Ribābu Desert






Naturally there was speculation and concerns of what Sayū was up to, especially since they would soon be dealing with the Black Market. Sayū was always one that would play his cards close to his chest. He was well aware that he could’ve gone through Takewa, but this one, it had to be kept quiet. There couldn’t be noise or else it would only bring unneeded eyes. Do you remember when Ketsugo had visited us at the estate?he responded to Hinome. The question was rhetorical and it did not need a response and therefore he continued speaking. He said that Lord Heiwa, Owatatsumi, and the Land of Fire forces had vanished. Their last known location? Land of Earth.” Sayū’s eyes narrowed into the now visible city through the desert mirage. “Rumor is that the Tsuchikage during that time had left the Land of Earth and his whereabouts were unknown. In efforts to locate him to find out what happened, I hired the services of a tracker to hunt down the whereabouts of the Tsuchikage.

As someone who is known to be casual outside of combat and move at a leisurely speed, Sayū was walking rather quickly now. He however did not skip out on any explanation. “Which is why I’m in such a hurry. Information such as whereabouts are subject to change at any given moment. He could have very well have already left. There is something suspicious about all of this if I must admit myself. One of them being, why the Tsuchikage had left after Lord Heiwa had gone missing. I fear the Land of Earth may have played some hand in it.” If Hinome had any further questions, he’d answer them transparently. He knew she was worried and it was why he was being excessively transparent. “If the Tsuchikage has played some part. I’ll ensure that the Land of Earth no longer exists.” To hear someone say these words in such a casual and effortless manner was terrifying because you knew he meant it.

Eventually Takewa began speaking about some Ox Training School and of some coats given to him. This prompted Sayū to look over at Takewa with a visibly confused expression painted on his face. He hadn’t a single idea of what the man was talking about and it was very evident. Even the tone he replied to with Takewa was full of confusion, caution, and a hint of frustration. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Sayū turned his head back toward the city, but his eyes had been fixated on Takewa through the corner. There was something odd about Takewa. He couldn’t place a figure on it, but it was apparent to him something was off. “We’re almost there. Are you both ready?




“Dreams? I’ve never thought about that, I suppose I like this path..” Hinome Hyuga

The truth caused her change of behavior, the truth caused her to feel less comfortable and more emotional. She wasn’t sure how to deal with the fact she could’ve prevented something, but also be in the company of someone who shared the memories and image of someone you knew very well. She knew him, both of them but also not because when she first interact with them they were from a whole other world. One thing she couldn’t help but wonder was that if they came from another world, was there an individual that resembled herself? A mirrored version of herself that wasn’t 100% accurate of memories, a carnival mirror. That’s how she looked at them, they were recognizable but also unrecognizable. And there she was, following behind the person that resembled her fiance but not knowing what all the differences and similarities between the both of them were. The only thing that put her mind at ease at least for a little bit was that Takewa had shifted back, although his shocked expression had evaded. They were away and out of sight from Konoha just like Hinome wanted, time to get them away from there but her hopes were shattered because she had forgotten for a moment that they weren’t here to run away.

Whenever he started to run things down and answer her question, she remembered like he mentioned the day Ketsugo had visited them and offered them a mission to locate and investigate Lord Heiwa and Owatatsumi’s last location; Land of Earth. Before Madoguchi’s disappearance, they were ordered to head out right away, it was surprising to see the change of events. The mission was canceled and everyone stayed home to help aid in the village’s reparations. A puzzled expression was followed when he mentioned that the Tsuchikage had disappeared, things indeed seem suspicious like he said. This already confirmed for her that he, no, the both of them knew way more than she did all along about this. Although she had some speculations there could be a possibility Land of Earth had some play in things, it wasn’t a theory she wanted to believe in headfirst. She still felt a cold chill running down her spine when he mentioned erasing the land. It wasn’t like she felt threatened, or scared, but she knew that there were truths to his statement, a promise. There’s nothing that hinted he meant any of it as some sort of sick joke. Although this only worsened her worried state, she wouldn’t impulsively react to this statement but she knew that the time was clicking and that she had to snap him out of it somehow. She silently quickened her pace to keep up with theirs, listening in to the question Takewa asked him.

The mention of the coat definitely kept her attention on their conversation. She remembered the coat all too well, being the person she was, she knew he didn’t like it because he always expressed his huge dislike for it. She would always take the opportunity to tease him for her own laughter, trying to get him to wear it and insisting it suited and looked good on him every now and then… she never succeeded. She thought he started this conversation to switch topics or something, make things less intense but after observing Sayū’s extremely visible confused expression and hearing his response she caught on to what he was doing. He was testing how similar the shifted one and the original of their realm was, but if the shifted Sayū knew of the mission they were instructed to go on she assumed that their differences weren’t necessarily too big. Again, it made her wonder if she herself was all too different in that world by going over their interactions so far nothing seemed too different, that’s what had her fooled in the beginning. So far it was only that he lacked more empathy and seemed even more rational. “Training stories huh, I still remember some. One that I can still recall as if it were a few days ago was the childhood sparrings I had, I am sure I don’t even have to mention which one--- Sayū would remember this one too well!” She had decided to try it out too, trying to test out if indeed her relationship in that world is exactly the same as it is in this world, or if these events happened there at all. She knew exactly how the original Sayū would react to this, partially embarrassed and always quick to show regret. Which amused her, because she had forgiven him a long time ago but his reaction was always priceless. Now there was still some time before they would go in, this was the right time she believed.



They were walking at a pretty decent pace at this point, and as they did he noticed that Hinome had started moving to keep pace - which made him feel more at ease. It started to occur to him once again that this entire universal phenomenom wasn't exactly exclusive to just them. He had friends out here, contacts - but who knew what the state of other lands had become...or perhaps what it hadn't? There was a chance that this was exclusive to Konoha...a coordinated attack, means of sabotage. He wouldnt take the chance though, and it made him feel better that she kept close just in case they were being watched. This version of Sayu had started to explain why it was that they were here to Hinome, Takewa had some idea but not a precise image and the moment that he gave one and mentioned the tsuchikage his brow perked up. With a contemplative look as he processed the ramifications of this he reached back in the case from before and shuffled around till he was on his "Iwagakure" based set of Ninja info cards - pulling up the targeted card in question, The Tsuchikage - Mazu Aoi. He examined the selected card - making sure to keep in his mind an image of the man's appearance trying to imagine that the depiction he was looking upon at this current moment may have something to do with the disappearance of Lord Heiwa and Lady Owatatsumi. Shortly following that came his frustrated and confused expression pertaining to the question he asked about the coat before he responded that he didnt know. To this - Takewa may have come off a bit colder then intended or more unempathetic in nature, though it was not towards this man - as much as it was to the fact that the way his mind worked...he prepared for the worst case scenario first so that his mind would be prepared in the case that such occurredand as he put that info card away his mind imagined the worse case...being that this man had dishonored and violated his kin's sanctity and honor. "I know." He responded in an almost bored or annoyed tone himself. It was what he figured would happen and in a way he was almost annoyed at the fruition of his own calculation. The shifted version of his prized student gave him a parallel that helped him get his own feelings about the matter in check rather quickly...helped him remember who he was, rather quickly. A great man in the seven virtues schools once told him wise words: "A warrior masters the art of applying force. Too little, and you will lose respect. Too much? You will lose opportunity. It is important to do battle with your mind first and your emotions after. A true warrior is the first to feel the anxiety of conflict for his people, but the last to act in benefit to personal pleasure or malice." He couldnt help but relate it with the comment he had made about seeing to it that the village would be wiped if he found out that the Tsuchikage had involvement. The sentiment shared, that if the Tsuchikage had anything to do with it - then it would be a race between the two as to who could send his head rolling the quickest. With that he agreed. However, when he mentioned the village as an entirety Takewa couldnt help but wonder...what sort of training did this man have? It wasn't the kind of discipline or objectivity that he knew of his own version of Sayu.

Regardless, Hinome had begun speaking again. He had not looked back at Sayu when he responded to him not knowing about the coat however, when Hinome started to speak he did so. It was a natural thing to look at someone when speaking like this - when we verbalized with one another often times we make eye contact when listening seventy-five percent of the time and fifty percent when speaking. It was a manner to build, or maintain rapport with someone to whom you were or intended to be close to and so she would find his jade hues upon her as she spoke. When she mentioned the memory - reflexively an almost "yikes" kind of expression flushed upon his face. He knew the story - she'd jabbed it at Sayu a few times when they sat at dinner or when he was being too hard on fledgling shinobi in the compound; as such it had an almost immediate response register on his face. But then he caught onto the body language of her eyes whence she said it, and there was more there then typical - but only enough subtlety that were it not for his Naibugan - he might not have picked up on it so quickly himself. A smirk answered her reminiscence - disguised by the convenience of the moment as a humorous chuckle to the matter. Though it was not at the moment itself and more at the perceptiveness of Hinome herself, surely she had noticed what he had tried to do and was chipping in herself. She was a smart one, always had been - and to support the moment Takewa would mimic the nervous tension of vicarious embarrassment and press the palm of his left hand against his cheek rubbing it harshly and almost pushing his own face away from view as he contained a chuckle continuing walking. He would think over other things, wondering if her attempt would work - and furthermore at that wondering that if they shared the same moment in his universe...what was it like? What was different? This Sayu was different, how differently was he to Hinome in his universe? And vice versa. There was so much to consider and think about - but more so his thoughts focused on Iwagakure now...wondering if his contacts were still in place. Lady Hokori had been here for quite some time, he wondered if he could perhaps get information from her - a sit rep on how things looked and the ongoings of the Tsuchikage at this time. "Always ready." He replied with confidence and wide ranged objectivity, steeling his mind for everything that was and could have come.