Date: November 1, 2012
Amiko, Yukio and Ei are sent on a mission to retrieve an artifact stolen from a noble
"Retrieve the Falcon Statuette!"
Land of Fire
Although Amiko had been intending to start taking missions on the behalf of Konohagakure, when she'd arrived at the Ninja Administration Building she'd been
surprised to find an Uzushiogakure Ninja waiting for her with a mission scroll from her home village. Of course the nearly-broke Uzumaki-nin gratefully accepted the
"There are some guidelines to go with the team composition for this mission," the Uzushio-nin explained, "We've decided to test this new business relationship
with Jump. We need to be sure that they can handle simple missions before we can trust them completely with client jobs, so we've invited them to send a representative
to help with this mission. Also, because the mission takes place in the Land of Fire, we've invited Konohagakure to supply a ninja to represent their interests for
this mission as well. Ei-san and Yukio-san should be waiting for you by the village's main gate."
Outside its a beautiful day. The heatwave of the past weeks has subsided enough to make it a wonderful day to be outside. There's barely a cloud in the sky and
visibility is high. Perfect! Amiko walks purposefully toward the village's main gate, a backpack over one shoulder and her forehead protector, which she normally wears
further back on her head, is pulled forward almost to her eyebrows. She comes to a stop directly in front of the gate, folding her arms as she peers around for her
team, which should be gathering here soon, if not here already.
Ei is indeed waiting just outside of the gates, so likely isn't readily noticeable. However, Amiko /does/ sort of stand out a bit so as soon as she notices
the woman, she waves to try and get her attention. The teen is garbed in a short kimono that only goes to about mid-thigh with spandex pants beneath in order to cover
more skin. The kimono is designed with a crane and a river-like pattern near the bottom.
Yukio on the other hand was waiting on a nearby rooftop. Leaping into the air, born aloft by wind, he landed next to the two, once they come closer together.
"Good to see you again, Amiko-kun, and nice to meet you, Fujiwara-san." he says, giving a slight bow from the hips. He decided to actually -ask- who he was being
teamed with. Not an unreasonable request, no? Even if all he got were names. "So then, what is the mission?" he asks, looking between the other two.
Amiko nods in greeting to both Ei and Yukio, and immediately motions for them to follow. She walks out the gate, and immediately begins running, saying, "I'll
brief you while we run. Yesterday an important item was stolen from a local lord, Lord Mazikawa. He approached Uzushiogakure with a mission to retrieve the item
because it was originally a gift from the rulers of the Land of Waterfalls. Yukio is involved as the representative for the Land of Fire, as the mission is occurring
on their soil. Ei-san is here to represent Jump. Jump is a neutral organisation, but they are looking at handling some outsourced missions, and also good friends of
mine. The item we're looking for is a statuette of a falcon with spread wings, and a snake coiled underneath it. Its about two feet high, and pretty heavy, so unless
the thieves were incredibly strong they couldn't have just picked it up and walked off with it. That should give us some clues as to how to go about tracking it down.
Our primary contact will be Mazikawa's head of security, Tsukato, but in general the mission will be up to us from start to finish. Any questions?" Amiko tries to
judge the pace of her team, keeping up with them and pushing their speed without getting too far ahead. Still, the speed is enough to whip her hair about behind her as
Ei gives a polite bow to the two of them and then blinks in surprise when the woman starts to run without any warning. Even so, she follows suit and listens
carefully. Very interesting… The teen shakes her head when asked if she has any questions. There doesn't seem to be anything for her to ask. Amiko was fairly clear
about what they were looking for and other details. It is pretty clear she is leading them to where they will start their search from… or at least that's what she
Overall, the green-haired girl seems able to keep up without much difficulty at all. She seems competant at this, at least.
Yukio followed closely behind, keeping up with them easily. "So all we have to do is find, and retrieve the statue. Nice, easy, simple. We can be home in time
for dinner." he says, the wind seeming to part for him as he ran. It was becoming clear he was built for distance running, not speed running, but his Ninjutsu let him
make up for that a bit.
Amiko keeps up her steady but quick pace for nearly an hour. She slows down as they get in sight of a distant estate, its huge walls hiding all but the highest
building, which seems to be a small palace of some description. The final ten minutes of the trip are made at a quick walking pace, and after a few minutes the guards
on the walls spot the approaching ninja. Keen ears might even pick up the sound of bows and crossbows being drawn in anticipation of a potential fight. Amiko simply
ignores the hostility and walks right up to the front gate.
"We're the ninja requested by Lord Mazikawa. Please open the gate," she requests with a business-like tone, and folds her arms over her chest intimidatingly.
In a brief moment when she's sure that none of the guards above are looking, she turns to Ei and Yukio, winking conspiratorially at them with a bemused smile, but then
she's all business when she turns back toward the gate. Several long, tense minutes pass before the gate opens and Tsukato stands just inside with a guard on either
side of him.
"Welcome, ninja. I'll show you to the display room where the statuette was being displayed. The rest is up to you," he says, turning and leading the way
without so much as an introduction or a smile. Clearly he has no respect for ninja.
Ei is, perhaps, a little out of breath when they finally stop, but she isn't gasping for air in the least. When Amiko decides to take the intimidating route,
the Jump member just raises her eyebrows interestedly. To her, it seems like a strange tactic. She doesn't question it, however, and just looks up at the guards
curiously as they wait. When the gates finally open, she offers a small bow to the man out of respect. Whether he has any for her or not isn't important. In fact…
she's not technically a ninja, anyway, even though she's affiliating with them and does actually have such abilities. Regardless, she simply follows after, presumably,
Amiko, to investigate the scene of the crime.
The sound of arrows, and crossbows coming to the ready brings Yukios attention upwards, before he looks back down to Amiko's back, hoping she had it handled.
Just in case, he whispers a small prayer to his blades, as he always did before battle. "Be ready, Hana." he says, his hand trailing down, and his fingers gently
touching one of the hilts. But obviously she did, after all. Yukios focus was impeccable. Must be all that meditation he does all the time. Once he's on his mission,
he's on his mission. He offers a small bow towards Tsukato, and follows behind the other two as they make their way in.
Amiko offers a small bow to Tsukato, almost more of a nod than a proper bow, and follows the man into the interior of the palace. The first noticeable thing
about the building is that the hallways are almost bare of any kind of decoration, except for the occasional tapestry hung on a wall. As the group passes a cluster of
doorways that must lead into the servant quarters the sound of a barely audible conversation comes from behind one of them. The sound is too muffled to be understand,
but is clearly human speech.
Tsukato leads on into the main reception hall, where several long tables are laid out. Clearly this is where the lord holds banquets for guests and such.
Tsukato takes another door out of the banquet hall and after a walk down a short corridor he opens another door. Gesturing inside he says, "This is the display room.
As you can see, the furthest display at the back is empty, which is where the statuette was displayed. The rest of the items have been catalogued, so don't even
consider trying to sneak any out of this room." With that he turns and walks away dismissively.
Amiko sighs and shakes her head but steps into the room and starts looking around.
Ei follows after to the display room, looking around carefully. When Tsukato explains things and leaves, she bows her head thankfully and follows Amiko into
the room in order to look around. Nothing seems to be out of place to her… other than the obvious. This is when she sighs, already feeling useless. This isn't really
going to give Jump a good name. So she looks toward Amiko, waiting until she looks over before shrugging her shoulders disappointedly.
Yukio takes a nice loooong look around the room, going over every detail, as he sees them. He slowly makes his way around the room, checking every wall,
slowly knocking on every wall, measuring the sounds, and the volume of the response each time, until he gets to the wall behind the case, knocking at them with the
Amiko watches as her team goes about their business checking the room. In the meantime Amiko steps out of the room and investigates the hallway, checking the
floor, walls and ceiling. She walks around the corner and peeks into a couple of the rooms around there and then returns to the display room. Seeing Yukio tapping on
walls and whatnot she asks, "Have you found something, Yukio-san?" Amiko walks over to stand next to Yukio and get a better look into the display area, nodding and
looking very thoughtful. Then she beckons to Ei to come a little closer, saying to her, "Don't worry about not seeing it this time. You'll get your chance, and its
much more important to stay teachable than to always get things right. Now, do you see anything here in the display case area?" She raises an eyebrow questioningly and
looks to Ei, waiting for her response.
Ei watches the boy go about his investigation for a moment before noticing Amiko's summoning. She walks closer and listens. Part of her is a bit annoyed that
this has become a teaching session rather than the mission it is supposed to be, but it is certainly better than being written off as a failure. What better time to
learn than at a time one can test their abilities? So, she examines the case and the area around it more intently before rubbing the toe of her shoe against the scuff
marks as she says, "Yes, I do, in fact." Her attention returns to Yukio's knocking, to which she tilts her head and looks around the room as a whole again.
Yukio nods. "The scuffmarks… the sound of the wall…" he looks up at the wall. "It's false. It's likely this is how the theives moved the statue." he says,
looking about. "Check for anything that could act as a switch, or a latch of somesort. It should be in this area, but if not… it could be anywhere in this room." he
says, checking around, and pushing and tugging on the wall, trying to get it to swing free.
Amiko nods with a smile on her face. "Ahh, well that… that I think I've found," she says, beckoning the two to follow her out of the room. She leads them
around the corner and into another room. From a birdseye view it would seem that the new room is right next to the display room. "I noticed before when I was checking
around that this room," she says as she walks over to a wall and lifts a tapestry to reveal a hidden door, "Had a secret exit." Amiko pushes the door open and peers
in. "I didn't think to check in here until I came back and you'd noticed that the statuette was taken through the wall." She steps back away from the door and says to
the rest of the team, "You guys investigate this passage, see if you can work out where the statuette was taken. Its only been 24 hours since it was removed, so surely
it couldn't have gotten far. Meanwhile I've got something else I'd like to check on. I'll catch up with you shortly." With that she gestures into the passage,
instructed Yukio and Ei to move along, and then heads outside.
Ei follows after and hums thoughtfully at the secret door. However, after hearing Amiko's instructions, she blinks. "If it was stolen in this fashion… then
it's likely someone working here that stole it. Shouldn't we attempt to question some people? At the very least while doing this, not necessarily instead." It /might/
take longer that way, she realizes, but at the same time, the actual thief might still be there and have send the statuette off with some comrades or something of the
sort. Either way, she sighs and peeks down the small hallway before looking at Yukio. "You're more attentive than I am, apparently, so do you see anything from here?
It doesn't even look big enough to fit the display box…"
Yukio blinked, and looked along the wall. "See these marks?" he says, motioning at some marks on the walls, about 5 feet off the ground. "It's like something
rubbed against the walls here." he says, walking forward, and taking a closer looks at the marks. "Looks like something was brought through here. It's at about the 5
foot mark…" he stands next to the mark. "Let's see… average of about 5'9"… arms hang down about 3 feet, little less… statue about 2 feet tall, a little more…
they probably took the statue through here."
Ei nods her head. "Ah, of course. Just the statue, not the display. Even so, this is hardly far enough away from the display room to warrant using the secret
passage at all… So where did they take it?" She peers down the hallway for another moment before taking a few steps in and intently looking around for any other
clues. Not long after she does this, she squeaks as she falls through the floor and lands with a heavy thud. "… Ow. Okay, well… that's strange," she mutters as she
looks around carefully. Then she calls up to Yukio, "Can you still hear me?"
Yukio jumps as she falls. "Fujiwara-san, are you allright?" he asked, yelling down the hole. "I can hear you. I'm coming down!" he says, jumping over the edge
of the trapdoor, wind bearing his decent to the ground with a soft landing. "Looked like a trapdoor… are you allright Fujiwara-san?"
Careful examination of the hole shows that it is actually a trap door. Unfortunately it was quite badly designed, and obviously built very quickly and on a
budget, which is why it broke open when Ei stepped on it. In any case, underneath is a large pile of straw which both shinobi have landed in. The surrounding area is
fairly dark, although patches of light filter in through the flooring above. The ground is straight dirt… this is completely underneath the palace! Although its
dark, there are clear tracks nearby. Only one pair, but quite deep as if it were a very large person, or someone carrying a heavy object. In the distance, in the
opposite direction to which the tracks are headed, is the light outline of a door, which appears to lead out from under the palace.
"I'm fine, thank you," Ei responds with a bow of her head. "This is… interesting," she says while looking between the marks in the dirt and the door in the
other direction. "I don't suppose you can manipulate fire enough to give us a quick look around, can you?" She sounds hopeful, but doubtful. Whether or not he can, she
seems more interested in seeing where the indent in the ground leads than necessarily leaving the building.
Yukio glanced about, and nodded. "I'll do you one better…" he pulls out a small torch, and with a few quick handseals, lit it with a lesser Fireball
technique. "Here we go." he says, lifting up the torch, looking about. "The tracks lead off in this direction." he says, following to the door. "So then, shall we?" he
asks with a small smile.
The tracks lead toward a second door on the other side of the palace. Once again the light of day shines in from around the cracks in the door. Opening the
door reveals the back half of the palace. A wagon is nearby, and the tracks lead directly to it. The wagon driver is hurriedly preparing the wagon to leave, tying the
horses' yokes to the wagon. There's also a secondary gate nearby, with a pair of guards standing at attention in front of it. Although it seems relatively peaceful,
the muffled sound of conflict can be heard from inside the palace, with clattering and yelling, and Amiko's voice can vaguely be heard over the top of the ruckus.
Meanwhile the wagon driver sees Yukio and Ei exit from under the palace, and tries to hurry even more while trying to appear completely innocent.
"I wouldn't have expected you'd have a torch," Ei explains. She had thought about looking for something to light, but figured it was a fruitless effort.
Following after Yukio to find the door, she nods her head and moves to open the door. What she finds on the other side makes her raise her eyebrows, however. With a
glance toward Yukio, she seems to request that he prepare himself. Then she approaches the hurried man with a fairly quiet smile. "Excuse me, sir… Do you mind if we
take a look in your cart?" Yukio will easily notice the discreet movement of her hand to dislodge a senbon from a pack in the back of her obi. She's just trying to be
diplomatic, but if necessary, other ways are quicker… and it definitely sounds like Amiko could use some quick help.
RP Room 01
Yukio nodded. He walked up close to her, putting a hand on her shoulder. "I'm going to go check on Amiko." (Disconnect the horse from the buggy, stops it
dead) he whispers the last part, before leaping away, wind bearing his ascent to the top of one of the walls, whispering a small prayer. "Hana, Suzume, please do not
The driver turns to Ei and looks incredibly afraid. For a moment it looks like he might run, but at the last second he drops to his knees and starts yammering,
"I'm sorry! It wasn't my idea! Please don't hurt me… I have kids to feed! Please! I'm really a good man, just got caught up in all of this!" The man starts crying
pitifully, thinking he's about to be executed.
As Yukio arrives to help Amiko, he finds that the girl has done quite well on her own. In the main hall, in front of Lord Mazikawa himself, Amiko is standing
with one foot on the head of security. There's a small tag stuck to Tsukato's head, and the man looks rather paralysed. Amiko holds up a note in front of the lord and
explains, "I found this note in your head of security's room. It reads, "Allow the bearer of this receipt through the estate blockade immediately. Checking the
bearer's belongings is not necessary." My lord, I don't know who this note was destined for, or where the statuette is, but its only a matter of time. We just need to
make this thieving trash talk." With that comment she gives the head of security a neat little kick.
"You can't prove anything," the head of security manages to mutter, "I've done nothing wrong."
Ei watches the man fall to his knees and sighs. "I'm not going to kill you," she explains. "I want you to unattach the horses. While you're doing that: tell
me what is in the cart. All of it." She'd look herself, but she doesn't want him to jump in the driver's seat and dart off, either. So she waits, watching him and
listening for any real ruckus from the house. If they need help, she'll be right there to help, but she doubts they do… and probably can't help much, anyhow.
At Yukio's arrival, he just grins a bit, removing his Sunglasses. "Well, Amiko-kun, you seem to be at something of a disadvantage here." he says, grinning
wickedly as he shows off his inhuman eyes and fangs. "Might I suggest employing, my… special skills?" he says, with a wild grin. "I'm always up for learning about
human pain." he grins, his eyes locked on the unforutnately paralyzed former head of security. Obviously this was a rouse, but Yukio figure'd he'd offer the help where
Between his sobs and moans, it sounds like the blubbering man is saying, "The… statue thing… is in the back of… the cart… Its disguised as… a manikin
head." After finally getting it out the man covers his head and winces, as if he's about to be hit. Seeing the commotion going on with the caravan driver, one of the
guards nearby starts heading over, obviously to check what's happening.
Back in the main hall Amiko looks up at Yukio and raises an eyebrow. "Took you long enough to find the statuette," she says, then examines Yukio a little
closer and sighs, "You don't have it yet, do you? Oh well… No no, there's no need for torture yet. How's Ei going with tracking it down?" Then she looks down at the
head of security (who she's still standing on) and says, "Oh by the way, if you give up the location before we find it on our own, I'm sure Lord Mazikawa will look on
it favourably. He might even drop the death sentence!"
"I see," Ei responds, annoyed that he did not unattach the horses. So, even as she watches the guard, she moves to do that herself and moves to loosely hold
onto the horses as she nods her head politely to the guard. "Good day to you. Please do not mind the scene here. Neither he nor I are in any danger, I assure you.
There is a stolen item in this cart… or so I'm lead to believe. I am simply making sure it doesn't leave the premises." She can only hope there wasn't another cart
and this man is just putting up an act so as to let the other cart or what-have-you get away with the statuette.
Yukio sighs, and shook his head. "Aww, I never get to have any fun." he says, shaking his head. "You better hurry though, if I know people… then that cart
driver is about to spil everything." he says with a grin, walking forward at a saunter, maintaining his fasaud. "You sure I can't torture him? Not even a little?"
When they're informed that a stolen item is in the cart, the guard quickly hops into the back and checks it out. It takes a few minutes, but the guard
eventually comes back out hefting the statuette and yelling, "I found it! I found the stolen statue!" The merchant turned thief huddles down even closer to the ground,
so certain now that he's going to be executed that he doesn't even bother grovelling for his life.
In the hall not far from there, the sound of the guard yelling can easily be heard, and Tsukato moans in frustration. Amiko smiles as she pushes him away with
her foot and says to Yukio, "Well, there's no need now, is there?" Turning back to Lord Mazikawa she says, "Once the statuette has been returned to its rightful place,
we'll be off. I imagine you can take care of your traitorous head of security, but we can always help with that as well if necessary." She bows to the lord politely,
and awaits the delivery of the stolen item.
Ei rolls her eyes at the guard. Yes, of course. All his doing. Regardless, it's not important /who/ found it. Just that it was found. That in mind, she shifts
toward the merchant, horses in tow, and gazes down at him. "He threatened you, didn't he? Your job, your life, your family… Whatever it was, be honest. You may still
lose the trust you had here and no longer be allowed to work on the grounds, but you shouldn't be executed… in my opinion. I certainly hope the lord of this estate
feels the same. You were trying to live and surrendered immediately when found out. Try not to fear so much…" After a moment, she takes a deep breath and sighs.
"Now, take care of these horses, please…"
Yukio turned around, grinning a bit, as the guard claimed to have found the statue. "Glory hog." Yukio mutters, before turning back, and sighing. "If I may
ask though, Amiko-kun, how -did- you figure that it was Tsukato was behind the whole mess?" he says, donning his sunglasses again. "I kindof figured he didn't want us
here, from his attitude, but that wasn't enough evidence to nail him alone, was it?"
Amiko smiles at Yukio's question and explains, "No, but it definitely gave me the feeling that he was uncomfortable with us around, and got me considering the
possibility that he had a part in it. Then, when we started the investigation he left immediately. Wouldn't you think that the head of security would want to be there,
making sure that we weren't sabotaging anything? If his distrust of ninja were real, surely he would rather keep a close eye on us than disappear. Then you pointed out
that someone on the inside must have been involved in the job due to the presence of the trap door, and at that point I decided that it would be a good idea to double
check on Tsukato-kun," and at this point Amiko gives him another not-so-gentle tap with her foot, "since whoever stole the item would be looking to move it out of the
estate as quickly as possible now that we were here, and the quickest way to do that would be to have the permission of the head of security. Or the lord of the
estate. Anyway at that point I found him hurriedly writing out the note, which I knew meant that he was behind the attempt."