Integrity Under Question - The Investigation


Sakuya (emitter), Jon, Michiko

Date: January 13, 2016


The Investigation of the murder of a guard and the stealing of Shinsai, one of the two legendary blades held by the Hebisuuhai Clan.

"Integrity Under Question - The Investigation"

Hebisuuhai Village, Land of Lightning

The Hebisuuhai village is a strange sort of place. It appears outwardly normal, a line of houses along the mountain with several farms that grow mountain crops to sustain them. Yet, that isn't the true Hebisuuhai village. That is the overflow housing of a far more interesting place that is carved within the mountain the village rests itself. The Hebisuuhai are a private people, whom have carved out their homes underground where the light isn't as strong. Long, yet grandeurly carved hallways of hallways resembles the cult that the Hebisuuhai were once considered. Stone columns constantly twist up and grasp the ceiling as if snakes had solidified to support the stone halls. Torches are the only light source that permeates so deep below the ground. Sakuya's cell is not quite as grand. the time is 6:00 p.m., on the 23rd day of December. Sakuya, dressed in a white Kimono, isn't actually allowed to leave her cell. Steel bars, with each bar holding a sealing tag. This was where Sakuya would spend the rest of her life, if things didn't pick up. Zuzu was not allowed near her, and it was only by the grace of the clan that she was allowed visitors. It's cold, dark (The torches here were not replaced as often as they ought to), and it feels as if there was little hope so deep in the earth. Sakuya hadn't seen a ray of sunlight since she had come down here. Hebisuuhai Muko was a close relative of Sakuya, and he wasn't all that different looking from her aside from green eyes and a far more strict and platonic mood. He would stand near the cell as those whom wished to act as the defense talked with her. "Sakuya… Your comrades from your 'village' have arrived. Spirits rest your soul." Muko would turn to Join, Yori, and Michiko giving a bow. "I am Hebisuuhai Muko. I am acting as a neutral party, and will guide you to the scene of the crime so that you do not change anything around. It would be best that you refrain from suspicious activity. The prosecution has already gathered all the evidence and testimony it needs to begin the trial. All that is left?" The Hebisuuhai asks, closing his eyes, "Are your investigations. We as a clan dislike waiting, I hope you will be quick."

This place has worked a miracle…Scruvo is almost silent. o.o Almost. His head quirks this way and that, eyeing the snake-themed architecture with instinctive dread. It's bad enough being a creature of the air underground, but being in a LITERAL snake den is enough to give any crow the heebie-jeebies. Still, when he spots Sakuya, he blurts out some nervous encouragement. "Ah, there y'are, lass! Don't ya worry none, we'll 'ave ya outta heah before y'kin say 'sufferin' scarecrows'! An' speakin' o' which, why don't we follow th'nice gentleman outta heah an' take a look at that crime scene?" n.n; Jon crouches down a bit. "Sakuya-san, there's one thing I'd like you to do to help me out. Look into my eyes and say, 'I am innocent of the crime of which I am accused.'"

Michiko chuckles just a bit when Scruvo finally opens his beak after a long suffering silence. "Indeed. What Scruvo-san said." She would wait patiently for Jon and studied her surroundings and the Hebisuuhai that was leading her and her fellow shinobi. She knew she probably didn't have much power here in the Hebisuuhai village, so she simply would watch and be silent. Also, she didn't do many traditional investigations… Hopefully they can find evidence that Sakuya was innocent. Solid evidence.

Sakuya layed across a bench as she fiddled with a random stone in her hand. She seemed rather defeated right now. Not even able to leave the cell and gather evidence herself. It felt like… It felt like she was hopeless to forge her own fate. Helpless to the tides of time. She would slip her legs to the floor as she sat up from her bench and gripped the stone hard. That stone was under so much pressure it might break had she a grip any stronger. "Saito Jon, I'm innocent of all crimes they are putting against me. Especially… -Especially- murdering another member of my very own clan!" Sakuya stood up and walked up to the bars, grasping them. "I don't… have any hope left, Jon-sensei… Michiko-sensei… Good luck…

Muko would chuckle. "Whatever. Silly cousin. Please follow me. Her visiting minutes are over. If you need to return and ask her questions… Well, you are shinobi. There isn't much I can do to stop you." Hebisuuhai Muko would turn towards the exit of the damp underground cells. As he walks, a large green snake slithers out of the ventilation and follows him. So large, so green. "The scene of the crime is clearly the path leading towards the vaults of our clan's repository." He would walk on to let Jon, Michiko, and Sakuya to talk for a few moments before things progress.

Jon analyzes Sakuya's face and body as she makes her statement, searching for the tell-tale signs of lying. He has little doubt that she is innocent, but confirming it from her own lips with no trace of deceit will help him focus on defending her. Jon nods and straightens up. "Very well. Hang on a little while longer, Sakuya-san." Jon turns and follows after Muko. "I see…how did you determine that was the crime scene?"

Michiko would offer a sympathetic smile to Sakuya. "Don't worry, Sakuya-chan. We'll find the truth." She wouldn't say what she'd do if they weren't able to prove Sakuya's innocence, nor did she say what would happen if it turns out Sakuya truly is the culprit. But hopefully the truth will set Sakuya free. "If I may, where is Sakuya-san's partner, Zuzu-san, located?" she would ask the Hebisuuhai. "I noticed he wasn't with her… Is he also imprisoned? Also, does Sakuya-san have any family that you know of?"

Sakuya only seemed helpless as Michiko asked her not to worry. She closes her slitted eyes and sits on the floor of her cell in front of the bars. Bars that are coated with sealing tags. "I hope so, Sensei."

Muko certainly didn't look like he wanted to be here. Neither did he want to answer these questions. "It's the crime scene. We know because that is where the body of a clan member working security was found dead." Jon ought to take close look of the place he was guided to. Every detail might be important. Muko guides Michiko and Jon to the scene of the crime. It was a long hallway with a peculiar set-up. They enter through the entrance, which leads into the hallway. However, the end of the hallway is a T-section. The path branches right, and left. In other words, the hallway is a big T, three exits. "Zuzu. The mouthy whelp? The poorly trained snake? Impressive he can speak, but I suppose he s just to smart for his own good. He is likely waiting in his own cell. If Hebisuuhai Sakuya is deemed guilty, he will be relocated and used for breeding." Sounds like… a good deal for Zuzu, anyways. Not for Sakuya. "So…" Muko stops at this hallway. The time is 6:15 p.m. on the 23rd day of December, and it appears that for the most part this place has been sectioned off so that no one may step in several locations. This hallway is rather grand, with many objects lining it, and of course at the very end of the hall there are only two ways to go. Left or Right. "Here is where the murder happened. Eye-witnesses saw Hebisuuhai Sakuya strike the man with the blunt end of the blade which caused brain trauma. The man then fell backwards where he was lying upon his back just as the chalk outline motions." He pointed toward an outline of a man who was laying on his back. His head was facing towards the T-intersection of the hallway in which Jon and Michiko had entered from. There was a very small amount of blood on the floor, but it was there. "Reports showed that the strike against his head caused quite a bit of blunt trauma. Based on the age of the corpse and the time that the corpse was struck, we have identified that the corpse was struck after the sword was taken… I'm sure you will be talking with the eyewitness in court… Well, you may ask questions about the blade and look around the hallway. Everything here has been scoured, so I doubt you will find anything of interest anyways… After this, we will go to where the sword was placed on display.

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…75

Jon nods slowly. "Right…" This Muko guy would apparently be surprised how many times Jon has found that the place where a body was found turned out not to be the original crime scene. X) 'Course there's plenty of times when it was the crime scene too, but still. Jon gathers up some reserve chakra and activates his hyper-brain mode as they arrive at the alleged scene. His eyes rove over the area, seeking anything inconsistent or significant. "I am curious about the blade," Jon remarks as he works. "Does it have a particular history? Is there an obvious reason to use the hilt of a weapon rather than the part designed for killing?" Jon stops and peers at a shelf. "Hmmm…is it typical for snakes to move along these shelves? There appear to be some red scales here…"

"Personally, I would have liked to see the body. If that's unavailable, then I'll continue to examine the room," Michiko tells Muko. The girl would follow Jon, then move to touch her hand to the earth. She sends a pulse of chakra through it to try and detect something… Anything that might help her figure out a hint to what happened in the room.

RPCOMBAT: Michiko defends against with a MASTERED-EARTHEN-SENSE…71

Muko would nod his head. "I have a sketch of the blade on hand. It is called 'Shinsai', a sister blade to 'Kusanagi'. Both blades have the ability to extend infintismally, according to legend. However, Shinsai is a little different." His snake hisses as he offers Jon the schematics, "The blunt end of the blade is designed to cut deeply, with a small sharp edge. Otherwise, as you can see, it is a normal Katana. It could be lost forever…" Muko is displeased with that. "If you're both done here. Let's continue to the room Shinsai was placed, shall we?" Witness testmony, and information regarding the autopsy were provided. A few bits of information were gathered, but was it enough information?

Jon accepts the schematics with a respectful nod of thanks and looks them over carefully. "…An interesting design. Intended for surprise attacks, I would guess." Still, one would expect a murderer to try using the actual blade first…and if the hilt has a cutting edge, why was there only blunt trauma? e.e "This 'Kusanagi', where might that be now?"

The Iwata would pick up a few things from the ground. People might think it's dirt, even, by the way she dusted her hands off on her pants to drop something into her pouch. Michiko frowns a bit as she looks over the information that was given to her. "That doesn't make sense… Sakuya-san is at least a foot shorter than the victim, yet she was able to hit him on the front of the head with enough force to knock him over backwards? I know Sakuya-san's strength, and unless she was running at him at top speed, I seriously doubt this scenario could have played out as you described."

Muko admittedly would have to tell Jon where Kusanagi is. He would turn towards the 'T-section' at the end of the hall. "Kusanagi is stored to the room at the end of the -left- hallway, where Shinsai was stored to the room at the end of the -right- hallway." He would start walking towards Shinsai's room. "Follow me." Moku would head towards the next room. The next room was a display room. A display stand very meticulously crafted would show not a single blade upon it. Shinsai was gone after all. "Well, you may look around this room if you wish."

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…79

RPCOMBAT: Michiko defends against with a MASTERED-EARTHEN-SENSE…77

Jon nods slowly as they're shown into the room. "So then…the prosecution's theory is, the accused came to this room, stole Shinsai, then went back out into the hallway and murdered the victim with the hilt of the blade to the forehead…that about right?" Jon glances over the…rather apparent trail of blood which happens to be present in here. "So what's this from? Don't tell me the investigation thus far didn't take note of this blood?" -.-;

RPCOMBAT: Michiko defends against with a MASTERED-EARTHEN-SENSE…80

Michiko hmms lightly and sends her chakra into the ground again when she steps into the room. She would notice the blood like Jon did, but she also sensed something else, so she ran a hand along the wall to see if she could find any sign of a hidden door or something. Or something hollow where it should not be… Either way, she's looking to see if she can pick out the structure of the room.

Michiko was actually on to something, her earth-based sensing noticing an anomaly in the room. An anomaly that was indeed an entirely separate hallway that was hidden behind a large amount of rock… Muko appears to notice that Michiko notices. "There is an alternate path into this room that is only known about by the elders of the clan. A network only accessable to elders… Though, you will not have permission to enter it. Apologies… I am rather ashamed to inform you that you shouldn't even be in this room. We've strained our laws quiet a bit for those of your sordid village of Kumogakure." A light flickers out, as if affected by a draft. It made the dimly lit room even more dimly lit. As for the blood? "That isn't actually blood that has come from the murdered, Saito Jon. That is the blood of an elder. It has been tested, and is unrelated to the case as I have been told anyways…." Though it is good evidence that might be useful at a later time…

Ooooookay. Signs of a struggle in the Shinsai room. Namely the blood of one of the elders. Who are the only ones who can use this secret tunnel. That's not related to the current case at all. -.-; "I see. Might we take a brief look at the Kusanagi as well?" Jon asks. "Since it's a sister to Shinsai, maybe it can help us to understand the murder weapon. A diagram's nice and all, but there's nothing like looking at an actual physical object."

"That's unfortunate. I think it's important to the investigation," Michiko says with a frown before she would make her way back to Jon. "So, I believe seeing Kusanagi would help, yes…" she adds to Jon's statement. "Jon-san, what do you think of everything so far? And Scruvo-san's thoughts?"

Yet, is Kusanagi consequential? Muko would think not. "Doing that would require you to speak with an elder. You were cleared to be in the room of Shinsai, not of Kusanagi…" He seemed to sweat a little when you request to go to Kusanagi's room. "Only the elders are permitted to enter these rooms under normal circumstance. I'm… I'm sure you'll agree if I tell you that the missing weapon is Shinsai, not Kusanagi…" Muko leaves Michiko and Jon to gather the evidence they have collected and tell each other what they believe happened.

Scruvo blinks and jerks a little when Michiko asks about his thoughts. "Who, me? I think it wos a snake wot did it! Sneaky blightahs, an' there's plenty of 'em around heah." c.c; Jon sighs. "Well, there are plenty of holes and unanswered questions. The scales on the shelf, the height difference, the blunt trauma when the supposed murder weapon should've cut, the blood trail in this room, and…" Jon's eyes glance significantly at their unhelpful and suspicious-acting 'neutral party'. e.e "I can easily imagine some scenarios that would explain most of the evidence, but I think we're going to need to do some more digging to find out what really happened, particularly with the eyewitnesses."

Michiko smiles lightly at Scruvo's comments and just nods before looking to Jon. "Yes… Since it seems we've been blocked from seeing further useful evidence," she shoots a pointed glare at Muko, "then we should move on to look into the eyewitnesses." She would hmm lightly and turn to Muko. "So, Muko-san. Shall we go and see to these witnesses?"

"I'll break the news to you. It won't be pretty. The prosecution is detaining the eye witnesses until the court case tomorrow. For the sake of Justice, I hope you had found enough evidence or god rest her soul Hebisuuhai Sakuya will be meeting the spirits that she embraces. The green-eyed Hebisuuhai slips his hands behind her back. "To win this, you will not only need overwhelming proof that Sakuya did not do it, but you may need to point the finger at another. Do you understand me? Iwata Michiko, Saito Jon, our clan's court of law requires that someone be guilty at least to some extent. If you do not successfully find another, then Hebisuuhai Sakuya may not go free. Prove she is innocent at the last, and she will be spared execution…"

Wonderful. e.e So even if they PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sakuya ISN'T guilty, it won't change the results unless they find the real criminal? Some court system. Fortunately, collaring the true murderer is something Jon would want to do anyway. >) "I believe we understand. By the way, these elders you speak of…might we request to speak with them? Their insight could be rather valuable."

Muko would nod his head. "I will ask them. They will likely speak to you before the trial tomorrow… It shouldn't be a long trial." He predicts, based on how many loose ends there were. "I believe that there are rooms for you to be accomadated with. Enjoy your stay in our village. I will leave you alone, and expect that you act with your best behavior… When we leave the room of course…"

It's the 24th of December, 9:00 a.m.

After as thorough of an investigation as could be had, Michiko and Jon were sent away from the crime scene. Right before the trial, both Jounin of the Hidden Cloud are given summons so that they may speak to an elder. A member of the prosecution, and an elder would step up to the task. The one whom is taking Sakuya straight to trial, known as Hebisuuhai Korose. Sakuya's genetic father. He is everything liek Sakuya as far as looks. Violet eyes, long black hair, and a very weak jawline. Certainly a rather wealthy Hebisuuhai, self made. Those who know Sakuya knew that her parents abandoned her at two years of age. It is the Hebisuuhai way to let Nature proceed over nurture. Yet, he was the head of the prosecution. His own daughter meant so little that he jumped at the opportunity to put her on the chopping block. That is what family means to the Hebisuuhai. Little to nothing. Consider this a short visit, he isn't one for conversation. In fact, should the Jounin arrive, he would find his snake quite angry. Hissing at them. It wasn't a small snake. The snake easily, and loosely coiled around his desk twice. So massive, that it might have been considered a monster. It had a black, white, and red scale pattern as well as a scar upon the scales of it's head. "Good morning, Jounin of Kumogakure. Muko told me that I was to expect… Company… Well, do proceed." He beckons. "I have little time for even my hobby these days. I assume you've been working hard to release my daughter from custody."

NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENEEEEWWWWWP. O.O;;;;; Scruvo darts swiftly away to the furthest perch in the room upon seeing the huge and openly hostile serpent. He'd leave the room entirely, but that would put him out of Jon's sight and still within the creepy snake village where any random chunk of rock could turn out to be a real live snake ready to swallow a helpless crow. "CRIKEY! A bloke could 'ave a dozen dozen heart attacks in this place before brekkist, an' he probably wouldn't be the one eatin'!" C.C; Jon coughs. "Please excuse my excitable little friend. Thank you for agreeing to see us. We were hoping to benefit from your knowledge. I'm rather curious about the alleged murder weapon, Shinsai. Could you tell us about its historical significance?"

RP: Jon joins the roleplay.

Michiko would frown a bit at the sight of the hissing snake. "I'm not sure if you're as pleased to see us as we are to see you," she comments idly. And then she privately thinks that the man might be even more suspect, if only due to the color of his snake. She would let Jon do the questioning, just waiting for something interesting to pop up so she could pounce upon the information. As she considers the man before her, she would note how similar he was to Sakuya. Her teammember's father? If they had any relation, that would be most obvious… But why would her father oversee his daughter's case? Wouldn't they worry about bias? She only knows so much about the Hebisuuhai clan, and each person even within a single clan has differing views. Her stomach formed a knot as a thought crossed her mind… But she would send a pulse of chakra through the ground to see if anything about the office is suspicious.

RP: Michi joins the roleplay.

Now, now. Pointing the finger at one of the most reputable Hebisuuhai wouldn't be a good code of conduct. The Black, White, and Red scaled snake would flip his head fabulously, "Little morsel, you need not be afraid. I am a vegetarian. Ovovegetarian, that is. I only eat eggs. I recommend not laying any in my presence." Smack. Scruvo just got called chicken, but it's even worse because his masculinity was under question! The elder stepped on the large snake as he sat, which caused a hiss. "I am about to go into a court room and proclaim my own daughter guilty. If my mood is terrible, it is because of this." Now, to answer Jon's question. "Shinsai and Kusanagi were both swords of royalty a long time ago, yet our clan recovered them during the clan wars. Like the Hebisuuhai, both blades are forged of a special chakra metal. They extend. Forever. Well, there is a limit. It's miles through." A true 'sniper sword' if there ever was one. "It's prized for it's ability to assassinate from a long distance. It is unknown how the blade truly works. I'd ask a Murasame to be honest. I hear they do similar things with their blades. Nevertheless, Shinsai and Kusanagi would fetch immeasurable prices on the black market."

Hmmm. If the hilt part of the sword can also extend, Jon smells a possible way the prosecution might try to shoot down the height difference objection. e.e Still wouldn't explain the blunt trauma, though. "We noticed some blood in the room where Shinsai was stored," Jon says. "We were told that it was from one of the elders and that it had no bearing on the current case, but I'd very much appreciate knowing how it got there, if only to ease my mind on it. Also, we were hoping to obtain permission to have a look at Kusanagi."

Michiko notes that nothing seems suspicious, but she can't shake a feeling. Regardless, the girl just listened silently.

"Of course. Why not?" Korose says, standing up. "Kuru, would you go escort them to the room?" He asks his snake. His snake was just as mouthy as Zuzu, because he indeed hissed loudly. "I do not wish this, but I will escort them…" The snake would slither over towards the doorway rather rapidly. Korose would sit back down. "I do not know what you expect to see. The sword is there. It lacks a the blade that Shinso has. Yet, if you are curious you may see. Just know if you attempt to steal it you are a mile within the mountain, with elite members of our clan on guard. I'd not like to see you both executed along with my daughter…"

Jon manages a smile that conveys a mix between 'Haha how funny of course we're not going to steal anything' and 'Message received loud and clear.' n.n; "Thank you, Korose-sama. Thanks to you as well, Kuru-sama." Jon follows after Kuru (and of course Scruvo follows after the group, at a safe distance) to go visit the Kusanagi. "Have you had a physician examine that wound on your head yet?" Jon inquires conversationally as they move. "It must have come from quite a blow."

It's the 24th of December, 9:30 a.m.

Only hours from the trial proper, and Saito Jon wishes to go sight seeing. The large snake with Black, White, and Red banding patterns would have guided Michiko and Jon to the room that contains the fabled Kusanagi. Kusanagi, an imperial sword of great prestige that the Hebisuuhai have had in their posession for a while. On the far-side of the stone-carved room would be a stone pedastal, which was raised far above the floor. Stone steps lead up to the blade which rested in a black box. Opening the box would reveal this ancient sword that would one day fall into the hands of a sannin, but for now would rest in the hands of a similarly snake-like clan that probably is based on said sannin in some part. Regardless, it is there for Jon's inspection. The large snake would look at Michiko, "Only Saito Jon may approach. Any more, and I won't be able to keep track of any tricks you both might pull. No evidence is to be touched without permission… Please, go on and look."

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…84

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a GENJUTSU-KAI…51

[NPC System]: Snake Genjutsu roll(s) Powerful Snake Genjutsu from 40 to 65 and get(s) a 41. - Rolled by: Sakuya

Jon nods and steps up to peer at the artifact. After a quick look at the pommel, he references the diagram of Shinsai. Yup, that looks like the design of — hey wait, wasn't there a subtle blade jutting from the pommel of this sword a moment ago? Either his eyes are playing tricks on him, or…someone else is. e.e A quick jolt of his chakra system, and Jon spots the disguised cutting edge in the trick pommel again. Well now… "Michiko-san, if there was anyone else nearby, even in the hidden tunnels, you'd be able to detect them, correct?" Jon turns and glances at Kuru. "Because somebody just tried to fool my brain into seeing Kusanagi where there is in fact Shinsai."

Michiko would simply incline her head to the snake and examine him briefly. Closer inspection makes it seem as if the scar on its head was… relatively new. It did not look like it was very old, at least. Considering everything, she couldn't help but be suspicious. She wanted to… But she decided against her initial instincts. Why? She didn't want to tip any sort of hand she might have had. Instead, she would focus to the ground, mapping more of the underground structures that the Hebisuuhai lived in. Including the secret passages. "Hmm?" she would say to Jon. "Yes, that is correct," she would say, frowning just a bit. She wishes she knew when chakra was being used… But the girl was a bit … not focused on that kind of thing.

It seems as if the culprit was safe. The large snake would quickly say the following. "It appears that there is someone impeding your investigation." None of this would have happened if they had sent a Chuunin or had not sent anyone to investigate on Sakuya's behalf at all. This was problematic for those in the shadows whom appears to wish Sakuya framed for this act. Whoever it was. At this point however, Jon and Michiko should have an appropriate amount of information to set things straight. "Are you done now?" The snake asks. "Watching people think hard makes me hungry…" Where was that bird?

Jon nods. "Yeah…I think we've learned all we're going to here." It feels as if practically everyone they've come in contact with here wants Sakuya to be found guilty. e.e; The evidence is plenty to cast doubt on her involvement, if not clear her entirely, but that might not do much good if judge, jury, and bailiff all turn out to be determined to reach a guilty verdict. Well, we'll find out soon enough. :/

"Jon-san, we should speak before the trial to make sure that we're on the same page," Michiko tells him aloud. The girl would simply incline her head to the large snake before seeing herself out, a plan already forming in her mind. Hopefully Jon has an inkling of what her ideas are so that they don't need to waste time explaining things.

Jon follows Michiko out, and Scruvo rejoins him now that he's not walking next to one of the largest specimens in the whole den. c.c; Jon makes sure to check for any signs of being listened in on, then looks to Michiko. "Okay then, let's review…the victim bears blunt trauma as the cause of death, despite the fact that the murder weapon is claimed to be Shinsai, which would've left a cut. Shinsai also is not gone, it's been substituted for Kusanagi, which presumably is gone. There were red snake scales at the crime scene, which may have something to do with that wound Kuru-san had. The victim was significantly taller than Sakuya-san, so it's very strange to think she would attack his forehead with the pommel of a sword. The hallway where the murder allegedly took place connected at a right angle with the next hallway, that could very well turn out important when we question the witnesses. Finally, there are secret passages connected to the rooms where the swords were kept, which only the elders of the clan are supposed to have access to. Am I leaving anything out?"

Michiko nods. "The direction that the body fell. They said that the sword was taken, then Sakuya-san left the chamber and killed the guard. But that doesn't make sense because if Sakuya-san entered the chamber unnoticed, she could easily leave unnoticed. But she left the normal way. Assuming she entered the normal way, then she would have killed the guard immediately so that he fell facing away from the exit, not towards. That being said, Sakuya-san is a shinobi. Whether or not she's still a genin, I'd like to think that my student would be able to be a bit stealthier upon killing someone so important. That she didn't cover her supposed trail makes me think that it isn't her. Add in the fact that Sakuya-san is a sort of believer in justice - which is why I assigned her to you - and I think we might have a decent case to defend her. But we still need someone else to accuse… Are you thinking who I am thinking, Jon-san?"

Jon frowns, but nods. "Distasteful to say it, but all signs seem to point to Sakuya's father, with the assistance of his snake. The hidden passages would certainly make it easier to get past the guard, the red scales could've come from Kuru-san, and Kuru-san was the only one in the room with us when somebody tried to genjutsu me. I suppose there's an outside possibility of another of the elders being the culprit, but…our go-to strategy should be to carefully steer toward fingering Korose-san."

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