When Ryudan expressed his support for Nyguyen's bid the middle-aged father gave a sincere smile, re-activated his Sharingan, and nodded towards the elder. "You handle well as a diplomat. I am very proud of you, my boy. I will support you as our Hokage." I'm honored to have your support. It was through your lessons of the past that I was able to forge my future. I will not disappoint you Ryudan-sensei.
Nyguyen then sat back and listened as Akihiro once more held the floor. The chastisement of Zenaku was well-founded. After all, returning to Konoha was not in of itself a major feat of bravery. It was his duty. However, in a time when shinobi were running off acting like free agents, sometimes doing the bare minimum was a noteworthy feat. Nyguyen also thought it rather ironic that Akihiro was chiding Zenaku when the Clan Leader was setting such a bad example. He was constantly running off and doing god knows what with that plaything of an organization of his. He wasn't sure how Akihiro had managed to get past Kage to funnel cash into his little pet project but once he was in charge, he'd be sure to cut off the spigot. When Akihiro started talking about Amaterasu, Nyguyen perked up. That word. The black flames and its unquenchablility was widely regarded as an obscure myth. Even in the tomes of history, the technique was scarcely expounded upon. How Akihiro came to possess such a monstrous jutsu was something that Nyguyen intended to ask him. As the future Hokage, it was his right to know.
Nyguyen's blood pressure skyrocketed when Akihiro connected the dots regarding the plague resurrections and Satomi's death. Fortunately, not long after this topic was brought up, Nyguyen was brought his tea by Yui. He accepted it graciously and sipped from the cup provided to him. Scarlet Jade Brew
He inhaled its aroma deeply and was lost in a wonderful fragrance of honey, rose, and rare spice. It was brewed to his exact specifications. The man's aggravation settled and he leaned back in his chair. Nyguyen was well-versed in politics and world affairs. He was aware of the plague resurrections and what its implications were. He also knew that these resurrections were sporadic, random, and affected less than 1% of the population. The exact nature of the phenomena was unknown but it was suspected that someone was going around trying an experimental treatment that brought plague victims back to life. Given that Satomi had died from combat and not the plague it wasn't exactly logical to assume that this Menza would be able to do the same for their fallen clan leader. However, Akihiro was correct in that Rin should have at least asked or tried to find out. Putting himself into more debt with the Society was a bad move but if he could at least gather information about the phenomena it would have helped out both the Uchiha and the village.
The story about the Uchiha Clan attack betrayed an astounding level of ignorance. Nyguyen assumed that the boy had heard about the riots that occurred in the aftermath of the Society's robbery of the village. The announcement of Konoha's dissolution and the founding of the Nekoian Empire only added to that chaos. Most of the looters were smart enough not to step foot in the clan district but the damage they had done to the property interests outside of the gated community was still noteworthy. Rin might have heard about these instances of vandalism and destruction. He either was indeed dumb enough to think he could over-exaggerate the damage or he had gotten bad intel. Either way, it made him look bad. Nyguyen continued to sip his tea as he listened to Akihiro's speech.
When Akihiro addressed him specifically, Nyguyen set down the tea and listened to the young man's argument. It was fairly compelling albeit flawed. The connection between the plague resurrection and the possibility of bringing back Satomi was tenuous at best. The method Nyguyen had used (or rather Arisu) was probably wholly unrelated to the disease although no one could be sure. That said, it was Rin's obligation as an Uchiha to at least try
. Nyguyen didn't laugh at the immature joke regarding Rin's penis. It wasn't all that funny and it missed the core of the historian's point. Nyguyen's eyes drifted over to Kimiko. He doesn't get it....it isn't just lust. Its love. Rin really loves Yui and I suspect the feeling is mutual. Love makes you do crazy things. If I were Rin's age and Porsche had been kidnapped then I don't know what I'd have done....
He was older now. Wiser. More willing to act in his family's interests than his own, but Rin was a kid. A kid that grew up in a clan that never truly saw him as family. He had the right to bear their name and display their colors but many of the Elders would allow themselves to be consumed by maggots before they acknowledged him as family. If Yui had shown him what he had been denied for most of his life by anyone save his own mother then it wasn't shocking that he was willing to commit ten discrete acts of stupidity and madness. He stared at Kimiko for a moment as he considered Akihiro's words. I wonder what Akihiro would do to save you? How far would he be willing to go? Could he forsake his clan for love? Could it twist that ingenious mind of his into a bomb that not even reason or familial loyalty could defuse?
Nyguyen kept these thoughts to himself. Part of him wanted to retort to some of these charges but he realized that it was futile. Akihiro was in the driver's seat now. The Clan conscience appeared to be solidly in favor of retaining him as leader and that meant this meeting was conducted at his pleasure. Arguing with the man in front of a potential traitor would not look good for Nyguyen's own candidacy. So instead, he merely watched, listened, and sipped his tea.
When Akihiro brought up the caravan of explosives Nyguyen couldn't help but set his tea down and shake his head. A wry smile worked its way across his lips. He held up a finger and said:
"Akihiro-bo as I'm sure you know those explosives were being carried out of the village. There is not a shinobi here that would risk halting or otherwise sabotaging such a tonnage of raw ordinance. It would put everyone in this clan at enormous risk to take action. The compounds were also being taken away from Konoha to a ship which meant that they were not an immediate danger to the people here....we would have informed you and presented some options had you stayed longer but from I've been told you were in quite the rush and it would have been an insult to your intelligence and capability as a shinobi to state the obvious. Might I be so bold as to ask what you've done with this boat full of catnip?
There was a chorus of laughter from some of the elders. Nyguyen didn't want to be disrespectful but he couldn't help but put this cheeky anklebiter in his place. The use of the honorific "bo" might have been a tad much but Nyguyen was growing rather irritated at the way Akihiro talked down to people, especially his elders. He didn't expect Akihiro to be forthcoming about what he had done with the explosives but he wanted everyone in the clan to see that its leader was still willing to keep secrets from them.
When Akihiro returned his attention to Rin, Nyguyen expected him to immolate the kid. If Akihiro had decided that the adoptee was worthy of death then there was nothing anyone could do to save him. Satomi might be able to but he doubted that he would. Amaterasu was rather painful and it would be a harsh example for the younger generation. He wouldn't want his daughters to see such a frightful sight but perhaps it was best to let them see for themselves how the Uchiha used to handle traitors. He had tried to lecture them but they had found it quite boring.
However instead of preparing Kentucky Fried Rin, the Sparrow offered him a chance. He wanted to probe his mind here and now. Nyguyen had considered doing that but he felt relying solely on their Sharingan was a mistake in this instance. Even if they used their Sharingan, Mind-Reading Machine, and the Yamanka Clan's Hidden Jutsu there was no guarantee that they'd learn the truth. This Menza individual was dastardly and given the Society's reach he might have access to resources and techniques that could fool the strongest of mental probes. Relying on human intelligence such as Masuyo was risky and less reliable but it was alternative stream that could corroborate or contradict Rin's story. Nyg didn't say any of this aloud though. Akihiro's Sharingan was peerless and Nyguyen was rather curious as to what he'd find. As Hokage he might conduct his own separate investigation but for now he'd let Akihiro have the first crack.
Zenaku took the floor again to respond to Akihiro's admonishment. He once more spoke up in defense of Rin. The kid's optimism and refusal to cast aside his family was touching. Nyguyen agreed with the gist of it but there were a few key differences in reasoning. Zenaku was indeed young and not mired by the weight of tradition, however, that also made him inexperienced. Nyg was glad that Rin at least had someone in his corner but he also knew that he couldn't be too easy on the boy. He had committed grave wrongs and there'd need to be punishment. It was just a question of what that punishment would be. Zenaku closed by formally expressing support for Nyguyen's candidacy to which the Hokage-elect responded:
"Thank you Zenaku
Zenaku had laid a lot on the table and Nyguyen now wanted to hear from the adopted Uchiha himself but just before Rin could reply, the doors of the Clan Hall were thrown open. Nyguyen was about to request that the Parliamentarian eject the latecomer but when he saw who it was he nearly spilled his tea. Lady Akari?!
"Lady Akari Uchiha, Rokudaime Hokage!
" the Lord Parliamentarian announced as if everyone in the Hall was blind.
Nyguyen was shocked to see the woman out of her hospital bed. When the imminent retirement of the Hokage had been announced to the major Clan Heads, Nyguyen had assumed it was a personal leave of absence. However, as his stock began to soar and his candidacy began to look like an inevitability, the Council had begun to drop hints that Akari had fallen ill of the plague. The prognosis was good but there was no telling when she'd wake up. If she did wake, there was no guarantee she'd be up and about in anything resembling a timely fashion. Nevertheless, the hard-working girl was now wheeling her way into one of the most important clan meetings of all time.
Nyguyen addressed her specifically.
"Not at all Lady Akari, we are honored and graced by your presence
" He was careful not to mention anything about the plague. He wasn't sure how much everyone else knew. The last thing the Uchiha needed was to project weakness and even mentioning the dreaded disease would chill the atmosphere of the Hall. If Akari didn't bring it up then he certainly wouldn't. "There is an open seat near the front and center.
" It was a prominent position and she'd be seated alongside several of the more famous members of the clan. Akari wasn't here just to show her fortitude and vitality though. She didn't even wait to get settled in before contributing to the discussion.
She corroborated the charges of treason and stated that her original intention was to put them to death. They had confessed to their actions just as Rin was doing now. Nyguyen turned to the young man. His position was damning and there was no room for interpretation. He had done horrible things and his only shot at redemption was to have the Head Strategist tour his brain.
Rin's response was half-hearted. Nyguyen could tell by his voice and demeanor that the chaos had gotten to him. Even though he was trying to hide it, it was plain from his words and posture that he felt alone. It was exactly what Nyguyen had feared but it simply could not be helped. The evidence against him was overwhelming and if they treated him too gingerly then it would set a bad example. Rin appeared to accede to Akihiro's request or at the very least did nothing to indicate that he did not consent to having his mind read. He claimed that the Society would be angry about this betrayal and that only made Nyguyen even more curious as to what the results of the mental probe would be. Had the Society sent him here to throw them off track? Or was he really betraying Nozomi's confidence by spilling the beans of the infamous organization?
As if reading his mind, which he very well may have, Ryudan-sensei stood and warned Rin that the Society would fall with or without his help. The Uchiha Clan were going to take them down a peg or two and get back what was rightfully their's. If Rin truly wanted to make a difference he would need to set aside his despair and do what needed doing. Uchiha or no, they had taught him well and if he managed to survive this meeting with his head in-tact then he would need to destroy this apocalyptic scheme.
It was a rousing speech and Nyguyen began to clap but soon after his speech Ryudan started coughing. The Stone Tengu had spirit but his body was old. Nyguyen could see that the stress of his family's secrets were weighing on him. When he asked for refreshments, Nyguyen looked at Yui and nodded. He gestured with his hand for her to quickly bring the Elder what he had asked for. Even if she had to leave through the back entrance to fetch what was needed, she ought to do it. Nyguyen's expression was serious, almost angry that she couldn't simply teleport the objects here. When it came to his sensei, Nyguyen expected quick and obedient service.
When the floor was yielded to Satomi, Nyguyen was surprised that his brother-in-law insisted on Rin's fate being left to him. The man clarified that while Akihiro would lead the investigation, the judgment was ultimately up to the Hokage. A position that Nyguyen would soon take. Satomi took execution off the table but his own proposal was quite shocking. In addition to losing the right to bear the clan name, Rin would also have Kurama taken from him. Nyguyen had been sipping his tea and the suggestion almost made him choke. He set down the cup and looked to see Rin's reaction. The boy had said that his status as a host was meant to be temporary but now it was time for the rubber to meet the road. If what he had just said about the Nine-Tails was true then he wouldn't object. To try and now keep the power of the Beast for himself would be to contradict his intentions. Nyguyen seized this moment to stand and address the chamber.
"Satomi is correct. Akihiro while you are the leader of this Clan, Rin was never formally expelled from Konoha's military which means he falls under the village's jurisdiction. Whatever you find I will take into consideration but his justice should be meted out by the Supreme Commander of the Fire Country's military. We will see what this probe yields and once we learn more we can determine what punishment is fitting...With that in mind, please proceed with the investigation Akihiro.
Nyguyen deliberately left out the mention of Kurama. He wanted to see how Rin would react to the suggestion. It was a smart but risky idea. Nyg wanted to believe that Rin could still be an asset to Konoha with his Bijuu but given his girlfriend's tendencies, Nozomi's closeness to the situation, and Rin's overall unreliability, it might be more trouble than it was worth. Nyguyen had been hoping that his mention of Maiori would get Rin to remain an agent of the village even though he was not formally part of it. The reaction he had provoked was genuine. Rin cared for his adopted mother. But that was here, while she was staring him down. Once he left there was no telling how he'd feel or what the Society might say to him. He already seemed to be a double-agent and given his lack of care it could be a mistake to rely on him so heavily. Placing Kurama in a loyal Konoha shinobi might be the best scenario here. Nyg then turned to the man in the booth. "Lord Parliamentarian, I motion for a sequestration of silence. Please instruct the members of the Clan to remain silent while Akihiro conducts the inquiry.
The lights would be dimmed and the Lord Parliamentarian would tap his gavel twice.
"All members please refrain from speaking or generating excess noise while the inquiry is in progress
The blinds would be closed and a single light would be shone on Rin and Akihiro. This was to ensure that eye contact would not be obstructed by darkness.
Nyguyen sat back in his chair and folded his hands. This was the moment they had all been waiting for. The results of Akihiro's investigation would make history.
~Meanwhile in the Rafters~
Name: Mercedes Uchiha
Title: N/A, Daughter to the Hokage-elect Nyguyen Uchiha
Occupation: Chuunin of Konohagakure no Sato
Mercedes continued to half pay attention to the clan meeting as it progressed. She was leaning back in her chair chilling with her legs crossed and a bored expression on her face. She wasn't particularly angry about Rin's situation. Many people were taking it personally when she knew for a fact that some of them had no stake in the outcome. Rather than pretend to give a damn about a runt, Mercedes was more in this for the drama. She observed as her father verbally jousted with the clan leader and managed to actually sound convincing for once. Mercedes turned to see Michiko jump up in concern for her coughing uncle. She felt bad for the kid. He clearly was important to her. She hadn't mentioned her mom and dad so Mercedes assumed there was a whole story there. She didn't want to get into that at the moment though not unless Michiko brought it up affirmatively.
When Michiko mouthed an apology, Mercedes shrugged and communicated via Genjutsu: Sharingan. Its fine, don't apologize. I can tell you love him very much.
Mercedes suppressed a sigh. Michiko had a child-like adoration for her uncle. In truth, Mercedes wasn't touched by it she was irritated. She found it rather naive. Adults could be just as weak, stupid, and selfish as children. They were just better at hiding it. When Mercedes was a toddler she thought her dad was a superhero but as she grew older she saw that he was just a bookworm that was way out of his element. She loved him of course but she didn't really respect him. Whatever deference she showed was wrung out of her by her mother and the threat of being homeless if she got too out of line. She wouldn't abuse Michiko of her notions regarding the Stone Tengu though. She seemed like a good kid and in times like these blind faith in adults was better than knowing the depressing truth.
When Michiko mentioned her Dad being cool, Mercedes couldn't help but smile. Not because she agreed or was proud of him but because the thought was so absurd she might as well have said the moon was made out of cheese and the sun of ramen. Uh. No. Not really. Its all an act.
she thought. She didn't want to burst Michiko's bubble about her uncle but she wasn't going to lie about how she felt about her own father. He's probably torn up with indecision right now. He doesn't do well with this kind of stress and when he gets home he'll probably have our maid give him a massage which is weird cuz like he raised her but whatever....I guess he's alright. He's been stepping it up lately and given what we know about Neko-sama and Haku, the bar for being Hokage is pretty low. He'll clear it.
It was a pretty damning statement concerning her own father but Mercedes didn't really care. She didn't want any harm to come to him but she had no interest in protecting his ego or even his reputation. Unlike Michiko's view of her uncle, Mercedes had no desire to be like her father. She wanted to surpass him.