Date: November 15, 2011
While investigating the disappearance of a Konoha agent in a small port town, Team 10 uncovers something more sinister at work…
WARNING: Contains foul language.
"Mist Over Kajiki"
Kajiki, a port town in the Land of Fire
After a somewhat disastrous crash course in tree-walking, followed by a long trudge (if you ask Atsuro, at least) through the forest. At last though, they've come out of the trees, and before them lies the sea shore, a long distance away but visible. Right in front of them, though, is the road, which leads northwards to a small port town, a couple minutes walk up the road. Atsuro, who has been rather irritable up to this point, stops and points to the walls of the town. "That's Kajiki," he says, "where we'll be stopping." He waves everyone ahead and turns onto the road, walking towards Kajiki at a brisk pace, Taizen a couple of steps behind.
"All we really know is that one of our informants who lives in Kajiki has stopped sending reports. We need to find out where he is, or what's happened to him. And if we need to, we'll probably be the ones rescuing him or whatever. His name's Kitabatake, and I've got a photo of him, so we might be able to get some information from the people in town. I've also got an envelope he sent so we might be able to track him by scent, if we can catch his trail."
He goes silent for a moment. "…and that's all I've got. Any questions?"
Taiki has been mainly quiet during this treck, not really speaking or anything. Shinobu is by his side, pretty much acting the same way. When they stop he listens for a moment and then asks, "Do we have any idea what his normal MO is here? Where he hangs out or what he does? That may give us a starting place." Glances are sent to the other two Genins' ways, to see if they have any other bright ideas."
"This is a border town," Hitoshi remarks softly, "and on our side of the border, at that. But how friendly are the locals?" He is at the point where he's at one end of the group, his arms crossed in front of his chest as he looks toward the walls of the town. "It could be possible that we need to go in incognito and try to pass ourselves off as, y'know, traders or something, if we plan on actually… y'know, blending in and getting anywhere with them, as far as getting information out of them." He looks toward Atsuro, Taiki, and Berii then, and shrugs his shoulders. "It's a thought, but the villagers could be the very reason he's missing."
"Kitabatake?" That was a mouthful and a little difficult for Berii to say. So that may be the last time she makes use of that name, Berii adjusts her backpack straps and rolls her neck. Glancing Taiki's way for a moment as he questions, Berii not having any of her own would sort of avoid eye contact when Taiki looks around. Soon after doing the same with Hitoshi until she eventually just nods her head a few times.
Atsuro looks back over his shoulder to address his team's concerns. "A lot of these informants are washed up and don't have much money. Got injured or something and couldn't cut it as a ninja anymore. It's possible he spends every night out getting drunk and gambling. It's also possible he's just really boring. He should just be trying to be a normal townsperson either way, so we should be able to find someone who can tell us more about him. But, uh…" He slows his pace for a moment. "They didn't mention anything like that in the briefing, but I guess we don't have any reason to assume they're innocent. Good catch, Hitoshi. Let's try and look like traders." He gives everyone a moment to disguise themselves.
Atsuro himself uses henge to get rid of his conspicuous fang tattoos and large teeth. Then he takes off his chuunin vest and forehead protector, before buttoning his shirt up and removing Taizen's vest as well. He stuffs everything into his backpack, and just like that he looks sufficiently respectable and trader-y. Once everyone is done, the team moves onward.
Soon enough, the team has arrived at the gates of the town. "We're here selling these fine purebred dogs," Atsuro says to the guards, gesturing to Taizen and Shinobu. The guards look the group over for a moment, then nod and let them through into the town.
From here, there are three obvious places to go: the road to the west, which leads to the residential district; the road to the east, which leads to the docks and a slightly more run-down part of town; and ahead to the town square. Atsuro gives each a moment's consideration, then explains his plan to the team. "Alright," he says, "It's probably worthwhile to check out that area." He points to the docks, "Never know if someone bumped him off for gambling debts or he got mugged or whatever. And if he did, I bet somebody there knows. But that's no place for you kids." He pauses and rubs his chin. "I'll check it out myself. I can't leave you all alone, so Taizen will go with you and help check out the town square. Any shops, whatever, might have somebody who can tell you something. My expectations for you three are slightly higher than terrible, so you should be fine asking people if they've seen him and that sort of thing." He holds the photo and envelope out for someone to take. "Got it?"
Taiki nods, but doesn't have much to remove, other than his forehead protector. But rather than removing that, he performs a quick henge to change the shape of his eyes to normal, remove the fang marks, and to change the forehead protector into a bandana. Also since Shinobu was in contact with him, Shinobu's colloration becomes darker to make the black muzzling appear more natural. Taiki does head the pouches of his utility belt under his over-jacket, and adjusts the kimono to be more like a trader's than a ninja or a clan member. The burn markings are left though, as they can provide an excuse for his hair being rapped up in a bandana. The hair tie comes out, leaving his hair loose.
Taiki then follows Atsuro into the town, supressing a wince at the mention of selling Shinobu. He's had enough practice with far sharper eyes than those guards to keep that reaction from being noticed. As they gather and Atsuro starts to lay out the expectations, he glances over at Berii and Hitoshi agian, then sighs slightly and nods. "Hai."
As the others begin to do their thing, Hitoshi yanks off his Forehead protector and folds it up quietly. His kunai pouch and holster are also taken off. His clothing? More than passes, honestly "I would normally say that I'd just go like my normal self," he remarks softly, "being from the family I'm from, I'm pretty much the most civilian of us all. But I'm not gonna run the chance of the guards recognizing…" He pauses… and sort of reddens.
And then, a mutter… "Little 'Toshi-chan… from the days when my family actually traveled."
Then, back to normalvoice. "So." Tucking the forehead protector away, he examines Atsuro's and Taiki's features for a moment. "I'm his younger brother." He points at Taiki. "And you're my father." He points at Atsuro. He then looks to Berii… "Sister." With that, he begins to form his handseal, focusing… "Henge!"
And suddenly, a brown-haired, brown-eyed and four and less than half a foot version of Hitoshi is standing about them. "Meh. Meh. Meh." With each 'meh,' he tunes his voice up a little to make it slightly more squeaky. "There we go," he remarks softly. "This shouwd p—" He clears his throat… and adds a slight bit less 'ball-pinch' to his pitch. "Should pass."
And then into the village they go, then. As they pass the guards, he is careful not to make immediate eye contact or really stare them down - not wanting to give away the 'illusion' or their cover. Instead, he sort of adopts his aloof look on his face, arms folded behind his head… "This is such a draaaaaag," he groans as he passes them… Being the more 'metro' appearing of them, it probably would make sense for him to complain.
And then, after being past, he stops to listen to Atsuro as he gets ready to dole out the assignment. He feels Taiki's eyes on him, and he blinks, glancing over. He then looks to Atsuro as he offers the picture and envelope… and looks to Berii, then Taiki again…
"Hai." He reaches out and quietly takes the two items, looking between the two again…
Berii had never really had an issue with henge though, she didn't ever have to make something up entirely. "Hmm…" Berii reachs up and unclips the metallic clamps on her har ribbons before pulling them out of place, letting her hair fall behind her. She then thinks over the rest of the superfluous crap she had on to the point where she might have to use a scroll to put it all away.
"Hnnn… ah!" Berii didn't feel like terribly relying on henge to change everything, so she would do something more dramatic.
Her right hand slips inside a sleeve and soon after smoke billows out of it, a large scroll suddenly appearing which she quickly unrolls beneath her. Something that was no quite perfected yet but, they may notice the scroll was labeled 'Quick Change Scroll', what would follow is anything but, quick. Berii stomps on the scroll and is soon encased in a wooden stall. Some rustling is heard and soon after, the word, "Henge!"
In a magical cloud of smoke all that nonsense would be gone and after about 10 minutes of work, Berii appears in a dressed down form of her usual self. A somewhat worn brown leather jacket over a simple white shirt and brown skirt, black boots adorning her feet. As for her hair, it was what would be her normal black if it wasn't freakishly dyed into that impossible color she normally wears. This Berii looked a bit, intimidating but, if anything that may only be because she looked so ridiculous before hand.
Moving on as this was completely normal, she'd make use of what Atsuro gave them and head off without saying a word.
"Good. Meet me back here in an hour. Good luck." Atsuro looks down at Hitoshi as they boy takes the things from him. "Good to see one person stepping up, at least. The envelope was kinda for you, Taiki. You're supposed to smell it." He glances over to Berii. "Although only one person came prepared for this, apparently. Nice… change room back there? You kids crack me up." He doesn't seem all that cracked up, but with that, he's off to the docks district, walking down the road, then glancing back at the team before he turns a corner and goes out of sight. In the square are numerous shops and a few government buildings. Of particular note are what appears to be a town hall, a post office, a bank, and a stationary store. Also in the square is a small grouping of tents and stalls for merchants to ply their wares. Small crowds are gathered around each.
<Public> Diet Raikage Reza says, "runnin all sword and board, got these magic spells i don't really use cause my magicka can't support em"
<Public> Diet Raikage Reza says, "Sidenote: Orcish armor look so boss"
Taiki watches as Berii moves off, seemingly without them or without coordinating with them, and sighs. He then shakes his head a couple of times as if clearing out some cobwebs from it before holding out his hand toward Hitoshi. "The envelope please?" he asks politely, and a little warmly. Time to put the other stuff aside, and get on with things. Once and if Hitoshi hands it over, he glances around for a few minutes before taking a couple of sniffs, then holds it down so Shinobu can also sniff it.
"So…" he starts, then shrugs, appearing disinterested in… just about everything. "Well, she apparently had some shopping to do, so tell you what. "I'll go check out the postings at the post office and government buildings, you hit the stalls? I'm sure you can find /something/ there that you'd like. Just remember, no buying anything until we find our buyer and make the deal. I'll keep this one with me. You run across our sister, try to direct her toward the stationary stores, okay?"
Of course, Hitoshi would watch as Berii made herself ready… and afterwards, would avert his eyes. He wasn't going to compliment her again. It only seems to make things bad. He holds onto the picture, before handing the envelope over promptly to Taiki, letting him do his Tracking Thing. "You've got the poise for this kind of thing," he remarks softly. "SO, I think it's agreed. I'll definitely nudge her that way while you do your thing. I'm gonna check out the clothing stores. These rags are getting kind of ratty anyway," he remarks, examining his shirt.
Of course, he had to play off the bored metro-boy the best he could. While making sense to his partners. With that, he looks down to the picture. Then looks up in the direction Berii was heading off in. "What's eatin' her, I wonder?" he asks to no one in general… more or less Taiki, as he glances toward him.
Overripe Berii turns around with a fist in the air she then yells with a somewhat grumpier tone of voice than normal but, that lisp followed her even throughout the henge, "HEY! Huwy up you wazy pieces of -" Berii's brain blanked, to fit her character she would have to say something 'nasty' but, she didn't want to do that. She sweatdrops, wondering if anyone was listening in on them to notice the slip up.
Berii groans and huffs, turning around with with her nose high in the air and arms crossed. She impatiently taps her foot, it would appear Atsuro has raised some not too loveable kids. Poor parenting! Waiting for the group to catch up or, possibly just Hitoshi at this point she scans the area quickly, not as creative as the others when thinking up things to do it seems.
"Hnn…" The verbal tick rolling out, as she thinks. The girl picks up on this and makes a mental note to attempt correcting that somewhat. Silently mulling over how terrible she was at this speaking business.
The envelope definitely has the smell of someone lingering on it. However, that person can't be smelled in this area, so it's a fair bet they haven't passed by recently. Noticing that the group has already begun to fall apart, Taizen begins following after Berii, sniffing his way after her. Unfortunately, a passing guard happens to notice the little spat. He's a middle-aged man with grizzled whiskers, and looks bored enough to consider literally any interruption incredibly exciting. "Excuse me, kids," he says ostentatiously, "Is there a problem here? Am I going to have to have a talk with your parents?"
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Taiki looks around for a moment before dropping his voice low at first to respond to Hitoshi. "I hope so, I had it b… er… shoved down my throat enough times to know how to act," he says softly, hoping against hope Hitoshi did NOT pick up on that abrupt change in his sentence. This was neither the time nor the place to answer the questions that would lead to. Of course to Taiki, NEVER would be a good time for that.
Picking up on Berii's aborted shout he mutters, "Have to get that girl used to swearing, even if it may be the death of us." After pitching that just so Hitoshi would hear, and hopefully no one else he speaks up loudly in an disinterested tone, "Oh? And where are you in such a hurry to head off to? Some kind of paper sale or something?"
Once the guard enters the scene though Taiki's demeanor changes. "No sir, no problem here. 'Tou'san's off looking for a merchant, but we can't seem to locate him. We were about to go help look, but maybe you can help us?" he explains, putting on a bored older brother act. "Hi'chan, show the guy the picure, will you? Have you seen this guy around recently?"
Without missing a beat, Hitoshi is quick to show the photo, flashing it and letting the guard see it as they're spoken to. Berii's little outcry is just kind of sweat-dropped at and he sgihs a little bit, shaking his head toward his 'older brother.' "Don't even -think- about it. She'd gut us both," he whispers to the boy, before glancing toward the guard…
The stepping in of the guard got Berii to take a small step away from him. With a nervous smile she bows to the man, "Hmph." Berii focuses for a moment to speak properly, "Problem?" With a thumb over her shoulder, she points to her two brothers, "They seem to function on zombie speed… trips wouldn't be so long if you know." Berii's eyes squint and she turns to the two, attempting to look at them harshly but, even in her tougher get up it was hard for her to look imposing.
"You'd hurry the… up!" She'll get there eventually.
Berii then flicks her head, sending her hair cascading around to the point where she had to fight to keep her head from being dragged away by it. The whispering causes her to squint over at them but, she doesn't make any comment, assuming they were just acting and well, didn't want to distract the guard much longer.
"Hmm?" The guard looks at the photo, his opportunity to throw his weight around lost for the moment. He studies it for a moment, then nods. "Yeah, I've seen him," he says in an affected 'I'm being nice and talking to little kids' sort of way. "Didn't know he was from out of town. Well, kids, I know your daddy really likes this one restaurant, the Iwame. I seen him there… oh, must be half a dozen times." He points to a side street. "Just go down that way for a little ways. They've got a big sign that looks like a fish." He gestures with his hands, stretching his arms to show that it's a big fish! "I bet they know where he might be."
Taiki bows his head slightly to the guard and says, "Thank you sir. We really appreciate the help. You said down that street, pointing to the one the guard showed. "Don't know if he's from out of town or not, all I know is he's apparently interested in dogs." He shrugs a little, indicating he could care less. "Thank you again sir. Come on sis, Hi'chan, looks like we have a clue!" With that phrase he waves and more or less tries to herd the other two plus the dogs toward the side street. "Sorry for disturbing you sir!"
Assuming he gets them away from the officer he whispers, "Keep your eyes pealed, that was too easy." He makes a note that despite what these two may or may not feel about him being on their team, he's going to have to get with them later to coordinate a set number of disguises. Even being too easy, that was too close.
Sweatdrop. Hitoshi lets his arm drop a little bit, bringing the photo down as he sort of looks at the guard with a sort of dull look. The first word that comes to mind is 'Jackass,' but he bites his tongue and lets it slide. He, like Taiki, bows his head a bit, and mutters a quiet 'thank you.' It all matches up with the annoyed, bored look. Yeah. Totally.
And with that, he turns toward Berii and Taiki both. "Agreed," he remarks softly, shaking his head a little. "Something feels… off." He takes a breath, looking around slowly and examining the random townspeople that pass by their little rag-tag group. "The last time I was here with my family… it seems like it's gotten more sleepy. Like… an over-exaggeration of what a sleepy little border town's like." He just shakes his head. "Let's stay on our toes. Lead the way, Taiki-kun." He gestures, glancing toward the large dog accompanying them…
And then, Berii. He rubs his nose slightly, and sniffs, before moving past her, only to mutter, "Nice jacket."
And with that, he carries on, moving along with the group.
This man. Berii's fist tightens. This stupid looking man. That venomous glare Berii was attempting earlier? Well it was happening now, not that she was playing part at all. The way he acted towards them or in Berii's eye's 'her alone'. Caused her to rapidly get irritated, then he does the gesture with his hands. "Yeah?"
Berii says no more, the yeah hovering about in a thick cloud of irritation for her own reasons. When Taiki bows, she clears her throat and follows up with a bow of her own, hair continuing to throw her off a bit, sure the strength of a ninja could handle it but, still took some getting used to. When she rises up, she looks the guard over for a moment and gets over herself, "Thanks, hnn."
Berii slips in step with Taizen as the group moves on, unsure if Hitoshi was being serious or not or even just being out of character when he comments on the jacket. Berii gives him a look of mixed emotions as he goes but, keeps relatively silent on that subject, listening in as he explains the townspeople. Flashing half hearted smiles if/when people look their way.
"Neh, weally?" Berii says this as Hitoshi notes the town's "new look", the slowness of it all was a bit off putting as is but, now that she knows there was a shift in its old ways she was truly bothered. "You think something went down other than that guy disappeawing?" Mulling over a town of zombies, she just keeps an eye out of the big fish so they can move on quickly.
"You… don't know where your daddy lives?" The guard seems stunned by this. He reaches into his pocket, then hands a handful of coins to Taiki. "Here, why don't you buy yourself some snacks once you get there?" Then he awkwardly marches off to protect the town, completely unaware of the boiling hatred he has provoked in everyone and confident that they all love him for doing his duty. As he said, the Iwame isn't far away, and it does indeed have a sign that looks like a big fish! It's a fairly unassuming restaurant with a big window in front and a door off to the side with a little OPEN sign in the window. Looking in the window, there don't appear to be any customers inside, though there's someone behind a counter who can't quite be seen clearly.
The way the guard got the story mixed up gave Taiki an even greater sense of trouble. He slows the other two down as they begin their approach and whispers to both of them, "I thought I was pretty clear in my story… Guards are normally a lot more observant than that, they kind of have to be…" he says, his eyes narrowing. "Shinobu, Taizen, do either one of you smell anything like that package? Or more importantly, anything like trapping tools or explosives?" That also was pitched low, but a dog's hearing is much better than a man's, so they should have heard it.
"I agree about the jacket by the way Berii's…chan." He mentally kicks himself for reverting to the san in mistake. "I like your choices here. Have you noticed anything out of the ordinary that we've missed so far?" he whispers to her, looking around. "This looks like the place… and it's not crowded either," he says aloud. "What do you two think? Would /this/ be something you two could stomach?" His town during the parts spoken aloud are laced with irritation and long suffering, as if he's tired of listening to an argument over what would be considered good food. Public cover for the whispering. "And will they allow the dogs in? It's not like we can just leave them out here!"
"You were clear. Hence my concern. Something about this place is -off,- and I can't put my finger on it," Hitoshi remarks quietly, hands tucked in his pockets. His fingers were wrapped tightly around a kunai, kept in his pocket… He wasn't going to be coming in -completely- unarmed. Eyes scan around, his ears open… Worry not -apparent- on his face, but tucked into the back of his head… something to keep in mind.
As they approach the restraunt, he pauses, looking up and huffing slightly as he looks to the sign. Sarcastically, he remarks, "Well, it -is- a big friggin' fish." He huffs slightly, looking toward Taiki. "—you -really- wanna eat here? Nnngh." He huffs again… and looks toward Berii, before rubbing his nose… "Fine." It wouldn't make sense if he didn't resist a little, right? He gets ready to follow them in, whispering… "I think they're pet-friendly. Can't remember," he notes softly…
Another compliment, squiiint, although still a bit confused and a little suspicious the second time around it warrants a light blush. "Just something old… was just sititng in my cwoset." Berii mumbles some other coherent words that sort of sounded like some form of thanks. This at least distracted her from being worried about what they may be walking into. "Stomach? Well duh, I'm hungry." She then looks to Hitoshi, just staring at him blankly after he questions the restaurant choice until he pretends to give in.
Berii opens up the door and looks around for someone who appears to have authority in the establishment. After a quick scan she takes a step forward.
"Can our dogs come in? My dog got stolen and eaten last time we left them on their own and I guess they don't want that happening to theirs." Yes, that was the first excuse that came to Berii's mind, albeit a terrible one hopefully it will make them feel bad enough if dogs weren't allowed. Even if Berii herself didn't look so sympathetic.
"Hmm, what?" At the counter is a mousy-looking woman, probably in her thirties. "Oh… yes. Sure, they can come in." She waves them in. "Come, uh, have a seat. What would you like. Er, what would you like? Three Kidz-Pax?" This woman is not familiar to Hitoshi. However, long it's been since the boy was last here, the staff has been replaced. "Yoru," she calls back to the kitchen, "Uh, three Kidz-Paaaax!"
Taiki barely manages to suppress a double take at Berii's comment, while Shinobu whines excessively and positions himself right at Taiki's leg, as if trying to distance himself from Berii. "Ber'chan!" he calls out, showing feigned annoyance and keeping in character by using shortened versions of their name. "You're scaring the dog!" Not to mention his partner, but the less said about that the better. As the lady seems to fumble over the order he looks at her with a very slightly interested look for just a moment before dismissing it and moving in to find a seat. "Pop a squat," he basically orders the other two, indicating the table he's sat at.
Shinobu doesn't bother going under the table. Instead he takes a seat to Taiki's left and whines again with a slight flare of the nostrils. Taiki himself reaches over and scratches the dog's head, not like someone intimately familiar with dogs, but like someone who kinda knows dogs and has been tasked to watching one or two. "Lay down boy, no one is going to eat you." At this point Taiki appears to be thoughtful before asking, "Do you have any tea ma'am?" His hands gesture about the place, as if he's one of those people who just can't keep their hands still. But at the same time either Hitoshi or Berii should be able to pick up hand signs buried within the gestures at certain intervals. "And what is all in this Kid's Pack you're talking about?" Again with the disinterested voice, but at least it keeps his hands moving.
"It's obviously a kid's meal, Tai-san." Tai-san. It doesn't quite sound -right.- Bleh. As Taiki takes the reigns and leads the charge in finding seating, though, Hitoshi doesn't complain. His mind's elsewhere. As he slides into his seat, he casts his glance toward Taiki, furrowing his eyebrows a little bit, before looking back toward the frazzled woman.
"I think the better question is, what does it come with?" He smiles toward Taiki, then, before glancing toward Berii for a moment, raising his eyebrows toward her and rolling his neck a little… He says nothing, his head tilted toward the woman slightly in a pointing manner. He shakes his head then, shrugging his shoulders. Another signal for Berii and Taiki to pick up on, perhaps. "It doesn't really matter to -me,- personally. I'm just friggin' hungry." With a bit of a huff, then, he casts another glance around… kicking back in his chair slightly and scanning the place.
Berii nods to the woman and then rolls her eyes, "Tai, they don't even know what we're saying, hnn. Might just smell something bad." Berii then goes to sit down, giving the two dogs the best apologetic look she could give. Seeing they were ordered for by the woman, Berii gives a glance to Taiki's hand motions, "Stop fidgeting, we get it you're hungwy." She sighs tapping her fingers on the table, "I gotta get away fwom you two…" She gets up as quickly as she sat down and turns off to the lady's room.
"It comes with, uh…" The woman grabs a menu and opens it up. "A small tamagodon, six pieces of agedashi tofu, and mochi for dessert." She puts the menu on the table for the team to peruse. "So that's one tea, one Kidz Pack, and uh…" She just kinda watches as Berii walks off. "Okay then. Just-just a minute." She hurries back into the kitchen.
Taiki's eyes widen as the woman mentions him just wanting tea. He tries to wave the woman down with one hand, while the other hand is under the table out of her sight doing very deliberate hand signs for Taizen, 'check kitchen, smell target, stronger.' Then he makes a grab for Shinobu, as if trying to keep from falling over. "Hey lady, I want food too… I just want something to drink first," he says in a panicky voice. His head nods upwards toward the door, as if emphasizing the point that his next step would be to follow her. Hopefully Hitoshi would realize this. "Hurry back!" he adds to Berii, but what that really means is anyone's guess, though Taiki is gesturing toward the kitchen door as he speaks. He does indeed look figitty at the moment.
"Hey, yeah! We all want food!" Hitoshi frowns, suddenly, a hand coming down on the table and smacking it with as much non-focused gusto as he can… which is still just a little bit. Enough to rattle it a little and probably get attention. "Are you not paying attention or something? Jeeze!" He lets his hands fall under the table, and he rests his hands in his lap, seemingly. He looks toward Taiki, and for a moment, raises a finger up to his lips before letting them fall again. Before Taiki realizes it, there's -two- Hitoshi… the other still with his finger pressed against his lips as he begins to slip off, when the woman's not looking. Toward the kitchen… not directly, but in a manner that keeps him low, and keeps him quiet.
Closer and closer. Now, that kunai he had in his pocket? Drawn. He slips out of sight, trying to keep hidden while performing his feat of eavesdropping. He's not even in Taiki's sight… This may not bode well for any of them!
Berii throws a hand up in the air, blowing Taiki off as she makes a sweep of the area while walking toward her proposed destination, all the while observing Hitoshi's movements until he drops into hiding. Berii glances back to see that this was a secondary Hitoshi. They seemed to have picked up on something but, Berii continues on for now. Berii slips into a stall, summoning up a few weapons from a scroll now that she lacked her oversized caligraphy sleeves. When the weapons are properly concealed she gives the toilet a flush stops at the sink just to wash her hands.
It turns out she actually needed some time apart from the two to psych herself up a bit. The girl started making tough guy faces in the mirror eventually sighing abd shaking her head.
"I'm telling you, Mini," comes the man's voice, "They're not secret Konoha agents or whatever, they're just a bunch of kids. What makes you think they know anything?" Mini obviously does not agree. "I don't know who they are!" she shoots back, "But I've never seen them before, and they just walked in like it's nobody's business with a couple of dogs. They're probably blood hounds, come to sniff out our secrets. Help me pile furniture up against the door and we'll escape out the back." Yoru laughs. "You can't be serious." He pushes open the door, "Look, they're just a bunch of— " He stops as he notices Hitoshi, sitting in the chair… and also sneaking towards the kitchen. "Twins…?" he says uneasily. In a second, his face darkens. He immediately heads back into the kitchen. There are a few hushed whispers, followed by the sound of numerous pots and pans clattering as they fall on the floor.
Taiki arches a brow at the man's change in expression and his immediate return to the kitchen. "They caught you," he says, reverting back to his own style of speech at this point. Focusing chakra into his nose and ears, he says, "I can smell something similar to that envelope inside the kitchen, and ordinary kitchen and office type things. Both the woman and man are in there as well…" He gets up and starts for the kitchen taking the right side. He motions for Hitoshi to take the left, and hopes and prays Berii gets back out here soon. If he sees her, he'll motion for her to follow Shinobu around to the back of the store at quickest possible speeds, over the building if needs be. Taizen is ordered to assist the two male genin. All this is done via hand signs as he tries to get there as quietly as possible.
"-Shit.-" Yeah, Hitoshi's own voice reverts after a moment, too, unable to keep that 'super-young squeek' up anymore.
In a puff of smoke, that clone dissipates, and Hitoshi himself moves from the table, following the handsignal. He takes left, letting Taiki take the right side. He flanks himself next to the door, looking toward Taiki and furrowing his eyebrows. He motions softly, and after the signal, he actually pulls the kunai out of his pocket, for real, spinning it slightly so that it's at a dueling position. Two more hand signals: 'breach and advance.' Three fingers go up then.
When the last one goes down, Hitoshi comes around and outright -smashes- at the door with his foot, aiming as steadily and as high as he can to force the thing open with a CRASH. At which point, he and Taiki should be ready to move in.
The sound of clattering, althought a bit dull within her bathroomly confines. Berii /did/ see Hitoshi with a weapon when he snuck off, he couldn't honestly of stabbed one of the workers. The Uchiha's eyes narrow and she slips out of the bathroom, her movements switching to that of someone in stealth as she takes a look about the area to see what was going on. Right then and there she hears the sound of the door getting kicked in just as she makes eye contact with Shinobu. The girl misses Taiki's signal but, gets the drift. A nod is given and she was glad she did take some time to prepare weapons and so Berii and Shinobu were off.
Inside the kitchen, things are a complete mess. The gas stove is on and a messy pile of paper is right next to it. A few sheets have burned edges, indicating that this is a sloppy attempt by Mini and Yoru at getting rid of the evidence. All over the floor are pots, pans, and dishes, explaining all the noise from a few seconds ago. They appear to have been cleared off a counter by Mini and Yoru, who are now standing on top of said counter. Yoru opens a window and starts trying to climb through. Luckily, it's a small window and Yoru has somewhat generous proportions. Mini shrieks as she realizes that Yoru is stuck, picking up a frying pan that had avoided the counter-clearing and hurls it toward the door. Not even looking to see if it hits, she starts shoving against Yoru, who protests loudly.
Taiki grins slightly as he sees this. So far he doesn't even have to move much, or run very fast. But to bring his point home he reaches behind his back and pulls a kunai from inside his clothes. Noting this one does not have an explosive tag on it, he takes careful aim and throws… aiming for the wall beside Yoru, about an inch away. "Freeze!" he calls out, moving a bit more as he does. "You aren't getting out that way, and even if you do, there's someone waiting for you. Now, cease your resistance or the next one won't miss." He pulls another one out, faintly noticing the explosive tag on it. "And this one will hurt a lot more."
Of course, Hitoshi would pile in with Taiki, a kunai drawn as well. However, he's not quite -as fast- as the typical Genin, and thus…
Frying pan hits his head. Squarely.
"Ow, damn it!"
Berii followed along a bit longer without question until Shinobu hopped out of the window and out of view. 'What in the world is he up to?' Without an ounce of hesitation she dives out of the low window and into a roll. With a quick tumble she is able to look around and spot Shinobu running around the corner.
When she finally catches up, the dog barks at a window up above. "Neh, up there?" Instinct would send her calculating the jump in order to fly through without injuring herself and then…
"Oh yeah." That whole tree walking business happened, didn't it?
With a leap, she clears half the wall just as Yoru pops up, leaving her in an awkward position of just hanging around just below the window. "Neh?" The window lodged man gets a disappointed look from Berii as she pulls out a kunai. "Guess you caught yo'self, hnn."
"We…" Mini glances around, realizing that she and Yoru are probably done for. "We surrender." She puts her hand up in the air. Yoru's legs are still kicking around, though he stops once Mini quits trying to shove him through. "What is it you want from us?" asks Mini, worried. She eyes the stove and papers. There are a few more stacks of papers scattered around the room, but only the ones near the stove have been disturbed. Also of note here are three doors. One is the same door the team just entered through, but one is a heavy metal freezer door, one is a normal door, possibly leading to a pantry or an office.
Taiki tries to take in the situation carefully and completely without taking his eyes off the captives. "First, pull him back in here. But be warned, try /anything/ and well…" He waves the kunai he has in his hand from side to side briefly. "A kunai wound is painful enough, but one with an explosive tag attached will introduce hitherto unknown realms of pain… for the split second before it reduces your body to a mess small enough to fit in a shoe box." This threat is given with a completely straight face, making it evident he would not hesitate to do that in the least. "Then, I want to know the location of Kitabatake. Our dogs smelled him in here, so do not try and deny you don't know him. Lastly, we want to know what is going on in this village, why Kitabatake was captured, and a list of /everyone/ involved. Or… you could clam up… in which case I start trying to get the information out of you. I would not recommend that path, you will not enjoy it." Understatement of the century there…
It only took a moment for Hitoshi to recover from the fact he was hit in the head with the flying projectile. Even if it's a stainless steel pan, it was against someone with a rather high pain threshold. As Taiki ticks off his remarks, though, Hitoshi quietly produces the picture they had been peddling and he holds it up for the woman to be able to see.
Also, of note, his disguise has failed. Getting hit in the head with the frying pan was enough to break his train of thought — and thus, he's back to black headed, green eyed 'Toshi. And slightly taller, too. "This isn't too hard," he remarks softly, "if you can just help us. We just need to know what happened to him. Otherwise, as my associate said, we'll have to get it out of you." He pauses, then, glancing toward Taiki for a moment and pursing his lips… but he says nothing. That look, though… it's kind of a disconcerting one. Nn.
Berii didn't know what to do with the man, he was blocking one of the faster ways in. "Hnn, jeez." Berii moves up and starts to shove Yoru back into the window as best she could at this angle. "Hnnnnnngh!" In he goes! Berii drops down for a moment to scoop Shinobu up, walking back up and stepping into the window.
"Aye! Good job guys!" A large grin on her face, obviously impressed with what they did even if the whole window plugging thing may of been mostly Yoru's fault. She drops in and places Shinobu down on the counter, belatedly picking up on the tense vibe in the air. Taiki gets a momentary look before Berii eventually looks over to Hitoshi, her expression showing that she was quite lost and possibly getting a little nervous.
She did not hear what Taiki had to say though she could at least /feel/ it.
Yoru falls back into the kitchen, landing on the floor with a crash, dazed. Mini, white with fear, swallows as she looks at the picture Hitoshi holds up for her, then points wordlessly towards the plain door.
"Hi'san, will you go check that room for me please? Don't worry about our guests, Ber'san and I will keep them in good company," Taiki asks pleasantly enough of Hitoshi. The look is pretty much ignored as the next command is given out. "Shinobu, GUARD." With that the dog goes into a half crouch, lips snarled as he gives off a low growl. "Even if the kunai doesn't reach you, he will. And he's like me in many ways, but the one most important to you right now is that neither one of us are very lenient against those we consider enemies. Just a thought." Okay, so now he just channeled Atsuro sensei…
After Shinobu makes his point, he stays in the position he's in and appears to be watching the two captives very carefully. "Ber'san, can you please search them and remove anything they may have hidden on their person. If they resist, there's no need to be gentle." The eerie smile on Taiki's face accompanying that statement, while he is looking directely at the captives, gets his point across. "Now… I believe it's time you answered the other questions. Why was Kitabatake captured? And who is involved?" Taiki's tone now is a little impatient…
"All right," Hitoshi remarks quietly, smiling softly and pocketing the picture. He reaches out and lightly pats the woman on the shoulder, smiling still. "Was that so hard?" And with that, he steps back a pace or two, reaches into his pocket, and outs with his forehead protector, sliding it around his head and re-tying it. He glances over toward Taiki, shrugging a little, remarking, "the cat's out of the bag. So." He taps at the marking on the protector, before moving toward the door. He isn't even going to bother to knock. Instead…
He simply opens the door. Or attempts to, anyway, jiggling at the knob a bit and moving to get it open, pushing against it a little to open it up.
Berii blinks, taken back by Taiki's words and now the bad chi's source is terribly obvious. "Tai…" Berii frowns but, doesn't say a word a bit shaken by his attitude. Standing over the two she weaves her hands around a few times, barely visible wire glinting in whatever light it manages to catch as she ties up the two at the wrists and ankles.
A security measure if you will, she didn't want them snapping at her while she was searching for things. Berii pats them down as best as she could without being /too/ invasive. "Toshi-kun…" Berii halts her search for a moment as the boy approaches the door, "Be ca'ful." She didn't like the fact that not a sound had been made from that room. Berii's search becomes slow as she gets a bit tense, ready to run if anything.
Mini and Yoru remain silent and don't try to escape, even as Berii binds them. Yoru is too stunned to do much of anything, and Mini too afraid. It looks like they're going to be cooperative. Berii's search turns up nothing of any note, aside from the pencil and notepad Mini used to take their order earlier. Mini answers the questions, but it comes out as a confused babble. "The-the ninja said to tell them if we thought anyone knew, and he kept coming here, and watching us, and he wasn't affected! So we told them and they caught him and tied him up and put him in there."
Hitoshi, meanwhile, has found a little office. Inside is a couple of filing cabinets, a small office desk with papers scattered all over it, and Kitabatake himself, bound and gagged on a chair, and looking a bit worse for the wear. Once he spots Hitoshi, he starts writhing around and trying to talk. "Mmm, mm, mmmmmm…!"
Taiki simply taps his forehead and says, "Kai." The henge falls away, and with it a lot of the homicidal pressure in the room. Taiki's eyes, reverting back to their slits, look at Mini and asks, "What ninja? Do you know where they came from? What did their headbands look like?" He simply grasps the kunai by its handle now, no longer keeping it in position to throw it. "And what was he supposedly not affected by?" he asks. Glancing toward the broken door and out into the town he adds, "Does whatever that was have something to do with the strange way the people of this village are acting?" Apparently Taiki's evaluation of the pair has changed. "Oh, and who did you report to and where?"
A kunai is brought up at the ready and Hitoshi slowly approaches, his eyes scanning. "Our package is here is here," he calls out, squatting down in front of the man and quietly examining him. "And it doesn't look harmed. Just tightly wrapped." He looks him over again, mentally comparing his image to the picture he had. When he seems satisfied, he reaches to remove the gag. "Sorry," he remarks, before ripping off the gag - tape and all - and tossing it aside.
Then, the kunai is brought up to the man's throat, and the point kept there very, very carefully in the small of it. "But, you get one chance. And only once chance. Full name. Your mission, and -why- you thought it was a good idea to keep our village in the loop."
It was Hitoshi's turn to be a little rough. "Remember, Batke-san. One chance." He smiles, then, tilting his head a little bit as he watches the man. "No pressure!"
Berii looks at the pencil and notepad, then shrugs, putting them up on the counter. "Ninja huh?" Berii doesn't say much more, Taiki was firing off question after question. Instead, Berii makes the two on the floor more comfortable by propping them up before she takes a peek at the papers that have been a mess. "Hnn, what's with this?" Berii flips through the pages, while she's doing this she takes a glance at the other doors in the room as Hitoshi calls out.
With the tone of his voice, she assumes that the "package" was in decent condition so gives a sigh of relief. Everyone seemed to be alive through all of this.
"They're from Kiri," Mini manages through a sob, "Yoru and I are scientists from the Land of Waves. We were researching a new kind of sedative. But we were kidnapped by Kiri ninja, and they made us develop an airborne form. They said they'd let us go when we were finished, but before they let us go, they want us to test it. We've been releasing it in the village and observing. We tried to escape, but they said they'd kill us if we didn't stay." She looks over to Berii and answers. "Those are our notes. We tried to destroy them before we escaped." Indeed, they do appear to be notes on the sedatives. They say things like 'causes depression of the central nervous system' and 'blocks neurotransmitters.' Sciency stuff like that.
Kitabatake grunts a little at having a kunai pressed to his throat, but having been a ninja once, he's accustomed to this sort of thing. "Kitabatake Kouta," he answers, "I'm supposed to observe goings on in this area and report back to Konoha. I used to be in the ninja corps, but I was injured and they declared me unfit for duty, but they still pay me enough to live off of for this."
Taiki looks over to Berii and asks, "Do the notes match up?" Once he has his answer he looks toward the scientists and drops the hostile act entirely. "So you're innocents caught up in all of this. I wonder why that guard would direct us to you though…" He shrugs after a moment's thought and says, "But that pretty much explains the reactions of the locals toward us. They were confusing far too much of what we said…" He then turns toward Taizen, who was doing whatever, and says, "Taizen… you may want to locate Atsuro'sensei. The situation is far to advanced for someone of our level to handle ourselves. Tell him we found our objective, but the situation just got very complicated. And give him a basic rundown if you can. Just make sure you're not caught. If you're unable to reach him, come back and let us know, okay?"
"My father could use a smart man like you if you're that hard pressed for work. Number crunching would probably be easier for a little while," Hitoshi remarks softly, and quietly, he lowers his kunai, breathing out slightly, relieved. "Be still."
With that, he moves around quietly, and using the kunai, he cuts through the man's bindings, careful to not knick his wrists as he does so. "It's kind of a relief," he remarks softly, "to, y'know. See you're okay." He pauses, chuckling a little bit. "Hail the conquering heroes, eh? You'll probably be able to go home now, since the war's over."
After that little spiel, he begins to direct Kitabatake out of the office, stepping out in admist the conversation going on regarding the interrogation. He pauses, blinking a little bit, and he tilts his head. "—the fact that something comparable to an airborne sedative is probably floating in the air around us is more than just a little complicated," he remarks softly. He then catches himself breathing in… slowly. "We probably need to get these folks out of here, at least," he remarks, gesturing to the two scientists and Kitabatake.
Woo! Sciency stuff. The kinda stuff that Berii continues to flip through while pretending to understand but, gave up a while ago.
"Yeah, solid notes." She unrolls a scroll and places the papers on top of it, sealing them within to return to Konohagakure's scientist. "Doesn't seem to be at its best yet but… hopefuwy we can countew it compwetewy…"
Berii then turns to the metal door, giving off a stressed huff before she moves towards it. "Mmmkay. Guessing the stuff you guys've been woiking on is inside this, neh?" Berii steps back as the door swings open, scroll ready to seal whatever else may be useful to them unless you know it was just food storage. "Hnn…"
Taizen heads off, quickly tracking down Atsuro in the docks area and bringing him back to the team. "So you've found something?" he begins, "One of the villagers mentioned seeing Kiri-nin— " He pauses as he spots Kitabatake. "Oh. Well, good work, everyone." Things are soon sorted out, and the team gathers up the notes and heads back to Konoha with the Mini, Yoru, and Kitabatake in tow. When they reach the village, the two scientists are taken in for questioning and Atsuro and Kitabatake are taken in for debriefing. Not before Atsuro promises to buy the team dinner at a nice restaurant, however.