The Chai House

Cernunnos and Golnax

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Cernunnos
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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:18 am

Hato sat down on a nearby bench, counting the gold and silver coins within the pouch. The genin had completed an escort mission from Konohagakure to Tokugashou City, and had earned a generous tip from the client, a wealthy businessman who needed safe passage to the nearby city. Hato being a member of the Hyuuga clan, had the tools of the Byakugan to maintain constant alert of potential threats, and the mission was completed with success. Hato escorted the businessman through a well-known safe track, and the chance of encountering bandits or highwaymen was low. From what he heard, the man had secured a lucrative business deal with the Toshikane family and was on his way now to finalise the arrangement.

Hato completed the mission with a Chunin, who was assigned as the more experienced shinobi. The Chunin was quiet and reserved and wasn't one for small-talk. Hato barely knew anything about the ninja, only that he had extra work in Tokugashou City, and that Hato was to locate him later on. The instructions were vague and they never decided on a meetup spot or specific time, perhaps this was how all experienced shinobi acted.

It wasn’t long before Hato was required to return to the village, however it was imperative to restock on supplies, eat a nice meal and drink some good tea. Hato was hunkering for something sweet, a jasmine and honey would hit the spot. Hato perched up from the bench, stretching out his legs before taking in a glance of his surroundings. It was his first time in Tokugashou city, meaning Hato would need to explore to find a decent tea house. The city was big, however tea shops weren’t hard to come by in the Land of Fire. One immediately caught his attention, the ‘Chai House.’

Upon entering the establishment, Hato was greeted and shown to a table. The table was positioned in the corner of the house, near a window that overlooked the city. The cushion was comfy, and Hato was happy to finally rest his legs for an extended period.

“One jasmine tea please, and don’t forget the honey!”

He wondered if that was a mistake, as the thought of a delicious chai tea would also hit the spot. The aromatic fragrance suffocated the room escaping through the window, only serving to draw more patrons into the shop. He noticed that the tea house was becoming fairly busy and they were soon to run out of spots, that came with being in a populous city such as Tokugashou.
Last edited by Cernunnos on Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Golnax
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:39 pm

Toukugashou city had always occupied a strange place in Aimi Kaguya's heart. He had only ever been to the large Fire Country city twice before in his life and both times were on missions. Thus the city was first and foremost for him a place of work, and one of the original of his disdain for stealth. Both times he had been in the city previously he had been required to wear a disguise. The transformation jutsu was among his least favorite yet they had been essential during those times, for a Kaguya was simply too easily recognized without such an aide.

Despite the air of professionalism that the city maintained to him, there was always a part of him that actually enjoyed how different it all was from the village he knew. The wide, open streets, the charming architecture, the abundant people moving around without care. People enjoying food or drink, an honest gambling hall or a colorful stall - there was little more that he could think of that was so... Different from all that he knew. Thus the city had always been intriguing to the Kaguya.

Now that he was older, now that he was a bannin and was free to go where he pleases by the blessing of the Mizukage, now that he had a way to disguise himself that he did not hate, Aimi Kaguya found himself wandering the streets of Toukugashou city as he had always wanted to. He was disguised, of course, his features drastically altered so as to make him unrecognizable as who he was or even a Kaguya for that matter!

Aimi had the appearance of an old man, his skeleton warped and altered so that his skin and muscles would hang more loosely to his bones, his usual height reduced to 5'2", and his white cloak worn as it should be for a change, wrapped around him with his arms in the sleeves. His belt and sword, his butt bag and scroll, all were missing from his person, stashed away in a nearby forest so as to draw even less attention to himself. He had on his bare feet, for he had removed his wrappings as well, a pair of sandals that he was enduring for the sake of his image. His hair was pulled up and tied into two separate buns on the back of his head with several loose strands hanging freely. He wore a large wicker straw hat with an excessively wide brim that covered his entire head and had slits in the front. What's more, he had a crude paint of yellow he had fashioned by hand smeared over his forehead to hide the mark of his clan.

More than these physical changes to his appearance was how he was disguising his chakra, for the Kaguya had forcefully closed off his eight inner gates and thus his chakra and was tensing his muscles in such a way that he was physically incapable of physically performing as he otherwise would have. Maintaining this was a constant effort for the bannin, but so long as he did he could walk where he pleases without fear of being noticed by any Konoha shinobi that might have been lurking around. He was, to all the world, an old man, short and hunched over, going about his business: exactly what Aimi wanted people to believe.

So on he walked slowly, looking at this, taking in that, enjoying himself to the fullest for the first time in a long time. Though as he walked and maintained his stance, he began to grow weary and in need of some refreshment from the warm sun. Thus it was that the bannin came across a certain tea place, 'The Chai House'.

Entering the establishment he saw that it was fairly busy with a wide variety of customers. The place stank of herbs and brewed teas, incense and food. He looked around back and forth briefly before reaching up and taking off his hat, shaking his head as if to let his hair loose out of habit. This done he walked over towards an empty seat that was one away from a young boy that, upon looking at him, he immediately identified as not just a shinobi but a Hyuuga of all things!

Instantly he became tremendously nervous though he showed no sign of it as he took his seat. The reason for his nervousness was because, for as much as he was confident that his technique was effective at suppressing his bodily strength and chakra, he'd never had the opportunity to test it out against someone like a Hyuuga! In theory, all of his chakra gates should have been closed off entirely and the fact that he couldn't perform more than a handful of D rank ninjutsu without running out of said chakra was proof of that, but would it be enough to fool the Byakugan if it was aimed at him? This he did not know, but rather than panic he tried to remain calm. He took his seat and waited to be waited on. He was, after all, right now, just a thirsty old man. There wasn't even any reason to turn those white eyes towards him...

Jutsu UsedShow
Death Bone Pulse • Master of Disguise
A-Ranked Taijutsu Maneuver
By ossifying bones throughout their entire body, the user is able to change their entire skeletal structure. With this jutsu, the user is able to drastically alter their facial structure, allowing them to change the look of their face. With enough practice, the user can even take on the appearance of others. In addition, the user may also change the skeletal structure of their body, allowing them to grow or shrink by inches. This kind of change is limited, however, as the user must be careful not to loosen their musculature from their bones too much or else cause sever damage due to severed muscles. Because of this, the user may only change their height by 6 inches in either direction. The user is able to make these changes at a speed equal to their [Speed].

[Ignorance Is Bliss]
S-Ranked Taijutsu Stance
Prerequisite: 45 Control, [Heavenly Body Control], [Rigid Structure]
The saying 'ignorance is bliss' is not just an apt name for this stance, but also true in many cases. Using this Stance, the user tenses their body up in such a way that they limit their physical capabilities severely. The user's muscles become tense and rigid, severely hampering physical movement and strength capabilities. More impressive, though, is the restrictions placed upon the tenketsu system. While in this stance, the 8 inner gates are closed off, leaving the user with only a severely limited chakra pool to draw upon. This Stance places a -40 stat debuff on the user's Strength, Speed and Chakra Pool for as long as they maintain the Stance. Once assumed, even a direct look at the user with sensory ninjutsu will be fooled. Once this Stance is broken, the 8 gates are all thrown open at once, resulting in a sudden, massive influx to the user's chakra that is momentarily visible and palpable to anyone within an X meter radius of the user, where X is equal to the user's [Chakra Pool] as chakra bursts out of every tenketsu and forms a 'cloud' around the user. Anyone within this area of effect who's Strength is less than the users’ [Chakra Pool] is afflicted by a tremendous sense of nausea that lasts a number of posts equal to the difference between the users’ [Chakra Pool] and the affecteds’ [Endurance]. If a person's [Strength] is 10 or more less than the users’ [Chakra Pool], they will be unable to prevent themselves from vomiting. If a persons’ [Strength] is 20 or more less than the users’ [Chakra Pool], they will be unable to prevent themselves from passing out for 1 post. The user must maintain this Stance for a minimum of 5 posts before breaking it once assumed to achieve this effect.

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Cernunnos
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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:29 am

Minutes passed by and Hato was growing restless. He understood the tea house was at max capacity, with patrons flowing in and out like flies on a hot summer day, however, the stomach growls emitted from Hato’s body proved his patience was wearing thin. Hato prided himself on his calm demeanour, contributing his mind frame to meditation and mind-body awareness, however, all that was thrown out of the window when the genin was deprived of his tea. The emotions and sensations experienced were like that of minor drug withdrawal, truth be told it was only in Hato’s head.

“Excuse me, young man.”

Hato jumped with an aura of excitement, turning his body to face the server, to be returned with a sense of disappointment to find her hands empty, and an apologetic expression on her face.

“Apologies for disturbing you, however as you can see our establishment is becoming very busy and we are running out of the room. Would you mind if we paired you with another patron to make space?

A deep sigh escaped from underneath his breath, a chill ran down his spine that sent a cold shiver throughout his body. Hato, however, was a ninja who served the people, striving to bring both safety and happiness to those around him. To refuse her request would be impertinent. He stood up from his seat, responding to the server with a deceptive smile that hid his true feelings.

“Sure thing, I have no problem with that!”

Hato made an awkward shuffle out his seat, his ankles locking underneath the table which led to Hato having to untangle himself from his entrapment. Finally escaping the seat, he surveyed the room, with his keen eyes searching for an empty spot. Hato was determined to only leave this god-forsaken tea house with a belly full of Jasmine tea. He peered to his right, discovering a lone old man sitting next to a vacant seat, the only available seat in the house. Without a moment’s hesitation, Hato raced towards the seat, zigzagging past the numerous patrons with a delicate flow similar to his gentle fist.

He approached the old man with a gentle tap on the shoulder, being careful not to be too forceful in a way that might either hurt or disturb the man. Hato had spent a small lifetime of spending time with the elderly. Being from the Hyuuga clan Hato was required to tend to the elder members as clan custom dictated. He even relished in hearing their stories and absorbing life lessons that he could then implement into his own life, with many of his own beliefs and perceptions being derived from the Hyuuga elders. Perhaps this old man had his own interesting story to share.

“Pardon sir, I’ve been asked to vacant my seat because of how busy it is in here. Do you mind if I take a seat next to you?”
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Hyuuga, HatoKonohagakureGenin#00FFFF

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Golnax
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:02 am

Aimi surveyed the rest of the tea house immediately after he noticed the young Hyuuga sitting a short ways away from him trying to see if there were any other ninja in the place. As far as he could tell there were not which was good for him: what wasn't good for him was that the one ninja who was began to head in his direction shortly after he completed his quick look around! Naturally his eyes returned to the Hyuuga so that he could keep an eye on the young shinobi and he watched the whole thing happen. The server asked very politely if he would move because of how busy they were... and the young boy actually moved? This was immediately confusing to the Kaguya who came from a place where Shinobi were allowed, if not encouraged, to do as they pleased in public restaurants such as this. Asking a ninja to move to another seat could be a death sentence depending on which ninja you asked in Kirigakure, so you never would have seen a server asking such a thing - let alone the ninja obliging such a ridiculous request!

Yet the Kaguya had no time to dwell on this cultural difference between the two nations as the younger ninja got up from his seat and turned in his direction. Immediately he turned his back on the Hyuuga and stared ahead, hoping against hope that he would find somewhere else to sit so that he didn't have to risk being caught by a ninja of Konohagakure! Yet, as fate would have it, the bannin would feel a tap on his shoulder that made him jump lightly out of genuine nervousness. Slowly Aimi turned around in his seat and faced the young shinobi as he spoke to him, his mouth held in a tight frown that only exasperated the wrinkly features of his face.

"... You're a very polite young man," Aimi said, making his voice ever so slightly huskier than it usually was in order to sound older. It was admittedly a bit forced - he generally just tried to avoid speaking to people so as to lower his risk of discovery - but he hoped that it would be enough to fool the young man before him. He quickly assessed his height and physical features and assumed he couldn't have been older than 14, so maybe he would buy it...?

Raising a wrinkled hand he gestured to the seat across from him. "By all means, please, take a seat," he said, not seeing a way out of this situation except to play the role that he had physically assumed. He was just a harmless old man, trying to get some tea and be on his way. They didn't even have to talk... but of course if they did he would try his best to be mild mannered and to keep any and all suspicion off of him. His heart was pounding in his chest at the possibility of being discovered by this shinobi before him, and a dark though crossed his mind: If he had to, he could make his escape simply by opening his inner gates. The entire place - the entire street, perhaps even beyond, would all fall unconscious he wagered as long as no more powerful shinobi came around... but even then, he needed to hold his stance for a bit longer to do that. The Bannin wished that the knowledge was a comfort to him, but it wasn't.

Jutsu Still in UseShow
Death Bone Pulse • Master of Disguise
A-Ranked Taijutsu Maneuver
By ossifying bones throughout their entire body, the user is able to change their entire skeletal structure. With this jutsu, the user is able to drastically alter their facial structure, allowing them to change the look of their face. With enough practice, the user can even take on the appearance of others. In addition, the user may also change the skeletal structure of their body, allowing them to grow or shrink by inches. This kind of change is limited, however, as the user must be careful not to loosen their musculature from their bones too much or else cause sever damage due to severed muscles. Because of this, the user may only change their height by 6 inches in either direction. The user is able to make these changes at a speed equal to their [Speed].

[Ignorance Is Bliss]
S-Ranked Taijutsu Stance
Prerequisite: 45 Control, [Heavenly Body Control], [Rigid Structure]
The saying 'ignorance is bliss' is not just an apt name for this stance, but also true in many cases. Using this Stance, the user tenses their body up in such a way that they limit their physical capabilities severely. The user's muscles become tense and rigid, severely hampering physical movement and strength capabilities. More impressive, though, is the restrictions placed upon the tenketsu system. While in this stance, the 8 inner gates are closed off, leaving the user with only a severely limited chakra pool to draw upon. This Stance places a -40 stat debuff on the user's Strength, Speed and Chakra Pool for as long as they maintain the Stance. Once assumed, even a direct look at the user with sensory ninjutsu will be fooled. Once this Stance is broken, the 8 gates are all thrown open at once, resulting in a sudden, massive influx to the user's chakra that is momentarily visible and palpable to anyone within an X meter radius of the user, where X is equal to the user's [Chakra Pool] as chakra bursts out of every tenketsu and forms a 'cloud' around the user. Anyone within this area of effect who's Strength is less than the users’ [Chakra Pool] is afflicted by a tremendous sense of nausea that lasts a number of posts equal to the difference between the users’ [Chakra Pool] and the affecteds’ [Endurance]. If a person's [Strength] is 10 or more less than the users’ [Chakra Pool], they will be unable to prevent themselves from vomiting. If a persons’ [Strength] is 20 or more less than the users’ [Chakra Pool], they will be unable to prevent themselves from passing out for 1 post. The user must maintain this Stance for a minimum of 5 posts before breaking it once assumed to achieve this effect.

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Cernunnos
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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:43 am

"Thank you my kind sir."

That response felt strange to articulate. Hato had a habit of formalising his tone when speaking to the elderly. It wasn't out of disrespect or intention to annoy, it was Hato's efforts to try and relate, in a sense bridging the gap between age. He sat down gently on the cushion, pausing for a moment before adjusting the seat to the optimum level of comfort, following the movement with a straightened back and high posture. His shirt required adjusting, Hato was trying to best adapt to the new seating arrangement without causing too much annoyance for his new tea-drinking companion. Gifted and cursed with a heightened sense of empathy, this perception sometimes caused anxiety within Hato's mind, stemming from past experiences with the Hyuuga elders.

The moment Hato was finished regulating his sitting position, he noticed his long-awaited jasmine tea with honey was served. The strong floral aroma mixed with the sweet, fruity smell suffocated the nostrils of Hato, his body began to tingle with excitement. Before reaching for his cup, he realised he now had a drinking partner and it was considered bad etiquette to begin before everyone else. The pain of patience struck the gut of Hato like thunder, he took a deep breath before re-adjusting his focus from the tea to the old man.

"I'm Hato, a shinobi from Konohagakure. Pleased to meet you!"

He dropped his head slightly as his body lowered into a gentle bow, before rising back up to a straight posture. The old man was polite enough to offer the seat, and a display of respect was required to return to gesture.
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Hyuuga, HatoKonohagakureGenin#00FFFF

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Golnax
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:17 pm

The fidgety young ninja who now sat across from Aimi didn't seem to be suspicious of him which helped to ease his anxiety. He was polite, he was young, he seemed to be more concerned with how comfortable his seat was than the possibility that he was sitting across from an enemy... perhaps he just wasn't paranoid? Like most Kirigakure shinobi were? His disguise was pretty excellent too, he reminded himself. Whatever the case may have been the Kaguya began to relax as a waitress brought over a cup of tea for the young shinobi before turning to Aimi and smiling. "And what will you be having, sir?" she asked, showing respect to her 'elder' by waiting patiently on the spot for him to reply.

The white-haired ninja looked up at her, cleared his throat a bit and said, "I'll just have the chai tea, please. I'm sure it's delicious!"

The waitress smiled broader, replying, "It's the house specialty! I'll have it right out to you," before turning and walking away, leaving the two shinobi alone once more.

It was then that Hato introduced himself and once more Aimi was hit with a blow of culture shock. Why had the Hyuuga said that he was from Konohagakure? And why had he clarified that he was a ninja? Did people in the Land of Fire... not identify shinobi on sight? How was that even possible? A moment of quiet passed between them as he processed all of this but he was relatively quick to bow his head slightly and reply, "Call me Arisato, Hato-san... from Konohagakure, you say? A shinobi?"

He shifted in his seat slightly as he saw an opportunity present itself. For the time being, he had to play the part of an old man from Fire. Acting had never been Aimi's strong suite, but feigning ignorance? That was something that he'd had years to practice, and thus he began to apply it here. "I've heard stories about that place all my life," he cooed in his lightly husky voice. "Say... you wouldn't happen to be one of those Hyuuga, would you? I'm told they have white eyes, same as yours..."

Aimi was playing a small gambit now, trying to get Hato to talk about himself, to talk about Konoha, pretending that he didn't know what it was that he was asking. He needed the young ninja to talk about himself, to talk about anything that wasn't him really. Hato was young and undoubtedly full of energy. Most kids his age couldn't resist the chance to show off how much they knew about stuff and if he could keep him talking then he could keep suspicion further and further away from himself. He was just an old man, after all, and for the first time he actually had to act like it.

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Cernunnos
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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:10 am

Hato waited for the old man to finish his order, his eyes flickering from both Aimi and the waitress, before suddenly dropping as he had realised his grand mistake. Hato was so preoccupied in thought that he failed to order the establishment's signature drink, the chai tea. Pondering down to the Jasmine tea with a glare of disdain, the failure smacked Hato right in the face.

The ever-racing thoughts came to a halt when the old man began to address Hato, his eyes darting to the old man to return the courtesy of attention. He was pleased to learn the man's name, yet surprised to discover the man had never visited Konohagakure. Hato would have guessed a man of his age would have at least visited the village once, unless he was a traveller from a distant land. Hato had found himself in an unusual position he rarely discovered himself in. The Hyuuga elders knew everything that Hato knew, and so the opportunity to educate another was a situation Hato was scarcely accustomed to. A grin widened across the face of Hato, his eyes lighting up with eagerness to share more about the village he knew and loved.

"You got that right! Hyuuga, Hato at your service."

Hato let out a chuckle that escaped underneath his breath, his clenched fist rising in the air with a thumb pointing upwards, a gesture to confirm that the man's suspicions of Hato's heritage were correct. From Hato's perspective, he was engaging in conversation with a harmless old man who looked both weak and frail, and there was no threat in sharing stories.

"So I'm safe to assume that you have never visited Konohagakure? You must be some sort of traveller! If that's the case, you're obviously planning on visiting!"

Before he could continue speaking, Hato noticed the waitress come and deliver the chai tea to Arisato. Finally, the time had arrived. Hato reached for his cup, his palms cupping around the edges before placing the cup towards his lips. He paused for a moment, before swallowing the entire contents in one gulp. He lowered the cup back onto the table.

"Oooo yeah that hit the spot."
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Golnax
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:50 pm

The Gambit seemed to pay off. Just as the older shinobi had predicted Hato seemed downright excited to talk about things related to him. Such an enthusiastic thumbs up was a sign of him guessing correctly and the Kaguya breathed a small sigh of relief. He might actually be able to leave this tea shop without getting noticed...

Of course that didn't stop Hato from asking about him completely though. It was a simple enough assumption, that he had never been to Konoha and that he must have been a traveler; an assumption that wasn't too far off. What it was to the bannin was a chance to build on a lie that would be most convincing, although going to Konoha? The idea at first seemed ridiculous to him. Go into a den of foreign shinobi and pray he didn't get caught? Utter nonsense!

It was around that time that the waitress came back with his tea. He thanked her and she went on her way tending to other customers and he grabbed onto the warm cup of tea, feeling it in his grasp and watching as Hato utterly destroyed his cup in a single gulp!

"My, my, thirsty were we?" he asked, slowly raising his cup and blowing on the wafting steam three times before taking a sip. The tea was good, but his thoughts were adrift. He was trying to think up a well constructed but not too detailed lie to tell Hato, but as he thought he couldn't seem to get rid of an intrusive idea, like a mosquito that was buzzing around your head. Him, go to Konohagakure? Ridiculous. Was it possible...?

Aimi lowered the cup from his lips and let out a sigh. "Yes, you're correct. I've never been to Konohagakure, but a traveler? No. My home is a small fishing village on the southern coast of Fire. We never have any need of shinobi, so I never see them. I'm here now because, well, I'm getting on into the twilight of my years and..."

He paused. A choice was made. A sentence was finished.

He chuckled. "You caught me! I'm heading for Konohagakure. I'd like to see it before I go, get a feel for who's been protecting me all these years," he lied, bringing his cup up to his mouth and taking another drink. What madness had come over him he couldn't say. He initially tried to rationalize it by telling himself he could give the information he found there to Kasai, the Mizukage, but the longer the choice sat in his gut, the more like a flimsy excuse it felt. As their conversation went on he would continue to feel that way. "Only, I don't really know the way," he said, the truth.

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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:07 am

Hato observed as 'Arisato' proclaimed his intentions of visiting Konohagakure, the man was, in fact, a traveller as predicted. Hato believed he had a terrific ability to read people, being able to guess certain attributes of a person based on their appearance and mannerisms. This self-belief sometimes hindered Hato's perception, perhaps blinding him in a way that forced himself to accept his own assumption. Sometimes a ninja had to go with their gut instinct, and the old man appearing before Hato seemed just like that, an old man.

As a ninja who had come and gone from Konohagakure many times during missions, Hato had learned of the dangers that surrounded the village. Many bandits and highwayman lurked from within the shadows, preying upon many travellers in hopes of stealing their belongings, or worse ending their lives. It was this reason alone why escort missions were very common. Hato had a distinct advantage in the form of the Byakugan to sense nearby danger before it approached, a gift that comes from bearing the Hyuuga name.

Knowing this information, Hato would feel uneasy knowing the old man was intending to travel to the village. Hato was a shinobi sworn to protect Konohagakure, yet he still felt a sense of duty in protecting those in need.

"Well today is your lucky day, Arisato. I happen to be returning to the village today, and I'd be honoured to accompany you. The road can be dangerous, and it doesn't hurt to have a powerful ninja at your side."

Hato ended the statement with a wide grin, he was confident in his ability to protect this old man from the city to the village, just as he did before with the businessman. This was a test to Hato, that he was capable of helping people in any way he could, that he was worthy of the shinobi headband worn on his head.
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Hyuuga, HatoKonohagakureGenin#00FFFF

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Golnax
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:51 pm

Hato was right - this was Aimi's lucky day apparently. He was right about everything he said, the road was a dangerous place for an 'old man' like himself to be travelling. The thought of bandits was comical to the Kaguya though but it did warm his heart to see this young genin (he assumed genin because of how old he was) so eager to help out a stranger. It gave him an uncomfortable fuzzy feeling in his stomach that he couldn't quite identify but if he could he would call it disbelief at how... friendly this ninja was. Were all Konoha ninja like this normally? The only times he'd ever had encounters with them were either as enemies or on neutral grounds were everyone was flexing their muscles and trying to out do the other for the sake of sport. In day to day life though, was it... expected of them to be so generous?

He didn't know but he knew he had the opportunity to find out. "Such kindness," he said, bringing his hand up and brushing it over his chest. "It warms my heart! I would be most grateful to have a powerful shinobi such as you escort me, Hato-san," he said, bowing his head to show respect and deepen the lie. Pulling his head back up he reached into his pocket and fumbled around for a little bit, for dramatics mostly.

"I know how to treat such kindness, and I know how hiring a ninja works. If you just give me a second..." he said, pulling out from his robe pocket a small pouch absolutely stuffed with coins. It wasn't a small fortune by any means, Aimi had never been a wealthy ninja by any means (he tended to spend most of his money on either food or equipment and thus never had much in the way of savings) but he had enough that, when he needed it, he could pay for anything he needed. Opening up the pouch he pushed his fingers into it and pulled out a small stack of ryo. "Let me pay for your tea, and buy you another cup, and you can tell me more while we drink. I'll pay you for your services as well, half now and half when we reach the village. Does that sound fair?" he asked, knowing that it likely was. Though for all he knew Hato might want to haggle!

Setting the pouch down on the table he picked up his tea and took another sip from it while he waited for the young ninja to answer him. A trip to Konohagakure, and information about it before he got there to boot. He really never liked being sneaky when it came to getting the things he needed on missions, but he couldn't help but wonder if this was what he'd been missing out on? Taking on the appearance of another, closing off his chakra network and paying for an escorted trip and information was so much easier than, say, destroying the front wall of a fortress single handed and fighting off the survivors while his partner went and got what they needed. It was far less physically intensive, anyways! If things continued to go so well he just might have to employ these sorts of tactics in the future...

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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:47 pm

Hato's cheeks filled with nervousness as a bright red tone emitted from his pale skin as he watched Arisato pull out a pouch of money, and offer to pay for his services. The thought of being paid never crossed Hato's mind, in his eyes, this was more a favour instead of a mission. He was instantly lost for words, he had never received such a generous display for his services, the Hyuuga elders expected service with the only reward being a pat on the head. It felt wrong to accept payment for an act Hato viewed as only a favour.

"Make it double and you got a deal!"

Hato let out a hearty laugh, his eyes scrunching up and he let his hand rest on his belly. He waited moment to see Arisato's reaction, wondering if his grand elusive trick had prevailed.

"I'm just joking around! You don't need to pay me, this isn't an official mission or anything... Let's settle for the tea and you have yourself a deal!"

There was nothing better than free tea, and Hato had learned his simple life pleasure early on. He glanced at his cup, remembering moments before when he gulped that jasmine tea like it was no tomorrow. His mind flashed back to remembering the disappointment he felt when he didn't realise to order the chai tea, the signature drink of the establishment he was currently in. He glanced over to a waitress coming over to the table. "Hello gentlemen, is there anything else I can get for you?"

"One chai tea please, and make it icey."

Hato was also becoming aware of the time, it was settling into afternoon and nightfall was bound to arrive shortly. The trip would take a couple of days, longer because he was now escorting someone. The night time was the most dangerous time to travel, Hato knew bandits and cutthroats lurked within the bushes waiting for unsuspecting travellers, and the shadows made it easier for them to hide and wait. He turned back to Arisato, a more concerned look branding his face.

"We will want to leave soon, make some good ground before we set up camp. Maybe it's best we get these drinks to go."
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Golnax
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:31 am

It seemed at first that Hato did indeed want to haggle over a price, asking for double of whatever it was he was offering (perhaps he assumed the entire sack of ryo?) and leaving the moment quiet for a moment for Aimi to consider. Of course for what the shinobi was truly getting out of this deal, two bags of ryo would be nothing. He would have paid it in a heartbeat. "Alright, de-" he began to say before Hato cut him off by laughing. The young Hyuuga explained that he would be doing this task, for free, simply because it wasn't a real mission and that gave the Kaguya pause. This young man was willing to work for an old man... for... free?

It was madness to him. Ninja needed to take jobs when they could get them, as they were assigned to them. They couldn't afford to just... pick and choose odd jobs. It was a waste of their talents as well as their time! Were Konoha shinobi truly so laze fare as to escort a stranger in need when they felt like it? The idea was absurd and yet intriguing. He needed to know more, plain and simple. Opportunities like this were excessively rare. Smiling, he would force a throaty chuckle. "My, you got me! Yes, of course. It's the least I can do," he said, reaching into the pouch and pulling out a couple of finger pinches worth of metal coins and setting them on the table, not really bothering to count them out. He was confident that there was enough there and then some to pay for both of their teas and leave a tip for the waitress, who chose that moment to come back and check on them.

"Nothing more for me, thank you," he said, picking up his cup and taking another drink of tea as the waitress took Hato's order and walked away. He looked down at his tea and once more began pondering his luck. Not long was he into this self reflection when the young ninja spoke up again, suggesting that they leave. The older appearing man looked up at the Hyuuga, smiled and nodded. "Yes, I think that would be best," he agreed, drinking the rest of his tea in a couple of gulps before setting the empty cup down. "I'll be right outside waiting for you," he said, grabbing his hat and standing up slowly from the table before putting it on and making his way through the busy shop.

He would wait for Hato to join him and once he did, he would wave his arm, tell him to lead the way, and walk beside the young Hyuuga a step or two behind at all times. As they walked through the city which was beginning to wind down now that the sky was beginning to turn orange, he would ask, "So what can you tell me about Konohagakure? What can I expect of it?"

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The Chai House

Post by Cernunnos » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:36 am

On the way out of the door, Hato was greeted by the waitress with his iced chai tea. The cup was cold to touch, the shivering sensation penetrating Hato's skin. The ice jiggled with a loud, annoying sound as Hato shuffled out the door. The spectacular red and orange colours illuminated the sky as the sun and moon began to change places, the weather was luckily very warm with no indicators for rain. Nightfall would arrive eventually, Hato was aware of the troubles the darkness brought, and he was now accountable for the life of a fragile, old man. This factor wasn't enough to reduce his confidence, he was reliant on his shinobi abilities, and his trusty Byakugan. There were no enemies that would sneak up on him, Hato was firm in this conviction.

He greeted Arisato outside the tea shop, before leading the man through the bustling city streets, in the direction of the city gates. Everyone was finishing work and was either returning home, hurrying around to purchase groceries, or frequenting the local taverns. Hato was escaping the safe confines of the city, leaving behind the Chai House to return back to his village. The tea houses in Konohagakure were great... but not as great as Tokugashou City. It was Hato's dream to travel the world and sample the best tea from Kirigakure to Kumogakure, and everywhere in between.

He returned from daydreaming about tea to hearing Arisato's question. The old man was curious about Konohagakure, this was to be expected and Hato expected many more questions to follow. He almost didn't want to give anything away, Konohagakure was a village to behold, and many travellers often marvelled at the site of it. The architecture, the friendly people, the gentle atmosphere, the beautiful sites, it was a village Hato grew to love.

It had been several hours since Hato saw his Chunin escort, there was no sight of him anywhere. The city was massive and locating him now would be close to a miracle. Confident in his ability to return to the village alone, Hato opted to return back without the Chunin. He knew the direction in where the city was, and hopefully, his Byakugan would help lead him back home.

"The people are friendly, and the weather is very warm at the moment. You will love it, there is so much to see. I don't want to spoil it too much for you."

Hato turned back to offer Arisato a friendly grin, before continuing onto the city gates.
Last edited by Cernunnos on Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Chai House

Post by Golnax » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:51 am

The pair made their way the gates of the city. Not expected was Hato's answer to Aimi, that he should wait and see once they got there. That was fair enough, really. As a ninja, he had to have had some training on what to say and not to say to strangers so a bit of holding information close to the chest was to be expected. Aimi didn't mind, just so long as they got there and he was able to look around for himself. For the first time though he thought about the actual trip there, what it would be like getting from one city to the next. Normally he wouldn't care about such matters, but the truth was this trip was going to be difficult to say the least. Normally he could just fly or if need be fight his way through whatever came his way, there really wasn't much to think about. Now though he was supposed to play the part of an old man, weak and frail and with little to no combat training. Not to mention that keeping up the facade would present its' own challenges as well...

Aimi couldn't maintain this stance while he slept. At least, he didn't think he could. He'd never tried before and so really had no idea, but the thought of risking it and waking up in the middle of the night with Hato holding a kunai to his throat because his guard had relaxed and his chakra gates had opened up while he slept, releasing that burst of pent of chakra all at once... It would be a dead give away that he wasn't what he said he was. The Hyuuga might have fallen for his ruse and been convinced that he was just an old man who wanted to visit Konoha before he died, but literally anyone would know the truth if that were to happen. He realized that over the next few days, likely at least once a day, he needed to sneak away or distract Hato somehow, get him to be about fifty meters or so away from him, and then release his stance, open his tenketsu and let his chakra system relax for a little while - as long as he could manage. If he could somehow convince Hato to move away just before they settled down for the night, or perhaps sneak off himself, claim he was going to the bathroom maybe, he would be able to release his stance and come back to wherever they were making camp for the evening and he could sleep. As long as Hato kept his Byakugan off of him, it would be fine... but if he didn't...

Aimi hadn't fully considered things through it seemed. This journey of stealth was going to be much more difficult than he had anticipated. He had no talent in genjutsu at all and so he couldn't just make Hato not notice him, convenient as that might be. He had to be smart, cunning, and time his release accordingly... Yes, the next few days were going to be a challenge for the Kaguya. As the pair stepped past the city gates and into the night, he knew deep in his gut that this would be a make or break sort of deal. Could he maintain his illusion for the duration it would take them to get to Konoha? That was the challenge before him. As the two stepped off into the night, he began to plan a way to make Hato put some distance between them...

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