View Full Version : A New Place

05-14-2015, 08:52 PM
So the Chum Bucket wasn’t working out, too many people showed up and too many questions were being thrown around. The appearance of the Mist Brute didn’t help things any. Quietly the Disciple slid from the bench and left the bar, hoping that he didn’t catch the attention of any eyes on the way.

Once he was outside of the establishment, Sai started his hymn, trying to piece together his surroundings and to ensure that no one was following him. Once he decided that the coast was clear, the Disciple made his way into an alley and headed off to a new place, one that was a bit more hidden but not as run down.

The clicks subsided and the Senshi found himself in front of a more established place, The Hanged Man. Sai ushered himself inside and moved to the bar, lifting up a finger. The slender woman behind the bar knew of the Senshi and moved quickly to get his drink together. He had come here a few times before, enough to become a regular.

While the outside of the Hanged Man looked like a normal, well-kept building, the inside was small. It was one that could hold maybe fifty patrons at a time, and that was stretching it and that’s why the Senshi defaulted to this place if other establishments fell through.

It wasn’t long before a drink was slid in front of him and the bartender moved off to serve her other customers. Sai took a drink and clicked his hymn only briefly just to gauge his surroundings. It was pretty empty, almost barren and that was the way that he liked it. Sai took another sip of his drink before standing up and moving to a corner table, sitting down so he was facing away from the door. But his senses were still able to pick up on even the slightest of movements so he was not at a disadvantage.

Will of Fire
05-15-2015, 06:15 PM
There was something about being in the City of Kings that bolstered Kiyoko's curiosity well beyond the usual. While under normal circumstances, the teen would never have allowed herself to follow a likely dangerous stranger, let alone be seen in a dive like some of those she'd visited in Iron Country, at the moment, she didn't care. There were lots of different shinobi to observe in this place, and she knew that if she didn't take advantage of the chaos and opportunity provided by the Summit, she'd probably never have another chance. Not on neutral ground, anyway.

Thus it was that the young Hyuuga found herself drawn to the man she'd noticed had no eyes. It was possible that he simply new the area well enough to navigate without sight, but the way he moved, stepping aside and slipping around mobile obstacles, there was something else going on. The teen's bloodline revealed more, highlighting his use of chakra, particularly around his ears. It made sense, if the marking on his neck was any indication. He relied heavily on sound.

Kiyoko relaxed her gaze, knowing exactly where the intriguing man had placed himself in the bar. He undoubtedly aimed to be inconspicuous. Though she didn't really intend to confront him, the kunoichi was very curious to know how quickly he'd realize that someone was following him. This man, being essentially the polar opposite of her as far as visual awareness was concerned, was fascinating. Could sound reveal as much as sight? She wanted to know more.

She stopped to converse with a waitress for a brief moment before taking a seat not far from the hooded Sound shinobi. The teen didn't really want to intrude, but she did want to observe. Certainly a blind man would be unfamiliar with the stereotypical appearance of a member of her clan. To him she would simply be some foolish local trying to make friends with a shinobi.

05-19-2015, 01:16 AM
“The life of a nomad must be amazing, eh—”

It was false to presume the Oto-nin hadn’t noticed the Renchishin.


But the corner table was all ready occupied by Hitoko.

It’s not to say The Hanged Man was a bar devoid of patrons, that wasn’t the case at all, it’s just its intimate décor that made it difficult for most to be seated alone. Although emptier than usual, each table in this sprawling space of dim ceiling lights and scent of tealeaf incenses held a person or three at each tale. Either they were in conversation amongst each other, or relaxing within the confines of their own personal space and thoughts. This is where the Dragon lay, at the apex between the two, his unnaturally quiet and subdued chakra signature humming like a voiceless waltz while his fingertips kissed the neck of a large liquor bottle by his side.

With all the festivities going on within the City of Kings, the Renchishin found it much more comforting to be isolated – or even do his own thing to find clarity and relaxation. The dark liquor contents from the bottle glistened as Hitoko poured the liquid into a sake cup and lifted it skyward.

“What exactly are you drinking, though?”

The casual nature of the Renchishin’s voice grew warmer as he spoke, as if he was glad to finally swallow someone he was slightly familiar with into a conversation. With sake cup in hand, the dim lights of The Hanged Man illuminated the new battle scar adorned upon Hitoko’s face – a clean cut from one cheek, across the nose, to the other – which was only matched but the stupid big grin he was known for.

But Renchishin Hitoko was mighty subdued at this point.

Must’ve been the liquor.


05-19-2015, 06:21 PM
The person following him must have thrown the Disciple off too much. It was rare for him to miss a person when moving around and sitting, even more so in the case of the Renchishen. It was too late now though and instead of panicking, Sai relaxed at the table, his head at an angle, partly to keep Hitoko within hearing range and to be able to keep tracks on his follower.

This person had been following him from the Chum Bucket. Until they made their motive known, Sai wasn’t going to address them and he was going to try and act like he didn’t notice them. After all, for most people it would have been easy to miss a presence like that. A shinobi following someone can be stealthy when necessary and there were many ways to mask one’s presence. Unfortunately for this one, the air doesn’t lie.

”Ahh, Dragon, I apologize for not noticing you earlier. I guess my mind must have been a bit scattered due to the increased activity here in Iron. This drink though is a simple vodka with cranberry. Nothing too much I assure you.”

Now that Sai was sitting down though, his hymn clicked once more quickly. This was the woman that had asked about Sound. Perhaps he was the first Sound nin that she’d run into which was quite unfortunate for her because he had no affiliation with the village.

With that settled, the man turned to his drink and across the table towards Hitoko. Curious as to why the man chose such a place. ”With everything happening around us in the city, I am surprised that you chose a place like this when there are others, far more occupied with shinobi from other villages.”

The missing nin now found himself trying to assess the reasoning to find the Dragon in this hole in the wall.

Will of Fire
05-19-2015, 08:29 PM
The teen offered only a subtle shake of her head and a quiet sigh in reaction to Renchishin Hitoko. Of course he knew this intriguing stranger. It seemed that he knew just about everyone of note and she really shouldn't have been surprised.

The Sound-nin himself, if Kiyoko had a guess, was aware of her presence and was monitoring her. They'd been watching one another (for lack of a better term) so closely that they'd essentially ignored the presence of Sand's most animated shinobi... or at least the most animated out of those she'd encountered, anyway. How that could have happened was beyond comprehension. Then again, it seemed that just about everyone was desperate to find some peace and quiet at the moment, to unwind without the droning chatter of politics and power-play. It came as no shock that a few of them landed here.

As the waitress stopped by with a glass for the kunoichi, she cast her gaze upon the two men for a moment, debating whether she should abandon her quarry. Instead, Kiyoko opted to remain where she was, for at least a short while longer. Etiquette dictated that it was rude to barge into a conversation, after all, and she'd only just received her drink.

She gave the glass a brief but wary stare, silently reassuring herself that it was clean enough to use. The teen gingerly sipped wine and sat back to try and savor a bit of quiet even amidst the low drone of voices in the room. Well, perhaps she was listening a little to the two notable shinobi nearby. Kiyoko was still something of a spy, after all. It was only eavesdropping for her own amusement, however, and nothing she intended to report back to her superiors.

Her superiors were probably drinking elsewhere in the city right now as it was.

05-20-2015, 03:22 AM
Hitoko knocked down his drink in one swig.

“That’s precisely the reason I chose such a place,” came an immediate response, “Everywhere else seems so…”

Lifting a hand near the side of his temple, chocolate hued fingers wiggled in the air as if he were attempting to grasp an escaping thought.

“Noisy – ya’know?”

It was the best way to describe Iron amidst the festivities and politics happening around the city. With such a high volume of shinobi roaming the streets, the Renchishin was forced to become more intuitive than normal. As such, his analytical prowess was running ramped with every single thing that fell beneath his field of vision, or realm of hearing, or smell, or etcetera. Many a time it came to a point where the Sunagakure martial artist needed to take a moment to breath in order to isolate his train of thought. Even the most seasoned warriors needed a break, and this was his.

The dark liquor poured once again into the sake cup and balanced the small goblet in his hand while his curious ruby eyes fixated upon the shinobi who sat across from him.

“And besides, this is the only bar the serves the drink I have. Part dark rum, part pear juice, part vanilla beans, and part ginger beer. It’s a rarity around Sunagakure.”

Like a samurai sheathing a blade, Hitoko drank and poured another round for himself in two elegant motions. He lifted a brow at this point, his gaze sustained on the traveling ninja.

“But why does it look like you’re being followed? You’re making me nervous,” He half-way joked, eyes looking into his drink as it swirled in his grasp, “Or does that demeanor come with being a Rogue Shinobi? The whole having-to-always-be-aware thing?”

05-20-2015, 06:08 PM
The man had a point. The entire city was noisy and for once the boisterous Hitoko wasn’t part of that crowd. Gloved hands moved to pull a glass to the Disciple’s lips and he took a sip before setting it down. His follower had seemed to settle at the bar counter, maybe within earshot, maybe not. Sai wasn’t really able to judge normal hearing range anymore but she didn’t seem to be too aggressive on her pursuit, not like some other Mist nin.

As the Celestial Dragon began to explain what all was in the drink in front of him, Sai found himself at least a little curious as to the taste. There was a lot in it and probably some harder to find parts so it wasn’t too hard to believe that this was the only place that made the drink the Suna nin was looking for.

It wasn’t long before he felt the gaze of Hitoko on him and Sai turned his head towards the man. The two weren’t exactly strangers with each other and as such there was no need to avoid his would be gaze. And then it dawned that Sai may have been a little too obvious with his actions upon entering and finding that he was being followed, on top of meeting another shinobi in his hole in the wall.

”Maybe it’s a little of column A and a little of column B. I’m sure you understand my being on edge with the sudden insurgence of shinobi in my hideaway town. I’m not exactly the most liked guy around so one can never be too careful even in Iron.” It was strange for Sai to claim ownership over Iron like he belonged there. His entire life was spent traveling around as a nomad. When Sound finally got a village, he didn’t even stay too long there. But now he found himself getting settled in a place and that place was crawling with shinobi, some of them probably being the strongest that their village has to offer. And that’s not mentioning all the Kages.

Will of Fire
05-20-2015, 06:48 PM
It should have struck Kiyoko as shocking that the Renchishin would fraternize with a rogue of all things, but somehow, it didn't seem so out of the ordinary. Perhaps it was the fact that she (and everyone else) knew that Hitoko was more than capable of protecting himself in the presence of such danger, or rather that she trusted his judgment of peoples' character that quieted her immediate concerns on the subject. Regardless, she took the news in stride, quietly sipping wine all the while.

"I meant no offense," the teen began in response, knowing that she'd been vaguely referenced in the exchange between the two men. It might have been rude to interrupt, but she was feeling slightly more at ease with the idea now that she'd had a drink or two between here and the last establishment she'd visited. "Admittedly, I've been curious. I see now that you're as aware as I am."

Her words were perhaps a little cryptic, but Kiyoko aimed to convey her relative understanding of the jutsu that allowed a blind man to see, all without announcing to the general public that he was missing eyes. There was no reason to point out something that could have been perceived as a weakness in a village full of drunken rivals, even if the samurai were nearby to prevent such scuffles. Common courtesy allowed a shinobi to keep vital secrets when necessary, even if he'd apparently abandoned his village.

Then again, how terrible of a person could he be after defecting from Sound, of all places? Guessing based on all the rumors the Hyuuga had heard, he might very well have been intelligent enough to know a bad association when he saw it.

Heh. He probably never saw it. Felt it? Sensed it. Whatever.

05-31-2015, 04:53 PM
A subtle smile blossomed upon the Renchishin’s face.

“Oh, you’re right.” He chuckled at this point, taking a long sip of his drink before continuing, “A man with as diverse skills of yours must be a sought after commodity.”

There was a bit of sarcasm in the warrior’s voice, knowing damn well the Bingo-Book number next to this rogue ninja’s name. Luckily for him – or Hitoko even – now wasn’t the place or time to address such laws connected to the shinobi world; there was no time for it. Hitoko’s main focus was to be an elite bodyguard to his Kage, and although he’d been given time to relax, that stigma was always at the back of his mind. He hadn’t shown any of this stress visually, though it wouldn't be hard to spot out. Regardless he poured two more cups of his crew and slid one to Sai, and the second to the empty seat next to him.

The Hyuuga’s arrival was met with an excited gaze, like a child spotting something familiar in a crowd of uncertainty. In normal circumstances the Renchishin would’ve shouted and waved and made himself noticed by Kiyoko – but it wasn’t the case this time. Rather, Hitoko grinned and motioned in her direction.

“You might as well come join us, uh…”

How would she like to be introduced? Kiyoko was the secretive type so probably not by her clan name, maybe not even by her first either. Hitoko lifted a closed hand to his lip and coughed to delay his thoughts.

“Uh…Konohagakure Shinobi-dono….?”

Maybe that worked better?

How did the politics of Iron even work when it came to things like this? Hitoko laughed once more and drank. This was going to be amusing.

05-31-2015, 05:21 PM
The Disciple had just managed to finish off his drink before Hitoko started up again. Sai wasn’t quite aware how sought after he was according to the villages Bingo Books nor did he know whether or not he showed up in one. An Oto-nin running around was enough of a threat to most shinobi out there that whether or not he was still allegiance with the village didn’t seem like a necessary requirement.

Then her pursuant spoke up and Sai’s head turned to the woman. Her words about his awareness and sight were not lost on the nuke-nin and it appeared that it was too late to try and hide behind his hood though he suddenly became interested in how she was able to discern such things from underneath his cloak.

”Konohagakure…” He had heard of them. Rumor has it that they’ve had their share of problems but they never seemed to let a shinobi leak out. He wasn’t sure if it was simply due to the way they took care of their shinobi while they were allied or if it was the swift way they were dealt with upon defection. It definitely was an interesting thing to say the least.

The hesitation that was with Hitoko’s introduction though left a lot to be desired, almost as if he was hiding something. But maybe it wasn’t his place to say and instead hers.

”Your curiosity leads me to my own. Not many are able to discern one way or another how someone sees. Yet you were able to instantly. I hope I’m not being too forward in asking how that is?”

If secrets were going to be spilled this was the time and the place for it. Iron Country where the chance of physical retaliation was low and with a couple drinks when the minds inhibitions were somewhat stalled.

”But first, I am Iamaroto Sai. Formerly of Otogakure as you have figured out by now.”

Will of Fire
06-01-2015, 08:25 PM
Admittedly, the Renchishin's subdued greeting caught Kiyoko a bit by surprise. Under normal circumstances, the teen would have expected him to hop up and out of his chair, waving like a maniac. She wasn't sure whether she was pleased or disappointed by the mellow acknowledgement, actually. She supposed it didn't matter.

"I suppose I could sum it up by saying that I have very keen eyesight," the kunoichi answered as she nodded to the Renchishin and shifted to a new seat as he had gestured. There was a vague amusement in her tone, partially for the oversimplification of her bloodline and partially for the nickname by which Hitoko was apparently known in this setting. "And good to see you again, Dragon."

For a moment, the teen savored the opportunity for someone she just met to be completely unaware of her identity or abilities. It didn't happen very often. She almost didn't want to reveal her name in order to keep up the illusion, but somehow, it didn't seem right. A rogue shinobi had already openly identified himself, and he seemed to be on good terms with a person she trusted. There was no reason to keep a secret that was fairly obvious to everyone else around.

"Pleased to meet you. My name is Hyuuga Kiyoko, currently of Konohagakure." Of course the "currently" part was just a little joke meant to keep things from getting too terribly serious. She wasn't looking for a heated debate or a reason to anger foreign shinobi, affiliated with a village or not.

As Kiyoko's pale gaze drifted to the other patrons, she couldn't help but find amusement in it. "It seems we've garnered a bit of attention, too. This is almost like the start of some terrible joke. 'A Sand-nin, a Sound-nin, and a Leaf-nin walk into a bar...'"

06-04-2015, 12:31 AM
The Renchishin’s face contorted, lips forming a humorous curl.

“Ew, that’d be a horrible joke.”

He commented, but wondered how it’d end. Taking the cup of liquor in hand, the Sunagakure warrior downed it before pouring himself yet another. By his lonesome he’d gone through a handful of bottles, which might’ve been noticeable if the waitress hadn’t been refreshing the current one next to him. Hitoko was mighty mellow, the relaxation of his tone and poise further seen through the soft smile that enveloped his face.

“So, yes – Sai, Kiyoko, Kiyoko, Sai. With all the introductions aside, you may want to watch our for her outside of Iron – or on the battlefield in general,” He joked in mid swig, the contents of the bottle giving his breath the fragrance of sweetened pears, “Her Taijutsu is stunning.”

But this was beside the point, or at least beside the punch line of something he felt was a bit more humorous. A shinobi of Sand, Leaf and Sound all seated at a table on neutral grounds. It was ironic how in the past, it was once Leaf and Sand teamed against Sound, so for all three representatives to be sitting next to each other in harmony was pretty funny.

“But speaking of which, I have to know—”

Hitoko turned a ruby eye to the Hyuuga.

“How long were you following him for?”

His smile grew in size, almost as if the SHINRAI was teasing her.

“With the way he was moving through the bar, it almost looked as though he owed you a great debt, or something.”

06-04-2015, 08:55 PM
Hyuuga… The Disciple let the introduction hang in the air for some time as he mulled over it. Being as traveled as he was, Sai was no stranger to the clan though he’d never met one personally. Of course what shinobi worth anything hadn’t heard anything about perhaps one of the most prestigious clans in Konoha and if the rumors of their abilities were correct than it was no surprise that Kiyoko was able to figure out how Sai functioned.

”Don’t worry. I plan on laying low for a while after everything with the Kages is over. Give everyone a chance to get back home. I still have too much to do for it all to end here.” Ending for Sai meant a lot of things. He couldn’t afford to die or get captured and then killed. He didn’t want to be given back to Sound by any means necessary and the only time he planned on returning to Rice Country was when he was ready to start his revolution.

The Disciple was able to ease up a little bit; however, now that he knew that one of his pursuers was simply curious. The other man, the one that walked into the Chum Bucket after him…that was a different story and perhaps there was more of a reason for that man to follow. Maybe these two knew of that Gou character…a lot of the stronger shinobi seemed to be more familiar with each other which of course left him on the outside looking in for the most part.

There were some truths in what Hitoko said but of course they seemed to be a bit embellished and it was easy to figure out with the way the words were coming from the Suna-nin’s lips. They seemed to be drug out a bit more than normal, maybe not to most but when one lives their entire life based on sound, they tend to be able to pick up on smaller things such as that.

Will of Fire
06-04-2015, 09:52 PM
While the kunoichi was somewhat accustomed to commentary on her fighting style, the recognition received from the Sand-nin brought about a slight flush in her cheeks. Kiyoko wasn't entirely sure why the praise created a tinge of embarrassment in the pit of her stomach, so she silently blamed it on the wine. In response, she moved her hand away from her glass and sat back. Clearly she was going to have to slow down or else risk humiliating herself or her village in the midst of the most important meeting of the past several years. Fantastic.

"It wasn't that long," the Hyuuga answered. She knew Hitoko was teasing, but his question probably warranted an answer anyway, particularly if she was going to ease the Sound-nin's suspicions. He didn't appear to be overly thrilled with her presence, even after she'd revealed her name and reason for investigating. "I only just noticed him earlier today. I admit, I was rather fascinated with how he uses his chakra. Oh, and as far as I know, he doesn't owe me anything."

The teen shrugged her shoulders and lifted a questioning eyebrow as she glanced at Sai, then quickly realized that he wouldn't be able to clearly see the subtlety of body language. It was strange for her to try and deal with someone who lacked vision, as it was so important to her and her clan. The idea of the sense going missing was nearly impossible for her to imagine.

"You've met before, I take it. I assume it was under good circumstances, if you're both here to reminisce about it today. Is there some grand tale behind it all? Wait... does one of you owe the other some great debt?"

07-15-2015, 04:16 PM
“Hah, grand tale?”

A serene ruby gaze fixated onto Sai for a moment, then turned to Kiyoko, and then turned skyward. The Renchishin wasn’t staring at anything in particular; he was sort of just peering off into nothingness while waltzing through his memory palace. It’d been such a long time since the Ninja of Sound and he had crossed paths, so long ago that the dreadlocked warrior had to reach into the furthest banks of his memories in order to uproot the circumstance that brought the two dark complexioned fighters together.

“Ew, actually—it may have been while I was still a Chuunin,” Hitoko’s face grimaced like he’d just eaten something rotten, but it light-heartedness of his expression was comical, “I’d transitioned from one-of-the-freshest-Afros-of-the-land to baby locs.”

Now the memories rushed in as Hitoko poured another cup of liquor for himself:

“And, at that time, I was constantly leaving Sunagakure to – ya’know – do my job, but often I was allowed to roam the lands and harness my skills. A Musha Shugyo, or warrior’s pilgrimage, if you will—”

The Dragon took a swig before continuing.

“Maybe I was The Dragon Detective of Noon? Or The Spunky Dragon with Deadly Legs?” He waved a dismissive hand, “Whatever they were calling me at the time, I don’t remember the circumstance that ushered the encounter between Sai and I, but I do remember what a learned.”

The Renchishin smiled then, full bloom and ecstatic, his pearl teeth showing bright beneath the tavern’s dim light. Hitoko smiled so big – like normal – that his eyes closed shut.

“Sight is such a commodity we take advantage of,” He opened one ruby eye, peering toward the Sound shinobi, “Going toe-to-toe with Sai made me rely on it less, so I guess I should be thanking him for that lesson, ya’know?”

The Sunagakure soldier quieted back down, chuckling, chocolate grip upon liquor bottle once more as the contents poured into another cup. His face was becoming warm, but he knew how to handle it all.

07-15-2015, 06:54 PM
There was nothing too special about the initial meeting between the Celestial Dragon and Sai. The missing nin had very little grand tales in fact. If he had to think about it, the man was sure that he’d be able to come up with something, maybe. But he didn’t have to tell the boring story, thank goodness for the Suna-nin’s propensity for discussion.

The Disciple listened to the brief story while taking a sip of his drink, wondering what exactly was in it.

”That’s the long and short of it. No grand tale, just a clashing of wills and then some sort of friendship coming from it. Pretty cliché but for some reason it fits.” Sai shrugged a bit before leaning back, his head turning from Kiyoko to Hitoko and then back.

”I’d be more inclined to believe that the meeting between the two of you would be a greater story than what you just heard.”

Sai always assumed that Hitoko was one for the ladies, it just seemed to fit the vibe that the Disciple was able to get. Not that it was a bad thing but he seemed to have miserable luck on that front.

”Speaking of debts though…that guy from Mist that followed me into the last bar…Gounamamamo or something…what’s his deal?”

For the time being, Sai was not under the watchful eye of the Mist nin but he was sure that the bulky behemoth would show up at some point, trying to be sneaky or something, something that didn’t fit his heavy footsteps in the slightest.

Will of Fire
07-17-2015, 11:11 AM
Kiyoko felt that she would likely never understand the fascination that Hitoko held for ridiculous titles and nicknames. Did he give them to himself for were they bestowed upon him? Also, how on earth did he remember them all? She shook her head slightly in bemused confusion.

"Business, of course," the Hyuuga answered in response to how she and the Renchishin had first encountered one another. "We were paired together to recover some artifacts. Things got messy. It's a fairly routine shinobi story, I'd imagine." It was a severely watered-down version of things, of course, but she wanted to avoid the risk of revealing too many of the details of that mission, as some of it was rather confidential in her opinion. Difficult, bloody, and disturbing as it had been, she was thankful for having been the one called upon to complete the task.

The kunoichi cocked her head in vague confusion as the Sound-nin put forth another question. She knew the burly man of which he spoke, as they'd had very brief interactions in the past. Still, something about the way that Sai had asked seemed surprising. "You've never met him before now? He seemed rather familiar with you." She paused for a moment to consider what might be on the hulking Mist-nin's mind to bring out such a reaction. "My dealings with him have been momentary at best, but I know he is rather fixated on finding a good fight. Would you not agree, Renchishin-san?"

The Hyuuga slowly swirled the wine in its glass as she considered the differences in the Mist shinobi's body language when she'd seen him following Sai against she'd observed when she'd met him in Konohagakure. It certainly wasn't the same. There was something specific about the former Sound-nin that had Gounomono on edge.

"Maybe he was looking for another good challenge. Or maybe he really can't stand rogue shinobi? Who knows."