Arc IX Chapter 9
Tsuyoshi raised an eyebrow, relieved and unsettled at the same time. The mysterious girl was beyond strange. “That's all? You caused this entire ruckus to settle some debt? You beat up my men, you destroyed my door, you crashed my party just for some petty debts?“
Asami smiled and Yuji nodded.
Tsuyoshi blinked. The girl was crazy, insane. “Listen, we could have solved this issue in a more rationale, in a more peaceful manner ...“
“Tsuyoshi, don't understand me wrong. It's true that I arrived to settle some issues, but that's not the only reason I paid you a visit.“ Asami's voice grew ominous, cold, icy. “I desire more, not a matter of debt. I am here for much more, for a vision of a future that might be.“
Yuji offered a blank stare. “What?“ What was she doing? This wasn't part of the plan. This wasn't what they agreed upon.
“Thought so.“ Tsuyoshi narrowed his eyes. The girl ... was interesting. The situation turned more complicated.
Asami opened her arms to greet her newest underling. “It's a simple affair. Nothing serious, really.“
Tsuyoshi listened. He didn't believe her. Her words were sweet like honey, while her intentions weren't.
Asami explained. “I merely desire your cooperation, and when I say you, I mean the syndicates.
Your reputation precedes you, Tsuyoshi. I heard, you are a powerful man in the underworld. You wield considerable influence.
I believe you can act as my representative, and inform the syndicates of my goodwill and my most gracious offer.
The syndicates and I, I hope for a beneficial relationship. We all will profit from close and peaceful relations. After all, neither of us is interested in an open conflict. No need to escalate things, No need for unnecessary bloodshed.
I am sure, an honest entrepreneur like understands, conflict and strife are bad for business. I don't want to see the streets plastered with corpses and covered in blood.“
Silence. Absolute silence. Only the pouring rain fell in the background.
Everyone stared. A sea of blank stares, of bewilderment, of confusion, greeted her. They didn't believe their ears. Neither
Asami tilted her head and tipped her lips. Did she say anything strange? Not that she remembered.
Tsuyoshi was lost for words. This girl ... He misjudged her; deceived by her youthful appearance and her age. The girl sounded like an actual crime lord herself.
Tsuyoshi pushed his drink aside and sharpened his wits. The girl required his full attention. “I can't follow ...“
Asami grinned. “Oh my, confused, aren't we?“
Tsuyoshi's confidence faltered. Her face, her emotions, her intentions were unreadable, hidden behind a veil of deceit. “Who are you?“
Asami folded her hands and grinned. It was her who held all the cards.
Asami evaded the question. “You are an impatient man, Tsuyoshi. So many questions. So much curiosity. Curiosity doesn't become you. Knowledge is dangerous, knowing too much carries risks.“
Her chakra engulfed the room, a strangulating aura of darkness interwoven with the allure of danger. Her will shall not be defied. Not anymore.
Tsuyoshi gulped. The meaning of her action was clear.
Asami sipped on her juice as her lips were thirsty. The sweet taste of cherry tickled her tongue. Delicious. “My name, my status, are of little concern. The time hasn't come yet to reveal myself, but know that I speak and act on behalf of God himself.
He entrusted me with the village, and it falls to me to enact his divine will.“
Tsuyoshi's eyes widened in realisation. “Pain ...“
Tsuyoshi countered with his polite smile on his own. “I guess I don't have much of a choice in this matter, do I?“
You didn't argue with a girl backed by a substantial amount of destructive force. You didn't argue with the will of God.
Asami grinned. Victory was within her grasp, a triumph of gentle words, diplomacy, and friendly coercion over brute force. “I am pleased you understand your position. I predict a fruitful cooperation with this kind of attitude.“
Tsuyoshi offered a wry smile. The girl had him where she wanted. “What does our ... cooperation exactly entail? What do you even want from us?“
“Don't worry, I have much use for your services. I demand your unconditional submission. Henceforth, Amegakure's underworld shall answer to none other than me. You will owe me respect and obedience.“ Asami smiled. Nobody else smiled.
Tsuyoshi nearly suffered a heart attack. “What!?“
Asami giggled. “You see, I am a gentle soul. I detest unnecessary violence.“
Tsuyoshi doubted very much so. The smouldering remnants of his once wall thought otherwise.
Asami elaborated, “I am aware that crime is an ... inevitable fact of life, a plight on society since the dawn of human civilisation, I accept such. The watchful eyes of the law can't be everywhere at once. Where light, there is darkness, but you, my friends, have exceeded any reasonable limits.
The syndicates have grown bold in recent times. You have crossed the line. You have broken the age-old covenant, I give that you give, I do that you do. You take, but give nothing in return.
Your unrestrained greed and avarice threaten the very stability and survival of the village.
That is why I am here, to remind you of your duties and social obligations. Times are changing, and the syndicates will change too. Adapt, or face my judgement. Because your blatant insolence won't be tolerated anymore.“
Tsuyoshi laughed. “And what do you expect from us?“
“Not much. In fact, I think my terms are quite lenient and forthcoming. Reduce your activities. I want the streets of Amegakure to be safe again, and not full of cutthroats and thugs around every corner. We live in civilised times, the scum of the earth must disappear.
Commerce and industry are suffering because of your constant meddling. Extortion and kidnapping won't get us anywhere.
You cut into Ame's manpower pool. You recruit the young, the desperate, the poor. You even recruit rogue ninja, deserters, traitors, mercenaries, to bolster your ranks. I don't care about their past endeavours, but I want them back. These men are bitterly needed considering the desolate state of Ame's forces.“
Tsuyoshi sighed. “Your demands are quite ... one-sided, but you leave me with little choice. Times are changing indeed ...
I never thought Pain himself would take an interest in the village. He never bothered before. I never thought Pain would send a little girl, but there you are.
I will relate your message to the syndicates. I can't guarantee, though, that they will listen. They are hard to convince.“
Asami was pleased. “I will see to it, my friend, I will see to it.“