Description: After Momiji returns to Hayabusa Village following her latest mission, Ryu Hayabusa seeks a more detailed report on the activity of his eldest apprentice.
Hidden away at the base of Mount Fuji lies the village of the Hayabusa Ninja Clan. The mostly rustic village may not be very large, but it serves as an important hiding place for many powerful artifacts and it is home to the Dragon Shrine. However, the village is not just some sort of vault or place for a pilgrimmage. It is home for a small population of the clan's descendents and it is visiting the youngest of the clan where Momiji has found herself for the past few hours.
Hanamaru, Denroku, Sakura, and especially Sanji were all thrilled to have their 'big sister' home and Momiji in return was happy to see them. Much has happened since she left the village and she had spent most of the evening telling the children stories and then playing some games with them. But now night has fallen and even Sanji has gone to bed which has finally left Momiji alone for the time being. With the Elders and the children both visited, Momiji finds herself with some rare free time before she has to leave the village once more. Perhaps a nighttime stroll will help her clear her mind for the trials up ahead.
The young shrine maiden finds herself drawn to a lone tree that overlooks a small creek that runs through the village. The serenity of this area was very pleasing to the mostly black haired young woman. She had spent so much in cities as of late that she had nearly forgotten how beautiful and peaceful her village was. Taking a seat at the base of the tree, Momiji peers out over the water now. There truly was almost nothing she wouldn't do to prevent any harm from coming to this village and its inhabitants.
All of this beauty and peace seems almost out of place with the grave nature of the Hayabusa clan's ancient mission, having forced them to practice the arts of stealth, deception, and killing from early childhood to stand up to so many dangers that threaten to consume the world if they stumble in their path. It is a hard life shared among a relative few, and yet it is in those moments of peace that the clan is able to remind itself of the reason their sacrifices are worth it.
Most of all the weight of the clan's mission falls upon Ryu Hayabusa, a man who has seen far more death and violence in a mere 23 years than most will see in a lifetime. It is here, after night has fallen, that the Master Ninja is finally freed from the demands of leadership during brief spells of peace. It is now that he gets an opportunity to rejuvenate his soul in the beauty of the world that has relied on him so much.
And it is perhaps only because he is in such a moment of peace that Momiji's trained ears are able to clearly hear the sound of his arrival long before he reaches the lazy creek. "It's good to see that my pupil has returned unharmed, Momiji-san."
Momiji can hear the approach of someone and gently gets up from her position underneath the tree. Did Sanji follow her all the way out here? Didn't he know it was dangerous? The white clad ninja turns slowly and she is visibly taken back by just whom it ended up being. The casual greeting form her master was a pleasant sound to Momiji's ears and she quickly drops to a knee before bowing her head. "Ryu-sama, thank you for your kinds words. I only returned a few hours ago." She reports quickly even though Ryu would obviously already be kept well-informed of any of the Hayabusa clan's ninjas arrival let alone one of his pupils.
The young shrine maiden and ninja lifts her gaze cautiously from her crouched position, her long pony-tail gently swaying as she moves. "It pleases me to see you well, Ryu-sama. I've kept up with my training and have been diligently been carrying out the orders handed down to me." A brief pause now. "Would you like me to make my report?" Again, Ryu most likely has already heard some of this information second-hand, but Momiji still seems eager to be going through the proper motions.
There is a moment of calm as Ryu allows Momiji's question to hang. A simple chance to take in one moment of tranquility. He has already heard a great deal from the reports of other Hayabusa ninja as well as the messages provided by their close allies, the Mugen-Tenshin. The world is not at peace, and new enemies are starting to rise all across the globe.
And then the moment has passed and there is no sense of casualness from the Master Ninja as he folds his arms in front of his chest. "If the information I have already received is accurate, it is likely our clan will need to steel our souls for the coming storm." Finally his eyes turn away from the gentleness of nature to his apprentice. "Report." It is a simple order, but ultimately among the ninja politeness is reserved for moments when time is less valuable.
The Hayabusa Clan was no stranger when it came to world ending evils and demons, but there always seemed to be an increasing number of new evils that threatened their clan. Momiji patiently awaits for the go ahead before she begins her report proper. As she guessed, Ryu probably already knew all of this, but it was still part of her duty to inform him of what she has been working on. "There has been a revolt among the Tengus. Their king is now dead and a power struggle now exists as a successor has yet to be named." Momiji begins calmy, her head lowering as she begins to report this information. "Because of this, numerous Tengus have broken free of their bonds and now freely roam Japan. I've located one such Tengu in Southtown where...." The young woman trails off and her head lowers even further down. "...she has taken up residence for an unknown reason." Oddly, there was some awkward hesitation in Momiji's delivery right there.
The shrine maiden takes a small breath before continuing. "An individual calling himself Raiden-sama, the God of Thunder, has proclaimed that a demon realm known as Outworld seeks to invade this world. He is organizing a resistance to this invasion here in Japan with the assistance of a warrior known as Nightwolf. I've made contact with this group and they seem willing to come to our aid should we ever need it." Any hesitation is gone from Momiji's voice now and she reports this last few things in her more typical clear and concise fashion. Momiji knows there are other things that she would like to speak to her master about, but this wasn't really the time to bring up such things. These previous two matters were much more important for Ryu to know. "That is all I have to report, Ryu-sama."
There are a great many things to be remembered about the nature of reports, and one of the most valuable is that a great deal of difference can be found in reading what someone has written and what someone says. In words an individual has time to craft their information, to organize it how they believe that it would be most valuable or appropriate. However, when one is forced to provide their information in person, it is a completely different matter, they can only take so much time to find the right words, and there is a great deal of information that can be gleaned from the way that someone speaks.
And so, as Momiji delivers her report, Ryu simply stands quietly and absorbs it all. When she finally reaches the conclusion, he gives her a moment of rest before he begins the second most important part of receiving a report in person: being able to inquire further into the details that are otherwise left alone. "I received similar intelligence from the Mugen-Tenshin Clan about the Tengu revolt. You did not mention dispatching the rogue tengu you discovered, and I received no requests from you requesting assistance." No question is asked, but the statement alone is enough to demand the answers Ryu seeks.
Momiji's head only moves slightly, but even the gentlest movement from the kunoichi causes her ponytail to sway visibly. Thankfully, her head was already lowered so Ryu would not be able to see the distress on Momiji's face very easily. She thought that she had been doing well without any direct input from him, but it appears that this might not be the case. "My orders that I received was to only observe and report back. I...I'm not strong enough to face someone like that in directly." Momiji was pretty strong, but she was nowhere near strong enough to fight a thousand year Tengu by herself. Admitting her weakness has noticeably taken some of the strength from Momiji's words. She suddenly sounds much less sure of herself.
The ninja then commits herself to silence where the only sounds that can be heard are the swaying of the nearby tree branches in the wind and the quiet rumble of the nearby creek. Momiji doesn't dare broach this quietness until a long moment later. "Please forgive my failure, master. I had thought that she would be more valuable as a source of information." She intones a moment later as calmly as she can muster but with a slight undercurrent of uncertain panic in the intonation of her voice.
There are no chastising words from Ryu as he stands in silence, waiting for Momiji's explanation to finish. There is a great deal said and the words crash silently over the stoic mountain that is Ryu Hayabusa, absorbed by his ears and carefully stored away in case there is further value left to be mined from them in the future.
Eventually his silence breaks as he looks down at Momiji's head, seeming to stare straight through her as she shields her eyes from him. "If you had encountered a violent threat that was beyond your means, you would have sent word for assistance." This is another statement of fact, one of which Ryu seems absolutely certain. Momiji is his apprentice, he has helped train her. He is the one responsible for sending her on these missions, and the one most responsible for the clan holding to its ancient orders. "Momiji-san, if your instincts tell you that this Tengu does not hold ill intentions, I value your insight. It is our duty to protect the world from fiends that would do it harm, not to take lives indiscriminately."
Momiji both wants to and doesn't want to look up at Ryu when he gives her the silent treatment at first. It was against etiquette in this type of situation for her to do so, but she also was very much wanting to see just how much disapproval she had garnered in her master. His approval did mean a lot to her afterall as she was his apprentice. But Momiji ends up erring to side of caution in this and keeps her gaze lowered. Hopefully, it would be taken as a gesture of humility for her to be doing so. The last thing that Momiji would want is to upset her mentor any further.
"Understood Ryu-sama." replies the subordinate ninja to her master when he lays down his instruction on the matter. What he next has to say causes Momiji to pause in consideration. Did Nyotengu harbor any ill-will towards her? A slight blush comes to Momiji's face as she successfully struggles to maintain her calm bearing despite whatever embarssing thought had strayed into her min "I can safely say that she harbos no malice towards me. I may even have her trust." The young kunoichi goes on to report in quite a serious tone with any such signs of a blush fading fast from her face. To put things lightly, Momiji has gained some very interesting allies as of late.
There are a great many important aspects to being someone's master, and while providing discipline may be vital at specific moments, there are times when it is far more important to show the level of trust you hold in them. Ryu Hayabusa was only one man, only one person among a village of ninjas with a vital role in keeping the world safe from supernatural threats that the everday individual would have no hope of combatting; it was essentially that Ryu had people to rely on, and Momiji was one of them.
"For the time being you will be responsible for keeping watch on this Tengu. I will expect reports of her behavior, and if she begins to become a threat you will find a way to correct her, dispatch her, or seek my assistance if you cannot. I entrust responsibility to you, Momiji-san." And with those simple words, the Ninja Master plays a great deal of trust into his pupil, as well as the weight that comes with it.
"Now, tell me more about these new allies."
The edges of Momiji's mouth upturn slightly into the beginnings of a smile. Having her master trust her do something and to also trust in her judgement was as close as she could really ever get from getting a compliment from Ryu in that she was doing good work out there. She nods her head quickly when he lays out the task and responsibilty for her. "I will keep a close eye on her and report back once I have new intelligence on these other rogue Tengus." Momiji confirms as the panic clearly leaves her voice which makes the young woman sound much more confident now in comparison.
The change in topic to the other part of her report is greatly appreciated and Momiji lifts her head back up to a not quite so subservient level as it had been before. "I am unsure if he truly is, but this Raiden-sama matches the description that of the actual deity. And I believe that he is or is atleast some sort of guardian spirit to the shrine that I found him and Nightwolf at." As a Dragon Shrine Maiden, Momiji is well-versed in the Shinto gods as well as the guardian spirits of the Hayabusa Clan. "But in both him and his companion, I felt no evil within them. And they also ask only for us to not attack any of their allies." The blackish haired kunoichi pauses for a moment as she attempts to figure out the best way to approach this topic. "They seemed worried that we would object to some of their allies, but there not even any Tengus in their ranks. I have yet to see whom exactly they were worried about. Once I discover their identity, I will be sure to inform you, Ryu-sama."
Momiji pauses again as she considers a different option. "I could also lead you to their shrine so that you can see for yourself." She offers dutifully to Ryu, her amber eyes glancing upwards now. There was no doubt that Raiden and Nightwolf both would want to speak with the Master Ninja of the Hayabusa clan.
This was not truly unbelievable, in the past Ryu had faced a great many foes with unbelievable powers. He had been saved from death by the protector spirit of the Hayabusa clan, the idea that an actual god may be walking the Earth accumulating allies was plausible. The question was whether or not this was true. Momiji still had room to improve in the ways of ninjutsu, but as the clan's most experienced shrine maiden, she was incredibly knowledgable when it came to matters of the mystic and divine. If Momiji felt that she had met with the genuine deity it would be wise for Ryu to take this seriously.
The master ninja's gaze turns up slowly, seeking out the moonlit peak of Mt. Fuji, still visible through the faint lines of clouds that line the sky. This was important, the Hayabusa clan was notably small compared to many other ninja factions. Even with the size of the Mugen-Tenshin clan, their allies were limited, and the Master Ninja could feel an ill wind blowing, cutting straight through him more effectively than the deepest cold. "If the world is being graced by gods taking flesh, we would be wise to consider aligning ourselves with them. We will need all the allies we can hope to find, Momiji..."
"A storm is coming..."
Log created on 22:45:24 01/12/2015 by Ryu Hayabusa, and last modified on 02:11:05 01/13/2015.