Oh, there’s no official theme of the ask box event, it’s just a pattern I noticed with ask box events–certain vibes happen and then compounds on itself, a little bit like ripples building up to a wave.
Fear to Tread is such a neat ‘verse isn’t it? We still get those delightfully angsty post Land of Hot Springs feels but we also still get to enjoy Aoba’s presence!
I’m not sure if I understand the question though… is the “he” acting as go-between for Kisuke and the real world meant to refer to Ibiki or Aoba?
I’m pretty sure Kisuke’s existence is an S-rank secret known only to Ibiki, Shizune, Tsunade, Sasuke, and Shikako? I don’t think they would have included another person even if it would mean less work for Ibiki.
Mostly I just mentioned Ibiki as being someone Aoba is afraid of because even if he is beyond death, he’ll probably always be scared of Ibiki a little bit. And part of it is hyperbole, a continuous exaggeration of Ibiki’s naturally intimidating presence, but some of it is legitimately respectful fear: Ibiki has been through shit and only come out stronger (and sadistic).