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I casually took a sip of tea.

"Hm. I should have ordered the smoothie. Tea still isn't, well, my cup of tea." I muttered to myself. The small blue cube on the table chirps in. "I'm more of a, BlOodY mUrDEr, coffee kind of fellow." B-Ordis chimed. "How does an A.I with a body lacking in the sense of taste and desire to actually eat develope a preference again?" B-Ordis gave a few mechanical beeps that I couldn't decipher.

"Whatever. But please do stay silent through this meeting. Just because I brought you along doesn't mean that I want to intrude." B-Ordis displayed a tiny thumbs up on his screen before returning to his life as a glowing blue computer cube.

I sighed quietly, grimacing at my taste of choice of drink.

For the last few days I've been conducting an evaluation of whoever was at the battle of the land of Frost as well as the Warpath that followed. Sending invitations to come to meet me in the academy and talk about their experiences. Meanwhile I'd be secretly recording their stories as well as a offering consolidation and emotional support where needed. Unsurprisingly the Root members that I met with were more subdued than normally expected of such young folk. Except for Ochaka, the real one this time, who rattled on and on energetically about the fights she got into. The way she talked, you'd think she was reenacting an anime scene than a real life battle with victims and stuff. Thankfully she revealed that she had followed my suggestion to capture and then send people back to the Hidden Cloud.. except that the plan didn't account for the destruction of the village...

My left hand shook with terrifying tremors. If I thought about it, it was too similar, to familiar to the ways my last home, and the home before that was destroyed. While adrenaline had kept me from freaking out, when I returned to Konoha and the safety of my room.. I recalled how horrifying Takao was, and how I was powerless to stop the destruction of another village or help my hero and perhaps most admired friend.

I shook my head and refocused. My break was over again, time to get back to work. Gathering my umbrella and B-ordis' Opera House, I headed down to the staff only room, to talk to the next visitor. As far as the school knew, I was talking to ninja and making notes of the psychology of modern ninja who have been through open combat and lost their comrades. A documentary, if you will. So everyone not involved in these "meetings" stayed clear of the staff room.

Taking a seat at one of the many tables I nodded to my assistant, another Root agent with ties to the academy, and they brought in the next person. With on last sip of my tea I gestured for whoever was brought in to take a seat opposite from me, as I placed the shrunken Opera House on the side.

"Welcome, if you'd please take a seat and we can begin whenever you're ready."




Chiaki woke that day with a bleary eye, and her hair touselled in every direction. Staring at her alarm clock for more time than she had planned, she grumbled. It was fifteen minutes before she was supposed to awaken from it, fifteen minutes more sleep that she could have had, if her body had allowed it. But apparently, she sighed, that wasn’t going to happen. So much for dream land.

Throwing off the covers, she slumped into a sitting position before stretching, tossing her balled fists into the air and arching her back, feeling the fabric of her nighty pull against her small frame. It was going to be a long day, she could tell already by the stiffness in her muscles, the wear she was feeling on her person. Blinking twice and rubbing her eye, the bleary one, she got up, the nighty which had worked its way around her waist, cascaded back down to her knees as she walked to the bathroom, a quick turn and she stared at herself.

Growling at the person in the mirror she saw someone weak, someone who wasn’t able to defend those that she loved, those that she cared about. She saw someone who had let innocents die, who wasn’t strong enough to keep going and push through the pain. She saw someone whose jutsu hadn’t helped anyone but herself lately. Looking to the vinyl floor, she flexed her toes and mumbled some unencouraging words before shrugging the nighty’s straps off, letting the garment fall in a loose heap to the tops of her feet, she slipped one foot out and kicked the other up, catching it in her hand, and put it on the sink.

Stooping low to turn on the shower, she wondered if she would have to answer every question, or perhaps if she would be allowed to skip some of the questions. Then, swallowing past a lump in her throat, she realized that she had done this with some of her PTSD patients before. It was good to talk about things, and she had volunteered. Better to get it over with.

She didn’t know whether or not she had stepped in, or if she had used some sort of jutsu to get into the shower without her realizing, but the hot water on her body jolted her back to reality, drizzling down her sensitive front she looked down. There were still spots which could use improvement. Her stomach wasn’t flat, by any means, and she could get rid of a bit of pudge here, a stretch mark there. Frowning, she thought it wasn’t anything special to look at. Not that she had anyone special to look at her anyhow. That elicited a sigh as well. She had Akaneya, but she didn’t know… where their relationship was at right now.

After a relatively quick shower, after introspecting for a couple minutes, her alarm went off in the other room. Quickly turning off the shower, she pushed open the curtains and grabbed her towel. Hopping over the bath tub’s wall she attempted to rush into her room, only to slip on the slick floor and go barreling into the wall. Groaning, and knowing that she had probably woken up her downstairs neighbors she righted herself, getting the hang of the floor again.

Chiaki turned off her alarm and then dried herself, using her bed to keep her feet up and to dry the hard to get places. She walked back toward the bathroom and stared at herself in the full length mirror. There, she saw a naked, scared, and small girl. Shaking her head, she folded the towel into thirds and set it back on the towel hanger in the bathroom.

She took a brush and roughly pulled it through her hair, making sure that she had all the strands in a semi-uniform way before she braided it, pulling into a braided bun, and tucked it in, securing it with some senbon. Next came making the bed, making sure that her nighty was in its rightful place and picking out her outfit.

She took a couple of minutes figuring out which leggings to wear, the dark brown ones, and then picked the shoes that would go with them. Next came underwear which wouldn’t show underneath them and a skirt. The skirt was a sort of dull yellow with red plaiding. The pleats on it needed to be ironed again and Chiaki took the time to do so. Looking at the clock, she nodded to herself, plenty of time before her interview, or rather, perhaps it was an interrogation.

Next came her shirt, a pink one with a button up laced white blouse over the top of it. Looking in the mirror, she turned around and gave herself a once over, smoothing down her skirt around her rump and wondering if it was too short for the occasion. Shaking her head, she put those thoughts out of her mind. She was the hokage’s assistant, after all, and if he had a problem with how she dressed he could take it up with Taka-. She stopped the thought immediately and shook her head. No, it was better to not even think in the same vein as that.

Turning off her light, she left the room and went to the bathroom to take care of the daily necessities, deodorant and such, before she moved to the kitchen. She looked at the clock in there, not enough time to make herself a proper breakfast, she grabbed an apple, a banana, and a nutrition bar. ‘For the hungry ninja on the go’ it was probably more sugar than anything else. Then again, she looked down and sighed, she could use more padding in the right places.

She snatched up her keys, placing the apple in her teeth and looked back around the apartment, giving it a once over. It was small, but it was hers. She turned out the light and made her slow way out the door.

The next part, walking through the crowds, was what took so long, and Chiaki made it to the destination, punctual as always. She ate her breakfast at the same pace as the crowd moved, and for a bleary day, one that was polluted with smoke and drizzle, it was a poignant pace.

“Guanyin, Chiaki.” She said to the receptionist at the academy, it was big enough to warrant one, who had her wait until a man came with a clipboard and motioned her into a hallway. Through twists and turns, she came to the staff room, one that she had booby trapped when she was younger, and been in trouble for it. The man let her into the room and closed the door behind her.

She was ushered into a seat and told to begin whenever she was ready. She noticed a small cube, but had no idea as to its function, sitting on the desk next to this young man. She also, unfortunate for her, didn’t recognize the person sitting in front of her. The village was big, and she hadn’t ever been introduced to him. Perhaps he was part of the reason that Takao was able to make it all the way to kumogakure unhindered.

Breathing in, then breathing out again in a measured manner, she sat straight up, the gloss from the morning disappearing like clouds over the ocean parting, and her gaze was clear.

“I was called here to give my accounts? Or perhaps to chat? The note was unspecific.” She was tired, and the sentences short, but she was also uncomfortable. She hadn’t been in the academy for a time, and she didn’t know whether or not it was against policy to be there without the head teacher’s consent. Still, if this person was using the staff room, they must have some affiliation with the school.

When she had been invited last night, she hadn’t had the chance to look through the archives to find anything on this ‘Kisei’ character, but they seemed about as old as Chiaki was. Perhaps even in the same graduating class?

“I guess that I am ready to begin, when ever you are.” She dusted off her lap, her eyes going to her hands, but her senjutsu, a newly acquired talent drinking in every detail of the man in front of her. It was a tricky way to suss out whether she was in any danger, but she didn’t know who she could trust now.

WC: 1438



I furrowed my brow at the confusion that, ah... Chiaki(?), expressed. Hm. Perhaps I should have Shouto or B-ordis write invitations. My looping sentences and indirect language probably isn't doing anyone favors. Actually, now that I think about it, how was no one else confused by the invitation? Well, most of them are in Root.. so I guess I technically know some of them? (Or technically don't, this is Root after)

"Back to topic." I mentally whipped myself. Too much looping.

Calmly, I proceeded with the conversation. "Good to hear. First off I'm going to ask a series of standard questions before we move onto more personal inquiries where we can talk a bit more freely. If you are not comfortable answering any of them, simply say so. I understand that it was a troublesome time for everyone involved, and some may not wish to speak much on their experiences. Please try to answer and be thorough with your responses." So much for starting. Did you really have to go straight off the bat with a monologue? I minimally shook my head. Ah yes, it's just like that therapy session I've started recently. Not really much help since I can't actually talk about my problems, but I did feel comfortable while sitting there. So maybe the method worked.

"Alright. First question: What was your reason for being on the field for the destruction or Warpath? Clarification: Were you summoned to fight? Asked for specifically? Documentation? Etc."

Then when she finished answering I'd continue.

"Can you describe what your experience was like and what you did during the attack?"

"Have you killed anyone throughout the duration of the battle?"

"What kind of impressions did you have on war, and how has that changed? And what can you say about the purpose of Shinobi in this world?"

Every question was posed with a calm tone and even voice. Nothing too drastic. All the while I'd carefully monitor her reactions. I've not yet had a violent reaction from any of my subjects, but in the case that were to happen I had a plan. While I was posing questions and answering any they had about me in turn, my hand was tucked into one of my pockets. The palm caressing a singular scroll, which contained my puppet and pinwheel. True that my reliance on the GASTER frame is troublesome in greater combat, it's usefulness is unparalleled in my arsenal. The pinwheel on the other hand... Well, I hope that I wouldn't be required to use it.

When the standard questions had finished there was a very simple question I'd pose to Chiaki. One that my therapist loves to ask whenever I come around. "How are you feeling?" Basic and cheesy, not to mentioned overused. But the sad truth I've come to learn of Shinobi since I've came to the academy is that they're trained to be.. inhuman. Essentially. There's something to be said of the measures of tests and knowledge we impart to pre-teens here. Though the biggest underlying lesson behind everything is, "You only exist for the village. Put aside your personal feelings, heart, and life for the village." This 'patriotism', this Will of Fire, it was indoctrination. It was heart breaking.

No matter where I go, it seems that war and conflict followed. Perhaps I was misreading everything. I'm an outsider who probably doesn't know or see the whole picture, but still, the idea of training these kids to fight in life or death situations? It was cruel. But that was the way of the Shinobi right? It had been for the Sunagakure, (I've caught enough house sized scorpions to say for sure), and it was so for Konoha.

My eyes fell silently on the table for a while. Memories of flames from my first home, memories of glass from my second, and the recent sight of a village among clouded mountains melting. Finally, the vision of the leafy forests I called home, turning to ash.

I shook myself out of these delusions and turned to Chiaki. "Ah, sorry. Did you want any tea?"

704 | 1310



Chiaki nodded, so she didn't have to answer the questions. That made her more comfortable, as she didn't really want to talk about any of them in the first place, but perhaps she would find this cathartic. She had, after all, been part of the battle, and she didn't know what the repercussions were. The man behind the desk was powerful, she could tell that much from her senjutsu as it was and she could tell that he was toying with a scroll under the table. Should she talk about that, or leave it hidden?

Whatever, she would let it be, let him think that he was actually hiding something from her. She had no idea what the scroll was, nor what was inside it, nor whether it was a summoning, sealing, or other scroll. She did, however, note that his hand didn't move from it the entire time, so that must mean that he found her a bit of a threat, or thought she could become one. Best to assuage that by answering and not making sudden movements.

"I was asked to investigate the land of snow, where I found a woman named Mizuki before the hokage's warpath, or rather, before his rage filled leap through Kumogakure, burning everything in his path." She reached into her ninja tools, kunai and senbon shifting, clinking together, her brows furrowed, knitting themselves together as she looked at the damned thing. It had to be in there. Just what she was looking for.

Frowning, she shifted her leg and more clinking ensued as she finally produced a package of gum, looked up and put one piece into her mouth cooly before continuing. This would take a lot of talking, and something to stimulate saliva production would help with keeping her tongue loose, as well as the rest of her. It was winter mint and she offered Kisei a piece. Should he accept or refuse, when she was finished with it, she put it back in.

"I am also the Hokage's assistant, as you probably know from your records, as a member of the council of konoha." She nodded a bit and snapped the gum between her teeth, "should be in those records somewhere, just don't know if you have them all read or not." She sighed. "As for whether I was summoned to the battlefield. No, it caught me by surprise. It was a day that I would rather not remember. I had received a note tied to the leg of a bird and it said I was needed as a medical kunoichi in what was perceived as a first act of aggression on the village hidden in the clouds."

She looked at her hands and squeezed them, balling them into tight fists before letting them go limp and folded them in her lap. "I was asked for unspecifically, but didn't know whether I would be needed until I got there. I was about a good fifteen minutes behind the Hokage's path of destruction, clearly marked by the molten pock marks that he left on the landscape."

The next question came and she nodded, "I can explain it in detail, if you'd like."

Taking a deep breath she started into her story, "I arrived on the battlefield, bodies scattered the landscape and there was a smell of burning iron and flesh, which I didn't take as an awful odor as I had smelled it in the incinerator at Konoha General" She referred to the hospital, "And it wasn't an awful smell until I saw what was going on in the battlefield. There were corpses twisted by the fire and which had been ripped asunder by all of the other elements." She shook her head. "I saved as many as I could, and I knew that I couldn't save them all. I was taken to the medical camp when it was set up, and saved many more, but I know I could have saved more if I hadn't used as much chakra as I had on the dying when I had arrived. I probably healed as many of the enemy as I did our own. Each person was just that, a person. They no longer had ties to their villages. There was the quick and the dead. The quick were healed, the dead were either buried or burned."

She nodded, "I killed my first person when the warpath started. It was when I couldn't save them, their innards were spilled all over their person and they were bleeding heavily. I also killed another man that was badly burned, too badly burned to even be identifiable." She shuddered, turning a pale white. Her lips lost all color and her eyes turned a dull greyish blue as she continued.

"I had no impression on war really, when this all began. I thought that it was something that had happened a long time ago in a far away land. It was certainly never going to come to the village hidden in the leaves, and nothing that I could really put my fingers on." She shrugged, "It was something amorphous that happened to other people more important than me, that I would never experience, or at least I thought I wasn't important enough to experience it."

She shook her head and stared at the ground then, her frame becoming smaller, her shoulders slumping and her arms getting tighter to her body. She wanted to disappear.

"As for how I feel about it now," Her eyes got dark and there was an aura about her, a deep red aura about her that came from the guanyin stem cells that permeated her chakra turning necrotic. They ate at the chair that she was sitting in, and the floor beneath her. She was looking inward now, blind to the outside world, "I am never going to let this sort of thing happen again. I will stop whoever does this next time, or I will die trying." Her rage burned inside of her, the indignity of the shinobi and kunoichi of the hidden leaf killing innocents as well as kumogakure ninja. The senseless violence and for what? For the sake of slaking one man's revenge on another?

She grit her teeth and the chair beneath her groaned with the abuse. "Never again."

As soon as he asked her how she felt she snapped back to reality. Her eyes calmed down to a dull blue again, and she wiped away tears that she hadn't known that she had been crying, drying her cheeks. "I am fine. I am a kunoichi after all. A medical kunoichi should be willing to die for what she believes in, and for her patients." She recited doctrine that had been kneaded into her marrow by her mother.

"As for tea." She cleared her throat and placed her gum in its original wrapper, flicking it easily 30 meters into the trash can, precisely hitting the center with a 'ting!' "I would love some."

WC: 2617



I listened carefully to everything that she had to offered. Her first reply was carefully noted, both mentally and by the cube inhabited by B-ordis. Though the reminder of Takao’s wrath was a sour reminder of just what kind of destruction he was capable of when he was, erm, motivated. “No thanks.” I declined the offer of gum. Chiaki was unfazed and we continued on with the conversation. So far, Chiaki didn’t seemed all that emotionally affected by her experience, which initially lead to a conclusion that her overall presence on the field was incredibly limited on a whole. Since she wasn’t asked for specifically. I myself didn’t wholly contribute much, other than a failed attempt to keep Takao and the Kumogakure separated. It seemed to fall to pieces, much like when the Hokage fell when I substituted him off a cliff. I pressed two fingers to my temples, remembering the blathering inferno swirling around. Next question.

I kept an calm demeanor as I listened to Chiaki’s retelling. There wasn’t much to say in all honesty. All these questions were standard and the responses in turn were all generally within the same metric. Though points of view and focus changed somewhat. Takao hadn’t wanted for others to follow him to the Hidden Village of the Clouds, intending to take the Raikage on his own. So circumstances of getting there were a bit varied to say. There were those like me, who heard the reports of Takao running off after Daremo, and those whom were called in support. (I could remember it been mentioned that the attempts to garner people were a bit awkward, considering the illict circumstances that brought all of Root to the battlefield.) The most surprising part of her answer was that she had her first kill at that battle. It quirked my interest. The memory seemed to be a haunting one so I didn’t bring it up again, knowing myself the death we deal, though it be an accident on behalf of my partner. ‘A mercy kill.’ I noted. Their impressions on war confirmed her experience with active combat. Judging by their answers, they were usually confined to the village. The Hokage’s assistant, I’d have to check on that. Though I imagine that her main duties were to the hospital. They don’t just let anybody do the medical work after all, and then going to perform emergency medicinal service in a battle scene, they had to be much more skilled than I had originally thought. I was impressed, albiet only slightly.

Then when I asked about her feelings and impressions of/on the event, surprise awaited me once more. Geniune, human, wrath, was pouring out from her essence. Her words were just as eye opening. ‘Never again, huh?’ I suppressed a scoff. That’s exactly how I felt, long long ago. My fresh seventeen year old self, having just experienced the destruction of the Sunagakure at the hands of three people. Vowing both vengence, and taking an Oath to protect those who would have to suffer from a tragedy like this again. ‘Look how well that went.’ I berated myself. ‘I couldn’t even stop the one I… admired, the most, from doing something they’re regreat later.’ A similar feeling of emptiness clawed at my heart, and my single functioning violet eye sunk into the shade my black hair brought. Nonetheless, I made a point to ask Chiaki how she was feeling. Even though I didn’t know how to comfort her.

She wiped the tears streaming down her eyes, and I make a point to check mine. They were dry thankfully, emotions were a hassle to deal with. Crying was a whole different beast my machines weren’t quite equiped to handle. ‘Thank goodness’ I said to myself, this day was full of blessings it seemed, as Chiaki had nearly completely composed herself not a few moments later as accepted the offer of tea. Perfect, now this I can work with.

As I got up towards the teacher’s snack station, recently installed by yours truely, I thought of what else I needed to ask. This all was rather spur of the moment, last minute planning if you will; for archival reasons. While I couldn’t fight against something like this like Chiaki wants to, I could at least make sure that such things weren’t able to be erased so easily. “Ah, how was your day?” I asked absentmindedly, immedietely cursing myself after it. ‘That wasn’t what I was trying to say…’

Regardless of the answer that she gave I’d nod. Unless it was something outrageous, then that might warrant further discussion. Though without that added distraction I found myself waiting a bit longer on the Golden Flower Tea. ‘Hm, was that heart there the whole time on the cover? Sure it’s nothing’ and I shrugged it off. Upon returning to the table with two servings of tea split between us I prompted Chiaki with the following.

“This next part is slightly unconventional, but you seem to have a good grasp on yourself. Possibly still processing what’s happened, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve lost your mind so I’m willing to say you’re handling it somewhat well. Though see an actual therapist sometime soon please.” I bit my lip when I realized that I strayed again, “Back to the original point, is there anything that you’d like to ask me? I’m not the most interesting person in the world, but if we’re going to be talking it leaves me feeling a little bit left out when I’m the only one asking questions. Ya know?” Of course it was a lie, but I was curious on their perceptions of me after inviting her here and posing these questions.

987 | 2297



Chiaki cleared her throat and nodded to herself once more to compose herself. “I ah, I suppose that besides being summoned here for an impromptu session of therapy, and to divulge my whereabouts during the Warpath of the Hokage, I ah… I am doing alright.” She took a tissue out of her bag, which she had kept with her and dabbed at her eyes, making sure not to run the coarse piece of fabric over them for fear of rubbing them raw. “Sorry, I don’t… don’t usually cry like that.” She laughed, it was mirthless and dry, like she hoped that her face would soon become. A cough as she stifled it and she looked around the room.

It was a small area, to be sure, but it also spoke volumes to the money that came into it from the families of the hidden leaf. This was basically the place where kids trained to be soldiers, so the best things had to be afforded, including the best teachers. Someday she might be able to teach, someday she might be able to show the world that she was a good teacher, and a good healer. But that day was not today.

Mmmm. Better ask those questions that you have. “So what do you do for the Konoha government?” She straightened her dress, and looked up at him, her face coming up slower than her eyes, “And what business do you have in interviewing those that were part of the Hokage’s warpath?” She asked, “What is your station here in the school?” Looking around, “And I suppose there are others, like what did you do to stop the Hokage? Did you try? Did you kill those from the village hidden in the clouds? What did the others say to you when they were asked about the time that they were in Kumogakure no Sato?” She looked at Kisei, truly looked at him for the first time. “And Can I ask about that cube, and that scroll that you were trying to hide under the desk?”

She let out a small grin, and a smaller chuckle, as she waited for her tea. As soon as she got it, she would taste it and nod to herself, it was good, it was a good tea. “I will see a therapist, yes, but… I have a busy schedule so it will not interfere with my duties, both to this village, nor to the village hidden in the leaves.” She shook her head, “I do not mean to be a burden to anyone, but… I won’t be held from my duties either.”

Chewing her bottom lip she nodded, “and one more question, do you know whether or not I would be able to teach here? If you are a teacher, that is, and I don’t want to step on people’s toes but, I thought that I might be able to teach medical ninjutsu once in a while to those with the inclination or the lust for it.” She nodded, “There wasn’t really anyone who taught me, self taught here, but I thought that I would offer it up and see if there are any bright and up and coming students that you might be able to recommend or perhaps see if I could host a class every now and again?”

WC: 3214



Chiaki seemed to have more than a "few" thoughts on her mind, and quite a few questions.. a bit more than he was comfortable sharing. But eh, unexpecteds happen occasionally. Regularly... I really ought to be more prepared for these curve balls.. The scent of warm tea drifted from the station and heat poured from the ceramic cups I prepared, almost ready. Now, what was those questions again? As I brought the tea to the table and Chiaki rattled off her questions I tried to organize my answer in a way that made some mediocum of sense. "Ah, lemme start with that last question first. Also, I hope you like this tea, it's a more exotic flavor, if it isn't to your taste I have a few others you can try while we do this." I said calmly, a slight cough escaping my throat.

"That cube is something I found while in the Sunagakure during my time there, it has this odd property to glow, but I can't reliably trigger it. As for that scroll, ha.." That was embarrassing... "It's my brother's last words, he left it in a scroll for me before sending me here with my current roommate. I keep it around when I'm nervous. As for the Hokage.. that's a bit.. I don't know how to feel about it." Sweat wetted my palms, and phantom heat started cooking the room. I wiped the sweat from my brow with my forearm. "For the others I interviewed before you they were mostly emergency personnel, medical squads; and people like me, who ran to the field as soon as they heard the news of his chase. Before he ran off he said that he didn't want anyone following him, so there wasn't too many Konohagakure ninja involved in that task. What they said was close to what you said, but since most of them were already older and more experienced veterans they probably weren't as open as I would've liked." My shoulders shrugged, and a taste of tea refreshed my dry throat. It has been a while since I've talked that much..

"As for me.. well, I didn't do anything." A humorless laugh echoed off the walls. "I simply went to keep the Hokage safe, get him out of the fight and cover his escape. Though he really didn't need me for anything. Everytime I got him away from battle he just brushed it off, and when he was being overrun by summons I tried to step in. Ended up running myself to near chakra exhaustion trying to keep up until finally Takao had enough and, sent me away." I blew a cool breath over the tea, glassy eyes watching the bottom of the cup. "But uh, to answer your questions more clearly: I didn't kill or attack anyone. I'm the new Academy Director for this school, and I'm just a reserve ninja, who also runs a shop that occasionally gives massive discounts to Konoha ninja."

Her last question was a surprising one, but not an unwelcomed suggestion. "Oh? A medical academy teacher." The idea was pretty nice actually, we definitely could use more doctors. Plus with the stunt we pulled at Kumogakure we'll definitely be needing them in the future... Hm.. yes it could work. "We do have a small course for medical ninjutsu set up, and I think you'd be a good fit for the academy. I wouldn't be opposed to hiring you. But on a different day. Call me ahead of time and we can schedule a meeting so I can organize something for you. Loose scheduling is harder to work with than regular, but not impossible, and I think we'd benefit from your skills."

640 | 2937



"Exotic flavor?" She asked, blinking rapidly, "I like tea, but I usually have oolong, or breakfast tea, you know, the less exotic ones. I guess... Chai? Would be the most exotic one that I would have had the pleasure of tasting?" She rattled them off, conversationally. She wondered what kind of tea he had in store for her. She sipped the tea, stared down into it, frowned and smacked her lips. It wasn't like anything that she had tasted before, and it was... peculiar to say the least. She didn't know whether it was supposed to be as bitter as it had been. Perhaps some sugar would tone it down, but that would be impolite to ask for.

She just sipped her tea once more, trying to roll the liquid around her mouth with her tongue to acclimate to the bitter taste that it had. It was always better than being rude, that was something that Chiaki had learned long ago. Blinking a couple of times she nodded, “Ah, The scroll just seemed like something that you were clutching rather tightly to yourself, so I thought it must be some sort of scroll to ward off potential danger. I didn’t know it was a nervous tick of yours. Sorry.” She shrugged, it wasn’t like her passive sage powers let her see everything, more or less they usually made trouble for her, but she didn’t know who to trust now, didn’t know who was on her side, or even if she was on a side per se after all that had happened in the land hidden in the clouds.

“I ah, I was rounded up by the medical team, given an armband and followed from a nearby village, actually.” She shrugged, “So I didn’t know that he didn’t want anyone following him.”

As for being open.” She put her hands in her lap, “I know that Takao would say that you were trying to help, if he were in his right mind. He seems to be troubled, of late, and to be honest I can’t blame him. There were so many deaths, so much rage behind his actions.” She frowned, paused, put a bent finger to her lips and then looked up at Kisei, “So I get it. I was actually run to chakra exhaustion as well, though it was for different reasons, as I told you before. I helped in the medical camp, and a Boy crossed my path, he died of a wound that either a Konoha or a Kumo ninja had given him. I assume a Konoha ninja because he was Kumo himself.”

The frown deepened, and she showed lines that weren’t there when she started the conversation, seeming to age as she looked back to the past, and inwardly, “Even the doctors and the medical team of Konoha were only interested in saving those who wore the Konoha headband, or those who swore allegiance to Konoha. They seemed to be less attentive to the people of Kumogakure, even the innocents.”

Her ears perked up at the shop, but he glossed over it quickly as she went into her last question, and she tucked it away to the end of her line of discussion, keeping it there as a sort of hidden gem. “I don’t know if you have one, or if you really want one, but I was thinking that I could teach. Actually, it’s a dream of mine to open a hospital in the land of Iron, a place where people can come and learn the ways of the healing arts, and go throughout the world and right so many wrongs. There are so few Medical ninja now, because it is seen as a stupid, or unwanted skill. People think that it is better to be able to defend against an attack in the first place, rather than heal the damage that has been done, but what about the people that are not so fortunate to have defenses against Jutsu?” She started to lecture, because she was passionate about it.

“Ah, I digress, but as for the hiring, I will get back to you on a different day, when you have a bit more time, as I am sure that I am overstaying my welcome with all the talk.” She shrugged, “As for loose scheduling it comes with the territory of being the Hokage’s assistant, which keeps all hours, along with my love for volunteering at the hospital. The love for volunteering comes from the way that every time I step into that hospital, it is a different person, with a different injury, or a different sickness that needs different treatments. It never is the same, and each wound, each injury, each illness is as unique as the person that is afflicted by it. It is fascinating.” She blinked, sipped her tea, the bitter taste was now just a mild aftertaste, so she was able to take a bigger gulp.

“You said you owned a shop? What do you sell there?” She tried to make light conversation, “Or perhaps, perhaps I have already used my time here and you are to see someone else?”

WC: 4085



I smiled a bit when she suggested that Takao would say that he was “helping”, out of all the people in Konoha, he was one of the few people he actually cared about. Well, cared enough to try to die in his place at least. That was a positive train of thought but it didn’t help the dark tunnels.. Thoughts bubbled up from that time and my mind was swirling with visions of death and fire, and the molten carapice that Takao bore as he sowed carnage through the land of lightning. A shiver shook my spineless and I woke to my senses, with Chiaki asking about my shop and whether she had exhausted her time here. While I didn’t want to be a rude host I myself was in no condition to continue this conversation. “Ah, if you don’t mind, I do have another guest that is supposed to be hear shortly, a student. Grades and behavior but I try to take this job seriously, if anything at least.” Stepping out of my chair I collected my items and starting heading into the hallway towards my office. “But really, if you’re interested in teaching here, know that you’re always welcome to schedule another visit. We could always use more people educating the next generation.”

Without another word or glance I walked readily out the door and escaped to the roof as quickly as possible. Sobs wracking my chest.

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