited to address it would take charge to address it.", he proposed simply. Both Hanzō and Ujizane listened intently, their minds clearly processing what Ieyasu was suggesting, "We'll split Pebble into three provinces.", he raised three fingers, "Ore, under you, Hanzō, Mineral for you, Ujizane, and Quartz for myself. We each have our specializations and will direct our troops as we see fit. We'll convene together to make decisions for Pebble as a whole, but will otherwise rule our provinces as we see fit. A tribunal will allow us to direct our powers as needed, and disallow any one leader from controlling any singular decision.", he explained shortly.

Shio nodded, seemingly agreeing with Ieyasu's suggestion, "The Land of Iron will not stand as a balancing force for you. They have stood far to long as the peacekeepers of this land, so you will be on your own to manage these issues.", he responded, "This seems like a good resolution.".

Hanzō seemed to still processing, and while Ujizane looked displeased, he nodded in agreement, "I can accept these terms.", he responded begrudgingly. He would withdraw his sword, standing with it as he did so. Shio would step to the side, it appeared new traditions were being born.

Hanzō, seeing this, would nod thoughtfully. He hadn't appeared to come to any definitive conclusion, but the bar had been set, if the two of them agreed it was unlikely he would change their opinion. Standing, he too would draw his sword, standing to meet the men in the middle. They each placed their swords against each other, and Ieyasu would speak, "And the tribunal has been formed.".

Shio would take a few more steps away, looking back at the men as they spoke amongst themselves, resheathing their weapons. He could hear talks about borders, but it seemed his job was done. Quietly, he would push a door open and step through it. Pebble Country now stood with three states, and a tribunal at it's head.
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