Date: March 10, 2016
The morning after the poisoning attempt at dinner, a gruesome discovery is made…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"A Black Pines Tragedy Pt. 3"
Mochi Manor, Land of Black Pines
Previously, a plot to poison the dinner table at the Moshi manor in the Land of Black Pines was uncovered, and the culprits responsible captured and taken into custody. That left Iga Asashi, Uzumaki Naruko, and Uchiha Isura, along with Saito Kisuke, Karuko, and two others, to handle the task of tracking down the criminal, capturing them, and delivering them to face justice. It had already been determined that a truly volatile toxin had been used to kill Miss Mochi's husband and someone else, and that it was possible the assassin had done the deed by getting through a ventilation shaft too small and narrow for any normal adult human to fit through.
But there were multiple suspects, ranging from the guards who were hired to protect the late Mister Mochi in the first place, to Mister Kuchihige, the financial advisor to Mister Mochi, to Miss Mochi herself, and there were of course suspicions that some of the ninja her in the mansion might be in league as well.
It's the next morning, and Naruko and Isura are awoken by the sound of pounding on their guest room doors, and yells to awaken and come forth. It's unclear why yet… But they'll find out soon enough. Where Asashi is in all this is unclear. But if Isura and Naruko do as they are asked to, they will be faced with Kuchihige, and some of the Alpine Patrol (this region's equivalent of the Kamen Rai Da of Kumogakure. Non-ninja, but highly-trained and mobile combat experts who act as a mix of law enforcement and government agents).
Kuchihige says dourly, "Please dress and ready yourselves, and then join us downstairs in the meeting room as soon as possible. We have a serious matter to discuss."
And then they are left to follow those instructions, with no further questions being answered until they show up downstairs.
Isura slowly rose from his slumber before getting hammered with orders. A sigh escapes him as he tossed on his shirt and answered the door, hair is an utter mess and its clear that the young Uchiha was fast asleep. A kunai trap sprung as he caught it right before hitting the door or the guard depending on placement as he yawned. "You can never be too careful I always say," chuckling he shiftly brushed his teeth and waltzed downstairs once there he gazed around and notice something odd. Iga was gone and there were no signs lf him not bothered by it cause he was more than sure he could handle himself Isura posted himself up against the wall and investigated everyone before speaking or doing much else.
The whole mission was becoming very bizarre for Uzumaki Naruko. The pounding on the guest room doors didn't do much to stirr her from her rest. She was already having a restless night due to the animosity of what was going in throughout their investigation. There was too much at stake and who knew if the tables would turn leading to their own throats getting cut. Naruko wasn't that paranoid just yet though…. As she rose from her slumber a tired expression remained on her face. She does open the door, listening to what the guard had to say but for now she merely could do what she was asked to do, while looking over everyone with a hint of caution and suspicion. Naruko did end up getting dressed, throwing on a tank top and a pair of blood orange shorts, she motioned down stairs, blond hair a tangled mess as she attempted to straighten it with her fingers. " What's on the Menu today…Mystery mystery and more mystery?" Naruko whined softly under her breath. She wasn't too irritatd but it was becoming difficult for her to keep up with the facts of the investigation.
Once Isura and Naruko join the others downstairs, in the large, luxurious living room, they'll find Kisuke, the failed-Senshi-applicant-turned-mercenary from Kumogakure, Karuko, the pale-haired little girl who seems far too mature for her age, and one other ninja, the one who hadn't done anything to stand out the night before, as well as Miss Mochi, Kuchihige, and some of the Alpine Patrol, and various servants, already waiting for them. Both Asashi and one of the others are missing.
Once everyone is all together, Kuchihige says, "We've gotten you up so early because one of the servants discovered a dead body within the manor grounds. Specifially, right outside the door of Uzumaki-san. It belonged to Satsumaki Furo, one of the other ninja called here to investigate. Cause of death is unclear, but it was like nothing that even our vaunted Alpine Patrol had ever seen. Equally unclear is why he was out in the hall that late at night, and why he was found in that specific location. And until we find a satisfactory answer, everyone will remain on the Mochi grounds. No exceptions."
A nervous guy with a mohawk and an x-shaped scar on his throat, says, "H-hey, I never agreed to that. If someone's killing us off on this job, then this isn't a job I'm going to keep doing!"
"Shorin-san, please be calm. Everyone will need to be questioned—" Kuchihige tries to tell him.
But Shorin will hear nothing of it. "No! No! That's bull! I'm not staying here! You can't make me!"
Saito Kisuke's hand goes to his sword, as the toothpick he has between his teeth goes upwards in agitation. "Sit down, and shut up."
"You thugs think you can bully me? I didn't come here for this!" Shorin protests. Karuko looks towards Naruko meaningfull for some reason… And then turns her gaze back on Shorin, while her voice addresses everyone. "Why don't we all take a deep breath. The sooner we clear ourselves of suspicion, and find out what's going on, the sooner we can be on our way."
Kisuke just goes, 'Tch' and takes his hand off his scabbard. Shorin, still agitated, folds his arms and sits down. Muttering about how this isn't right.
Karuko then turns to face the moustachio'd Kuchihige and says, "What do you need from us to resolve this matter? I'm sure that everyone here is eager to prove our innocence."
Isura reached into his pocket and pulled out a bar and started snacking. The show was just starting and it was getting good too. Either case the plot thicken and he could feel it too. "Perhaps we should discover the cause of death and then we should figure out why they stuck the body outside of Naruko room…based on her hair she is a heavy sleeper and didnt hear a thing " Isura teased before going back to his spot on the wall.
"They were…killed infront of my door? Without me knowing about it?" Naruko spoke softly while arching a brow in Karuko's direction. She offered a faint smile but honestly…this whole situation was becoming annoying. "A satisfactory answer… A shinobi decided to swoop in and kill the poor guy. They either had it coming or they are apart of the greater scheme of a plot that involves picking off a bunch of people. Technically any of us could be next." Naruko speaks up, chin up, while lastly frowning at Isura. "Nope, didn't hear a crunchy thing! I can sleep through pretty much anything. But considering that no one was alarmed by this. It was probably simple quiet kill while someone like myself will drag a person by the legs and make a lot of noise. Naruko then huffs. "We need to see the damage… Shorin is right. Keeping all of us here is starting to become more dangerous. You can't keep us here, but we also have a job to do. So let us do our job so people can stop dying."
Kuchihige looks cautiously towards Miss Mochi. "The details of the murder are… Quite upsetting. It might be best not to disclose them in front of—"
Lady Mochi interrupts to say, "My husband was killed by some form of poison that made him explode into a bloody paste. I think that I can handle whatever this is, Kuchihige-san." The veiled woman is not as frail of mind or spirit, as people keep treating her, though her physical frailty is still a factor.
Kuchihige seems to accept this, as well as Naruko's protest. He does give Isura a disapproving look due to how he's treating all of this like a game, but eventually, he says, "The only remains of Satsumaki Furo that were found were his skin. Seemingly removed whole and intact, from the rest of his body. His innards were mostly missing. Only some of his blood on the floor was left behind."
Kisuke shifts the toothpick between his teeth and says, "I guess there's no point in asking if any of us here know how to remove someone's skin without damaging it and then dispose of the rest of the body without leaving behind any trace of it… But the fact that there was a trace might be something to look into. Something else to look into, is why they were found outside Uzumaki's door. She says she's not the stealthy type. Without knowing more about her, and her abilities, I can't personally believe or disbelieve her. But it seems awfully strange that somebody's skin was found just lying there, you know?"
Karuko nods to Kisuke and nods. "Quite right. Infact, it's so suspicious, that it would be foolish to think it wasn't done on purpose." She then turns to Kuchihige and says, "Given that Naruko was one of the people involved in 'sniffing out' the culprits last night, it's possible that she was being implicated in the murder intentionally, and clumsily I might add, to try to diminish her in the eyes of others or to make her seem less trustworthy. The less competition, the greater the reward… Or at least so might go the thinking of someone who would do such a heinous thing."
Shorin pipes up, "Yeah! We came here to solve a murder, not get locked up and accused of things!"
Kisuke turns to look at Shorin again. Shorin shuts up.
Karuko says, "No one has accused you of anything. Do you think anyone has reason to?"
Shorin yells back, "Do you!?"
Karuko just scoffs at him dismissively, and doesn't even bother answering him. "I think it's evident that whoever did this was very skilled. That rules out Shorin." Shorin snarls at her. "While keeping us here is unwelcome, it may be necessary for now. I support Kuchihige-san in this… For the time being. Miss Naruko, your nose has proven useful once before. Perhaps you would be willing to lend it again and see if you can determine whose scents may have been at the site of the murder?"
Oddly, Shorin protests. "Right, like I'm going to trust my innocence to someone's claims about what they can smell but no one else can!?"
Karuko ignores him, and Kisuke, becoming increasingly fed up with him, points at him forcefully. "You will, and you'll like it! Shut! Up!"
Isura closed his eyes to think of reasons why and to breakdown the limited evidence left behind. Isura wasnt the best at missions like this however the case my be he was here and a job needed to be done. "Its safe to assume that another murder will happen yet again tonight to frame someone else perhaps me or the absent Iga…the reasons are simple whom ever is doing this is weeding out the strong that could stop them. Their method is clean…very cleans and I know of very little people that can perform a job like this…one uses posin the other a skilled swordsman or surgeon…then again perhaps we're asking the wrong questions here." Isura paused before tapping his hand to his chin…"this is starting to chew me off…"
Naruko nods to the group reaching up to rub along the tip of her nose. "Yes, I can sniff it out and see if I can catch a scent. That may be one of the easier clues we can get in order to figure out…this whole situation." Naruko explains rolling her eyes briefly as she looks over to Isura. This place was truly becoming chaotic. This was a case of attracting too many shinobi for a job that was becoming a blood bath in itself. " Just a quick question. Who's idea was it again to bring all these shinobi here?" Naruko asks curiously, just for own caution note taking. It was hard to trust anyone at this rate. " We'll use my nose…and perhaps Isura-san's eyes may be of some use…"
Everyone goes upstairs. The idea that people could be getting framed for this doesn't seem to sit well with anyone. There's little comment on it, but looks are exchanged. Karuko does say, "That would be awfully predictable, wouldn't it? To keep framing people? They would have to be quite smart indeed to keep doing so successfully." Karuko looks at each ninja and person in turn on the way up, as she speaks… "We are all, mostly, qualified ninja." Then she looks at Shorin. And then moves on after a moment of lingering. "We should be able to discern what's really going on here shortly."
Shorin is practically purple with rag, and doesn't seem to want to go up there. When they reach the hallway outside of Naruko's room, Kuchihige nods to an Alpine Patroller. The man, wrapped up in a white parka, with hood, and face mask, goes into one of the guest rooms that has apparently been designated an area for storing evidence, and holds the door open just enough for people to see inside.
And the… Crumpled… Thing… Lying on the floor. It's not like seeing a dead body. It's like seeing some scrap of cloth, some discarded article of clothing. Just one that happens to be shaped like a human. Because that's what the red-stained, rubbery-looking thing is. It's already starting to produce the scent of decomposition. Naruko likely would have detected that much on the way up here.
But oddly, the stains on the floor have minimal blood traces. Possibly why she may not have noticed on the way downstairs. But now, here, looking at discarded human skin, and the stains on the floor… She may pick up not only the faint traces of blood, but of a couple other things as well…
With Isura's visual perception, he may also notice that Shorin's rate of perspiration has grown significantly more extreme than the people around him. His skin practically shines with sweat. Sure, it's warm in here. It's cold and snowy outside after all. But even the guy bundled up in winter clothes in this warmth isn't sweating as much as Shorin. That isn't necessarily evidence, but…
"So, who found the body?" Shorin asks. "They might be the one responsible."
Kuchihige says, "A servant found the remains. She has been working here for years, apparently, and is quite distraught. If you'd care to question her, you may."
Karuko's violet gaze scans over the scene of the crime. "I don't believe that will be necessary." she answers for Shorin. "Unless Uchiha-san determines her Chakra is beyond human average, then I think it is safe to say that she could not have snuck up on and disposed of a ninja silently like this."
Also, on the way up here, with Miss Mochi remaining downstairs due to her physical condition, Kuchihige admitted that hiring ninja was a decision made jointly by both Miss Mochi and himself, at his recommendation. She could have veto'd it and used only the Alpine Patrol, but the Alpine Patrol lack the capabilities of ninja. It was hoped that special powers could expediently find the killer, since investigations like these usually take a long while ordinarily, with only mundane investigators.
Isura scanned the area with his Sharingan and for the most part all was normal however something stood out. Shorin he was sweating a lot more then he shoukd should have been and smirked. "Hmm tell me something why are you sweating bullets over there Shorin?" Is asked bluntly as he looked on it swifted quickly from Shorin and back to searching he felt that whom ever did this might make a move soon or relaxed more of someone else felt the heat. Either case tossing Shorin to the lions should bear some fruit. Isura eyes darted across the scene before he briefly paused "yeah may I speak with her for a moment? You know the woman that came across this tragic scene?"
Naruko was perplexed at the least as she began to…sniff around a bit. Her eyes settled upon the flesh figure on the ground but then her focus returned to the door. She could smell the scent of the deceased right upon it, which caused a slight frown upon her lips. Perhaps that guy was trying to kill her, and someone else came a long and offed him before he had he chance to do so. There was also the foul odor as well as… an unknown woman in the area. "So here is the deal… There were only two people in the hall way… This dead guy and someone else…there is also a chemical scent here…" She omitted the idea that the guy was going to slip into her room. " Need to track the source of the chemical and…this other scent. I need to sniff everyone…"
"You just talked about framing people, and then you start right up!" Shorin protests at Isura's prodding. All Isura did was say he was sweating a lot. He didn't say anything about Shorin being responsible for anything, did he?
Kisuke again takes it on himself to police Shorin. "Settle down!" he snarls. Then he coughs a couple times and wipes his mouth with the back of his sleeve.
Kuchihige ignores the bickering for now, and turns to Isura. "I will arrange for you to be able to speak with the maid. She's young, and has been here her whole life. It was not a sight I would have wanted her to be exposed to at any age, but especially not hers."
But Shorin is getting more and more agitated by Naruko's reporting on things while this is going on and, and says, "I'm not going to stand here and tolerate this! I'll be downstairs!"
Kisuke coughs a few more times as he says, "Y-you're not going anywhere!"
Karuko, thus far cool as a cucumber, seems to actually be showing worry and signs of fear or concern as she watches Kisuke's cough worsen. "Saito-san, are you alright?"
Kisuke lets out, "I'll be just fine when this guy settles down." One hand is already on his sword scabbard. He is advancing on Shorin, as the latter keeps trying to push past the Alpine Patrol and towards the stairs.
Kuchihige protests, "I say! Saito-san is correct! Calm yourself! If it is as you say, then there's nothing to be concerned about! We will not allow any innocent people to be framed—"
"THIS WHOLE THING IS A FRAMEJOB!" Shorin yells, seeming to be sweating so severely now that his hair is dripping, and his clothes are soaked through. "YOU CALL US HERE, THEN TRY TO LOCK US UP, AS YOU ARREST US AND KILL US, ONE BY ONE!? NO WAY! I'M OUT OF HERE, AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME!"
The patrollers draw black rods from their belts that they extend into combat poles of some kind, and Kisuke is still trying to threaten Shorin into cooperating, even as he keeps coughing and hacking, some black and steaming dribbling out of his mouth and onto the carpet. It smells horrible.
Karuko looks truly alarmed now, rushing forward and clutching at Kisuke's pant leg, as she says, "Saito-san, please let me help you! You're clearly not well! If that's some kind of poison—"
But Kisuke shoves her aside with one hand while drawing his blade with the other as he staggers towards Shorin. Karuko falls on the floor from the force of the shove, her pale hair in disarray.
This is escalating really quickly.
Isura tooked a step back and watched as things unfolded its clear to him that Shorin had something to do with, however whether it was direct or indirect is still to be determine. As for the rapidly depleating chakra of Kisuke it posed a thought, why was its chakra fading?" That's when the wheels started to turn and with a sigh Isura faded in between Kisuke and Shorin "do either of you two have something to share with the rest of the class?" Isura yawned before taking a more relaxed stance as he watched how things started to unfold.
Things were getting out of hand. Isura was being an idiot, two guys were fighting. There was a dead "body" infront of her. Everyone was getting all tense. Naruko was a lovable free flowing kind of person, but when things were getting so insane that she couldn't even thing… Her blood boiled while her fingers buried down deep into her palms. There is a brief spike of chakra and while she doesn't utter the words, she applies a hand seal, there is a sudden "poof" sound before 6 Narukos appeared out from her form, two of them adding to Isura's entourage ready to restrain Kisuke and Shorin if they stepped any further, the other Narukos merely began to spread out, one cornering off towards the stairs, another examining the body further, and the other two watching for any sudden odd movement. "Stop!" The real Naruko then exclaims angrily stomping one foot to the floor. "No one goes anywhere! If you try and leave… I'm not going to kill you but I am going to kick your butts!" Naruko presses. "There is some questioning that needs to happen and /everyone/ needs to line up for a sniff." Naruko orders, pointing off to the Naruko next to her, the designated sniffer. " Leave this investigation to the expert!" Naruko was bold to say that, this wasn't her forte, but she was growing in confidence. "We are getting closed to solving this…but you guys need to shut up and stop arguing…"
Isura's sudden body flicker into the way clearly catches both the samurai and the sweating guy by surprise, though the former is not exactly at his peak, clearly. Isura's show of yawning as though this isn't an extremely tense and charged situation doesn't make anything better though. Neither does his condescension. Infact, it pushes Shorin over the edge. The moment that Isura gets in the way, distracting the hacking and coughing Kisuke as some black substance keeps pouring from his mouth and now splatters on Isura's shoes, Shorin takes that moment to act.
He tries to turn and flee, just as a bunch of Narukos appear. "Multi-Shadow Clone Technique!?" he exclaims. Seems he recognizes the technique at least. Kisuke is in no condition to recognize anything, as he holdsa hand over his mouth even as black awfulness continues to leak between his fingers.
He doesn't seem to be in any condition to protest Naruko or her clones sniffing him. Though now the pony-tailed samurai's poison-vomit or whatever that is that's coming out of his lungs is adding another layer of odor.
Naruko's sniffing should be enough to identify everyone here. Everyone except Karuko, as she gets back to her feet after being so harshly pushed. She still looks quite concerned for Kisuke, but just stays where she is for now, one hand to her chest. Oddly enough, right when it comes time to sniff Karuko… It doesn't appear that she has any odor at all. Not even the basic scent of a human being's body.
Suddenly, Shorin's body distorts, parts of it extending outwards into spikes that try to impale the nearby clones, and may force Isura to defend himself. But that's all a distraction, as the rest of the man liquefies into a gray sludge that flows right around the Uchiha. He seems to dissolve right in front of everyone, becoming less like a person and more like a wave of some dirty-water-colored slime that washes over Kisuke despite the samurai's attempts to slash at him with his sword one-handed.
Regardless of if Isura was injured or not, or the Clones dispersed or not, the gray wave engulfs Saito Kisuke, sweeping him down the hall.
Karuko watches in horror as she yells out, "Saito-san! SAITO-SAN!"
Her own extreme speed is enough to let her reach the wave of gray ooze that was once Shorin just as it melts through the floor of the hallway and pours downwards and out of sight. Karuko, surprisingly distressed for someone who didn't even know the failed Senshi applicant before this mission, collapses to her hands and knees, looking down the hole, and seeing it continues downwards for several more floors.
That faint chemical scent is strong in the hallway, though already quickly dissipating. It, along with Shorin's own scent, have doused the entire hallway for a second time, and it appears he has taken his second victim.
Karuko's eyes tear up a bit, but whether it's from emotion or the chemical smoke stinging them is unclear. Then she yells down the hole, after the man and the monster, "KISUKEEEE!"