Chapter 74 - Ch74. After-Mission Debriefing 1
Rei and Mizukage silently stared at each other while the atmosphere in the room thickened by the second. The Mizukage"s piercing stare didn"t waver even for a second but Rei was not much different. Both had that impassive touch in their posture that made the ANBU in the room gulp and stay quiet while with great anticipation, wait for what happens next.
Suddenly Konan cutely sneezed. And the atmosphere was instantly broken, the four ANBU even forgot to keep the flow of their chakra and face faulted to the ground from the ceiling.
The Mizukage blinked at that and Rei smirked in a victory which made the man scoff before giving a pointed glare to his ANBU who quickly scurried away from the office. He then turned back to Rei and sighed before starting to talk. "So, let"s start..." Somehow, without Rei nor Konan noticing, the man actually managed to draw his trusty pipe and started... de-stressing. "Let"s see, you were on a mission to retrieve the daughter of Mr. Hasadawaramaka who by the way, gave you a five-star "should be fired" review after you left him with a scroll that "contained" his daughter." He puffed out a bit of smoke while narrowing his eyes at Rei. After a while, Mizukage continued. "Not that it matters."
"Yeah... that was an ingenious way to deliver a hostage, wasn"t it?" Rei nodded happily.
The Mizukage wisely decided to ignore the remark and continued. "Moving on. You were away barely for two weeks..." He stopped for a moment and raised his head from the documents to give Rei an incredulous look of exasperated conflict. "You left in the direction of Iwagakure." He ever-so-slowly continued, emphasizing every word. As he again grew quiet and observed Rei, he saw him and Konan look at him in confusion and "almost!" let out a long whine.
"Look." The Mizukage put his pipe on the table and tiredly rubbed the bridge of his nose. "During these two weeks of your absence from the village, "someone"..." He looked from Rei to Konan and back before continuing. "almost leveled Amegakure with meteorites." As he said it, his eyes watched the duo as a hawk. Konan was her usual completely stoic self which... he had no idea what it meant. But Rei was confused. That was good! That meant they had nothing to do with it. The Mizukage released a sigh of relief and threw this incident behind, a bit happier that this wasn"t the work of his notorious duo. He again looked at the documents on his table and his mood again soured. One resolved, two to go. His lips twitched as he saw the next "incident". "The mansion you were supposed to "secretly" and "discreetly" infiltrate, and secure the daughter of Mr. Hanasawarukaku..."
Rei interrupted him and tilted his head. "Wasn"t it Hadasawamakara before?" He nevertheless politely quieted himself as the Mizukage decided to give him his pointed "I am so disappointed" look that was a telling sign of a leader.
"Anyway," The Mizukage continued. "Mr. Ha..." The Mizukage stopped and blinked before his eyes again narrowed at sheepish Rei who realized his topic-change no Jutsu didn"t work. "You were supposed to secure the daughter of the... noble who requested you. Could you explain why I got reports of trees unceasingly raining from the sky?" Mizukage asked calmly.
Rei didn"t answer and just turned to Konan with mock-confusion on his face to which the Mizukage barely held himself from scowling. Konan just tilted her head, her face still in stoic cold and impassive expression. She nodded to Rei and turned to Mizukage before speaking. "The Ame experienced a meteor shower and Iwa tree rain. Seriously, the weather these two weeks was just so inscrutable." She uttered almost boredly.
The Mizukage had no idea how to interpret that. "So... you are... acknowledging it was you?" He asked with an incredulous look to which Konan shook her head.
"I just think you should probably think of countermeasures to unfathomable weather changes. Who knows when fishes decide to rain from the sky." Konan said with such seriousness on her face that Rei had to avert his gaze and grit his teeth to hold back his snicker. Even then, he was forced to put his hand in front of his lips to cover it.
At that, the Mizukage exasperatedly sighed. He long ago realized there is just no reading Konan"s expressions or body language. She was just stoic and that was it. Was this her open threat to Kirigakure? To him? Or was she actually really serious in saying that? He was utterly lost and had no idea. The only thing he could do was give a stink-eye to Rei. "Yes. Let"s focus on Rei. Nobody is threatening to exterminate your village with fish rain. Happy thoughts." He reminded himself.
"Look Rei. I know it was a trap, alright? But..." The Mizukage again lowered his head to the documents. "The facts... more than a hundred of samurai are dead. At least 30 shinobi died there too." He said with a conflicted expression. "To each other... no less. Iwa samurai and ninja slaughtered each other." His lips curled into a smirk which he instantly forced to disappear from his face. "And worst of all, you utterly frightened Kurowa noble household of Iwagakure while destroying the right-wing of their mansion." He raised his head to look at Rei. "Under different circumstances, I would be so proud of you right now. But the problem is that due to Mr. Hawarawhatshisname, the upper echelons of Iwa know it was the work of Kirigakure"s ninjas." He finished, making Rei scratch his cheek
"Uh, and that should bother me why again?" Rei asked and Konan nodded stoically, neither having a clue what this was about.
Seeing that, Mizukage rubbed the bridge of his nose again. "For starters, the Iwa demands your head." He said, making Rei"s eyes narrow. The Mizukage, to his eternal dismay, even now didn"t have a clear picture of Rei"s strength but he knew he wouldn"t want to fight him. He didn"t dare to stall and keep Rei on his toes. But it was actually Konan who was making him shit his pants as he noted her dangerously narrowed eyes on her still stoic but somewhat rigid face. That girl LOVED her explosives and watching her effortlessly dispatch the seven swordsmen with her exploding clones while her real body was snacking on some sweets in tree-tops was a real eye-opener for him. No, it would be better to come out clean right at once. "I, of course, declined." He reassured the duo quickly, happy that Konan"s posture relaxed. And while it was utterly irritating for him, he was glad that Rei, as always, stayed relaxed through the entire time. "This will however strain the relations between our two villages and natio..."
"Just get to the point." Rei interrupted, not interested in these talks. He knew the man was just bullshitting and trying to guilt-trip them. Since when did one ninja village care what the other thought... the notion was ridiculous. If it was true, there would be no shinobi war in the past. What they did happened quite often. Sure, it"s usually on a much smaller scale but it does happen. It"s not like "they" attacked Iwa or Iwagakure... He smirked.
"Riiiight..." The Mizukage suddenly felt quite unsure of continuing this meeting. "In short... Iwa"s Daimyo is not amused with the Tsuchikage due to this incident. Fortunately for us, the man is ot the reasonable sort," He wisely ignored Rei"s snort. "and decided to ignore the excuse of "it was Kiri-nin". While it is unlikely there to be some serious repercussions for Iwagakure but the relationship between the Earth Daimyo and Iwagakure is strained. Needless to say, this destroyed any and all hopes for future alliances between our villages." The Mizukage said uncaringly.
Rei just rolled his eyes as he crossed his arms. "Which basically happens at least once per two years between all the villages due to some mission."
The Mizukage shrugged and continued in his pace. "The last thing I want to ask you about is the attack on Iwagakure..."
(Well... cutting it short as I started with enthusiasm but in the end, I just kept dragging it to have a word count. Will continue in another chapter when I get again into the mood.)
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