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 Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)

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Akihana Akari
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PostSubject: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:13 pm

The walk was supposed to be to clear her head, the kunoichi reminded herself as she slipped on her simple sandals, unwrapping the long shawl from around her golden head as she exited the mosque. Various words of farewell trailed after her as she left the place of warship, her light blue shawl for once not making any efforts to hide her trademark hair. She had been out to clear ehr head, but that was twenty minutes ago.

Now she was coming out of a mosque with a basket of complementary meat based foods in her hands, a trail of children following her hoping to catch a word of praise of a whiff of the food she carried. On any normal occasion, she would have given them it too. Thanks to the reforms Denkiteki and his team had brought to Hoshi, food was no longer a scarcity, water aplenty, buildings sound and people - for the most part - at peace.

"I'm sorry darling, but this is for Master Kozai, our resident librarian," Akihana apologized to a little girl who came up to her with big eyes and empty hands. "But I'll tell you what, you can have this," she offered, unwrapping the powder blue shawl from around her shoulder and wrapping over the girl who promptly began to dance with it, her face all smiles.

"And this," Akihana added, leaning down to kiss the top of the little girl's head. A few minutes later, she was on her way, dressed in a simple white garment and sandals, hair lose and fluttering in the wind and the small basket wedged in her arm. Sure there were problems. The Queen now slept more than she stayed conscious, Arata's room had turned up things she had not imagined possible in her little boy's mind, there was a persistent emptiness inside her body that refused to go away. All of that could have been cured by a simple, quiet walk to clear her head.

And yet that would have been self serving, so instead the Kunoichi had stopped off at the nearest mosque, inspecting their water supply lines to ensure the area for their ritualistic ablutions before prayers was well filtered and drained. Then she had stopped by to wish the Imam a good evening as he had prepared for Friday afternoon Jamaat and finally, she was off to see the man who had brought Denkiteki in a most unusual manner to Hoshi and who had since then holed himself up in the Hoshigakure archives. The man had caused no trouble, as she knew he wouldn't. Den seemed to be agreeable to that fact too which just went to show that people showed you their best when you let them.

Today however, they had more serious things to discuss. It was time for Kozai Yuki to make a conscious decision about what he wanted his status in Hoshigakure to be and Akihana hoped their views aligned.

Reaching the library a few more minutes later, she was shown in by the pair of Queensmen at the door. Waiting respectfully out front, Akihana would pick up a book of poetry, patiently waiting Kozai's entrance.


You're awesome, give yourself a treat. <3

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly, to be fearful of the night."

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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:07 pm

Ah... at last! Kozai put the last book of his new shipment in, and looked around proudly (without smiling) at the library around him. So much better. A cleaner, more well run establishment (even though he was practically his only employee). Not only that, but the books that were in here were of a much more... diverse worldview than the ones that were there before. Things like "Mere Morality" by some author or another were still there, but were now side by side with sections such as "analysis of the photoelectric effect of butterflies", and "Brave New World" by some guy named Huxley. 

No sooner had he dusted off his hands, then the little dark haired girl came running in. She had visited the library a few times already, but hadn't found many books to her liking. Now, though, she nodded at him with a rushed movement and scampered off to the back. Huh... wasn't that where the microbiology books were? How interesting. About fifty meters off, he noticed that woman, Akihana, coming towards the building. Oh, goodness. Had he done something wrong? Quickly, his mind scanned over the list of rules that were not to be violated while in the village. 

Well.... he hadn't really broken any. Then was it just a...... friendly visit? That seemed likely, from what he knew of her character. Very well, that was fine, he thought, as she inched closer on his sensory "radar". At that moment, the girl (he called her "sheh-chan", as her actual name was too difficult for him to pronounce) burst forth, carrying a large microbiology textbook.

"Mm, this one please, Mr. Librarian!"

Uh.... was that for her? There was an eager look in her eyes, and she was clutching the textbook with.... well, enough of that. He gave her a look.

"Ah, Sheh-chan...." at that, she blushed. Why does he have to call me that? she thought. But... why do I feel so funny when he calls me that? 

"Is that book... for you?" She blushed even more now. Her secret had been found out! He took it from her, stamped it, and recorded it in his records.

"This will be due in three weeks. Treat it well." He winked at her in a relatively friendly way, and she ran headlong out of the library, with a giant (somewhat advanced) textbook in her arms. Amazing... she was younger than he had been when he had gotten involved in that level of science. Was she some kind of genius?

No sooner had the red-faced girl dashed out, then he noticed Akihana's presence in the atrium. Why she didn't just come in, he couldn't figure out. It wasn't like this place was his residence or anything, so she really had nothing to be afraid of. Or was it because she was exerting some kind of pressure of authority on him? Expecting him to come to her? Did she know about his sensory technique? Also, as far as he could tell, this was no shadow clone. Well, how interesting. 

Sighing, he stood up from his seat, closing the record book. Leaving his lab coat draped over the chair, he walked out to the atrium and opened the door. Hmh. She was dressed different from last time. 

"Akihana-san." The '-san' part was a little more emphasized, which meant that while being respectful, Kozai wanted her to know that he was wary of her.

She was holding a book on poetry... the really archaic stuff, not the newfangled thing. The forms in there appealed to Kozai, not because of their supposed "beauty", but because of their form and diction. 

"I assume you have business with me?" 


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:13 pm

"I do indeed," the blonde replied, a small smile already decorating her face at the way the young girl had ran out just minutes before with the book clutched to her tiny frame. "It's of the utmost important nature too," she added, lifting the basket in her arms up slightly. "Have you been eating well, I brought some high in protein local delicacies you might enjoy. As I'm sure you've noticed, we Hoshi people take our food very seriously," she ended with a small laugh, extending the basket his way. Should his sensory extent towards her own, Kozai would sense a welcoming, friendly glow of chakra emanating from the female, the warm aura exuding all around her and giving off a sense of comfort and ease.

"I came to see how you were settling into the village. I had heard you'd quite revolutionized our library and such a service could never go unrewarded. Plus I wanted to see for myself, if you'd be so kind." Other than genuine gratitude towards the near stranger for organizing all of Hoshigakure's publicly available documents and putting a proper library system in place, Akihana wanted to see for herself how he'd done it. She was a big believer in people showing their fondness for a task by how well they did it and if she had heard correctly, the books would be immaculate in there.

"I heard you managed to even restore some of our oldest religious texts. How did you manage that?" she asked with a friendly smile, entering the library should he lead her in. True there was business to discuss but nothing that couldn't wait until she'd inquired after his well being and made sure he'd had a decent meal. He may have been powerful enough to best Denkiteki in battle but sometimes, in the right light, he resembled a tired child, someone who needed looking after despite his indignant protests that he was old enough to do things by himself. It was this initial feeling that had helped Akihana make up her mind about Kozai, and it was this feeling that allowed her to continually worry about him and keep checking up on him through people who worked around him.


You're awesome, give yourself a treat. <3

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly, to be fearful of the night."

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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:36 pm

Hmmm...? Was she trying to divert him from the subject by offering him food? He did need it quite badly, simply restoring his biomass from his surroundings with Seisei was pretty bad, and wouldn't last him longer than... maybe a century or so? Regardless, he bowed, and took the basket from her. It was finally time to use the mini fridge that he had found in the back room. What was that there for anyway? It's not like the previous librarian had spent much time here at all. Anyways, he noted that Akihana was dressed differently today. His sensory scanned over her.... no eminent threats, but he could never tell with her. She was, after all, a medical ninja. 

He opened the door, welcoming Akihana into the interior of the library proper. The air within was a little cooler than the air outside, due to the fact that Kozai had finally done some conditioning work on the building. It had been more like a shed before, and now it was really an appropriate Hoshi building. It had taken very little effort on his part, as Kozai knew the layout of the building by heart. He had memorized it the moment he entered the building for the first time, as his Coriolis sensory saw everything, as long as it wasn't sealed in a vacuum. Even if it was, he would certainly be able to sense the vacuum. That aside, though, he had different things to worry about.

"Chemicals. Expensive ones." He would reply, walking into the back and stashing the food into the mini fridge. This would most likely sustain him for another 400 years, he thought to himself. Good, I should be able to plumb the secrets of this Uchiha-Senju relationship within that time. It would be good to get Denkiteki's perspective on it, though, while he's still around. No doubt he'll go back to Sanctuary soon, and I'll be out of luck.

"Thanks for the food."

Standing up straight, he returned to the desk. Normally, one would expect his vision to have worsened over the years, but consistent use of Seisei kept it in perfect condition. He didn't need any kind of care from others... all he needed was himself. Was that not the way of the world? He could not rely on anyone else to look out for his best interests now that Agito was dead and Echo was.... well, anyways, not to think on that.

"Speaking of chemicals, though, the library will need more funding in the future if these archaic texts are to survive. After all, with the current budget, I had to consider dipping into my personal funds to get the materials required."

Yeah, that would do no good. Kozai wasn't getting any richer as it was, and in another 10 years or so, the library would need a funding increase. Just something to think about.

"I'm sure I'm wasting your time, though. What was it you needed to talk to me about?" What could possibly be so important?


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:33 am

"You're more than welcome," the blonde replied, surveying everything he showed her with interest. "And I'll put in a word about the budget." He seemed to have not only worked on the texts stored within the building but the building itself as well, something Akihana had to give the young man credit for. When he mentioned wasting her time, the kunoichi shook her head, loose strands of gold falling over her shoulder.

"Not at all, I rather enjoy watching someone work at soemthing they're passionate about, and from the looks of it you seme to be plenty taken with this profession. I'm glad you found something in hoshi that make you happy," she added, raising her golden eyes to his for a second before dropping erh gaze once more. hether this man was not used to pleasantries or never had the opportunity to indulge in them, she didn't know, but she hoped it would change with time. There was no way to explain why she felt Kozai always appeared on edge. It wasn't sensory, certainly not ninja sensory, not that she knew of. Akihana simply knew people and Kozai was... complicated to say the least.

"Just a heads up, I'm going to kep sending food," she continued, a small smile on ehr lips. "After all, what would your mother think if she thought no one was looking after you?" Akihana quipped softly, the spark of amusement dim but present in her gaze. It was a tried and proven method, making others laugh made you want to cry less. Or so she'd been told.

"But you are right, i did come to discuss something more than your health. As I'm sure you've heard by now, the Queen of Hoshigakure, Her Royal Highness, Queen Shiera has been sick for neigh a year now. I was tasked with being her personal healer and I'm afraid... most of my efforts have been in vain. I've prolonged her life but I couldn't do much to improve the quality of it. Sometimes... Sometimes I feel she simply doesn't want to go on." It was all difficult to say but she had to say it. If there was even the slightest chance sharing this information with Kozai would help, she would do it a thousand times over.

"We've obviously kept the extent of her illness from the general population. The Queen is so much more than a ruler here at Hoshi, she's a symbol of hope that people look up to, take courage from. She's the only constant Hoshi has had in the last half a century of turmoil. And now, well, now is the time everyone starts looking for miracles."

It had been Ser Tarly who had first came to her with the legend, and it had seemed just that. A fanciful tale to occupy children, a tool for parents who simply weren't ready to let their offsprings in on the secrets of death. But as time went on and one week turned into two and two weeks into a month, the idea that something akin to what Ser Tarky claimed existed became less fanciful. Perhaps it showed how desperate everyone really was but it was worth the risk if the item really did exist.

"One of the Queensguards approached me about a month ago claiming he knew the existence of something called Hero Water. He claimed it was water that sprung from a magical well somewhere in the east and had great healing force within it. I was wondering if you'd come across anything of such a nature while sorting through all the old tomes?" Her question was worded politely, more like a request for information than an order to reveal what he knew. Akihana had always found best results came gently.


You're awesome, give yourself a treat. <3

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly, to be fearful of the night."

Important information:
 


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:50 pm

Kozai raised an eyebrow. Mother? What mother? He'd never known anyone (or really, anything) before the age of five, when he had woken up in Iwa without any trace of memory. However, that was nothing to him now. The only person that he had met from that unknown era was his sister, who had been vaporized in the Iwa attack, no doubt. Even if she was alive, Agito was not. He had no emotional ties to her, or almost anyone else for that matter. Why should he? As he was thinking about before, he knew himself better than anyone else knew him. He could serve his own interests better than anyone else could.

However, that wasn't the most pressing issue at the moment. What was this, a medical consultation? Sighing, he sat down in his chair and thought for about half a second after Akihana told him about the Queen. The matriarch was sick, huh? Of course, knowing how skilled at medical arts Akihana was, it seemed unusual that the Queen hadn't made a complete and absolute recovery yet. No, her condition was getting worse...? Then, after that period of half a second, Kozai had solved the problem, though he wasn't certain yet. 

"Normally, a strong medical practitioner can force their chakra into a person's body, which would result in.... well, recovery, normally. However, it seems that, as you said, her body or her willpower is rejecting the chakra somehow. I honestly can't make a complete statement without examining her, but... well, you get the point."

Standing up, he'd give her what he meant to be a "ready and willing" kind of look, but as always, it came off as a sort of "fine, I'll do it" look, cold and frosty. Not intentional, but it still happened anyway. Kozai wasn't aware of it at all.

He noted that every human being had... emotional requirements. Akihana was no doubt the same. As such, he couldn't tell her what he REALLY thought of the matter. Hope? Hope didn't matter a whit in the world. Useless and whimsical aspirations didn't mean anything when it came down to sheer fact. Still, straight-out tell her that would be rather tactless, and not like Kozai at all. Noting the time and day, he realized something. 

The library closed early on Fridays.

Well, since he had nothing else to do, why not help Akihana on this frivolous quest? 

"Hmm.... yes, I have." Indeed, it was true. He walked over to a glass bookcase, unlocked it, and removed from it a large book. It was clearly very old, and was bound in hide.

It would normally be heavy for anyone else, but Kozai was remarkably strong. Opening it to around the middle, he pointed at a VERY old map of the area.

"From the text of this book, the well is somewhere around here, to the east as your contact said." He doubted it would do any good, but he didn't want to break that to her....... yet. Inevitably, when they found it, he'd reveal it to her that the water was... well, ineffective. Sure, the mineral content was not bad as far as springs went, but it had no "magical" properties. How did he know? Well.... he had been there. 


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:43 pm

At his offer of examining the Queen himself, the blonde shook her head regrettably, unsure how to tell the young man in front of her of Hoshi's modest culures and perceptions . Whether anyone else believed it or not, Akihana had always believed that Denkiteki was a better medical ninja than her. Perhaps this young ninja was too. But they had one thing in common, they were both undoubtedly men and therefore it was Akihana who had been chosen to tend to the Queen. At first she had been surprised to see midwives instead of doctors, separate examination quarters for males and females but it had taken her not long to realize that the modest nature of Hoshi's people was dire ctly tied tot eh various faiths they served.

"A kind offer, and one I wish I was at liberty to accept. But Her Grace is well enough to make her own decisions and I'm afraid neither she nor the nobles will permit an examination by a male doctor, otherwise I would have had Denkiteki examine her a long time ago. As it is, I give him regular reports and seek his counsel on ehr condition, as I was hoping to do with you. After all, it doesn't matter who's treatment cures ehr so long as she gets cured," Akihana explained, walking with him towards the tome where he'd allegedly read of this mysterious water. Try as she might, she could never place Kozai, from the unconventional way he had enterred Hoshigakure to his currently helpful but... somewhat detached emotions. She wished she knew him better, knew im well enough to ask if he had grown up with a family or without as so many ninja did in these times. Whether he could not attach apporpriate emotional responses to his words or did not want to would have to remain a mystery for now.

"I also have to confess I came here to discuss your status as a Hoshigakure shinobi. You've quite asserted yourself as our librarian and the city has only benefited from your service but we all know you're a ninja," she paused, letting her words sink in and giving him apt time to either deny or confirm her statement. His answer didn't matter, she didn't need a confirmation or a denial, if he no longer wished to be a shinobi, that was his right.

"The question is, would you like to be a ninja that would serve Hoshigakure, or a librarian of the city blessed by the stars? This is in no way a method to push you into making a decision, rather this gives you something to ponder over your next meal." With a soft smile, she reached out a hand for the thick volume regarding Hero Water that he'd extracted from the glass bookcase.

"May I?"


You're awesome, give yourself a treat. <3

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly, to be fearful of the night."

Important information:
 


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:35 am

Hmph, so there was some kind of... gender gap here? Kozai had not expected such old-fashioned notions to persist in modern times, but then again, he'd seen worse. Swallowing his criticism of the current Hoshi system (and feeling it burn in his metaphorical stomach), Kozai sighed. People like this, who held onto tradition could not be helped. This was a perfect case of where such mindsets could cost valuable lives. It wouldn't be too hard to cast aside these things, would it? Well, considering the effects of the idealists around here, it actually might be harder than expected. While Kozai wasn't really hoping to make a big change, but at least the library would help him stay sane in this place.

Still, outside of the occasional visits from the clerics, his life was... oddly peaceful. The only time when he ever felt confused was when Sheh-chan visited him. She was so much like him in the aspect of learning... perhaps it could be said that in terms of biology, she might even be better someday. But, she was so... visceral. Despite how she somehow managed to change his outlook (for a few minutes at a time), she was still... not for him?

Casting these unwelcome thoughts out of his head, he stepped aside to allow Akihana access to the book in question. Her rather untimely request, however, made the corners of his mouth turn down slightly. Despite how he had handled the situation with Denkiteki, he was in no rush to get back to the ninja life. He had tried to give that up back in Ame, and had been steeped in combat situations twice since then, which was annoying. It was not his desire to fight anyone, unless they happened to get in the way of his interests.... such as staying alive.

It only took Kozai a quarter of a second to make his decision. After all, he wasn't exactly a slow thinker, and he was able to weigh the pros and cons of each outcome faster than any person in Hoshi... or maybe even the world.

"Hmph. I'll serve Hoshi in whatever way you and Denkiteki see fit... within reason, of course. If you want me to be a shinobi, that's fine. My methods might not suit you, however." From what he knew of her, she wasn't the most effective person when it came to tough situations. For Kozai, in contrast, the means justified the ends. He would do anything to achieve his goals, even if it meant suffering the great pain of sacrificing his friends or suboordinates. After all, who would he rather have die? Him, or someone else? He wasn't the kind of person who would give up his life for his friends. 

"To be frank, it wouldn't be so bad to get back into conditioning myself again." Even though Kozai did possess some considerable knowledge and power, it was never enough for him. As someone who could now live for centuries, he knew that he could reach a level far beyond what a normal man could.


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:04 am

His quick reply was unsettling to her if she was perfectly honest with herself. She had expected a request for more time or even a noncommittal shrug. But his quickness simply made him seem eager to the blonde which worried her. Was he this ready for a fight? Did he believe that being a ninja of Hoshigakure would automatically put him in violent situations from which he would have to think his way out. His further clarifications of his methods not suiting her only added another layer of worry to the young woman's brow.

"All the same I'd like you to take some time to consider the notion, not because I doubt your ability to choose but because I want to give you a chance to think of this from all perspectives," she explained, closing the book in her hands. Ideally she would have liked to go over it with him but a more important matter had cropped up, on she had to address.

"In order to truly serve a village, we as shinobi have to put its needs ahead of our owns. We serve it in whichever way it requires us to, we don't get to decide what we think is best for it, we simply do as told. It is how shinobi have always worked and sometimes, maintaining fragile peace is much harder than going to war." Akihana had always personally been of the opinion that war was easy, nothing was simpler for most people than to give into senseless hatred and destruction. It was the sole thing that alienated her from everyone else, her inability to comprehend how one could knowingly hurt another. And here there was perhaps another who belonged to the same school of thought.

"The people of Hoshigakure are different from those in more developed shinobi nations. Different but no less worthy of respect for what they have achieved and what they believe in. Their ways may seem odd to you at first, they did to me. We must seem odd to them too yet they welcomed us into their midst and gave us a home. Together, shinobi and the people of this city have built a narrow, somewhat shaky bridge of trust and as a shinobi of the city, your task will be to maintain and strengthen that bridge - which will not happen by you looking down on them or being oblivious to their needs and values. If you still wish to join our forces, I will have Denkiteki send you the paperwork that officiates you as a Master of our village," she finished, tucking the book neatly at her side and making sure not to cause any damage to it.

"If you choose to remain neutral however, I will understand. Certainly, the life of a librarian is a lot more peaceful," she added with a slight smile, reassuring him that whatever his decision may be, she would not judge him for it, nor will she think any more of less of the young man.

"It might also help to make friends," she added lightly, almost as an after thought. "They make for great company, and eating alone I hear is something no one likes to do. You might be surprised at how nice it makes you feel when someone is concerned for you. I'll try to keep sending food even if I can't visit as regularly and I hope when you do decide on making friends, you'll think of me."


You're awesome, give yourself a treat. <3

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly, to be fearful of the night."

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Kozai
Genin
Genin


Fame : 9
Home Village :
  • Mist

Element(s) : Earth
Clan : Kaguya
Bloodline : Shikotsumyaku
Ryo : 500
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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:48 pm

Kozai narrowed his eyes. This woman clearly had a different objective. Something was up here, and he didn't yet know what it was. While scanning through the list of possibilities, Kozai noted that she seemed to be hesitant about something. Was she so surprised that he had responded so quickly? Hah, that was probably it. After all, she had suggested that he take a little more time to make his decision. Perhaps she didn't understand that Kozai had already considered the question at hand from multiple viewpoints. What did she think he was, someone like Den? Sure, he hadn't had nearly as much experience or years behind him (although his knowledge more than made up for it), but his ability to think quickly was far better. Oh well, it would be rude to simply tell her to her face, though honesty might not be a bad thing here. Kozai had a different approach to frankness than most, juggling lies and truth, switching them about as he needed them. They were, after all, just tools for him to get to where he needed to go.

At the same time, what Akihana said next was almost like an insult. Had she not been listening this whole time?

"As I already said, I'm willing to serve however you need me." Here, the word "you" would be in plural (since I'm still entirely unsure whether NRPG's characters talk in Japanese or not). Kozai's tone, however, would be modulated to be slightly more impatient. After all, had he not JUST said this? He didn't care much for "other people", but when it came to the village, it did seem more and more like it was becoming his new home. In that case, he'd defend it if he was called to. As for teaching and leading others, however, he'd only do that if he absolutely had to. 

Then again, Kozai thought, as his mind mulled over the question, getting back into ninja life would bring him into contact with people who might help him find out the secrets of what he was looking for. Still, he was a little hesitant. Hah, but when had emotion ever held him back? Within a split second, the issue had once again been resolved. 

"Friendship will come with meeting people." Kozai continued, even though making new friends was nowhere in his mind at the moment. After Agito, a small, unconscious piece of him was still afraid that he might lose someone if he got attached again. To have to go through that again, and to have the standards of his philosophy be shattered a second time... he wasn't about to let that happen. 

"And I think I can handle serving the village in both ways well enough. I've got plenty of spare time on my hands, now that the library is in good order." This was true, though Kozai was already thinking ahead. The library could, in good time, become a pleasant center of operations. Within a couple of seconds, Kozai had already mapped out locations for underground rooms in which he could both restore books, organize clandestine operations, and interrogate victims. Hah, it was perfect. Furthermore, he could have his suboordinates work as library "volunteers". 

"Having led a village before, I think I have enough experience and capability." This sentence could be read two ways: either it could be read as "a competent candidate showing that he was the man for the job" or "don't fucking doubt me". Kozai meant both.


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PostSubject: Re: Stage 4 -Depression (Kozai)   Today at 3:24 pm

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