Date: July 19, 2014
Bea is brought in on the casino takeover scheme to subtly root out the source of the attacks on Hakumei's client. Subtlety is not Bea's strong suit. e.ea
"Fortune and Infamy - Bea's Subterfuge"
Ward 1 [Fuuma Alley]
Dominating an entire city block near the center of town sits a relic of the city's foundation: a small wooden fortress on a high stone foundation. Compared to the brightly-lit multi-story buildings in the adjacent blocks, the already dark ceramic roof and stained-wood walls of the small keep is a black shadow in the neon landscape. Pedestrians quietly ignore both the fortress and the people going in and out of it and one could be convinced that it were a ghost palace if it weren't solid. Over the front gate is, unsurprisingly, the name Fuuma. On an adjacent block, a low wall seperates a darkened courtyard from the street, a weathered wooden board hanging by the missing gate claims it is a training hall.
A message would arrive at Bea's location telling her to come to Fuuma. In short order Reina sits on a bench, drinking a mug of cocoa in the cold morning. And once the mercenary came around, Reina would explain the situation in full. They were protecting a client who was in the process of inheriting five lucrative casinos on the entertainment strip. Sad to say, he'd been blown up. Now hidden and wounded, his life was uncertain. In the meantime, Nanashi acted as a very effective doppleganger, Daichi. "He" was always accompanied by a Hakumei bodyguard, but it never seemed to be Reina. "There were three master assassins after his life," she says. "They handled the first one. There are still two out there. The people who stand to profit during his death the most is Daichi-kun's business partner, or his brother. And one of them is sending the assassins—or both."
She grins devilishly at Bea. "You need to find out who it is. You will keep your association with Hakumei a secret for as long as you can, and act as if you're an independent mercenary. Try to "hire" yourself out to him. Ask around the lower crowd. He may be sending even more assassins, and until we take his life, he can hire more."
Oi…subterfuge. -.- Bea hates this kind of work, because, well, she's not very good at it. e.e Even aside from lacking the inherent cunning and training for it, you try getting just the right amount of attention and no more as a muscular giant of a woman. :P "You are certain you do not need something done that just involves smashings?" Bea grumbles. "Is not best fit for my skills, this, how you say, coat and stabbings stuff. I do not even have coat."
Presumably Bea's whining is for naught, though, so to speed the scene along, let's say she headed off to the local bar. She finds a place to sit down, orders a drink, and takes a glance around for anyone who looks like a recruiter. e.e
Reina smiles at Bea's very valid points. "It's not so hard," she says. "There isn't some secret art to spying. You continue to do what you usually do. Drink and sit in the corner of a good bar. I'm going to give you some money to hang around in the casinos too, and get to know them." She hands Bea the list. "Here's the bars to hang out. That's where to listen for any talk from the city. And here are the casinos to drink at in the bar. That's where you'll see the brother and his partner pass. Just tell me what they look like. Who is relaxed enough to have a few large drinks? Do they look anxious? How many times do they come in and out." She hands Bea a billfold. "Use that money to drink and gamble. But space it out to stay there longer, in these three casinos." She points.
"I'm trying to find out too," she says, "but my face is known. I'm actively going around, but you're going to sit around and keep an ear open. Don't approach them, ever. And don't approach anyone ASKING to join in. Let out you're an extremely skilled mercenary, and they'll approach you after we kill the next two master mercenary assassins."
Spending money on drinks and games? Sure, Bea can do that much. X) She whiles away the hours in the casino, at first keeping an eye out for the things Reina mentioned, but gradually paying less and less attention as the booze builds up in her system. Probably just as well, she was making a few other patrons nervous at first with how much she kept staring at the door. X) As for telling people she's an extremely skilled mercenary, well…even Bea knows just coming out and saying it in those exact words is going to be awkward and unconvincing. So she makes do with swapping stories with anybody who seems likely to be interested. "Oh, this one time, is little man with tiny blades who is thinking he is too fast for me! Is jumping all around like cricket and making tiny stabs at me, too cowardly to go for killing blow. So I raise my arms for big smash, and he goes around behind me, yes? So then I SIT on him! Is big surprise for him, leave him with broken hip!" XD Bea's also a little more liberal than usual with her 'friendly pats on the back' and the like. After all, talk is cheap, but if she gets into a fight, she can show how skilled she is. >)
Reina leaves after their brief meeting. It'd take quite some time before she'd get a lead. Hours in fact, but when a few likely candidates come around to listen, they listen well to Bea's story. Looking at her to size her up. It's fairly helpful her physical appearance supports her stories. And her exuberant nature that drives away some is a winning characteristic to others.
"Let me buy you a meal, friend," a man named Raiko says congenially. He'd treat her and say, "Know who this casino belongs to? There's going to be a transfer of ownership soon, and they're looking for some manpower. Womanpower, that is. You open for long term work?"
Bea grins on being offered food. "Ah, many thanks! Is good to meet friendly, generous person in place like this!" n.n Even though she's been snacking a bit too with the money Reina gave her, Bea takes the opportunity to order a filling steak meal. She's gotten used to a famine-or-feast lifestyle. "Do not know much about casino owner, no," Bea says with a shrug while chewing on meat and rice. "Usually do not care who is in back, as long as is good games and booze out front. But da, work is good. Is not able to have good times for long without money. What is problem that needs smashings?"
"Our employer might have some unreliable allies," the man says. "You seem the kind of shinobi who'd be useful in such cases. But I'll need to confirm a few things with him. There's a process to this afterwards. If you're still interested in the work we have to offer come here tomorrow. I'll have more information then." He has ordered a plate of fresh noodles laden with vegetables and grilled pork. A glass of red wine is sipped along with this. He'd paid easily, as if money was of little consequence for him, or he was good at pretending it was. He watches Bea the entire time. At some point he grips his chopsticks and says, "I might add that every word of this conversation stays between us, regardless of if you're employed."
Bea chows down carelessly, almost forgetting what her mission here is. Alcohol is a wonderful thing sometimes. X) Only sometimes, of course. c.c When Raiko mentions the thing about keeping quiet even if she's employed already, Bea pauses thoughtfully in mid-gobble. Is she employed? -.- She's not exactly being paid a salary, just given a cut of the potential profits. Oh wait, she's not supposed to let on about that anyway! o.O Shhhh. ;) Bea swallows and gives Raiko a grin. "Is no worries, I can keep quiet. We do not need to bump off bartender in case has been listening though, do we?" c.c
The man raises an eyebrow. "Bartenders here know to keep their mouths shut around me, or they won't be bartenders for long," he said. It's not a boast, it's said like it's a fact. And indeed, the bartender was wary of him in a way he wasn't even around the strong, outgoing Bea. Raiko has given the fact just as much for the bartender's ears as for Bea's. "Besides, no one is going to bite the hand that will be feeding them soon." He grins at that and wipes his mouth as he finishes the last scraps of his food. He stands up and would extend his hand to give Bea's a strong shake. "I'll see you soon," he says, and would make off.
Yay for strong handshakes. n.n Bea so seldom gets them, especially after a first try. >) "Is good to know you, Raiko-san. See you tomorrow, ya?" After Raiko leaves, Bea turns back around and ponders in her hazed brain again. -.- What's she supposed to do now? Go find Reina and spill everything? Find a place to sleep off the booze and come back tomorrow? Just keep going like she was doing before meeting Raiko? Eh, she'll figure it out after finishing her meal. :P *chomp chomp chomp*