Chapter Forty Six ~ Scars

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I wandered into the weapon store, searching for Aisa. He hadn't come back to the training grounds, and I thought that he might have chickened out of buying a weapon or was still here contemplating which one to buy.

Instead, I found him sitting on a stool and chatting with the store owner, sipping some tea, with tonfas lying on the counter in front of him.

I nodded to myself: tonfas were a good choice of weapon for Aisa. He was good at taijutsu, but lacked the strength to stand up to strong attacks or deliver his own devastating blow. And if he went up against an opponent using a weapon with longer reach, the tonfas would compensate.

But that still didn't explain why Aisa was here, chatting and drinking tea, instead of out at the training fields practicing with his new weapons.

I cleared my throat, and Aisa spun around on the chair to face me, thankfully not spilling any of his tea. "Oh! Cashile-sensei!" He exclaimed. He glanced out the window and paled as he realized how much time he'd wasted. "Um, I chose tonfas!"

I raised an eyebrow. "I can see that," I replied slowly. "I don't see why you aren't practicing with them, though."

Aisa gave an embarrassed laugh, rubbing at the back of his head. "Well, you see, I came here immediately, but I wasn't sure what weapon to choose, so Fudo-san," he waves at the owner, who offers me a wizened smile, "offered to help. Of course I accepted, and eventually we agreed on tonfas as the best choice for me, and I asked for advice with them, and eventually Fudo started telling stories—did you know that he knew Madara Uchiha?!"

"Is that so?" I asked skeptically.

Aisa visibly deflated at my tone. "Okay, like, he didn't know him, but he was in the village and saw him!"

I glance toward Fudo, who was smiling and nodding, then back toward Aisa, who was grinning happily. I had come to this shop many times before and didn't even know the owner's name. How Aisa was able to befriend practically anyone he met--even a, at the very least, sixty five year old man--was a mystery to me.

"That's interesting," I finally settled on saying. "I'm sure Fudo here has lots of stories he could tell you, but right now you really ought to go out and train with your new weapons, don't you think?"

Aisa gulped, paled, and nodded. "Uh-huh. That sounds like a good plan." He slid down from the stool, set his tea on the counter, and grabbed the tonfa. "Bye, Fudo-san! See you later!" He waved as he left the store.

I turned back to the old man and raised my eyebrows. "He did pay for those tonfa, right?"

With a beatific smile, he shook his head.

***

"Aiden!" I called, opening the apartment door with the key Aiden hid so creatively on the door lintel. "You owe me 38 ryo!"

I heard the sound of running water, then Aiden stepped out of the bathroom, shaking drops of water from his hands. "Why do I owe you money?" He asked. "And where's Aisa?"

"Training," I replied, "with the tonfa I bought him."

"Tonfa?"

"Sticks with handles." I rolled my eyes. "About as long as your forearm."

"I know what they are." Aiden rolled his eyes right back at me. "Why did you buy Aisa tonfa?"

"I had all my genin choose weapons," I replied.  "Aisa chose tonfa."

"I see," Aiden nodded.

The silence dragged on for a few moments before I shrugged, turning back toward the door. "Just wanted to let you know that you owe me," I told him. "Pay me back soon."

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