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You are Uzumaki Naori, and at the moment you are deep within a ruin left behind by the Ōtsutsuki clan, the descendants of Kaguya-hime and her immediate progeny. The ruins are filled with traps, many of which appear to still be armed, and autonomous puppets that appear to be powered by batteries. These you reason must be charged somewhere within the ruins themselves, in order for the machines to still be running after this many centuries.

“So yeah, I have a hunch,” you muse, taking a seat and placing one fingertip against the floor. “Keep your eyes open, will you?”

“Naturally,” Ryūzetsu agrees.

Fū nods emphatically. “Oh yeah, not trusting any of this for a minute.”

Using sage mode to enhance your senses, you search out the feeling you expected and find that your hunch was correct – the only way to ensure that a re-charging station would always have power would be to make it function off natural energy, gathering it passively and converting it into a form that could be used by the puppets. In this case, you think it’s being used to generate electricity, that can be stored inside a battery of some kind.

“I was right,” you declare, rising abruptly to your feet. “Natural energy is flowing down towards the center of this ruin, slowly but surely.”

“So that’s how these things work?” Fū muses, kicking the downed puppet with her toe. “Whatcha wanna do with this guy?”

“It could be useful,” Ryūzetsu suggests. “Shall I?”

“Mhm,” you agree. “By all means.”

Ryūzetsu opens up a scroll, unrolling it out onto the floor and drawing on a fūinjutsu formula before moving the motionless puppet over the center. Then, with a few quick hand seals, she performs the sealing and disposes of the puppet.



Fū does the honors of paving over the traps and smoothing up the tunnel as you lead the way, until you can’t help but run into another of the puppets.

“I got it!” Fū declares, tossing a few kunai into the air. They hover there for a moment before one of them lances forward, sticking into the charging puppet. After another moment where you’re not entirely sure what’s going to happen, the puppet stops. “Jakuhō no Sōjin!”

Through the use of her chakra, transferred from blade to puppet, Fū calmly forces its limbs into strange, contorted positions. “There was a medic-nin from Kumogakure, who mentioned this guy from her village- Toroi, I think? Anyway that gave me the idea for this.”
>1/2
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>>4992039
“Very nice,” Ryūzetsu muses. “The metal weapons inside its limbs?”

“Exactly,” Fū confirms.

Ryūzetsu nods thoughtfully, before weaving three quick hand seals. “I only have one technique that could be any good for this… why don’t you release the puppet?”

After she glances at you for confirmation, you nod to Fū. “It’s okay, I know where this is going.”

At first the puppet doesn’t move. But then it does a pirouette, capers around the hallway for a few moments, then bows deeply to Fū before pulling its battery out of its own back and collapsing to the floor.

“So that clearly worked,” Fū muses, still staring at the motionless puppet. “You’re scary sometimes, Ryūzu-san.”

“So yeah,” you insist, drawing the focus back onto the next task. “We’re not far.”

A few minutes later you arrive at the charging station, quickly dispatching two more of the strange puppets so you can get a better look at the device. It draws in natural energy, then apparently pulls that energy through a series of chakra-conductive metal pipes that pass through what seems to be an intricately designed series of wire coils. Somehow, this odd-looking device can generate electricity – albeit at the cost of slightly diminishing the natural energy surrounding it.

“So?” Ryūzetsu asks you.

“… so what?”

“So what are we going to do with it?’ Fū presses.

>We destroy it. I don’t like letting a device like this deplete natural energy any more than letting Kaguya do it.
>We store it, along with all the other things we don’t want to deal with – like the Box of Paradise and Hidan’s screaming head.
>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.
>Other?
>>
>>4992043
>>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.
>>
>>4992043
>>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.
>>
>>4992043
>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.
>>
>>4992043
>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.

Now that's some useful technology!
Assuming natural energy regenerates over time.

If it doesn't, then it's turbo forbidden.
>>
>>4992043
>>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.
that scientist had at least one point, maybe i should learn more about technologie before i write it off.
>>
If Natural Energy regenerated at a speed higher than "practically nonexistent", the Ootsutsuki wouldn't have to travel around seeding worlds with God Trees and then leaving the dead husks of harvested planets behind. They'd just farm their worlds like we do plants.

I advise examining the device so that we can build one if need be, and then destroying it to prevent it from being stolen and misused.
>>
>>4992043
>I think I’d like to take it home and study its mechanisms, once we’re done here.
>>
>>4992043
>We store it, along with all the other things we don’t want to deal with – like the Box of Paradise and Hidan’s screaming head.
>>
>>4992043
“So yeah, I think I’d prefer to take this home with me,” you admit, breaking out a sealing tag and placing it on the exposed port on the wall. “Fū, could you tell me how far back that device goes?”

Fū places her hand on the wall and closes her eyes, before sending a pulse of chakra into the surface. “A square twenty feet on each side seems right.”

“You know,” you muse, sealing the entire section of wall around the charging device, “I essentially used this technique to overthrow a country once.”

“I like this better,” Fū admits. “Whaddya think you’re gonna learn from it?”

“First thing, whether it’s something we should use,” you admit.

“Why’s that?”

“You’re not sure it renews itself?” Ryūzetsu frowns. “Is that it?”

“I know it does,” you insist, putting the tag away. “It’s just a matter of how fast. I’m already wary of it – if natural energy renewed quickly, then why would the Ōtsutsuki need to take it from our world?”

“Fair question,” Fū shrugs. “Maybe next time they’ll give you the chance to ask.”

“I doubt it,” you sigh.

...

Eventually you come to a large underground room, with an upper course and a lower course. There’s no lighting down here, but all three of you can tell something is amiss.

“Ryūzetsu,” you mutter, “torches on this level and ten feet below. Fū, be ready.”

You give her a list of targets, sixteen in total, in degrees from the direction she’s currently looking, and wait for a moment before giving word.

“Now!”

“Katon: Onidōrō!”

“Sōshūjin!”

Even as Ryūzetsu’s lanterns light the torches on the walls, Fū’s manipulated kunai strike at the Zetsu clones milling about aimlessly in what had previously been the darkened room, leaving thin strands of spinder-silk behind them. While the kunai themselves don’t kill most of their targets, they do serve to channel the flames from the lanterns once they’re done illuminating the space and turn down towards the Zetsus.

This time, you don’t even have to lift a finger.
>1/2
>>
>>4992648
“So yeah, this is part of why I don’t use fire release,” you confess, waving your hand in front of your face to try and clear the air a little. It doesn’t work – the smell of burned Zetsu isn’t exactly going to disperse in a sealed environment like this.

“It’s not usually this bad,” Ryūzetsu insists, though she’s doing the same thing you are at this point. “So what are we looking at?”

“Staging area,” you assert, before gesturing to a massive carved statue base shaped like a lotus. “This is probably where Obito kept the Gedō statue.”

“So those tunnels...” Fū frowns, gesturing towards several large holes excavated into the rock. “Those are how the Zetsu clones got to the battlefield?”

“Probably.”

“Should we be following them?”

>No need. Where would they lead us, other than to the battlefield?
>I’d rather just seal them up and leave them.
>We should probably clear them as best we can.
>Other?
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>>4992688
>>No need. Where would they lead us, other than to the battlefield?
>>
>>4992688
>We should probably clear them as best we can.
>>
>>4992688
>We should probably clear them as best we can.
>>
>>4992688
>We should probably clear them as best we can.
>>
>>4992688
>>We should probably clear them as best we can.
I wonder if Fu's bees could use them to raise larva. Most species of wasp larva, besides actual bees, are carnivorous.
>>
>>4992688
>We should probably clear them as best we can.
>>
>>4992832
I like the way you are thinking anon
>>
>>4992688
“... so yeah, that could be a problem,” you admit with a weary sigh.

“You don’t have to be the one to go,” Ryūzetsu offers.

You shake your head. “No no, I know already I’ll catch hell if I don’t at least try.”

“That’s probably true,” Fū admits. “So what’s the plan, Nakkun?”

“The plan is I’m sending in a clone,” you admit, creating a single shadow clone with one hand. “Sorry to trouble you.”

“I get it,” your clone sighs. “It’s a good plan.”

“What’s the plan?” Fū repeats.

“Use the jōgan to see in the dark and attack using silent killing,” your clone explains.

“The darkness creates an ideal environment,” you add. “It’s more efficient this way.”

“Well,” you clone muses, “I’m off.”

...

You actually have time to break out a short meal, unsealing some of the food you had prepared for the trip before your clone’s memories reach you.

“So yeah,” you confess, “my clone actually got lost in there. It’s a real maze of tunnels that go for miles, right under the ocean, and around to the south.”

“Did you encounter many Zetsu clones?” Ryūzetsu asks.

You nod. “A few dozen. Simple enough to eliminate – their senses are too dull to fight under those circumstances, against the silent killing technique – but to do much more than that will require specialists in fighting underground. I assume your bees aren't carniverous?"

Fū nods to confirm it. "I don't think they'd be too keen on eating those clone thingies, no. And their venom isn't lethal either."

"Then Iwagakure or Sunagakure would be our best options.”

>Try to use a version of Nagato’s communication ability to speak with Konan, but stay in the field.
>Head back to Amegakure, continue your work from the village you’ve started to build.
>Head for Iwagakure, the most likely village to be following up on what you just discovered.
>Other?
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>>4994160
>>Head for Iwagakure, the most likely village to be following up on what you just discovered.
>>
>>4994160
>>Head for Iwagakure, the most likely village to be following up on what you just discovered.
>>
>>4994160
>>Head for Iwagakure, the most likely village to be following up on what you just discovered.

Hey we can see Kurotsuchi again too
>>
>>4994160
>Head for Iwagakure, the most likely village to be following up on what you just discovered.
>>
>>4994160
After taking Fū and Ryūzetsu home, you teleport to the hiraishin marking you left with Kurotsuchi, who just about spits out her coffee in surprise – evidently you caught her at the kitchen table.

“Naori!” she chokes out. “What’s up? Why’re you here?”

“So yeah, I was just kinda killing a bunch of leftover Zetsu clones underground,” you explain directly. “I did what I could but my clone got totally lost down there. We’ll need specialists in underground warfare to do any more.”

“Then you’re in the right place,” Kurotsuchi tells you. “But it may not happen anyway.”

“What do you mean?”

She frowns at the thought. “The daimyō here are notorious hardasses. I’m not sure they’re gonna want our village going out of the way to help everyone else like that... you sure we can’t just flood the tunnels or something?”

“The clones can take on characteristics of their environment,” you remind her.

“Ah, that’s right,” she sighs, “now I remember reading that report... you think they could become amphibians?”

“With that guy, you really wanna risk it?” you muse.

“... point.”

She leans over her shoulder and shouts upstairs. “Hey dad! Can you send a message to gramps, we’ve gotta have a meeting!”

...

In the hour or so it takes for the Tsuchikage to clear an opening in his schedule, you and Kurotsuchi catch up on a lot of unimportant things – if she suspects that there’s been something like a ‘development’ with Ryūzetsu she doesn’t mention it.

Eventually you’re called to meet with the Tsuchikage, who has the screens up that show the other Kages’ faces.

“So, you want our village to take the lead on this matter with the Zetsu clones,” Ōnoki admits. “This time last year I would tell you to get out of my village, but now it’s the daimyō who would probably tell you that. I’d honestly be okay with it so long as the other villages participated.”

“I’m sure the Fire daimyō would be wary enough of the Zetsu clones to agree,” Tsunade admits. “Though there may be some hesitation since Kakashi-san is about to take over in the role of Hokage.”
>1/2
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>>4995793
“So that’s been finalized?” Mei-tono muses. “He’s quite the natural selection, especially since he now has a complete set of mangekyō sharingan. He was already quite formidable with just the one base sharingan.”

“So... can we please focus?” you interrupt.

“We can commit shinobi to the cause,” Gaara insists calmly. “Even if Iwagakure cannot due to the refusal of their daimyō.”

“That’s helpful,” you nod in satisfaction. “I’m sure we all appreciate it, Gaara-han. What else?”

“We’ll probably have no problems cooperating,” A-tono growls, “though I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the proximity of the battlefield to our own borders. What about Otogakure?”

“It’s not a real village,” Tsuna-han observes, “and never was. I doubt Orochimaru would be willing to commit any forces to helping us out even if it ever were.”

“And there’s another issue we haven’t spoken of yet,” Mei-tono interjects. “I can’t speak for any of the other hidden villages, but the number of shinobi that have gone missing since the end of the war is rather alarming.”

“That was always a problem with Kirigakure,” Tsunade-han frowns, “but I had hoped with the end of the ‘Blood Mist’ era that would change.”

>Mei-tono, have you done any research into the backgrounds of your missing shinobi?
>I assume all the major villages are having this problem since the end of the war?
>Where are they all going, if they’re abandoning their villages like this?
>Other?
>>
>>4995796
>>Where are they all going, if they’re abandoning their villages like this?
>>
>>4995796
>I assume all the major villages are having this problem since the end of the war?
>Where are they all going, if they’re abandoning their villages like this?
>>
>>4995796
>Where are they all going, if they’re abandoning their villages like this?
>>
>>4995796
>>4995905
This, maybe mention diplomatically that we had a similar issue in ame
>>
>>4995796
>>I assume all the major villages are having this problem since the end of the war?
>>
>>4995796
- Six Months Later -

“So how have you been?”

You’ve been seated in a small cafe with Ajisai, ready to get caught up on the madness of the last few months spent teleporting all around the shinobi world, shouting factual information at people from time to time. There has been surprisingly little real progress, with a lot of talking and negotiations but little commitment at this stage. The two things the great villages are cooperating on so far have been killing Zetsu clones and tracking missing shinobi, with joint task forces having been pulled together for each ongoing problem.

“Fū and Chōmei are doing well,” you muse. “They sent a very nice letter from Takigakure... I don’t think they’ll stay there of course, but it’s good for Fū to go back for a while.”

“And Ryūzetsu?”

“We had dinner last night.” You don’t mention that you also told Temari about that development, or that she handled it with an impressive grace. “We’ve also investigated a few ruins together, though she’s had to stay at the prison quite a bit lately.”

“Have you seen much?” Ajisai pursues the point. “About the Ōtsutsuki I mean?”

“Very little,” you shake your head, rather disappointed to have to admit it. “The clan’s footprint is still there, but there’s no cohesive story there to follow so far. But I did learn that the Kaguya clan broke away from the other Ōtsutsuki descendants several hundred years ago – they had very few ties to any of this aside from their genetics.”

“And so why is all this abandoned?” Ajisai frowns. “Weren’t they supposed to be among the most powerful beings in the world?”

“For sure,” you admit, “they were once. But their decline was probably inevitable, as ninshū as a concept lost out to ninjutsu as a concept. It only survives anymore in certain monastic creeds.”

“How’s the new house?” you ask.

“It’s nice,” she smiles, “thanks. I’m still getting settled in.”

This ‘new Amegakure’ that has been taking shape follows the twin canals into which you rerouted the river is something quite different from the towers and catwalks of the old one where you and Ajisai grew up. Your own contribution was merely to set the design precedent with three adjacent ‘machiya’-style plots, one a private home eight meters wide, one a kenjutsu dōjō six wide, and one an urban family shrine six wide, along with the main street along which the rest of the village will grow.

Ajisai’s new home is next to the shrine, while Konan-sensei’s is next to the dōjō.
>1/?
>>
>>4997105
“Feel free to come over,” you offer. “You’re always welcome.”

The home you built is one carefully arranged, with each area moving back from the entryway, small internal gardens, and reception room being increasingly private – next the private sitting room and kitchen, with bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second floor. Furthest back is the largest bedroom and an adjacent study, facing onto a carefully-planted garden and a half-covered onsen, surrounded by moss, hydrangeas, hōzuki, maple shrubs, and a dwarf cherry and a dwarf plum. Quite a lot packed into such a small area, a daimyō’s viewing garden in miniature.

“I don’t know,” Ajisai taunts you. “Could I get past the door?”

Amid the new onsen ryōkan being built, the cafes and restaurants and shops, the lowrise apartments and parks being built upriver and further away from the canals, there’s a twenty by twenty-four meter black hole facing onto the canals.

“Always,” you shrug as the tea and snacks arrive, along with a third party who comes in off the sidewalk and leaves her parasol on the rack.

“Apologies,” Konan-sensei offers as she sits. “The meeting ran long.”

“That’s fine,” Ajisai shrugs. “I figured it might.”

“It’s still so strange,” she admits. “No towers, and it looks so much more... like a village.”

“For sure, I’m glad people seem taken by it,” you muse. “I split the canals that way on a whim – I liked the idea of a green strip through that island, and the bridges across the canals, and I just thought covering the walkways along the island might be nice.”

“I had no idea those would prove to be popular.”

“People prefer being dry, I guess,” Ajisai suggests. “And looking at pretty things.”

“So how did it go?” you ask.

“We finally have some answers to the question you asked almost six months ago,” Konan-sensei informs you. “We know where many of the defectors have been going, and motions are being made to act on it.”

“Is that so?”

“Many are fleeing the five great nations entirely,” Konan-sensei explains. “Others have begun to turn to terrorism in many of the smaller nations.”

“I’ve heard a little about it from Ryūzetsu,” you admit. “There have been a few small attacks even there, and in the Land of Bears as well. I’d hate to think what would happen in areas where our allies have a strong presence.”
>2/3
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>>4997113
“There’s one case to suggest it,” Konan-sensei informs you with a slight frown. “The Land of Waves has had very little shinobi presence from the Land of Fire or the Land of Water – and terrorists calling themselves the Ryūha Armament Alliance have been causing civilian casualties.”

“Are these guys cultists or missing-nin?” Ajisai wonders.

“Mostly the latter,” Konan-sensei answers, “though their public statements have expressed a sympathy towards Uchiha Madara’s plans and an antipathy towards the new Shinobi Union that borders on cult-like.”

“And so what is the news?” you ask. “What is the Union planning to do about it?”

“Konoha’s ‘Team Seven’ succeeded in destroying the Alliance’s headquarters and capturing its leader, a man by the name of Garyō. Which is where you come in.”

“Me?”

Konan-sensei nods. “Konoha suspects retribution… most likely, an attack on an ostensibly civilian target or else an escape attempt. Kakashi-san believes there is a way they could try for both.”

“That would be a tempting opportunity,” you agree. “What is it?”

“The Land of Waves and the Land of Fire are jointly testing a new design for an ‘airship’,” Konan-sensei explains. “A similar vehicle to the ones used by the Land of Air which you fought some time ago, only operable by non-shinobi.”

“Yeah no, I’m familiar with the theory,” you admit, “but I thought it was deemed impracticle?”

“Evidently this design has been deemed very much practical,” Konan informs you. “And I want you to be on board it for its maiden voyage, as an undercover security asset.”

>Okay, I’ll do it. But I’m working alone on this one.
>Okay, but I’m picking my team to come with me.
>I don’t like it – what does Amegakure get out of it?
>Other?
>>
>>4997136
>>Okay, but I’m picking my team to come with me.
>>
>>4997136
>Okay, but I’m picking my team to come with me.
>>
>>4997136
>Okay, I’ll do it. But I’m working alone on this one.
>>
>>4997136
>>Okay, but I’m picking my team to come with me.
>>
>>4997136
So who other than Team Kakashi, any of the Kages, or Ryuzetsu do you want? I'll be picking two of the best/top suggestions and updating when I can.
>>
>>4997901
Fuu, because Fuu.
Maybe Temari, because she's an expert with wind?
>>
>>4997906
>>4997901
Last call.
>>
>>4997901
Fuu and Temari, also.
>>
>>4997901
“Okay,” you agree, “but I’m taking a team and I’ll be choosing the members of that team.”

After considering your insistence for a moment, Konan seems to relent. “I hope you’re not about to ask me anything too unreasonable.”

...

“So yeah, this may be a little unreasonable,” you address your team a few days later, “but I promise I chose both of you for a reason.”

“Okay, what exactly is that reason?” Temari asks you skeptically.

“You can use your fan to fly,” you insist, “and you’re one of the best wind release users I can think of. Fū, you can fly too and you have magnet release. That may actually come in handy.”

“Why’s that?” Fū wonders. “What’s this mission that’s so important?”

You take out a scroll from a pouch inside your obi and unroll it, depicting the plans for the airship Tobishachimaru – two long, hard-sided cylinders filled with helium cells and control surfaces, with a large passenger cabin slung underneath with four motors for thrust.

“... an airship?” Temari cocks her head. “That’s interesting. Has it actually been built?”

“Ready to fly,” you nod, “and we’re going to be on the maiden voyage... hopefully without need.”

“I mean I’m not gonna say no,” Fū admits up-front, “but why?”

“Because a group of terrorists calling themselves the Ryūha Armament Alliance are going to hijack it and crash it into Hōzuki castle,” you explain, “to try to free their leader who’s imprisoned there. At least, that’s what Hatake Kakashi-han seems convinced.”

“So that’s the reason,” Temari sighs. “I follow your reasoning now.”

“I’ll be sticking to Kenjutsu,” you declare your intent, “to minimize risk of collateral damage. Fū, I think you should restrain yourself as well. Remind me, Temari, how’s your taijutsu?”

“Average,” she sighs. “After Baki-sensei died I learned the Kaze no Yaiba he was so fond of, but I’ve never actually fought with it.”

“I trust you know better to carry your fan openly,” you prod.

“Of course. I’ll keep it sealed onto a tag under my clothes.”

“It wouldn’t exactly be great inside a flying vehicle,” Fū muses. “But I guess there’s no rule saying we HAVE to fight inside?”

You nod. “So yeah, use your best judgment if it comes to that.”
>1/2
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>>4999037
There was a lot of work to get you to this point, where you and Fū are standing in a short line to board the Tobishachimaru holding the appropriate documents dressed like desert royalty. Airy, loose-fitting robes with fine embroidery, along with the sort of caps with trailing fabric to protect your neck, give you the appropriate appearance. A chūnin from Konoha is looking at the documents that you handed him, and isn’t quite believing it.

“So the two of you are from the royal house of Rōran,” the ninja stares at you.

“That’s right,” you confirm. “Myself, and my little sister.”

“Hiya!” Fū greets him cheerfully.

If he’s looking for any evidence of a forgery he’s wasting his time – these documents are actually genuine, made for the purpose under Queen Sāra’s direct and specific orders. It’s not even technically a lie that you’re affiliated with the royal house in much the same way that a patron deity or some sort of ‘guardian angel’ would be.

“You aren’t on the passenger manifest,” the chūnin insists curtly.

You reply with a practiced frown. “Is that so? Strange, since we came all this way at Lord Sixth’s request.”

“This is the first I’ve heard of it, ma’am,” he shakes his head. “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do. If your name isn’t on the list, your name isn’t on the list. This isn’t exactly a pleasure cruise.”

Eventually, Kakashi-han comes over to see what the disturbance is – and rallies brilliantly.

“Is there a problem here, Komushi-san?”

“Lord Sixth,” the chūnin snaps to attention. “We have two people here with apparently legitimate documents from the queen of Rōran?”

“Apparently?” you huff.

“That’s a funny way of saying you don’t believe us,” Fū muses playfully. “You can just say it you know.”

“Ah, so these are our two princesses,” Kakashi-han nods thoughtfully. “I’m sorry, it seems that the updated passenger manifests haven’t gone out like they should have – one risk to keeping something like this a secret, you understand.”

>Make a big deal of it for show. You’re princesses now, after all.
>Make nice with Kakashi and make sure you can see Temari get through.
>Play into the role – Kakashi can apologize by introducing you to the airship’s designer.
>Other?
>>
>>4999275
>>Play into the role – Kakashi can apologize by introducing you to the airship’s designer.
>>
>>4999275
>Play into the role – Kakashi can apologize by introducing you to the airship’s designer.
>>
>>4999275
>Play into the role – Kakashi can apologize by introducing you to the airship’s designer.
>>
>>4999275
>Play into the role – Kakashi can apologize by introducing you to the airship’s designer.
>>
>>4999275
>>Play into the role – Kakashi can apologize by introducing you to the airship’s designer.
>>
>>4999275
“I do understand,” you confirm with a placid nod. “But an apology hardly seems adequate.”

“Oh?” Kakashi-han muses as the chūnin holds in a blustering retort – if only just managing to keep a straight face. “And what else is it you think I can do to improve your mood – and make this little misunderstanding go away?”

“I’d like you to introduce me to the builder,” you muse. “The person responsible for the construction of this... vessel.”

“I see,” he nods politely. “Well I can probably make that happen, he’s an old acquaintance who sort of owes me his life after all. I assume that you’re here to assess the potential of the technology, so that Rōran will be able to decide whether to build an airship terminal?”

“Why would that...” the chūnin frowns.

“That’s exactly right,” you smile. “My, aren’t you the perceptive one... Queen Sāra suspects that air travel for the masses could well allow for trade with the west, across the deserts which normally would be impassible.”

“And Rōran would be in an excellent position to be the first stop in that new trade route,” Kakashi-han muses behind his mask. “Where else would such a hub connect, I wonder?”

“The Land of Wind, most likely near Sunagakure,” you reply without missing a beat, “the Land of Earth, with the location being negotiable, and the Land of Storms, near Amegakure.”

“I hear they’re building a new village center there,” Kakashi-han offers some seemingly idle chatter as he leads you away from the security checkpoint. “Their village leader has become a good friend.”

“Well,” Fū chimes in, “we’re always fans of international cooperation!”

“Not always,” you smirk, shooting Kakashi a knowing glance. “But sometimes it makes me happy to see.”

“Temari is already here,” Kakashi-han drops his voice once he thinks you’re out of anyone’s earshot. “Konan-san gave me early warning.”

“That’s good, for sure,” you reply quietly before approaching an older-looking man with a full grey beard and frameless spectacles, and a dark-haired boy perhaps a little younger than Naruto.

“Tazuna-san, Inari-kun,” Kakashi-han greets the duo, who have been watching the passengers board from a distance. “I have a few guests here who would like to speak with you.”

“And who might these two be?” the older man narrows his eyes.

“Princess Hikari,” Fū lies.

“Princess Setsuna,” you add. “From the Kingdom of Rōran. Sisters, in fact.”

“You don’t look like it,” the young man muses.

“I dye mine,” Fū lies again. “It’s a phase, but I’m having fun with it while it lasts.”
>1/2
>>
>>5000363
“In any event, I would be interested to hear your thoughts about this machine,” you press, “as the mind behind it, you must surely have a unique perspective?”

“I never really thought about it until it was done, kinda like the Great Naruto Bridge,” the older man confesses.

The younger shakes his head. “I’m a little worried it’s going to lose a lot of people their jobs.”

“Why?” you ask. “I would imagine that there would be an opportunity.”

“What about the porters and caravaneers?” the younger man insists. “The sailors, the shipbuilders, the bridgebuilders?”

“What makes you think that those things will disappear?” you counter. “Or that those professionals can’t transfer their skills, or that the business-owners can’t manage a transition to a different means of operation?”

“What makes you so confident they can?” he frowns.

“Because Rōran has had to adjust to much starker changes,” you insist. “I believe that we should seek to do the most good for the most people, while mitigating any bad that might happen to the few along the way – or would you disagree?”

“It’s rarely so simple I’m afraid,” the older man sighs wearily.

“It’s not that hard,” Fū counters. “People just have to agree to do it is all.”

“Which is the hard part,” the older man insists.

“It can be difficult when some people would rather it be the most good for the people who get more out of it to begin with,” you admit. “Something to consider, I suppose.”

>Press for the technical specifications?
>Get onboard, start by making a scene in the main cabin.
>Get onboard, begin by casing the entire vessel.
>Other?
>>
>>5000514
>Press for the technical specifications?
>>
>>5000514
>>Press for the technical specifications?
>>
>>5000514
>Press for the technical specifications?
>>
>>5000514
>Get onboard, start by making a scene in the main cabin.
>>
>>5000514
“So what precisely are we looking at?” you ask, actually somewhat genuine in your curiosity. “I would hope the lifting gas would be helium?”

The older man, Tazuna-han if you’re getting this correct, nods. “Of course. That was actually the most expensive part of the whole design process... it’s what we needed funds from the Land of Fire for.”

“Two rows of gas cells,” the younger man, Inari-kun, adds. “Fourteen on each side. The bottom of each cylinder is where the passengers stay, with windows along the lower sides. The cabin runs down the midline too.”

“That’s mostly for crew and cargo,” Tazuna-han clarifies. “Forty tons of cargo and a hundred and twenty passengers, with a crew of forty – though without all the fuss we went to for the passengers we could probably carry four times the cargo.”

“All that fancy wood, furniture, and supplies,” Inari-kun shrugs. “The people themselves may be light, but I’ve learned from all this that the idea of ‘traveling light’ is kind of a joke. No part of any of this is ‘light’, really.”

“How fancy?” Fū asks with a sly look.

“The fanciest,” Tazuna-han assures her. “We knew our first effort was going to have a lot of wealthy and important folks aboard, so we went a little crazy.”

“Speed and range?” you press carefully. “Could it cross the western desert, for example?”

“Yeah, but it’d probably have to stop in Rōran,” Inari-kun admits. “Hearing that should make you pretty happy.”

“You’re a perceptive one,” you nod. “Now, since we have that little detail out in the open, a question about the structural properties of your design, if I may?”

There’s a noticeable pause before Tazuna-han replies. “Strange for a princess to get interested in engineering questions, but okay. Shoot.”

“In Rōran we have a lot of high winds,” you explain, “along with the threat of dry lighting strikes. So I’d like to know what the main materials are and how many main structural braces hold the two nacelles together.”

Another pause. “Twelve for each side, made from aluminium, offset slightly so they could be welded directly together around two shared longitudinal ribs. The skin is rubberized cloth, so it’s fairly well lightning-proofed.”

Twelve shared ribs... twenty-four explosives placed at those junctions would completely separate the internal structure of the nacelles, destroying the airship. You’d be willing to bet there’s a magic minimum of explosives that could produce the same results, but you’re not a ‘minimum force’ kind of girl where explosives are concerned. You’d be willing to bet someone with a bit better knowledge of the internal structure of the airship could make that calculation accurately.
>1/2
>>
>>5001682
Once you’ve learned everything you might need to keep the airship from being destroyed en route to its destination – which you’re not even totally sure what that is right now – you decide to say your brief goodbyes and head up the ramp and into the underslung cabin together with Fū. The other passengers definitely turn their heads when you arrive at the top of the stairs. You flag down a chūnin.

“Excuse me,” you ask politely, “but could you point me and my sister to our cabin?”

...

“It’s actually pretty nice,” Fū admits, finding the bed a delightfully comfortable place to wait. “Windows are a bit weird though.”

Since you’re on the outer port side of the ship, you have an excellent view out the windows – which are bizarrely placed lower on the wall.

There’s a knock at the door to your cabin, and you open it for Temari to slink inside before closing the door behind her.

“You weren’t seen?” Fū muses.

Temari shakes her head. “No, we’re okay. Most people seem to be on the promenade deck”

“So, what’s the plan?”

>Bombs along the structural braces seems the most likely.
>I think they’re going to take hostages, likely on the promenade.
>The engine room and bridge are really all they need.
>Other?
>>
>>5001734
>I think they’re going to take hostages, likely on the promenade.
>>
>>5001734
>I think they’re going to take hostages, likely on the promenade.
>>
>>5001734
Bombs along the structure semm the most likely
>>
>>5001734
>>Bombs along the structural braces seems the most likely.
>>
>>5001734
“So yeah, we need to plan around two possibilities,” you offer your observations. “The possibility that their goal is to threaten the whole airship, or to threaten hostages.”

“You were in Akatsuki,” Temari prods you. “How would you or your former comrades have handled each of those?”

“Depends on who you’re talking about,” you shrug. “I’d be more likely to take the hostages myself, and the best place to do that is on the promenade deck. Keep everyone in one large space where as small a number of people as possible can see them.”

“And the braces?” Fū chimes in.

“Blasting the transverse rings where they meet above the promenade would be the most effective way of ensuring the airship is totally destroyed,” you explain. “I would only target the upper joints, allow the weight of the rings and the hull to pull the whole vessel apart. That’s twelve explosives in total.”

“So we need to do three things,” Temari summarizes. “First, detect the explosives. Second, clear the explosives before they can cause irreversible structural damage. Third, deal with the hostage situation somehow.”

“That’s a big thing to leave to a ‘somehow’,” Fū observes.

“We’ll sort out the bombs first,” you insist curtly. “Temari, do the chūnin aboard this ship know you’re here, and who you are?”

“They do,” Temari nods.

“And is that public or secret?” you press.

“Secret,” she clarifies. “You want me searching for the bombs?”

“I was thinking that, yes,” you admit. “Fū and I made too big of a scene trying to board, so it’s more likely our absence would be noticed.”

“So what’s the plan?” Fū presses again.

>I think we need to get ourselves ‘captured’, until we know more about the terrorists.
>I think we can go ahead and drop the cover as soon as the terrorists make their move.
>We both know the shadow clone technique. We’ll use the clones as observers.
>Other?
>>
>>5002649
>>I think we need to get ourselves ‘captured’, until we know more about the terrorists.
>>
>>5002649
>I think we need to get ourselves ‘captured’, until we know more about the terrorists.
>>
>>5002649
>I think we need to get ourselves ‘captured’, until we know more about the terrorists.
>>
>>5002649
>>We both know the shadow clone technique. We’ll use the clones as observers.
>>
>>5002649
>I think we need to get ourselves ‘captured’, until we know more about the terrorists.
>>
>>5002649
“Well there’s one good way to do some reconnaissance work,” you muse with a little smirk in Fū’s direction.

“... why do I not like that look?” she pouts.

“Because you get me,” you insist. “But yeah, no, I think we need to get ourselves captured.”

“What?” Temari asks flatly.

“What better way to ensure we’re in the room with the hostages?” you observe. “I don’t need to move to sense, neither does Fū. So why not?”

“I’m not sure what to think of the fact that you could probably pull that off,” Temari sighs. “Okay, so let’s be sure we have this all in order – I go up into the hull structure to dispose of any bombs I find, while the two of you get captured as hostages.”

“Unless they just start killing,” Fū shrugs. “I’d imagine Nakkun wouldn’t stand for that.”

“You’re right,” you agree, “but only because I’ve trained to fight from seiza.”

...

You put the plan into motion just before dinner is supposed to be served – in the main dining room, which is most likely the only time all of your fellow passengers are going to be in the same place. It’s a decent enough meal considering you’re five hundred meters above the ground, with three courses each of which offers three different options including one vegetarian course for each in the series. Even the silverware and the china have clearly been carefully thought out to present the possibilities of air travel in the best possible light.

What happens over dessert is definitely not good for that presentation.

Several masked figures – you count five men and one woman – burst into the dining room in a perfectly timed assault that coincides with small battles that break out all over the airship between the terrorists and the chūnin.

“Everyone stay where you are!” one of the men roars, holding a kunai in his left hand. “Keep your hands where we can see them!”

Fū takes one last bite of her dessert before obeying, keeping her hands raised.
>1/2
>>
>>5003631
You can sense the battles wrapping up quickly – it seems there were a few casualties elsewhere in the airship, but you can tell that Temari managed to evade the terrorists who have been sweeping through and rounding up passengers and surviving chūnin guards. As those guards, the passengers, and the crew are taken out of the picture you start to get a much clearer grasp on how many terrorists you’re actually talking about.

Four are on the bridge, and four are with the main power plant supplying power to the airship’s engines. Two are in the cavernous nacelles along with the gas cells, and four have remained with the passengers, for a total of fourteen. But there’s only one more reasonably strong chakra present in the airship that’s unaccounted for, which is located in the passenger cabins.

You send a vibration to Fū, who despite her hands being bound behind her back as yours are can pick up the message easily. [Fourteen total – four here, for in the engine room, four on the bridge, two in the nacelles. One unknown in the passenger cabins.]

She sends a quick message back to you. [Can we take ‘em quickly?]

[Not until Temari clears the explosives,] you reply. [I also want to know about that straggler. Strange that these bunch would miss that.]

“One of these bastards got Kugo!” one of the terrorists spits, aiming a kick at a downed chūnin on the floor. “Let’s just do ‘em now, Rahyō!”

“No!” the other man barks, ripping off his mask to reveal dark hair and a dark beard. His outfit is blue, and he’s wearing it over chainmail. The way his coat hangs suggests he has a hidden tantō somewhere under it. “We need them alive if this is going to succeed.”

“But Kugo...”

“Tell you what,” Rahyō makes an offer. “If anyone steps out of line here, we kill the chūnin first. And you can start with this guy. Fair?”

“Yeah, hear that?” the man tells the whole room. “Any of you step outta line and we’ll kill these chūnin!”

“Leaving them how they are is going to kill them anyway!” a voice chimes in.

“Who said that!?” the man demands angrily. “Who said that!?”

Nobody says anything.

“Okay,” Rahyō muses, before freezing the wounded chūnin solid. There are several screams, so Rahyō raises his voice again. “Quiet!”
>2/3
>>
>>5003654
Ice release... so probably a missing-nin from Kirigakure, if history has taught you anything. The ice release users there were very badly treated, and many had to flee during Yagura’s reign and the ‘Blood Mist’ era. As for the other chūnin, the lone voice that spoke up was correct – some of these shinobi might not survive if this situation drags on too long. That chūnin was practically a mercy-killing as it was.

One more, the fifteenth, soon appears in the dining room. That chakra signature belongs to a woman, with white garments and long, curly brown hair that reaches her shoulders. “What happened here?”

“Discipline happened here,” Rahyō shrugs. “We need to keep these people in line somehow, Kahyō-chan.”

So... two siblings? That suggests this Kahyō was probably using her ice release at a distance. It’s surprisingly well organized, though against chūnin it was hardly a test of tactical acumen. It also suggests, at least based on your own observations over the years, that they have a personal reason for doing this. Or, at least that one of them does.

Luckily for you, the newcomer Kahyō passes quite close to you.

>Speak up. In situations like this one of the hostages tends to step up and that’s you right now.
>Say nothing. Just wait and make sure these hotheads don’t kill anyone else – covertly, of course.
>As soon as Temari reports that she’s handled the bombs, turn the tables on your ‘captors’.
>Other?
>>
>>5003667
>>Speak up. In situations like this one of the hostages tends to step up and that’s you right now.
>>
>>5003667
>Speak up. In situations like this one of the hostages tends to step up and that’s you right now.
>>
>>5003667
>>Speak up. In situations like this one of the hostages tends to step up and that’s you right now.
>>
>>5003667
>Speak up. In situations like this one of the hostages tends to step up and that’s you right now.
>Try to get them to monologue, buy Temari some time
>>
>>5003667
>>5004051
this
>>
>>5003667
“What do you want?” you demand in a carefully controlled tone.

Kahyō stops and responds with a sharp stare. “What do you mean?”

Interesting response.

“Why should we tell you anything?” Rahyō demands.

“You were the ones who got us involved,” you point out. “And you clearly have a reason. Call explaining it to us practice.”

“Yeah,” another voice chimes in. “We deserve...”

“Shut up,” you interrupt curtly. “The last thing we want is for these people to feel like they’re losing control, so one person gets to talk – and that’s me. Not you.”

“And who decided that?” Kahyō wonders aloud.

“I did,” you reply. “If you have a problem with that, by all means make a different selection.”

For a few moments Kahyō considers your words carefully, evaluating you in silence before nodding to her brother.

“We’re with the Ryūha Armament Alliance,” Rahyō declares firmly. “We took over this airship as part of a plan to free our leader, who was targeted by the Five Great Nations as a threat to their dominance, and imprisoned in Hōzuki castle.”

“And what is this ‘Ryūha Arma-whatever?” you press. “I’ve never heard of it, so I don’t know what it means that you’re working for them.”

“Let me,” Kahyō speaks up, her tone chilly. “My son, Hakuhyō, also had ice release as I do – we always worked hard to keep it a secret after leaving Kirigakure. But Hakuhyō was only a child, and didn’t understand. When he and his friend were playing in the forest one day and were attacked by giant wasps, my son defended the boy.”

“And the locals found out,” you guess.

“When I found him he needed help,” Kahyō continues.

You can’t help but frown. “And no doctors would help him, just because he had a kekkei genkai?”

“That’s not it,” Kahyō insists. “There were no doctors. The Allied Shinobi Forces hired them all away.”

>And so this justifies threatening innocent lives... how, exactly?
>Your son sounds like a good kid. I wish more people were like him.
>I’m not exactly an objective observer here, so I won’t share my judgment.
>Other?
>>
>>5004898
>>And so this justifies threatening innocent lives... how, exactly?
>>
>>5004898
>I'm sorry that happened to your son, but i don't see how it justifies threatening innocent lives, nor the conduct of your men here.
>>
>>5004898
>And so this justifies threatening innocent lives... how, exactly?
>>
>>5004898
>>And so this justifies threatening innocent lives... how, exactly?
>>
>>5004898
“So you believe that justifies threatening innocent lives... why, precisely?” you frown. “There are children aboard this airship too.”

Kahyō’s expression hardens. “We plan to eliminate the corrupting influence of money from the world – this is totally different.”

“Because of what you say you believe in,” you summarize.

“It really isn’t,” Fū insists quietly.

“What was that!?” Rahyō demands angrily. “Say that a bit louder, I couldn’t quite hear you, but it sounded like you were mouthing off just now!”

“Rahyō, don’t let it get under your skin,” Kahyō presses sternly.

“No, I’ll speak up,” Fū counters. “I said there’s no difference here. You’re upset cause the Allied Shinobi hired all the doctors and your son died, right?”

“That’s right.”

“Did it occur to you that those doctors being on the battlefield might’ve saved thousands of lives?”

“Of shinobi,” Kahyō observes. “Shinobi who were prepared to die and chose to fight despite the risk. That’s not the same as an innocent child.”

“So innocent children don’t deserve to die,” Fū summarizes.

“Right.”

“But you’re putting these folks at risk right now!” Fū continues to summarize. “To be fair that’s totally different from what the Allied Shinobi did – they put your son in danger without knowing it. For you putting people at risk is the whole point, isn’t it?”

Without a single word Rahyō resorts to violence, crossing the room to kick Fū in the side of the head.

“Stop!” you demand angrily, throwing yourself between Fū and her attacker before the second blow falls and taking it yourself. “I’m the older sister. I’m responsible for her.”

“Sis...”

“Don’t ‘sis’ me,” you grumble... she may be acting, knowing full well you can take this without it even really bothering you, but the glare you’re throwing Rahyō’s way is the real deal.
>1/2
>>
>>5006074
After several blows to the head, which do little more than mess up your hair a little, Kahyō’s protests finally convince Rahyō to stop. You glare up at Kahyō from behind your bangs.

“... do you feel better?”

She winces, taking a half-step back – like you’d just smacked her across the face.

“Of course you don’t,” you sigh, putting your head down on the floor.

Rahyō may have started taking it out on the other passengers were it not for the fact that one of his fellow terrorists came up to him and told him bad news in a low tone. “One of the passengers is missing – we suspect she’s a jōnin from Suna.”

“I’ll lead the search group,” he replies, also in a low tone, before leaving the room.

Kahyō, in the mean time, takes a seat next to where you’re laying on the floor next to Fū, pretending to be hurt worse than you are.

“No princess has eyes like that,” she tells you quietly. “The look you gave my brother when he hit your little sister sent chills down my spine... me, a former jōnin. Who are you, really?”

>Uzumaki Naori. You’ve probably heard the name.
>Someone who knows what you’ve been through.
>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
>Other?
>>
>>5006095
>>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
>>
>>5006095
>>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
No one cared of who I was until I put on the mask... or something.
>>
>>5006095
>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
>>
>>5006095
>>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
>>
>>5006095
>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
>>
>>5006095
>>What’s important is what you’re going to do next.
>>
>>5006095
“I’m here on the behalf of the Kingdom of Rōran,” you reply quietly. “But that’s not important. What’s important is what you intend to do next, Kahyō-san.”

“What do you mean?”

“They say that the endings are in the beginnings,” you muse. “But that’s not always true. In this case, your decisions will determine how this situation ends.”

“Should I read that as a threat?”

“Consider it an offer.”

“Why are you doing this?” she demands. “That still doesn’t make sense to me.”

You shut your eyes and roll onto your back, simply getting a feel for your surroundings as the terrorists search for Temari. “Would you believe me if I said there was no particular reason?”

“Not in the slightest.”

>It’s harder to solve a problem when an ideology is what’s driving things.
>I’m sizing all of you up. Nothing more to it than that.
>It’s because the way you are now is like how I used to be, years ago.
>Other?
>>
>>5007066
>>It’s harder to solve a problem when an ideology is what’s driving things.
>>
>>5007066
>It’s because the way you are now is like how I used to be, years ago.
>>
>>5007066
>>It’s because the way you are now is like how I used to be, years ago.

go forth Naori, drop some experience on their ass
>>
>>5007066
>It’s because the way you are now is like how I used to be, years ago.
>>
>>5007066
>It’s because the way you are now is like how I used to be, years ago.
>>
>>5007066
“The way you are now reminds me of how I once was,” you explain. “That’s why I chose to wait, for the time being.”

“To wait?” she repeats. “To what end?”

“To give you the courtesy,” you offer, “of letting you make the decision. There’s still time – no one else has to die.”

...

Mere minutes later, you overhear a conversation outside of the room where all the hostages have been held – Temari managed to disable every single explosive tag placed by the terrorists in the Tobishachimaru’s main lifting structures and disappear. You can feel what they can’t, which is that the way Temari evaded them is by hiding on the exterior of the airship’s hull where there are scant few people who could even pursue her.

“Let’s not get cute with the hostages,” the voice you know to be Rahyō’s, suggests outside. “We’ll proceed with the next phase once we reach Kusagakure.”

Meanwhile, you begin making your own preparations – moving sealing tags marked with hiraishin formulae all over the dining room where the passengers have been brought to. Each is hidden somehow, either behind some physical barrier or using yin chakra flow to hide them behind a simple but powerful genjutsu.

As you place the thirty-sixth seal, you receive an update from Fū through the wave transmission technique. [Temari says we’ve entered the Land of Grass.]

[Tell her to stand by,] you frown.

>I’m going to take the hostages out of the equation before Rahyō does anything to them.
>Give me a few more minutes to work on Kahyō. I’ve been getting through to her.
>I’m going to announce who I am. See if I can get the terrorists to back down.
>Other?
>>
>>5008071
Can we place hiraishin tags on/near each of the terrorists and move THEM rather than the passengers?
Once they're teleported away, we can just handle them however we please.

i'm also slightly curious as to what exactly happens when a human who can't handle it does actually enter the shrike forest
>>
>>5008086
In theory yes, but they're all over the airship right now - which means it's a long distance to cover with genjutsu without making any mistakes or having anyone notice.

The advantage to doing it in the dining room is that all your targets are rigth there, easy to tag while covering your tracks.
>>
>>5008104
Would we have to do it all at once?
I mean, if all the terrorists in the dining room disappear at once, would anyone notice until they try to communicate and don't get a response?
But once they're gone, we could make a shadow clone and deal with them remotely while the original clears out the remainder.

And if anything happened, we still have markings in the dining room to get the passengers to safety.
>>
>>5008071
>>Give me a few more minutes to work on Kahyō. I’ve been getting through to her.
>>
>>5008071
>>I’m going to take the hostages out of the equation before Rahyō does anything to them.
>>
>>5008071
>Give me a few more minutes to work on Kahyō. I’ve been getting through to her.
>>
>>5008071
[Give me a few more minutes with Kahyō. I’ve almost gotten through to her.]

...

You can sense that there are things going on around the dining room, preparations being made, but you know no further details. That’s not what you’re waiting for in any event, since you’ve been spreading the hiraishin tags while waiting for Kahyō to work her way back around the room to you.

“So, a terrorist reminds you of yourself,” she muses quietly. “Who did you lose, then?”

“My mother,” you explain. “Complications from poison gas inhalation.”

“And your response?”

You consider your answer for a moment – or rather, you consider whether you should answer this at all.

[I joined Akatsuki,] you tell her, using the wave transmission method to keep your response unheard to the other passengers, and especially the other terrorists. [At least, until I realized how far my own philosophies had diverged from Pain’s.]

Her voice goes even quieter. “You’re that Uzumaki girl?”

“And a friend to the Queen of Rōran,” you reply. “That much was true.”

“Then you could have broken free and killed us all,” she observes. “At any time.”

“Still on the fence about that,” you advise her.

There’s a pause.

[So,] you continue, [you can trust me when I tell you that there are better ways to honor Hakuhyō’s life.]

Kahyō chews her lip anxiously, your words resonating with her in some way. You suspect that since the death of her child, she hasn’t had anyone speak to her like this about it. Yes, from a perspective of wanting her to make a specific decision, but also from a position of understanding and patience despite the fact that she and her brother’s band of terrorists are a clear and present danger to innocent people.

You also suspect Fū’s bluntness had an impact. No honeyed words or reassurances, no mental gymnastics to convince her that what’s obviously wrong is secretly right.
>1/2
>>
>>5008831
The wheezing of a nearby child interrupts you.

Kahyō glances up, and walks slowly towards the child and his mother, who’s trying to simultaneously help and hush the boy. The mother starts to panic as Kahyō draws near.

“He needs help!” Fū insists loudly.

“Please,” the mother pleads as Kahyō places two fingertips against the side of her son’s neck. “Please, my son has asthma... if we could get him to his father we could get him the medicine he needs, but like this...”

“Your husband is a doctor?” Kahyō asks.

“Yes, yes!” the woman insists. “In the Land of Waves...”

“My son died because your husband wasn’t there,” Kahyō frowns. “Along with all the doctors.”

“Please,” the woman continues to plead tearfully. “Please, he’s just a boy. He hasn’t done anything wrong!”

“What the hell is going on here?” Rahyō demands as he returns. “I thought we agreed to keep these people quiet?”

“The boy is seriously ill,” Kahyō insists. “He’s in respiratory distress, his airways are swollen. His heartrate is too fast too... if he doesn’t get help he’ll die.”

“Then he shouldn’t have been here,” Rahyō shrugs. “So long as he dies quietly, it’s not our problem.”

Kahyō for her part seems quietly stunned by the callous response. “Brother, you can’t mean that.”

“What matters is what we’re gonna do to those bastards,” Rahyō insists.

“Let the kid go at least,” Kahyō persists. “There’s no need for this.”

“What’s gotten into you all of a sudden?” Rahyō demands.

>Okay, that’s enough of that. Break your bonds and get the passengers to safety, then return to subdue the terrorists.
>Break free and confront Rahyō. The ideal situation is still that as many people walk away alive as possible.
>Contact Temari, have her cause enough of a distraction to defuse the situation.
>Other?
>>
>>5008856
>>Okay, that’s enough of that. Break your bonds and get the passengers to safety, then return to subdue the terrorists.
>>
>>5008856
>Okay, that’s enough of that. Break your bonds and get the passengers to safety, then return to subdue the terrorists.
>"I've heard enough. You can make your own decisions, Kahyō. Your brother has clearly made his."
>Give Rahyō the meth spider no jutsu treatment
>>
>>5008856
>>Okay, that’s enough of that. Break your bonds and get the passengers to safety, then return to subdue the terrorists.
>>
>>5008856
>>Okay, that’s enough of that. Break your bonds and get the passengers to safety, then return to subdue the terrorists.
>>
>>5008856
>>Break free and confront Rahyō. The ideal situation is still that as many people walk away alive as possible.
>>
>>5008856
>Okay, that’s enough of that. Break your bonds and get the passengers to safety, then return to subdue the terrorists.
>>
>>5008856
“Yeah no, that’s enough of that,” you declare aloud, rising to your feet and tossing aside the flimsy bindings that had gone around your wrists earlier in this whole ordeal. “Let’s go, Fū!”

“Right behind you!” Fū assures you as she pops the bindings around her wrists as well.

The next few seconds you only get in brief flashes, at least at first. You create three shadow clones that each move to a different hiraishin marking, touch one or two of the passengers, then teleport them to a staging area at the Land of Grass lakehouse marking. Then they return, doing the same thing again – a few times just in the first second.

Aboard the Tobishachimaru you see Fū punch a man, then you see the man hit the far wall. You also see a brief struggle between Rahyō and Kahyō, which the former breaks away from to weave a few hand seals.

“Sorry, brother,” Kahyō apologizes as she forms a single seal.

You don’t really see the next few seconds clearly, but there’s a rumbling aboard the Tobishachimaru as you’re clearing the last two dozen or so hostages.

“What was that?” you ask Kahyō while Fū continues to beat the remaining terrorists senseless.

“My comrades in the engine room set off their explosive vests,” Rahyō explains, shivering and having ceased to fight back. “Even if you turned against me, Kahyō, we’re going to crash this monstrosity into Hōzuki castle!”

“Yeah, I don’t think so,” Fū muses as your clones teleport the beaten terrorists down to the prison.

Temari comes crashing in through one of the windows, having glided a short distance with a pair of hand fans she had hidden on her person. “Hey, we’re losing altitude here!”

“The engines are gone,” you explain, “and I’m willing to bet several helium cells are leaking.”

“So what next?” Temari asks.

“You’re going to prison,” one of your clones insists, grabbing her by the shoulder and teleporting away. Clones do the same for Rahyō and Kahyō, and your real body for Fū, while your last clone leaps from the open window and float up the side of the falling airship to land on top of one of its nacelles.

Then the Tobishachimaru crashes into the sea, well off the coast of the Land of Frost. After a few seconds, the memory of an impossibly massive explosion reaches you from your clone.

...

“I could’ve died if I’d gone instead,” you realize. “Where the hell did that explosion come from?”

“It exploded?” Ryūzetsu frowns, having already placed Tenrō sealing marks onto her new prisoners aside from Rahyō and Kahyō. She places her fingertips on Rahyō’s head.
>1/2
>>
>>5010031
“Take it off!” Kahyō pleads quickly. “Take off that seal right now, it’s going to kill him!”

By the time she’s done speaking Ryūzetsu has already removed the seal, and Kahyō weaves a few seals herself as she explains. “I have a technique, the Jisarenhyō, that forces a target to put all their chakra into keeping their body from freezing from the inside out.”

“So when the Tenrō went on over it,” Ryūzetsu realizes, “your technique was forcing him to use his chakra, which triggered the Tenrō. I’m sorry, I had no idea.”

“I should have said something sooner,” Kahyō bows deeply, “the fault was at least as much my own. You can place your seal again, he won’t be using his chakra while he’s unconscious.”

“Well then,” Ryūzetsu muses as she places the mark on Rahyō’s singed body, “Fū, would you mind getting a doctor up here?”

“Sure,” she replies, sparing a glance at Rahyō. “Guess it’s better if he doesn’t die, even if he’s a jerk.”

...

“So what’s going to happen to me now?” Kahyō asks you as her brother is eventually led away.

>You go to prison, at least for a little while. That’s just how this has to go.
>What happens next is I figure out what idiot stored explosives on that airship.
>I’ll talk to the Kages about your situation, see if we can come to an understanding.
>Other?
>>
>>5010043
>You go to prison, at least for a little while. That’s just how this has to go.
>>What happens next is I figure out what idiot stored explosives on that airship.
>>
>>5010043
>all of the above
>>
>>5010277
As an addendum
That is because while we think she should get her a reduced sentence going to prison would show her willingness to repent to the kages who would ultimately decide her early parole.
To investigate the extra explosives is a given.
>>
>>5010043
>>What happens next is I figure out what idiot stored explosives on that airship.
>>
>>5010043
>What happens next is I figure out what idiot stored explosives on that airship.
>>
>>5010043
>>You go to prison, at least for a little while. That’s just how this has to go.
>>What happens next is I figure out what idiot stored explosives on that airship.
>>I’ll talk to the Kages about your situation, see if we can come to an understanding.
>>
>>5010043
>You go to prison, for a long, long time. That’s just how this has to go.
>What happens next is I figure out what idiot stored explosives on that airship.
>>
>>5010043
You consider the question for a moment. “You go to prison, at least for a little while. That much is out of my hands. But I’ll need to speak with the Kages anyway, so it may come up.”

“What do you need to talk to them about?” Fū asks curiously. “The explosion you mentioned?”

You nod. “Yeah no, there’s no way helium could explode like that. Not even the fuel it was still carrying could have accounted for it. Some mouthbreather was shipping high explosives on that airship along with the passengers and I want to know who it was.”

...

“Ōnoki-han?” you exclaim loudly from the background in what is now Kakashi-han’s office. “You’re the mouthbreather?”

“Watch what you call me,” he grumbles. “Though I admit I can see why you would be frustrated. We were trying to keep the explosive powder’s presence onboard the airship a secret, the same way the Hokage tried to keep the risk of terrorism a secret.”

“You knew about the airship in the first place,” Kakashi-han counters. “That was supposed to be a secret too. But you want us to believe you didn’t know the Ryūha Armament Alliance intended to launch an attack?”

“Our intelligence system is focused on larger threats like the other hidden villages,” Ōnoki scoffs. “Not on small-fry like terrorist cells.”

“Yeah no, so you both made mistakes,” you frown. “My first point is that we can’t have this sort of thing happening again – we need to agree to keep hazardous materials and passengers on separate craft if this is going to become a regular thing. And to keep airship travel safe, my second point is we will have to have a much higher degree of cooperation between nations.”

“Nations,” Gaara repeats over the screen. “Not villages.”

“That sounds troublesome,” Mei-han sighs. “Even if everyone here agrees on it, the daimyō may be a different story.”

“No civilians died this time,” A-han observes. “But had it not been for the timely – and repeated – use of hiraishin by someone already aboard that would not have been the case. If they didn’t die in the crash they would have died in the explosion.”

“That hardly seems better than having to cooperate with other daimyō,” Gaara muses. “I think we should advance this straight to the daimyō of our respective nations.”

“Isn’t that somewhat premature?” Mei-han frowns.

“Your nation has larger and faster passenger ships on the drawing board,” Ōnoki observes. “Likewise we already know that the Land of Lightning and Land of Fire are testing locomotive designs based on the ones used in the Land of Snow.”
>1/2
>>
>>5010960
“So yeah,” you butt in, “I think we all understand that international cooperation is the best way to handle this situation, and that it’s best to get out ahead of the problem before too many people die because of it.”

“So what will we do with the surviving terrorists?”

“While no passengers were killed and only a few were seriously hurt,” Kakashi-han muses, “several of our chūnin were killed. I take it you have some thoughts on the matter?”

“One of them, Kahyō, stood out,” you admit.

“I had heard something like that,” Kakashi-han nods in understanding. “Play this out for me. Who is she, what stood out to you about her?”

“Part of it will sound familiar to Mei-tono,” you begin. “An ice-release user who fled to the Land of Waves – her son died when no doctors were there to treat him during the war. Her brother was the leader of their cell, and she ended up turning on him.”

“Why?” Kakashi-han presses patiently.

“Because when someone else’s child’s life was on the line, she followed her conscience.”

“And what would you suggest we do with her?” Ōnoki wonders. “The others will die in Hōzuki castle.”

>She has a technique that would make her a useful warden. I only ask that you consider it.
>Vengeance is something we need to avoid from now on. Have her serve some time then let her go.
>I suspect that Yukigakure could use some of her expertise to adjust to its new situation.
>Other?
>>
>>5011006
>vengeance is something we need to avoid from now, ...
Also have her learn a new skillset before release, reformation not just punishment
>>
>>5011006
>>Vengeance is something we need to avoid from now on. Have her serve some time then let her go.
>>I suspect that Yukigakure could use some of her expertise to adjust to its new situation.

Combine these two. Time to reflect on her mistakes, and a clear future path.
>>
>>5011006

>She has a technique that would make her a useful warden. I only ask that you consider it.
>>
>>5011006
>>5011059
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