Date: November 21, 2014
Renai, along with Akiko and Rikuto, confronts a group of grave robbers thought to have knowledge of the buried remains of the house she found.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Lost Sand: Who robbed the grave?"
A Port City, Land of Wind
Kuoroke has been digging into Renai's problem, and her last venture has given him an idea: graverobbers. The ruins of the wars of the past are often searched for valuables the dead didn't have a chance to take with them to the where they went, and the people who do this searching eventually become something of history experts of necessity. -They- might have an idea of where Renai's ancestors lived. The problem is that these people are often connected to less-savoury groups: in their travels, they make handy mules, and various criminal groups have contacts to sell on morally and legally gray goods. Not to mention, quite a few of these graverobbers moonlight as bandits: fresh graves tend to be profitable as well.
In any case, Kuoroke has suggested Renai go seek these people out. He's set up a meeting for her not with the graverobbers themselves -trying to hunt these people down in the desert is a waste of time and effort- but with their superiors. He's also sent Rikuto and Akiko along, for added security, because the possibility of violence can be a useful negotiation tool.
So, the group is sent to a port city not too far from where Renai earlier discovered the remains of a village and dug up what proved to be a young boy's diary. The meeting room itself is in the back of a bar. They're invited there during daytime: being young, they'd stand out while the place is full, so instead they're guided through the empty building by a bouncer, and find themselves in front of a door leading to a small, poorly illuminated room, half below floor level, with a round table. At it sit two men, both of them built like they benchpress small buildings for their workout.
Renai waited patiently at the designated meeting place in the city for the two that were to accompany her. She quietly flips through the journal she found, looking at the pages and remembering all they contain. The thing doesn't seem too extraordinary in itself, but may lead her to some clue. She pauses to look at the drawing of a fish again and then tucks the book away in her shirt.
When the pair arrive, she would greet them politely and thank them both for accepting the job. The girl is dressed as a ninja herself, her uniform the typical blue-gray of Kirigakure with the village's symbol on her chest. Should it come to fighting, she's likely to help them.
They are led to the poorly illuminated room, which sets alarm bells ringing in her head. She always has issues with being led -indoors- in a situation that could be threatening. Once inside the room, Renai greets them respectfully, figuring it probably isn't a good idea to start off with rudeness. She even smiles to the pair of large, muscly men, showing off her perfect teeth. She feels confidence within her with the presence of Rikuto and Akiko, so she gets right down to business. "I was wondering if you might be able to help me. I'm looking for information regarding the remains of a house buried under the sand not far from here." She sets the journal on the table, but keeps her fingertips on it, pressing the warm leather down against the surface. "I was led to believe you might have some answers."
Akiko doesn't know much of anything about this mission. All she knows is that she's supposed to go with a Kiri-Nin, Renai, along with Rikuto and be on the lookout for any threats. "Hayato Akiko," she introduces herself upon arriving at the meeting place. She has traditional Suna-garb on, meaning a cloak and her hitai-ate are clearly visible. Those along with a bow and quiver full of arrows on her back make up the bulk of her figure.
Kotone, her falcon, is also with her. She's perches on the Hayato's arm, glancing this way and that before bobbing her head in greeting to Renai. The girl falls in step with her teammates, keeping on the lookout for trouble from the people they're dealing with. She does follow Renai's showing of politeness, of course. No sense in starting a fight when you don't have to.
The beginning of the meeting already leads to her having a multitude of questions popping into her head. A house? What's that got to do with anything? And who is this person anyway? She struggles to keep her face neutral for now, forcing her hands to stay at her side and /not/ reach for her weapon.
Dipping his head lightly when Renai notices them, though he dressed drastically different than her. Rikuto was dressed some what simply from what could be seen, wrapped within a ankle length cloak that was well weathered. There wasn't a hitai showing on his forehead though there was one around his neck, though the plating of it was hidden for the moment within his cloak. After the Hayato introduces herself, he glances at her briefly before answering with a name as well, "Miira Rikuto."
Moving a hand up to his head, Rikuto snags the hood of his cloak and draws it back to around his neck before slowly stroking the side of his neck while he looks around the area slowly. Mumbling to himself softly, the boy says, 'First word of thugs, then grave robbers now acting as guards for a kiri-nin.. I'm wondering when things get odd.'
As they stood at the seemingly abandoned building before being lead inside. Once who they were also to meet comes into view, he closes his eyes and raises his right hand slightly, letting his fingers waver faintly trying to get a feel to see if the men were normal or if they were amassing noteworthy chakra.
RPCOMBAT: Rikuto defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSITIVITY…34
Before they enter, one of the two men sitting at the table shouts at the bouncer. "Hey! Do your job!" The bouncer turns around and looks at the others. His fingers close around Rikuto's shoulder. "Hang on, who the barrow are you? We were told one girl and Suna ninja. So who are -you- supposed to be?" His eyes flit between Rikuto and the others. "Step away from the girls and don't make any sudden movements."
The two men at the table, in the meantime, trust the bouncer to handle Rikuto and address Renai. One of them, with clear scars all over his face, shakes his head. "Well… not -we- per se. But we do know the people capable of helping you. The thing is… the way I see it, we can provide you with a service. But in this economy, we'd be fools to provide a service without some compensation. What I'm getting at is, we'd like to have a return service from you before we can… acquiesce your request."
Renai's eyes focus on the pair, not removing them even as she hears the commotion with Rikuto behind her. She /does/ seem a bit distracted though, her left hand curling as though to make a fist and the right remaining on the journal, pinning it. Her eyes flick between the two men, wary and suspicious. She is very careful to not act too eager. Such behavior would encourage them to set a ridiculous price. After a moment, she picks up the journal and puts it back in her shirt. "What is your price?" Renai relaxes as she asks the question, though barely. She can see another possible way of getting what she wants from these two, since she has Akiko and Rikuto, but she'd rather not resort to threats. Threatening these men could lead to problems for Sunagakure, more than likely, and she'd much rather not start something she can't finish.
RPCOMBAT: Akiko defends against with a HAYATO-SENSES…24
Akiko's eyes flash slightly as Rikutois stopped, but she makes no movement to help. It might provoke these guys… She stays quiet, and somewhat distant from the whole conversation. She's not entirely sure what's going on, but it must be important (at least to Renai) if Suna is dealing with /these/ kinds of people. Her eyes scan the room as Renai talks to the men, trying to note all the exits (of which there seems to be only one), the number of men total (with weapons) and other information like that. Kotone is on the lookout too, of course.
"Eh?" Glancing to the side to his shoulders before looking up towards the bouncer, he takes a step backwards slowly with the man. "Miira, Shinobi of Sunagakure" was said softly Raising his off hand slowly, he moves it to his neckline, tugging at it downwards, exposing his sunagakure hitai fully. A moment afterwards, the boy lets his cloak go, letting it become partly covered over again. "I'm contracted to the girls.. Is there still a problem?"
Tilting his head away slightly, while waiting for an answer. Rikuto's eyes flick to the side looking towards Renai and then towards Akiko, checking on them for a fleeting moment before checking back on the bouncer, his attention splitting between the two areas.
The bouncer scowls at Rikuto's throat for a bit, glances at his superiors, then at the girls, and then at his superiors again, and quietly walks off towards his post at the front door, muttering something under his breath. On the way, he closes the door to the room. The scarred man at the table, in the meantime, continues speaking. "Take a seat. What we require of you is simple: we've got a task we'd rather not commit our own forces to. A problem with a competitor. We're also not exactly the kind of people who can easily hire shinobi. So what we need of you is to be our… negotiator. A liason, if you will, to Sunagakure. Apparently, your money is good enough for them."
Renai does sit, resting her back against the chair and crossing her arms over her chest. The girl eyes the pair of men, her lips turning into a frown as she hears what they have to say. Whether or not Rikuto or Akiko will join her in sitting is up to them. She makes no effort to order them around or anything like that.
After their words, she smiles. The green-haired girl leans forward, a rather displeased look on her face. "What makes you think that the information you can give me is worth the cost? I make life easier for you and you lead me to a dead end. Do you know how /bad/ that could turn out for you in the end? And, believe me, you won't have to worry about Sunagakure being involved in what will happen to you." Her eyes narrow. She's threatening them, though not directly, hinting at things that might be unknown to the pair of men at least. She might just be a little girl, albeit a tall one, but she isn't without resources.
Akiko is glad that Rikuto is let through, though she doesn't let her guard down quite yet. She stays standing, mostly because she wasn't necessarily here to talk. The request was surprising to hear though, and she almost blurts out her thoughts. What were the shinobi going to have to do that actually requires shinobi? She lets Renai handle most of the talking for now, the girl not having any experience when it comes to this kind of thing.
Once the man releases him, Rikuto adjusts his cloak and moves his hands out of sight again before making his way closer to the girls, his eyes focusing onto the men across the table for a moment. When Renai sits down, he glances to Akilo for a moment before stepping closer and sitting down beside her but he doesn't speak up.
Even though he stays quiet, his eyes suddenly focus onto Renai once her tone begins to shift slightly before moving his hands into his lap. The boy looks away before breathing in quietly before exhaling softly, his eyes becoming distant for a fleeting moment as he begins to try and focus, preparing himself if the meeting suddenly turned sour.
The silent of the two men grins widely and visibly holds back laughter. The scarred one gives him a stern look, although he, too, seems amused. "Well that's your decision. I can provide a service - access to the people you're looking for. The possibility to ask them questions. Not to mention, we're taking a risk as well. You may be unable to secure Sunagakure's services. They may be unable to eliminate our competitors, or unwilling to perhaps. As for those threats, while amusing," he gives his companion a stern look, "I'm sure we can make bad things happen to you, too. You don't survive in my business without knowing how to point out people's mistakes to them… harshly." He leans forward a bit. "Now. Do we have a deal or not?"
Renai's eyes lock on the one speaking. She gives him a long look, judging his sincerity. His words gave her the verification that she wanted. She needed to know that he would be willing to hurt her over this. People making empty promises aren't typically willing to hurt others, unless they're psychopaths.. which they might be, but she doubts it.
"Deal. But Sunagakure will not be contracted to help you in any case. It will be taken care of with my own resources. This.." Renai pauses to motion to Rikuto and Akiko, "..is as far as they will be going in the matter." She leans back into her chair, relaxing a bit, seeming confident in her choice of words. "What's the problem you're having with your competitor?"
Hold on, what? Akiko hears the words about how they're not going to go along for the ride, and she frowns slightly. This may not be her business, but things that could affect Sunagakure? That was something she needed to gather information on… She stays where she is, though, unmoving. Renai hadn't said that Suna would not be able to listen to this conversation. She could collect information here and report back to the higher ups with as much information as possible, even if it's nothing terribly important. Plus, she's curious to hear the other's request.
Staying silent while the three spoke, when he was motioned towards, Rikuto arches a brow slightly but then bows his head to Renai slightly. "We'll be staying with you until you return to Sunagakure, otherwise we fault our current contract. If you want a private meeting with them afterwards, you may." The boy's voice was kept soft, just a bit above a whisper before going silent again. Turning his head the other way, he glances up to Akiko, trying to gauge her reaction as well to the matter.
"Well, the core of our problem is in that they're -alive-…" The scarred one begins. He motions towards the other one, and the other unrolls a scroll on the table. It's a map of the city they're i. "But I don't expect you to be willing to remove the entire group. Of course, generosity -is- virtue." The grin he flashes Renai is somewhat reminiscent of a hungry shark. He chuckles, and the silent companion join him with a hoarse chuckle. "But, to be serious, they're moving in on our ground. We need them discouraged, to commit their forces elsewhere. So." He points to a building on the map. "They've got an operation here. Smuggling things in fish. We're not sure -what- they're smuggling but it goes in in fish and it goes out on secure transports. We need the entire place gone." He makes a swiping motion of his hand. "Burned to the ground. Nobody walks away. Doesn't matter to me what you do with them, lock them up, kill them, use them for the Kazekage's experiments, whatever. Make them a travelling circus for all I care. They just don't report back to their superiors ever again. See, I could go and handle matters and risk my guys for it, but I'd like not to. And here I have the shinobi - warriors, so they're used to risking their lives. And it's pretty much their job to handle… 'undesirable characters'." with another predatory grin, he motions to himself and his assistant.
Renai shows very little expression on her face except that of displeasure. She doesn't exactly /like/ to kill, but she'll do it if it means getting what she wants. And this is something she -wants- very badly.
Keeping her arms crossed, she asks a series of questions to gather info. "How many? What are their capabilities? How strong are their leaders? What are the movements around the building like?" She isn't entirely sure her travelling companion, Eremi, will be willing to help her with this.. But she could perhaps persuade him. Involving Sunagakure though? No. One, she can't afford it. Two, she doesn't want their hands any dirtier than they already are. If they choose to help of their own volition though.. Well, that's why she didn't ask Rikuto or Akiko to leave.
Once her questions are answered, Renai rises, rolling up the map and tucking it into her shirt. "I'll see what can be done. Try not to get hurt or die before I get back. I'll be eternally frustrated if anything happens to you two before I get a name." The girl smiles wryly to the pair and would turn to start making a departure with Rikuto and Akiko unless they're stopped.
Akiko has a feeling that Renai might need a bit of help with this. And even if she doesn't, then it's nice to just know there's backup around. She gives a quick glance to Rikuto as she listens to whatever Intel is on the opposing group, then moves to leave and follow after Renai so long as she's not stopped. As soon as they're out of earshot from the underground people, she asks the Miira, "Rikuto-san, I guess we should keep accompanying Renai-san?" She tilts her head a bit, letting Kotone fly up to stretch her wings and also let her own arm rest.
Soil brown eyes bounce between each of the speakers slowly though when Renai stands, so does he, and shifts to the side making room for her to pass through before following her as well. Turning to Akiko, he nods lightly and says "I have a feeling she isn't going to be going straight to Sunagakure just yet.. We might be a while." With a shrug of his shoulders, he turns and glances over his shoulder, looking at the men behind them but them looks forward again when Kotone suddenly takes off as soon as they were exposed to the sky.