With Your Soul

Kakuzu stops at the entrance to a shrine. A pair of identical girls appear and bow to him.

"Welcome, Kakuzu-sama. Okaa-sama has been told of your presence and grants you an audience. Your companion must wait here though, she does not welcome his kind in her presence," they say in unison.

"Stay here, I should be back soon," Kakuzu orders Hidan.

"Kakuzu-sama is here to see you, okaa-sama," one of her attendants informs her.

The nekomata stretches languidly. Kakuzu is one of her favourite humans and his visits are always interesting. She wonders why he'd come to see her now though when he had not called in on her in over a decade.

"Send him in immediately."

Kakuzu enters the main room of the temple and lays his burden on the table in the middle. He kneels on the cushions provided and keeps his eyes lowered as he hears soft footsteps approach the table.

"You always bring me the most fascinating things, Kakuzu," the nekomata purrs. "You may look at me now."

He flicks his gaze towards her face. As usual when he sees her, she wears the form of a young woman in a dark blue kimono patterned with silver cats. She leans over Yugito's body and inhales her scent.

"A lesser nekomata and an ushi-oni? Such an varied life for one so young. She intrigues me. Return in a week and she will be ready for you."

"Yes, nekomata-sama."

"There is no need to be so formal with me, Kakuzu. You are one of my favoured ones after all."

He nods.

She eyes him speculatively.

"The usual payment. Bring it when you collect her."

It's a clear dismissal and an attendant opens the door. He doesn't look back as he exits. That lesson was learnt painfully a long time ago.

Kakuzu and the nekomata go back a long way. No idea what the deal was or what the usual payment is though.

This isn't the Nibi by the way. This nekomata is a lot older and more powerful.