Ninpocho Chronicles

Ninpocho Chronicles is a fantasy-ish setting storyline, set in an alternate universe World of Ninjas, where the Naruto and Boruto series take place. This means that none of the canon characters exists, or existed here.

Each ninja starts from the bottom and start their training as an Academy Student. From there they develop abilities akin to that of demigods as they grow in age and experience.

Along the way they gain new friends (or enemies), take on jobs and complete contracts and missions for their respective villages where their training and skill will be tested to their limits.

The sky is the limit as the blank page you see before you can be filled with countless of adventures with your character in the game.

This is Ninpocho Chronicles.

Current Ninpocho Chronicles Time:

Private AWOL Nation: Along came an Ancient... [Event: Shadow Steward]

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With his time spent aboveground continually fleeting, Sora knew that he at some point had to make an appearance to keep the talks of his demise from filtering into the wrong ears. With how much of a mess of things his exit had brought, his face was one of many that usually brought the wrong sort of attention. With all sorts of labels being applied to him, he knew that audience with those whom he needed to consort with would bring out the usual suspects for a shinobi world power. Whether they be assassins or would be allies, the fact remained that with money being a near unlimited resource for the enemies of the true state, he couldn't take the risk that somebody would seek to double cross him for a stated price. Knowing that his supposed Fourth Order was one of the few remaining loyal shinobi forces left from the way that Sunagakure had been before, he kept his cards close to his chest and rarely confided in those that hadn't consistently proved their loyalty.The only problem that remained though, was what came next.

Sure, they could run, and they could hide, but the thought of truly leaving the Wind Country behind over something as easily explained as plain old greed, seemed a bit soft to him, for lack of a better word. He himself had been raised in the desert, he knew it, and he had lived the nomadic way. Even more than that, there was his experience as Suigetsu, that too was a life that had seen strife. This was a problem that was very much one that could be solved, but it would require a refined touch if all out war was to be avoided. Thus far, their enemy had seemingly known their every move, almost as if they had been on the inside from the beginning. There were rumors that this was just the case, stories that weren't adding up. Situations that seemed a little too coincidental, and that was why Sora had set up the meeting that he had. Sora was a place that was known for high profile figures and lots of tourist traps, where better for Sora to hide out among the crowds in plain sight. Using what networking resources that he had, he bought enough time in a hidden enough underground speakeasy with explicit instructions on who should show and when. He didn't expect to solve all of his problems in one go but one thing needed to be figured out for sure, namely, who was in charge?


OOC: This topic takes place an untold number of weeks/months after the topic, AWOL Nation: The Spark [Event: Shadow Steward] Err on the side of it being closer to three months than a few weeks. Either way, Sora and the Fourth Order have been considered at best, KIA and at worst, AWOL. Upon entering the topic, it won't be clear where Sora is until at least Akkuma or Michino/Council, joins.

This topic will be the IC version of conversations that have and are happening concerning the next Kazekage. Miroku Akkuma will play himself or a representative respecting his wishes and Toraono Michino will play the part of at least a representative of the IC Council that is still loyal to the true Sunan government.

This topic isn't locked to others but anybody joining should expect a high security situation that'll get purposeful troublemakers booted ICLy. If you want to join, just ask me and we'll come up with a reason on how you managed to get invited. The private tag is more so an indicator that it's not an aimless topic and that everything is intentional.
 

Sand Council

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The city of Sora moved with the same strong commerce and attraction as a wealthy man’s paradise as it ever did; war be damned. While the sands outside the grand painted stone walls of the city continued to be muddied in crimson, life just continued to be as it ever was within. A facade of paradise for the ultra wealthy within the Wind Country, a vacationing site for nobles, and a place to legally procure the most exotic of goods; a face for it’s truer intent. Beneath the fine vaneer above laid a complex spider web of political gambling that had to be seen to believed. Deals were made here. Wars started, and ended. The treaty between Wei and the Oil Barons was signed in public here, in fact, and the locals were still quite versed in the week long celebration that followed.

Today was just like any other day. The rich continued another debaucherous twelve to sixteen hours of life, and those that were striven to continue seeing to the country’s future met in secret. The location of the speakeasy was tucked into plain sight - literally behind a coat rack. As a flesh colored mechanical hand raised to touch the rack, there emitted from the seemingly human man an electronic sigh. From behind a man the size of two normal humans urged him along with a grunt. The hand touching a brand new coat pulled it back to reveal a little door that slid open the moment it was revealed. The giant behind the mechanical gentleman shrank down slowly to accommodate before they both ducked down to access the stairs leading into a basement.

The smell of fine brandy wafted up to greet Sousuke and his elderly Oushi-Ouja companion, Nabushin. The old Ox-King breathed it in once he was off the stairs, his size once more growing to about nearly eight and a half feet in height - about a good four feet off his normal. The horns that remained proudly adorned his head scrapped the floor above the speakeasy until the man found a place comfortable on the floor to seat himself. Sousuke simply walked and pretended to be as human as possible - a sight that would fool anyone but a trained shinobi. Though he had taken on a far more aged appearance to align with his true age, it was clear that the skin hanging from his metal frame was still clearly fake. Something with the way it didn’t have the natural sheen of a sweat n’ oil covered face the desert folk normally dealt with. They were both dressed as Sunan nobles would - Nabushin carrying over his impressive frame a chakra sensitive robe of animal furs both rare and common, and Sousuke wearing his clan's traditional breastplate armor that would place him more among adventurers than noble; his face also sported an impressive beard. The two both came to Sora seeking a new fashion in their old age to break away from tradition, and romanticize a more youthful time. It was quite common for men of their age to seek the older times, and though the two rarely left Suna anymore it wasn’t so strange to see two nobles together.

Settled down the old Ox-King grunted at the bar tender for the menu while the ex-Steward was the first to reach their invitee. Members of the old Council, mostly nobles, had received a message that had invited them by pulling some old favors that even Sousuke had forgotten. To have such an old source from the city of wealth calling his name meant something equally as old was seeking their wisdom. The mechanical immortal had suspected his wayward friend Tama, but felt his gearwork heart lifting to see a member of the razed 4th Order still alive. The ghost in a shell moved across the room in a few steps to shake Sora’s hand personally. It was a shame they were the only two nobles able to escape Sunagakure without any follow suspicions, but then they were also the only ones of that generation still capable of keeping up. Most of the old guard were simple nobles, and thankfully Wei grouped Sousuke and Nabushin in with them; ignorant that they were both accomplished shinobi.

It is good to see a man representing your company,” Sousuke’s voice rang out with a static edge, keeping the name of that said company well out of his metallic mouth. Just in case.
“I suspect knowledge of why you seek the aid of the Old Council, but we need to hear it just as well.” Nabushin, ancient Oushi-Ouja as he was with barely a whisp of hair left on his head simply raised a glass of fine brandy in agreement.
 

Miroku Akkuma

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To think he would be back here so soon & without the prime intent of shedding blood. Not that it wasn't a possibility for the night, given his suspicion of what was taking place. A breeze carried dancing grains of sand along the surface of the ground. Sliding across the threshold of the establishment & under it's door. They danced across the wooden boards towards the group of individuals who could shape the Fate of these lands. Each grain would begin to swirl around colliding together, fusing until what remained was the form of one Miroku Akkuma. Those crimson eyes of his scanning the group before him, resting on his fellow Sennin who had been flying under the radar so to speak for quite some time now. "...I see you're alive. Well that is one less position we need worry about filling I am glad." he would say in that hoarse voice of his as he approached the group, whether or not they believed his sentiment on that matter was another thing entirely.

Akkuma's gaze moved from his peer across those present. He was surprised to see who was attending & at the same time he found himself glad. For he still had a few deals he had yet to call in from some of those present. "If I didn't know any better..." As he spoke his gaze moved around the group back to Sora. "...I'd say something underhanded was taking place. But that can't be the case, because as we all know that would fall under my purview." He let the words & the implication they carried hang in the air. After all even Sunagakurian children had heard whispered warnings of the boogeyman that was Akkuma. If recent reports were to believed he was fraternizing with Mercenaries, Missing-Nin, wanted criminals & even the figurehead known as the Yamikage.

Yet despite this, many individuals still sought him out, each for their own reason. Whatever their reasoning, despite moral or ethical objections they all knew you needed the Immortal Trickster on your side. That is if you were to tip the scales of Fate to your side. Had that been the reason he was summoned here? Or did they already suspect the role he played & his ambitions? No, if they had there would have been a less public place chosen for the meeting. After all in such a circumstance it would be they who cared about collateral damage, not the monster that had made Sunagakure his home. Maybe they didn't suspect a thing, after all he had been running the Omni Prime Medical Facility dutifully. Conducting his Sennin Affairs as required, meeting with those he had deemed of crucial importance for the upcoming future of Sunagakure. Not every meeting & parting had gone smoothly. But it was to be expected that some ventures would come with small hiccups along the way.

Taking out a chair he would turn it around & take a seat. Leaning forward he would cross his arms in front of himself to rest on the back of the chair, which was now before him. "Yes, do illuminate us...after all some might say our little gathering might be of a seditious nature. Given the location & those of us gathered here today." Despite his words there was a mixture of emotions from the Sage. While his eyes reflected his curiosity, his lips were curled in an amused smile. How often had they looked down on him? Yet here they were undoubtedly intending to overthrow their current Kazekage because they weren't happy with the regime. Something many of them had no doubt suspected him of at one point in time. How time had ravaged the Storm Lord & yet Akkuma had little doubt his power had suffered the same atrophy as his body at the hands of time. Mortals were peculiar like that, it had been some time since they had last seen each other but he remembered it well. After all the Storm Lord still owed him from their last negotiation.

Then there was Sousuke, to think even the Robokage himself had come all the way out here to partake in such a meeting. From there he counted various nobles, some faces he knew others he did. Yet each had their own reasoning for being here today. There were some that he knew the motivations of, others he suspected & those that were enigma's in the game so far. Yet Wei's reign had been vastly more effective than he had anticipated. Sedition of any kind by sunans was unthinkable before Wei's reign & yet here they sat. Akkuma had been a part of more groups & organizations than there were squads in a village over the span of his time on this world. There was no telling how things would play out, there were too many variables out of his control. The few cards he did have up his sleeve he would have to use wisely if he wanted to make the most of this opportunity.

MFT
[OOC: Akkuma has arrived. Dun Dun Dun]
 
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They appeared, in much the same way that Sora figured that they would. First was the council's representative, Sousuke, and his even more hefty friend, of which, even Sora had seemed to underestimate the size of. There were tall people, there were large people, there were the inhumanly tall and large people and then there were people that were all of that and truly something larger than life itself. While Sora couldn't quite not call it lumbering, he did appreciate the fact that the meeting location was in some way able to handle having the myth of a man and his hopefully jolly giant without completely falling apart. "It is good to see a man representing your company",” The voice that emanated from the man spoke of a life fully lived, but Sora had to deny himself too much praise. "It is good to be alive... for what it's worth." Smirking, Sora straightened his oddly assembled outfit. Perhaps it was the look of the Fourth Order as a whole, but it was an outfit that could only be described as part grease monkey, part nomad. “I suspect knowledge of why you seek the aid of the Old Council, but we need to hear it just as well." Willing to agree, Sora nodded once more. "Yes, I think that we'll..." His voice trailed off as a certain unsavory character entered the room.

Almost at once, the sound of chatter in the room died down as all eyes turned towards Akkuma. The epitome of a polarizing figure, even Sora momentarily held his breath as he wondered just what sort of entrance the man would make, but thankfully his fears weren't warranted as Akkuma kept things mostly cheeky if anything at all. "...I see you're alive. Well that is one less position we need worry about filling I am glad." Turning from the council representative, Sora opened his arms wide and made a show of welcoming his fellow Sennin. Making a show of scratching at his chin and looking up to the ceiling, he mused out loud, "How's the old saying go, 'the rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated'?" Giving a chuckle, he shook his head and beckoned the man and the council member towards a more private part of the speakeasy. "Yes, do illuminate us...after all some might say our little gathering might be of a seditious nature. Given the location & those of us gathered here today." Akkuma spoke his truths openly, but much to Sora's chagrin, he had to admit that the man was right. Even if they didn't like it, a Steward Kazekage was a Steward Kazekage, which was to say, a legal position. There were only so many ways to handle a discrepancy with the current government in power and that was were Sora's current plan came in to play.

Securing a side room that had a deeper floor than the other spaces in the speakeasy, Sousuke and his friend would have at last been able to be somewhat more comfortable as the meter deep seating area put them on par with more average men. Taking his own seat and leaning back in it, he waved towards one of the attendants and gave the signal for the door to be closed behind them, and then he leaned forward with his hands crossed. "I'll start with the important part up front, we need to choose a new Kazekage and I'm willing to bet that the council... the real council not only agrees with me but has a list of candidates." Like Most tense moments, the initial sting came with speaking the quiet part out loud, but Sora didn't stop and if this was to be his grave, he was content with digging until he hit the bedrock below. "I've every reason to believe that Chikamastu Wei was involved in the disappearance of the 10th and 11th and if his alliance with the Oil Barons is any indication, I don't believe that he'll stop until this country is bled dry and any opposition is buried beneath the sands." Somehow speaking even this much made it easier for Sora to continue on, but the next part of the conversation was going to either land gracefully or land in a fiery crash, but land it would.

Taking a deep breath, Sora uncrossed his hands and paused as he leaned back, before clapping his hands together. "During the Sennin Games, I and a number of other participants were exposed for being Ancients, both true born and hybrid alike. Admittedly, this really shouldn't have been the surprise that it was to me, but the sciences of tomorrow are as potent as the magic of today so somebody, somewhere, was bound to figure out a way how at some point. I just never figured out that it would be at the hands of a talking watch, but I digress. Admittedly, I'm only saying this because most of the people outside that door are either wholly or partly Ancient, Hybrid, Fang Marked or something else not human. Once it became clear that we were being hunted, some of us more liberal sorts, banded together. Either way, shortly after that, Lord Reizo went missing, and if the tea leaves tell their story straight, he and anyone who ran those games has since disappeared. Shortly after Lord Shin commissioned the creation of the Fourth Order, putting me, an Ancient in charge," Stopping only to loudly snap his fingers to emphasize the point, the silence that momentarily followed was enough to emphasize his point. "Lord Shin is attacked in broad daylight, the Fourth Order's airship yard is bombed, and the Oracle Order is not only seized by this new government for the safety and preservation of knowledge, but there's an open and clear hostility towards anybody representing the old ways. This... this is the sort of incursion that goes beyond mere oil and gold. This is the sort of greed that eventually engulfs the world itself."

Turning to the three before him, Sora motioned towards them all. "The easiest way to defeat a nation is to defeat it from within, and I and my allies have every reason to believe that this systematic attack on the structure of the Wind Country is seeking to accomplish just that. First they sought out the apex predators by developing a way to root them out, then they neutralized the greatest minds in the land, followed by creating the perfect scapegoat in the nomadic tribes, and now they are attempting to rewrite history itself by careful crafted stories to the masses. If we don't act now, then as cliché as it sounds, this will be the chaotic era that truly does us in." Recognizing that he had just given the verbal equivalent of a written essay, he shook his head again leaned and back in his seat. "People need a hero to look up to, and a duly appointed Kazekage could be just that." With most of the cards laid out, Sora made a show of turning the conversation over to the other three in the room. One one hand, he could have simply decided the matter with Akkuma since they both were Sennin, but on the other hand, he wanted to as much avoid a constitutional crisis as possible. How far that sort of chivalry would get him remained to be seen.

OOC: I'm going with the logical reason that if Sora could be figured out as an Ancient via scientific means then so could other non human creatures.
[LINK] Revealing of Sora being an Ancient
 

Sand Council

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Akkuma’s entrance, though far more tame than most, was not unfelt. Sousuke shifted uncomfortably in his chair at the sight of the demon’s presence. He knew full well the power the imp had managed to accrue while ever being a tick on Suna’s neck. The old Steward’s eyes narrowed at sight of the Devil, his hand snaking out to catch Nabushin’s arm as the Ox King began to stand; immediately ready for combat. His eyes turned down to his friend with some confusion in his voice,
We could take ‘em!”
The Devil is not treating us with his direct presence for combat, Lord Nabushin…” the Robokage quickly responded. A gruff strong sigh puffed out of the giant that scooted the table away a few inches before he flopped back down, shaking the entire speakeasy. After some brief introductions of the Old Guard to the New, their host lead them back towards a more private room for a conversation most enlightening.

Sousuke’s hand reached up and scratched a his blue beard absently, despite there being no real itch to tame. A habit of one who’s soul once lived in flesh, he supposed. Regardless it helped him focus his thoughts around the databomb that had been injected onto his harddrive. The information Sora had laid down on the table gave the ex-Steward more than enough to ‘chew on’. It had been turbulent times, indeed, for the one-time slayer of the Deep Court Ancient to be underground with Hybrids, Fang-Marked, and other sorts between himself and the exit. He couldn’t remember the last time such danger had been entailed with his rather diplomatic seat on the council. Then conspiracy on top of conspiracy as well. Ancients, the bombing of the Fourth Order, the Oil Barons, Wei’s mysterious return as…a man Sousuke thought had been long dead…

He’d be lying to say he didn’t miss it. With his retirement came a long awaited peace, a chance to settle down, and help guide Sunagakure from the background while the next generation got their foothold in the shifting grains. His companion was the opposite. Old as he was, the former Beast of Sunagakure was ever a man who enjoyed a good fight and wished more than anything to end the storied annuls of his time on the world with a bang. With the way their enemy had already routed their army to fight the Nomads, turning the entire country against each other, it appeared that neither legend was getting the ending they strove so hard for. Now he sat in a basement with a being he, and many other Rangers, had lost their lives fighting against; looking for common ground to turn out a poisonous greed that sought to drown the entire world.

Sora brought up his plan that lifted the ex-leader’s heart a little bit; one of hopefully peaceful resolution. While Sousuke doubted Wei was going to hand over the reigns to the 13th without conflict, there was always the chance the man’s innate cowardice would overrule their hubris; not likely, but still a chance. The Robokage looked up at Nabushin for aid in listing names, but he only grunted and continued to enjoy his brandy in silence; looking away as if embarrassed. Sousuke eyed over at his companions for further suggestions before before closing his eyes and leaning back in thought.

The tiny chakra crystals that was his brain fired off repeatedly, giving him the ability to fully process one hundred full plans, start to finish, of a revolution against Wei. Each one of them was headed by a different leader, or a repeat in a different scenario of rebellion. In truth, he only could think of two, maybe three people he’d actually trust to lead their desert nation to victory. The crystals ran through the potential leaders that could carry the will of Sunagakure in challenging Wei for the right to Kazekage: that which superseded a Steward’s right. Men and women’s faces took the place of the head speaker, and after a full minute of thought his eyes opened again with a sigh.
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The first one that comes to mind, is a shinobi named Yanaru Tosa who is on the field currently leading the Main Branch against the Nomads. He has a strong ethic in all fields, a natural born leader, and most of the military knows and respects him…however, he has little to no standing with the noble factions. His family name is new, only second generation with a third generation coming up…
The second is an old friend, Uzumoreru Toushin. I was told he was recently returned to service in the ANBU department but, I cannot imagine any situation in which he takes the title of Kazekage that isn’t bathed in blood. He’s twice ruled the Underground with an iron fist, and I can’t imagine his age has helped that mentality. The third, is…” Sousuke sighed and put a hand over his face, already distraught at the limited options he thought the entire Council would be agreeable to.
…talk of another Sunahoshi line hidden among the Nomads who could-
Say it,” Nabushin spoke up, his eyes still firmly planted on the wall, tears welling in the corners as he drained the glass of brandy, “Just get it out already! You already know who’s the best fit and yer’ just beatin ‘round the bush you right metal bastard!
Who, what I-” the fake-flesh covered golem tried to right himself, believing he had said something offensive.
NO!” Nabushin roared, standing up suddenly, causing his horns to comically break into the ceiling above to hold his head straight as he continued, “None of them have the political experience needed to navigate the Sunan Nobles and this damned city! But you do know one that does! Say it already!

Sousuke stood up, his body ready to try and reign in the old Ox if need be. The last place they needed Nabushin to act out in was behind a room full of old enemies of the Toraono Clan. He desperately searched for a name to answer the giant before his anger boiled over, only coming up with the one person who nettled him more than most:
….Michino?”

The Ox King raised his hands and roared again, shaking the entire room a little before picking up and throwing a chair into smithereens against a wall. The ceiling where his horns had stuck in tore at the wood until it splintered off but remained corked just the same. Nabushin was breathing hard, a powerful aura rising up that only quelled when Sousuke moved to placed a hand on his back.
Always that brat! Always out doin’ everything I set out for the Oushi-Ouja…leave me. Forgive my outburst.” The anger seemed to flee his flesh as soon as it rose. To think there was a person’s name who could rile the Ox King more than the Devil himself. Snagging the bottle of brandy from the table, the giant walked out of the private room and back into the main part of the speakeasy. Shortly after, the Steward took back his seat and leaned back in his chair; his purple hued eyes glinted with a certain edge.

He hadn’t actually thought of Michino as the first person to push forward, but it wasn’t out of lacking candidacy - it was out of respect, and the love of a family member. The boy had been something of a nephew to Sousuke and he had proudly watch them grow from his concerned teens into the fine young man they had become. A warrior of the people, heavily saturated in politics, and as of recently even physically able as he had returned to combat training shortly after Raizo’s disappearance. Of the thousands of people he had registered in his mind, of all the potential scenarios of ousting Wei, Sousuke admitted he had left out the youth on purpose…but now that he thought about it…

The Toraono were one of the original clans that could claim the Iron Throne…” he mumbled softly as if further considering it before looking up to Akkuma and Sora, “He’s all but the leader of the Toraono Clan, only officially waiting for the Demonbeast King to pass the crown themselves, and has managed to tie together the demonkin in a way no one has before; being that he was raised and trained by the entire clan, and not by the bloodline he discovered later in life.
With his backing…yes…” a subtle change hinted in the being’s eyes, from edge to strategy, “If the Suna Council declares Toraono Michino the 13th Kazekage, it will enact a decree of the clan itself to draw back all members into Sunagakure for the coronation; the Toraono will only follow the will of Suna’s leader.
According to the information Tama has been feeding the Council from his time with the Nomads, he has been noting that the Toraono have played games of cat-n-mouse with their enemy instead of outright killing them. He believes they’re just waiting for new leadership to abandon multiple battlefronts and return home. With their aid at our side, we’d have no problem out muscling Wei’s limited guards and force them into submission. If all goes well…it should end with zero causalities on either side…

[Nabushin now looks like Kaido, we ballin. Also I asked Sousuke what Sousuke would look like right now, and that was the answer. Old Man Hector from Fire Emblem.]
 
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If Sora would have had any chin hair, he would have stroked it. As it was, his looks were the epitome of yet to achieve his truest prime age. In fact, in many a setting, knowing that he was an Ancient would have immediately caused unease due to the dichotomy of his true and perceived age. Listening to the names being said, Sora allowed the council representatives to speak and even after they were done with the spat concerning the apparent most divisive choice, he still remained silent for a time. Thinking about the situation from multiple angles, he raised his index finger to ask a question. "No doubt the answer is obvious, but just so that the matter is on record, care to explain why arguably the most infamous man in the world and the resident Ancient were left off of the council's list?" Sora didn't need to Akkuma or his own name because it ought to be pretty obvious but he did continue. In any event, he did give a slight smirk and a nod towards Akkuma all the same.

"If it's a matter of undoing some of the twelfth's musings then it is what it is, but of the names proposed, I don't recall any of them sporting the title of Sennin or the like. Plus, that last one... we'd just be doing the same old song and dance where a person's family name allows them to jump the line. Would the council be prepared to answer the sort of questions that come with such a legacy choice?" Waving a hand freely about the air, Sora pointed to an indistinct point on the ceiling. "As ironic as it sounds, there's an usurper leading Suna and his only campaign promise was that a change was coming." Pausing again, he shrugged. "So far, he and his cronies have brought that change and more and while it might not suit us, there's more than enough people... young people... upset at the perceived status quo that they're willing to turn to genocide and other murderous intentions based on the mere idea of 'taking their country back'." Looking to Akkuma and then back to the council representatives, Sora shook his head. "Respectfully of course, we're going to need quite a bit more on the next Kazekage's resume than, 'he's a good clan leader', 'he mastered the rasengan technique before he could walk and talk', or, 'his great-great-great-grandmother was the wet nurse of Primus himself'." Though his tone may have been matter of fact, he meant every word seriously. "So, who on that list of yours has done more than simply be groomed for the task at hand?" A simple question with a host of possible answers.
 

Miroku Akkuma

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When the Sage formed before his peers & the patrons of their chosen meeting place a silence fell over the area. An unspoken tension building like a silent bubble ready to burst as they all waited with anticipation to see what he would do. Much to the relief of many patrons he seemed to be light in spirits, joking with his peers causing them to return to their activities once more. Now the immediate possibility of death had passed. Akkuma would chuckle as Sora jested back that the rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated, it seemed he wasn't the only one with a knack for surviving nor a sense of humour. A fact he was glad to see, although this would only prove to be the start of a very interesting conversation.

However the Storm Lord, old Nabushin made quite the display of his displeasure that Akkuma was there. Truthfully the Sage wasn't sure how much of it was for show & how much of it was truly how the Storm Lord felt. While they were by no means allies, they were not without their times of co-operation either. While the Storm Lord may not have approved of him, he was pragmatic enough to know that he achieved results where no one else could. Then there was Sousuke the Robokage, a secret Akkuma had held about the Steward for years. Another individual with whom he had a complex relationship to say the least. While he had no issues with Sousuke, they had co-operated & compromised numerous times throughout his tenure within Sunagakure while the Robokage reigned.

The corners of Akkuma's lips curled into a sly smile, full of amusement at the Storm Lords statement. He watched as the Robokage acted as expected & attempted to ensure the situation did not escalate. Even as a Sennin he could not escape these high born nobles thinking they were better than him. Standing with the group he would follow the procession into the private room, taking a seat he would listen intently to the words of those who intended to conspire against his village & Kazekage. Once they were all inside & seated Sora signalled for the door to be closed. It seemed his younger comrade had no hesitations for what he was about to propose. Those crimson eyes watched with interest as Sora spoke with hands clasped firmly together, his words affirming Akkuma's suspicions.

Sora intended to remove Wei & position a new Kazekage into power. Not only did he want to do this but he believed the council he had assembled had already elected a priority list of candidates in secret. If such a statement were true it were enough to have every single one of them in a cell in the Obsidian Palace. They were walking a fine line that the right Anbu wouldn't care to question. He'd never been summoned to any such meeting to consider such candidates. Nor heard of such contingencies, but he would be lying if he were to say he hadn't anticipated this sort of action from a collaboration of higher ups after Wei's instalment & actions. There were many questions that ran through the Sages mind the most pertinent being, why hadn't he been informed of the creation of this list of candidates? Since his input in the list had not been required by this Cabal they might want him here as a scape goat, after all who better to pin the organising of such a scheme on should it all fall short?

When Sora voiced his belief that Wei had been involved with the disappearances of the other Kazekage Akkuma laughed. "Despite whatever...complexities there were between myself & the previous Kazekage. I would never do them the dishonour of believing that Wei of all people could have orchestrated anything that could have actually removed them. At worst I believe he saw an opportunity & took it." He would say in a business-like manner with a seriousness that left no room for misinterpreting his thought on the matter. Even for a connected individual for himself to just make not one but two kage vanish, no Wei was not capable of that. Then Sora revealed not only that he was an Ancient but that many other Ancients & Hybrids had been detected during the Sennin Games. He then went on to say the only reason he was admitting this was because there were more of them on the other side of that door.

Akkuma's hand tensed as he wordlessly tilted his head eyeing his younger peer. He had intended to attempt to eliminate all of the patrons outside of this room after their meeting & destroy this building. Make it look like a territorial dispute between a local gang had gotten out of hand resulting in an explosion from the liquor stores below being ignited. This would minimise the chances their gathering would be disclosed to the wrong people. Closing his eyes the Immortal Trickster took a slow, purposeful breathe in an effort to control the urge. However with the knowledge that this room was now full of Ancients & Hybrids. Where his demonic instincts told him to make war, the shinigami within him told him devour them all. To send them to oblivion, he fought the desire for now & opened his eyes.

Those crimson orbs locked onto Sora as he listened to what the newly declared Ancient said. Sora began to give a brief breakdown of all that had been happening & Akkuma sat their listening. How many of those that relied on the secrecy of anonymity for survival had been lost in Wei's rolling tide of reform & radicalization? His comrade went on giving excellent breakdowns & expressing the motivation for why Wei would do so. He'd been so close to hitting the mark that Akkuma almost thought they were going to be ahead of schedule for a moment. But no they weren't quite there yet & when he talked about Wei using the Nomads as a scapegoat. Even informing them about how the task was really an operation to hunt the Ancients & Hybrids down while using the Nomads as his scapegoats.

Though he was right in that the easiest way to defeat a nation was from within. So little time under Wei & already they conspired to supplant their own preferred Kazekage. Their Kazekage had been...hunting the enemies of their people for how many generations? After all they hadn't really changed the status quo on that. No if they had wanted real change that is what they would have done, but they wanted change that would serve themselves. But they had barely begun to feel the chafe of existence under this Kazekage. He needed more time to acquire the necessary influence for his goals, Wei was making that process vastly easier. "A Kazekage nominee, elected & appointed under these conditions by a council in secret will not be accepted by the people." His face held a look of incredulous disbelief upon it. The people were already suffering at the hands of Wei, if they thought they would willingly suffer the schemes of another because some secret council willed it so & the common folk would accept it without trouble they were fools. Why? Because he would make it so, when it came to the Sunken Ruins of Sunagakure his influence was strongest there. He could fan the flames however he suited & for now it suited him if the flames of passion ran radically towards progress on Wei's side.

Although he was a reasonable & magnanimous being. Sousuke & the Storm Lord would engage in some deliberation about who they should nominate. Apparently the candidate was evident to the Storm Lord, not that he was happy with the decision. Akkuma's lips curled into a smile at the reactions of the two council members as they discussed their choice back & fourth. When the storm Lord shattered a chair against a wall Akkuma laughed gleefully. Oh how he remembered what it was long when his passions used to get so ignited by discussions. But he'd been a younger being back then, that was many life times ago. With a sigh Akkuma listened to their nominations who knew of the first name only by reports, the second he was well aware of & as for Michino they were familiar.

An understanding chuckle would escape him, after all he had a complicated relationship with the prophet. Like he usually did with all those who saw themselves as figureheads or wielders of authority. While he weighed how to best voice his thoughts on the nomination & moving forward Sora took the opportunity to speak. Asking them to explain why Akkuma & himself were left off the list. Although Akkuma agreed the answer was no doubt obvious, it was always better to have such things be said he'd think to himself with a gleeful flash in his eyes. There were a specific reasons & he wanted them to voice them. If they would pull him into their seditious schemes. But more importantly it allowed him the time to properly formulate a way to stall their efforts & perhaps plant yet another seed from which he could bear fruit given the proper time.

That was if his current plans didn't meet his expectations, he was after all a patient being & Sora was right the best way to destroy anything was from within. Wei had upset the balance & was on the verge of forever altering the status quo of not just Sunagakure but Wind Country in the process. Sora was showing wisdom beyond his years on many aspects of this matter, than again perhaps his age was not what it appeared to be. The answer to Sora's question was of importance to him because you so rarely got an opportunity for candid truth from people. There were valid concerns that would go on to be expressed by the Head of the Fourth Order, in regards to how some of the small folk would feel about a legacy appointee so to speak. The final question was the most important one for Akkuma, that was what they should be asking themselves when deciding who should lead them. Not who could pander best to the nobility & politicians.

But who among the proposed had actually done something for the village. To this question Akkuma had an answer, there was only one person he considered fit for the position. Purely out of how much inconvenience they had caused not just himself but his closest allies. There were few souls who would dare to stand before them & even fewer still who would live to tell the tale. More than once he rose to the challenge, the Sage even had to admit he was surprised by the reports of his encounter with Akira at the Gates. To stand before his blade as an obstacle & come out with his life? That was a feat unto itself, the courage to face his allies time & time again. Let alone surviving the unstoppable force that was Ryujin Akira, the pinnacle of Akkuma's research on artificial life. Yes, Michino would serve Sunagakure well.

Alas he would lose the freedoms he had grown accustomed to under Wei, but Michino would be the strong leadership the village needed moving into the next phase. For in the settling dust of Wei's departure new threats would arise to threaten the village & with it more opportunities for the Sage. If his plans came to fruition, well he wanted someone capable at the helm of Sunagakure. Those crimson eyes moved to the other Council members who had yet to ask the most prudent question of their peer before they begun & so it had fallen to him. "There is just a matter or two I'd like to address if we are to go forward...who brings this matter to us? Sora Sennin of the Fourth Order or Sora Representative of the Ancients?" as he spoke his gaze moved back to his fellow Sennin.

After all Sora's people were effectively being hunted & exterminated. Not that some members of Sunagakure would object to such actions, no doubt many would praise the continued effort to extinguish those known as Ancients & now Hybrids. Though they would have their sympathizers if they played their cards right. Wei certainly had proven himself to be unsympathetic to their existence of anonymity out of necessity. Perhaps Sora found the suggested candidates to be unsuitable for the hopes he had for saving his people. Even if they were spared from hunting enough individuals knew of their existence word would spread & before long the torch bearing masses would come for their monsters.

"Despite what some within the village may believe I want what is best for the village. How are we to know your goals here today aren't driven by the plight your people find themselves in?" there was no accusatory tone to his words, it was merely a question. A fair one given the stakes at hand. "I have yet to sink so low as to betray my Kage & if I'm to do so I had better have bloody good reason to do it." his words came out like a hiss that would cut through the air. Coming from one such as himself it was a statement, but if they had known his history they would have expected such a reaction. "Despite my best effort since taking office there are those that still hold their...reservations about me." he paused only for a moment searching to find the right word as he scanned the gathered group before continuing on.

"There are those who will always harbor suspicion or fear for me in this village. I have accepted that, Toraono Michino is no exception to this." Much to the demon Sages admittedly mixed amusement & ire. "If I take part in some secret cabal to unseat the sitting Kazekage & install him. My participation in this will only further any suspicions he may have. That is not particularly an issue I wish to arise if I am to have any say in it." From the way he was speaking they would no doubt believe he was going to vote against Michino. Why would Michino trust any of them after they schemed away from prying ears & eyes to replace the Kage with one they deemed more fitting. Who was to say they wouldn't do the same to him should he step out of line with them at any point? Who knows what he would think of the situation if he ever found out.

"I will concede that out of all candidates Toraono Michino is our best pick. Not only does he have the experience, influence & pedigree. But I can personally attest to him surviving a situation only someone worthy of a Kage-ship could have, on more than one occasion." as Akkuma spoke he expressed both his amusement & surprise at the situation. "Truth be told I think he's the only one with the necessary heart or will to do so whichever you prefer." Akkuma's tone reflected his words, as if he were conceding a fact to someone. "However if we want to remove Wei & do so with the people on our side. We'll need to find evidence of his actions against Sunagakure & it's interests. Dirt against him, if there is any. In the absence of procuring any we could always try falsifying some but that comes with risks. This would all be if we decided to move forward that is..." he would finish there his gaze moving over those gathered. He had said his piece after listening intently, much like his fellow Sennin he had given them much to think on.

Michino would be the more acceptable option moving forward, Uzu would likely result in daily assassinations, Tosa he knew little of but from the reports he would prove to be less useful than Michino in the long term. No, this path was for the best. Even if it was potentially riddled with a few hiccups along a the way for him personally. Sometimes progress came with growing pains, at least now he had the satisfaction of knowing that they were no better than him. At the first sign of trouble they had turned on their oaths & begun to drop their morals under the chafe of Wei's reign. He was no more a monster than these civilized shinobi were, trying to justify their oath breaking.

MFT
WC: 2748
OOC: Edited to fix some errors, no major changes, just some slight spelling/grammar corrections.
 
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Sousuke was in mid thought, already strategizing potential outcomes with the name he had spoken; one intentionally left off the list until the Ox King decided to push the matter. Of course, it appeared that the great mammoth of a man wasn’t the only one resenting the possible Toraono pick. Sousuke’s eyes turned to Sora with quick calculations, the pupils glowing a soft mechanical blue briefly as if processing thousands of answers before selecting one,

I left off our current Sennin for many reasons; the biggest being of who would replace them? Those three seats are just as important, if not more, than the Iron Throne itself. A Kazekage is set to lead, direct, and protect the village - but they aren’t omnipotent. A king is only as good as his subjects - so to speak. If I were to select either Akkuma, Moriko, or yourself - one of which just came out of a coma - who would help you lead? An entire third of your military leadership goes with a Sennin Pick.
Then,” he said leaning back in his chair as his metal frame wore on the groaning wood, “you’re a recently revealed Ancient working within the military itself. Sunagakure’s oldest enemy. It cannot be said enough that you’ve done more for the village during the raid on the Oracles than most shinobi give in a lifetime; but you ask for divide in suggesting either yourself or Akkuma. An Ancient seating the Iron Throne…I’m afraid that might actually cause some sort of cataclysm we could not predict, set into place thousands of years ago by Primus themselves. Akkuma’s past, one he is still trying to overcome whilst plotting treason with the Old Council - do you believe anyone would actually see this man ascending to Kazekage and not suspect some sort of foul play? No,” he paused for a moment as if struggling to say the words,

We gamble on the Toraono,” the Robokage sighed, his eyes closing hard as if saying it pained him. It did, but only because of the service he was now staking on his nephew. Hearing Akkuma actually back up the lawful child of two clans caught Sousuke as a surprise, fully expecting the Immortal Trickster to also roll the dice on throwing his hat into the ring - instead he agreed on the choice and gave an interesting foresight. Sousuke had something of a history with the old snake across from him, thought not as directly as some. Ever both a thorn and a boon in Suna's pocket, the immortal continued to constantly dance around the lines of morality; making it impossible to know who's side he was really on. The mechanical lord had learned long ago that the snake was always, looking out for #1 - vexing it was, in as what Akkuma considered to be that important could change from day-to-day.

What was Michino doing fighting…no, question for another time. On the note of finding something on Wei, I have faith that we can rely on the Uzu for that. Ever since taking a captain roll in the ANBU, he’s been hard on rebuilding his spy network and training new proteges. I’ll contact the old assassin and see what he’s uncovered.
I also have two more proposals...” he looked across the table at the two Sennin seating with him, ancient memories of doing this for far too long rushing back all at once, “Once the Steward has been ousted there will most likely be a falling out with both the Oil Barons and the Chikamatsu. If Akkuma is correct on Wei being an oppertunist, we have no clue how deep his sycophants within his own clan go. I know of one that is staunchly opposed to Wei, but that is only one. To reduce the damage of retaliation, it might be prudent that we work on potentially moving the entire village back underground; and find a way to make use of the old sandworm tunnels to keep from being discovered. Moving an entire city, though, constantly would be an unprecedented feat of mankind. I have some thoughts on how it could be done, but without an ample supply of spare Chakra Crystals, it would be impossible. Sora, I assume you might have someone among the Oracles who could assist and would remain faithful to this cause?
Second to that, Akkuma, I would task that you set those loyal to you, and you alone, to discover a way for the village to survive underground. I’d task Tama with this, however aside from having wholly sided with the Nomads - he tends to be too…easily distracted to be dependable. At least, not unless we have a monetary value equal to the task - which, Suna, does not but…I have heard you run a casino?
 

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