Tasara doesn't know what the Domain was thinking, sending this girl here. Either they're more desperate than she thought, or this girl is extremely foolhardy. Likely the latter. She's, hm, maybe three years out of training, judging by her stamina. Not much finesse, but exuberance in abundance, and a stubborn refusal to admit she's outmatched. If they were further from the city Tasara would flatten her, but the goal is defense, not destruction.
"This seems to be all of what we'll need for the Hokage, if we want to reveal ourselves to him. I'm still unsure on having him officially know about you two; I'll include you in the report, but it might be politically best for him to distance himself. I suppose he can make that call, though."
"So we should wait here while you deliver that?"
"That'd be best. Itachi will stay with you, and can continue explaining the political situation."
He nods, gets together the 'for the Hokage' pile (it's the largest chunk) and body flickers out.
"So. Who's next?"
The big five countries, in more detail about the governments - all of the big five at least nominally have a dual system of government between the daimyo and the kage, where the daimyo commands the Hidden Villages. This is variably true in practice, and often shifts between administrations, since what ends up mattering more is soft power.
Lightning is an odd case, being originally a raider culture - their daimyo is looked down upon, the position not being hereditary and the first daimyo being from nomadic stock. The people of Lightning still don't have clans per se, with it being common for children to end up with families other than their birth parents, and no one using clan names. The daimyo is shrewd, and relatively young. The Raikage is a harsh man, and often strongly emotional.
Earth is somewhat different culturally, too - the bulk of the population, especially the rural population, doesn't speak the same language as the rest of the Elemental Countries, though all their dignitaries and shinobi learn Japanese just the same. Earth is considered unusually formal and bureaucratic. The daimyo is isolationist and arrogant. The Tsuchikage is old, and known for staying largely neutral in conflicts unless he's confident he can win, or has no other practical choice.
The people of Wind are descended from desert nomads, and still have comparatively few cities. They have a strict honor culture, and all of their kage are drawn from the same clan. The daimyo is hedonistic, and reportedly on poor terms with the Kazekage. The Kazekage is reportedly paranoid, prone to undercutting his own forces to avoid challenges against him.
Water is fairly fragmented, usually being considered only nominally united, and has in the last few years been plunged into a civil war. There isn't currently a daimyo, that lineage having been dragged into the war. The Mizukage is brutal, having instituted bloodline purges, and a system whereby new graduates from the Academy would fight to the death.
The smaller nations generally depend on the big five for protection and alliances, but there's some exceptions, Ame among them...
"Back to Ame again."
"Soooo it's probably important."
"Perhaps. I would be more comfortable if it and its Akatsuki were more of a known quantity."
"Unfortunately there's several groups like that..."
Among them: Orochimaru, a Konoha missing-nin, is suspected to have followers and bases scattered throughout the Elemental Nations, but they don't know more than that - though she suspects Danzo might have, given that his records hint at locations of at least one base, and past dealings with Orochimaru. The Nokizaru group are mercenaries - somewhat more is known about them, and they usually take lower profile targets that the Akatsuki, being mostly known for operating dirt-cheap. There's a terrorist group from Ishi, that they suspect Iwa might have files on but they haven't found out much about, who've been striking public targets, primarily in Wind, Earth, and Hill countries (Hill being where Ishi is located).
There are seventeen territories all or partially in the continent, though only sixteen have recognized governments, the Mountain's Graveyard - which borders Fire, Rice Fields, and Rapids - being considered a no-man's land. Rice Fields, Hot Water, and Wave lack shinobi forces, though Hot Water used to have a village before a demilitarization campaign. Rivers is neutral territory, though historically has allied with Fire in the past, and is home to Tani. Plains has historically tended to ally with Earth, and is home to Kusa. Ame is located in Lake country, which was a major player in the Second Shinobi World War but has been isolationist since, and which wasn't known to have a daimyo. Rapids contains Taki, and is currently Fire's ally. Frost has Shimo, and is allied to Lightning. Lightning has Kumo. Water has Kiri. Wind has Suna. Earth has Iwa. Fire has Konoha. Itachi doesn't know as much about the last two - Fountain and Marsh, which are to the far west of the map, and are only barely on the continent. They only maintain direct trading relations with Earth, Wind, and Hill.
"... that's a lot. Too bad we don't have any support staff."
"Think of it as practice for the next time you have to do without. And it's good to be able to understand the principles decisions are being made on, in any case."
"Exactly. I can explain Shisui and my reasoning more in depth; also, we can serve as your 'support staff' so to speak, perhaps in addition to others drawn from different countries in the future, being familiar with the area."
"Yeah I'm more of a shoot things kind of girl." She makes finger guns.
"That does seem to be the case, yes."
"Specialization! Or something."
"Teams do usually benefit from the presence of one or more specialists, or from being specialized entirely for a mission type. Though leaders are expected to be more generalists."
"Must be neat to work with other ninja regularly. There aren't a lot of magical girls, relatively speaking, so we usually can't."
"Even before the villages, shinobi gathered in clans. Individuals rarely survive long, though absent enough for clans I could see a non-shinobi support structure being useful."
"We are chosen by our leaders, not born. There's no such thing as a family of magical girls."
"I imagine that changes dynamics rather a lot. Shinobi are often loyal to their family first, their village second, their country third, their philosophy fourth, humanity a distant fifth, if at all."
"That does sound... potentially unbalancing."
"It works for us, but our system has been built around this. Most people assume the good of the country is good for the village, and the good of the village is good for their family. Though the Hidden Villages are making strides towards reducing clan loyalty and increasing village loyalty, but it progresses in fits and starts."
"Shisui was saying there was some trouble with your family and the village?"