Obligations of the Familial Variety [Invite]

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Post by Shirahagi on Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:10 pm

Rain poured heavily from the night sky as the smell of food wafted around the opened rooms and halls of the Yotsuya household. Among them was a small, quaint bedroom which held Shirahagi, the youngest of the Yotsuya, sitting in-front of a mirror with nothing but his undergarments on. Though brushing his hair in preparation for the dinner, he couldn't help but salivate at the wondrous aromas that assaulted his nostrils. He could make out the scents of spiced beef and fresh rice specifically, causing his stomach to rumble at the thought of having his fill. Though excited for the oncoming meal, he knew he couldn't just quietly eat his supper and be on his way as per usual. Not tonight, as this meal was for the anniversary of the peace formed by the Yotsuya and the Hamazaki, or rather, a specific family of the Hamazaki. In remembrance of the trying times of both families in-order to pursue a greater future, thanks to the marriage of Kiranosuke Yotsuya and Fuyu Hamazaki, Shirahagi's cousins. Caused by the murder of Sozaemon Yotsuya and the lynching of When Hamazaki.

Shirahagi clenched the brush as he remembered his uncle, the loss still burning a little in his chest. He did not dislike the Hamazaki as a whole, as the murder was carried out by a single member on his own whim, but didn't he didn't trust them either thanks to the loss of his uncle and the fact that there was a cold war between the two families not that long ago. Thus, Shirahagi was always slightly on-guard whenever near a member of that family, even as he breaks bread with them and exchanges light conversation.

"Better than how Father is." he murmured to himself as he looked into the old mirror before him. He had bathed beforehand, allowing him to remove any sort of dirt or grime from training and granting him a pleasant odor. Still, despite having cleaned his face and hair especially, Shirahagi didn't look any different to himself. "It has to be the scars." he thought, placing the hair brush down and pulling back his shoulder-length hair. As he attempted to tie it into a ponytail he would hear the distinctive sound of wooden sandals in the hall, drawing closer and closer at an easy pace. He already knew who it was, even as he focused on making sure he didn't tangle his fingers onto his scalp. "Hi Mother."

"You didn't even see me though." said Hotaru cooly as she entered her son's room with a white box in her hands. "Yeah," Shirahagi started as he did a small smile, starting over on his ponytail for the third time within a one minute time span, "but Higuchi doesn't make noise when she walks, Gindayu's footsteps are heavy, Otei walks fast normally, and Father doesn't even come to my room to begin with." Hotaru would playfully pout as she sat the box down on Shirahagi's bed before coming closer to her son, standing behind him as he fumbled with his hair. "Pardon me for being so distinctive." came her soft voice as she gently slapped her son's hands away before properly doing a ponytail for him. Through the mirror, Shirahagi could see that his mother was dressed up as she usually does for occasions like these. Her hair was tied into a tight-bun and she wore a light coating of lipstick. Draped around her body was a dark purple yukata decorated with white flowers in various spots and Shirahagi could smell the barest hints of a pleasant body oil that permeated off his mother.

"You look nice."
he said, trying to make conversation as Hotaru successfully finished his ponytail. "And you're almost naked." she said with a slight laugh as her son stood and turned to her, having not even taken out the clothing he planned to wear for the evening. "Which is why... ," Hotaru would excitedly turn back towards the box she brought and open it, taking the contents and holding it in-front of Shirahagi, "..I got this for you today!" In her hands was a vibrant, leaf-green kimono decorated with a pattern of leaves. From the way it shined in the light Shirahagi could tell it was made from silk, showing him this was made not only fine materials but also sold for quite a price as well. Saying nothing as he tentatively eyed the garment, he would reach for it and begin to put it on. After a few moments of settling into the kimono (along with finding his sandals) he would present himself to Hotaru, arms crossed as she looked over to make sure everything was right and he didn't mess up anywhere. With a smile, she would adjust her son's shoulders a little before finally speaking. "Perfect. Now you look good." she said as she patted Shirahagi's back. He would only roll his eyes as he let out a casual "Suuuure... " before walking into the hallway with his mother.

"Is everyone else ready too?"
"No, your siblings are still locked up in their rooms and your father has just finished bathing." Shirahagi was mildly surprised at that, as typically he was the last one at the table. It felt strangely good to know that he was already ready before anyone else. "We wait at the table then?" Shirahagi would look at his mother who merely shrugged, even as the two made their way for the dining room. Thus, the two would sit separate from each other as Shirahagi would stare at the food in-front of him. Cooked beef and lightly salted. Mounds of carefully cook rice. Seafood everywhere. He had to look away, least he be tempted to eat before everyone was present. "Cmon... " he thought to himself as he bit his bottom lips, "...will everyone just get here already?!"

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Post by Sen Hamazaki on Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:21 am

It was a night where only one person populated a land filled with rolling mountains of papers during a dark and dreary thunderstorm, where ink lined the packet lands with rivers of writing and steep cliffs of edges. Despite the roaring thunder of the world above and the crashing droplets of water sounding war drums of an apocalypse in this land it was still dry and bright as ever above. That could be because of some certain weather phenomena but in truth it wasn't for any special reason at all other than that the one making his way through these sheets would be the young Hokage himself inside of his own office, hands sheltering his pounding head as he struggled to even look at the piles before him. "Ugh, this is taking forever." He groaned. He had been working on this for hours. He signed agreements to some requests and denied others. He replied to inquiries and applications with honest takes but knew right away that as soon as they are sent out he will hear a complaint. He was like a God where he could decide everything he wished, but Gods have the freedom to do so, he instead, was a God of Bureaucracy, and that in itself was the most dull existence yet.

Maybe he hadn't realized what he was getting himself into when he was chosen for the job. He at least figured it would require more action and less seat-warming. Honestly the mistake between the two is something he should better make public for a successor. He feels that should one ever come wanting the spot that they should know the biggest danger to becoming Kage wasn't assassination or invasion, but instead the pains of sitting down and writing over and over again in forms. A knock on the double doors leading to his office however was the saving grace to Sen's crippling boredom and the grunting wood was like an alarm in Sen's head going off, encouraging him to stand up behind his desk and get ready to answer. Before he could however they were already creaking open, and in stepped perhaps the last man he would expect to come in but also the first he should've felt would come at first attempt. After all, what father would skip out on seeing their child in the first week on the job?

"So it's true.. You finally made it to the top." Sen would remain standing as his father looked around, his scaled lips curling into what the Hokage could only guess was a smile. "It's rather empty though, don't you think?" As his father faced Sen he would motion for his son to sit down by waving a hand and like the obedient son he is Sen would follow the direction without hesitation, sitting down and slouching back in his seat.

"Apparently it's expected of a Kage to decorate the place. I guess whoever my replacement is will inherit whatever I do to the place when I die."

Again the older lizard spoke, though this time in a more skeptical tone. "When?"

"Good point." Sen replied with a smirk. Despite how much unfit he felt towards his job at the moment he wasn't just going to roll over and take whatever comes to harm him. He wasn't raised to be like that no matter what. Actually, perhaps that sort of distraction every once in a while would be exactly what he needs to keep productivity up in the long run? Who knows. "Anyways, what are you doing here, father? Don't you have things to take care of back home?"

"Actually.." He began, sitting down at a chair before the desk before adjusting the kimono he wore to better adjust to the seat as well. "That's exactly what I came here for. Tonight we're supposed to go visit the Yotsuya's compound. Your siblings aren't around and I think the Hokage being with me would help deter any.. situations that may arise."

The announcement made Sen blink a few times. Perhaps he felt too bad about the paperwork before now that he learned of this. Of course tonight he would have to break bread with those people. Usually he is one to let bygones be bygones but he wasn't going to be one to forgive spending half a year tied up in some forest missing his sister's wedding, especially not this soon. He needed some sort of escape from this, some sort of scapegoat he could use. He stretched and faked a groan as he did so, leaning forwards and grabbing a packet of papers from his desk and already beginning to arrange them. "Sorry father but I have so much work to do. I need to get all of this work done before morning. You know the drill."


It seemed his father didn't take the bait however, as he leaned in and grabbed the packet out of Sen's hands, counting each sheet and looking up at the younger Hamazaki skeptically before tossing the packet across the room. "It's only five sheets of paper."

They both sat silently across the now-empty desk, looking at one another.

"Huh, looked like five hundred before."

"Come on, we have a dinner to go to. If we're late then I'll find some real paperwork for you to do." With that Sen's father stood up and began making his way towards the door with Sen already standing up and chasing after him, grabbing his hat on the way out. He guessed he will just have to accept his fate for now and accompany his patriarch on their little trip to the home of the Yotsuya Family.

The two lizardmen finally made their way to the home of the clan, the rain not even touching Sen thanks to his hat while his father Gosha was seemingly drenched, uncaring of what the elements did to him. He wasn't surprised by this. His father had told him enough bits and pieces of the past for him to know he was some sort of warrior, and that meant he had to get real used to living exposed to the outside elements if it was necessary and for a Hamazaki that necessity was almost always due to their nomadic nature. Sen already spotting some guards outside yet covered by roofing which overlapped over the edged of the home, serving as a sort of shelter for guards. When a servant let them into the main area of the home, Sen kept a lookout for more. This dinner was done once a year, but he wouldn't put it past the Yotsuya to try and harvest more Hamazaki lives.

Of course at this point the two made their way to the dining area where upon entry Sen would immediately set his pink eyes upon the youngest child of the family: Shirahagi. The shorty whom of which was only a few years younger than him would already be at the table, wearing a pretty kimono of leaves. 'Hello there~' He immediately began making his way to the lad, aiming to sit right next to him and take a chance, almost forgetting their last names before his father as stopped him only a step into what would've been a mistake. "As leader of Konoha you represent the Hamazaki more than the actual leader of the clan does, so it would be traditional for the clan representative to sit across from the host as the other end of the table."

Sen stared daggers at his father before letting out a small sigh, moving his way over towards the end of the table with his father sitting to his right. He would take his hate off as well, placing it over a nearby corner before facing the empty seat ahead. Of course, his father would take the lead in speaking for now, especially with Sen's attempt having crash and burned before it even began. "I thank you for having us over, even as a customary sign of peace between our families. The food looks particularly delicious." Thunder roared outside as Gosha spoke to what Sen could only remember as being the mother of Shirahagi, though of course he hadn't spoken to her much before. Instead, as is polite to do, he would bow slightly towards her.

"My thanks, lady Hotaru. You look as stunning as ever tonight."

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Post by Shirahagi on Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:12 pm

Almost as if some sort of divine being heard his plea, Shirahagi would hear a pair of footsteps near the dining room which he and his mother sat. They were... distinctive to say the least. Loud, as if the creator of the steps was purposely bringing their foot down with more force than needed. Yet there was a sort of pause between each step, nothing explicitly noticeable but very much there. As if there was a sort of hesitancy to them. Not only that, but Shirahagi would also notice the complete lack of any other pair of footsteps, leaving these pseudo-bravado ones to their own commotion. "They're here." he would say to Hotaru, fully recognizing just who it was visiting them. After all, this wasn't the first time they've had this dinner. With both of them standing out of respect, they would quickly bow as both Goso and Sei entered the room. Sitting back down in his chair, Shirahagi would catch the gaze that Sei held. He would look back mildly confused, witnessing Sei make a b-line towards him only to be stopped by Goso. "What was that about?" he thought to himself, figuring that perhaps the hokage wanted to tell him something. Regardless, he wouldn't put too much thought into it.

With both father and son sitting down, Goso on his right and Sei sitting at the end of the table nearby, Shirahagi would straighten his posture. With his chin up and form full of purpose, he would silently listen as the two exchanged words with Hotaru. Unlike her son, who did his best to appear firm and resolute, she would actively smile and wave her hand at the compliments. "Please, please," she began, mildly blushing at the flattery given to her, "there is no need to be so formal! I enjoy having this meal with you, especially since it helps liven up this old home!" Those last few words would make Shirahagi look around him, knowing what his mother meant. Their home was by no means old or in bad shape. It was very well-kept, as they all put an effort to keeping their abode clean. Despite this, however, their home held a sort of uncanny loneliness to it. Though their home was in great shape, there was little to it. There were vast expanses of empty wall, desolate spaces between what sparse furniture they had, and hardly any sort of decoration. No paintings, no wall-scrolls, no antiques meant for display, nothing. It was just... plain, which drove both Shirahagi and Hotaru up the wall to no end.

"Doesn't help Father doesn't like outsiders... " he mused to himself out-loud as he continued to look at nothing in particular, flinching as Hotaru snapped at him. "Shirahagi!" she glared at him, her form a bit too relax for the tone she took."I didn't say anything!" he quickly responded, immediately regaining his composure and casting his gaze down to his lap. Hotaru would simply put on a tired smile as she rolled her eyes, only for them to widen in surprise as a sudden rumble could be felt in the room. A rumble that wasn't caused by the storm outside. Shirahagi would look up, taken aback at first before realizing what was happening."Oh," he began nonchalantly as he scratched his head,"Gindayu is coming." Within moments the monotonous, spaced-out rumblings would come closer and closer until finally a very large man would enter the dining room. He stood at maybe a 7' 5" in height and wore a grey, snow-themed kimono. Broad shoulders filled out his custom-made clothing while strong, hard hands hanged comfortably from the sleeves. A short, black, scraggly beard decorated his chin and jawline while his neck-length hair simply hanged from his head, not made into any style. His most telling feature, however, was his scar. A single, long scar ran above his right eye downward, cutting diagonally over his entire face and ending just below his lip, splitting the end of it. The giant would simply stand there as he looked over who sat at the table already, simply nodding to everyone before slowly making his way and taking his seat, sitting one chair away from Hotaru.

"It is good to see you again." came the low and almost dreamy voice of Gindayu, his hazel eyes fixed on the two Hamazaki. "It is an honor for you to have become Hokage. You are strong."Shirahagi would observe his older brother for a moment as he spoke. Truth be told, he was surprised he was even speaking. Gindayu was well known for his silence, not out of animosity but simply having nothing to say. Actions spoke louder than words to him and, though the memory of cold war was still fresh in everyone's mind, Gindayu was among the first who let go of any ill-will. Not only that, when he complimented or congratulated someone, he meant it. "Why Gindayu, a few more sentences and you could give a speech!" Hotaru teased, earning a simple huff from Gindayu as he took up his voluntary silence once again. Shirahagi would let out a small smile. Funnily enough, despite their vast differences, things felt almost normal when he, Gindayu, and Hotaru were paired together. He never understood why, though he did know Gindayu's dryness and Hotaru's naturally playful nature did play a large role in it. With that being said, Gindayu's oh so inspirational speaking made Shirahagi remember something.

"By the way," he began as he looked at Sei, lifting his chin and keeping his attitude cool as he spoke in-order to hide the hunger pangs he began to feel, "Sei, how is it like being kage so far?" he honestly wondered how it was like ruling over the entire village. From what little he understood, he couldn't help but see it not at all different from being a clan leader. Deciding on disputes and trying to keep the peace. Not exactly a very exciting experience but still a noble profession none the less.

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Post by Sen Hamazaki on Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:38 pm

Sen smirked at the comment Shirahagi made, mentioning outsiders and implying that Sen and his father were the outsiders mentioned. He knew it was his duty to make the situation not become tense from comments such as that, which he was sure were more than often normal tags placed on the Hamazaki. Outsiders, animals, freaks, such names don't concern Sen personally, however he had to make sure that he showed no true offense being taken from the comment while the young adult was scolded by his mother. Before he spoke however Gosha sprung to life, speaking on his behalf. "Well I'd hope no outsiders are here tonight. The Hokage worked hard to try to keep the village locked down from outsiders that intend to cause trouble." He said to Shirahagi, offering a smile to him and Hotaru. The comment Sen's father had made would help remind both that Sen was the last thing from an outsider and by association his father as well, meanwhile it was intended to also help show a faux ignorance to the statement. The emphasis on Sen's title was what Sen took as a reminder to him as to what he was, something he would have to make sure he didn't tarnish with his desires.

Sen's chest burned from the presence of the tower of muscle that is Gindayu. The Yotsuya was probably the only one Sen actually considered to be on equal footing with him when it came to skill with the blade and the fact that he is able to recognize that now is purely because of the many skirmishes between the two families in the past. Because his father and the majority of his siblings weren't the type to become directly involved in combat, Sen and Shen were the duo which had to make up for their being outnumbered. Sen himself could still remember the stinging sensation of his chest being sliced open when he was still a child obsessed with his reputation as an animal with a blade, and that injury was what actually made him focus on using actual form in battle from there on out, rather than slashing at random and hoping for the best. The reminder the emotionless giant was what earned Sen his admiration and respect of the only Yotsuya to have earned it from him on the field.

It made him ecstatic seeing the scar on Gindayu's face as a reminder of Sen learning his lesson.

"No, the honor is mine. If it weren't for the mark you left on me during the unease between our families I don't think I'd ever be where I am today." Sen said with a toothy grin, his eyes widening with the desire to challenge the man to another duel, another contest to see who will prevail. The old him had begun to arise once more from being in the home of these old enemies and he can almost hear the battle-cries of the two families fighting. He could almost feel the eel skin coating of his once-existing blade in his hands, rubbing against the skin. He visualized just kicking the table of food over and beginning another battle, another conflict. These feelings always remained within him from his past and always found a way to wish to reemerge during every anniversary dinner the Hamazaki and Yotsuya would have together. Old habits died hard, and old lifestyles never truly leave.

He was older than the Sen that would try to start something though, and as soon as Hotaru spoke Sen was back to suppressing his desires, remaining loyal to his duties as Hokage of the village and representative of the Hamazaki first and foremost, rather than a ronin seeking battle whenever available. With his eyes fixated on the giant of a man Sen almost forgot about the others, only remembering to look around when the youngest, Shirahagi, spoke up and asked him what it was like being Kage so far. He blinked a few times before settling his eyes onto the attractive features of the one he had originally had a desire for. "Sometimes it's nice, knowing I can do some good for the place and help make sure the clans don't kill each other, but other times it can be.. less than desirable. As someone that only spent time in the field leading mercenary bands and helping others fight for a cause bigger than themselves, switching to a desk and being guarded is pretty uncomfortable. Makes it hard to keep training ny myself."

He'd lean back for a moment though, considering something for a moment. He had a small plan in mind to possibly get what he wants should his father pick up on it right away. He glanced over to Gosha's neutral face, raising his brows for but a few moments before leaning back forward, facing the Yotsuya male again. "Sometimes it gets a little much, but it's a great cause knowing I can make a difference. I heard though that usually leaders tend to have an assistant or apprentice, so I may consider getting one to help with the workload and to make things a bit more open for me to go from faction to faction and ensure that I am the leader they can back."

With another short glance to his father, all he saw was a subtle nod, ensuring him that the aged Hamazaki knew exactly what his son was thinking mentioning such a thing. Sen knew that the two men had a plan to get him the things he had desired tonight almost right away. With his desire put on a short hold, Sen would instead move his attention to the food before him and the others, looking up to the still empty space of their family head. He looked towards Hotaru, his brow furrowing. "Are we actually early to the dinner this time around? I don't believe I remember your husband being absent like this." The first thought to his mind was that with the two guards outside, the shortstop and the warrior giant nearby, and Hotaru being the only one here that probably can't defend herself that this could definitely become a trap fast. He hoped there would be some sort of pipe or metal object nearby that could possibly give him the advantage if it is indeed a trap. If not, he'll have to rely on his physical abilities to protect his father. If he's fast enough, he could possibly capture their mother and use her as a hostage. From there it should be as simple as outrunning Gindayu and keeping an eye on Shirahagi, however Sen didn't wish to take such a risk.

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Post by Shirahagi on Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:55 pm

Goso's intent behind his words were lost upon Shirahagi who remained blissfully ignorant of the unintentional insult he made towards the two Hamazaki, simply nodding in agreement after Goso began speaking. In his mind both Goso and Sei weren't outsiders. Rather, invited guests to his rather less than illustrious home. Though his distrust still swirled within him, he did truly respect these two men alongside the rest of the Hamazaki. They were all apart of a grander thing after all that surpasses concepts such as clans. They were the defenders of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, an occupation Shirahagi took exceptional pride in. That was not to say that he did not care for his family or consider them unimportant. Rather, this was something they all partook in and swore to. This, in-theory, only further strengthened the newly forming bonds between the Hamazaki and Yotsuya. Which, in-turn, makes Konoha stronger. To say Shirahagi was pleased would be an understatement.

Regardless, Shirahagi would listen to Sei as he spoke, multiple blinks and all, as he began explaining his experiences as kage. He watched the lizardman with curious eyes as he explained how he essentially liked it due to his being able of keeping the peace and helping others while also kinda disliking it due it being the polar opposite of how his former life usually was. Honestly, Shirahagi agreed with him on several levels. Though it must be enjoyable to see the thankful faces and hear the accepting words of those that you've helped, it must have been a tiring job for the simple fact of how monotonous it must be at times. He would lightly cock his head for a moment, however, seeing Sei kneel back in his thoughts and giving Goso a look. Not a particularly quick one either. Curious over that entire little thing, he would open his mouth to speak only to be quickly cut off as his kage began to talk again. "I thought you would've had an assistant by now." Shirahagi said, leaning his head on his hand as he conversed with Sei. "Surely that can't be that difficult?" he asked, admittingly not what sort of qualifications would be required for such a position and also not knowing he checked out on every single one of them for the reptilian man. Surely there was some qualified people out there who fit what Sei was looking for.

Again, however, Shirahagi would notice the silent communication between Goso and his son, furrowing his brows as to what was going on between them. Just what in the world was going on? What were they planning? As far as he could tell it was just them here, making them outnumbered by a decent amount should anything bad go down. Not to mention, the entirety of his family save for himself and Hotaru were highly skilled shinobi. They very much stood a chance against the Hokage. He was about to think out a possible plan should something go down but was interrupted at the utterance of an awkward laugh. In the main entrance to the dining room stood two people, both holding hands as they stood side-by-side whilst soaking wet, uncomfortable in the presence of their family.

"Hello.." uttered one of them, a man who stood possibly around 6' 0" in height. His hair was tied into a flowing ponytail while his jawline housed a sparse, short beard. Wearing a more plain and faded kimono than the other Yotsuya, he did his best to appear proud and stalwart despite his discomfort being quite evident.

"I hope we aren't too late,"
began the woman next to him, various parts of her body forming into small skin-colored patches of scales on her otherwise normal form, "the rain made it hard to navigate. We're also sorry for leaving a trail of drips." She wore her faded pink hair in a traditional bun while her yukata, like her partner's, was noticeably less glamorous and well-made when compared to everyone else in the room. Upon custom, all three present Yotsuya stood from their seats and lightly bowed to their guests, with Hotaru flat-out leaving her's and happily greeting the duo. "Fuya! Kiranosuke! It's been so long!" she chirped with glee, quickly leading them to the table. Casting one last suspicious glance towards Goso and Sei, Shirahagi would turn his attention to the couple. They had sat right next to him, with Fuya being directly beside him while Kiranosuke sat beside her. After the usual pleasantries of not having to worry about the mess and being happy they made it, Hotaru would turn her attention back towards Sei. "Sorry about that," she began as she pushed aside a stray strand of hair, "I hope we do, I put a lot of effort in this meal." It wouldn't have been the first time where all the food had gone to waste because of some argument between families, with Hotaru ultimately trying to avoid that outcome as much as possible this year. "To be honest, I don't know what he or my daughters are doing at the moment. I'll g-"

"That is not necessary." came an old, rough voice from the opposing doorway which lead to the other portions of the house. There, before the entrance of it, stood the three remaining members of the Yotsuya family. To the left was a woman, her hair short and mildly grey. She stood at a solid 6' 3", taller than most average men. Her kimono was a vibrant red but bore no pattern to it, much like the man who stood to her left. Despite this, she looked almost nothing like him. Her face which, under normal circumstances would've been considered fairly attractive, was mangled.  Her right cheek spanning to the middle of her neck was horrendously burned and scarred, the now healed tissue having a texture not unlike that of rough leather. Her lower chin held three small verticals scars which seemed to be claw marks while her right eye socket bore not an actual eye, but a nugget made of the purest and smoothest sapphire. She was Higuchi, the eldest child of Hotaru.

To the right was a fairly younger woman, sizing in at a mere 5' 7" in height. As opposed to Hotaru, who wore only sparse make-up, and Higuchi who didn't even wear any, she was very much gussied up. Blues and purples formed a generally appealing aesthetic on her face while matching with her dark purple yukata, designed with fresh ripened plums that shined in the light. Her hair was tied in an ornate yet cutesy style, obviously meant to show off rather than just look good. Her skin was also quite smooth as well, with the only visible imperfection starting at the lower right corner of her neck going down, disappearing into her clothing. She was Otei, the third child of Hotaru.

In the middle, however, was the man of the hour. Standing at a solid  6' 5" with a very large frame and body was the leader of the entire Yotsuya family. To the outsider looking in, he seemed just to be a rather large fat man, with the only clue pointing otherwise were his hand. Like Gindayu's they were hard and strong, if a bit more weathered than his son's. The closest thing his head could be really compared to would be a tatter-tot in shape, his very short hair appearing as fuzz on the top of his head. His eyes were indiscernible, being almost entirely close and almost giving off the impression that he was blind. Not a single follicle of hair rested on his aged face, his most prominent feature instead being a single wart right next to his nose to the left. The kimono he wore was completely devoid of any design, instead being of a solid black in color. What did vary from the others at the table, however, was that he wore a haori as well, denoting his status as patriarch and leader of the household. He was Gorōji, Hotaru's husband and father to the four siblings.

"Forgive us," Gorōji began as the trio calmly made their way the table. Higuchi avoided any sort of direct eye-contact with the Hamazaki and Kiranosuke, while Otei simply flashed a smile at them before turning her attention to her family. "I misplaced my attire and my daughters helped me look for it." his voice was dry and toneless as he situated himself opposite to Sei while Higuchi sat directly next to Hotaru and Gindayu while Otei went to the only remaining sit, between Gindayu and Sei. "It is good to see you again Gosha, Lord Hokage." Shirahagi's eyes would widen a bit, turning towards the older Hamazaki. Gosha? Not Goso like he had thought this entire evening? "Godammnit... " he quietly cursed as his cheeks heated a little in self-embarrassment. It wasn't the first time he got names wrong and he was hoping that he finally got it right. Naturally, that wasn't the case. Regardless, Gorōji would turn towards Fuya and Kiranosuke, speaking the various formalities of welcoming them to his home before plainly complementing the food before him, as he does every year. It was a ritual everyone was well aware of this point.

"May the lost lives of loved ones not be lost in vain as we continue our shared peace. You may begin." With the trivialities out of the way Shirahagi would immediately begin filling the bowl before him with race and beefs and other things, his hunger no longer needing to be resisted as he dug into his meal whilst his family were still choosing what to get first as they slowly filled their bowls.

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If you're confused on the seating arrangement, it's this::

Gorōji
Kiranosuke | Hotaru
Fuya | Higuchi
Shirahagi | Gindayu
Gosha | Otei
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Post by Sen Hamazaki on Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:18 pm

Sen watched as his beautiful sister appeared, arriving with Kiranosuke, his brother in law. He held no ill will to Kiranosuke, making him one of the only four members of this family he actually held no disdain for. For Fuya to arrive however, brought a different sort of ill will. Sen held none, but he couldn't bare looking at her, especially since she was one of the ones that had sided with the Yotsuya during the kidnapping incident, almost leading to her flatout shunning him. He felt betrayed, as the family was meant to be a unit unlike most other Hamazaki, the best of the best coming to fruition in their respective fields and bringing a unity unheard of to their clan, but instead the only thing that stun more than the guilt of causing his sister to no longer like him would be the knife still lodged in his back. She was but a hostage for the Yotsuya, even if her and her husband didn't see that. Sen could, he knew some of what his father was like, and how similar he saw their own father in that regard. "My beautiful daughter. It's been so long! I'm overjoyed to see you still doing so well." He heard his father speak out cheerfully to Fuya, offering her and Kiranosuke a small bow to display formality.

The Hokage was extremely skeptical of such a thing as the family head misplacing his clothes and requiring the help of two would-be kidnappers to help him find it. Such a thought was hilariously silly, especially for someone that was supposed to be some sort of strong and intelligent man. No, Sen knew at this point even if Gosha may be playing along with the facade, and that was that chances are the leader was either plotting something odd, was taking him time as an insult, or was merely speaking about the Hamazaki behind closed doors. Sen didn't even bother keeping track of the two's surroundings outside of the room up until this point. Now he would keep his ears ready to hear any muffled movement around them, and his nose ready to smell out what could be a familiar stench of sweat made from moving around in armor, of those whose scents are not familiar unlike the ones within the room. The smell of food may be great, but Sen had the nose of a bloodhound, and ears to match. He figured it was just Goroji taking his time and talking smack about the two behind closed doors, but just in case he would already pull his chopsticks out of his robes and place them on the table, the vibrating feeling of his magnetic field already covering his body. If anything happened, he would certainly be ready.

It didn't help that Higuchi and Otei actually arrived with him. Sen absolutely despised the two most of all for the kidnapping incident that had made him lose his kinship with his sister. His blood still boiled when he saw them, seeing the two as nothing more than animals, attack dogs for their daddy. Hell, the mere fact that he was able to escape both in the manner he did showed at the very least that by his standards they were already mentally little more than attack dogs. He would have to factor in the presence of the two into any incident that may occur. If he acted fast, a piercing of the throat, then a withdrawal of his utensils to help him fend off anyone else temporarily, but certainly he would shoot for them first out of all of them, out of pure spite.

Sen's eyes fixated on Shirahagi as Goroji spoke, correcting his naming of the two almost right away. He watched as the boy seemed to be embarrassed from what had happened, even seeing his cheeks flush. 'Cuuute.' Sen mused to himself with a slight, warm smile before looking back towards the Yotsuya family head, emotion clearing right away as he had settle himself down at the table. Next would come what happens every year, a worthless formality where Goroji declares the peace between the families yadayadayada in a bunch of meaningless words that only mean something on the surface. It's formality for the two families to not kill each other, but one would only be a fool to be convinced those words meant anything. How many times have they clashed against one another? Innocent blood was shed on both sides, and despite Sen's desire for there to be no more orphans, he wasn't foolish enough to see that a small pact can just put everything to rest.

"To peace and no more family sacrificed in reckless bloodshed, whether it be the guilty or innocent, uncles or brothers." Sen replied, putting emphasis on a certain word, his pronunciation of it even providing a bit or a sharp tone in comparison to the rest of what he said. The whole situation was a sore spot for him, for both what Goroji had taken is part in and what his own father had done. Nights of telling himself something is for the greater good pales in comparison to actually doing the greater good, and as someone who has devoted his life to the latter thus far, Sen could easily tell a self-made lie from the harsh truth. The slight made was a subtle one, but even subtly can provide plenty of relief.

"Goroji, I actually had an idea while we were waiting for you, and I hoped we could work out a sort of wager." Sen began after seeing his father nod to him in the midst of their eating, with his bringing his bowl of rice to the table. "I know that as a patriarch of your family you're looking for ways to keep your family thriving, and I as Hokage am looking for someone to bring under my wing, to teach my knowledge and skills should anything happen to me. It has taken a while, but I believe both my father and I have come to an agreement as to what it may be." Sen began, knowing that his proposition was a selfish one, but he couldn't help himself. What Shirahagi had said about his needing an assistant was what sealed the deal for him. It was confirmation that this individual whom he had seen every year would actually be the one that he desired to have under his tutelage, especially considering Sen not seeing much change every year.

"You see, Lord Yotsuya, I wish to duel you or a member of your family for the prize of your son Shirahagi becoming my student. I know however that given the past our families share though that this isn't exactly something easily done, so in this duel, should I win, I gain your son as a student. Should I lose, however.." His voice trailed off for a moment as he lifted his right hand, three fingers extended. "I will grant any three wishes you have. As Hokage, I can make anything you wish happen, whether it's gaining a significant portion of land or.. ending a certain rival and their family. The village would essentially be yours to dictate." He wondered if the disdain was mutual. If so, Sen couldn't see much of a way for the family head to deny his offer. Afterall, his coldhearted request was nothing more than an offer to freely destroy the remainder of the family that had killed a member of his own. Sen knows the pain of losing a loved one well, and he knows for sure such pain cannot easily be dismantled, so in this moment he was almost positive that the offer would be accepted.

"Son, are you sure-"

"Yes father, I'm sure. After all, this is a friendly wager in good faith. There won't be any killing or maiming, just a friendly spar." He responded, his muscles already aching to fight. His old self would've sprung over the table, attacked the family, and taken Shirahagi by force to teach, but Sen was no longer that person. He wasn't even sure he would even allow Goroji make any wishes that would mean the harm of another as it goes against his own beliefs, but he wasn't about to say that out-loud. It was that mutual disdain he was hoping to feed off of, after-all.

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Post by Shirahagi on Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:05 pm

The light sting done by Sei through a certain word was felt by most at the table, causing the formerly formal, if not, routine mood become a bit more tense. Both Higuchi and Otei paused for a single instant, their eyes narrowing at the greenhorn and green-skinned Kage before going back to filling their bowls, as if nothing had happened. Hotaru, Fuya, and Kiranosuke were visibly taken aback, the three doing a mixture of either scratching their face or playing with their hair for a moment in-order to play off their surprise and do their best to not bring any attention. Gorōji and Gindayu did not visibly react to the light jab, instead just calmly getting and eating their food as if nothing was even said. Shirahagi, however, didn't even notice that Sei actually said something. The young Yotsuya was too busy trying to gracefully stuff his face to notice the slightly tense aura of the table, distracted by the heavenly tastes that permeated through his entire mouth.

The beef, boneless and lightly spiced, practically made his palate dance as the juices were lightly squeezed out with each chew. And the rice, oh the rice! He couldn't get enough of it. He actively did his best to appear calm and nonchalant like his siblings, not allowing his absolute love for the food show, but he couldn't help let out a few pleased moans here and there and actively his bowl a bit too hurriedly when compared to the rest of his family. He just couldn't get enough of it. Although he was being taken on a free ride to FlavorTown, Shirahagi was not too far gone to not hear what Sei had began speaking about again.

The entire family listened with great interest at the young Hokage's proposition, with Shirahagi's mouth dropping at the mentioning of him essentially being a prize in this entire affair. Truth be told, it would be a lie if Shirahagi said he wasn't flattered. Being handpicked by the Hokage to become their student was nothing to sneeze about after all. Surely Sei had recognized in him something, something that held great potential and promise in-order to have been specifically chosen. To say he felt validated would be an understatement. Yet... Shirahagi knew how his father felt towards the Hamazaki. He knew of the rage buried deep in his breast for his lost brother. He knew of the envy his father felt when looking at that Hokage uniform. Shirahagi looked towards him. Gorōji sat silently, his expression as calm and monotone as ever as he faced Sei. It was obvious the older man was thinking deeply, contemplating the scaly young man's words. After all, to outright turn down three favors from a Kage would be beyond foolish. Still, a tug could be felt in Shirahagi's chest. He didn't want his father to swallow anymore of his pride and he had too much self-respect to simply be a little trinket either side gets for winning.

"Father!" Shirahagi stood abruptly, standing short and proud as he faced Sei with growing determination. "Allow me to represent myself and duel Lord Sei for the honor of our family! I wi-"

"His name is Sen and you'd die just from him tipping you over!" Shirahagi looked at Otei who had trouble holding back a laugh, her and Higuchi's burrowing deep into him.

"You've gotten fatal wounds from all of us just from sparring under normal conditions. Honestly Shirahagi, what do you hope to accomplish other than further supplementing yourself as the weakest link." Higuchi added coldly, her words filled with nothing but vitriol and agitation as her sapphire eye seemed to gleam. "Higuchi! Otei! That's enough!" Hotaru said sternly to no avail to her daughters as the youngest Yotsuya shook a little. Shirahagi was very much taken aback, with any hint of determination and bravery fading away as he tried to defend himself. "T-That's not true and both of you know it! I can handle myself." "Handle yourself to Mother maybe." giggled Otei, her eyes suddenly shooting towards both Hamazaki as she spoke. "Be a good little brother and let your big, str-" "I'm not little!" Before anymore bickering could be done, however, Gorōji would slam a heavy fist onto the table. Silence immediately filled the room as the visibly angry man turned towards Shirahagi first. "Shirahagi, my son," he began, his tone stern and low which sent shivers down the young man's spine, "I... appreciate your willingness to preserve the family honor and bravery for facing such an opponent. However, your sisters have a point. You are no where near ready to face anyone such as the Hokage yet, so sit down."

A sort of pain filled Shirahagi's chest, the kind not caused by any sort of physical ailment but from emotional turmoil. He simply nodded, his face turning null as it was before as he slowly sat down, sinking into his chair a bit and casting his gaze downward as Otei smiled and Higuchi merely stared at their now humiliated brother. "That being said," Gorōji continued as he looked at his daughters, his anger visibly rising as veins bulged out of his forehead, "you two acted out of line. A unit is only as strong as their cooperation and honestly towards each other. You insulted Shirahagi, which damages the unit as a whole regardless of what role he plays. Because of that, you've shown neither of you are fit to participate in this wager." Both sisters stared in shock at their father, with Otei even trying to plead with him. Gorōji would have none of however and order her to be silent, causing any sort of her previous glee and mocking nature to disappear.

With three-fourths of his children talked down and not being able to participate in this challenge, Gorōji looked towards his eldest son who quietly ate throughout this entire ordeal. "You've been very quiet, Gindayu." he began, his tone softening and vein slowly disappearing. "I'm always quiet, Father." Gindayu replied, his face not lifting from his food. "True... tell me, would you wish to participate in this 'friendly' wager? It's been a long time since you've seriously fought someone, after all." the giant man would turn his large head toward Sen, staring for a moment as the events of that day played back in his mind. "Hmmm... only if Lord Hokage agrees to having me."

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