Drak

Windy City Happy Hour [Mission]

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Spoiler

 

Mission Name [Entity] | Friends of the Mountain [Lightning Village]
Mission Type | Village Mission
Ranking | B-Rank
Repeatable? | No
Mission Description | We've recently felt the need to ensure strong ties with some of the minor villages, one of those being the Wind Village. We don't have permission to send one of our diplomats to the Kazan Islands yet, but we'd like to send you to start opening that door. Sōhei Nijiro has agreed to let us meet with his closest adviser, Kazuchika Okada. Okada isn't as isolationist as Nijiro is but don't expect a comfortable visit with the somewhat flamboyant spiritualist. Get in, avoid incident, and try to assure them that we are only reaching out to build a strong alliance and help strengthen their own held territory.  
Mission NPCs | Kazuchika Okada, the close adviser to Sōhei Nijiro. He will be accompanied by his 3 A-Rank guards. There should be no combat with them unless things go very, very wrong. 

 

First A-Rank: Ino Urimeshi (Female/Blond)

Element: Fire, Wind

Specialty: Bukijutsu (Spear Fighter)

 

Second A-Rank: Kazu Imei(Male/Sandy Blond)

Element: Water

Specialty: Ninjutsu

 

Third A-Rank: Tara Isumei (Female/Brunette) 

Element: Water, Wind

Specialty: Ninjutsu

 
Word Count | 1000 WC
Requirements | Must be in the Open Seas board since the Meeting must take place on ships outside of Kazan Islands.

 

Hitomaro stretched as the wind rushed past him, saltwater sprayed over the bow of the ship coating his red hued jacket in a light mist. He probably should have been more careful with the fine fabric of his jacket but he was so used to the simple cotton black t-shirts and cargo pants that his new outfit felt a bit off. The well made jacket wasn’t the only uncomfortable piece, he was wearing a stiff yellow shirt, real jeans, and even a respectable looking scarf. He hadn’t picked it, some young woman tore through everything he owned until she found something she felt suited the task at hand then shoved him onto the semi large wooden boat. He chuckled a bit as he stood at the bow of the ship, why they’d send him to talk to someone important was beyond him.

 

There was landin the distance, it was one of the Kazan Islands. It would have been polite to try and remember which one, after all there were five, but Hitomaro wasn’t the kind of guy who really cared. As far as the blond was concerned this was a waste of time. Three times before they’d tried to get the Wind Village to open up diplomatic talks, three times they’d been rebuffed. Yes, he’d read the damn manilla folder the young woman had given him. It was the same as all of the other manilla folders he’d been handed recently, it stuffed with papers so full of information written in small print that it almost looked like the sheet was caving under the weight of the ink. The Kage didn’t mess around when he sent you on a mission. Hitomaro had learned more in the last three hours than he felt like he’d learned in an entire lifetime. The Wind Country was a loose collection of island and port cities that had unified under a Shinobi banner quite a long time ago, so long ago in fact that it was almost amazing that they’d managed to actually lose out on the land wars to the Flame Country during the Great War.

 

Hitomaro felt his skin crawl at the thought, he pushed the rage down. He was from Flame, he lived through the Great War, his family hadn’t. It was like swallowing a stone but he had to do it, worrying about his vendetta would only make what he had to do more difficult. He directed his mind back to the task at hand, back to the Wind Village and their newest leader.

 

Sohei Nijiro didn’t call himself a Kage, he openly rejected the notion. According to the information Nijiro came to power as a spiritual leader, not a militaristic one, while still leaning on his shinobi traditions. He guided the Wind Country through the Great War and was the voice for the Kazan people during the dismantling of the old Shinobi world. Somehow he managed to hold together the Kazan Islands and then absorb a few the major port cities, all while fending off the major villages in a diplomatic spar. Hitomaro couldn’t help but admire the man's ability when he read the reports detailing his leadership qualities, most of the Lightning information experts likened him to a cult leader, Hitomaro couldn’t really tell the difference between that and a Kage. Regardless it wasn’t Sohei Nijiro that they’d aired the blond out to go meet, it was one of his loudest advisers, Kazuchika Okada.

 

Okada wasn’t like Nijiro, he was known to be loud, vibrant, have a well trained entourage, and unlike Nijiro he really liked what the outside world could offer the Wind Country. He was the first chance to open a door into the Wind Country and the Village wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to ingratiate themselves to him. Which had Hitomaro a bit perplexed, if they wanted everything to go off without a hitch why in the hell would they send him? He’d asked why him a hundred times already, he never did come to a satisfying answer.

 

The time to worry about why they sent him came to an abrupt end as his boat gently came to a stop beside a much larger, much more flamboyant ship. A small bridge was tossed over the side of the larger ship, connecting the two. Hitomaro sighed and pulled the sunglasses he was wearing off and put them in his jacket pocket, time to see how good of a talker he really was.  

 

743/1000

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Hitomaro straightened his jacket, wiped the water spots, then proceeded to head up the wooden ramp. It was a bit awkward feeling as the two boats rocked at different paces in the water, for a normal person it would have been quite a task. Hitomaro stepped lightly and quickly, he liked the ocean but wasn’t big on the idea of ending up in it. He reached the other boat, it was as large as it seemed, and was greeted by three clear Shinobi trailing a taller dark skinned man with short cut blond hair. The man was wearing bright gold and orange robes that caught the sun and reflected it in all directions, just looking at him made Hitomaro regret removing the sunglasses. Gold hung from the man’s neck and wrists in small circular disc and triangular patterns. He looked more like a man that had just robbed a jeweler than a man who had the ear of a country's leader.  

 

“Welcome, welcome!” He was every bit as loud as his attire. He approached quickly and with a huge smile on his face. As he approached he opened his arms as if to go in for a hug, the look on Hitomaro’s face changed from a grateful smile to confused horror, he wasn’t letting anyone get close enough to touch him that he didn’t know. His body tensed, the only place to go was back down to his boat or the water, he was fighting all his instincts. Luckily for the Lightning Village Shinobi one of the women guarding him reached her hand out to his shoulder, stopping the flamboyant man from continuing his approach. “Oh, of course, they’re going to need to search you,” Okada put his arms down and stepped back as the two women walked from either side of him. One was almost taller than Hitomaro and also had blond hair. She had some kind of weird armor covering her torso that became a strange long leather skirt as it went down her body, in her right hand she held a long spear, clearly an effective killing weapon and yet ornate it its design. The other was much shorter, clearly younger, and had been the one to stop Okada’s somewhat ill advised approach. She was dressed in much more typical Shinobi garb, loose pants, black undershirt, sandy brown flak jacket clearly packed tightly. There was one more guard, a male a bit smaller than Hitomaro, but he never moved forward, keeping a solid ten feet between he and the adviser.

 

The two women closed in on Hitomaro and motioned for him to lift his arms, the shorter one reached around his jacket, feeling his sides and reaching into all the pockets. She quickly found his glasses and confiscated them, he hoped she’d return them later they were his best pair. After that she continued down, usually that would have been welcomed but in this case it just felt awkward as she slider her hands around to his backside, down his legs, then back up. When she reached his crotch and kept going he grunted a bit, “Usually I like dinner first.” It was cliche, worse it was ill advised as she looked up and glared at him. Had Okada not burst out laughing Hitomaro might have thought his negotiations were over, once again it seemed he and the flamboyant adviser seemed to operate on the same level.

 

The two women, satisfied Hitomaro was unarmed, backed away. It was beginning to make sense why he’d been the one sent to deal with this guy. “Sorry about that, can’t be too careful nowadays.” Okada had a bit of an accent, no it wasn’t an accent it was a simplicity to his speech that was uncommon. Hitomaro recognized it from when he was a child working at the docks. He’d run from ship to ship and scrape the hull, it wasn’t a time he liked to remember. “Let’s go inside and talk, have something to eat.” he turned and waved Hitomaro to follow, at least this guy wasn’t going to be big on the formalities.

 

The blond Shinobi followed after the dark skinned man with the fake hair coloring, he could tell it was fake because of the dark roots he'd seen as he neared. Walking into the closed cabin of the ship didn’t sit well with Hitomaro, his Shinobi senses screamed to keep out of the tight place, but this was his mission. Sometimes without the risk you never accomplished anything good, sometimes the risk would get you gutted, he’d have to hope this was the former.    

 

1508/1000

Edited by Drak

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Hitomaro was surprised by how large the interior of the cabin actually was, it rose nearly ten or twelve feet, with a diagonal ceiling that came to a point dead center. Hitomaro didn’t have this much room in the thirty person barracks back in the village. He chuckled out loud, it paid to be a religious leader. “Nice isn’t it?” Okada said, smile stretched across his dark, tanned face. “It was just recently built, sometime soon it’s going to be the flagship of our navy. The Shokaku” He waved his robed arms and twirled a bit like an infatuated schoolgirl. Inside the large cabin was a long table filled to the brim with an exotic feast like Hitomaro had never seen before.

 

The blond smiled as the waitresses in the room, all barely dressed young women, directed him to the far end of the table, Okada went to the other. The smells in the room were a wonderful mix of sweet, sour, and savory. As Hitomaro looked up and down the table, a task that was made somewhat difficult by the women who were walking at him wearing little more than a cloth to cover their lower half. “I understand it’s uncommon on the mainland, but try not to stare.” Okada said from across the table, as if reading the blond’s mind. “They are the shrine maidens that serve my priestly class, untouched and pure. They bare themselves as a sign of pride.” It was one of the more interesting excuses Hitomaro had heard, he somewhat doubted it’s authenticity. To the Lightning Village Shinobi it seemed more like Okada just liked to surround himself with naked young women, not that Hitomaro was judging.

 

“Of course, my apologies.” Hitomaro responded and directed his eyes towards the table. The last thing he wanted to do was offend the only man in Nijiro’s inner circle willing to negotiate relations.

 

“No need to apologize, I myself was quite shocked by it when I ascended to the position.” the tanned man said from across the table, Hitomaro somehow doubted that based on his tone. “Now, traditionally we’d dedicate the meal to the rebirth, but I understand many of the mainlanders don’t share our faith.” Hitomaro had read all about the faith, at the moment he was forced to debate, lie and pretend or simply be honest. He played it by feel.

 

“I’m sorry to say I’m a bit ignorant here,” Hitomaro conceded, he could have gone through the motions but something about Okada told the blond to simply play it straight. “I’ve read about them, I can show respect to the process, but I can’t do them justice.” Okada smiled at the response before standing up and clapping his hands a couple of times.

 

“No problem, I’ll say the prayer for the both of us.” he was an oddly chipper priest, then again Hitomaro didn’t know very many priests. All the half naked women and the guards in the room fell to their knees, lowered their heads, then almost as if rehearsed Okada began to chant in a language Hitomaro didn’t know. Out of respect he lowered his head but didn’t leave his seat. Okada chanted something almost musical for around thirty or forty seconds, then he simply stopped, clapped his hands again, then with a smile on his face he said “This meal, these talks, have been blessed.” At that he sat back into his own seat and the young women continued to fill his plate. Hitomaro wasn’t sure what to do, then it was made clear as young woman picked up the trays on the table before bringing them over to him. They held each tray next to him and asked if he’d like to partake, he found himself struggling after only a minute or so passed before Okada showed mercy on him, “Girls, he and I still need to speak.” they bowed their heads, placed the trays on the table, then exited the cabin through doors in each side.

 

“Quite a feast isn’t it?” Okada asked and Hitomaro responded with a smile, then a nod, then carefully picked out a strange looking clear sphere. It was like a white pea but a bit larger, maybe two or three peas stuck together in size. He tossed it into his mouth, it was nothing like what he’d expected. It had a crunchy shell, then the inside was cold, almost chilled, but packed a sweet flavor that transitioned to a sour aftertaste. It was definitely unique.  

 

“So,” Okada said loudly to get Hitomaro’s attention. The look on his face had changed, not drastically but clearly more focused. “I don’t want to waste too much time, I really do miss my bed and would like to be back before I need to rest.” With the crowd now gone the only people left were Hitomaro, Okada, and his three personal guards. Clearly the man felt more comfortable talking business before the meal. “So what do you want me to do for you.”

 

2345/1000

Edited by Drak

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What could he do for him? No what could he do for Lightning, Hitomaro had to remember why he was there. Hitomaro reached his arms out to the table and sat straight up to look at Okada in the eyes. He’d been under the impression he was just a scummy priest taking advantage of faith to gain power up until this point, but he was far more than that. Okada was a man clearly more capable at the negotiation game than Hitomaro was, he wasn’t a con artist, he was a magnanimous leader. So Hitomaro sat for a moment and contemplated his next move, the tanned priest wanted something specific but he wasn’t just going to come out and say it. The problem was that if Hitomaro read this wrong he may risk making an enemy rather than a friend.

 

“It’s not about what you can do for us right now, it’s about what we can do for you.” Hitomaro spoke confidently, it was a fake confidence, he was far more comfortable debating breast size at a bar top rather than handling incredibly sensitive negotiations. “The Denkikage has already authorized barges of timber from the mountain to start shipping into the Kazan islands.” He stopped for a moment to read Okada’s face, if he liked what he heard he wasn’t showing it. “More wood for more ships like this, but that’s not all. We’ve got engineers building wind powered energy in the voltage lands right now, we’d be happy to share that technology with you.” At that Okada flashed a bit of interest. It wasn’t a secret that the new Kage of the Lightning Village had pushed an incredibly aggressive energy policy in the Voltage Lands before coming to power. There were some more gruesome details to the energy boom in the Voltage Lands that a more scrupulous look may have uncovered, but all the world needed to know was that it had nearly tripled economic output almost overnight.

 

“I know that the Kazan Islands have been a bit more resistant to technology, but given your geography I think it’s safe to say that the person who harnesses the wind is going to have a decidedly more secure position.” Hitomaro made very little effort to hide his intended meaning here, he wanted to be very clear. In return for Okada helping secure strong diplomatic ties between the Wind Country and the Lightning Country the blond Shinobi was more than willing to promise to supply him alone with the needed energy technology to power his country. He couldn’t have come out and offered anything more without it verging on conspiracy.

 

Okada leaned back and lifted a hand to his well shaved chin. The tanned man was clearly contemplating something, it had Hitomaro on edge. When fighting someone there was no question about what the other person intended, they wanted to win, to survive, but in games of state it was a far more slippery road with a lot more pitfalls. He’d already said enough for a loyal member of Nijiro’s entourage to seriously question what was being proposed. But Okada had put himself next to the leader not because he was loyal, but because he was hungry.

 

Okada hadn’t come from power, in fact he came from the lowest reaches of society. From what Hitomaro knew, Okada was the son of a whore and in his sect of faith that originally made him a living testament to uncleanliness. Undoubtedly the young Okada would have been forced into near slave like labor and scorned, then as he entered manhood he’d have the chance to cleanse himself. Hitomaro knew of the ritual, seven days and nights baking in the sun, naked and tied to a dial. It was their way of allowing their gods to burn away the sin, more than a few didn’t survive the process if the reports were true.

 

So Hitomaro knew better than to believe that Okada was the loyal subject, he didn’t even pretend most of the time. Okada was out to secure his own place and the Lightning Country intelligence wasn’t usually wrong when it made as bold a claim as that.

 

“You send the engineers and I’ll make sure you get a meeting with the High Priest.” Okada said with far more seriousness than anything he’d said up to that point. It wasn’t the promise Hitomaro had been hoping for, but it wasn’t a bad outcome. Lightning Country had wanted to get a face to face with Nijiro for a while now, being an island nation they had a lot of sway over the sea trade in the area. That wasn’t it though, the Wind Country was a budding power that the major villages had kept down for quite a while, it was better not to be a target of that scorn when resentment finally boiled over.

 

“Alright, well finalize some of the details later but for now,” Okada had quickly reverted back to his uptempo mood, “we eat!” Hitomaro smiled in response and the proceeded to dig in. It was rare that he got to eat that well without having to pay, he wasn’t going to let it go to waste.

 

After the meal was over one of Okada’s assistance sorted some of the finer details with Hitomaro while the tanned man retired to the main cabin with his gaggle of topless maidens. Hitomaro was starting to see the benefit of religion.    

 

Shortly after that the blond was hurried back to his own ship and was left to watch as the larger vessel turned back towards the islands. Okada would be expecting an envoy with an engineer in a few weeks, once he had that he’d put Lightning personnel in front of the High Priest Nijiro. Things went better than the blond expected, in fact it was a lot easier than expected. It finally dawned on him that maybe he wasn’t sent because he was the best man for the job, maybe he was sent because any man could have done the job….

 

[End and Return Home]

 

3356/1000

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