For A Better Tomorrow (Private/Sousuke)

Maki

Supreme Leader Bone #9513 - Head Admin/Bmod Head
Staff member
Aug 28, 2012
10,004
Yen
1,056,971
ASP
1,590
OOC Rank
S
”Tonkin Maki, Sennin of Konoha and Hokage Advisor, here to meet with the Steward.”

Maki had indeed changed, his travel clothes replaced with more formal attire. A black pinstripe single breasted pocket suit with peak lapels adorned his torso, with matching flat front dress pants under it and a black oxford with a cutaway collar beneath. A white-stringed bolo tie with silver water crowns on the ends held the ensemble together nicely. Upon his feet were black double monks with golden buckling, not the most formal of footwear but the best one could expect from someone traveling usually. Oddly, he had a black leather glove over his left hand but not the right.

His pack had been left with a secure associate to keep, but he did have a smaller one over his shoulder than held very little, mainly a gift for the leader of the village and little else. He runs his right hand through his short cropped brown hair, his matching eyes taking in the room around him. As he waited, Maki would subtly shift his balance, the floor protesting as if someone thrice his apparent weight was moving around instead of the average sized man that was obviously there.
 

Hoshirei

Active Member
Oct 22, 2012
1,069
Yen
1,746,350
ASP
1,026
Hoshirei followed her husband into the tower and waited as he introduced herself. As a matter of courteous, she introduced herself as well, "Isaki Hoshirei, Head Jounin of Konoha. I am also here to meet with the Steward in conjunction with Maki."

She matched her husband in formal attire, though not the most formal. She was in a flowered yukata paired with a black honeycomb obi. Her hair was pulled back from her face with small braids branching back from her temples. She also had a silver colored water crown holding the braids at the back of her head. The rest flowed freely with silver flashes of ninja wire poking through. One could never be too careful. After all, long hair was a large temptation for low-lives trying to make an easy snag. Her geta were fairly low and matched her obi in color. She felt comfortable, but sophisticated.
 

Takahashi Sousuke

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2012
4,186
Yen
3,081,499
ASP
281
War was brewing in Sungakure. Not a war against other shinobi village, but a war for survival itself in Wind Country. The flood of refugees into Sungakure itself wasn't an issue. The Lord Steward and his fellow Journeymen had been building structures that reached skyward for these people to live in. To hear that he had visitors from another country, and that they were alive? That was a surprise. Sousuke was given word that they were wearing formal wear. Well then. That proved problematic. The Steward in his present state of existence had yet to figure out formal wear. He considered wearing a flesh mask so as to cover up his metallic visage, but should the flesh mask tear? That could prove to be absolutely horrifying. 'Lord Steward, something is wrong with your face? Are those face bulges natural? We should take you to the hospital,' Those were a few things that could happen. Sousuke in his limited wisdom decided not to wear the flesh mask. It had been perhaps a decade since he had entertained people from Konoha in a formal setting. He did not include the Hokage's daughter in that. He considered that an informal meeting. Takeshe's daughter was an interesting individual. What he gleamed from that meeting was that Konoha was behind in technology, but he did not rule that out as a disadvantage. It was possible for what they lacked in technology they made up in sorcery.

The two guests were taken into the tower where they would await the Lord Steward. The elevator doos would open up and the man would emerge. Sousuke wore his usual attire. A grey metallic suit and with it a small change. He wore a black hooded cloak. Sousuke stepped forward and he greeted the two. "Takahashi Sousuke the third."<i></i> He would answer, "I welcome you Tonkin Maki and Isaki Hoshirei."<i></i> He would answer both of them with a bow of the head. The Steward carried with him an axe. He held it strangely though. He carried it more like a walking cane. He stood there and rested both of his hands on the bladed top of it. The Steward moved like an older man. This was a man who had been ruling Sungakure since the age of seventeen and here he was at forty-one. He had a long time in politics.
 

Maki

Supreme Leader Bone #9513 - Head Admin/Bmod Head
Staff member
Aug 28, 2012
10,004
Yen
1,056,971
ASP
1,590
OOC Rank
S
The man who stepped into the meeting room was certainly an impressive looking figure. A metal suited robot of sorts greeted them as he exited the elevator, with a black hood to shadow his face which seemed to be a metal mask. Maki had seen some interesting people in his time, including a lich. A man inside a suit of armor, even if it was quite….form fitting, was nothing he couldn’t weather. It’s not like the man was literally made of metal. Right…?

Either way, Maki steps forward and offers his hand to the other, bowing his head in respect. ”We are honored.” he would say after shaking hands or having his offer rebuffed. ”I must say, when last I was here there was no wall, for such a massive bulwark to be built so swiftly is a true achievement of engineering.” Indeed, such a wall was breathtaking in its scale, and the mind who devised it and did the architectural work was a mind he would like to poke.

”Pleasantries out of the way, let me get to the point of our visit. Uchiha Takeshi, the Hokage, wishes to establish firmer relations with Sunagakure. I did notice on my way in that there were quite a few more people than my last visit, and there are even more buildings going up to house them. I would think a trade agreement between our countries could be of mutual benefit. Konoha has an abundance of food that can assist in feeding these people, and I can set up a supply stream swiftly and without any price gouging.”

Their timing appeared to be quite lucky on that end for Konoha, for while Maki wasn’t entirely certain why the refugees were coming, they did need food to survive like anyone else. It did pain his heart slightly to use such a situation, but he had a job to do here. He moves to a nearby table or other flat surface and drops his hands to it, lifting one to reveal a bottle of brandy seemingly from this air, while the other moves swiftly, depositing three decanters from the same seeming location of nowhere.

”I’ll be frank. Until recently, Konoha and Kumo have held an alliance to each other. This proved to be a boon to both of us for a time, but for some reason they decided to stop fulfilling their end of the bargain. I have no doubt that Sunagakure does not require outside aid having survived so long on your own in this desert. But everything becomes easier with friends, I find. While I cannot offer such an alliance, I do believe an agreement for trade will assist in growing our ties together. As a sign of good will, I will also requisition supplies to aid in feeding and clothing the refugees coming to your city, regardless of if you accept the agreement or not.”

Takeshi had authorized no such thing, but Maki was sure he could convince him of the need. And if not, then the Isaki clan would pay for it and his wife would either go with it or chastise him in private later. But it wasn’t like he could see these people and not help. He pours a drink and offers it to the Steward. ”Drink?”
 

Hoshirei

Active Member
Oct 22, 2012
1,069
Yen
1,746,350
ASP
1,026
Hoshirei watched as the Steward of Sunagakure walked through the door leaning on his- axe? Yes, that was an axe. His suit was rather different and inspired a thought that Maki would probably approve of, as it would spend the clan's money. She was a bit more tight-fisted than her husband, but she agreed mostly with the reasons behind some of the more extravagant expenditures. She had done a bit of frivolous spending herself, though not nearly as much. She mentally shook herself out of the thought as she returned his slight bow.

She stayed silent while her husband spoke of their purpose here in Suna as well as letting him know that the relationship between Konoha and Kumo had broken without going into details. Maki would probably share some details if requested, but she understood the prudence of holding your cards to your chest. Hoshirei had also noticed the new residences going up, both temporary and permanent structures. It reminded her somewhat of when the clan moved into Konoha.

Maki's suggestion of requisitioning supplies sent her mind spinning figures and trying to calculate what they could send for easily and what might need to be ordered from elsewhere. She tabulated an approximate cost and came to the conclusion that it was appropriate for the clan to provide aid for at least the first round. They would need to persuade their elders to do much more for a foreign body, but she and Maki could be very persuasive.

"If you would but give us an estimate of the throng, I am sure we could ease the strain on Suna and its economy for a time. At least until such a time where you believe it to no longer be necessary. As Maki said, no strings attached."

If necessary, she would offer it separate from the village and just as the head of a clan. After all, this was the last known place and home of a clansman. It would not do to ignore the plight of this land.
___________________________________
WC: 338
 

Takahashi Sousuke

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2012
4,186
Yen
3,081,499
ASP
281
Maki complimented the Steward and his fellow Journeymen. While the metallic visage of the Lord Steward was not smiling on the surface, but Maki and Hosheri could feel like there was a smile present. "Less than one day in fact with a team of less than ten highly skilled individuals, myself included. Your compliment is appreciated." Sousuke spoke with a profound amount of honesty. He would relax a bit in his body language. He would listen to the man speak. Pleasantries were a necessary thing. They were required, but they could be done away with quickly enough. This was a man who was beyond that as oftentimes pleasantries could be long and exhausting. "In short one war were fighting has come to an end, and another one has begun. We are presently at war with a force that is destroying the countryside. As such we are welcoming refugees who have lost their homes. " Sousuke would explain. There was no use in hiding what the present situation was. Wind Country had always been unsafe, but now it had become ten folds worse. Was this worse than the Diamond Maelstrom? Only time would tell.

Sousuke would learn things from his encounter There was an alliance between Kumogakure and Konoha. Yet not all was well in their relationship. Evidently something had happened that led to a deterioration of that relationship. Maki offered trade and a goodwill gesture that would come whether he liked it or not. He was right about a number of things - Sungakure survived on its own for decades without assistance. Sungakure had endured and survived through hard times without outside interference. The same thing could be said about Konoha. "I could say the same thing about Konoha. The civil war came to an end, and as such I see that you've risen from it well enough." The Lord Steward answered. The Civil War occurred some time ago, but it was still something fresh in the minds of the veterans who fought in it. When offered a drink, Sousuke would hold up his hand to decline. "How is manufacturing in Konoha? In Sungakure we consider it a specialty. We do have raw resources, but we are capable of ... changing them and empowering them." He spoke lightly. Sungakure had artisans of various sorts. They were skilled individuals who could transform simple resources into extraordinary goods.

Maki's wife spoke up. She would ask him for an estimate. Was Sungakure strained? No, but there were some goods that could be of assistance. It was considered rude to decline a lord or lady's offer. He stood there and considered it. "A modest amount of lumber could go a long way. Being that we are in a desert, we build most of our fixtures with metal. I would prefer to make a trade of metals for said lumber. If not then manufactured goods. We pride ourselves in the quality of our manufactured goods." He answered. A positive sum game was beneficial, and as such it would not cause for any hard feelings.
 

Maki

Supreme Leader Bone #9513 - Head Admin/Bmod Head
Staff member
Aug 28, 2012
10,004
Yen
1,056,971
ASP
1,590
OOC Rank
S
It took effort not to call the man before him a liar, not because Maki thought he was such but merely because the erection of such a fortification in Konoha would be the work of years, not hours. And it would require the labor of dozens if not hundreds, not a mere ten. Sunagakure had apparently not merely survived, but learned to thrive and find a niche in engineering that, as far as the well-traveled Sennin was aware, none other had. While he couldn’t read emotions through the mask the man wore, the sense of pride seemed genuine and not bravado. But part of his mind still refused to accept that such a feat could be possible. Maki sets the drink for the man on top of the table and brings his hand to the surface, lifting it to reveal both drink and container had vanished.

And much as Sousuke was learning, so too was Maki. He knew word of the civil war had spread here, as it was a Sennin of this village that tasked him with bringing back evidence of Leaf’s return. But the state of the village beyond that was apparently not as well known. Either the spies sent from Sunagakure were horrid at their job…or they hadn’t sent any. He felt it leaned more towards the latter, having discovered first hand against one of their puppets just how potent their shinobi were. ”I dare say I am the most advanced engineer in the village. My skills lie not in altering, however, so much as in structuring." He lifts a hand and dust seems to coalesce into his palm. Should the one before him be able to see chakra he would see a sort of shell formed of it, the dust attaching to it and cementing itself in place before becoming a camel figurine. This he sets on the nearest surface and motions to it. ”A token. You’ll find it far sturdier than it has any right to be.”

While Konoha did not have the manufacturing prowess to make a massive wall in a day, they had innovation in at least one of their Sennin, if not more. As the man speaks of lumber, Maki nods. Lumber was something the Isaki clan, and Konoha especially, had in ample measure. The village was not named after leaves for nothing. ”We can do lumber. I believe manufactured goods would do better than raw metal; while Suna might have superior quality of metal we do have ample stores in the ground that we can purify to work with.” A mutual trade was always best.

”Is there any other way we can be of assistance while we’re here? Last I came to Sand, the village was recovering from form of attack and the whole place was still underground. I hate to see such suffering again. Though it is not our war, and though in this I cannot claim to represent my village wholly, I personally would be of help in the coming conflict if you need it.”
 

Hoshirei

Active Member
Oct 22, 2012
1,069
Yen
1,746,350
ASP
1,026
Hoshirei remained silent after her offer, allowing the conversation to flow between the two men. She spoke finally after Maki agreed upon supplying lumber and trading for manufactured goods. "I will send word once we are finished here. It should not take long for the supplies to arrive."

Maki then offered their assistance in any way while they tarried in Suna. She nodded in agreement, ready to figure out some sort of schedule so she would have time to explore as well as lend her aid where needed. "I am more than happy to help as well."
 

Takahashi Sousuke

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2012
4,186
Yen
3,081,499
ASP
281
Sousuke looked at the camel figurine. The man knelt down to look at it. As he did this there were the sounds of machines at work. Cogs and pressures did the work, not flesh and muscle. He knew what a camel was. They were horrible creatures of a foul temperament, what was even worse was the accursed Llama. There was spitting involved. It was very annoying. Sousuke did not understand why people liked those animals. He would look at the 'token trinket' and then back to Maki. He would look back at the token against and then back to Maki. "Far sturdier than it has any right to be ... has a very very wide range for me. If I put oh say... seventy-five pounds on this thing, will it in fact break? I ask this because ... then if it's more than seventy-five I could put ... quite a bit more on it. I hope that didn't come off as rude, but I'm of an inquisitive mind. Considering you made this from dust, there is ... there is certain limitations. To damage a gift is ... quite rude and disrespectful." Sousuke would comment. He would tap his fingers together. There was a clak clak from his fingers as he did this.



The Steward would raise up. He would hold his hands behind his back. While his face was not actually smiling, Maki and his paramour would get the feeling that he was. "Is it difficult for you to purify your metals? Is it something dangerous to do? Oil in the ground is a ... problematic thing for instance. Drawing it out quickly is dangerous to the environment should something go wrong. On the other side taking precaution slows production down quite a bit." The Steward liked to think he was a considerate person. Pending the answer Maki gave him, it did leave Sousuke a moment for considerations. If he answered it was difficult or dangerous, perhaps there was something he could do to make it less so?



"I will consider your offer. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Be wary while travelling out in the desert. I would suggest you avoid the heart of the desert where it is hottest." Sousuke would advise. He would fall silent for a moment. He seemed to be trapped in this silence for a moment. The Steward would incline his head slightly. His glowing eyes would blink out for a moment. For a moment he seemed out of his element. Old memories filled him for a moment. His battle at the Toraono Dojo. He was once again a young purple haired man, combating the Cabal. The battle was long and tiring. The Steward's eyes returned to a normal glowing white. "Ah. My apologies. Exhausted nerves. A curious state of existence at times. The war you spoke of still hangs upon me at times. I suspect this new one will do the same. Has either of that happened to the two of you?"
 

Maki

Supreme Leader Bone #9513 - Head Admin/Bmod Head
Staff member
Aug 28, 2012
10,004
Yen
1,056,971
ASP
1,590
OOC Rank
S


Maki watches as Sousuke investigates the present, an act that left a machine like sound coming from the other which led Maki to look up and meet his wife’s eyes briefly before focusing back on the mane before him. He could only hope she heard it too and he wasn’t having another episode. ”Indeed it should. While it was made from dust, the dust itself is titanium, fused back together into a whole. I could use normal dust, or even sand if needed….any fine particulate truly. But that would leave me something altogether less durable. And nothing rude about asking questions. We live to learn.” His smile was genuinely warm, indeed he enjoyed answering questions about his newfound craft.



And it seemed the other was interested more in the trade of metals, so to speak. His question on purifying them brought gleam to Maki’s eye, a near manic look in his soul. Ever since his mind left him he’d poured himself into his few hobbies and seemed to love discussing them. ”It depends on the metal. Most of the metals I personally use come from mines owned by my clan in various regions. The most you’ll get in Fire without trading for it is likely bog iron, as any iron mines would be privately owned by Konoha for manufacturing. Purifying bog iron is…problematic. You don’t have to get it as hot as normal iron, but you only get a fraction of usable iron from the mixture after you separate it from the slag. I prefer titanium, it requires more work…and a large vacuum chamber you can heat up to several thousand degrees, but there’s almost zero waste and less guess work involved. I can say I’ve not run into any issues with ground oil, however, but then again most of my work is with titanium.”



He pauses as the other falls silent, then seems to shut down before rebooting. Maki pauses and looks to his wife once more before the man’s eyes flicker back to life and he mentions his issues. As he speaks, Maki’s left hand twitches ever so slightly. His own eyes seem to take a thousand yard stare as memories try to leak in. Would you like some tea? He was once more waking up in the dark, grimy room. Would you like some tea?] She was torturing him for information, that she demon. Would you like some tea? He was being attacked, he was fighting back. He could not lose this. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA? He was the one attacking Leaf shinobi. Asuka, and Soku. He was the one betraying his comrades.



Maki jerks as his mind recoils from the memories, the whole episode being only a few short breaths but seeming an eternity to him. All at once he seems to grow pale and haggard. ”Indeed. I cannot think of a single shinobi who has survived conflict that is not scarred in some way from it. And it seems to be getting worse. Orphans, widows….and worst of all parents burying their children. War leaves no victors, only survivors.”



Perhaps the world would be better off if there were no walking weapons of mass destruction. Children would not be trained from toddlers to be swords in the hands of grown people who can’t keep their egos in their pants. Entire villages wouldn’t be blown up in a single breath. Safer….it could be safer.



”I do apologize if I begin rambling. I used to pride myself on my defense but there is no strategy when the attack is coming from one’s own mind."
 

Hoshirei

Active Member
Oct 22, 2012
1,069
Yen
1,746,350
ASP
1,026
Hoshirei was intrigued by the little figure her husband created. She hadn't seen him create much with his dusts and it was always an interesting moment. Sousuke investigated the figurine and questioned Maki about its' durability. The woman sat quietly as the men spoke, knowing that she had more to learn when it came to this whole diplomacy thing. It was moments like this where she deeply felt her childhood awkwardness. Speaking with the living was so different from the dead.

She noticed Sousuke's psychic dip into less than friendly territory and when he asked them if they had similar experiences, she looked to her husband. She watched him for any signs of getting lost in dark thoughts while thinking back to her own experience. Hoshirei almost laid a gentle hand on Maki's shoulder just before he snapped himself out of his dark thoughts.

"Conflict for me has always been about protecting people than anything else. I have been the target of attempts on my person, but clan politics are not war. Sometimes it is difficult to... remember what it is like to relax around others." She fell silent for a moment, trying to find the correct words for what she wished to say. "Assuredly there are only survivors in conflicts, no matter the variety. Working together for a better future for those survivors and those who come after, is perhaps the most noble thing anyone can do."
 

Takahashi Sousuke

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2012
4,186
Yen
3,081,499
ASP
281
Titanium infused dust. That was self explanatory. Nothing else was going to be required. Since it was titanium then this was going to be able to sustain a lot. It wasn't Takahashi Fire-Forged steel which was one step above, but that was a bit of a family secret really. As the two men talked, Sousuke became learned in bog metals. Sousuke had worked with a variety of metals before. There were many elemental metals he had worked with in the past. Sousuke's eyes glowed a brighter white as the talk continued, much like Maki. "Fascinating. I've had to work with cold metals which require extreme cold to forge in and like Bog Iron they require just a small amount of heat to use. Suffice to say ... elemental elementals always require different environments to forged and worked in. I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one who has invested quite a bit of time in learning how to work with elemental metals. It's a bit of a lost art to most people, but once in a while you tend to find someone who too is just as dedicated." The Journeymen of Sungakure were of a number, but they were a mere fraction of the population. Being given equipment, armour, or weaponry made by a Journeymen meant that one was going to be given an item of a high quality. If Maki had been born in Sungakure, Sousuke had no doubt that the man would be amongst the Journeymen.



Like Sousuke, Maki too suffers from a moment of exhausted nerves. It was telling. It took one to know one, and Sousuke watched his guest have a moment just like himself. There was a twitch and a gaze that suggested that he too was stuck in time. What horrors of the past lurked in Maki's mind was his own. "War has no winners, only losers." He spoke mirroring the sentiment. Sousuke had beheld the horrors of wars a few times. Families were damaged, and Sousuke too beheld that. People lost parts of themselves. It was not a pleasant experience. Maki spoke of his own defenses and how he was prideful of them too, but he too had his weaknesses. "I think Lord Maki we have a lot in common." Hoshirei rested her hand on Maki's shoulder. She knew too what was going on. Sousuke was familiar with this too as Yume had from time to time helped him through these moments. "Protecting people has been paramount. The Daimyo of this country does not see that as a priority. Then again ... he is a man only concerned with power. While what you say is true, he is not a man I would seek peace with. He has single handily plunged this country into chaos."