Date: September 7, 2014
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Burning Desires - Making new friends"
Once coming up with a destination in mind, the pair of Karasu and Shikoge were quick to leave Sunagakure and make their journey through the harsh deserts of the Land of Wind. It took a couple days, a few quarrels, several breaks and a nap or two, but eventually the duo made their way to the village of Toshi Sagan. What many consider the armpit of the Land of Wind since San Sara's destruction years ago. It is because of this and the reputation the town has that Shikoge decided their first stop once leaving Sunagakure would lead them to here.
It was about late afternoon when the pair entered the village and made their way into the Bazaar. The streets were filled with merchants and traders trying to sell their wares to any with change to spare. Often lowering their prices as low as prices just to make a profit and if that didn't work, their were several pick pockets walking through the crowds and lifting loose purses that were distracted by the merchants ramblings.
Shikoge might end up being one of those easily distracted targets as he moved about with a glazed over look on his face, though his eyes were scanning each of the merchants to decide which would be the best at helping him. It wasn't until spotting a stall that had no customers and a lone salesmen that the young swordsmen knew that was where to find just what he was looking for.
No matter how much Karasu would've prefered things being handled otherwise, a promise was a promise. Even if said promise did not technically include that exact word or some kind of contract. Thus, the puppeteer ended up treking across a god forsaken desert irritated as buddy, but level-headed enough to keep things in check. Mostly. The detours along the way in order to slay some desert critter or ward off the Land of Wind's infamous bandits did complicate things a tad. By the time they do finally arrive, the stress has pushed Karasu to the point he was not in the mood for any more distractions.
Karada, Karasu's main puppet, stayed on their tail, warding off most would be pick pockets and overzealous merchants. As for the rest, the puppeteer did what he could to keep track of them without losing Shikoge in the crowd. The fact the Miira seemed so distracted made it all the more prudent to try, though any words would have to be left on hold until they finally stopped.
Approaching the stall, Shikoge would catch eyes with the merchant who would give a wary look in return before glancing between Karasu and the snake-like puppet as well, "What can I do you gentleman for?" The merchant would ask as he gave a wide smile from ear to ear and placed his hands on the counter before him. "I need something." Shikoge replied as he moved up to the counter and placed his hands on top as well, which caused a glare to be sent his way, "Something rare. Something that probably doesn't even exist anymore or may have never existed."
The merchant stared for a while before nodding, "Well that just so happens to be my specialty. Locating and delivering items that aren't so easy to find for a customer just to see the smile on their face. For an incredibly modest sum of course. So what exactly do you need?" A glance would be given to Karasu again, wondering if that was some sort of bodyguard for the boy.
Karasu smiles right on back, though without much emotion behind it. It wasn't worth the risk of making the merchant feel more bold about potentially swindingly to youth for all their worth. The glance later down the line earns an immediate dismissive wave and a sweatdrop from the puppeteer. "A jewel or metal that'll help focus… certain chakra types. Small too, and… hmm… possibly seem or feel incomplete somehow." He states warily.
"Yeah, have you heard of such?" Shikoge adds while staring at the merchant who in return brings a hand up to rub at his chin, "And what is this in regards to? Can't say I've heard of such and can't say I haven't, but I might have an answer." Hearing the merchant might be able to help, Shikoge was quick to bring the massive blade from his back, stab it into the ground and undo the cap at the hilt. "See? It's hollow and looks like something would fit in there. If I could find that item, I might be able to infuse elemental techniques into the blade."
Seeing the blade, a look of awe passes over the merchants face. "Ya, know. I might have exactly what you need, but for obvious reasons I can't show it to you out here. The item is too rare!" Waving his hands in front of his face as if to catch the boys attention. "If you're interested, you need just enter the Razor's Edge over there." Pointing to the location "And head toward the barkeep. Tell him Bonti said you could help."
The puppeteer hand snaps up to try and stop Shikoge; only to turn that same hand upon his face due to the action being far too belated. As he dragged it down his face, both the motion and agitated thoughts abruptly stop. 'That worked?' He thought with a bemused expression. Then, his attention shifted to the affortmentioned Razor's Edge. Even from outside the place looked like the worst one possible to be doing any kind of business other than those involving breaking bones or befriending on oneself after a great deal of alcohol. And what if this information was a trap? What if — "Bonti.. Right. Well Let's get on move on then, shall we?"
Shikoge smiled widely, "Excellent!" Taking his blade and strapping it to his back before offering a wave and moving toward Razor's Edge. Doing so, the duo would receive a few sideways glances at other merchants and villagers before glancing away without a warning. Not like it mattered though, Shikoge was already determined to go into Razor's Edge, which is exactly what he did.
Upon entering, the place was a wreck, previously destroyed from the fights that had happened most likely moments ago and possibly every day before. None of that concerned Shikoge as he made his way up to the bar and motioned over the barkeep, "I'd say you aren't old enough to drink in here, but that's not my concern. What can I get for you?" The bartender asked. "Well," Placing a hand on the counter. "Bonti said you could help."
The moment Shikoge uttered the phrase the bartender smirked, "I see. Well, you must have something interesting that my man is looking for and doesn't want you to leave with. Can you see the dilemma?" The bartender motioned to the 'patrons' that were gathered and in response they rose from their seats ready to attack.
Karasu doesn't pay much mind to the merchants and villagers that passby as well. As far as he knew, they were just concerned about the translucent, snake-like monstrosity following the duo about. And if not, well, at least none are likely to get in their way because of it anyways. Once they finally arrive at their destination, Karada is left outside to keep look out. Also, Its barriers were fully up as well to keep any would-be thieves from taking it apart for scrap.
Karasu enters behind Shikoge, and is, to say the least, unsurprised by the devestation. "But it doesn't have to be." Karasu states boldly, yet curses inwardly for having walked into a trap. "We could just leave." He adds as he built up a little of his chakra.
Shikoge stared at the bartender with a look of confusion crossing over his face, dumbfounded at the mans response. "Of course I have something the man wants. Money! He's supposed to help me find something and in return I pay him. Isn't that how this works?" The bartender smiled as he shook his head, "No oblvious one. When we see something that might be of more value then what we are being hired for, we make sure to acquire the object in question. Thus, making more money then we would have had. Understand?"
Naturally, Shikoge was just as confused as ever. "…." He wasn't sure what to say, "Look, I just want something for my blade. Can you help me find it?" The bartender however was done answer questions. The man quickly ducking under the bar only to reappear with a pair of brass knuckles on each hand. Sparks of lightning dancing about his hands, "This…is another weapon we acquired. Yours will be added to our collection." The bartender would leap at Shikoge with lightning fists poised to strike.
The patrons seeing their boss strike would follow suit, grabbing what ever was nearby and chucking it at the snake like puppet and puppeteer.
Karasu blinked ever so slowly before turning to regard Shikoge with a look of utter disbelieve. He just could not compute how a non-shut in did not understand the situation at all. Fortunately, the bartender's attack provides just the perfect distraction from an impossible problem. That, and the patrons joining in to try and pick him apart as well! Karasu manages to yank out and charge a seal tag in time to create a forward barrier against the first attack leveled at him; only to get cracked upside the skull and buried under a table… or so it seemed. One of the other patrons had taken his place by means of a little ninja magic. A trick he would've paid for as soon as he was spotted if not for a convient mug being nearby. One good chuck and the overzealous attacker looses the board.
"Shikoge-san! They don't have what we came for, so less leave!" He calls out as he dashed closer to the entryway. As much as he wanted to avoid it, if they persisted Plan D would have to be implemented…
Not being prepared when the bartender attacks, Shikoge is quick to turn around in hopes that the massive blade strapped to his back will take the grunt of the damage. Unfortunately, the bartender was aiming for the head and clocks the boy with a lightning charged brass knuckle punch that sends him careening into the ground. Luckily off his feet, Shikoge avoids the second punch. "Did they tell you they don't have what we want?" The boy would question as he quickly rose to his feet, patting off his now bare chest. "Do you have what I want?"
The bartender still wasn't answering questions though and was already charging with another charged fist. Ready this time, Shikoge pulls free his blade, shifts his feet across the floor and spins the blade in a long sweep to knock the bartender off balance before continuing the momentum with a sweeping strike.
Despite the puppeteers warnings to leave, the patrons rushed at the elder teen with plans of taking him down to prevent the man from escaping.
Karasu sweatdrops at the question, then again upon realizing Shikoge's shirt disappeared. "I…" He starts, only to abandon the attempt mid-way. A wise decision to, considering that moments later the patrons were now determined to try and pile on top of him. With a little slight of hand and well placed timing, Karasu manages to switches places with a few of the patrons. However, winding up on the top of the pile only resulted in his being an open target for one of the smarter ones.
"Quit. Touching. M—" The rest dies in his throat as a shadow looms overhead. It was four-hundred pounds of men flesh on a crash course for the new pile! 'Get off! Get off! Get off! Get off!' Veins throbbed in his head as Karasu pushed with all his worth before an idea hits him…
Something shatters, and someone moans… but it isn't Karasu. The puppeteer sat nearby, panting and sweating profusely. He had seconds at most before any of them realized what happened. Time he spent scrambling to his feet and refocusing on searching for Shikoge. As soon as he had him, the puppeteer layed out a scroll, summoned a small arsenal of poisoned tipped weapons. Five of which he manipulated to knick and cripple every patron in sight.
The bartender was barreling down on Shikoge, but with the massive blade swinging in his direction, the bartender would attempt to dodge only to lose his balance and fall victim to the continuing momentum of the next sweep that cuts into his torso and sends the man crashing into the bar. As if the bladed attack wasn't enough, the flurry of weapons Karasu had let lose not only managed to incapacitate the aggressive patrons by forcing them all to fall helplessly to the ground as the venom quickly took affect, but also dealt with the bartender that suddenly slumped to a seated position.
"Well done, Karasu." Shikoge commented as he approached the bartender, stabbed his blade into the floor boards that splintered as he did and then straddled the man before every so lightly, tapped on the mans forehead. "So listen." Tap Tap tap. "I'm in need of an item to fit inside the handle of my blade and help me focus my element much like you do with your brass knuckles." Tap Tap Tap. "You might not have it in your possession, but I bet you know where I can get it." Tap Tap Tap.
The bartender swallowed hard as he tried in vain to fight against the venom that coursed through his system and held him in place. Paralyzed, the only movement he was allowed to make and barely at that, was speaking. "Listen, *tap* your blade *tap* it's rare." Tap Tap Tap. "How it got into your possession, I don't know, but the piece that your missing is just as rare. Finding it won't be easy. It could very well be lost to the deserts. Something you'll never find."
Shikoge heard what the man had to say, but continued tapping away, waiting to hear what was needed before he would leave this place. "If you refuse to believe me, fine. There is a village to the west of Sunagakure, deep within the unexplored regions of the desert rumored to contain artifacts such as the one you carry. The village however was over run and destroyed long before the First Great Clan Wars and many of the items picked clean. If you are to find what you are looking for, you should start there. It's the only way to discover what you're after."
Hearing what he needed, Shikoge stood up and bowed his head slightly to the man, "Oh, well thank you for your help." Smiling broadly before turning about, clutching his sword and resting it on his shoulder. "Come, Notouchy-san. Our journey takes us else where." Walking over and atop of any downed patrons that blocked his path before heading out the door. "You think we might need the help of others he'd question?" As he walked out the door, the merchant that sent the duo into Razor's Edge would glance about nervously.