Date: Unknown (log received November 5 ,2015)
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Along Came the Band…"
Water Ferry Docks [Land of Water]
Welcome to the docks of the land of Water. The welcome really isn't much exsistant as a light mist and cold breeze seems to move through here at all times. At the ferry an old man is tying off a boat and sitting in wait for one to want passage back towards Fire Country.
Many small houses seem to populate the docks here and a strong smell of fish permiates from the south. Up a flight of stairs and proceeding eastward is a path that is slightly obscured by a thick mist.
"Sorry again you two. For dragging you all the way out here, and pulling you girls away from other things. I'm…" Kiyoshi trails off there, combing a hand roughly through his hair. "Its still hard to explain. I just really need an extra pair of eyes today, and.. perhaps a bit of muscles." He goes on to say, still dancing around the main subject. Earlier in the day, Kiyoshi had round up Tsubaki and Kiji for a personal mission of sorts. It seemed the Moto had forgotten about an eerie feeling he kept having while roaming the docks. If that alone wasn't enough to convince the duo to join him on a bit of an impromptu hunt, then the deal is sweetened for the individual.
What might that sweetener be? A free no complaints request card in which Kiyoshi would do any one thing they wished without argument, and a bit of monetary compensation equal to what they might receive based on the level of the mission. As things stood at present, the 'mission' hardly qualified as a D, perhaps even a C-rank at best. But given how much the Moto seemed concerned about the mysterious feeling, there did existed a good chance for things to escalate. Granted, the docks this cool, summer afternoon were pretty busy with the usual activity at a first glance, so the odds weren't entirely in favor of a higher pay out.
Having said his piece, Kiyoshi glances back at the others to gauge their reactions.
Kiji hadn't really needed to have the deal sweetened for her. If Kiyoshi was worried about something she would check it out. It was that simple. The Okumo girl would follow him and as they walked she gathered her chakra around her just in case. Once at thier destination, she would listen to Kiyoshi for a moment then she looked around, reaching out with her senses. Searching for whatever had freaked her mate out.
Her eyes shifted quickly through colors as if in stages. The sclera turned black and her irises were red.. and then they slid into an ice blue with black background. And she seemed more controlled than she had been ever before. She reached out for anything out of the ordinary…
Tsubaki wasn't entirely certain… but the girl would accompany the Moto, if only because it was a Chuunin that requested her. She can't really say 'no' to that, and the Moto was well-aware of the restrictions she had, no? Even if it's been way longer than whatever time she was prescribed by Meruin (silly absent-Kage..). Tsubaki says, "… What… is even off?" she wonders, unable to sense much of anything. She didn't want to call upon any mists, as most of the natural ones were not quite thick enough at the moment. When Tsubaki glances over to Kiji, she sees the Shimizu (now Okumo)'s eyes shift color into an ice blue, and she blinks once before she simply looks around with her normal eyes
Tsubaki recieves no immediate answers, because Kiyoshi had to do a double take. It has been months since the last time the giant has seen her undertake even a similar transformation, so seeing it now was… jarring, to say the least. Somehow he managed to keep walking without tripping over his own feet, and eventually turned his gaze back to the forefront to better track their progress.
"As… I said. Its hard to explain. Sometimes, it just feels as if someone other than my usual watchers is on me. Others… it feels like I'm being drawn in one direction. I tried following it once, but something came up at the time." He explains it roughly, arms folding neatly across his chest.
As for Kiji, the process is a somewhat slow going one. While plenty of individual chakra signatures are picked up, truly deep scans took time. Fortunately, most can be given a pass at just a look, possessing few outstanding aspects to their chakra to warrant more. Doing so however almost results in a costly mistake, for several — three to be exact — porters further up along the docks seemed to be intentionally trying to suppress their chakra. Rogues from another land, perhaps? Or something else. Either way, they didn't /seem/ to be out of the ordinary on the surface. Perhaps with a deeper dive…
"Where almost close to the spot where its starts?" Kiyoshi pipes up, blissfully ignorant at the moment.
Kiji tilted her head as she went through the signatures around them, passing the three up for a second… And then turning back toward them. "Koishii…." She pointed at them discreetly. "Something is strange about them." She focused harder tring to figure it out, seeking to dig deeper… Her black on blue eyes were locked on the men…. But she did not think she could sneak up on them with her chakra and eyes they way they were.
Tsubaki can't really notice much of anything, and the girl just… looks around a bit longer. What can she see? What can she not see. "Umm…. I … don't see anything…" Then she hears Kiji and the girl glances at the three men as quickly as she can to give them a peek. Of course, her being naturally short is not helping at all… Anyone can move in front of her and block her line of sight.
Kiyoshi turns back in confusion, seeing as how they hadn't quite reach the exact spot the anomaly usually began affecting him. After a moment or two, the giant is able to adjust himself to discreetly regard the three porters in question, lounging about currently. Despite their careful measures, Kiji would notice a spark of tension in their chakra network, denoting nervousness and sharpened awareness. Outwardly, they continued projecting joking about one last time until some in response to some hidden signal or preplanned task, they each jokingly goaded each other back to work on a nearby ship.
"If that ain't a lead… think you can keep track of them, Chi-hime?" He whispers to Kiji. After receiving an answer in either the affirmative or otherwise, Kiyoshi would grin back at Tsubaki and say, "Want to ride on my shoulders then, Tsuba-chan?" He asks, sounding teasing despite not meaning to. No matter what the answer may be, Kiyoshi would break them off their original course to the midway point towards the northern rocky beaches. "Alright. Here's the plan. We'll hang out here until those guys either start to move out of the area, or something else happens. Any objections?"
Digging deeper into each individual only reveals so much unfortunately; such as some training in sensory, and at least one earth manipulator in the bunch. They also remain on alert, though they do not seem to have pinpointed Kiji's position just yet. Lastly, all three were men around their early twenties, and did not exactly exude the feeling of having been born in the Land of Water. (re)
Kiji nodded to Kiyoshi when he asked if she could keep track of them. "They're aware, though, so keep that in mind. They know something might happen or are expecting a fight." She furrowed her brow. "I might not be able to go undetected for long."
Tsubaki blinks once, quickly considering the offer before giving a small shake of her head. While she'd probably be able to see things that much better while also not slowing the group down, the girl wanted to rely on her own body to get her through this. Relying on others, at least for now when she could easily make it through the crowds, would be bad. "No… That's fine…" she murmurs. Of course, it's not that she realizes that she's still relying on the other two regardless. She can't exactly see down here… "Umm… Kiyoshi-san…. I think I might take that offer…" she murmurs to the giant.
A brief nod is given to Tsubaki in response to her answer. Regardless of whether or not pride played a part in the decision, the Moto had no intention of of pushing things. As for Kiji, Kiyoshi lowers his head and rubs his forehead at the news. "Hm?" He emits, regarding the Shirayuki from the corner of his eyes. Once things are made clear, a wry grin breaks out. "Hai, hai." Kiyoshi teases lightly before reaching over to pick Tsubaki up and drop her on his shoulders. After taking a moment to let the little one settle in, Kiyoshi's gaze regains its original pensitivity and grimness.
Either they blindside them now with a confrontation without further into, or chance dragging things out and risk discovery. And what of Tsubaki? While he did claim earlier that this whole mess wasn't an official mission, the promise of payment and things escalating quickly jeopardized the future of the youngest member of the little group. Ultimately, it is with a weary sigh that Kiyoshi breaks the silence (assuming no other does it first). "If these guys are as good as you say Kiji-chan, then will have to hold off for now to put them back off guard… Maybe. Perhaps even make things official. That said, we won't be making any moves until Tsuba-chan punishment is over and done with for good, neh?" He glances up at the girl, grinning weakly. "Unless… either of you got another idea in mind?"
Kiji watched her mate lift Tsubaki up onto his shoulders then tilted her head a bit as Kiyoshi asked if there was any other ideas. She took a breath and pondered for a moment."f you two can help corral the civilias I should be able to make a big flashy scene to get them focused on me. Once there I can try to ensnare them.. and you two can come in and finish it. But that's just a thought."
Tsubaki quirks a brow briefly at the grin before offering a small smile in return. She adjusts herself accordingly and begins to look around, trying to make herself look more gleeful as well. After all, there's nothing suspicious about, say, an older brother showing the world off to his little sister, right? She tries to act excited, pointing out some of the vendors that are particularly 'interesting', which means where the targets have relatively easy paths to escape by. "I… think Otou-san wouldn't mind… Since it's not really /that/ important." Up to them to figure out what that means, of course. Hopefully they catch on to what she means… "I've been doing my chores, too…" she adds.
Kiyoshi inclines his head and frowns as the information given is slowly absorbed into his being. Without certainty behind anything, the other options still sounded a little rash. Even so…
Kiyoshi turns his attention to the rest of the boardwalk; crowded, but not so much folks ran the risk of knocking someone into the water every few seconds. This didn't of course include the type that made up the crowd, but activity made gatherign accurate intell just from sight something of a challenge for the Kirryu.
"… No. While Tsuba-chan and I might succeed, our efforts run the risk of drawing some attention to ourselves as well, making these guys all the more flighty. Or worst. Perhaps if we knew a decent clone technique or two." He jokes half-heartedly before letting out a sigh.
Kiji looked up at Kiyoshi and Tsubaki now on his shoulders as the two spoke. Tsubaki assured them that she had been following the rules. Kiyoshi was unsure about the whole thing… Kiyoshi mentioned a decent clone technique and Kiji tilted her head a moment..
Right before she cut long mars into her arms, both of them. The blood combined and coalesced into five separate clones, each looking like Kiji normally did, with blue eyes. They all peered up at Kiyoshi curiously.
Tsubaki watches Kiji as the clones form, and the girl makes a few handseals herself, hiding hands near Kiyoshi's neck. The water instead of blood starts to take shape to form three clones of Tsubaki, each of them looking at Kiyoshi and standing near Akane. "So… Are we… doing this?" she wonders to the pair.
At some point or another Kiyoshi closed his eyes and furrowed his brow, thinking deeply of any other alternatives. Though more than accoustomed to Kiji's blood, the thicker amount in the air elicits first a nose twitch before the giant's eyes actually opens. He nearly stumbles off the boardwalk taking Tsubaki with him from surprise. Once his gaze finally leaves the multitude of Kiji, his eyes bug out for a second time at the number of Tsubaki apparently nearby as well.
"Uh… well then. That's…. Uh… Ye-yeah. Yes." The blushing giant finally states. After that, Kiyoshi turns away from both and starts knocking on his forehead, murmuring darkly underbreath. Seems at that point it will be up to the girls to actually carry out the plan. Maybe?
Kiji stepped forward, blacka nd ice blue eyes watching Kiyoshi closely. She slipped around him and reached up to pull his hand away from his forehead. If allowed she would kiss his knuckles. "I just didn't get the chance to show you yet. I… only recently was able to make this many. It's hard to maintain but… I can do it."
Tsubaki blinks and has to grip Kiyoshi tightly so that she doesn't go tumbling. "Umm…. Gomen…" she mumbles. "This is difficult, though, too… So… If we do this, we should do it soon… rather than later…" The girl's also trying to keep her clones of water… clones of water. Having them be ice would mean that she wasn't keeping as careful a clamp down on her abilities as she wanted to, and she knew that she needed to re-learn a few things. But since the Academy only teaches basics, she had to practice on her own.
Her tugging at his arm goes resisted until the Moto opened his eyes once more. Confused but curious, he relents to her, and soon grew relaxed again after the kiss. Words, however, fail the giant. He stands there looking back and forth between what he assumed to be the original and the other clones until the Tsubaki on his shoulders draws his attention.
"There ain't no need for you to be apologize Tsuba-chan. Let's… just get this show on the road. Get your clones in position to help guide the crowd until Kiji does her thing." He said before turning his gaze back to the Shimizu. No further words on his end are exchanged. In place of them, he merely curtly nod. A rather detached motion, but perhaps a somewhat necessary one now that they were committing to the mission.
Kiji offered Kiyoshi a small smile and a squeeze to his hand, then turned. She sent three of her clones to help Tsubaki with the crowd. The other two stayed in Kiyoshi's general vicinity. Kiji, on the other hand turned and bolted off onto the water. She ran along the surface, making sure there were ships between her and the targets.
Once she felt that the clones had helped Tsubaki and Kiyoshi, Kiji stopped and focused. Blood poured from her arms and legs, mixing with the water under her feet before jetting around her like so many ribbons. The bands moved like the rings on a globe, around and up and down. Her eyes seemed to glow and she used the water-blood combination to allow her to 'float' by connecting a blood tendril behind her to the water below her, allowing her to hang like a doll on display. She also made two miniature spheres over each hand as she moved.
It all gave her the appearance of some kind of deity.. or a complete monster freak of a shinobi. Ad she was steadily movig toward the men. Flashy indeed.
Tsubaki's clones move to assist Kiji's clones in getting the crowd where they would like, and they thankfully last a long time since they aren't being swung at by the various people. Tsubaki would disperse all but one clone when everything was done, and that was when Kiji made her little display. It was impressive, to say the least, and Tsubaki couldn't help but admire the demonstration Kiji decided to give.
The more easily spooked — foreigners, mostly — did not need much convincing to run away as soon as the apparition made its appearance. As for the rest however, things became somewhat a muddled affair. Those that called the Land of Water home were no stranger to the abnormal compared to the other lands. More often than not it required a strong stomach and a great deal of stubbornness to actual thrive both on and out of the water. Rare pockets of humanity had the luxury to do otherwise. All of that said, many stopped in their work once the flighty began to panic, and stared at the abomination in mute shock or anticipation.
In the case of the latter group, it did not matter if they happened to have a weapon on hand or not. It wasn't entirely an unheard thing to have the some weathered sailors actually leap into the abyss to save their ships (or themselves in rare cases) by tearing apart the danger with their bare hands.
But what if this was shinobi business?
That thought among similar ones hold them back the most for now once they spied Kiji's headband. Seeing less mutated versions of Kiji among the clone horde helps to solidify the thought, prompting most to grudgingly give in to whatever demands the clones make of them. What stubborn few remain however would require a lot more convincing in one form or another. Given how some even looked, one could not put it past them to fight back with a strength that would put even some chuunin on guard.
Meanwhile, Kiyoshi awaited at their start point, watching the display from afar. It would've been preferable to try and move a more advantageous position, but — He starts at the sound of wood shattering. One of the trio finally noticed the display, and had dropped a box filled with an assortment of what amounted to knick knacks while transitioning back on to the boardwalk from their ship. The noise naturally alerts the others on the ship, who before then were engrossed in their work. The one is joined by not just three but one additional more seasoned man unless Kiji decided to act. Out of those that may be immediately visible from her position, at least six other men and women were gathered at the railing of the ship; more curious, confused, and a little disturbed, then genuinely fearful of the apparition. For a ship of its size, their may even be more awaiting elsewhere. Rather or not this means on the ship itself however would require closer inspection of some sort…
Kiji came within reach of both the ship and the docking plank they were using before she allowed her feet to rest on the surface of the water again. At least the water had helped her create an illusion without overtaxing her blood supply. She stepped forward, eyes locked on the men she had identified. Her hitai-ae was easier to see once the rings about her slowed just a bit. She had gotten their attention. Now she was going to have to hold it for Kiyoshi to do his part. She was close enough that she could intervene if something odd happened though. "Who are you?" She demanded even as she opened her mind to the chakra around her, searching for whatever tht was that Kiyoshi had sensed before.
The ones that stayed back, Tsubaki did nothing about. Not physically, at least. She did use a bit of Genjutsu to try and convince them it was a bit too cold to stay outside for much longer… Freezing winds and a chilled body come from the illusion while Tsubaki keeps her eyes on Kiji to watch the performance. And watch parts of the ship where many sailors seem to be gathering.
Tsubaki's tactics work after a fashion. The younger folk did not quite have the same endurance of their elders built up, so grudgingly more leave to find succor. Those that remain have endured far worse than a few freezing winds. Their spirit would not waver now; especially as it occurs to some just how… unnatural, it was. Experienced eyes are averted in what felt at first as vain hope of discovering why the season has suddenly taking a turn for the worse. Out of the four that remain in place, one finally takes a closer look at the clones, narrows his eyes, and tightens his hands into tight fists as focus sharpens further on the Kiji ones.
"We're going in. If you don't think your clones can manage on their own, speak your peace now, Shirayuki." He pauses for a moment. One just long enough for his words to sink in, and an answer to be heard. If Tsubaki chose to remain on his shoulders,Kiyoshi would take it as a sign of compliance and slip off the boardwalk to walk beneath it or along side using abandoned cargo and the like as cover.
"What?!" Nervousness but stable. Earth Manipulation. Jounin level Chakra levels. Muddied Chakra Impression. Minor Henge. The man immediately before her, and perhaps the second oldest of the trio by appearance alone could scarcely get out the accusatory question by the time Kiji has gleaned as much from him. This was no simple porter, to say the least. A runaway from the Land of Earth perhaps? Or even an agent. The muddied chakra impression certainly implied a persona that has grown far too used to walking grey lines over one or the other. Kiji gleans a similar reading from the elder gentleman as well, but not from the third person (whose gender the gm totally did not forget c.c). A weaker chakra signature for sure, but only by still greater than that of even the average genin. As for those on the ship, only two others stand out as possible allies to the trio in terms of ability. The rest both above and below deck bear signatures expected of seasoned seafarers. Beyond that…
"Why do you want to know that sea-witch? I don't have any business with'ya, and I'd like'n the same can be said of ye. So whatever it is yer really after, go right ahead and look for it. Just leave me and the rest of this crew in peace." He says, putting on such a show of courage as to make those at the far fringes of the crowd wonder if the whole situation was some type of new show in town!
Kiji narrowed her eyes as she took in the man before her. And earth user… a signature representing a Jounin level… A henge. More and more the information piled up that these could be dangerous foes… And Kiyoshi was bringing Tsubaki directly into the conflict. Her clones moved forward, taking up positions at the edge of the docs. One suddenly dissolved and shot into the water when Kiji raised her hand as she pulled the blood back to her under water, mixed it with the other blood and produced another clone. It ran idly off as if nothing had changed.
Meanwhile, Kiji tilted her head at the man. "I am Okumo Kiji of the village of Kirigaure. I suggest you tell me your business or face consequences. I ask again. What is your busines here?"
The clone she had created made a beeline for Kiyoshi and Tsubaki, stepping in his path and speaking quickly. She explained that the manhad a Jounin signature. "It might not be safe for /us/ let alone Tsubaki-san."
Tsubaki didn't protest to Kiyoshi bringing her where he may. The girl simply watched, unaffected by whatever these villagers were speaking of. Though the Genjutsu was dispelled for now. Upon hearing Kiji's news, she frowns. "How many are Jounin-level?" she asks. "And what are the others?" There were only three of them, and it seemed like there were a lot of enemies. But if it was only one person or something, maybe they could risk it?
It is only for a brief moment, but Kiji would register a particular type of spike in the man's chakra network. A sign of the beginnings of a jutsu being activated, and then abandoned in a matter of a few short seconds. The reason behind it seemed tied to the older man claping a hand on the speaker's shoulder. He bristles at the contact first, but then settles for crossing his arms and glaring at the still then apparition.
At least more than one pair of eyes watch the newly created clone dart off for one reason or another, and monitor its progress if only out of curiosity or worry. A simple declaration is enough to draw all but the curious gaze of a green-haired lass with a — upon closer inspection — almost familiar chakra signature…
Scenting the approaching clones approach, Kiyoshi pauses for a moment beneath what is thankfully one of the oddly higher portions of the boardwalk. Kiyoshi's expression turns stormy at the news. He almost starts to risk a glance for himself, but stops short to ponder for a moment more. "Good questions, Shirayuki, but they will not change the outcome. We must withdraw for now until we can learn more some place else. Because if things escalate here…" He trailed off there, comfortable in the knowledge that he need not speak further. Despite it all, Kiyoshi does not immediately turn to sneak away. It is a chance perhaps for another alternative to be brought up, or personal risk taken by the duo.
"As for the man and those in his immediate company, recognition seems to finally don on them. "So you're a real shinobi then? Tch! Why didn't ya just come out and say so instead of putting on this display?" The speaker from before says as he strode a step forward. "Our business is our own, and we'd rather keep it that way." He states dryly before shaking his head in exasperation. "… But… If it'll get you to trumpet off faster, I'll say this much. We're here helping out an.. old friend, making sure this shipment and the goods it carry doesn't meet an unsavory end." He says truthfully, if somewhat reluctantly. But not all of it. His chakra may have settled down somewhat, and yet as he spoke there was an almost negligible change. The type spawned by a half-truth.
The clone Kiji peered up at Kiyoshi and Tsubaki, holding her hands up to help the younger of Kiyoshi's shoulder. The real Kiji would know Kiyoshi might have something else in mind so she would stick around until he chose his next move.
The real Kiji tilted her head and allowed the ribbons around her to slow a bit, walking closer to the men, her black and blue eyes on he man who had been preparing some kind of jutsu. "Indeed. But you must understand I serve the Mizukage and must guard his domain. Use of a henge tells me you might wish to hide your actual face."
Kiji stopped moving directly below the green haired girl's position on the ship, turning to look up at her specificly. "And who might you be?"
Tsubaki climbs off Kiyoshi, thanking the Kiji-clone for the help as she gets her 'land legs' back. The girl looks around the mostly empty area, wondering what Kiji is doing… The real one. Tsubaki glances between the two Chuunin, then just waits for orders or information. She also just looks around in general.
The green-haired girl doesn't answer in the beginning, so intent she was on figuring out where the clone had run off to. When she finally does take notice Kiji is treated to the sight of mildly annoyed looking brown eyes that stood out against a backdrop of forced neutrality. Without another word, she turns to head deeper into the ship unless given reason to pause at some point.
As for the speaker, he cringes but doesn't retreat from the ex-Shimizu. "So I do, I'll admit. But I ain't no threat to your precious Kage's regime if that's what your worried about. You drawing attention to me and mines however, now /that/ might start something." The younger of the two near companions eyes widen at the words. Before he can issue a word of complaint, the speaker raises his hands in surrender. "Not by my hands of course. Just say'n. Faster you let us finish up our business here and leave, the less likely either of us has to deal with anything unnecessary…. So, what do you say?" He asks pointedly near the end.
Although somewhat perturbed by the feeling of fabric being pulled at by Tsubaki's tiny hands, Kiyoshi remained steadfast in remaining on standby for now until assured Kiji would be able to retreat. Tempted though he is to request a message be sent through the clone, the giant held off on the action. He held little doubt that doing so would only ensure that more needless attention is drawn in his direction despite the clones efforts at subterfuge.
Kiji narrowed her eyes as the ma spoke. He admitted to wanting to cover his presence, but held the other back from actually acting on it. She glanced back toward the ship and then moved closer to the docks. Her rings fell and blood thickened, forming a kind of shrug about her shoulders and arms, plenty able to defend should they attack. But she hopped up onto the dock and lowered her voice. "I sense little else for now, however I wish to know who that girl was. Brown eyes and green hair. Tell me this and I will allow you to leave our lad in peace. This time."
The man was no fool, but he did not turn and chide the others for breathing sighs of relief once the blood falls to the boards. If anything he grows even more guarded by the display. However, tension about him quickly diminishes when faced with a question that outright confuses him for a second or two. "Girl? … Oh, that one." He snorts. "Just some client of the captain. Don't bother ask me what her deal is next, because I honestly don't know. Nor do I give a drum. Now. Are we done here?" He asks dryly.
As if by some silent order, the crew began breaking off one by one, warily returning to their original duties. The trio and one other by the railings are the only that remain in place, though two of which do so reluctantly. Once their given a more official pass to leave, all but the speaker are quick to leave. He alone lingers to make sure there are no double crosses this day. The sooner Kiji left the immediate vicinity of the ship, the sooner he would return to his duties as well.
Kiji tilted her head as the man answered her. He seemed genuine enough tht he didn't kow about her. As the men started up their duties and the one she was talking to asked if they were done Kiji nodded slowly, her eyes moving to peer at the box of trinkets that had bee dropped due to her vibrant entrance. After a moment, judging those trinkets just trinkets, she reached into a pouch at her side, withdrawing a small scroll. She held up her hand as if to say that she was harmless, setting the scroll down and opening it, she tapped the surface to produce several gold coins. One was more than a farmer earned in an entire month and she had four. Then she opened another scroll to bring four bottles into existence which she filled with her blood before corking them. She motioned toward the coins nd the bottles. "I have the Shimizu ability to heal with my blood. If anyone is injured on your voyage treat them with these. Take the money to replace what was broken. I wish to speak to the captain but you are all free to go about your business."
Once that was done she turned and boarded the ship, looking for the captain. If she found him she would ask him about the girl she had spotted. She would be polite but authoritative.
Someone eventually comes down to take care of the box while the man had his staring contest. Nothing incriminating fortunately doesn't pop out during the cleaning mess… not that anyone seemed worry about that sort of thing happening at any one moment. Even with some advanced warning, reaching for the scroll keeps the man on edge. It is only after revealing its contents did the man went fromssuspicious, to surprised, then lofted a brow skeptically. A sordid grin split the man's feature. No doubt he appeared the type to take the money for himself by the looks of it, regardless of what her intentions were.
His first steps towards comes to an abrupt stop. He glances over his shoulders, spying a disapproving look from one of his fellow seafarers. With a weary sigh, he starts to open his mouth to say something, only to be caught off guard by her heading onto to the ship. He doesn't so much as stutter, but instead glared balefully up after her until another look from a compatriot goaded him into taking care of the offerings. Kiji would sense during her exploration of the ship that the blood bottles remain in place for the entire duration.
It seemed her good tidings weren't entirely trusted. Yet.
As for the captain, it turns out that he isn't in his quarters. Or at least, he didn't answer the door.
Kiji was polite with the various people she spoke with, though with a air of authority that extended to an impromptu search of the ship. Mentally if nothing else. So when she knocked on the captain's door and got no response, she sent her senses out to reach into the room. Finding no one inside, she simply turned and simply asked for whoever was in charge.
Oddly enough, it takes more time than it should've to get an answer. Or mayhaps it wasn't so odd, what with folk trying to double time and make up for the earlier distraction. Eventually a rather weather beaten and balding man finally dares to stop whatever he was doing with the ropes to approach the Shimizu. He carried his weariness on his sleeve, but upon closer inspection did not at least seem to be a shinobi of any kind. "Captain Hideki's first mate. At your service. What can I do ya for?" He asks, not even bothering to question or outright kick her off the ship. He wasn't about during Kiji's earlier display of power, but seemed at least aware of something having happened earlier to some members of the crew. Word apparently travels fast on this particular ship.
Kiji nodded her head to the man in greeting, then asked directly about the girl with green hair and brown eyes. She could sense the chakra signature of the girl but noted the protectiveness of the crew. So she was pretty blunt about it, but at the same time she sounded almost cheerful. Wanting to meet the girl.
"Youko-chan? Hmm… That explains that." He says offhandedly, turning his eyes skyward for a moment. "Well, I gotta say you'd be better off waiting 'till the captain gets back. The girl hasn't exactly taken to strangers all that often. 'cept the Captain, of course. And if what I heard about you is true, I would be remiss in letting things get out of hand when they don't need to." He admits, tone and visage growing stern all of a sudden. "Most I can give ya' is direction on where the captain went. Heck, I'd be surprised if ya didn't happen to have passed him by on the way from your 'secret village'." He says, mocking Kirigakure near the end.
Kiji filed the name away silently. The man seemed to be telling the truth, but he was beng protective of the girl which lead Kiji to believe something was indeed going on. The last comment got a dark glance from her. A tendril snaped up, stopping jsut short of striking the man but the threat was there. "Watch your mouth or the Mizukae will have it removed." Then she tured and opeed her mind. They were within her range at least.. She reached out toward Kirigaure to try and locate a man moving that general direction.
The balding man flinches back away from the whip, further distancing himself, though not by all that much. His eyes registered no disbelief in her words, and yet at the same time the boardered on the surly for the balatant display of power. A display that — despite years of experience and getting to know the crew — might very well jeopardize their confidence in him to some degree. However painful the slight, when she turns her back from him, no move is made to get back at her for it. Instead, he walks off and grumbles, snapping testily at the first crewman he sees slacking off for a moment.
Plenty of blips come to the Shimizu's mind, but only a few register as belonging to the path leading up to Kirigakure. Out of those six or so numbers, only one is alone and seemed headed straight for the village. His familiarity with the path might feel somewhat disconcerting. Nonetheless, it is proof enough that the first mate was lying. Now they only had the simple matter of reaching him. A feat that would take more than a few hours even for a Jounin. There were of course other options. But would a more direct route be worth the risk of antagonize an already high strung crew? And what of the waiting Tsubaki and Kiyoshi? Or for that matter, an increasingly more restless crowd watching from afar so that the first opportunity to approach would mean finishing up their business sooner rather than later?
The choice was as much as Kiji as it was Tsubaki. How long could her patience hold out without any clear further signals that everything was alright?
Kiji frowned darkly then moved, walking easily down the plank then the dock, even handing off a small coin to a kid there, looking like charity. The kid beamed up at her ad grinned before disappearing entirely. Kiji then moved to Kiyoshi and Tsubaki, absorbing her clones again and sharing the information with them.