Date: December 23, 2015
An auction needed protecting from problematic bidders and thieves, but no one was there to take the job! Left only to the described aggressors, Namiki restaurant, the chosen place for this auction, was certain to suffer. All is not lost, however as searches for information and general interest have brought in shinobi from all walks of life to look into this auction and see what it had to offer. It turns out that these deals were soon to be on fire.
"Flaming Hot Auction"
Fuuma Alley - Ward 9
An auction was currently taking place within one of the establishments here in Fuuma Alley. In Ward 9, a restaurant known as Namiki was selling some high value items, but the nature in how they acquired them is a mystery. Anyone that knows Fuuma knows that most items are acquired through illegal means, but it appears that no-law is the law around here and corruption runs rampant through these parts. Enough that the auction house has called on some help from shinobi to ensure everything runs smoothly. Their job is to be on guard for any illegal activity, if it could be called that. This place doesn't want anything stolen from it and the shinobi are to be mindful of the environment to see to it that nothing disappears from this place. Seems reasonable enough.
It's a strange time to be holding an auction, though. It's ten in the morning, though it's hard to determine the movement of the sun with the heavy amount of smog present in the air. At the very least, this industrialized place ensures everything is on time at all times. Clocks can be found everywhere to tell the time in this chaotic feedback loop of a system here. Isra had just discovered the time when she arrived here earlier and found her way into the auction. She had a bit of change to spare in order to bribe her way inside. She was not an invited guest, but nothing a bit of ryo couldn't handle here. Inside, she discovered how high end this place was for it to be right across from one of the poorest sections of towns. It's deplorable, really, but she wasn't here to reflect on that. She wanted to see what some of these items were. There could be something here that she could get her hands on. She doesn't know, but doesn't hurt to try. Still, up against these people, that may be a far cry from happening.
Hotaru is here, mostly against her village's will… Perhaps doing this in order to find some way to find ways to find her friends, or perhaps search for a cure to her disease. She wasn't specifically here on her own, her father was around town to look for local businesses to purchase while supporting his child in her first loss. He indeed knew what it was like to loose comrades. One doesn't live as long as he does without experiencing said loss.
Hotaru looks like a noble's daughter, wearing an expensive looking little Kimono as ordered by her father. She begrudgingly complied. The little dragon has decided since there really isn't nothing else of interesting happening in Fuuma, she would visit the local auction that was strangely going on. A chance happening. Although she wasn't in a necessarily happy mood, she would try and see if she could participate in an auction. It's so poor in Fuuma alley. She isn't sure they'd have much to auction here.
Murasame Ken is here with Hotaru and her father. The blacksmith is wearing armor and no visible indication of his loyalty to Iwagakure/the Land of Earth. He was here posing as a sort of bodyguard and keeping close to Hotaru. He also thought that maybe Kaneko and Akio would be here. They were both under his care - heck, Kaneko was his own daughter! - and he believed that they were both alive. After all, who would kill someone and take the bodies while leaving Hotaru behind? Things… Well, if the kidnappers were who he thought, heads will be rolling… Nevertheless, he remains a shadow to Hotaru. A very tall and broad-shouldered shadow that implies 'No one touches the lizard'.
A lone hooded figure moves through the crowd. There is a quiver on his back, a mask that obscures the lower part of his face, and his hood is pulled down low so that only his emerald green eyes show. Perched on his shoulder is a large falcon, it's eyes darting left and right almost like it's on watch. Suna had heard about this mysterious auction, and Malik had been dispatched to Fuuma to see if anything being sold could be of use. This was also a great chance to further develop the skills that Ayumu had been teaching him. For now, he hangs back, though he keeps watch to make sure his coin purse isn't stolen. It /was/ Fuuma Alley afterall.
"It is a rare moment when someone can get their hands on ninja tools. This piece is simple, but elegant. Yet, it holds mysteries and therein lies its complexity. It is an accessory, but also a weapon. A pair, if you will," the auctioneer remarks about the next item up for sale. Brought out onto the floor are a pair of hand crafted fans which hide blades and senbon within them. Truly, they don't look like weapons at all, but the deception and intricacy of the craft is what makes these valuable. It's clear these fans weren't just made by anyone. "The bid for these starts at 2,000 ryo." Before long, bids are raised to draw the price up for the fans as hands go flying into the air to get their hands on them.
Isra wasn't much interested in the fans herself and let them slide past her. She watched everyone else carefully as they raised their bids for them. She didn't have any idea how much value shinobi tools carried. She wondered, in some small part, on how to capitalize on this, but shook her head at the thought and attempted to perish it. If shinobi tools were something that showed up often and carried this much weight, maybe there was actually something here for her.
As the bids dwindled, a battle began between two bidders, a male and female. They seemed insistent on acquiring these fans. After an intense match, the female bidder succeeded in winning the bid for the fans. The hammer was clapped and signaled the end to the bid and the winner was called to the holding room to claim her prize. The next item up for sale? A wooden statue believed to have been carved by Hashiramako herself. It's been said to have healing powers, but this only a myth. No one truly knows the truth, but hey, there's ryo involved.
"She should have claimed her item by now…why hasn't she come back?" An attendant spoke to a guard. It happened to be Ken. He was a sizable fellow and looked to be one of the stronger people here. "Go and check on her," he commanded.
Ninja tools. Bah. Hotaru has no use for those. She is a small girl whom needs a cane to walk around… she is sure ninja fans would appeal to other girls though. Hotaru is a practical ninja dragon whom wishes. Now that statue… Carved by Hashiramako!? Healing powers!?!? Hotaru would take her seat. "I don't know if papa would let me spend too much money on something like this, but…" Hotaru feels kind of dirty though. She was hoping to find something more like a scroll to help her unlock her latent sensory abilities, but a carving that could heal her? She's up for that too. "Let's see…. Uh… four thousand ryo!" The little dragon held up a bidding card as high as she could. Seems like a good starting price for a piece of wood. "… I don't want to bid on this anymore…" She sighs. "I was hoping I'd find answers for more important things…"
As the first auction and then the second auction were both completed a figure wearing a cloak and mask almost like an ANBU stood up as he moved towards the exit. The man wasn't an ANBU though as his mask was like none they use. If anyone paid attention to the man leaving they would notice that as he stepped towards the exit he sort of faded away as if he wasn't there. Extra perceptive people might even notice a shadow appear on the path towards the holding room when no one started heading that way. This cloaked figure would make his way to the holding room, and any non shinobi would likely not even see him. And shinobi may or may not see him based on how skilled he was.
"Ojou-sama, it's really not wise to spend money on such things," Kaneko's father would murmur. Of course, Four-thousand was a rather hefty price, and it didn't seem like anyone else was bidding on the statue. He tsks lightly and shakes his head a bit, eyes watching the crowd. "What were you hoping to find, Ojou-sama? The same thing as I, perhaps?" The smith would rub his chin a bit in thought, then he noticed someone in a mask. Suspicious…. He couldn't help but want to keep an eye on him. That was his job, after all. Ken couldn't let anyone touch Hotaru, and people who were suspicious might know where the two missing Iwa-genin are…
Malik continued to stand in his spot, his eyes still looking over the crowd. There was nothing of interest to him in this auction, though the ninja tools looked kind of cool, he would never use fans, and since he broke up with his girl, there's no one he would have wanted to buy them for. However, as Sinbad stirs on his shoulder, he catches sight of a figure moving inside. Well, that didn't look good. Deciding to follow, he begins to make his way through the crowd to where he saw the figure move. He also caught glimpses of a woman. Not wanting to miss out on anything important, he murmurs to his falcon. "Sinbad, go." The bird takes flight, moving towards where the items are stored.
"Sold! 4,000 ryo to the young lady!" The auctioneer chimed. "Please, head to the holding room to claim your item," he offered to Hotaru. Inside the room, the thief would find himself in hot water, unintentionally of course. In the room, the woman was alive, but the body of the holding room manager was lying on the floor, dead. In the hands of the woman were the pair of fans she came to claim, but…how did he die so quickly? His wounds weren't consistent with life threatening cuts.
All who entered the room would see this display, leaving the woman quite literally red handed. She explained her case, "This man tried to hurt me. While I was back here, he attempted to take advantage of me, but I defended myself with these fans," she looked at his dead body on the floor. She seemed to be shaken by what she had just experienced. "Can someone help me with this?" She wondered. The criminal, nowhere near involved in any of this, tries to find a way to take advantage of the situation and simply plays the part of a helper by taking up the body of the holding room manager to carry off somewhere. He didn't want to be perceived as anyone too suspicious himself, granted, that may already be too late.
Next up for auction… "Alright people, prepare to have your bidding appetites satiated. We here at Namiki understand that everything isn't always about collectables. Sometimes we sell other valuables like services. In Fuuma, it's always nice to know that there's a helping hand that will be the watchdog for you and your assets. At the very least, we hope these helping hands don't go helping themselves to your hard earned wealth," the auctioneer laughed carrying the laughter of the crowd with his joke. "From the Land of Earth, we have some contracts!" The papers would be revealed to the crowd as genuine documents available for their bidding. "These contracts offer up the services of one of two workers, eager to provide work for you. Due to the nature of these contracts, we'll start the bidding at 20,000 ryo!"
Isra winced. They sold contracts here? She knew the language was mild, but it was clear the contracts were in reference to servitude. Sigh. She leaned back in her seat and rubbed her temples. Meanwhile, Ken totally the bodyguard guy, went into the holding room to find the current mess it was in. His face twisted up and he approached the woman saying, "Are you alright?" He eyed the others in the room with suspicion.
So Hotaru went to claim her prize, but from where she sat it was more than a prize. It seems something terrible has occured there. Ken-san was on the case, but before she could quite enter to help out she heard something that made her heart drop a moment… "Wait… T-two… Two workers from where!?" That put Hotaru back onto the bidding seats… Poor girl was so delusional she believed that those two from earth were Kaneko and Akio… She swallowed hard and raised her card. "F-fifty-thousand Ryo!" That was all the money she had.
"…" Murasame Ken wondered… /Was/ it Kaneko and Akio? It sounded like them. Were they being sold in what amounted to a slave market? Oh, if they were, heads were definitely going to roll today… The man rested his hand on his sword, daring people to come near him. Even a few people next to him shuffled away upon feeling his killing intent. "Ojou-sama, are you sure you want to put all your money on this?" he asks worriedly. Whether or not the contracts bind to his daughter and his daughter's friend and teammate, he would likely pay her back.
The thief sought to keep his profile low and carried off the body. Meanwhile, the woman stayed behind up until he disappeared to regain her composure and sigh. "Now that he's away, we can make off with these goods here. Summon the others in here so that we can have more hands on this job. She looked outside the door to the holding room to see if anyone was coming this way. So far, so good. Ken the Bodyguard, took his orders and nodded, stepping out of the holding room to gather the others that were among her group to cart off some of these goods. It appears the holding room manager was innocent, after all.
"50,00 ryooooo! Sold to the young lady once again!" The auctioneer chimed with a clap of his hammer. "This is how you bid, people. Everything all out on the table! Take the risk and win great rewards!" He laughed. "Please, claim your items in the holding room! Congratulations to your earnings!" The room was impressed with this display, but also intimidated. She's won two items already and she may make her way away with a third or fourth. Some of the bidders speculate how to handle her while others try to figure out what else is up for auction. Of the possessions Hotaru claimed, one was a statue and two were contracts, one of which happened to be for Murasame Zora. Could this be fate or luck? Did both converge on the same day?
Isra was baffled by the way the auction was taking place. She liked the idea of it, but the items being sold were…less than savory. Still, she had to see who the lucky bidder was who was taking these prizes away. She looked in the direction the voice carried from and made out the silhouette of one Watanabe Hotaru. She smirked and focused her attention back on the auction, but not before witnessing Ken the Bodyguard step out of the room and gather up the group of people who were associated with the woman bidder from earlier. Is she truly alright? Rising from her seat, she slipped through the row of people and around to follow after the group. Her curiosity has gotten the best of her, but more importantly, it doesn't seem anyone is truly focused on the woman having gone missing. They must truly be desensitized around here…
The group filed into the holding room and looked around at the items that have yet to be claimed or have already been sold. They get to work attempting to get their mitts on whatever they can take hold of and use the path the thief utilized to make their exit out of here. Isra, peered into the door behind the group and saw what they were up to and was ready to jump to action. Besides, they were starting to make off with Hotaru's belongings. She moved away from the door and went to find her to warn her of what was taking place.
"Miss," she began quietly. "I think you ought to come quickly…" She gestured to the girl. "Your bids are soon to go to waste."
Hotaru would likely go to claim her prize, with heart full of hope. Look at all the unhappy people in whom she has clearly claimed dominance over. Fools! Her purse-strings are the widest and most vast! Plus, she netted a Kaneko to boot! She caned her way over to the auction room to discover that… Kaneko was there waiting for her! With Akio there too, probably. It was just that inner hope that everything was going to be alright that caused her fleeting happiness. She would even give Isra a smile as she approached the room. Then Ken came out. "Ken-san, what's wrong?" Hotaru would tap her cane a few times worriedly. Then, Isra tells her that her bids were going to go to waste. "Hmm?" The little dragon asks, before she finally gets into the prize room, peering in along with Isra now. "W-what!?" Hotaru was not going to lose Kaneko this time… She would narrow her eyes, as scales began to form around her person. "No they aren't. Not again…"
The auction continued without interruption, but that was all soon to change. The group gathered in the room was slowly taking the items out of the holding room and out of the restaurant through an exit in the kitchen. Isra, directing for Hotaru to follow, would lead the way in the hopes that she might be able to provide some cover for her just in case. "Where did you get money like that? Admittedly you're dressed nicely, but I didn't know you'd have such an allowance," she grinned. "But enough of that, what's someone like yourself doing here, anyway?" She tried not to focus on the fact that she just saw scales grow over her face. She isn't sure what's up with that, but thinks it's better not to ask right now.
Isra opened the way to the room and pointed out the criminals. One in particular, taking Hotaru's belongings. "I'll erect a barrier between them and their escape route. I can't say what's happened to the other pieces, but yours are still here." She made quick work of blocking off the exit by raising a wall of chakra between them and the kitchen door. The woman bidder from earlier, naturally, is none too pleased with what's taking place in here, but she has a nice plan on her hands. "THIEVES!" She shouted. "They're taking the items away!!!" She called from within the room. The auction draws to a halt as the noise escapes the holding room and makes its way into the bidding floor. There are thieves? Time to call security! "Security!" The auctioneer called, but his words would soon be drowned out by the people raising up to flood the room. Forget about security, what about the items?! Their stuff is in there!
"In hindsight, I should've seen this coming…" Isra grumbled to herself.
Naturally, the pushing and shoving doesn't help and with the assortment of people in here, well… *CRASH* There goes a chair against someone's back. Shattering glass cracks across people's heads and tables are soon lifted and thrown. "I'll just do to you all what I did to the manager," she hissed while brandishing her fans to attack Isra and Hotaru respectively.
Hotaru didn't even see a Kaneko in there. She would follow Isra to get answers. There was indeed quite a bit going on, so she trusted the mohawk Uzumaki to guide her through these troubled times. She isn't quick, thanks to wielding a cane and not knowing speed-related techniques. "My dad has a lot of money…" Hotaru would merely say, and she said it rather grumpily.
It seems though, as soon as Isra throws the barrier up to stop the theives (A really useful technique) the theives up and claim -they- are the theives! She thinks. "Listen, I'm a…" She would tap her arm where her Hitai-ate usually is, only to realize she isn't here on official village business. Guess she can't claim that she isn't a theif based on the fact she is from a reputable village! Hotaru would puff her cheeks as she as she could tell it was turning into a scuffle. Making a seal, she would cause a nice divot of water to form in front of her and knock the fan away before it hurt her. "L-listen… I…" Hotaru would narrow her eyes as the yellow-colored scales on her face suddenly turned blue. "IT'S -WAY- TOO BUSY IN HERE!" Hotaru would say as she made a flurry of seals. Time to hold the Fan Thief down. The water she recently condensed to block the attack from moisture in the air would snake out in tendrils to grab and attempt to hold the theif. "I'm -NOT- kidding. Where is -KANEKO!?-"
It's safe to say Namiki is about to get torn apart and perhaps become new real estate for Mr. Watanabe. So far, he's found a few places that he could really be turned around here. Aside from the whole darn area, but these places are a good start. Besides, Namiki could use a few rennovations and he could offer up his expertise. For now, it's going to get utterly destroyed by one baby dragon.
"Who is she talking about? We don't know a Kaneko!" Some goons shout in response to Hotaru's building rage. Fan Lady, currently bound by the chains is stuck and needs some help getting free. "Someone help me!" She struggles against the water chains. Here comes Ken to the rescue! That is, Bodyguard Ken. He steps in with a couple legs of a chair that have now been turned into beating clubs and it looks like he intends to smash Hotaru. "Sorry kid, nothing personal," he remarks about the cruel irony of the current situation. Beating someone with legs who is close to not having any?
Isra steps in and tries to build more barriers to keep the flow of people from coming in and making a mess of this holding room. She doesn't want to destroy what's in here, but that may be a possibility given what's taking place. She summons chains in an attempt to counter the man's two-legged attack.
Hotaru is going to make use of all the water she is condensing into this room as she creates another seal, forming a clone that would take the brunt of the attack. Why, that clone takes quite a leg beating! Yet, turns back into water a few moments later. Hotaru would narrow her eyes at her fallen clone. Well… She isn't sure if Juudai or her father would approve of her, but she was running out of time and things were getting out of hand. A second line of scales appears from her eyes as she releases herself into her bloodline a little further before stringing her hands in a series of seven seals. "I don't care about the statue anymore… Gomen." A few moments later, she seeks to put the fan lady and her goons into the hospital as she blows powerful flames upon them. She truly wanted to solve this in a way that didn't involve combat… Yet… It seems she didn't actually give it enough thought not to… She would spray fire all over them, and hopefully… They'd live. The fans might get destroyed though…
The whole area fills with flames and Isra takes no chances in getting caught in them as she raises up defenses to ensure some safety for herself. She takes out a scroll specifically marked to absorb fire and uses it to contain the flames that'd surround her. The rest? Well, they eat up everything around them and before long, smoke begins to fill the air. Anybody that was fighting was now trying to escape the building as a fire started in the holding room. "Time to go!" Isra called as she rolled her scroll back up and stuffed it away.
There's nothing worth trying to get here anymore. The fans are gone, Ken the Bodyguard and his chair legs are burned up, and Fan Lady is currently out of commission. The auction floor was in shambles and the smartest ones departed from this place long ago, leaving the others to get trapped in their own quarrels. The dragon has come and brought destruction, but the good news is that the ash pile will aid in the rebirth of this place later! Mr. Watanabe can handle this, right? Sure he can.
"Do you have your contracts?!" Isra inquired. "You won a lot of stuff here? Your statue?" She isn't sure that Hotaru was in the mood to really focus on those things, but this draconic rage is frightening and she'd rather not try and turn the rest of it against her.
Hotaru doesn't have her contracts… At the same time… "I… I haven't even paid them the money yet… It really doesn't matter. If one of the Contracts is who I think it is, I'm not going to pay anyways. I don't think slavery is legal in Iwagakure." Hotaru would say as she rubbed her nose. Hotaru even hasn't bridged the part of her transformation where anger is involved. She was invoked into her bloodline by… pure confusion… "L-let's just go, miss… And… Thanks for the help."
"Mmhmm," Isra hummed as she produced a scroll and handed it to Hotaru. "Well, in the middle of all that fire, I managed to secure them. It doesn't sound like you intend to do anything with them, but at this point, it probably doesn't matter. Sealed inside here are those contracts. I think the fire may have taken care of that statue, though," she rubbed her neck.
Outside the building, she looked back at the damage that was done and the fire that's beginning to spread through the place. Unfortunately, this place is an entire loss. There is no formal brigade to take care of these fires. Nothing that was invested in, anyway. The corruption has led to a property that will receive no help aside from eyes who look on at the dancing flames. "You're welcome, by the way. I don't know what's going on, but maybe I can be of a little more assistance. I can try and keep an eye out for this Kaneko you spoke of."