Date: December 9, 2014
Team Sandstorm travel to the land of Ferrets with Tsuchi to help study the origins and purpose of a relic bow.
"Shadows of Our Sins - Ferret Good Advice"
Land of Ferrets
Her Ferret allies have brought Tsuchi a message: Maki's father, the Ferret chief, and his advisors are worried by certain things involving the team, and so would like to have a serious talk with Tsuchi about them. They ask her to bring her teammates, Rikuto and Akiko, as well as the bow the latter found a while ago. As they arrive at the ferrets' forest dwelling, it looks remarkably quiet. Only the two elders of the village half-sit, half-lie in their spots at the platform, apparently expecting the group's arrival.
Having arrived at the front of this business, she looks back to see if Rikuto and Akiko are keeping up. She peers back at them before looking over to the elders and giving a bow before shifting to a spot to the side to let Akiko take center stage as she arrives, gesturing to her and grinning as she does, "Well, here she is. This is, the one, after all, that it seems you two wanted to see, no?"
Akiko blinks a bit as she's called by Tsuchi to come to the land of Ferrets. She ends up being center-stage, even, and the girl gets a bit nervous, wondering if she's in trouble or something. Kotone provides a small comfort, as the falcon is a constant in her life. "Hello," she greets, bowing lightly to the ferret elders.
Nodding lightly when Tsuchi looks back to him, he glances to the side to look at Akiko, still not seeming sure why they were there. Rikuto keeps his hands at his side and within his cloak, but his eyes watch the bow with some curiosity before offering a brief bowing of his head towards both of the ferrets though the young woman's words cause him to turn back to the young Hayate. 'Hmm?'
"Well, you've figured out why we're curious…" The Chief rises from his sprawled-out position, and sways back and forth a bit, examining Akiko from several angles, specifically studying the exquisitively crafted bone-and-wood bow she's carrying. "But it's not -just- her we wanted to talk to. So, tell me." He stops his examination of Akiko and her possessions. "What do you know about it, though?" With those last words, he nods towards the weapon. "What have you figured out, so far, yourselves?"
Looking at the chief, she peers at him and then looks to Akiko and Rikuto. She peers specifically at Akiko before Tsuchi simply shrugs and looks over to the chief, "I assume I only know what Maki has already told you." She nods her head and gestures to Akiko, "THe real observer here, the one close to it is Akiko." She smiles at the girl, "What do you think, Akiko?"
Akiko thinks a bit. For a long time, actually. "Umm… Well, it has a really creepy face on it. And when I shoot people. Well, kill them… It changes slightly. Mostly the mouth does. Like it's trying to say something. I dunno, it's really scary sometimes."
"Your bow.. is talking to you?" was said with utter confusion as Rikuto just stares at the Hayat<o> for a moment. Glancing briefly to Tsuchi, his eyes would return to Akiko though a hand slips from his cloak to his head, scratching restlessly. Muttering to himself he says, 'A demon possessed bow that's talking to her.. Maybe I should just burn it.'
The ferret elders nod. "Well, that's something." The chief begins. Grandma ferret gives Akiko a quick, reassuring nod when she mentions it being scary, something to say, 'it'll be alright'. "But it doesn't really dig into the 'why' of the thing. It changes shape when it's touched by death. The death of people, presumably… Have you checked if the same effect happens when animals are killed?"
"There's no reason to kill animals, at least at the moment." She glances to Akiko, "Unless Akiko goes hunting." Tsuchi nods to the girl and then steps around and smiles at AKiko, "You think perhaps we should go hunting with that thing? See if it does anything different or anything special?" She looks to the ferret elders and nods to them, "I could take her out to see."
"When I hunt, nothing happens. At least, not that I can see. Only humans," Akiko says, glancing to Kotone. The falcon nods lightly in confirmation. It was because of her that Akiko noticed the lips were moving, the bird's attention to detail extremely helpful in these kinds of situations. "So we don't need to go hunting, at least."
Shifting to the side slightly, Rikuto lowers his hand to scratch at his cheek though he uses his hand to shelter looking at his lips. In a projected whisper to Akiko, he asks "Just how many people have you been hunting down with that bow anyways? I didn't think we were apart /that/ long.."
Grandma ferret speaks up, now. "It's trying to tell you something, but it does so -maybe, can do so- only when it touches death." She recaps. "And Maki tells me that the chakra it uses to change is not the same as the person it killed, so it isn't drawing -on- the deceased for the change. Which means something, or someone, is trying to reach you." She pauses and gives Akiko a worried look. "Someone is trying to speak to you from beyond the grave." The Ferret Chief adds, "Someone -human-, apparently, making this mostly a human problem. But, as your problems now also involve our Sora and Maki, we'd like to ensure you solve it as quickly as possible."
A look to the ferret elders, Tsuchi listens and glances at Akiko before nodding to the elders, bowing to them, "We will figure it out." She glances again to Akiko and peers at her carefully, "Then that means, Akiko, you are going to have to meditate on the bow I think. Perhaps even find somewhere closer to death to do so." She then points at Rikuto, "And you are going to help her." She nods, "I will, too, of couse, but you are working on being a sensor, Rikuto. You need to help." She nods again.
Akiko looks to the two ferrets, then back to Tsuchi. Then her attention is on all three at once (sort of). "Any advice on what I should do? I mean, I can keep killing people, but it's not like there's a bunch of people around that deserve to be killed. And no one's going to just stand there if I send an arrow at them…" She frowns slightly. "It's hard to tell what it's saying because it's not … it's moving too slow."
Turning back to Tsuchi, the boy gives her a blank stare at first before curling all but a pair of fingers and pointing at himself questioningly. "Me? I can sense chakra, almost managing to refine it to study the details of a person but, spirits don't have chakra.. do they?" Turning back to Akiko, Rikuto shrugs his shoulders once and says, "I don't really understand how your bow is talking to you but, I'm going to be watching it. If it's actually moving then it has to be alive at some level, I'll be able to sense something from it."
Gradma ferret smiles at Tsuchi's remark. "She's right, you know." She answers Akiko's question. "You -do- need a place close to death. A place steeped in its touch. There, the link may be strong enough for the speaker to contact you without the need of death. We can hope so. But I imagine places like that are usually dangerous, often even forbidden. Seek out a place linked to the death of humans, specifically. It may also help if you knew who it was that has so strong a connection with this weapon that they may be able to touch it from even beyond the grave."
The chief turns to Rikuto, meanwhile. His size allows him to get his head close to the boy so he can speak quietly, without getting in the way of the advice being given to Akiko. "From what Maki told us, it isn't alive, it's merely being moved by an outside chakra. Like one of those puppet, perhaps, that the people of your village like to use, or perhaps air when used in a Wind Manipulation technique. It isn't, itself, alive, but someone has a link to it strong enough for its shape to obey his commands even when he's dead."
A grin and Tsuchi nods to Akiko, "Maybe, but there are plenty of places in the Land of Wind where great deal of deaht has taken place. We can go there and try." She nods, "NOthing else can be asked." She then looks to Rikuto, "Don't question me, Rikuto. I tell you to do something, you do it. You try at least." She nods her head and then looks to Akiko with a smile and then nods to the ferret elders, "We'll give this a go and see what comes of it."
Akiko considers. "There's a sort of graveyard that my family keeps. Or the brood, at least. It's got a few generations of people who are related to me. It's really difficult to find, and I would need to get my parents' permission to go there. But would that work? Or someplace like a village where the Silence attacked? … Umm… Maybe… Rikuto-san, do you think that one crypt is still available? We could maybe go there and see if it does anything." She glances to the Miira when she talks to him, her attention moving between ferrets and teammates.
"Yes Sensei" was quickly answered after his scolding after turning to bow his head to Tsuchi before turning back to Akiko. "The crypt we found it was falling apart, I think that team would of been ripping most of it apart for anything they could carve out and cell. We could try to explore the western dunes, closer to the mining caverns. Isn't that where most of the dead from Silence's attack on the village were buried?" As if to confirm if his suggestion was the right area, he soon checks to Tsuchi before back again. "It might be linked to those who you've killed, not just anyone."
Grandma Ferret frowns. "I don't know about your ancestral graveyard… We can't be sure what happens, and sometimes touching the sould of your deceased relatives and loved ones can be a hard test indeed. I would suggest something less… personal." Apart from that, the ferrets appear content to let the team make their own decision.