Date: Unknown (log received on September 27, 2010)
Due to failure in the retrieval of the Moon Orchid by Konoha, due to Odo and his comrades reaching the rare flower first, the ANBU Agent, Seven, as Tosai, is assigned to an investigation. He, along with Sylara, attempt to follow the lead gained by the carrying of a rare sword pair by this individual, delving into the heart of Fuuma Alley to meet his source. Meanwhile Rain, and Mushi, just by chance, seem to be around when all take place.
"Akomura’s Assignment : Following a Lead"
Ward 12 [Fuuma Alley]
Ward 12 [Fuuma Alley]
Fuuma Alley has more than its fair share of low-quality housing. However, they are also low-cost, so the unfortunate — and poor — civilian workers who live here are unable to complain. It is better to have a roof over one's head than nothing at all. The "houses" are primarily shacks, constructed from wood, and sometimes metal. However, there ARE a decent number of ACTUAL houses — they are just shabby, crammed up against each other, and have rather claustrophobically small interiors. Some are single-story, but with space at a premium, most are two or more stories high, with each house belonging to a different family or group. It is not always possible to live with one's own family in this city, and to save on the costs of living and the price of property tax, it is common for people who may not even know each other to live in the same house, in order to share the burden.
The streets are dirt, or mud when it rains, and are littered with various pieces of junk, rusted metal, and so forth, as well as the people who cannot afford to live in a house, regardless of how decrepit said house may be. Crime of all kinds is commonplace, and venturing out at night is considered exceptionally dangerous and foolish. Those who have locks on their doors keep those locks in place from twilight until early morning.
The air is dank and smoky, and most things are covered in soot from the factory furnaces. Clean water is a valuable commodity in such an environment, and one can easily identify outsiders by the lack of ash staining their clothing.
This indeed had been one of those investigative missions everyone seems to be not so used to being sent on. An undisclosed source, had been demanding of information which in the end, delayed the curing of poisons inflicted to a beloved individual. This mission, though disguised as an simple escort mission for a two man pairing in that of Chuunin, Akimichi Tosai, and one other in the person of Hikashiro Sylara, had been only a guise to get to Fuuma Alley. a place known for its more seedier natures, not governed so much by a body that cares for the people, but a place ruled by the all mighty ryo, where the worst and most wrong kind of influence can get you places. Sylara, had been here for her talents in one way or another, and Tosai, though his lead in this mission seemed one way, had been given an ulterior objective.
A drawn picture of a par of sword, a smaller, and larger, had been on his person, in a micro film, and it had been being used as something of a calling card, to locate one particular man. A suspect. He would have his eyes on the prize of one man, an expert in the craft of weaponry, and a collector of the strange. This had been why even now, the ninja who had arrived after there mission, would be set up at the inn known as the "Howling Tanuki.", known for its good liquor, and gambling. The rooms, had been cheap, and though this place had not afforded the more luxurious comforts, it had been located about a block away from the source. The informant had been nearby, and Tosai, would only need so much time. Sylara, would have had details held from her until the last moment, a silent briefing that night, being made, before the two would steal off into the night. The bar, called, "The Lonely Kunai", had been juke joint, with loud music, easy women, and more booze. Perhaps a good place to find one Orinata Yojimbo… the person whose intellect would help with what had been the task at hand.
"Keep an eye out on a short man, 5'2, with a long beard, reddish hair, bald, and a really cruddy way with women. He might be seen hitting on everything that walks." This would be said by Tosai with a chuckle to Sylara, as he would walk in, his own form cloaked with something rather drab and hiding of any details that would hint at his occupation as ninja. Tosai would move to the bar, order some Sake and keep his eyes peeled. "Keep eye contact with me. You will know when I have found anything."
"Mushi, Mushi." Rain would state with slow deliverance as he pushed and empty cup towards her. "Pour me another before you get too far in to this… issue." he would smile slightly as he leaned back. The Lonely Kunai, as it was, of course was more of the type of place you go to forget about anything resembling responsibility, but Rain was never out of his mind due to women, alcohol, and noise. If anything, it just made secrets that much easier to keep when no one can remember the night before. "And of course, pour one for yourself, on me. I won't take no for an answer."
Sylara follows Tosai into the bar, and makes a b-line for the other end of the bar. She orders a glass of milk, thinking she should keep her wits about her. She looks around the bar, periodically glancing at her partner-in-crime. She currently wears a casual outfit, a pair of jeans, and a tank-top, her headband concealed.
All at once Mushi came hurrying back to Higure and the Medical Center. The Center professed neutrality during the siege of Konoha, but that didn't stop a healer from being commissioned to help restore Konoha after the initial coup.
So Mushi went once more to Konoha to help out, ironically hired to heal Leaf shinobi by the very man who'd taken over. After the whole episode ending with Rain's escape came to an end, Mushi planned to enjoy the village a bit more before moving on. But as always something came up, and she found herself liking the great shinobi villages less and less. Higure seemed almost wonderful by comparison. Sure, it was a den of filth and scoundrels. But at least they didn't hide that they were filthy scoundrels. The silent politics in Konoha, the dangerous game of power was enough to drive a straightforward healer insane to the point she wanted to tear her hair bald.
The kunoichi arrived with her hair intact though. And now she's sitting across from Rain with a look of unconcealed disgruntlement. Nevertheless she pours a good measure for both of them and takes a sip. "You know you're not too popular right now, Rain," she says wearily. "I'm not too fond of you right now either. Do you plan to stay in the same place? You may become a marked man."
"Yar!! Well I been roun' these parts since even ya harlot mom's shacking up, upsta-*Smack!!!*…Wooo.. She got a bit of spunk don't she!!” This little exchange was by way of the latest spot of flirtation that seemed only normal in the life of Orinata Yojimbo himself. He had been nursing this one for about an hour, spent about 300 ryo on sake, just to get the woman to come over, all before she realized just how slimy a creature the dwarf was. Of course this was met with spite and sarcastic wit by the small little weaponist, and soon, a smack to the face would be signal to everyone, that this man, had been in the building. Tosai would slowly turn to see a rather disgruntle, and scantily clad woman, storm off, wobbling and drunk, only to track her path right back to the man whom he wanted to meet.
Tosai would smile, and from across the room, he would launch up a toast of sake to Sylara, and a smile, letting her know obviously, that he had found their man. He would gather his large bottle, taking it with him toward Yojimbo's booth, and just passing that of Rain's and Mushi's. The smell of smoke and booze, perfume, and the musk of strangers, would have been enough to cloud any familiar scents, so Rain, had seemed to go unnoticed, without much work on his part. However, as big as Tosai was, it would not be hard for the large Akimichi, to stick out as a man, as he would pass them, both, coming to a large plop and asking Orinata-san, "This seat taken? I'd figure you'd be dumb enough to expect that broad to come back.", smiling at the man mischievously, and pouring him a cup. "Hehe.. That goes to show ya how much ya'll peach fuzz growin, youngin's know about women!! They love a man with a strong hand, if you get my drift!~", would be said haughtily by Yojimbo, who would pat Tosai on the back, and take his sake straight to the head, almost immediately. "Last time I checked, you got your large ass handed to you by the Yakuza.. They say some pretty woman came along, and saved you ass with Wind Jutsu (Itami)." Tosai would sigh, and say, "Its not my ass you should be worrying about ya old wind bag… Its your own if you keep believing in rumors."
"Marked is simply another term for the existence I chose. Nothing has changed aside from it now being the present when it was once the past." Rain would state before sipping his sake slowly. His eyes would glance towards Tosai and the one following him, his perceptions not hazed by the atmosphere, but he would do little more than smirk just barely against his cup. "As far as your being upset with me, I cannot imagine why. If it is about the people who died… I had no time to be captured by people I did not harm or persecute during my stay. It was… inconvenient." Rain would state before looking Mushi in the eye. "It was also not appreciated."
Sylara nods to Tosai, and stands up, moving a bit closer. Having never met Rain or Mushi, she doesn't take notice of them, any more than she would take not of the other patrons in the bar. They're obstacles to her, nothing more. She sits at the end of the bar, closest to Tosai and Yojimbo, listening carefully, and keeping an eye on the entrance… or exit, depending on your personal philosophy.
Mushi hardly glances at Sylara until she notices Tosai. She's definitely seen him around the village. She gives them both a thoughtful glance before turning her full attention to Rain. "Actually I came to give you a picture I drew," Mushi says with a wry smile. She reaches into her medic bag and pulls out a piece of rumpled paper. She extends towards him a rough but unmistakable picture of Serin. "I never caught his name, but I remember him. He said you hired him to help distract people while you took over Konoha," she says. "I'd like you to tell me everything you know about him. You wouldn't hire a man you knew nothing about, after all. Or a woman." She pushes her sake cup around the table, but her eyes are intently on Rain.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah.. I know what happens when one crosses the might, Chou Battousai..", would be said rather mockingly, but with some form of truth.. Tosai would sigh, and though he knew his past was never that forgettable by some people, he would still admit to Yojimbo, "I don't go by that anymore. Besides.. I ain't got time to reminisce." Tosai would then whip out the scroll. It would show amazing detail, courtesy of an artist rendering by agent 25. Yojimbo would be shown a unique sword pairing, one that was not the usual marking in the type of katana, and short sword pairing. Both had been built strong, lightweight, made for high speed movement, and were extremely ornate in their production. They also seemed to hold something trademark. Something specific that Tosai wouldn't have been able to identify for the life of him. It was hitting him in the forehead, and likely, it would be something that Yojimbo knew right off.
The old dwarf would peer at it, before saying, "God dammit.. can't see a thing..", and simply snatching Tosai's reading glasses off of his face. Tosai would snort. Soon Yojimbo's eyes would light up. He figure out something. But the old man was slick. "Its gon' cost ya. I ain't talkin about the chump change that you gave me last time…" Tosai would peer at the man, and after staring into his eyes a moment, the large Akimichi, would crack his knuckles one at a time before saying, "One lump, or two.." Yojimbo would feel the hair stand on the back of his neck before then he would sweat nervously, and sigh. "It ain't nothing against you, Chou.. Honestly! Its just.. well.. You see, you hands, can flatten me, and crush my insides, only to squeeze my guts out like icing.. This sword? It could cut me up in the blink of an eye, and I wouldn't feel a things. This one, is a modified version of an old style of sword, from one of the fastest clan's in the Land of Lightning!!"
Tosai's eyes would widen. He had gotten something in the mix of words. But why had he thought about Setsiro? She wasn't the person who had been involved that day. But something was certain.. she was fast.. and she was truly of the best and more fearsome Reiz-… "That’s it!!", would be shouted aloud, as he would then leave a tip on the table, and then look to the old man. "Stay alive.. You may just be rewarded if you do." Yojimbo would look to Tosai, and wave dismissively, downing the sake the Akimichi had left at the booth. Tosai would rise slowly from the booth, and look to Sylara, before soon he would take the same path out.. Passing once again by the same table that Rain, and Mushi had been. Would he see them this time?
Sylara raises an eyebrow as her partner shouts, and slowly stands up, making to follow him out of the bar. She's curious as to what he's discovered, but will wait till she's away from potentially prying ears to get the information she needs. "What as that about?" She mumbles to him as she stands shoulder to… head… (Damn Tosai's tall!)
Ear keenly listening in on the loud rambling of the one called Yojimbo, Rain would listen for what it was Konoha was after this time as he spoke to Mushi. "Why does it matter who Serin is to you? And beyond that… you also know that i only hire people who choose to work for me, i do not simply hire people for no reason. Well, in most cases. But, to be fair…Serin is exactly what you see in that sketch, a rendering of an image attached to a name. That is also what Serin is to me, i'm afraid." Rain would state to Mushi as Tosai and his company would begin to move on with what ever they were looking for. 'Reizei blades. Pre Kumogakurean issue. Few still wield those… I only know of one wandering Reizei.' Rain would think to himself. Were they looking for Odo or one of his band that left the service several years ago to follow Rain?
Mushi's mouth is a grim line as she listens to Rain. She supposes she hadn't merely taken the job as a healer-for-hire. She liked Konoha well enough, they knew her, and would trust her a bit more to help out after the mess. She rubs her hair and drums her fingers on the table. She looks over to the commotion beyond the table as well, but just for a moment. Back to Rain. "Reizei," she says thoughtfully. "That's the kenjutsu clan from Kumogakure. Do you know whether he's legal in his hometown? The way he goes about things seems pure wanderer." Again those fingers drumming against the table. "Are you /sure/ he's Reizei?"
Having been leaving out of this place, Tosai would not say anything to Sylara, until that had been outside. But even this explanation of events would seem to stall, when Tosai, his sense of smell unhindered by the smell of the bar, would catch a whiff of something, or someone, whose scent still lingered in the air. Tosai's face would change to one of disbelief, couple with anger. It was a familiar one, and for some reason, Tosai just could not figured who the scent belonged too, nor could he track it back to its source. It was stale, and going faint, soon not enough to give any real clue. Tosai would freeze a moment in time, before he would then remember where he had been and gestured Sylara back to the hotel.
He would roll up the scroll he had shown to Yojimbo , and then say a little bit. "Investigation into someone who had been intervening in a recent mission. The person, was believed to be just a wanderer, but most likely, after what I have just found out, they may be something more." They would soon arrive to the room, and Tosai, after looking over his own equipment, would say, "Be ready to leave in 4 hours… We are Konoha bound. I will make report of your good work in this. Until then, try and get some rest. I will take first watch." The perp had been a Reizei maybe? It was hard for any ninja to get a hold of and use any clan's weaponry properly, but signs pointed to yes. Tosai would have known the right people to go to, but would this turn into something greater than he had anticipated? Probably so, but either way, Akomura would have some good intel from this effort, that’s for sure. Next stop.. Kumogakure.
Sylara grabs her bag, and steps into the bathroom, donning her usual gear, preparing herself for… well… anything… She then moves to the corner, and sits in a lotus position, meditating, resting, sleeping, what-have-you. "You know… You're not giving me much to go on here. I'm starting to think I'm just here because you wanted a pretty girl on your team…" Her eyes remain closed, and her tone remains calm, but there is a touch of spite in her voice. "If I'm going to help you here, You need to trust me. We're partners in this, right?"
"I am certain." Rain would say as he would finish his sake in one swift gulp as the Konoha shinobi would leave. "They are lucky to even be alive after having met him, in all honesty. While he is not a butcher, he is certainly proficient at killing and has no apprehension against it when it comes to enemies, especially those of establishment. Leaf Shinobi have a strange bit of luck.. surviving the impossible or the difficult almost with complete dumb luck more than with any particular ability. It is almost interesting enough to study… but it certainly is not for me." Rain would inhale slowly and stand, extending his hand for Mushi. "It seems that blood attracts more flies than vinegar or honey. Are you ready to depart?"
"Really?" Mushi says, and her smile is cold. She remains in her seat. Rain's hand is given about as much attention as a rat in a corner. "No man has ever used those techniques in any clan I've ever heard, kenjutsuist or no. I'm a healer but I've /fought/ Reizei before, and others." She stands up then and would clasp Rain's hand briefly. Her expression is casual once more, almost amused. "He's a kenjutsuist, yeah, but my gut says he's not Reizei. I think he either duped you or you're feeling rather protective. But I can't get anywhere with this." She gives a helpless shrug. And would take the picture to cram into her pocket. "The purpose of my visit here isn't truly to find out anything about him. I want to talk to him, and if he comes around again tell him so. For obvious reasons he and I couldn't talk before." She would turn and walk away then.
As Mushi would turn to leave, Rain would smile warmly towards her. "I am sure your experience is notable in recognizing such trends." he would leave her with. Noticing she had not finished her own drink, he would do so for her, still standing long after she had left. "Though, a Reizei by my design is likely something you will never see again. Just as there will never again be an Uchiha in my position. The beasts that driven men turn in to are the stories of legend, the inspiration of generations, the pariahs and dictators of old, the secret lamentations of women. They are many things… depending on how history remembers them. The one thing that none of them are… is common. Cheers… Mushi." he would say before takes down her Sake with a slow exhale to follow.
Meanwhile back in the room, Tosai would not have many words for Sylara's comments. A smile would be made at her claims of a pretty girl being along for the ride, but for her not receiving much, Tosai would only say, "Believe me, it is not my intention to leave you in the dark. However, this matter is one of a delicate nature, and those who are involve wish it to stay that way. While your help is quite appreciated, information, is need to know, Sylara-san." Tosai felt rather cold for not including her in with everything, however, under the circumstances, it was best to say that the less she knew, the safer she was. Her claims of partnership, would not be addressed.
Tosai, had no partner in this. It was the way that he had worked, and it was a lone assignment. To say this out loud, had been sort of damaging to his reputation as a gentlemen, and even more so, blowing of a cover for which his life depending on for survival. Being ANBU was nothing to play with, and for this task alone, he had to use is know how, independently, for information retrieval, and soon, either capture, or assassination. This indeed, would be put aside, as Tosai would keep his watch, while the woman whom had been his partner for the mission, would retire for sleep. Meanwhile, the night would claim them all until it was time to depart.