Date: October 30, 2014
Reina and Red meet in a rowdy bar, full of drunken troublemakers.
"In Your Back Pocket"
Gaida Village is usually a quaint local village with nice inns and good hot springs. But times are dangerous, so the villagers have hired mercenaries to stay within the town and protect them should bandits or thieves come a calling. Mushi had left Red by himself in their inn to go complete some business nearby, telling him to stay out of trouble. She told him to look for the mercenaries if there was any danger, and would later learn the mercenaries /were/ the danger.
They're shouting and cursing. Throwing food around and demanding more beer. Bullying the normal patrons and fighting amongst themselves. Any time a customer in the local restaurant tried to sit down, they were crowded out. Except for one. Not only does a red haired woman sit uncontested, she's by herself with several empty seats. And it'd soon be apparent why. Anyone drawing near would find it unbearably hot, as if it were the roasting desert around her. She's sipping tea.
Staying out of danger was difficult when it seemed to just magnetize toward you so. The young boy known as Red descends from the hired room, holding onto the railing with a lifted arm as he plops down the stairs one by one. Considering his smaller size, his arm has to actually life up a bit to grasp onto the rail. Despite it likely being uncomfortable, it doesn't stop him.
Eventually getting to the bottom, he just gawks at all of the rowdiness. Hearing the words of Mushi in his head, he sort of ducks and weaves around all of the trouble. With a creeping shuffle he makes his way to the bar. Peeking up and over it, the youngster orders a glass of juice before approaching Reinas table. Really, it was the only table left. While he does not sit right next to her, it's close enough to feel some of that heat. Especially with his winter gear on.
Putting his juice on the table and sitting straight, he lifts a small palm to wave innocently to the merc wanderer. "Hi."
Reina doesn't seem to feel the heat, or isn't affected by it. When she sees Red approaching in his winter clothes, she grins. And quite abruptly the heat begins to fade, and it becomes only warm around her. "You're not with this unruly lot, are you?" she says with a grin. She doesn't ask where his parents are, or warn him to be cautious. But she does flourish to indicate he can sit down. She would beckon the innkeeper over and say, "Get my little friend whatever he wants to drink. Hopefully something with ice."
She looks at Red. "You're a shinobi," she says. "What business could you possibly have in this dump?"
"I am?" Red asks, looking at himself. As if there was some sort of clear sign that he was a ninja. "No I'm not. I'm a champion wanderer. I just know how to do some cool jutsu too." He grins, taking a sip of his juice with some ice floating about. His legs swing idly on the chair underneath. "Oh, just stopping here for a bit. Um, no. Not with them." He looks to the unruly bunch again. "I dunno why we're here, really. I guess it was the only place around that had a nice bed. What are you doing here? And how did you know I could do some ninja moves?"
"You're a champion of bragging is all," Reina says indifferently. "As for the fact you're a shinobi it's no great mystery. Your clothes and especially your shoes. You can tell a lot about a person from their shoes. And yours show the signs of hard practice. You'll probably be wearing those shoes till they start falling apart, just like your other clothes." She gulps her tea and orders another cup. "You can tell a lot of things about someone by how they look. You're straightforward, right? You're traveling with someone at least twice as old as you. Probably a woman. You're from the Land of Snow. You want to get stronger to help the people you care about." She raises an eyebrow. "Be smart, kid. You try it. What can you tell about me?"
"You mean my jacket and my boots?" Again, Red sort of looks himself over. True, his boots were a bit dirty. All that walking in the mud had really stuck the grime on." Red sort of looks a bit perplexed when Reina just rattles off all that stuff. "W, wow! That's amaI mean, no. All wrong. None of that was true." He coughs a bit, before drinking his juice a bit more with some shifty eyes. >_>
"About you? Um." The boy squints at Reina. "Um, you have red hair and, uh. You're observant. You're a girl. Pretty old. Um, thirty years old, maybe?" All of this is said without much surety at all. He was guessing wildly. "And you're hot. I could feel it when I was walking over. Not anymore though."
Reina nods. "Some of those are good. Red hair. A girl. Observant. Hot air. But that I'm thirty years old is just a guess, and a bad one. When you meet someone you should think up five things about them. It's easy. I like tea, right? I'm alone for now. I'm friendly enough to get you a drink." She points to one of the mercenaries drinking. "He's drunk. And because he's drunk he's not expecting fighting to start. And if it does, he'll be one of the first to run. And…this is just a guess, but he's already taken a contract and broken it before, fleeing like a coward. That's why he takes it out on the weak, bullying them. About the only thing he's good at and takes pride in is drinking. And remember kid. You've pickpocketed before, right? No one better or who deserves it more than a drunkard. Heh."
"Pickpocket?" Red asks, looking a bit confused. "You mean… steal from someone? No, I haven't done that before." Unlike the previous cases, he says this with a fair degree of honesty. His Dad raised him a bit loosely, but with strict morals nonetheless. "I dunno why you are telling me this. Did you want me to steal something from the drunk man?" He looks over to the drunken merc, carrying on like an old pork chop.
"What's your name, anyway? Are you a secret Detective on the lookout for a bandit?" Sounds like it! "And I dunno if you like tea. Do you? Maybe you're just drinking it now to trick me into thinking you like it."
"Not a pickpocket? Guess you are honest after all," Reina says. She only smiles at his suspicion. "Now you're getting it," she says, as she takes another swallow of tea. Her eyes are laughing darkly over the brim of the cup.
That's when the bartender goes over to give them the bill. But the man says, "I told you, I don't have the money. Put it on my tab!" He stands up to confront the innkeeper, but suddenly freezes. He pats his pants pockets and then coats pockets.
"Where's my wallet?" he demands, glaring at the innkeeper. "You stole it!" An argument breaks out, and Reina is grinning. She looks over to Red, to see what he might do.
What does Red do? He does absolutely, positively nothing. In a somewhat boring or normal reaction, the youngster completely ignores the confrontation. Despite it being very short, he had learned some wandering tips in his lifetime. To avoid scenes like that, for one. Especially with Mushi with him. She would chew his ear off for hours!
Swishing the ice about in his juice, he takes another sip and drains the liquid completely. "Holey moley. They are getting into a fight, huh?" He finally observes. "I wonder why the innkeeper stole his wallet?" He shrugs at the thought, obviously not putting the connection together. He was still young, after all. He isnt Sherlock! "Oh, that's the same guy you were talking about before."
Reina gives Red a nudging look. He really didn't make the connection, didn't even suspect her despite the excellent timing. But the follow up will still be funny she supposes. "Remember what I told you," she says. "Look closely at a person and learn a few things about him. Look at that mercenary and maybe you can help solve a mystery. You could be a hero." She gestures towards the argument and sits back, waiting for Red to take action.
Red squints, putting all of his attention into the drunken man. "Aaah! I see it!" He cries out finally, thrusting a pointed index finger out to the back pocket. Sliding off his chair and falling a bit to the ground, the kid shuffles over to the two yelling at each other. "Hey, Mister!" He cries, trying to call over the top of the others. "Your wallet is just in your back pocket! See? You didn't get it stolen." He grins, turning about to wave back at Reina, still at the table. He was going to be a Hero after all!
"It's alright. Sometimes I forget where I put my things and they're in spots like that."
A roar of laughter rises up when the man takes out his wallet. He's not fooled for an instant. He glares at Red, and says, "You did that you brat!" He reaches out for Red, but suddenly Reina is there, pushing his hand away. "Hey hey blaming a kid…that's pretty low! Or are you saying someone could pickpocket a mercenary?" There's voices of assent, and Reina draws Red away protectively.
But once they turn away, a sly smile curves up on her lips. "Nice one, hero-san," she murmurs. "I'll stick with you till your companion comes back. Tell her exactly what happened. She may want to stick with you, hehe." Then she'd go to sit back, and her next drink is chilled sake. A few glares are sent her way, but no one challenges them.