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 Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)

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PostSubject: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 7:24 pm

Relations between Hakagakure and the wild tribes that inhabited the Land of Graves were less than stellar. Although neither party ever openly mass attacked the other, many shinobi would go out on parol or following a mission, and be found later with crude knives and spears sticking out of their backs. On the flip side, when small groups of tribesman wandered too close to Hakagakure or ventured across the path of a group of shinobi, it rarely ended pleasantly for the tribesman. As such, tensions were high and even more so lately as reports had been coming in that a cell of shinobi had entered a main camp of the tribesman and murdered many of their people; men, women, even children. Haka couldn't account for these despicable shinobi, but naturally the tribes blamed them. Well, apparently it had now fallen to Laxus to at least attempt to patch things up with the feral manbeasts of the Graves. As he wandered across the dried out landscape of the Land of Graves, Laxus could see a decent size encampment of crude tents huddled together. They surounded a small oasis, with thick, healthy trees and a large pool of fresh water. Many tribes were nomadic, but they constantly traveled between various oasis scattered across the land, as they needed the freshwater for survival. As Laxus approached, he first thought it might be a mirage, showing him what he wanted to see, not what was really there. However, as he got closer he noticed this was the real deal and approached with caution, a white piece of fabric in his hand to show he meant no harm.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 7:38 pm

As Laxus looked upon the encampment in the distance he continued towards it, but at some point, it seemed like he wasn't getting any closer. He would be totally unaware of this however, and after a while his vision would begin to blur, before fading to black. Then a voice would come from behind him. "Don't worry we are ordered to not hurt you, but you need to come with us." the voice said. The voice was rough, clearly a man that had been through a lot. There was other footsteps, someone with a good ear would probably be able to count the number of people, four, maybe five. Another man came up behind Laxus and would place a blindfold on him. "Just in case" he said quietly, his voice was much lighter than the other mans. "Hold the rope with both hands and come along slowly, you try anything you die." the voice said, as what felt like a rough rope was stuffed into Laxus' hands. From the other end of the rope came a slight tug, and they waited for Laxus to get the idea and begin walking towards the direction of the tug.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 8:12 pm

Laxus simply froze in place as the world went black and a voice came out of seemingly nowhere. He wasn't frozen in fear, there was simply no point in walking if he couldn't see where he was going. As the two men spoke to him and blindfolded him, Laxus smiled, Ordered not to hurt me, but if I try anything, you'll kill me? Funny how that works, but scout's honor I won't try any funny business. Laxus put up his right hand before falling silent and allowing himself to be tugged along by the rope. Obviously I want a full report from you two on what in the hell is going on and who these guys are. Not to mention, I need you to track down our location and report back to Haka if anything happens to me. He thought silently to his hive mind. Sylvia responded sweetly, Of course young master, already on it. Ariagnae however was still bitter about Sylvia's intrusion into her host and simply sighed, Yeah, yeah, I'll get to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 8:28 pm

Darun the Dakar was the one in lead, followed closely behind by a younger man who was holding the rope. The other three remained behind Laxus, keeping a steady eye on him, ready to jump on him if he so much as moved in a way they didn't like. Darun walked slowly, it was clear he knew the path well, as he hardly payed attention to where he was walking. The trip moved slowly and they just seemed to be descending into the barren wasteland further and further towards seemingly nothing. After a little over an hour, Darun stopped in the middle of no where. Everyone else stopped as well. One of the three behind Laxus knelt down and placed his palm on the parched stone ground. A large sheet of rock began being drawn back slowly. Once it was fully retracted, a large and dark staircase was clearly visible. Darun began walking again, and the other man pulled the rope again, having Laxus come along down the stairs. The other three followed, but the one that opened the entrance stayed behind and closed it, leaving them in darkness. Darun took an unlit torch from the wall and lit it. The man with the rope took it from Laxus and removed the blindfold. Darun made a small handseal and Laxus' vision would begin to return to him. "We are here." Darun said gruffly and the group continued down the staircase, In the same order as before.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 8:51 pm

Laxus was growing tired of this walking and thought numerous times he should say something, perhaps ask for a break, or just talk about anything really. Not only was he tired of walking, he was bored as hell with it. However, he didn't feel like pissing any of these fine gentleman off at the present, so he just started counting. Sylvia and Ariagnae, his ant queens, had both reported back on the number of captors around him as well as their location. The thing about ants was they had a very keen sense of longitude and latitude, it was eerie sometimes, but useful. Three thousand five hundred and eighty-two. Three thousand five hundred and eighty-four. Three thousand five hundred and- Laxus stopped counting aloud as they slowed to a stop. The one in the back has just opened an earthen staircase, and they want us to descend into it young master. Laxus just nodded as Sylvia reported to him, it probably seemed odd since he was the only one that could hear her, but oh well. Below the ground, with his vision returned, Laxus blinked in the dim light before continuing with the rest of the group, So, uh, where exactly is here?
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 8:58 pm

As they continued down the staircase, it would be noticeable that it had a continuous slight left turn, meaning it was spiraling straight downwards. They continued quietly until Laxus asked a question. At first they just continued walking in silence, but then Darun spoke. "A forgotten weed." he said quietly. They continued down in silence, it was taking a while, they had easily descended several hundred feet by this point. The air was beginning to change, it became mustier and mustier and it was slightly more difficult to get oxygen. For those used to the air it was fine, but for someone unaccustomed to it, it would likely cause some gasping or coughing, nothing serious though.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 9:05 pm

Laxus continued walking, a bit peeved that they had just ignored him until the man in front spoke up. Weed? Not thanks I'm more of a... Laxus looked at the men gathered around him before finishing his joke and realized he wasn't really in the comedy type of company. You know what? Forget it. You guys wouldn't appreciate it anyway. Suddenly he froze and threw his head back to the ceiling, Ah, ah, ah-chooo! He let out a tremendous sneeze before pulling out a handkerchief and blowing his nose, placing the rag back in his pocket. Look, I'm all for the mystery and stuff, but can we just cut to the chase? My job here is to come to an agreement between my village and your people. That's beneficial to both of us. So enough with the games and walking and mysterious words that mean nothing, let's get to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 9:16 pm

When Laxus grew tiresome and began complaining, Duran remained silent. Soon after they came to a large rectangular room with large circular holes in the walls. There was dozens of these holes and they were easily large enough to fit a small horse. "Welcome to the transit. Be still." Duran said with a grin. The man who had opened and closed the entrance stomped on the ground. Instantly what looked like half-cylinders of stone rose out of the ground and then clamped around Laxus tightly, forming a cylinder. The stone that held Laxus rose and inserted into one of the holes in the walls, it then shot downwards at high speeds. The trip would only take about a minute as Laxus traveled through a tunnel system slightly bigger around than the cylinder of stone he was inside. The speeds would begin to die down and a thud would be heard as the cylinder came out of another hole and was locked in place between a metal contraption that fit the cylinder perfectly. The stone cracked and Laxus was set free as the remaining stone from the cylinder sunk slowly into the ground. From here Laxus was greeted by a person wrapped in a dirty-tan cloth, all around their body. The cloth fit tightly and the woman's figure was plainly visible, however her face was covered by a dark brown mask that resembled a boar. "Welcome. Your meeting is this way." she said happily, she was definitely the cheeriest out of everyone else Laxus had met so far, although her voice still had a touch of depression to it, although it was barely noticeable. She began walking off towards a large metal door. The entire room seemed much more modern than anything else so far.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 9:24 pm

Laxus was surprised by the size of the room they had entered, it was bigger than the staircase they had been descending through the past several minutes. Then again, most passageways were bigger than that one. As Duran locked him into place in the earthen cylinders, his entire body tensed up as the insects crawling beneath his skin seemed to sense danger. Laxus silently quelled them and simply said, Relax, if they wanted to kill me, they would've done so by now. Let's see where this goes. The insects seemed to simmer down and relax a bit as Laxus suddenly shot through a small opening, locked into this cylinder contraption. WOOOHOOOO!! He echoed through the hole and back into the room where Duran and the others were. The ride was short as he stumbled out of the cylinder that seemed to melt back into the ground. He looked around, finding a strangely dressed...woman? He wasn't sure, considering her attire gave nothing away to her gender, but he just assumed it was a she. Holy crap, have you ever been on that thing? I hope I get to ride that again before I leave. Laxus said with genuine enthusiasm before following the boar-headed woman.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 9:34 pm

She laughed slightly at his remark, "I know right?" she agreed excitedly. "Ahem... anyways, here we are..." she said, opening the door and beckoning him to go on in. After he did so, she would go in as well and close the door behind them. Inside this room was a large wooden table and at the far end of it sat a man well into his fifties or sixties. The man was dressed like the woman, but his face was visible, unlike hers. The room itself was more modern, like the last one, and there was two empty seats. One of them was taken by the woman that had greeted Laxus, and the other one remained empty. The rest of the seats were full of people dressed like the woman, they all had masks that resembled beasts like hers. "Welcome to the Tribe of Hokori... Shinobi." said the man in an eccentric voice.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 9:49 pm

Laxus entered the large room and looked around at the faces, or rather face and masks, that were seated at the table. He scanned them, memorizing each and every one as his ants did so as well. They would discern their posture, body temperatures, and other such subtleties that many of these people probably didn't even realize they were exhibiting. Approaching the only empty seat, Laxus first bowed to the entire table in respect before seating himself in the chair. He pulled out several documents that the village had given him for the meeting, placing them neatly on the table in front of himself. He then looked up at the man and cleared his throat, First of all, I would like to thank you, all of you, he said, making eye contact, or at least mask to eye contact, with each person at the table, for your hospitality this afternoon. On behalf of not only my village, but myself personally, I'd also like to thank you for agreeing to this meeting today. I hope, no I believe, that together we can come to a mutual understanding and help one another, instead of simply coexisting. This was no longer the Laxus that had been traveling with the five members of the Hokori tride, this was business Laxus. It was time to get down to diplomatic duty, quickly and without hesitation.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 10:02 pm

The obvious headsman smiled and bowed his head slightly. The rest of the members at the table placed their palms together and bowed slightly as well, a deeper bow than the headsman though, to show that they were less esteemed than him. "I thank you for your manners, I am Denetri and this is my family." he said, his words were charismatic, they held kindness and warmth, but also a touch of intimidation in his voice, whether it was accidental or on purpose was unknown, but it was clear how he had reached his position in the tribe. Everyone at the table with masks on removed them and placed the on the table in front of themselves. They were all people Laxus didn't know, some women and some men. The woman that had greeted Laxus was obviously the youngest, looking to be only slightly older than Laxus, her late teens most likely. Her features were soft, and she had short black hair. "I believe you've already met Sunetra." he said, looking to the girl. "Enough with introductions though, lets get to business." he paused, "Do you know who we are?"

Denetri:
 

Sunetra:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 10:09 pm

Laxus scanned the room as everyone removed their masks. He took an extra long second or five to stare at the woman who had greeted him. Sunetra, huh? Pretty name for a pretty girl. He thought to himself silently as the rest of the group removed their masks and situated themselves again. You're staring. Sylvia said, with a trace of what Laxus could only assume was jealousy. And drooling. Ariagnae added with the same tinge of jealousy. Laxus would have rolled his eyes if it weren't for the others gathered in the room looking at him, Pfft, women. He thought to himself. We can hear your thoughts dumbass. Ariagnae replied. Oh, right. Laxus tuned back into the conversation in front of him and shook his head respectively to Denetri's question, I'm afraid I know very little about your people, thought I'd be gracious for any knowledge you might be willing to share with me and my people.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 10:18 pm

Sunetra noticed his eyes lock on her a moment and she blushed slightly, averting her eyes to her mask on the table, wishing she could hide under it. Denetri grinned at the prospect of speaking of his accomplishments. "Well you see, the concept of what we are is simple, achieving it however is quite difficult." He said, thinking back on all his work on creating his beloved tribe. "You see, everyone at this table, besides you of course, is the head of their respective tribe. These tribes were scattered all over the land of graves, some being comprised of nothing but a few tents. Their lives were hard, and food in this land is scarce. What we are... is the combination of all those tribes, we have become one. The Tribe of Hokori." he explained. "That is who we are." he finished with a smile. "Together we are powerful, and large. Not as large as your dear village of course, but these caverns go on for miles, thousands of rooms branching into other rooms. Our size is hidden, but I assure you we are much more than we seem to be." he said, reveling in his accomplishments.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 10:24 pm

Laxus nodded thoughtfully as Denetri spoke, but out of the corner of his eye he could see Sunetra blush and he had to do everything he could not to smile. I see, so then our reports are next to useless. Instead of there being dozens of tribes scattered throughout the wastelands, there is but one. I must say, I applaud the unification, it's something that Hakagakure has had...hm...trouble with other hidden villages for as far back as anyone can remember. Laxus said, thinking back to the stories he had been told of his great great grandfather and great grandmother having to flee Hakagakure when the other villages staged a co'up against him. Laxus shook his head, I'm afraid I don't understand then. What is it that you all need? Your underground system, from the little I've seen anyway, is impressive to say the least. You're obviously capable of surviving on your own. As I said, I want us to be able to help one another, not just ignore the other.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 10:36 pm

There was total silence as Laxus spoke, and for a few seconds after he did. Denetri let out a bellowing laugh. "Forgive me, but I thought it was obvious." he said, his laugh dying down. It was now that Denetri's smile disappeared and he took on a much darker voice. "What we want... is to grow. We have reached the limits of this underground system, our population is too high for the small area. Did you notice the air on your way in? Our newborn children cannot breath the air, a child hasn't been born here in years. Not one that has lived past it's first day at least." he said. Upon mention of the dying children, Sunetra's face took on one of pain, everyone in the room grimaced slightly at the mention of the subject, but her reaction was easily the strongest. "I know what you are thinking, you think we should move to the surface correct?" he paused, as if waiting for a response, even though the question was rhetorical. "Like you I'm sure, we have enemies. We wouldn't last a month living on the surface, there are other organizations much stronger than us that would wipe us out... Your village has room, a flourishing economy, everything we would need. The problem, is I'm afraid we refuse to join a hidden village, especially Hakagakure." he finished at last, with a sigh.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 11:12 pm

For a moment, Laxus was speechless. It had been obvious, he should have thought about it before opening his mouth. For whatever reason, he simply assumed that the people down here had adapted to the lack of clean air, but of course newborns didn't have time to adapt. Laxus nodded, I understand your distaste for my village, and unfortunately many of our people may not welcome you with open arms. However, you do not need to join the village to receive aid from it. Our village is underground, nowhere near as deep as this complex you've built, but still beneath the surface. From what I've seen you obviously have able bodied builders with earth release chakra. If you were to build on top of us, each of us could offer protection and resources to the other. You would not have to fear your enemies, nor would you need to become a part of Hakagakure. As for us, keep this network up, keep it running. With a few changes we could change this into a massive hub for scouting much of the area within the Land of Graves. Invaders wouldn't stand a chance. Laxus stopped talking, opening the floor to anyone who wished to comment or build off of his proposition.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 11:28 pm

Denetri remained quiet as Laxus thought and then gave his proposal, but at the end Denetri frowned. "Many go in and out of your village, it is busy with merchants and the bustling life of civilians. We are well away of the ceiling of Hakagakure's cavern, you can see up, we cannot see down. Our existence would be well known and obvious, and our enemies would find us with ease, we may as well live on the surface." He replied. "We are close neighbors to your village, we know many things I'm sure you'd rather us not. The rule under the shogun is weak, villages will most likely break off sometime in the near future. We hate to do this, but I'm afraid we would happily use our intel against you if we ended up coming to a disagreement. The other villages would happily give us Hakagakure's cavern if they were able to wipe out a powerful threat thanks to us. So as you can see, your position is a bit difficult, your village must have something else they can offer?" He said quietly.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 11:43 pm

Laxus nodded once more before leaning back in his chair and lowering his head. He crossed his left arm in front of his chest and raised his right to his head, rubbing his temples with his fingers and covering his face with an open hand as he thought in silence. Finally, after a long minute or two, he looked up again and locked eyes with Denetri, It seems we're at a bit of a crossroads then. I must admit your mens' attempt at keeping the location of this place a secret was impressive and would've worked for many people. Unfortunately, I am not like most people. I have many friends, you can't see them, nor will you. However, they know my exact location at all times. It would take less than a day for them to report back to Hakagakure about my location and for a force to be brought out here and annihilate you all. Laxus paused, letting that sink in for everyone, but not breaking eye contact with Denetri. After a minute, he visibly relaxed and smiled, Of course, no one wants that. It would only take one of you to live to report to the other villages the intel you have on our village, and then what? We're all headed to hell in a hand basket. I don't know what my village can offer you if you don't tell me what you want. You say your young ones are dying because of how deep beneath the surface you live, yet you refuse to move to the surface where the air is clean and your tribe would flourish. I'm afraid I need more information on what you truly desire before I can offer anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   3rd January 2014, 11:51 pm

Denetri laughed at Laxus reply. "You are a smart young man, certainly destined for a high place in life. And a shinto I take it? Yes that does create a problem." He said with a grin, he seemed to be a jolly person no matter what, deep down though one could only guess what was going on. Sunetra let out a sigh, the rest of the members seemed to be deep in thought. "Isn't it clear? I.... we want Hakagakure itself." he said at last. Following his statement there would be silence among everyone, they had been quiet the whole time, but now there was a greater silence, not a breath could be heard. The situation was tense, and the other tribe leaders were clearly doubtful of their ability to be so aggressive with a hidden village.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   4th January 2014, 12:07 am

Laxus looked at the rest of the old tribe heads that were gathered around the table, their distant stares at the floor and unwillingness to make eye contact with him made it more than clear to Laxus the truth behind Denetri's words. Now it was Laxus's turn to laugh, and so he did. Although, it was a bit of a chuckle really, as he shook his head and took a nonchalant position in his chair with one leg crossed over the other and his hands folded across his chest. I don't think you understand your position Denetri. I came in here, wishing to come to a resolution in which no blood will have to be shed. Yet, here you sit with a dying tribe and demand we hand over our village? You request something that will inevitably end up in the destruction of your entire tribe. You'll put up a good fight I'm sure, take many lives in Hakagakure without a doubt, but in the end, you'll all be dead. Each and every one of you. If you try to retreat or run, we will systematically hunt you down and kill you before you even see the surface again. The people of Haka have learned from their past, they're ruthless and rarely take the merciful route. Laxus took on a more serious tone towards the end and continued it through as he looked to the rest of the people gathered around, specifically the girl, I can see it in your eyes, the way no one speaks when he does. You all carry fear for this man. In your hearts you know you'll be crushed. Who knows, maybe we won't even have to do it, we can just wait it out until you all die here, in the massive coffin you built for yourselves. Are you listening to this man? He means to lead you to certain death, when a perfectly safe and more desirable option is not only there, but has been offered to him. He's not your leader, he's your executioner.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   4th January 2014, 12:32 am

As Laxus spoke, something filled the room, an emotion they hadn't felt in a long time. Hope. Sunetra looked up at Laxus and deep into his eyes. She saw something that she couldn't explain, but it gave her hope. His harsh words of them all being killed made the mood darker, but when he reached out to the others in the room, the mood took a turn. Sunetra stood up, with tears in her eyes. "Sir if I may... it may be in our best interests to consider the proposition of this man, err... Hakagakure. I don't want... my people to die, our people. War would just bring death, even if we managed to win with the help of other villages." she said to Denetri. Murmurs began in the room, the others talking among themselves. Denetri stood up and slammed his fists on the table. "Enough! You have brought war to your village..." he yelled. "Kill him." he said with a wave of his hand, disgusted with Laxus. Most of the clan heads weren't shinobi, so who he had ordered to kill Laxus would be a mystery, for about a second. Then quiet words would be heard from his right, "Forgive me." she said, holding back her tears. Sunetra drew a katana and went in for a strike at Vacuum release speeds towards Laxus' midsection. The remaining tribe heads remained seated at the table as a wall of stone came down, blocking them off from everyone else. Then the room Laxus and Sunetra were in seemed to widen, making more room for them.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   4th January 2014, 12:46 am

Laxus tensed up as Sunetra began speaking, this wasn't going to end well. Denetri had let power go to his head and nothing this girl could say would change his mind. It came has no surprise when Denetri gave the order to kill Laxus, but still it saddened him. As the words of a saddened girl came from his right, Laxus pushed off from the table. The chair fell and slid along the ground as the slash cut air right where he had been sitting. As the chair slid, he rolled off of it backwards, coming up in a standing position and stopping the sliding chair with his right foot. Drawing his own sword, Laxus frowned with sadness. Sunetra was the last person in the room he wanted to hurt, but if he had to then so be it. Sunetra, listen to me. He's gone mad with power, he'll drive you all into an early grave. If we kill him, you can take his seat as head of the tribe. You can lead your people to a time of prosperity and peace instead of war and certain demise. On the path he's taking you, in a hundred years, the Hokori Tribe will be long forgotten. You'll be erased from history, forgotten and thrown to the sands of time. Don't make me kill you.
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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   4th January 2014, 12:55 am

Sunetra sighed as she finally lost control of her tears and one ran down her cheek. "Even if I agreed to that, they would collapse the room on us. If I fail in killing you, you die regardless." She said somberly. "I'm sorry it has to come to this." she said as she she slashed the ground and created a wave of energy that flew towards laxus at B-rank speeds. The slash was weak, almost lazy, it was clear she was holding back. Whether she realized it or not was unintelligible though. Her real limitations in battle were hard to say, her techniques were that of a samurai though, that much was obvious. Where she had learned such things when she had been raised in a small tribe her whole life was a mystery as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Tea with the Tribe (A-rank Mission)   4th January 2014, 1:08 am

Laxus easily backed away from the shockwave, far enough that by the time it reached him, it did little more than simply ripple the ground beneath him. With his back to the wall, Laxus frowned in thought. Well, what are you waiting for? Kill her! Ariagnae said in the hive mind. Sylvia chimed in as well, It's us or her young master, better it be her than us. Laxus shook his head, You heard her, they'll collapse the walls on us even if I kill her. There's no point in killing her... Laxus turned and looked up at the earthen wall holding him in. His sword arm began to vibrate minutely as he smiled with realization, ...when you can kill him instead. he finished. Jumping back from the wall, Laxus began striking at the air, producing dozens of condensed air needles that bombarded the earthen walls. He directed them to attack a small area, not going for anything big, but a hole large enough to fit through. Sunetra, I just found our way out. He called to her from over his shoulder as he landed, waiting for the dust to clear.

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