Date: August 20, 2012
Ori Chosaku, an up-and-coming novelist, has written a book that sounds eerily like the life of Enkaku Jirou, a citizen of Kadomai. Concerned that the author might be spying on him, Jirou has hired a team of Leaf nin to investigate Chosaku.
"About the Author"
Ori Chosaku's home, Kadomai
A small team of ninja are now standing outside the home of Ori Chosaku, an author of some reknown. He's something of a new arrival on the literary scene, having published only a single book, "Miles Apart." The sensitive and thoughtful tale of a young man's journey through life, it's been well-loved by critics, and apparently bookstores can't keep it in on the shelves. There's just one problem. The client, Enkaku Jirou, read the book and found that the protagonist is… well, it's him.
Jirou has made a pretty convincing case that Chosaku somehow knows the details of his life and wrote about them. Same looks, similar personalities, similar families, even the same job. Rather striking coincidences, and Jirou would simply leave it at that were it not for one detail: Chosaku lives in Kadomai, and so does Jirou. Afraid that his privacy has been somehow breeched, Jirou has asked Konoha to arrange an investigation of Chosaku's home to find evidence that the up-and-coming author has been watching him.
Chosaku's home is a little smaller than one might expect from a famous author, but it does appear to be a little nicer than most homes in the neighbourhood. Well-kept gardens on either side of the house, two spacious-looking floors, nice, big windows. Getting in should be easy enough, but there is the problem of Chosaku himself. Naturally, the team can't allow him to become aware of the investigation, and they can't harm him. Fortunately, Konoha has arranged for one way of dealing with him.
"We're journalists," Atsuro explains. Indeed, he is dressed in the tan suit and fedora of the archetypical reporter. The pencil tucked behind his ear is a nice touch too. "Well, I'm a journalist. You four are kids who wanna learn the trade." Just in case the team members haven't got suitable clothing, they've been given a small budget by Konoha to buy something. Hey, it's not like Atsuro just had the reporter outfit lying around either. "We're working for the Konoha Literature Review. He should have gotten a letter saying we'd come for an interview." He turns around and faces the group. "That'll get us in, but we'll need to find some way of keeping him busy while we look around the house. Or getting him out of the house for a while. Any ideas?"
The shortest of the group, by the name of Kisuke… Hanto Kisuke. This kid is Kizuken in disguise! He went all out and bought himself a simple outfit. An inspector hat like the great detective Homozu Shiroku. A Ha-YUGE fan of detective novels and stories, his interest has grown from that to wanting to become a writer himself, either books or for an inquisitive publication.
At this time, Kizuken tugs at Atsuro's sleeve, asking (while completely in character already), "Hey, I can just ask him bunches of questions because I want to learn about how he started writing in the first place and what he wanted to be when he grew up before he figured out how he wanted to be a writer and such and I could even start off with the famous question of 'what's your -story-'… get it? Because I'm using 'story' like a double-meaning and-" and on and on. Kizuken was making the point of being the extremely lively kid (not much different from his normal ventures) with a ton of questions. "Oh, and an autographed copy of his book!" He even got excited, forgetting that he was merely in character, "and then I could take it to all my friends in writing class and they would be SOOO jealous and then I'll be like 'HAHA losers I win this one!' and then-" And on and on he rambled. Yes, very distracting.
Well, Atsuro has finally managed to do it. Beyond all odds, beyond any and all protests from the younger chuunin, Atsuro has finally managed to do what many considered nigh to impossible. It's quite impressive… or it would be under other circumstances. What did Atsuro do that is so impressive, you may ask? Well, the answer is obvious if one were to look, for Taiki is wearing a suit. That's right, the young man famous for threatening to feed people their own entrails for suggesting he wears anything other than either civilian or ninja kimonos is wearing a business suit! Shinigami'sama will surely be passing out candy soon….
Indeed, Taiki is currently wearing a grey business suit with a dark blue tie that is sliightly loose and off center. Suspended around his neck is a pad of paper with an ink pen (yet another thing for Taiki to shudder about internally), and a camera. Shinobu and Nozomi are with the group, but they will not be joining the team inside for the moment. No, they will be monitoring from a short distance away. "I take it I'm a fetch and carry person on this assignment then Atsuro? Or is there something else you wish me to do?" For now, Taiki doesn't sound too forgiving for his sensei, for he is very uncomfortable in this gettup.
Yuya was an avid reader of novels, specifically novels of the romantic persuasion. However due to the prominence of Ori Chosaku's only published novel Yuya picked it up. The young man has been reading it avidly ever since. Using the budget provided to him Yuya donned the attire of an earnest and inquisitive ordinary lad. He wears a regular golden t shirt and slung a blue scarf around his neck. Glasses were fashioned upon his mug, rectangular lens. Light brown baggy pants were worn and typical sandals finish his guise. Yuya also has Chosaku's book on hand. He sighs softly having forgotten how much older Atsuro was than him. His plan was legitimate and Hitoshi's performance would be the most convincing. Yuya nods to the energetic Senju.
An Inuzuka in a suit…that you don't see. "This could prove to be entertaining." Yuya says opening the book. He understands his role and prepared to play the part. He glances to Kizuken as he continues to ramble and chuckles softly. He looks to Atsuro and gives him the 'ok' sign before he begins reading the book. Regardless of what they found inside the dwelling, Yuya did want to get his autograph. His eyes rise from the book and he marks the page. He looks to Kizuken "If you wouldn't mind." he hands Kizuken the book. "I'm a fan. I'd appreciate it." he says to the young man.
The onslaught of questions/suggestions/babble from Kizuken is truly impressive. Atsuro stands there for a moment, stunned, then answers. "Well, I'm sure you'd be great at peppering him with questions," he agrees, "You think you can take a look around the sitting room too? Or wherever you end up talking with him." He figures a hyperactive kid looking around at things will be less suspicious than a grown reporter, who should have more of a sense of propriety about these things.
He glances over to Taiki. "Fetch and carry?" he repeats, "You mean in the assumed identity or for real? Either way, I think you've given me an idea."
He looks over to Yuya. "Oh," he says, "You read it? That might be handy. If you recognize anything from the book in his house, make a note of it. Like if the author and the character both have the same favourite food, or whatever, we can scratch that off the list of suspicious things." That was another detail Jirou found odd. The character, like him, just /loves/ okonomiyaki.
"Okay," says Atsuro, turning around again and heading toward the front door. "Kizuken and I will handle the actual interviewing. Taiki, Yuya, a short ways into the interview, find reasons to excuse yourself and start looking around the house. Bathroom, forgot something at home, whatever." He approaches the door and knocks. After a moment, the door opens, revealing a spare, blond-haired, green-eyed man in his late twenties. "Ori-san?" asks Atsuro, "We're from the Konoha Literature Review, we mailed you about an interview?" He glances back to the other boys here. "Oh, these are my assistants. Learning the trade.
Chosaku smiles widely and waves the ninja in. "Yes, yes," he says happily, "I've been expecting you. I'm really quite excited." He leads the group into a small but well-kept parlor. He gestures to a wide sofa, then sits himself down in a leather club chair. "So," he says, obviously eager for the interview to begin, "Where shall we begin?"
Kizuken quickly opens the book, and for ten very quiet seconds, he flips through the pages, eyenarrowing then snapping the book shut. Clears his throat, and when the door opens, he holds the book up like a giddy fanboy, "OH MAN! There he is! Omigawdohmigawdohmigawd! Chosaku-sama! I have a million things I want to know!"
He runs up the walk and through the door and slams his butt onto the couch, bouncing up and down biting on both his upper and lower lip, sucking them in but his cheeks puffed out like they are about to burst. His eyes even water for a half a second before he can't contain it anymore.
"Ok so I have to know what happened to his parents and how did you make him so cool!? Oh and where did you get your inspiration from when you were a kid or was it later on in life because I feel like I'm a writer at heart and I wanna be a detective also you mind if I poke around WOW you have a lot of cool stuff-" Kizuken started poking around, something here something there, poke at that glass case but not too hard to break it while peering at what's inside, "-so did you always want to write books and you don't look like what I imagined I thought you might be a little older and a bit more bald than what you are-" and he even gets up reeeeaaaly close to Chisoku and peers at his head while talking about baldness. "-but anyway I just wanted to know how did you come up with the line-" he stands on the couch like a conquered stairway to a giant castle, and quotes a line from the book, likely when he read it for ten seconds, and then sits down -extremely quietly- and very still and finishes up with a simple word.
Taiki rolls his eyes at Atsuro's left-handed remark and just smirks. "I'm pretty sure you know exactly what I meant Atsuro," he says before he outlines the plan. Once the plan is given out, and Taiki agrees with a nod, he falls to behind and to the left of the team leader. When they're let in Taiki starts to glance around, as if impressed by the place, his hands obviously itching to take photos. Instead he follows the author and Atsuro in, though he's a little far back to the awe he shows.
Yuya nods to Atsuro and glances to Taiki. Yuya began formulating an excuse and could only hope Taiiki did the same. When Chosaku emerges from his home Yuya immediately noticed the resemblance between him and the protagonist. This was an oddity but would probably be one of many. He follows the group in at the rear. Upon entering the room he glances around looking or objects of sentiment. Kizuken wasted no time in his 'act'. At least Yuya was hoping it was all an act. He'd wait for the opportune moment to utilize his excuse. The dcor and layout of the room was scrutinized as Yuya adjusted his glasses. "Don't take this the wrong way Chosaku-san but I'd have thought a prestigious and recognized author like you would have a dwelling to reflect." Yuya stated. "You must be as modest as you are gifted." He says to Chosaku with a soft smile.
Chosaku does not seem the least bit daunted by the incredible volume of questions spilling from Kizuken's mouth. "Well, you see," he begins, "I kept the question of what happened to his parents open-ended, of course, but as the mayor deduced, they most likely died in the fire. See, some parts of the book are based on real-life. I, um, heard about a similar case here in Kadomai." Not noticing Atsuro's raised eyebrow, he continues to answer the questions quite graciously, obviously still unused to his newfound fame. He also mentions that he's sure Kizuken will be a great writer someday, and to stay in school and keep reading and writing.
Atsuro takes a moment to glance back over to Taiki. "Hajime," he says, "Would you mind getting my briefcase? I think I left it by the door." Chosaku doesn't seem to have noticed that Atsuro never had anything resembling a briefcase.
He pauses in dealing with Kizuken's barrage of questions to answer Yuya's. "Ah, yes," he says, seeming a little embarrassed. "I'm not one for ostentatious displays of wealth. And this is the house I lived in before Miles Apart was published. Some parts of it are… important to me." While looking around, Yuya might notice a telescope off to the side pointed out the window. It's rather fancy-looking, and probably mostly decorative, but there's nothing about its appearance to suggest it isn't functional. There's other furniture as well, but the telescope stands out the most at the moment. Coffee tables, lamps, seats. Nothing too exciting, though they may have some secrets to be revealed by a thorough investigator.
At this time, Kizuken reacts balefully to Chosaku's answers. Clenching his fists and looking up at the ceiling. "Awwww noooo! But you can't have it open ended because then there would need to be a sequal- OHHH!" Kizuken blares over to Chosaku, grabbing at the man's shirt, "Tell me there's gonna be a sequal!!" He flattens out Chosaku's clothing where his small hands ruffled it, and climbs back down to the floor. "because if there isn't a sequal I'll have to buy a puppy and someday that puppy will grow into a dog and that dog will grow old and then it will die and I'll be really sad -you don't want me to be sad, do you!?!-" Kizuken points accusatorially at the man, then turns around and harumphs, "I bet you're writing it right now-" GASP! "You're writing a sequal, aren't you!? I knew it!" Eyes go upturned crescents and he gets all giddy again, holding his hands under his chin with twinkles all around him, "A sequal…" Wait… is -she- gonna be in that one?" Kizu's eyes narrow, knowing that there is always a female character that noone likes in a book that noone wants in the sequal. So, he plays on that part. Don't tell me she's gonna be in it.." then he mopes and sits back on the couch, staring down at the coffee table, and he anime slither-slides down, "I don't think I could handle that~" Nice chance to peek under here while I'm down here, he thinks to himself.
"Hai Kaoru'sama," he says quietly so as to not disturb the line of questioning. Quickly he ducks out of the room they're in, and once in the hallway he starts to looking around, fist starting with any other doors leading to other rooms. A quick, silent activation of his Inuzuka senses later, he starts trying to track via smell, looking for either most-often-resided-in rooms or for any other inhabitants. After verifying that there was no one behind the first such door he came to, he checks for any traps before slowly and silently opening the door wide enough to peak inside and see what kind of room he found.
Yuya smiles and seems impressed with Chosaku's answer. He adjusts his glasses. "That's what I felt made the story so compelling. It's as if you knew the turmoil from personal experience." Yuya states glancing to the telescope. Taiki had left to do his part, Yuya supposed he should get to doing the same. He'd have to interrupt Kizu's flow, the boy was doing a great job too. "That's a rather nice telescope. How long have you had it?" he asks. Yuya shifts in his seat and his glasses slip of his face. They fall to the floor. Yuya squints and groans "Darn it." he feels around for them. He finds them and inspects them. Yuya moves over the window where the telescope sits to get some 'sunlight' as he cleans and inspects his glasses. All the while he checks the scenery available to Chosaku if he were to use the telescope from this position. When finished he puts his glasses on and turns to Atsuro "They're still smugged. I'm going to go grab my cleaner if that's alright."
Well, Chosaku does seem a little perturbed by Kizuken's craziness by this point, but he's still happy to keep answering questions. "Well, yes," he admits, "I've just started writing the first draft. It starts a year after the events of the first book. Kou has just found out that there might have been another s— oh!" He shakes his head, "I'm sorry, my publisher doesn't want me talking about the plot yet."
He nervously eyes Atsuro, who is writing on a notepad. Writing, here, should be taken to mean 'drawing a happy dog.' But Chosaku doesn't need to know that. "We'll keep it to ourselves," Atsuro says, pretending to scratch something out."
"She?" Chosaku asks, "You mean Miyuki? Well, of course most of the readers didn't like her, but as I said, some of this is based on a true story." He rambles on a little as Kizuken slides down. On the coffee table is a number of magazines and a copy of "Miles Apart." Nothing that interesting, but once of the magazines has something sticking out of it: an envelope used as a bookmark. It's already opened and empty, but written in ink Kizuken might be able to read "ption Agency," and below that in big, red, stamped letters, "fidential."
The room Taiki finds is untrapped. And from the smell, Chosaku does indeed spend a lot of time here. It's a little study. A couple of bookshelves against the wall, a writing desk by a window, also with a typewriter. The bookshelves are full of books. Mostly novels, and the occasional style guide. The desk has a wastebasket on the floor beside it. It's empty, but the desk itself has a number of drawers. The typewriter is mostly unremarkable, but there is a half-typed page in the carriage.
Meanwhile, back in the parlor, Chosaku is turning red at Yuya's compliment. "Oh," he says delightedly, "Thank you very much. I admit, a lot of the book is based on personal experience. Of course, other parts are based on other sources." He glances over to the telescope. "Oh, not long now. A little before I got my book published, I suppose."
Atsuro waves Yuya onward. "That's fine," he says, "If you happen to spot Hajime, would you send him back here? I swear, that kid could get lost in an empty field."
Kizuken noticed the envelope, but the book became priority in his cover-story. So, he nabs it off the table with a rigor that knocked some of the magazines off the table, "Ohhh my gosh so sorry, but could you please autograph my copy?" Hopefully he could get a glimpse and memorize what the envelope says if it stuck out of the magazine any more, or heck if it fell out would be perfect. But he sets the magazines back on the table and picks up the book, and heads over to Chosaku, holding the book out to him. "Actually.." he moves next to Chosaku to whisper at him, "It's for that guy Yuya, I like his younger sister and he wanted his copy signed so maybe he could put in a good word for me to her, please don't tell him!" Kizuken gets a big goofy grin then and 'realizes' he doesn't have a pen. "I'll get a pen!" he stands in the middle of the room, looking around, then turns around to look at Chosaku a bit embarassed, "Uhmm…" scratching the back of his head, "Where do you keep the pens?" Nervous boyish laugh.
Taiki keeps his senses up, relying on both smell and hearing to warn him should someone approach, and to identify that someone if they're known to him. In the meantime he reads the half-typed paper in the typewriter, then starts to carefully explore the desk, checking each drawer before openning it. He's very careful in noting where exactly everything is, and making sure it is put right back that way. Still, he looks for anything, files, papers, notes, anything. He is most thorough in both his search and putting everything back where he found them. It wouldn't do to scare off the guy by finding his study ransacked, now would it?
Yuya nods to Atsuro and bows to Chosaku before departing. When he leaves the room Yuya would be like a shadow casted by darkness. He slips off deeper into the house. Somewhere along the lines, right around the time Kizuken mentions his fib about Yuya's sister, Yuya sneezes, although he manages to muffle it. 'Huh, that came out of nowhere.' he thinks before continuing on with his search. With Taiki in what could be presumed to be Chosaku's study Yuya ventures elsewhere in the home. He'd make a point to stop by each window and check the view. A telescope could only be useful in surveillance provided one had the required view. He also thoroughly scans each room for an item that pertained to the storyline of the novel. Chosaku did say he drew from personal experiences.
"Oh," says Chosaku, "That's actually my copy." He gestures to the book Yuya gave Kizuken earlier, "Isn't that one on the couch yours?" He gets to his feet. "I'll go get a pen," he volunteers, walking out of the room. Atsuro siezes on the opportunity and quickly moves over to the club chair to quickly feel between the cushions, hoping he might find something useful that was dropped in there. Now that it can be seen fully, the envelope is addressed to Chosaku. The words Kizuken could see before are "Confidential" and "Kadomai Adoption Agency."
Taiki's search of the desk doesn't produce much. Scrap paper, writing instruments, loose change. However, the paper in the typewriter is very interesting indeed. It appears to be part of the second novel Chosaku mentioned:
"I can't believe it," Kou said, now on the verge of tears, "After all these years, I never imagined I'd see you again." He pulled Yuji into a hug. "What about Mother and Father?" he asked, "If you survived, maybe they
The text ends there. The ink doesn't appear to have completely dried yet. Chosaku may have been interrupted by the arrival of the ninja.
Yuya's check of the windows yields interesting results. It seems that Chosaku has a pretty good view of quite a bit of the town, especially on the second floor. It's not unreasonable to think that someone could keep tabs on a citizen of the town using the telescope from these windows.
More interesting than that, though, Yuya comes across the master bedroom, where a specific decoration might draw his attention: a picture of a man and a woman, and two sons. It's an old photograph, and all the people in it look similar to Chosaku. But what Yuya might find more interesting than that is the frame. To borrow a line from "Miles Apart," the frame is "made of polished red wood with scallops carved into it." The only other survivor of the fire, the frame was the protagonists only momento of his family, who perished in the fire.
Kizuken melts in good line with his character being a fanatic and tense-body-twinkle-toes over to the couch, making a dance move to grab the book and rockstar shove it into the air above his head, "Yeah! I knew it, I'm gonna be the hero and get her the signed copy and she'll be all '~Kizuken-kun~'" his eyes go all hearty and his whole body wiggles in that anime way, "And she'll so be my girlfriend this after! Whew.. I can't even talk straight." He looks at the book calmly for a moment, and shoots it up into the air again, same rocker pose, "But I'm getting a signature~!" And he drops the other copy down onto the table, but it falls off the table, and in a reaction to go for it he accidentally kicks it under the couch, and down he goes after it, "Oh, I got it.." and reeeaaach for it but his other hand looking under the couch cuishons if possible, doing a momentary hand swipe through grab it if anything is there and shove into pocket if it fits, if not able to fold or hide it under his jacket top it goes! Ninja hidden object in coat no jutsu! While grabbing the first copy and retrieving it for real, and putting it on the table, and also tucking the envelope back into the magazine like it was before, so as not to cause attention.
Taiki reads the passage for a moment, then takes his notebook and copies down the contents of the page word for word in Konoha Chuunin code. Good thing he's a Founder's clan member and has practice memorizing codes, so this goes quickly. Once done, he moves on, checking for any hidden compartments or places around the room. He uses his nose to see if there's any place that smells like Chosaku more than any place else, still keeping an ear out for any sign of someone coming. He even checks any scrolls or books present, while keeping disturbances to a minimum. Once done, he sneaks back out of the room, and goes to get the object Atsuro sent him to get, so he can return to the rest of them.
Yuya looks closely at the picture frame and the picture itself. "This doesn't add up." He says to himself recalling the description of the frame from the story. Yuya then turns his attention to the people in the picture. It was old definitely not something recent. Time had left its mark on the picture and those in the picture all bore a striking resemblance to Chosaku. Yuya's eyes widen "But there was only one survivor. Could it be possible?" Yuya thinks to himself. He didn't have much more time to snoop. It was only a matter of time before Chosaku would get suspicious with both he and Taiki gone. Yuya checks the rest of the room including under the bed/futon. He'd return shortly playing the part again walking in with his glasses being clean between his shirt. "Just like new." he says smiling cheerfully.
Finished searching the chair, Atsuro just smirks a little as he listens to Kizuken's fantasy within a fantasy. Being Atsuro, he is tempted to tease him somehow, but the current circumstances put a damper on that. Instead, he just points out, "Neither of those books are yours, so be careful with them?" Then he continues his search, walking over to the telescope from before and looking through it. Kizuken's search, meanwhile, turns up a folded piece of paper.
Taiki's search of the room finds nothing particularly odd. The room seems to be almost totally dedicated to Chosaku's writing. Or the non-shady side of it, anyway, if Jirou's suspicions are correct. There is one interesting tidbit, however. On one of the shelves is a piece of paper. It seems to be a letter written to Chosaku from his mother, Ori Nanako. Not much of the actual text of the letter seems pertinent, but one section mentions a search and suggests that Chosaku should 'keep on looking' Just as Taiki is leaving the study, Chosaku comes in. Uh-oh! "Oh!" He seems a bit surprised for a moment, then recalls Atsuro's earlier comment about the boy getting lost. "The entrance is just that way," he says, pointing, "second door on the left." He continues into the study to get a pen.
Yuya's final search turns up something as well: a carbon paper under the bed. It's nearly thirtly years old according to the date at the top, and appears to be a copy of a typewritten report from a fire department. In one section, it lists two deaths: Enkaku Yuta and Enkaku Nayuki. Written in pencil in the margins is 'no Enkaku Jirou?'
Taiki and Yuya return. "Boy, sure took you a while," Atsuro ribs. Chosaku returns shortly afterwards with the pen and signs Yuya's book for Kizuken, then the interview continues. Atsuro lets it go on for a few more minutes so as to avoid suspicion, then gets to his feet. "Well, I think that'll be enough for our readers. Thank you for your time, Ori-san." Chosaku blathers for a moment about what a pleasure it's been and how flattered he is, then leads the out back to the foyer and sees them off.
After gathering up the dogs again, Atsuro leads the team over to a little park a couple of blocks away from the house, then flops down in the grass, gesturing for everyone else to do the same. "So," he begins, "Anyone find anything that might help us figure this out?"
With everything said and done, Kizuken plays the 'wailing fan' in having to leave, but clutches to the book until they get to the park, and he hands it lazily over to Yuya. "Here, here's your book." And his demeanor completely changes as he pulls out the small piece of paper he found in the couch. "I dunno, saw an envelope from the Kadomai Adoption agency addressed to Mister Chosaku, but there wasn't anything inside it. And I found this," and he opens it up to see what it says. "Hmm."
Taiki hmms for a moment, then carefully puts back the letter and starts to leave, only to run into Chosaku. He then thanks the guy, making it back in time for the entrance with Yuya, followed by the rest of the interview. As they leave he looks at the rest of the team, being quiet until Kizuken is done. "I managed to get into his study, and found a not-quite-dry yet excerpt from his new book in the typewriter."
After he's finished reading the notes he took on the excerpt he adds, "I also found something from an Ori Nanako stating that he should "keep on looking" for something. It didn't really have much information on what the search was about, only that Chosaku is looking for something."
Yuya takes the book from Kizuken "Much obliged. Fantastic performance by the way." Yuya remarks. The information Kizuken and Taiki offered seemed unfruitful, by themselves, but when complied Yuya began to formulate suspicions. He looks between Kizuken and Taiki. "Well then. I discovered in the master bedroom a fire report listing two fatalities. Enkaku Yuta and Enkaku Nayuki." Yuya takes out the book and flips through the pages "It's safe to assume these are our client's parents. In the margin written in pencil was 'no Enkaku Jirou?'." Yuya shows Chosaku's autograph "Chosaku's autograph matches the handwriting." Yuya comments. Yuya turns back a few pages "I also noted a picture. It was old, or appeared so and depicted a family. A mother and father with TWO sons." Yuya explains. "The frame too was intriguing. To barrow a line from 'Miles Apart'. It's made of polished red wood with scallops carved into it." Yuya shuts the book. "It is the only memento the protagonist has of his family." Yuya finishes. He looks to Kizuken wondering what the piece of parchment he acquired had to say.
"He was thinking of adoption?" Atsuro wonders aloud, "I didn't see — or smell — any sign of a wife." The letter is typewritten and addressed to Chosaku. A promising start, but sadly the letter itself is somewhat sparse on details. It's a tersely written letter informing Chosaku that 'we are unable to give out information on other families,' even for Chosaku, who has somehow been 'involved with us in the past.' Well, it doesn't say the whole details of the thing, but this could indeed be pertinent information.
After listening to Taiki's explanation of his evidence, Atsuro speaks up. "Chosaku mentioned that he often writes from real life. I wonder if that part was too. More importantly, I wonder whose life it's based on. Interesting that his mother wrote something about searching for something, and the book was about finding someone, though."
He raises an eyebrow at Yuya's descriptions. "So he knows of Jirou somehow," he says, "And there was something about the character in the book losing his family in a fire. But the memento from the fire… is Chosaku's, isn't it?"
Kizuken humms for a few moments, then puts the paper back into his pocket. "Well, if the two brothers who survived the fire were separated, and one was adopted, then that would explain why Chosaku was looking into the adoption agency, and they couldn't give out information on 'another family', like you just said." Then he walks over to Yuya, putting a hand on his shoulder, "And if Chosaku has teh object mentioned in the book that was the only thing that the protagonist had from the fire," and then he stands in the middle of the group for a second.
"And he apparently is 'stealing' from the other guy's life story… maybe they are brothers and don't know it? I know I wouldn't recognize my brother if we were split up for twenty years." Kizuken shrugs, looking around at the group like 'that's the best I have' with a shrug, walking over to scritchscritchscritch at one of the dog's. Hopefully that's the nice dog.
Taiki listens to rest as they speak, looking slightly lost for a few moments. Finally when Kizuken finishes he says, "It could be that maybe Chosaku thinks that our client is his long lost brother and has been watching him. It fits with the evidence show so far. Maybe he's writing the books to gain attention? Trying to draw our client out to have him do or say something to verify wether or not they are related?"
"Yes. The memento mentioned in the story is the very same picture frame and picture that Chosaku possesses." Yuya strokes his chin. "That seems plausible. He seemed surprised to know that Jirou didn't die in the fire." Yuya opens the book again. "Chosaku could've been adopted as well. It would explain the part of the letter where they refused giving out information about the family despite Chosaku being involved with them in the past." Yuya looks to Atsuro "Perhaps it's about two lives that share similar stories." Yuya glances to Kizuken "The picture showed two sons both looking like Chosaku and thus sharing a resemblance to the main character." Yuya nods to Taiki "That could be the case. Chosaku is looking for something. The evidence found suggest he could be looking for Jirou after finding out that he wasn't found dead in the fire report." Yuya rubs his head "Our client never mentioned anything about having a brother though did he?"
Atsuro looks over at Kizuken. "Oho," he says, "Now that's an interesting idea." He rubs his chin. "Well, if we say that Chosaku was only writing about himself, then the similarities might just be because they're brothers." Taizen accepts the scratching from Kizuken and whines happily. "Well, that's at least one person who agrees with you," Atsuro says.
He glances over to Taiki. "I guess he could have a lot more guile than it seems like," he says, "But we didn't really find anything that conclusively proves any spying, did we?" He rubs his chin. "Say we tell him everything we've found, but we aren't a hundred percent on the spying. The brother thing is a game-changer, anyway, isn't it?"
Finally, he replies to Yuya. "Jirou mentioned that the main character had a similar family situation. I haven't read the book, but it sounds like the main character's life is what we're suggesting now, isn't it? Lost his family in a fire and everything." He pauses. "His name Kou?" he asks. This is indeed the name of the book's protagonist.
As others speak and some kinda go on board with his idea, he scratches the dog a bit more happily, "Yeah boy, you agree with me, don't youuuu~?" Scratch scratch scratch. A little behind the ears, on the side of the neck, awww, Kizu likes da puppy!
He looks up for a moment, "So, we're bringing this to the guy who wanted us to snoop on his supposed snooper? Or should I just approach Chosaku directly and-" he nods to himself, great news like this shouldn't be kept a secret! And up the road he starts walking towards Chosaku's house once again! Such a kind lad!
"Who there!" Taiki says as he tries to get in front of Kizuken to block his path. "We need to make the report to the client first. That is first priority. From there, we can see what is to be done." Taiki then looks over to Atsuro and tilts his head. "Unless our team leader has any different ideas?" he prompts. After a moment he adds, "Remember, we act like a team, and we follow the mission parameters."
Yuya nods to Atsuro "In any case this is worth reporting to our client." The snooping wordplay Kizuken did earlier reminded Yuya of Chosaku's telescope. Yuya couldn't help but wonder what it was for. In his thought he doesn't notice Kizuken nearly jumping the gun. The reunion of brothers was a feeling Yuya would like to feel too. Orders were orders however. "Taiki-san is correct. Our first obligation is too our client. From there on what he does with the information is none of our concern."
Atsuro gets to his feet and chases after Kizuken along with Taiki. "Hold on there, kid," he says, "We can't tell him about our client. Or what we were doing for our client. If we tell Jirou what's up, that's just as good as telling Chosaku anyway." He glances back to Yuya. "If we're right, I think there's a reunion in their future either way. But even if there isn't, you're right. Our only responsibility is to get our findings to Jirou." He turns and points. "His home is on the other side of town. We meet him in person and we can see just how much he looks like our novelist friend. If they're brothers, great. If not, well, I'm not sure what the law is there, but thankfully we'll be washing our hands of it anyway."
Kizuken would definately make himself scarce after they tell Jirou what they found. And then go all spy on the two to get a front row seat at the reunion. "You know, losing your parents and not knowing where your sibling is is a very crappy place to be…" Kizuken talks like he speaks from experience, turning around and starting to walk towards where Atsuro said Jirou's house was on the other side of town. "Let's just tell him and go home.." Kizu wipes his face, but from this point wouldn't answer any questions poised at him from then on.
Taiki sighs and shakes his head, a momentary look of pain crossing his face when Kizuken makes that statment. "I don't have any siblings… but I know what you mean," Taiki says, his voice sounding hoarse and raw, as if holding back something. One would get the distinct impression that Taiki is also speaking from experience. This can further be proven as his ninken join the group. Both ninken look concerned about Taiki, and Shinobu stays by his side. Nozomi gives the young chuunin a deep look before running off just ahead of the group so she can circle it. She's on guard against something, but what is unknown. But Taiki's face soon adopts a neutral expression as the pain is shunted away. "Let's go, we have a job to complete."
Yuya stands and nods to Atsuro wanting to get going. "It is." Yuya responds to Kizuken. He tucks the book away suddenly realizing now more than ever why it appealed to him so much. Despite that realization he didn't feel like reading it. Yuya sighs softly "Atsuro-san care to lead the way?" Yuya says moving up next to him. "We're just about finished." Yuya folds his arms "I wonder how our client will take all of this."
"It's not like we're ignoring the problem," Atsuro points out, "We're just following the rules as we solve it. C'mon, lets see how our client reacts before we start worrying about whether or not they'll reunite."
Soon enough, they're at Jirou's and spilling the beans. It seems like they made the right choice, because Jirou — who bears a striking resemblance to Chosaku — is ecstatic. He excitedly explains that he did indeed lose his family in a fire, never imagining that his brother Chosaku might have survived. Already he's making plans to go see Chosaku and reveal everything. But before that, he figures, he ought to treat the team to dinner. Atsuro refuses, saying that they ought to get back to Konoha. But he hints that there may be a dinner on him in the team's future.