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Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Meetings frequently take place between visitors, council members, Sennin and Kage in the Raikage Tower. The Conference rooms can be booked by nearly anyone wanting to meet nearly any official under the aegis of equality as Kumogakure citizens.

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Suika
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:30 pm

Suika graciously accepted the passports she received from the Leaf shinobi. Flipping through the documents as she sat besides Yuii, it was clear that these were authentic passports granted by the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Shooting a confirming nod toward her superior, the Chuunin decided to hold on to their documents until she received further clearance. What happened after felt like a physical representation of a domino effect, the Main Branch Sennin’s sharp words being the force to knock the first one over. The first girl, introduced as Nanjirou Daenerisu, shared that they arrived to Lightning Country by sea and wished not to be sent back to Fire Country. Following her Sennin’s words in vulgar Ancient Kumogakurian, a focused Suika issued an instant follow-up question to the girl.

“What was the name of the vessel you sailed on, Daenerisu-san?” she asked plainly. Her approach was straightforward, yet a sense of warmth was carried in her voice. This was completely purposeful.

"Second domino."

Following the girl, the other, known as Saitou Reicheru, gave a heart-tugging speech. Suika sensed both fear and anguish in her tone; she either was telling a complete truth, or was some masterful deceiver. The kunoichi’s instinct led her to believe it was the more positive of the two. Yuii recited a few more words, and Suika immediately appeared visibly distraught after them. Her shining, magenta eyes reflected an emotion beyond sympathy for the girl’s story. She shook her head and sighed under her breath.

“Third domino.”

The male of the group was a bit more pragmatic in his approach; this led Suika to believe that he was the leader of their little troupe. He offered their aid and skill in return for the village’s cooperation in providing them a safe haven. If Leaf truly was this tyrannically led place, this was a reasonable offer, no? As Yuii, for the third time, spoke their village’s mother tongue, Suika shook her head as if to disagree with her. Her body language revealed a type of discomfort from what the Sennin shared to her.

“Fourth domino?”

The shadow on the wall, the masked ANBU in the room, spoke out. His words weren’t completely unwarranted, Suika thought, but his feelings to be outspoken about them were. She gave him credit for his boldness, but she instantly dubbed him a fool for stepping out of line as he did. “He doesn’t really know Yuii-sama or the way she operates, which I guess makes sense… but read the room, ANBU.” Although she was eyerolling internally, Suika appeared physically unbothered by the man’s reckless statements as if he didn’t speak them to begin with. The other Kumogakure shinobi, a dark-haired woman who appeared somewhat familiar to her, cracked a bit from his impromptu speech. The Main Branch Sennin was quick to dismiss them.

While Yuii’s follow-up response to the shinobi were a bit harsh, she spoke the reality and described the true sense of their situation. Regardless of their reason for running from their homes, it was definitely risky to assume a guard at a foreign village would offer the sympathy needed to get in. It was foolish, but here they were. Before the kunoichi could formulate further thoughts on this matter, a commanding, yet casual presence entered the room. It was the Raikage, Kogami Ayumu. Suika immediately stood and bowed her head in respect for the leader of her village. Once he settled in and addressed the shinobi in the room, she took her place back at the table and listened silently to his words.

“Prior troubling news from Konoha? Interesting,” she mused as he shared a crucial piece of information in his query. Shifting her eyes toward the Konoha youth, her curiosity grew exponentially. What exactly was happening in the Land of Fire?
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:22 pm

Stifling a sigh, Reicheru eyed Maikeru with a look that said, 'We're not there yet.' It wasn't as if this came as a surprise though, as she knew Maikeru had never ever been one to beat around the bush. She thought of the forming of Kashima in Yukio's office; of his forward approach in the dango shop; of his demand for the rank of Chief Medic. It had always worked out well for him in Konoha… but this was a different arena. These Kumonin owed them nothing, and in fact had every right to write them off as responsibility-shirking runaways and send them home. This would have to been handled with care, they would have to communicate clearly why this mattered not only to the Fire Country natives before them but to the whole of the Village Hidden in the Clouds.

They were not off to a good start on that front. The shadow against the wall made that much clear, even if he was reaching in the conclusions he was jumping to. His use of the word 'fugitive' to describe them caused Reicheru's eyes to narrow ever so slightly. They hadn't come to an enemy village with strategically compromising information, this wasn't exactly a betrayal. They'd been granted permission to come here, and as shinobi of a village with whom Kumo had an alliance they were doing their duty to give their ally the information they needed. Or at least, that was one way to look at it. Thankfully Reicheru knew that going off on the man and telling him exactly why he was wrong wouldn't help their situation, and additionally Yuii began speaking before she could anyway.

Reicheru nodded with embarrassment as Yuii pointed out the issues in how they had gone about this, but the thing she didn't understand was why she was making such a big deal of how they hadn't made their passage secret and the 'position' it put Cloud in. The passports were proof enough that they had left with no ill will from their village, it was no secret in Konoha as to why they had left. Cloud had every right to turn them away, but there was no reason for that decision to be influenced by the possible response of Leaf… unless…

Takeshi had accepted Maikeru's deal of two years of service in exchange for a transfer almost instantaneously. It had seemed a bold request and odd for the Hokage to take it so quickly, but Reicheru had never thought more of it. But given what she knew of the man Uchiha Takeshi, giving it more consideration now, she wouldn't be surprised if he had only agreed knowing that Cloud would not take them in. How could the village accept refugees with stories of crimes against humanity, and justify maintaining an alliance with said village? Reicheru had thought that it could be seen by Cloud as an opportunity to help a struggling ally, but she saw now that such a thought process was likely the influence of that nuisance of hope. Had this been his plan all along? One final jab at the youth he seemed to so detest? 'We… might have made a mistake.' The thought gave way to a sick feeling in the Nanjirou's stomach.

Yet the roller coaster of emotion would continue as a new figure entered the room. The response of the Kumonin and the air of authority about him immediately informed Reicheru that this was the Raikage, Lord Ayumu. When he spoke, everything else faded away and the dark haired girl immediately threw herself into a deep bow. She would remain silent until spoken to, and even then when the Raikage addressed them and requested to hear what had landed them here in his office in Kumo, words seemed inadequate. Nevertheless, she straightened herself at full attention to give a response. Swalling hard, she trusted her friends to have her back and fill in any information she might miss.

"Raikage-sama, you have our most sincere gratitude for finding it worth your time to speak with us. My name is Saitou Reicheru, this is Uchiha Maikeru, and this Nanjirou Daenerisu. I will do my best to be concise to respect your time." Reicheru wondered if she ought to start with the general or the specific. She remembered writing reports at the academy both as a student and teacher - start with the thesis, then bring in the facts that support the argument. Drawing in a breath and letting it out slowly again, she began. "The short of it is that Konohagakure has become oppressive and violent toward anyone whose opinions do not align with the Hokage's, who himself has proven time and time again that he does not care for the people he leads. This is most clearly seen, I believe, in the repeated instances of the killings of Leaf Academy Students by Konoha shinobi and even the Hokage himself in recent years."

Point one. "It began in my memory with Uchiha Nitish, a troubled classmate of ours at the academy. It was known that he had a deep personal struggle going on that reflected in his actions, often rebellious and deviant. Various teachers and other shinobi began working with him, and reported seeing a great deal of improvement. In a moment of backsliding, he approached the village gate. I arrived moments after he had been struck down - not arrested, not detained, but slaughtered by the Hokage's own blade down his throat." The gruesome memory had never fully left Reicheru who had still been an academy student herself when she witnessed it. Though it had been incredulous to her personally, she knew that this one example would not be enough to convince given the appearance that Nitish was attempting to nuke. But this alone they had been able to deal with, to work to make sure it didn't happen again… their case did not end here.

Point two. "This would not turn out to be an isolated event. Not long after this, in the middle of this war we are embroiled in with Shimogakure, Lord Fourth took a leave of absence to travel while the enemy was on our doorstep. The frustration of feeling abandoned in our most compromising hour compounded with the sour taste left in our mouths over the harshness of the boy's punishment led the several shinobi to share this information with the village. More than that, they saw fit to challenge the Hokage in a fight broke out at the clan dojo of the Main Branch Sennin. While we don't agree with how they went about it - in fact, Maikeru and I were there and fought to protect our Sennin - I mention it to demonstrate that the faith of many Konohanin in their leadership has been shaken to the point of practically devolving into a civil war. Though there aren't even enough people left in the village for that now due to…"

Point three. "…a congruent incident that spurred a large exodus of our fellow Konoha shinobi and even civilian families from the village. You see, there were three boys younger than us in the Academy who heard the broadcast being shared all over the village, and it resonated with them. They went to replay it over a civilian radio tower they'd been given jurisdiction over as part of their role in evacuating the civilians if Frost were to invade, not fully realizing the implications behind the message nor knowing what was happening in the Ishi clan dojo at that moment. They were caught making this mistake, the tower was destroyed without question, and the boys…" her voice caught in her throat a moment before she cleared it, returning to a sense of professionalism. "…they were killed. They didn't resist, they didn't fight back… without trial, without a hearing, they were killed. For sharing a message to return to the Will of Fire, our founding belief that Konohagakure fights for and protects its own and functions as a family. Branded terrorists and slaughtered for replaying such a message, while the originator of that broadcast received merely a demotion and later an uncontested leave from the village."

Pausing, Reicheru wondered how her words were being received. She had seen it before, where these actions that she found baffling and unapologetically immoral had been justified and excuses made by village leadership. Steeling herself to receive the same reaction from these officials, the refugee made one last attempt to humanize their hot political situation. "As Daenerisu said, we have proof of these claims that she can play for you. While Maikeru and I fought desperately in the dojo, one of the boys - a Yamanaka - mentally linked up to us, and we watched with our own eyes as our friends died at the hands of those they thought were there to protect and guide them. He recorded the whole thing in a snapshot, and Daenerisu has it with her today if you wish to see it." Looking to her friends, she listened as they added anything she might have missed before looking back to the those who held their fate in their hands. "I am truly sorry for the position this puts you in, though I admit I don’t regret coming. Even if you deny us entry here, as an ally you deserve for the good of your own people to know what's transpired."

Her mind began reeling, preparing for the potential follow up questions and readying herself for whatever decision might be made. There was no going back now, words had been spoken that couldn't be taken back. Reicheru's gray eyes focused largely on the Kage before her, though occasionally bounced between the other Kumo shinobi to gauge the room's reaction. Had they in fact made a grave mistake?
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:41 pm

Looking between the four cloud shinobi that now inhabited the room, Maikeru's face grew into a small grimace. He closed his eyes for a second, finding his center, trying again to maintain the air that he wasn't shook to his core, or that anxiety wasn't nibbling at every fiber of his being. When he opened his eyes, he looked to the main branch Sennin, giving her an inquisitive look. He couldn't quite read her, which was strange to the Uchiha boy. He had always been good at that, reading someone's true intentions, but with her it was different. He wasn't sure if it was the conflict between her attire and demeanor, or the fact that she so casually switched tongues, but something about her was hard to read.

He was about to respond in kind to her comments when the group was interrupted by another new face entering the room, and this was one Maikeru could at least vaguely recognize. In the shinobi world, information was king. Above all else, a shinobi operated with good intel where it was available, and bad intel when that was all they could get. The face of the Kage of an allied village was something that even the lowest level of academy student should know, if even vaguely. With his Uchiha kekkei genkei, however, it was a face he recognized. Kogami Ayumu, the Raikage of the Village hidden in the Clouds.

As Reicheru and Danni rose from their seats, so did Maikeru, offering a bow he had forgotten to offer to Yuii. That piece of information occurred to him at that moment, and he clenched his jaw tightly to keep himself from cursing under his breath. How could he have forgotten something so simple and basic? He listened intently as the Raikage, and then Reicheru spoke, hoping to be able to offer some clarification or further explanation to her words. However, as usual, Reicheru was the one among the group who was good at this sort of thing, at diplomacy.

"Reicheru has the right of it, Lord Tenth." He added on, his voice as respectful and even as he could muster given the whirlwind of anxiety and fear swirling around his brain. "Though, I would like to add a small thing, if I may?"

He swallowed hard at the spit that had been gathering at the back of his throat. He had talked to the Hokage as an equal, even debated with him on multiple occasions. Why then, was he so terrified of this man in front of him. He seemed much kinder than Takeshi, and certainly easier to talk to and more approachable. Then what was it? Was it the fact that he had two swords? Was that what Maikeru was missing from his bladework?

"The Hokage is.. an interesting man. When Reicheru and I confronted him about the situation with the three young boys, he simply dismissed us as liars. We offered to allow a Yamanaka search our minds even, to ascertain the truth, and our words fell on deaf ears. He cared not for justice for those boys when he found out it was who murdered them." He paused in his words, trying to find the best way to say what he wanted to. It was tough, given the atmosphere of the room, and how many missteps he had apparently taken thus far. "Instead, those that wrongly murdered children of their own village were promoted to higher status in the leaf. I came here today with both the Hokage's knowledge, and permission. I am not a fugitive as the shadow on the wall would say. The leaf is not looking for me, the leaf knew I was leaving, and gave me her full blessing."
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:33 pm

Danii opened her mouth to respond to the accusations of treason leveled against them, but she stopped when Yuii began speaking. She closed her mouth. As Yuii turned her attention to them and began scolding then for opening their mouths at the gate, Danii's eyes fell to the floor. It seemed like their journey had been for nothing. They had tried to be honest in their intentions and to provide valuable information to a supposed ally, but the kumo-nin seemed to either misunderstand or not care. She didn't lift her eyes until she heard the door open and the Raikage himself entered. While she had never seen him herself, she could tell by the way he carried himself and they way the kumo-nin reacted to his entrance, that he was the one they had been waiting on.

The girl quickly rose from her seat and gave a respectful bow as he addressed them and Rei introduced the trio. Realizing their fate was in the hands of this man, Danii stood stiff as a board until he asked them for their story. Returning to her seat, she sat quietly as Reicheru and Maikeru shared their side of the incident that led to their departure from the Leaf. As she was reminded of the fate of their friends, her eyes fell to the ground and the saved images of Katsu's final moments played through her mind. Throughout the story, Danii kept a grim silence. It seemed best to allow the two with first hand experience of the events to tell the tale. Instead, she carefully examined the faces of the kumo-nin, especially Yuii and the Raikage, as the story was told to them. She finally spoke up once Reicheru and Maikeru

“What she said is correct. While helping to clean the bodies of our friends, I came across a seal containing Katsu's last moments through his eyes. If you would like, I would gladly share it with you. You will see the destruction of the tower and the brutal slaying of the boys, one who was clearly confused and… not quite there completely. You will see that they made no aggressive action before or during the fight… that's not the right word. It was a murder, an execution. No trial, no arrest, no offer of surrender. Now, I don't want to downplay the stupidity of their actions. They did indeed rebroadcast the signal sent out through Leaf, but the destruction of civilian property and the brutal execution without trial of three children was excessive. Especially, considering those actually behind the attack were allowed to leave unhindered after nearly killing a Sennin.”

Danii bit her tongue at the last part. She may have let slip more than she meant to with an obvious bias, but the pain of the loss was still fresh in her. Even after all this time, rewatching the snapshot she carried during their travels and again as Rei told the story kept the wounds fresh and most likely kept her from properly moving on. She composed herself and holds her right hand out on the table. Her left hand moves to the shoulder of her dress and rests on a seal she had covered with the fabric.

“Go ahead and see for yourself.”

She would only share the memory with her companions, the Raikage, or the Sennin unless requested otherwise.

[Snapshot (Mastered) used to share Katsu's snapshot]
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:49 pm

He knew he overstepping his rank. He knew that his words would only make those around feel uncomfortable. Yet he also knew he had to make a point, even if it was heartless. And he knew that the Sennin would probably not like it either. Still, he flinched at her words, thanking for the mask to cover his grimace. He eventually retreated back to his corner, slinking to the wall behind him. It wasn't fear, it was more of having to keep in check his own thoughts. He didn't want to suddenly add in any frustrations to the current predicament, nor did he want an unexpected call from the Captain. He sighed inwardly.

The presence of the Raikage soon alerted him to a standstill. The man entered with such a commanding presence that it wasn't so easily misplaced. And yet, there was kindness in his words - benevolent as always. But with such an invitation, Uri knew that three would let down their guard. No sooner would they begin to unfold their tales.

Hearing the events the lead to this point, there were moments when Uri felt bad for them. He somehow felt a strange sympathy for their fate, almost likening his own. But then his heart would steel itself and he gazed at them with more scrutiny than concern. Desperate measures often called for unexpected tactics, and as much as he wanted to believe them, he knew he had to be the one to test their veracity.

But for now, he would keep silent as waited for how the Sennin and the Raikage would react.
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:15 am

Nozomi wasn't too fond of what Yuii had to say, but she was her superior, so she had no reason not to acquiesce to what she had to say. She bowed her head a bit and simply stated, "You are correct, Lady Yuii. Pardon me," she said, as if asking for forgiveness for speaking out of turn. It didn't matter if Nozomi liked or disliked something her superior said, order is order, and she will maintain that. She didn't have much of a choice in the matter, anyway. It was at this point that the door had opened up and the Raikage entered into the room. Still standing, Nozomi turned and bowed deeply, at the waist, towards the Raikage. "Welcome, Lord Raikage," she said towards the man as he entered. After a brief moment, she stood erect and turned her eyes towards the students for a brief moment before darting her eyes between the back-and-forth among Yuii and Ayumu. It seemed Ayumu had called her out on her behavior towards the Leaf refugees. It wasn't her place to step in to defend her Sennin as it was 'THE MAN' himself that made the comment. The one person she ought-not talk back to.

It was then that Reicheru told the tale of what happened in Konoha. This perturbed her immensely. The fact that Konoha would freely murder children instead of educating them hit her on a personal level. She had issues with the killing of children whens he was made into a child slave and a child soldier before being re-introduced and re-integrated into Kumogakure society. She experienced this kind of oppression quite vividly, too vividly as a matter of fact, that something still-fresh in her memory still caused quite the violent response from her. Just the mention of this information caused her to bite her lower lip, her balling her hands into a tight fist. She was having troubles maintaining her usual calm and collect demeanor from hearing about this. The following news didn't bother her at all; a helpless and inept leader isn't something that bothered her. It was the village's fault for putting such an inept and cowardly leader into power in the first place.

The tower incident was then told, causing Nozomi to take a sharp breath in through her nostrils. Her face twitching between keeping a stone-cold demeanor and displaying anger about the story that she had heard. She took a deep breath. These were just tales, they have yet to display any proof. She needed to keep her cool until she was shown proof of such atrocities. As Maikeru began to speak, her eyes darted towards him confirming her words. Again, just words. She needed to remain calm until actual proof, which they claimed to have, was proven to be shown. Daenirisu then displayed the evidence to the Sennin, her comrades, and the Raikage. She wasn't privy to watch the incident but the vocal and audio clips were enough to give context to what happened. She shifted her arms to cross over her chest, under her breasts, and waited for the words from the Raikage and the Sennin present before making a reaction.

Her initial thought was to just kill those responsible for these heinous crimes, but she wanted to have faith that justice will be served for those who innocently lost their lives. She, however, realistically knew that the murder of several foreign children wasn't enough to bring the villages to war nor break the treaty; which she saw as a farce to begin with. She wasn't holding her breath, but whatever the Raikage and Sennin deemed fit was what she had to live with. Her eyes turned towards Reicheru for a moment and the thoughts of grooming her to become a killer, like herself, started to grow like a tumor in her mind. Nozomi had experienced this many times before. Even if vengeance was, at the most, empty for those who fulfill it; it was certainly a cathartic feeling for even a brief moment. Knowing that the ones who turned your life into a living hell, for ending the lives of those you loved, having died to your hands was a satisfying feeling. Maybe she could grant her that satisfaction without completely turning her into a monster.
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:40 pm

Yuii's face flickered to a warm smile as Ayumu showed himself, and she joined the throng in standing and bowing to her beloved Raikage. She resisted the urge to give him the usual sheepish smile or to slip into the casual conversation that was normal for the pair in all but official matters. The deep-rooted friendship between Sennin and Kage could erroneously make them believe they were of one mind.

Her smile turned bitter and self-mocking as the Kage quietly alluded to her own husband. There was nothing to gain from admitting her own connection with the countries of Earth and Fire and the Kage's chastisement managed only to remind her that she was supposed to be feeling sorry for herself. "Of course, Raikage-sama" she agreed sweetly to the ill-timed comparison while stepping aside to offer her own chair to the Kage, "But a lack of tact seems to also breed true. You do understand my position, don't you?"

Yuii picked a new chair next to the one she had offered Ayumu and sank into it with the same slouched uncaring attitude. Her attention seemed almost entirely on a wrapped candy that she casually opening. The Kage was here now and that meant she was supposed to follow his lead, offer him support and voice her opinion when he asked for it. Then again, Yuii had always been a terrible Sennin.

"What you're claiming is a bit outrageous, isn't it?" she asked as if the very idea of a Kage being wrong had never occurred to her. As if by accusing the Hokage's integrity they were also judging her own Kage. " Our Kage lead and protect us. If they needed to die then..." she left the last words hanging and tinged with doubt. "I'm sorry Raikage-sama, I shouldn't have spoken."
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:28 pm

The first to speak up was the girl who seemed like she could be the leader of the bunch. She introduced herself and her companions while speaking in a very respectful manner, mindful that Ayumu might be busy. Truthfully, this was his highest pirority at the moment- he wanted to hear more, to figure out what was going on. She began with a summary of the problem, that the Hokage allegedly did not care for his people and that students were being killed, even by the Hokage's own hand. This lined up with what Ayumu had heard already from Hana, but he did not say anything.

She recounted an instance of a young Uchiha whom in a moment of foolishness had decided to try to flee the gates. Naturally, in a shinobi village, this was forbidden and he would be stopped in Cloud just as quickly as in Leaf. Yet by the sounds of it, it didn't end at preventing his escape. He was executed on the spot by the Hokage himself. This was clearly the incident Ayumu had heard about already. It didn't sound pretty and Ayumu wasn't keen to believe it but that was yet another source claiming as much. Cloud has rules about stopping runners at the gates. Killing was not off the table if the runner resisted, but in the case of a kage stopping a student it would be considered excessive force to be sure. If the runner could be incapacitated and arrested that would certainly be preferable, especially in the case of a young one. Ayumu nodded, allowing Reicheru to continue uninterrupted.

Continue she did, mentioning an incident where a fight had broken out between several shinobi over the incidents that had occurred. Nearly a civil war... it unforunately reminded Ayumu of how Shin had been cornered and attacked by his own people over disagreements with how he was running the village. Yet, while Ayumu could never have sympathized with the reasoning of those that killed Shin, he found himself questioning whether he might have felt the same in the shoes of those in Leaf.
Reicheru went on, describing a families and individuals fleeing the village in the aftermath. This, of course, explained Hana's recent arrival. Yet what came next was clearly personal for the girl and her companions, evident by her inability to hide her emotion in the midst of the story. More students, obviously their friends, were killed as a result of rebroadcasting a message that admittedly they should not have. Executed on the spot, again, without question. Yet, the one who had broadcast the message to begin with was unharmed? Forget the morality, where was the sense in that? Ayumu averted his gaze for a moment as he pondered, showing his distaste for what he was hearing.

As Reicheru went quiet, the boy chimed in to coroborate her claims as well as speak on the Hokage himself. He claimed that the Hokage didn't care about those that were killed, and that he had in fact promoted those responsible. Yet, at the same time, he had also permitted these three to leave just as he had permitted Umashi and Yomi to do the same. Was he simply trying to rid the village of dissenters in a manner which would draw less negative attention than killing them? Well, that was just speculation. Daenerisu also agreed with Reicheru's account of what had occurred, and offerred up the proof they had, the snapshot that would show Ayumu what happened that day.

"Yes, let me see it," Ayumu said, prompting Danii to share the snapshotted memory. Ayumu watched the events play out silently, his contenance grim. The three children, juvenline in their mannerisms, jested with eachother as they worked to set up the broadcast which Ayumu heard as well. The broadcast called Takeshi out for the actions Ayumu had now heard described on multiple occassions. As it played, the kids chuckled as they didn't seem to realize how big a mistake they had just made.
Moments later, the tower was annihilated by wind ninjutsu launched by an ANBU. Another girl showed up, gleeful in her demeaner, giggling like a school girl. Another woman showed and issued a threat to them. The boys tried feigning innocence to no avail. One of the girls who had arrived to stop them declared that they were now considered missing-nin and gleefully declared that they wouldn't live to make it into the bingo books. And so the three attacked and easily overpowered the boys, the difference in their strength clear. It was over in an instant and the snapshot ended abruptly as a blade swung for the jutsu user's neck. Ayumu drew a long breath and was quiet for a moment as Yuii spoke, expressing her disbelief that a kage's integrity could be in question. She apologized and then went quiet, leaving it to Ayumu to speak.

"Kage are not infallible. Myself included," Ayumu said, pausing for a moment. He knew better. In recent history, the village had a Raikage named Haruka whom had killed her predecessor and covered it up in order to attain her position. Kages were human. "Ideally, Yuii, you're right- that should be the role of a kage. And sometimes that means making tough decisions... but this..." Ayumu paused, going quiet as he found himself at a loss for words momentarily. The three shinobi had given not a single ounce of care for the children as they killed them, one of them even seemed happy to do so. The difference in power was almost immeasurable between the two sides, yet the victors had not even tried to hold back... it had been their intentions that none of the boys would live. And they were promoted for it? But of course, it would make sense if their Hokage was of the same mind.

Ayumu felt a bit sick thinking of what he had just watched... and angry. Had he been present, he certainly would have tried to intervene. To stop the senseless killing, to hear the boys out. They were in the wrong according to their village's law, but did they deserve to die without question? Ayumu's fist clenched tightly. There was nothing he could do, it was but a memory of something that had already happened. The anger boiled within, fresh off of what he'd just seen. His eyes glowed faintly as chakra gathered. The spirit V'eru within him cautioned him to calm himself and after another deep breath he did, unclenching his fist.

"I've heard other stories as well, from others who came here from your village. A woman named Uchiha Hana told me that the Hokage attacked her and her husband Ziren, that he stabbed her, and then forced her husband to take the blade out of her and cut off his own arm... is this something any of you were aware of?" Ayumu asked. He asked partially to see if they could corroborate the story and also to make Yuii aware of what he had already heard. It didn't seem so far fetched right now.
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Suika
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:05 pm

Not really expecting a response from her contrived query, Suika soon was immersed in the heart-wrenching story that was passionately told by Reicheru. The Leaf shinobi was obviously distraught; the kunoichi sensed a sorrowful sincerity in both her tone and demeanor. Although the Chuunin had no reason to believe these foreigners, a regretful truth was painted by these ninjas from the Land of Fire. As a previous victim of trauma herself, it was easy for her to recognize the signs. She knew the trio before her felt powerless and victim to a system they had no control or say over. Their presence here was the ultimate symptom of their admitted defeat – they were grasping at straws.

However…

They were not weak. No, while they had probably encountered a medley of tragedies throughout their time in Leaf Village, Suika also sensed in them a fiery aura that burned for justice and peace. There was plenty of fight remaining in them… she felt this in her bones. Although most would express dismay or disbelief when an account like this was shared, the kunoichi expressed neither. While she held on to her natural disposition of neutrality, she fought the urge to unveil glimmers of hope for them. If permitted, she’d want to chat with these shinobi later in private. While she carried the needs of her village first, Suika also had her own agenda.

“Hm?”

As told, Suika quietly turned away when the snapshot was shared. She was a bit curious, but she gave the Leaf shinobi the privacy they requested. The responses from her superiors after were no surprise. Yuii appeared cold and unaffected by the proof of their story, but the Chuunin understood why. The duty of a Sennin was beyond just believing every tale that slipped through your gates, especially if the safety of her village, Raikage, and, most importantly, her ailed child was at stake. Plus, she owed them nothing, not even a drop of common empathy. While Suika herself knew she’d react differently than her superior, there was a certain aspect of the Sennin’s behavior that she admired. She took mental notes.

Ayumu, on the other hand, looked visibly perturbed. Examining his words and tensed body language alone were enough to know that this angered him. But then again, the Raikage had previously revealed that these weren’t the first Leaf shinobi to enter Cloud Village’s gates. Upon the retelling of another gruesome account told to him by an individual named Hana, Suika fought the compulsion to wince.

Goodness, Uchiha Takeshi was an asshole.
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Nanjirou Daenerisu
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:11 am

Danii takes the Raikage’s hand in her own and allows herself to channel chakra into the seal storing the snapshot. As she shares the snapshotted memory, she is careful to not make any sudden movements or move too quickly. She knew how being allowed this close to the Raikage was an honor, but also knew that there would be tension in the room from the others as they watched her carefully. The snapshot played for the two. At the end, Danii flinched away from the Raikage as the image of the sword came flashing towards her head. The memory of the pain of death from a blade caused her to recoil. She had been unfortunate to feel the all too real pain over and over again from an especially brutal spar and the memory reminded her of it.

“I'm sorry, sir. Watching a friend's death through their eyes is hard to grow accustomed to.”

She gently rubbed her neck where the blade would have struck. She watched as the Raikage turned the evidence over her head. Somehow the clenched fists, and other small signs of anger she could see forming, managed to both relieve her and induce it's own type of anxiety. On one hand, the emotions, and his admittance to not being infallible, confirmed that he was indeed a human being like them. On the other, she began to sense just how large their power difference was. Through her recent trainings, she had come to understand the raw power that could come from emotions, but that power could also be unpredictable. The breath didn't escape her lungs until the Raikage composed himself. A newfound respect for the Raikage washed over her. Compassionate and in control of his emotions, but reasonable and investigative at the same time. The type of leader she could admire and strive to emulate.

“I'm sorry, but I never met Lady Hana. And I haven't heard of her story, but I was just a genin in Leaf. Reicheru or Maikeru may have heard more about it. But if you want my opinion, the story doesn't sound unbelievable after what I've seen what the Leaf leadership are capable of. They seem to find an odd joy in torturing and killing those weaker than them as you just saw.”

Danii looks the Raikage directly in the eyes and shares her opinion, her voice no longer quivering and her body noticeably less tense. Either sharing the snapshot or the Raikage's compassion, or a combination of both, seems to have strengthened her resolve.
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:52 pm

For most of his life, Maikeru had done his best to distance himself the stereotypical actions of the Uchiha clan. It seemed that no matter where he went everyone had a predisposition towards the clan his blood hailed from, and if he wanted to succeed he would need to break and surpass those expectations. There were times, however brief, where his Uchiha blood really came out. For a moment, the words Yuii spoke seemed to shatter whatever calm disposition he had been attempting to maintain. His jaw clenched, his eyes drawing into a tight scowl as he looked at the Main Branch sennin.

He was going to rise from his chair, to scream everything he had been holding back since he had walked into this village, until he saw the look on her face and heard the apology she spoke to the Raikage. Instead, he closed his eyes, leaning back in the chair that had been given to him. He let out a calming, slow breath. Inhaling through his nose, and exhaling through his mouth, he attempted to find his center. His hand reached for Reicheru's, trying to interlock his fingers with hers. She was his rock, after all. The voice of reason that kept him from going off the deep end, the one thing that kept him making the right choices.. most of the time, at least.

"I am sure Lord Tenth is a great Kage." He responded instead, opening his eyes before speaking with Yuii. "After all, the people of this village seem terrified of losing him. I can't think of another reason why three children from an allied nation would be followed an interrogated so thoroughly."

He paused for a moment, thinking his next words carefully. Everyone was on edge here, even Yuii despite how well she was hiding it. The implications of what they were saying were rather great, after all.

"However, I assure you that I speak nothing but the truth." Maikeru looked between Yuii and Ayumu as he spoke, doing his best to keep eye contact with at least one of them. "Uchiha Takeshi is a vile excuse for a Hokage who brings dishonor to the name. Lord Umashi was the last Hokage we had in my eyes, since him the spot has been vacated and leaf has fallen into a terrible cesspool of nepotism and greed."

"I'll submit myself to whatever you wish to get you to believe my tale," He continued, "Bring in a Yamanaka, or whatever the clouds equivalent is, and have them read my mind. Lord Tenth, I'm not asking for a hand out here. None of us are. We're simply asking for a fresh start in a village that doesn't kill their shinobi without reason. We're asking for a safe place to foster our talents, and to pledge those talents to your village."

It was hard to get a read of the room, or to decide what to say or do next. Honestly, he was at the limits of his charisma here. He was usually so good at this, it was quite an awful time to be having an off day. However, the Raikage's question intrigued him.

"Uchiha Hana? Yes, I know of her." He said, his pupils going to the top of his eye as he thought back on the Uchiha clan members inside of the village. "Yea, we were in the same clan for a while after all. I can't say I know her as a friend, but I can speak true that she is indeed married to Chigokai Ziren, that much is rather common knowledge."

The next part was confusing to Maikeru, though. He had known the Hokage was a cruel man, but, he didn't know he could be driven to that level of barbaric punishment. Biting his lower lip as he thought, Maikeru continued.

"As for stabbing her and cutting off her husbands arm, well, I can't completely confirm that." He admitted, giving an apologetic bow of his head. "However, I am aware of the prosthetic arm that Ziren has, so, her story is at least plausible. If I may add further conjecture, Lord Tenth, she has no reason to lie to you. No one in the village outside of our immediate families knew we were coming here, and she is fully aware as an Uchiha that genjutsu can be used to read someone's mind. Without someone to confirm her story, and knowing of that fact, why would she lie about something so heinous? That is something you would investigate, and find to be false rather quickly."

Taking a break from speaking, he took a sip of his hot chocolate. The hot liquid had gone luke warm now, but, it was a nice way to break the silences that were forming as each side thought of the best way to counter what the other had said. There was no trust in this room, or at least very little of it. How odd for allied nations, though, with Takeshi as Kage..

"Lord Tenth, if I may speak freely?" He asked, setting his hot cocoa down on the table before him. "The tension in this room is palpable. Between the number of cloud shinobi who could easily take all three of us by themselves if we became an issue, and the shadow on the wall behind us, I get the feeling there is no trust. Though, the same can be said for us. We came from a village where it was just as likely for the leadership to kick you to your knees than lift you to your feet. Perhaps I can offer an olive branch of sorts?"

Maikeru rose from his seat for a moment, careful to move slowly, to allow the watchers in the room to see his every movement was non hostile and clearly visible. He fell to his knees just as slowly, before placing his forehead against the ground in a show of humility.

"Lord Tenth, take me on as your disciple. Teach me to love this village and it's people as you clearly do. Show me what it's like to truly have a home. After all, with all the shinobi around you, it's the easiest way to keep an eye on me and subsequently my friends, isn't it? I couldn't do anything treasonous if I'm being watched by the Raikage and his bodyguards."
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:14 am

While her friends added in details to the story, the young Saitou continued searching the eyes of those listening. Nozomi's efforts to keep an unaffected shinobi front were evident, and the Raikage's distaste was visible. The shadow on the wall kept quite, and Yuii's assistant… she had introduced herself, hadn't she? 'Oh no' Reicheru panicked, having been so singularly focused on the Raikage's arrival previously and anxious for this meeting that she couldn't remember the girl's name. Saki? Suki? …Suika! Taking note of the name of the young girl who had made it into the good graces of her village's leadership, Reicheru tried to get a sense for how she was reacting, being the closest in age to the trio among the Kumo shinobi present. It was to little avail as the girl kept her emotions in check, a good move for someone seemingly at the right hand of a Sennin. Even so, the reaction of the room was more in line with what Reicheru would expect from a rational human being than what she had been met with in Konoha…

…at least until Yuii spoke. But even then, she spoke less with disregard than it was disbelief it seemed. Still, her words stung. "If they needed to die then..." Gritting her teeth, similar words from none other than the Hokage himself echoed in her mind. The mental image of the man looming over them as they knelt beside the corpses of their friends threatened to undo her, her eyes beginning to take on an indigo hue for anyone looking carefully. Ironically, it was Maikeru's hand in hers as he sought to be brought down that actually centered her. Her eyes shifted to Nozomi, then Suika. 'Get a handle on it, Rei.' Emulating the stone-faced kunoichi around her, the dark haired girl pulled herself together. Things truly seemed better for the people here in Kumogakure, she reminded herself. Perhaps something like this could be hard to swallow, even for an experienced and knowledgeable Sennin if a place like this had always been their home.

Lord Ayumu received her full attention as he spoke, her ears perking at the mention of a familiar but unexpected name. She listened and nodded as Maikeru answered his question, searching her own memories for any mention the blue-haired Konoha shinobi might have made of this. He had shared quite a bit of his storied past with her in Kenshin's office, but not this particular tidbit. Though much time had passed, she was certain she would have remembered this detail on the day her faith in her Hokage was shattered. "I'm in the same position as Maikeru. I too can confirm Ziren is missing an arm, but how that came to be I was not aware. Ziren was always respectful toward authority, so I can understand why, if that's true, he wouldn't have shared that with us."

While she turned this new information over in her head, she almost didn't notice Maikeru rise. His words quickly tuned her attention in, and her concern over his statements about their collective trust soon turned to shock as the Uchiha slowly went to his knees. If the situation were different, she might have smiled. Pride was a defining trait for Uchiha Maikeru - this act of humility was a monumental moment for him in Reicheru's eyes, though she was almost saddened by knowing that no one witnessing it outside of herself and Daenerisu would understand how deep it went. Perhaps there was something beautiful in that though. At a loss for words, Reicheru instead also took to her knee in a show of solidarity with Maikeru's intentions. Though she thought his words and asking to be made a disciple of the Raikage was quite presumptuous (all progress could not be made overnight after all), she hoped this might help communicate the genuine heart behind their words.
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Kanagawa Nozomi
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:50 am

Anger. An emotion she hadn't felt in a long, long time. She felt nothing when she re-encountered the son-of-a-bitch that made her into a child-soldier. The last time she felt anger equivalent of the anger she was facing now was when he pulled the trigger and killer her sister. She did her best to keep her composure; anger slipping out little-by-little as the video continued to play. There was no respite from this emotion even after the video, or the audio was all she witnessed, had completed. It was then that her sennin had spoken. This caused her to turn her eyes towards her at the 'if they needed to die' bit, putting immense pressure upon her balled-up fist. She wasn't too happy with what Yuii was starting off with nor were the retraction of those words. It didn't change her opinion of her Sennin, but it most certainly didn't paint her in a positive light for a brief moment. Nozomi would most likely forget her words by tomorrow, unless she says something completely egregious.

A story of a couple cropped up about Uchiha Hana and Chigokai Ziren. The group corroborated on the claims made by another asylum-seeker, to a degree, making the stories somewhat align due to the evidence of a lost arm. For someone to make his people do that is heinous. The more and more she heard about this Hokage's atrocities, the more frustrated she became from just hearing all of this. It was then that the one named Uchiha Maikeru started to talk; hoping for a brighter future here in Kumogakure. Hopefully, the Raikage would agree. Everyone deserved a second-chance at life and she believed the three of them deserved it as well. It was at this moment that the Uchiha prostrated himself before the Raikage. This caused Nozomi's eyes to open up in shock. For one to drop to their knees and throw themselves down before the Raikage was either a clever ruse or an act of desperation.

Her head turned towards the Raikage for a moment, then to her Sennin, then back to the Raikage. "My Lord, I will take responsibility for their stay here. I also wish to take one of them under my wing to show the ways of the Merces," she said before bowing deeply to the Raikage. Whether she was enchanted by the story of these children or she felt an extreme amount of pity was besides the point. Having never felt such anger like this caused her to think irrationally. She could only imagine the three of these children also felt anger brewing in their hearts. It was her hope to harness that anger into something that would be useful for the village; in her instance, she had planned to take one of them under her wing to be a killer for the Merces Letifer. Nozomi stood up from her bow towards the Raikage and then turned to give an equally deep bow to Yuii, her Sennin. "With your approval, as well, Lady Yuii," she said, almost begging.

If she had to, she, too would prostrate herself before the Raikage and the Sennin. The two of them should know of her Master Ranking position in the Merces Letifer and her history with the Assassins of Cloud should speak for themselves. She would hold this position until she was given an answer from her Sennin.
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:26 am

Things were definitely moving quickly. The children laid their claim one after another, exposing more of the deeds that the Hokage and the current regime had done, and perhaps, continue to do. Uri would glance between them and the Raikage every now and then, trying to see for any reaction. As much as he was calm outside, inside he could feel his blood boiling. Certainly, he felt pity and a grain of sympathy for the children, but he was also keeping in check his position. He didn’t want to cause any untoward incidents at the moment, and really, he didn’t want the children to be his target.

And yet, it was so difficult to truly surrender himself to the act of pity. He didn’t so much as want to be lax when already the other Kumonin already was. Taking them her charge, her responsibility, her wing, her eyes? That sounded far too pompous. Bargaining for another may be a sane occurrence, but a bargain only becomes possible if the scale weighted equal. Did the Kumonin actually think that her word, her life, was equal to three?

Looking on back to the Raikage and the Sennin, Uri couldn’t help but add in his own few thoughts in the matter. “If what they say is true, then all the more reason to be careful. They may inevitably bring trouble to the village, but it would also be unheard of to just turn them away. Though I wouldn’t really want to come out bargaining for their welfare so easily, if you Lordship will grant them sanctuary, I would like to put myself up for watching over them as, even if from the shadows. And I think knowing that a shadow is watching over your actions is a far more effective strategy, much like how a panopticon works.” He turns to face the children, “That haunting and knowing feeling that there lurks an eye that scrutinizes every action you make, but also allows the individual to harness the same energy to discipline and watch their own actions by their own. This way, it is not anyone else’s responsibility should they be caught violating Kumogakure’s laws, but their own.”
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Kogami Ayumu
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Re: Don't Deviate from the Path Before You [Requesting Yuii and Ayumu, and Leaf Refugees]

Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:42 pm

The one known as Maikeru seemed to take some offense to Yuii’s hesitance to believe their stories. He thought it perhaps excessive that they were being questioned thoroughly, though if he were a Cloud-nin he’d know it wasn’t out of the ordinary for their security to be tighter for foreigners, allied nations or not. He continued on to reinforce his notion that Takeshi was a dishonorable man, bringing up the name of Umashi as the Leaf’s last good Hokage. He then made clear their intentions here: to pledge themselves to Kumogakure as a place they felt safer than their own home.

The first to answer Ayumu’s inquiry about Hana was the one who had shown him the snapshot moments ago, looking understandably perhaps a bit unwell after the experience. She had not heard the story, but was ready to believe that it was true without much convincing. He noted that she seemed somehow more at ease, though he wasn’t certain why. The next was Maikeru, who verified that she was married to a man named Ziren who was short one arm. Reicheru backed this up as well. Though this didn’t confirm that Takeshi was responsible, it did mean that at the very least the entire story wasn’t fabricated.

From there, the conversation quickly took a turn as Maikeru noted a feeling of mistrust between those present in the room. He wasn’t wrong, yet Ayumu did not see it as anything more than a healthy dose of caution from both sides. Kumogakure had a treaty with Konoha, yes, but these were not your usual Konoha shinobi having come making such claims. The situation had to be handled delicately. On the side of the three from Leaf, they had little reason to be sure Kumo wasn’t going to hand them over to Konoha with a list of the accusations they had made. Yet in an attempt to foster some kind of trust, Maikeru made a shocking proposition: he wished to have Ayumu take him on as a disciple. Ayumu’s eyebrows raised slightly in surprise. ’He’s a bold one,’ Ayumu thought to himself.

Before Ayumu could respond, the Jounin in the room bowed deeply and made a plea to take responsibility for the Leaf-nins to stay in Kumogakure. She had obviously been swayed by their plight if she was so willing to put herself on the line for it. The ANBU also had his piece to say, though he took the more cautious side, offering his services to keep an eye on them from the shadows. Ayumu scratched his head quietly for a moment and then slumped back in his chair, heaving a sigh.

”Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here,” he said, looking to Maikeru who had made the most drastic suggestion. He could only imagine how many people would take issue with him having a foreigner freshly joining the village so close to him. It was a bit quick. They hadn’t even decided if the trio would be allowed to stay. I’m not prepared to break any treaties over rumors, disturbing and concerning as they may be… yet I’m also not about to turn some kids in need away. I may need to have myself a conversation with this Takeshi in the near future…” Ayumu began, wondering how and when he might have an opportunity to have such a talk. He went quiet for a moment, turning the information he had heard over in his head in order to make a decision.

”For now… I’ll allow a provisionary citizenship for you three while we figure out what’s going on with Konoha. As much as I like to help people out, the village has to be my main concern, so consider this very provisionary. If you mess up, you’re out. If I do end up finding out that we’ve been deceived or lied to, well, as you can imagine that would be very bad,” Ayumu began, revealing his decision on the matter. If everything they said was true, he wouldn’t just throw them out. That just wasn’t his style, for better or worse.

”In the meantime, it’s certainly not a bad idea to have someone looking after you,” Ayumu continued, pausing for a moment in contemplation. He already had two volunteers with different methods for such a task, but would that be suitable? He needed to know a bit more about these three. ”What were your ranks and branches in Konoha?” Ayumu asked, looking to get more information.
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