The Storm Brigade - Investigating Michiko's Capture


Michiko (emitter), Yori, Arashi, Sakuya, Hanami, Jon

Date: July 24, 2016


A team from Kumogakure sets out to figure out what happened to their Head Ninja.

"The Storm Brigade - Investigating Michiko's Capture"

Kyuusen Crater

Michiko was sent to Iwagakure to speak with the Tsuchikage, and Hiei had left for Kirigakure at almost the same time. Fearing the worst for her village, Michiko stayed behind for about five days before departing, making sure things were prepped for her departure. Since Hiei had left, Goat made his attack on Kumogakure. And as much as she'd like to analyze the body, she had Amani and her team work on that. Meanwhile, she made her way to the Land of Earth to consult Juudai on the Storm Brigade situation.
Michiko told the Administration she would be gone for two weeks /at most/, and Arashi had actually joined her for that last week for a single day thanks to traveling by sea rather than land. Michiko was supposed to show up a day behind him, earlier than planned. She did not, but there was only worry at first. When the final day of January passed, there was panic. Controlled panic, but panic nonetheless. Michiko was late, and she didn't send any word at all. Not even her summon, Kimura, knew where she was. Which is why a search party was sent out.
Sensors were gathered, investigative-type shinobi were requested, and a witness was called to join the team headed by Saito Yorishiro, newly-made Jounin. It was his first major mission as a Jounin, really. The Saito was selected for his brains, deductive reasoning skills, observational skills, leadership skills, and perhaps because Michiko was his former Sensei and he would be able to tell if she fought. And maybe he volunteered?
Two days after the start of February, the team was sent out to travel the same route Michiko had traced out on the map she offered to the Administration when she planned her course. The team now gathers before dawn at the gates of Kumogakure…

Yori had not only volunteered, he likely had been heading up the preperations for the search as well. For Michiko to not check in was beyond odd and though Hiei had returned to take over the duties of the Village once again Michiko had not and Yori had begun more on focusing on her last known wherabouts. Despite the bad feeling he had for it all and the worry that gnawed at him he had a calm expression on his face. It would do little to help if he appeared overly worried. Michiko was intelligent and able, so it's unlikely anything too bad happened. Right? Regardless he was prepared to search for her, supplies on his back and a map in his hands that he's already study more than enough times to know the proposed route. But he's checking it again to make sure the lines didn't move during the night.

Arashi felt he had extra reason to be on this mission. One that involved Michiko who he was the last to see. He should've just stayed with her to make sure she was safe rather than leaving her to travel back on her own. She was one of the most likely to be okay on their own, but still… He was heading towards the gates with a frown, and looked over towards the path as he approached. All that was going through his head right now being.. Could've he have made sure she got back to Kumo? Is she just missing…. Or did she get captured or killed. Maybe she just got stuck saving someones life, but then why did she not sent a letter…. So here he was resting on a post and just staring out into the road ahead.

Sakuya Hebisuuhai, classed as 'Animal Sensor Type' due to her clan belongings was present. The girl who was sporting support shinobi equipment that hung off a her backpack, with scrolls filled with the food that the team would need to survive the traverse across the Land of Fire into the Land of Grass. She was knelt at the gate, backpack open with scrolls laid into rows across the ground. "Flares, check. Razor wire, check. Explosive tags, check. Tent structures, check. Rations, check. Water scroll, check." Off to her side was also a map, currently unrolled. It contained the route that Michiko had traveled, the most important part. "Saito-sensei, I've confirmed that we've got everything ready to go." Sakuya started stuffing the scrolls back into the pack strategically as she raised her head, looking at the rest of her comrades or those certainly prone to coming at the last second.
Zuzu was wrapped around Yori's waist at the moment, and was going to act as a 'mobile telephone'. One that would keep in contact with Sakuya, who had the necessary jutsu to keep silent communications with the rest of the team. "I am ready, as well, Saito Yorishiro." Zuzu said, raising his head as the rest of his long slender body acted like a living belt. Yori already knew that Zuzu would take care of transmitting every order he had to the team, and keeping him connected to Sakuya if he need her.

Hanami had gotten the order to assemble for the search party, and hoped her sensor abilities would be able to turn up some kind of clue so began quickly packing up her gear. Of course she had known Michiko had left the village, though aside from that it wasn't really on her radar. Definitely wasn't good she's gone missing though, with the state of things in the village. Didn't take her long to pack, keeping stuff ready to go at a moment's notice anyways so soon she was out the door and beelining for the front gates with Honi right beside her. She would be riding him when they set out. It was nice to have her own ride instead of worrying about arranging for a horse all the time. Plus Honi could take better care of himself than a horse could. So soon enough the two arrive and Hanami nods to the group, "Ready to head out whenever you are Yori."

This isn't the sort of investigation Jon typically handles. It's very broad, really more a search-and-rescue than a criminal investigation, although given the nature of the missing person it very well could turn out to need some sleuthing. Anyway, even if detective skills aren't needed, general ninja skills will almost certainly come in handy, and Scruvo's eye-in-the-sky could be useful too. Speaking of, the garrulous crow calls out to the others from Jon's shoulder as he arrives. "'Ello 'ello 'ello mates! Seems we've got a damsel in distress, wot? Could be a lucky chance for one o' th'chappies of our little band, eh?" ;)

As the others gathered at the gates Yori would give them each a silent, somber nod of greeting. Once they were all there Yori finally speaks. "Michiko-san has been missing for a short time now. She was supposed to report back to duty and has not yet returned to the Village, nor does Kimura-san know where she is. We have her itenarary and are going to follow the route she took and check in at any villages or rest stops along the way to find out when she may have last been there. Once we know the last time she was seen we can begin our search in ernest." He looks around to make sure everyone understands him before he moves to his horse, Atarashi, that had been saddled and ready. "If you have any questions ask them along the way. I want to get moving as soon as possible." He turns to the horse, then pauses as he tries to figure out how to mount with the odd snake wrapped around him. It's a little awkward but he does get mounted after a few moments and turns his horse towards the gates, letting him start at a walk out while the others mount up and come after.

Arashi just nods in agreement. "She was supposed to arrive about a day after me. She obviously didn't, and it has been more than two days even now." He paused and shook his head a bit before climbing onto a horse he was provided for this. "Sounds like a plan Yori. What should we expect though? I doubt she is just missing because of getting distracted. I figure something would've had to happen so what do we go in expecting?" He asked of Yori. He would follow behind him not long after of course as he prepared any chakra he may need. Not as much as normal, but enough.

Reasonable. Get moving as soon as possible. Sakuya shoulders her backpack and moves over to her horse. "We can only make assumptions, Arashi-san." Sakuya tapped her chin as she gave him such assumption. "It could have been that she took a terrible tumble to her death. It could have been Iwagakure making a silent declaration of war. It could have been the Storm Brigade. We don't know though, but making assumptions is a terrible plan. I'd say we should just keep our eyes open. I doubt anything will sneak up on us." There are two sensory types on the team, after all. Sakuya jumps onto her horse as her senses pick up on the arrival of Jon. "We… We brought out the big guns…"
Meanwhile a certain white serpent groans. "It's that bird… That mind numbingly loud bird…" Scruvo was well loved, by most people. Zuzu was not one of those people. He would voice his complaint to Yori. "I don't mind birds. I do not. Tasty things often come of them." Like eggs! "I do mind him."
"Why don't you 'mind' your manners, Zuzu." Sakuya hisses under her breath.
COMBAT: Sakuya focuses 2467 stamina to turn it into 3000 usable chakra!

Hanami lifts a hand in greeting to Jon when he arrives, "Something like that." The falls silent as she listens to Yori. When he finishes she turns to climb up on her rather large wolf Honi, giving him a hearty pat, "Well we certainly want to keep our guard up Arashi, but at the moment we really don't know anything other than she's not here. Could've been a freak accident and she's pinned in a landslide, got held up helping someone, or someone grabbed her. Anything is possible right now. We'll keep our senses alert and no doubt turn up some kinda clue as to what went on." Honi takes off at an easy lope, looking over at Yori, "Yori! Okay with you if we range out a bit, take up a scouting position?" If so, she'll move off ahead a ways though not too far that she can't get back to alert the others of any danger. If not she'll she keep where she's at.

Jon thinks of the cabinets full of cold-case files back at the Kumogakure PD…with that experience, he can't quite share Hanami's appraisal that they'll 'no doubt' turn up a clue as to what happened to Michiko. u.u; He doesn't see much benefit to dampening everyone's hopes, though, so he makes no comment on that. "We've got a lot of ground to cover," is what he does say out loud. "We won't be able to examine every inch. I suggest we do keep an eye out for anything obviously unusual of course, and maybe do sensor sweeps every so often, but our best bet starting out is to simply inquire along the way. Once we reach a place on her route that has seen her, we can double back for more thorough investigation."

As the team moved out, it would be clear that there was no sign of a traveler on the route towards the Land of Grass. No fire, at least, which was required when it is wintertime in the northern regions. There's no sign of unsettled earth, either, which is what Michiko usually does for shelter. Even those using senses meant for chakra or scent would not notice anything. Michiko's trail, if it even existed for this team, was stale. Very stale. The odds that she passed by anytime soon were very low, and she wouldn't have shifted her trail unless she had been in extreme danger. Also, a shift in her path would have a note sent to alert Kumo…
It takes two days worth of travel for them to reach the Land of Grass while staying on the correct path. It is thanks to their mounts that they are able to make such good time, really, as Kumogakure's horses have been well-trained to have a great amount of stamina and speed. Hopefully Honi is able to keep up with the horses, but given that he's genetically modified, he is probably ok for the journey. Hanami might actually be better off since the footing in the Land of Grass as they slowly reach the 'ruins' of Fort Kyuusen is rather treacherous. Their investigation truly starts at the place now known as Kyuusen Crater: a giant crater that was created from a terrible event that ultimately destroyed the fort from below.

"Expect everything." That's the short answer from Yori now that they're on the move. Other than that he can really only echo what others have already said. "I hope it's something simple, that maybe she was distracted by an emergency along her route. But I doubt it. In which case you need to be ready to fight and defend yourself and Michiko-san if she's injured." He pauses a moment before he adds. "You also need to be prepared in case we arrive too late and find that something even worse has happened to her." When Hanami asks to take a forward scouting position he nods. "Arashi-san, please go with Hanami-san and scout ahead of our route as we travel."
They covered ground at a good pace despite having to stop every now and then to either ask a village or tavern whether or not they'd seen Michiko recently. Those that had seen her longer ago were thanked, but thus far nothing had pointed to her traveling back home which is what they were waiting for. It was not looking good the further from Kumo they traveled but Yori wasn't going to stop looking. The nights were cold but the supplies were plentiful despite the fact that Yori pushed them hard until there wasn't enough light to properly search by. It was then they set up camp in the cold. No taverns. They searched as long as they could and started as early as they could, never missing a spot.
And now they've arrived at the Kyuusen crater. Yori rides his stallion right up to the edge, looking over it as he considers how best to tackle this. "For thoroughness I want to search both sides of the crater. Arashi-san, Hanami-san, please go left. Jon-san, Sakuya-chan, please go right and take Atarashi. I'm going to go down and check the crater itself. Scurvo-san, please keep an eye on things from above." Better safe than sorry to check everywhere, and he wasn't going to make someone else traverse the dangerous crater. Once the reins were passed off to Sakuya he would start downwards.

Arashi would nod to everyone as they made their comments. No need to continue that conversation as they all had reason for their side to be right. When asked to go ahead with Hanami he of course accepted that request. It would be good for him to scout ahead with Hanami in his mind. Helped that they were the same team anyways. Once ahead of the others he began to speak a bit. "Hanami. How has your training come along anyways? Learn anything new and exciting?" He asked. One reason for this conversation would be to make them seem like easy targets if someone was watching. Even if they weren't. And what might not be visible to most is a small amount of fog rolling through. More like a mist…. it slid through and would hopefully tell them of anything in the nearby land. Luckily Hanami didn't need to see to sense.
Arashi hated the nights in the cold out here. He would barely get sleep, and his mind drifted then to bad things. Mainly related to death in his past and the possibility of a lot of it in his future. He didn't show it when they got back on the road, but he was a bit rattled at his own thoughts. Luckily having orders to follow when they made it the crater helped ease his mind. "Alright. Will do." He would head to the left and search with his eyes and the mist to find anything nearby. Hanami could help with her own abilities as well, but right now it was fully focused on searching rather than talking.

RPCOMBAT: Arashi defends against with a GREATER-REVEALING-MIST…35

Sakuya rode up to the edge of Kyuusen, and what she saw was… Just a hole, where a fortress once was. "Who did that?" She wondered to herself. Just a clear example of how far chakra has made the world a more dangerous place. "Roger, Saito-sensei. I'll take your horse." Yori jumped off and descended the slopes of the crater, and Sakuya rode alongside Atarashi, grabbing his reigns and tying it to the side of her horse. "… About time I invested in a horse…" Seriously, how does someone get a horse? Who feeds it? Who stables it!? "… Maybe Zuzu will be big enough to ride in a few years…" Wishful thinking.
Zuzu was absolutely pleased that he was being carried away by Yori! "Ah! Excellent! Get as far away as you can from that feathered ball of ear-hell!" Zuzu of course, keeps his senses peeled. He was slightly more observant than her partner.
Back at the top, Sakuya would guide the two horses over to Jon in preparation for going 'right'. "Jon-san, I'll follow your lead."

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…48
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…53

Hanami continues her scouting with Arashi's help as they travel. Honi does pretty well while traveling which is good. To Arashi's question she shrugs, "Can't say it's really progressing I guess. Nothing really new. Been trying, but…eh. It's okay." She shrugs again, turning her attention outward. The traveling wasn't too bad, the cold nights unpleasant but not the worst. When they get to the crate she halts Honi near the edge, gazing out, "Wow…" It was definitely impressive to see. She jerks her head, bringing herself back to attention as Yori issues orders, "Got it." She then heads off with Arashi, letting Honi go at an easy pace since there wasn't a rush at the moment while they searched. For her, she focused on casting her senses out on the wind to see what kind of information she could get from the surrounding area.

RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-SENSE…42

Jon nods slowly in response to Yori's orders. Going alone into the center-most part of the crater…that's a little risky. Not that there's a terribly high probability of there being traps or ambushes waiting, but if there were such, that'd be the prime place for them. Still, it's Yori's command in this mission. "Be careful," Jon offers, then heads off with Sakuya to explore the right-hand rim. Scruvo takes off skyward to look down on the place from above. "Crikey, place looks like a termite hill aftah a blinkin' bear sat on it."

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…63
RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a PERCEPTION…29

Kyuusen Crater is rather sizable considering it spanned a fort. It was good for Yori to have split the team up into three groups. The most important evidence would be within the crater, of course. Signs of faint erosion and a higher water level were on the edges, which is odd considering it wouldn't be raining. It was not warm enough for there to be a thaw, and the lack of snow within the crater, or at least a lower level of snow compared to the surrounding area, all implied that huge amounts of water were working some magic.
Aside from those traces, there would be little along the edges. Further inside the crater, though, even by a few feet reveals the crumbled remnants of earthen graves that once held bodies. The bodies were able to escape, judging by the cracked ribs of the demonic prisons, and there was no sign of anyone that had died. Nothing rotting and decomposing here, nope! Even the two snakes would be able to smell that much.
Something else both Sakuya and Zuzu would notice was that Michiko's scent was here. Michiko's scent and a ton of other people's that would be unfamiliar. Faintly, Zuzu would be able to tell that there was an ozone layer to that scent … Lightning jutsu was used? It was a smell deep in the earth that only the snake would be able to sense, and that is only if he footed it. … Umm… Slithered it..?
Yori's position would grant him the most insight. A destroyed dome of metal. It looked as if it had collapsed from a huge amount of pressure, even though it was was pretty thick.

Yori made his way down the side of the crater, sliding down the snow the short distance until there was no longer any powder. Then it was just sliding down some dirt and rocks for a short time. By the time he's done sliding and can actually walk he's already began to notice some oddities, but for the moment he remains silent about them. There was enough 'not quite right' that one hand rests on his sword hilt out of an abundance of caution, however. Now that he's at the bottom of the gaping crater he takes in everything around them, even turning slowly as he walks to look at the wall and surrounding floor of the crater. And then he finds the dome. He moves towards it slowly, watching for anything that might be a trap as he does so on his way to the metal dome. Only once he's there and hasn't set off any traps does he look into it carefully to investigate. "Zuzu-san. Tell the others to finish their check of the rim and then meet us here. And tell them to be careful. There may be traps." Then, while he waits, the young Saito begins looking into other worrisome things, such as the broken ground. This was a Bad Sign (TM).

Arashi walked further along the left side with Hanami, and besides natural things he couldn't tell much. At least he didn't seem to see any people besides their team here. It wasn't providing much for himself sadly, so he hoped the others found something in their searches. Of course when Zuzu alerted all the others he would nod to Hanami, and finish the check on the left side that likely didn't do much before heading down carefully to the middle where he would meet up with Yori and the others. And he noticed the dome. "Wait.. That.." He paused with an obvious frown on his face. His eyes shifted over everyone here. "This….does not seem good."

Zuzu would quickly unwind himself from Saito Yorishiro as he began his investigation of the scene. Smells like air right after a lightning storm. That much was certain. His focus was briefly cut when Yori gave him a request. "If it is… your wish…" Then Zuzu's tailtip shook as he looked towards each shinobi that could be seen within the rim. «Order from Saito Yorishiro: Promptly finish your investigation, and join him in the center of the crater.» The white snake beamed, if snakes could beam in delight. "I have demonstrated my usefulness, Saito Yorishiro. Now I shall further inform you that the smell of air struck by lightning is… Strong along the ground. Something must be buried. I will investigate." With that, Zuzu started to wriggle his way into the ground like a worm with scales. Time for a little solo investigation, just in case!
"She is here. That's for sure. No mistaking it. It's faint, but it's definitely Michiko." Sakuya says with a sigh as she holds the horses reigns tight. "It's not very strong up here, Jon-san…" Sakuya then winced when Zuzu's voice emitted Yori's order… "Looks like he found something…"
The order was emitted using genjutsu to everyone, except for Scruvo. Like a rivalry between a noble hawk, and a vicious viper, he tried his best to undermine poor Scruv. Unlike a noble hawk and a vicious viper… He was neither vicious nor a viper, and there was doubt that Scruvo was both noble and a hawk.

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…33

Hanami looks around as her and Arashi follow the curve of the crater. Kind of abnormal water levels but nothing else was really striking out as strange to her here. Then again she didn't know the area, guess that makes sense. When Zuzu's relayed order comes she nods to Arashi and turns to make her way down into the crater. Honi moves along carefully and eventually they arrive with the others by the dome. She frowns, catching some of the conversation, "Definitely doesn't look good. Hazard a guess we're alone here though, or at least it doesn't seem any of us picked up signs of anyone nearby. And no bodies." She concentrates and senses the air around her, no reason to let her guard down still.

RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-SENSE…44

Jon scouts along the perimeter with Sakuya, and his finely honed detective observations find — ! Nothing particularly useful, aside from the obvious fact that somebody wiped this fort off the map. :P Sometimes there just isn't much to find, at least for ordinary human senses. When the call comes in to meet in the center, Jon nods and complies. Scruvo continues to circle overhead, blissfully oblivious to the snake's dubious intents toward him.

No traps, thankfully. Yori would find, upon circling the dome, that it was the top that had collapsed. The inside was washed clean, really, and it didn't offer much to his own senses. Zuzu would be able to smell a very very faint trace of blood if he was extremely thorough in his searching the actual dome; the blood-scent had been washed away from both time and water that had poured in. Seeking the ground, though, would not uncover anything. Michiko was here, but the keyword is 'was'. No longer is the girl in this area, her scent stale (if that wasn't clear earlier). Any seeking out for the girl's trail? Impossibru… There was none excepting where she had stepped into the Crater's edge. Odd… She was not buried, but she also was not there? Then where was the body?! Hanami will note, either through wind or normal chakra sensing, the lack of chakra signatures that were not her teammates'.

Yori continues his search, leaving Zuzu to his own devices, while the others finish their route and come down to meet him. He carefully checks everything that is abnormal. The dome, the broken earth, everything. Once the others arrive he stands. "Sakuya-chan, Zuzu-san, find any scents you can for Michiko-san and any others. Arashi-san, I want you to investigate the odd water markings and see if you can figure out what happened." He was their water user after all. "Jon-san, I leave the dome and broken earth to you to see if you can see something that might help us find out who was involved. Also please have Scruvo-san keep an eye out for anyone coming near the crater. Hanami-san, please check the area carefully to make sure there are no traps. Very carefully."

Arashi listened to everything Yori said and nods quickly. He could tell why Yori was a Jounin, and why he was leading this. Even though he had a personal connection to Michiko he obviously thought with his head and not his heart. It was a good trait to have as a shinobi. Though sometimes thinking with the heart may be needed. "Will do Yori." And so Arashi walked over to the edges where he seemed to see or feel the most water, and he began to investigate them closely. Taking a mental picture of anything that seemed to maybe be formed from it or how it got there. Once he did all that he would attempt to pull the water into the air and form a ball of water with it. This way he could see how much water it really was here and if he could control it well. If someone created this themselves and it was still here he might not be able to since it was formed from their chakra.

"I'm sorry, Yori…" Sakuya said as she took in the situation at the bottom of the crater. "Her scent is on the air, but… It's stale, and I don't think I can track it." She would tug on her sleeves as she looked away, and before long Zuzu had popped out of the ground. "Saito Yorishiro. I'm afraid that there is blood in the earth. Her blood. Not enough to justify death." Zuzu would slither his way towards Yori's leg, before coiling up it. He whispered what his assumptions were. "The lack of scent. The old blood seeping beneath the earth. The weathered signs of a struggle. No corpse, and after a visit to Iwagakure no doubt. Suspicious." Zuzu's head turns towards the 'metal' dome. "Very suspicious. Now that I think about it… Isn't there a group of people in the Land of Earth that have a special capacity to bend metal with chakra?" Zuzu asks. "Perhaps… Iwagakure had a small hand in this." This was all whispered to Yori, of course. "Ssssimply an asssumption, of course."

Hanami looks over what seems to be the main site as she listens, commenting, "No other signatures but our own here. A battle with Michiko, I feel should leave some kinda sign unless they scrubbed the area to really not disclose anything. Gonna make things tougher." She gives Yori a quick nod, scratching Honi behind the ears and directing him outward, making sure to focus her senses on trying to find any signs of mundane or otherwise traps.

RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-SENSE…36
RP: Jon transforms into INSIGHT-OF-THE-SLEUTH.
RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…69

Jon nods. "Got it. Scruvo knows enough to alert us if he sees anybody approaching." With that, Jon gets down to inspect the metal dome inside and out. They probably won't have the opportunity to compare fingerprints to suspected perpetrators or anything, but there could be other useful signs…indicators that somebody entered the dome after it was breached, or exited, or left through the ground using earth manipulation. That last one would be an encouraging thing to find. c.c

Arashi would find that the water had evaporated. What he could draw was normal water, and it was fairly usual, if he knew what could count for such a thing. But it was also exceedingly low compared to the flood that seemed to wash through the area. Someone used a huge amount of water jutsu, then? There were no traps of any kind. No one approaching, either. Truly, there was no trail to track… Interestingly for Jon's findings: Careful examination proves that the earth outside the dome was displaced first. Then it seemed to rush into the metal dome from the /inside/. The earth shouldn't have been disturbed on the inside, though, by the water. It doesn't make sense for it to have rushed in… And there was little sign of anyone digging into the ground inside the dome.

Yori had already done his preliminary search and was letting the others do a more thorough search on things while he waited for their reports. His face is rather impassive as he hears from Sakuya and he just nods in understanding. "It's alright Sakuya-chan. Whoever did this was very adept and knew what they were doing." As Zuzu makes his remarks Yori looks to him, his golden eyes seeming surprisingly displeased with the snake. "Right now we don't know what happened Zuzu-san, and I will thank you to keep quiet on your assumptions until we know exactly what happened. If you are so quick as to blame someone then it makes you foolish for not waiting to find all the facts first." Once he's done with that his attention turns back to the others as he awaits their reports.

Arashi frowned and shook his head a bit. There wasn't enough water here. Not for what might've happened. A water ninjutsuist must've been here, and Michiko wasn't one for sure. For certain someone else was here then. He didn't state that yet though as others might already have that idea. "So… Seems to me like there is less water than you would expect based on evidence here. I assume that it evaporated, but still… not enough on a normal level." He frowned. "What do we do? With this I have no idea personally. Nothing to track here…. Nothing to find that would help us find her. Only giving us clues to what might've happened" He sighed and did not like this one bit.

Zuzu was definitely put in his place. The snake hissed as he returned to belt mode. Sakuya meanwhile, felt like dirt. "No real leads… I'm going to continue looking around, Yori…" Perhaps something important will pop out at her. Some scent of another person that could help this investigation that came to a complete halt. She walks over towards the dome, seeing if she could find a trail. Unlikely. Sometimes, even the best efforts go unrewarded. Losing isn't the end, though…

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…54

Hanami pauses in her search as she canvases the area. Nothing had turned up, though guess it made sense given the way this area had been taken care of already traps or such would've been abnormal. She turns Honi back to Yori and the others, coming in to give her report. "Well the area seems clear. Whoever faced off against Michiko, and seemingly won, did a good job." She sighs, looking around, "Perhaps we could scout more of the area around the crater? I don't know, we didn't pick up anything on our search though. If Michiko or her opponents went out that way there's nothing. And if Michiko were injured, which seems likely in that situation given the evidence here, there's no way her trail wouldn't have turned up." She shakes her head, "Yeah, so where do we go from here?"

RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-SENSE…35

Jon grunts while inspecting the interior of the metal dome, his voice coming out a bit tinny to the others. "As much as it might be important to avoid statements that might have political ramifications in mixed company, Zuzu-san makes a point worth considering. We don't know for certain that it was Michiko-san who made this dome. Of course, the presence of her blood suggests it pretty strongly." Jon carefully pulls himself out of the dome. "The patterns in the dirt inside the dome suggest a water technique that spread outward from near the center. There isn't any hole in the ground for it to have come through, though, so my guess is someone either managed to get a delayed-release technique into the dome before it was fully formed, or was actually inside the dome themselves."

Yori just nods to Jon, but doesn't comment on the owner of the dome. "Let's head to the closest Village, the last she would have left. We'll see what info we can find out there." That's all he has to say for now. He has thoughts on wht's going on, but there's too many possibilites. It's time to see what other info they can find.

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