Ryou's mind spun in circles, scrambling through every last piece of information he'd ever learned about the Westlands and its people.
Surely everybody's actions made sense when put in some sort of context?
Hm. as it was a large disadvantaged region of the Wind Country, it was a logical conclusion that the area would house at least some insurgents. He'd never counted on a self-proclaimed sky pirate of all things, but he could say he understood the Westland soldier's motivate. And his misunderstanding.
And then it only naturally followed that Moxie would move to curb the scuffle. The last thing any of them wanted was more tension rising between the Wind Country's factions.
...so of course, Kyuuen was the only one in the wrong.
Oh, trust her to think she was so clever. Knocking back the intruder with a dose of healing chakra to nullify his blood based techniques? Sure, it would have been a good idea if blood was the only threat the wannabe pirate possessed, but something about the smug taunts suggested that there more to it than that. And besides, why was Kyuuen making a point of fighting him at all? Whatever happened to diplomacy?
"More where that came from, One-Armed-Gorgeous, let's go!"
Ryou decided to stay rational, and ignore that comment.
Pft, as if that tool was remotely good looking! The damn girl was always going on about how stupidly bright his hair was, what the crap did she call that? And he had a metal hand for god's sake! How unappealing would that be when she got around to- Ugh, why was he even thinking about that?
Ryou suppressed the thought, and the desire to vomit.
Alright, alright! So much for being rational. Point was, Kyuuen was crossing the line here. And he wasn't the only one to think so, either!
"Kyuuen, cut it out! I'm trying to make us allies, not enemies!"
"Cut it out, will you? She's right, we're here to-"
Another crash, and Ryou found that his shouts, much like Moxie's, had been quick to fall on deaf ears.
The Jekial boy lay sprawled against the floor for a second time.
Goddamnit, what was Kyuuen doing? Nothing was getting through to her, was it?
"Idiot, Kyuuen, he's an ally, why would y-"
Again, he didn't finish that sentence.
No sooner had Dai found his feet and begun to to clamber to a stand had he been knocked right back down.
This time however, Kyuuen didn't stand above him, grinning her fool's triumph.
None of them had seen the woman's approach.
No hook this time, no vault. Ryou was sure he hadn't blinked, but he could have sworn the figure had literally glided over the railing without any form of vantage.
She rose, and fell in a roaring instant.
Her heel crushed Dai's hand deep into the deck.
When the crunch had died down, silence raided the ship. All eyes were set on the newest occupant.
The heavy boots weren't the only savage touch to her wardrobe. The tunic she wore had been stripped clean off some beast. The lining from some bird. Thick and unruly brown hair caught up from her jump, and slowly floated to the level of her knees.
Closer to forty than thirty, she still stood with a commandeering poise. In her broad but curvaceous frame, she exhibited the type of brutality a women could only possess after a life in a place like this.
Her very presence had ordered them all into a temporary still, her voice only amplifying the effect.
"Tch. My case stands, doesn't it, Dai? Running threats against the nobility when the final thing this land wants is more shit than those...in charge, can bite? I have subdued your little 'crew', by the way, Kaizoku. Nothing permanent, but now that I've proven my point, you won't be needing them."
Her eyes bore like a hawk's, but she didn't even look at Dai as she addressed him.
Almost as though she didn't feel the need to.
Instead, she surveyed the company ahead of her. Moxie first. Then Kyuuen, and finally Ryou. She lingered on the latter.
Then her expression transformed.
She stepped off Dai, but didn't fail to bring her foot back to the wood with another defining thump.
"Do excuse Dai over here, if I was in any position to let the blame fall on him, I would. But such a claim ain't befitting for the ears of either party, is it? Allow me to introduce myself, I am Ayasato Miki, as you may have heard."
...As they may have heard? Blame?
Who was she, and what was going on?
From the sound of it, she was a political leader of the Westlands.
And she'd been expecting them.
"To think even your lot would send a group of children to sort this fiasco. I should have known that the nobility would intervene, that is why they've lent you their ship, is it not? Never mind that though, you remain our 'saving grace' - pardon that term, there's little they can do to oppose your village. If it's children they've sent, so be it. Let's hope I've conducted enough research for the both of us."
Ayasato stepped forward. The moment she did, Ryou could gather an intense odor of tobacco.
"Poor children, you're young. Can't be a day older than seventeen, none of you. What are doing here? Live the life, get yourselves a girlfriend, boys, why not? Being a good boy for daddy is heroic, yes," Again, she cast her eyes at Ryou on that one, "...but necessary? No. Surely your country is in a position where it can delegate at least diplomacy to those old enough to resist the blinds of heroism?"
For somebody who threw around judgment with such lightness to her voice, she gave them little time to react.
Was he just being paranoid or did she look at him more often than any of the others? Either way, it was slowly becoming clear that there was some sort of misunderstanding in the works here.
Ryou opened his mouth anyway.
"Children...? What are you on about, Suna's in no better-"
She silenced him with the wave of her finger.
"No, no. I'm not chiding you. I'm bringing to light the fact that you have a choice, so think about it, boy."
N-no. Why'd the damn women never listen to him?
That...hadn't been what he'd been getting at. Disdain of youth was one common thing, but if this was some kind of confusion regarding their identity, then it was in everyone's best interests to clarify it.
Desperate, Ryou let his glance shoot to Moxie.
In the brief seconds before Ayasato had commanded all their attention once more, all even Dakara's daughter could give him was a blank face.
"That said, not all of us have that kind of liberty - do we? - and given...circumstances, might be that your lack of years will help my comrades relate a little quicker. Believe me, I'd rather not dawdle."
There was the faintest hint of a chuckle on the end of that one, but she didn't crack a smile. Not even once, in all her speech.
That or the deep scar running from her left eye to the corner of her lip was creating the illusion that she wasn't able to.
"Now, you've evidently got a man piloting this contraption. I'd suggest you ask them to retire - not that my technique's going to harm them, but might as well. I'm capable of coordinating our landing."
Again, she didn't wait for an answer.
Ayasato moved forward, making her way past them and to the center of the deck. She raised a hand, fingers glowing with a pale red chakra.
Then with the force and agility of a hulking man ten years her junior, she slammed her palm against the wood.
The ship rocked, and fell into the smoothest descent.
Last edited by Klee
on Wed May 18, 2011 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.