Date: February 11, 2016
On the return trip from the border, both Land of Rain ninja and foreigners cross paths without realizing it in a town known as Roppongi.
"Port In A Storm"
Roppongi, Land of Rain
Just another half-drowned town in the Land of Rain. Kokoro at least has more dry ground now that she is back from that mission to patrol the border between the Land of Fire and Land of Rain. There were no incidents, aside from that strange meeting in the tiny slum-like area right before the border. But now she's back, after several soggy days of looking for trouble that never came, and is reporting back to Amegakure. But first she has to get there, and one of the rest stops for her and some other Genin is this town known as Roppongi.
Unlike many other locales in this country, it is built upon a solid base that elevates it above the level of potential flood waters, and is specifically designed to allow accumulating rain water to flow down various sluices and canals, and out into a river, which in turn leads to a water purification facility, which was damaged during the wars but is now on its way to being fully repaired. Rain water isn't necessarily safe to drink, after all. Even in a land as wet as this, fresh water can be scarce. Boiling it when so much of the wood is wet can be difficult.
So this town is like an island of stone with many staircases leading up its sides, cutting back and forth to various balconies and platforms which in turn have everything from fruit stands and large tents for simple cover from the rain, to tunnels leading into the man-made mountain, where houses, restaurants, inns, workshops, and armories can be found. At the very top of Roppongi is a small forest, more like a park, which may serve as a gathering place for celebrations in those rare instances where the sky is somewhat clear, among other uses.
Kokoro is seated, warm and dry for the first time in days, in one of the inns carved out of the mountain, with various other Genin, who seem mostly to be glad to be out of the rain or complaining about the mission. The ones who aren't war orphans seem to be most of the latter group.
There are many tables, a roaring fireplace, food and drink for those who can afford it, and rooms down various smooth, carved tunnels for guests of the inn to stay in for the night.
A blue-haired woman named Anju, in a high-collared white long coat and black rubber boots, is trudging along the mud flats all around Roppongi, heading for the nearest of the staircases. Sunglasses seemingly unnecessary in such dim light cover her eyes, as she reaches and then ascends the carved stone steps. It's been a long, messy walk, but with some solid ground beneath her, she feels better already. You use different muscles walking on uneven terrain than solid ground. It's why long walks over water can leave an unpracticed ninja quite sore. The bluenette, however, seems to be going up the stairs just fine, with no sign of fatigue. Perhaps she's used to walking on many different types of terrain.
When she eventually makes it up to one of the platforms, she spends some time examining and then buying an umbrella, before asking for directions to an inn. Some minutes later, she enters the same cave-like rest stop as a group of Amegakure ninja are gathered in. She is pretty soaked, so takes a seat by the fire after ordering a drink.
Quietly, she just tries to get dried off and warmed up. Her manner of dress doesn't look like it's from around here, but it also doesn't look like it's from anywhere in particular. If anything, it looks like something a medic might wear. Anju turns to whoever is closest to her, looking them over, and eventually asks out loud, to whoever may know the answer, "Are there rooms available? There seems to be quite a crowd."
An single person, drenched from the constant rain of this land plods along the stone paved streets of Roppongi. An all weather cloak hides his features while at the very least, the sign of a large pack under the cloak tells you that this man is a traveled of some kind. Thick boots keep out most of the water but they're no substitute to a warm and dry inn where the man is making his way towards. The single man climbs the stone steps and slopes carefully since they're wet and could be slick in spots with all this rain. He looks up, his white eyebrows and shiny blue eyes clearly visible within the pulled over hood, stare out at his destination up head. "Finally, some time to get out of this rain." He steps into the cave inn, which could be a good name for this place considering the architecture.
The man lets his cloak dry and run off the last bit of water from its proofed skin before removing it showing a short, but older man, probably in his 30's. His pack is swelling with gear with every pocket hiding something inside. Dispite his effort at defending himself from the weather, he's still a bit wet and shakes the rain off his arms as he walks over to the fire and slowly pulls off his travel pack. He sets it down against the warm stone of the mantel and rubs his hand to fight off the chill as well, same as Anju.
Kokoro is one of a few people who look up when the blue-haired woman speaks. It's true, the stranger doesn't look like she's from around here. And in a country like this, where even people who DO look like they belong here aren't necessarily trusted, that's cause for suspicion. Kokoro looks around the tables with other Genin seated at them, however, and notes how everyone else is being quiet, unsure of what to do.
She takes it upon herself to answer, just as another stranger walks through the door. "As far as I'm aware, there are still rooms available. If there aren't, there are other inns in Roppongi that may have a different story." Then she turns back to her food… While watching both Anju and Ryouji out of the corner of her eye, and memorizing every detail of their appearances.
It's not her place to take action if they try anything weird. But she wants to have something to report, if they do.
Anju turns her head towards the newly-entered individual, who seems to be as glad to be out of the rain as everyone else here. This is kind of a miserable country to stay in long-term. But not everyone has a choice, do they? "Thank you. I'll inquire with the owner then," she answers to the Genin. Then her drink is handed to her by a waitress, and she accepts it. "…After I've finished this drink, that is." She then takes in Ryouji from behind her sunglasses.
After several seconds of staring, she turns her gaze back on the fire, and begins to sample her drink. Well, 'sample' may be a bit incorrect. She guzzles half the mug in short order, and then wipes her mouth with a handkerchief from one of her pockets. Her coat is dirty enough without smearing booze foam all over it.
A peal of thunder sounds off in the distance, the echoing boom a familiar sound to those hailing from the Land of Rain. The door to the inn opens quietly. Well, as quiet as the door can open with the thunderstorm going on outside anyway. Standing in the door is a tall figure, dressed in a long black overcoat, with a pair of blackened goggles and rebreather strapped to his face. The rain patters down the man's form, his clothing obviously soaked with rain. He doesn't seem to much mind it, however, stepping in and moving to a counter in relative silence. It isn't readily apparent if the man is a ninja or just a civilian, but with the confidence in his stride, it wouldn't be hard to figure out he was a local. He takes note of those in the inn in silence, before nodding to a few he might recognize. "Lovely day, isn't it?" The voice sounds raspy and mechanical from the rebreather, and a small cloud of cooled breath leaks out of the front, quickly disappating in the warm arm of the inn.
Ryouji nods blank faced towards Anju, because being polite is good. But once he's warm again he picks up his travel pack and walks towards the counter where the owner probably is. He does take note of the people in the room, not memorizing faces or looking too hard, that might be noticed. But it is prudent to note where people are should anyone try anything funny. The man turns towards the person behind the counter and says in a raspy voice, "I'd like a room for a few days." Ryouji pulls out a soggy roll of ryu and hurms, looking at it in his hand. "Well, money is money…" and sets down a good amount to rent out whatever rooms are open here. He looks over at the man who just walked in and chuckles, "I guess you could say that." He's never seen someone in a rebreather before and so stares for a bit longer than he should. Ryouji takes the key from the counter and walks over to a table, sits down, and orders a drink, green tea, from a passing waitress.
And here's yet another stranger, though this one looks distinctly ninja-like! She may have gotten the 'vibe' of a ninja or at least someone unusual from Anju, but Honosuke is wearing a flak jacket. That's not standard equipment for civilians. But the general garb, with the rebreather and so on, is very Amegakure-like… "Pardon me for asking, but where are you three headed?"
The trio who just entered aren't ACTING like they know each other, but three strangers all entering in quick succession and acting clueless isn't impossible. It might be part of some deception. At least this way, she can find out what their cover story is, and watch for discrepencies. "There was a warning of flash floods in the area. It might not be safe to travel for awhile, so I thought I'd see if you could reach your destinations quickly or not." She smiles faintly from behind her goggles. "For safety's sake."
Safety is definitely Kokoro's concern. Maybe just not necessarily theirs.
Hmmmm. Another traveller. Anju gets to her feet though she isn't quite done drying off. If there's going to be a constant stream of new guests to the inn, she'd better get a room while she can. After the man who dumps soggy money on the counter gets his room, the blue-haired woman steps up to the counter after him and does likewise. Though her money is dry, not wet. "Same as him, though I may be moving along more quickly."
Upon returning from the counter, she looks towards the inquisitive Genin, and the rebreather-wearing man, and all the Genin in the inn. She is getting the feeling it would actually be healthier to move on right now rather than stick around. But giving the impression she is staying when she's not may be useful. "Is that so?" she replies to Kokoro before seating herself by the fire once more. "I'm not headed anywhere in particular. I am a travelling doctor. I go where I'm needed. I'll probably look around for anyone in need of medical treatment here and then move on."
She avoids engaging in too much idle chatter, though she does say, "I actually thought that this was standard weather for this region."
Ryouji gets his glass of green tea handed to him and he takes a long sip of the warm liquid. Much better. Ryouji says with a raspy voice, "I'm a merchant, looking for opportunities to sell my guild's wears here in town. I plan on staying a few days and hopefully make some contacts I could take back to my guild in the Land of Grass." He grumbles and leans back in the chair, running a hand through his pepper grey hair. "Much too much rain here for me, to be honest. But, my guild wishes for me to be here, so, here I am." If anyone knows anything about the land of grass, there are no merchant guilds there.
And so it goes into the night… Possibly with one or more of those present gone before the morning comes.