Date: January 24, 2015
Multiple members of the group called Hanpa meet at the designated location in order to begin the journey they have all chosen to share.
Somewhere in the Land of Rivers
It was a dark and stormy night…. several hundred miles away in the Land of Rice Paddies when Hanpa, Soubi, and Haruna had met up to leave the country. Luckily the water ways leading from the country did eventually connect to the Land of Rivers as most places do, even if some foot travel was necessary between. During the trip, the conversation was kept rather light though a heavy amount of expectation was not addressed. The weather on the way wasn't bad actually, and eventually on the second day since they started travelling, around early afternoon, the group would be making its way on the last leg of their journey on foot to the location they were to meet. Strangely, they were going to meet at the mouth of the great river delta that flowed in to the southern seas, but they would not be going by boat. The bits of criminals and thieves that dotted the country stayed clear of even a small group of people that looked like they could take care of themselves. There was a residual fear of the few times these small groups happened to be powerful shinobi and twice now the attempts at organizing crime and pirating has been decimated by their kind. Thus while they were met with wary glances, it was a smooth bit of travel.
At relatively the same time, the shadows had moved of their own free will to collect their attachment to the world of man. Shie had tracked down and cajoled the Ryousha twins, beckoning them lightly to come like some sort of alabaster pied-piper. Though it certainly didn't take any where near that much effort… Shie was bristling with his form of excitement given the gravity of what was about to occur. Though when the girls grew tired, Shie would take on on each shoulder and continue on. He insisted that they not be late as the surprise would simply be ruined if they were not on time.
Hanpa would have likely been the most quiet on the trip with Soubi and Haruna. He was focused on quite a few things in his mind, and while his company was pleasant… he was the only one truly aware of what awaited them in the Land of Rivers. Each step towards the river basin felt heavier for the man, and if he had been weaker in spirit, he may have even stopped in his tracks altogether. "Haruna… You may have to change in to something a bit more durable in the water." he would tell her before going back to his near silence. His head tilted and turned to face Soubi for a moment… but he didn't say a word to her just yet, facing forward once more as they would just about arrive at the location.
Jun and Nao had been both elated and a bit disappointed to see their guinea pig, as Jun had to leave behind her 'boyfriend' without so much as a word, as there was no time to spare. Poor Bandit… Even so, both girls were quick to follow after the shadow with no complaints, despite a little pouting. Despite the fact they were both very used to traveling, it was not usual for them to travel days on end and were quite content to settle upon Shie's shoulders when they were offered. As such, they'd probably arrive draped on the figure in such a way that Nao, at least, may almost look like a prisoner. The easiest way for her to accomplish any form of rest was to be stomach-down and just dangling from him while Jun was perfectly happy leaning against his head.
The would-be Daimyo, Goto Ieyasu, was already here and practising swordsmanship while waiting for the gathering to enfold. He glances towards the dock and then raises an imperious eyebrow at the twins. He turns his nose up for a moment before Hanpa, Haruna and Soubi arrive. He gives Hanpa a nod of respect, even if he doesn't exactly trust the man, he respects the man for his vision and ability to gather like-minded individuals.
The red parasol following Hanpa tips back at his words to reveal the woman beneath. Inoue Haruna looks ahead briefly and then back to him with a melodious.. giggle. It can't rightly be called a laugh. It's too subdued. "Surely, you aren't expecting me to swim to get there." She glances at the water and then back at Hanpa again. Her expression assumes a look of dignified annoyance. "Really?" Her glance shifts to Soubi, wondering if this is some sort of initiate's joke. With a sigh, Haruna snaps shut her parasol and tucks it beneath an arm. It will be no protection if they're fixing to be submerged.
Soubi wasn't as social as she would have liked, despite being on the journey. She was simply out of words; using much of this time to gain an understanding about Hanpa and how things turned out the way they did. This situation would give her confirmation, and settle out what exactly she needed to do for herself. She remained uncloaked lingering at his side, her eyes carefully looking about the area while they wadded through. "Hopefully we will be at our location soon?" Soubi questioned Hanpa while perking a brow towards Haruna. "Are you unable to swim if need be?" She questioned further, reading herself to consider their options.
Ayumu course was not a straight one, nor free of any peril. Nevertheless, he carried on almost unerringly to his destination. Only almost because of the need for rest or backtrack to avoid future complications. The red-haired wonder is far from satisfied with the results; especially with the unnerving feeling of being followed the entire time. Although he doesn't outright ignore the feeling, the need for haste limited his options to simply remaining alert at all times. If not for the fact that the Land of Rivers straddled the Land of Wind, he would've gone without sleep just to make certain to arrive on time both coming and going. He could only rely on his kin to cover his latest escapade for so long, and the longer the time, the higher the price may be….
As soon as it sensed the approach of others, the clone regarded their general direction briefly before cancelling henge tree form and dispelling itself altogether. A few minutes later, the weary-eyed and cloaked form of the original, Ayumu, trudges its way through rain sodden muck with his half-hearted grin plastered on his face.
Arika is, and has been since Ayumu first left the village, tailing the Iga. She had even almost been caught a few times, though a quick henge into, say, a snake or hawk had been enough to convince the Iga of her harmlessness. The storm is… disheartening, to say the least, but she continues to follow after Ayumu, sometimes straying after the clone that might attempt to lead her from the true path. But eventually she got on the right track again in short order. When Ayumu reached his destination, the girl climbs into a tree nearby, using henge to turn into a squirrel. The young girl is trying to keep her chakra to low levels so no sensor could possibly (hopefully) pick up her presence.
Hanpa allowed for the questions and speculation to flow about him… well mostly the dissatisfaction of possibly having to swim. They were minor complaints in the end, especially considering what he had in store. So largely, he did not answer quite yet. Instead he waited for the various elements he'd gathered here to arrive. He would note however, not everyone was present. No matter… it was not necessary for everyone to be here at this time.
Shie would have picked up the pace not too longer before Hanpa and his group arrived, trying to catch up and make sure that he and the twins arrived on time as well. Still, he was a bit late, arriving last of all the members of the group. However, he would suddenly stop. It was so sudden and abrupt, Nao was likely flung in to his back as he stood perfectly still in mid step, staring. Staring….. STARING….. before he'd announce in his strangely deep voice, "SQUIRREL!" Wide eyes and fixated on the create as he'd tilt his head, leaning in to Jun quite heavily with it.
Hanpa would however not be paying any mind to Shie's shenanigans as he faced the mighty river that was only a hand full of yards from them all. The largest river in the world, rushing by with millions of gallons of water in to the sea. "Hello everyone, and thank you for coming." He would say to all present though his masked face continued to be oriented towards the river. "While we are those who wander… moving through the world as individuals… most times, in order to get to what ever new horizon we are facing… we need a place to be. A place that is common to all of us. Each of you has decided to take this journey with me. To see where this path will take you, temporarily or other wise. Each of you has your own reasons, worries, concerns, and goals. That is what will make us strong. That is what will unite us more often then not without stripping away our freedoms or our identities. What you are about to be shown, is my secret. It is something that I am reclaiming this moment to help facilitate us and any activity we choose to pursue. Keep in mind how fragile trust can be and know that anything that compromises it will not be looked kindly upon." Hanpa would turn to face the squirrel then, quite the odd animal to have in this location so close to so many coastal predatory birds… "Akuen… it seems a convenient snack has arrived for you." Hanpa stated as the ever circling Raven would seem to drift towards the tiny create, lining it up for when it chose to have its next prey. Not quite carrion, but it would do.
Hanpa's attention would fall back upon the river as he would explain, "Beneath this great river, along the steep under water cliff gouged out by the rushing water over eons, lies the first place we can rest ourselves collectively and operate from. Is anyone going to have an issue traversing the waters?" was now asked as he turned to face them all.
Both twins get a little wind knocked out of them, Nao from her position and Jun likely from the hand of Shie's holding her on his shoulder. But they're certainly awake! "Jikkendai!" They both whine at once, Jun beginning to utter, "What are you, a—oh…" She considers what she was about to ask and deems it… inappropriate, all considered. Nao grumbles and shifts around to sit more properly on their 'steed' of sorts. Of course, this brings the girls' attentions to the gathered group… Both are groggy, though and only pay half attention to each person as they start to rub the sleep from their eyes. Unable to resist, in the middle of listening to Hanpa, each of them yawn, Nao first followed by her sister. Both of them just lean lightly against the head of their transporter and against each other as they watch the masked one. "As long as the water's not too rough, we can swim," Nao responds.
Ieyasu slides his samurai sword home in it's sheathe and says, "I grew up next to the Land of Rivers, I can swim like a fish." He eyes the twins, looking at them with a hint of distaste before observing the rest.
Haruna glances to Soubi and shakes her head. "It's not a question of ability, just convenience." She reaches up to brush a few strands of hair out of her face. "I didn't envision coming to this meeting looking like a drowned rat." The vanity is strong in this one. As she imagines her horrific first introductions of sopping wet handshakes, disheveled hair, and muddy clothes, the woman actually starts to pout.
Regardless though, she listens to Hanpa, staying more or less quiet and looking balefully at the water. Absent-mindedly, she takes into account the others, but she will likely pay them more mind once introductions are made, /if/ they are made. Priorities. When asked whether or not she might have an issue, which she /does/ superficially, Haruna just shakes her head and reaches back to start the process of binding up her hair.
"It seems as though most minds are up so shall we go ahead and continue?" Soubi voices rather promptly. Swimming of course wasn't an issue for her, though she didn't plan to get drenched and be set out to dry like a wet towel. " The quicker we move along, the quicker we will be able to get dry when we are finished…" Soubi muses as she looked through the group, the twins were somewhat memorable in their own regard, while two other faces caught her recognition. " Hopefully no one will be swept up by the water…"
None are regarded directly by the Iga both before, during, and after officially reaching the group; except Hanpa himself. And yet to the sensitive, it would still feel as if there were many eyes upon them, dissecting and regarding every little piece without any regard to personal value. Like the others, Ayumu did not relish the idea of having to swim at all after traveling for so long. Nevertheless, he answered the inquiry with silence before allowing his attention to belatedly drift to the squirrel that Shie had been so kind enough to point out to the group.
A certain sense of forboding made the Iga especially mindful of how predator and prey would interact. Oddly enough, he even hoped the squirrel might scamper away for some reason…
When Shie calls out 'SQUIRREL', it skitters away rather quickly, obviously startled. Of course, there's almost no sign of /where/ it went, even to some of the best of trackers. Like it had just vanished. Arika herself was nervous. There were a lot of people, and she didn't know most of them. The Twins she recognized. Ayumu, obviously. But the others? Strangers. She took a moment to gather her thoughts before using henge again, this time turning into a small small frog. Something even tinier than a squirrel. Something that could easily be squished or not noticed. It hopped around in search of Ayumu's sensory organs, taking perch on the closest one if lucky.
"Good." Hanpa would say simply before stepping towards the rushing river. "Follow me… if you would." Hanpa would suggest politely before hopping on to the water… and then sprinting along the top of it. He kept his feet from the surface of the water as much as possible, propelling himself in near horizontal leaps in order to keep his place along the river relatively linear. It was practice and knowledge of where he was going, but he attempted to show them how as he moved, his movements a bit exaggerated. He would head to the center of the river, no way out other than traversing all the way back or forth unless you wanted to be washed out to sea. One slip up could surely take you to the ocean quickly… assuming you didn't drown.
As he approached the center, he would announce, "Here is where it gets tricky… Follow the under swell of the river. The current that will pull you down and off the underwater cliff side… and then cling to the side with tree walking or what ever other skill you may have. If you miss it, it will be difficult to get air unless you are a powerful swimmer or allow yourself to be pulled out to sea at which point you will have to come to shore to start over." Once he arrived at the center, he would leap high in to the air, rotating and flipping his form in to a dive directly below his location. If the other were following close behind him, they would see that he was swimming straight down, but being pulled further out towards the much darker and deeper waters. With his chakra control, he was able to make his entire body essentially cling to the current and propel him with great speed towards the cliff where he'd, strangely, stand at the top of it, instead of clinging to the side where the current would be far more bearable. He crouched, holding on with both hands and a foot, apparently trying to make sure that if someone should slip, they had some form of support and he would grab them to keep them from being pulled out to sea. At least for the first 20 seconds. After that, he would make his way down the side of the cliff, and slip in to the under water cavern with the rest.
Shie's very long stride made carrying the twins easy as far as atop the water was concerned, but when it was time to submerge… it was up to them. Though he would hold one hand of theirs each just to make sure they didn't get separated. He was sort of dragged along behind them though, using his leg power alone to try to keep up.
Ieyasu's eyes bug out at the chakra tricks Hanpa uses, he glances down at himself and tries to keep a confident look on his face as he prepares himself to potentially drown. He's no nin, he has no ability to walk on water, he takes a deep breath and then mutters "Amida Butsu…" before he dives in and attempts to swim the currents to where Hanpa is.
The twins had not perfected the art of tree or water walking, so they are certainly glad for Shie. Once underwater, though, they seem to be able to hold their breath just fine and their slim bodies are full of just the muscles needed for an activity such as this. With no tree walking to rely upon, they simply rely upon their strength, catching themselves on stones and shifting themselves to slip into the cavern after Hanpa. Neither Jun nor Nao are particularly concerned about how sharp the rocks are. A few scrapes and gashes won't kill them.
When they finally do leave, Haruna follows as best she can. She is not in the best physical condition, not like that of active ninja in any case. Still, she doesn't show any great distress until the challenge of tackling the currents comes into play. The kimono absorbs quite a bit of water, weighing her down and making swimming awkward, but at least it isn't some heavy material like linen that would add pounds upon pounds. She would likely emerge a bit after the rest, grasping the rocks and taking a moment to catch her breath. With the aid of tree walking, getting up the cliff is a little easier for her.
It is apparent, however, as she follows the rest into the cave that /something/ is going to have to change if she's ever to come here again. Haruna reaches up to jerk the jade pins from her hair in irritation, the locks falling in a sopping mess down her back. Once they're inside, she makes a pointed effort of noisily ringing out her kimono with all the dignity and grace of an angsty teenager. Well, he didn't say she had to like anything to be involved, so there.
Finding this location was a little annoying, even for Soubi. It was annoying hidden away, well placed but definitely not a location that she'd want to visit on the daily basis. Nevertheless she followed suit right after the group. Trekking right down the cliff side and plopping into the currents. Situations like this wasn't at all a problem for her, if anything she had been through much worse. A light groan does emerge from her as she reaches the cavern, her tree walking coming into play. She pants lightly, attempting to figure out just where else they would need to be going.
Another sigh of relief escapes Ayumu. The squirrel would survive for another day, or perhaps… another few hours. Either way, it took a mystery with it that promised to continue to haunt the Iga for several days if not more. Such thoughts are quickly pushed aside with little more than a subtle headshake before his attention seems to return to Hanpa. Again, Ayumu simply absorbs all that is spoken as well as the activities of those around him without offering more or reaction. He trails behind the others, and may have been the first to sink into the river if not for 'something' giving him pause.
Moments after the last of the group has disappeared beneath the water, the Iga regards Arika's general location for a brief moment, then formed a single seal. A shadow of the man will grudgingly make its way back towards her while the original dived. Ayumu was no fish, or a former denizen of the Land of Water. Still, years of odd ventures allows him to catch up to the others with no further delay than whatever underwater adjustments were necessary to get his hair to do his bidding.
It is a tongue, simply put. An odd choice but the better one considering the rest had orfices or were bound to be too easily distorted. When Ayumu had turned to peer in her direction before a silent command had been given to it to bind Arika-frog, if not simply startle her out of the henge. It seems the man either knew his frogs well, or some familiarity had been picked up. Regardless, there's an agitated clone after the Suna-nin…
The frog ribbits in surprise as it's captured by the tongue, squirming in the grip. Once everyone disappeared, she turned back into… Well, herself. And got to see an irritated clone… She eyes the water for a bit, wondering if maybe she could make it. And a quick handseal later, there is a splash in the water as Arika follows after the group while a clone is looking at Ayumu-clone nervously. Eheheh…
Primarily, it seemed Hanpa had to worry about Ieyasu, and before the young noble would be out of reach, Hanpa lended him a hand reeling him in towards the cliff side and in to the cavern. The water just seemd to fall from what ever fabric or material Hanpa was wearing. Of course he'd have water resistant clothing, but having modified his use of water walking also kept him essentially untouched by the water in the first place. Raising one hand, he would create a Tiger seal his mask would suddenly light up as if a bright light was ahead of them in the pitch black cavern, reflecting off of his mask. Of course there wasn't, and the fire chakra he was pouring in to the mask was simply used as a light being projected outwards.
"I apologize for the discomfort, but there are reasons why secrets are kept. Welcome to Shukun Sumitsuki; The Master Seal." He would greet them as if he were hosting some party at a manor. He led them not too many steps in to the interior before a sheer wall would stop them. It looked natural, craggy, uneven, pitted and slopped as if there was nothing there at all. Raising a hand however, he would place it upon the surface, revealing a large seal that would suddenly emblazon itself upon the wall. "Manako no Kuragari Rakuin (Darkness Mark of the Eye). You will become familiar with this concept soon enough." Hanpa would assure them.
The wall before him would receed a bit before splitting in to three triangular sections and smoothing out in to a proper door. The sections would slid left, right, and up out of the way, revealing the next room. As Hanpa would cross the threshold, a vast array of chakra blue torches would seemingly light themselves, displaying a massive room on the inside quietly humming with hundreds of thousands of symbols glowing along the walls and cielings. In the center of it all is a raised podeum with a large circular area and a circular bench type seating around it. The surface of this podeum was lit up as well with an array of seals shifting and moving over it at different rates of speed. There were a couple of other rooms that led off from this central location, but this seemed to be the main room. "I believe this will be private enough for our future." Hanpa stated. There was one last thing of note in this room as well. A pod of sorts that was mostly upright, but slightly slanted back. It looked to be about the size of a coffin, though it seemd to be part of the room and not something added in later.
It was a close thing, and Ieyasu almost drowned, so it was that Hanpa managed to get the young Daimyo-in-waiting (illegitamite) into the cavern. Ieyasu coughs and sputters as he tries to keep his dignity amongst this diverse and disparate group, however he's fooling no one. He waves off any help and when Hanpa reveals everything, he looks around a bit wide-eyed. This is far FAR beyond his expertise, of course he's heard about seals and all, but never something like this.
The twins held on to Shie's hands even once they'd made it in here, both dripping wet and now with their hoods flopped back thanks to the current. This left their hair open to the air, revealing that their hair was actually very long beneath the hoods. The greenish-colored hair floods their hoods and is even somewhat tucked away beneath their clothing, all a mess now thanks to the water but both Jun and Nao seem unconcerned. They watch as Hanpa lights up his mask, and then proceeds to reveal the secret of the wall. "Wow," they both whisper. They both start to lift their hands as if to clap, but… Shie's hands stay firmly in theirs. Apparently they're much too happy with that arrangement to bother and instead just bounce slightly on their toes in excitement. As they actually enter the room, they peer down to the other rooms and down the cooridors, very curious… but they stay put and instead drag 'Jikkendai' to the pod so they can peer at it… and even in if, if possible.
Haruna follows in silence once they begin to proceed into the cavern. While the jutsu she's witnessing down seem rather advanced, for now she shows no surprise or deep interest. She is cold and damp and, as neat as this place might be, Haruna is used to a degree of comfort above 'cold and damp.'
She swallows her complaints, keeping them down to a mild air of annoyance instead of outwardly voicing everything. Haruna moves to the table to sit. She pulls her long hair over a shoulder to untangle the wet locks with her fingers. The movements are passive though. Her attention is on the others now, observing and starting to put faces to names as well as she might.
It was certainly interesting, this head quarters of a sort…Soubi followed through with a hint of curiosity, her azure gaze taking in the surroundings, and then the others in the room. The bunch was a little odd… Not nearly as professional as she would have hoped, but nevertheless there were here for a reason. At least there were a few in her presence she knew she could trust implicitly. "So this is the place that I've heard so much about. Never once did I think i would be within. Not as shiny as I imagined it," Soubi concluded, not bothering to take a seat at the moment, instead she 'mingled' near by.
The shadow clone isn't fooled for a moment, and could've just as easily captured Arika well before she got away. Sensing a lesson in store for the determined child, the clone hesitates long enough to make pursuit less than idea. It after all did not have the luxury of sensory organs of its own at the moment to risk braving the water's depth. "Do I dare ask why you've followed me here, or shall I leave that to our creators to work out." It asks simply as it folds its arm.
Meanwhile, Ayumu drags himself free of the water, but doesn't bother shaking himself free or drying off. Time would do that job well enough. In the meantime, he wandered on behind the rest, turning his head every now and then to regard the passage changes. Throughout the entire time for the most part, Ayumu bit his lips to stiffle laughter over Hanpa's trail blazing technique.
Arika-clone shrugs a bit. "I wanted to see what you were up to!" is what it says. And if we do it here, then that's less work for later." The young girl scrambles over to perch on Ayumu's back (or at least attempt to), resting comfortably on either ground or human depending on that. In the meantime, the real Arika's managed to get to the cavern with a lot of effort, the girl obviously tired when she reaches the end. Derp, but she can't reveal herself /now/! She transforms once again into a little frog, hopping quickly after the real Ayumu and clinging to his back once within reach. Okay, now she's /definitely/ settled. How nice.
"Over there is an area for meals that sections off in to many rooms that can be taken up if you need rest or to change. Down that path way is a bit of a laboratory and research area. And that way… now that the Master Seal has been unsealed again, is a way back to the surface as well as here that does not require a dip in the river." Hanpa would explain shortly as he stood not too far behind Shie and the twins. "Though being able to freely enter from that direction will require… connectivity. But we can speak of that later."
Meanwhile, Shie would raise both of the twin girls hands that were still in his own and wipe away the dust that covered the coffin like pod. Inside of it would rest the undisturbed body of a teenaged boy with black hair and pale features. Hey lay motionless, not breathing or moving, but also not rotting or deteriorating. Hanpa would speak to them then, "Do not disturb him…" was all that he would say on the matter. Moving along Hanpa continued with the rest. "Please, take this time to get to know each other and familiarize yourselves with this location. I do not plan to keep you long. I know that not all of you are here right now, but the time will come when you all meet one another. Welcome to Hanpa. There is a lot to learn, but there is also plenty of time to do so. This location will not be fully functional for some time, and it will take a bit for any belongings you find necessary to be here to get sorted and such, but now we can begin that work… and the work ahead as well."
Taking a moment to face Ayumu, Hanpa would gesture towards himself. "That girl that was with you before, in Kirigakure. You should tell me more about her. Since she is involved. How involved… is she exactly? And most importantly, are you vouching for her personally, Ryoji?" Hanpa stated this clearly. perhaps he was suspicious of something, or perhaps he was just generally asking, but in either case, it was time for him to know of the girl who had followed them in to the Mizukage's office.
It galls Ieyasu to admit, all he has is the clothes on his back (peasant-like, threadbare) and his samurai swords. He looks around and thinks to himself . o O (So this is how far I have fallen, and how far I have to climb, living in a cave, following a would-be Kage.) He listens to the man though, if nothing else, he can't say that 'Hanpa' isn't persuasive. He's met a couple of the other wanderers, but he's the standoffish type, not one to introduce himself. Not to mention, his voice still cracks on occassion, ruining the image he wants desperately for people to buy in, that of a lord samurai.
The two girls gazed into the pod once Shie had cleared away the dust, clearly amazed. When instructed not to disturb him, the two turn to look at Hanpa and, in unison, say, "Hai, Oyaji." They then look around and hum before looking to Shie, as if for guidance or perhaps just advice… Really, they could just be looking at him for the sake of doing so. "We're still tired, Jikkendai," they murmur after a glance to each other. "There are rooms we can rest in?" Nao clarifies, looking at him curiously.
Haruna continues to meticulously finger-comb her long hair. The locks are starting to look a bit better and at least drying out a bit, but she'll need a brush to put them back into order properly. Her eyes follow Hanpa as he speaks of the Master Seal and an alternate route of getting here. Yes, please! In fact.. why didn't he just come here beforehand and lead them in through the /other/ route?
The woman emits a sigh. She continues to watch the others but seems a bit shy of introducing herself. Her participation in this group is just a tad bit reluctant. Association with certain individuals could possibly be bad for business and dangerous for her family. The rag-tag-ness of it makes her smile though. It should be an interesting ride.
"Soubi is my name," Soubi announces rather bluntly, obviously not wishing to exchange much pleasantries, or at least not yet. There was a rather weary expression about her lips, perhaps rather worn from the trip, or something else. "Hanpa… I assume we will be able to speak later? Until thing I believe I'm going to make myself comfortable…" Soubi speaks, pausing as her eyes rest upon Ryoji. "it's always good to see you around also… I just pray you have been able to keep yourself out of trouble,"
The laughter that had been bubbling beneath the surface dies in the Iga's throat abruptly thanks to the shadow clones warning. Ayumu pays no obvious mind to the tailing Arika even well after she secures herself to his back. Drawing attention to her would've been… inadvisable. So, he tried his best to focus on purely observing. He could do observing. Observing was all the Iga clan were about. That and the occasional blackmail, extortion, and outright thievery of goods.
Though he doesn't see the gesture, Ayumu reads it nevertheless. He starts before reluctantly approaching the man with his head slowly bowed in… shame? In any case, he only thing to give him pause along the way is Soubi's greeting. Knowing the 'boss' as he did, he offers only a weak smirk before continuing on. Any other nervous gestures are heavily suppressed as he finally looked up and straightened out. "Honestly, Smexy-dono… I rather not. But for both our sakes I shall… Arika—" He glances over his shoulders. "Manner time, little one." He says softly his attention reverts to Hanpa. For perhaps the third time in his life, Ayumu genuine prayed for another's sake…
Arika stays in her frog-form, uncertain if Ayumu was trying to tell her to stay put or to reveal herself. She wasn't exactly pleased if it was the latter, the girl not sure how well she could trust everyone here. The tiny frog made as little movement as possible on the back of the Iga, staying quiet as it could. Fortunately she had a lot of chakra… Her clone disappeared when Ayumu's did once all that talking was done.
"I see…" Hanpa would state to Ayumu after his revelation while others… largely decided to keep to themselves for now. Placing his hand upon the table like structure in the middle of the room, the entrance to the Master Seal would close behind all of them. "By being present here, Ayumu… you of all people should know that the only rule is to refrain from doing something that would harm the group. I hope that you still intend to keep that particular promise, even vicariously." Hanpa almost seemed to warn the Iga. "She is talented and determined to have found a way in to your company. But should this extend to our company as well?" Was asked as Hanpa continued to probe Ayumu for his assurances. To Soubi he would nod and say, "Of course." And to Haruna he would pat her shoulder. "Allow me to take you out to dinner as an apology for these… uncomfortable travel arrangements." Ieyasu of course seemed a bit… overwhelmed. Hanpa largely allowed for him to get accommodated with his situation, not trying to bring too much attention to the boy's current plight.
When she's patted, Haruna tips her head back to smile at Hanpa. "Deal. I'll be better once I get some rest. It's just.. well.. a bit out of the ordinary for me." Travelling by foot, swimming, tree walking.. Yeah. Out of the ordinary. She watches Ayumu for another moment as Hanpa and he talk, wondering just who this person is they speak of.
After a few moments more, Haruna rises, excusing herself politely. She heads to where the rooms are supposed to be, offering casual waves of a dainty hand to those she passes. Perhaps she can get to know them the next day.
Ayumu suppressed a cringe behind a tight lipped smile. More and more he was begining to understand the woes of teacher in regards to his or her student. It was enough to make him even reconsider his decision. Almost. "That… I will continue to evaluate, so forgive me, milord in that regard." He bows his head briefly at the waist. Ayumu started to add more in regards to Hanpa's warning, but hesitates for a moment too longer. Unless bid too otherwise, Ayumu would retire near the entrance to better sense beyond their safe abode. That is after shaking Arika free and motioning for her to rest in the rest area. She needed not see what lengths the Iga would go should her latest antics had brought hunters breathing down their neck.
Arika scrambles a bit as she's shaken off the Iga's back, lying a bit dazed on the ground before going to hop somewhere that wouldn't have many people. She wasn't quite sure if she could keep the jutsu up for that long, so she found a place that was large enough to hide her full-sized form before releasing the Henge. She peers at Ayumu a bit, offering a questioning look, but otherwise quiet. Something likely odd for the young girl. But she was also tired, so that might be a factor. Now if only she knew earth jutsu …