Date: November 14 - 28, 2013
Chitose decides to teach the smith who tried to get her to use her leverage a lesson by going on an inspection.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Soaked Sand - Weapon Inspection"
A smithy in Suna & A street in Suna
After having gotten Kuoroke's permission to do some practice work by inspecting a new supply of weapons coming in, Chitose got a writ saying she was working for the council in th is regard and went out to join the other inspectors and such that would meet these supplies. As she'd arrive, she'd specifically hunt down the woman in charge of this particular order and smile at her as she held out said writ, "Good morning." She nods her head, "I'm here on behalf of the council to check the weapons that you are bringing in for quality, capability and value." SHe nods her head, "Thank you for your cooperation in advance."
Chitose finds a sizeable building of typical Sunagakuran design - several semispheres joined one to the other, with a relatively narrow door in one. The glare of the sun outside conceals what's inside. After she lets herself in, she finds this larger part of the building is one room that houses a very traditional-looking forge, anvil, polishing materials, and a great array of other tools. At most, the workshop would allow up to six or perhaps even seven craftsmen to collaborate on one or multiple weapons. Currently, however, it is down to three people, one of them the woman Chitose talked to, polishing a blade. She gives the girl a glare - the others don't acknowledge her existence, absorbed entirely by her work. "They've done their inspection." She snaps.
"They have…but I haven't." Chitose nods and then holds up the paper, "See, it's signed by the council." She nods, "I'd hate to go back to them and say that you denied one of their official inspectors?" She hmms and peers at the woman, "That'd…well, that'd put a stop to your trading right away and we'd have to wait on me to finish inspecting your wares." She nods, "Do you wish to go through all that waiting?" She hmms, "Of course…inspections do go faster when you are havingn conversation while doing them…good conversation even distracts sometimes from the task at hand."
"Inspect away." The woman answers. The other two - considering what she told Chitose earlier and their physical similarity, she'd guess these are her son and daughter, following in the family trade- look up, but she gives them a wave that it's not important enough to get distracted over. There's a very slight sigh as the woman decides to cooperate. "What would you like to see?"
"Just show me your swords first I think. I do like to talk about swords." She nods and th en smiles at the woman brightly. Acting the part very differently from last night as she puts her writ away and then walks after the woman once gestured to where they are going, "I think honestly, if we were to talk of swords more, I'd probably be inclined to simply finish my inspection quickly and go look into the other shipment that has arrived more closely."
The smith clenches her jaws hard enough for the muscles at the sides of her face to visibly bulge out and stays quiet, leading Chitose to a weapon rack nearby, holding, each in its own scabbard, a dozen or so swords, and about the same number of various other weapons - Kusarigama, a Hachiwara, Kusari-fundo, and some others. It seems that, despite its focus on long blades, this smithy produces a number of weapons and treats most of them with care. "These are those we have ready now." the smith says, clearly not eager to waste more words than necessary.
"Ya know, that is fine." She states and then grabs up one without much ceremony and starts at the very base of the hilt, peering at it carefully and running her finger lightly around it before she starts to move her eyes down the hilt, holding the scabbard as she works her eyes, "This may take a while." She nods her head, "When I'm not distracted by pretty words about things I WANT, thinks other people NEED sometimes just take longer. It's the way of things. Wants, you know, are not needs but needs…well, they are needs." She nods, "Far more important but oh so worth the wait I hear, sometimes."
The weapon seems quite well-made: the edge is very sharp, and the blade is well balanced and lacking any visible imperfections. Closer inspection reveal that the sword's finishing touches have a great deal of detail to them, enough to almost turn it from a functional to a decorative piece. As far as Chitose's experience with swords goes, it's a very well made weapon. Their presumed creator stands by and angrily grunts to herself, "Yes, yes, you're trying to extort me, I get it, girl." But she does not add anything more.
"Oh, indignant are we?" Chitose turns slowly to face the woman and tilts her head, "Yeah, probably shouldn't extort people who spend time trying to convince young girls to delay their rivals shipments in order to win a contract without any competition or fight." She nods her head, "I mean, after all, that right there is just the wonderous high road. What I'm doing now is just innapproriate by comparison." She grins and steps forward, picking up the sword, "A fact that I left out of my report to the council…so far." She nods and then glances, "And yes, it would be my word against yours but seeds of doubt are seeds of doubt, no matter how little they grow."
"Oh please." The smith throws Chitose a glare. "Considering what you're doing right now you're hardly a helpless little girl, and unlike you I tried to reach an agreement with you. A mutually beneficial one, with minimal effort from you. You'd rather try to get what you want by force and by threatening my livelihood." She motions to the weapon rack. "I'll be working if you have any more questions, feel free to keep looking." With that, she turns around and walks away, as promised.
"No, what I'm doing is merely doing to you what you would have had me do to your competition, paid for in words." The girl states and then flips the blade around and puts it away, "And now that it is happening to you, it's suddenly a threat to your livelihood and forceful and blah blah blah hypocritical inquiry." Chitose nods, "So, now, hypocrite, enjoy your work. I'm going to finish my inspection if you have nothing further to say."
Walking away, the smith seems to consider silence to be answer enough for Chitose's question. As she said, she returns to her work station and continues the work Chitose interrupted her from, after a brief, almost reflexive prayer. At first, she seems upset about the whole situation, but as she continues working, a serenity comes to her features.
And that is the last interaction Chitose will have with that woman for a while. After all, if she has on conscience left, then so be it. The fact is, no secret is worth throwing her morality away over and she really just wanted to try to teach this woman a lesson…and more important get a first hand look at her wares compared to that of her opponent's. After all, this woman seemed to believe in a possibility of failure if she wanted to cement her competitions losses. So, after inspections, she won't tell the woman a thing, she'll merely leave for the other smith's area.
The other smith's 'area' is, technically, a series of recently-arrived wagons. He is a twenty-something young man in a modern-styled suit, slicked-back hair, and a pencil moustache. As soon as Chitose arrives, his face lights up in the widest smile that can form on it. Before she even introduces himself, he approaches her. "Ah, good afternoon. You're the young lady who expressed an interest in our weaponry, aren't you? Welcome, glad to see you have taste. Let's get to business, shall we?" The man takes her by the arm and leads her towards one of the wagons.
For her size, her strength is impressive, near unrivaled, some might say. She skids as he pu lls and then she states, "I'm the young woman from the council." SHe states and glares at the man who is daring to try to drag her. She walks a few steps further but he will find he is going to have a time with her. She glares at t he man, "And I'm here to inspect your weaponry on their behalf along with the other inspectors."
"Well, yes, precisely!" He answers, still smiling, though he does take the hand off… and immediately starts gesticulating with it. "We've got a very wide selection of weapons. Anything specific you had in mind? Well. I'm sure you'll find everything to your liking, I'll just let you have a look at my inventory shall I?" Without dragging her, this time, the merchant motions to his wagon again, on which there are several closed and locked wooden chests. The entirety of the caravan, three wagons, is guarded by two guards, with the same amount of general staff taking care of little tasks around it. If he had more employees, they've gone to do something else. "And while I have the pleasure of your company, is there perhaps something else you're looking for, something less… martial?"
"Not just this moment, I am curious about your weapons though." She nods her head as she starts to look and starts to inspect. Sure, she isn't an expert but she can compare quality and such. She then will look at the man and hten look back at the weapons, "I had heard of a blade made fully of Obsidian." She nods her head, "A black blade, black as night." she taps a hilt as she pulls up the blade, "Have you heard of such a thing?"
The merchant eagerly opens the first chest. Where his competition had one rack to display, this guy apparently has an entire chest of various swords, just one thrown on top of the other, all looking quite alike. "Obsidian? No, no…" he shakes his head. "Why would anyone make a sword like that? Sounds like a lot of work for a pretty bad sword… no profit in it. Are you sure this isn't just a myth anyone told you? Anyway, never mind that." He picks out a sword and offers it to Chitose. "Here, how about this one? I'm not sure it's a perfect fit for a fine frame like yours, but if you want a sword, this is a sword!"
"I don't want a sword." She takes it and starts looking at it, "My village wants swords." She states and eyes him, "And we need high quality ones." She then looks back at the blade, "The best quality." She continues to examine it, "And I'd hate for you to show us anything less than the best, wouldn't you hate that?"
"Oh it's a good sword, don't you worry about that for a moment!" The man smiles widely. "And in ample supply, as well." The sword is… well, it's a sword, as in it's a sharpened piece of metal probably, in skilled hands, capable of causing grievous harm to people. It's got fairly acceptable balance and an edge sharp enough to cut flesh, if not honed fine enough to slice a hair. And that's about all that can be said to it: when compared to any other sword in his box, it's the exact same piece of sharp steel "We are one of the biggest metalworkers of the area, and our wares aren't popular all over the Great Nations -just- because they're cheaper than the competition's, they're also certainly up to par. Speaking of which, my offer is open. We produce a wide variety of products of the best steel, no worse than the steel in that blade you're holding."
A nod as she looks at the weapons and then she looks at him before looking back again, "I see." She nods her head and then ponders for a moment, "Well, that is good to know." She states and then turns and starts to look in other boxes and at other work. She is careful to inspect many works even as she listens, "YOu're quite the salesman." She nods her head, "I can see that you do produce quite a few weapons though."
"Well, I'd thank you, but it's really the product that sells itself. You've seen and held the blade, haven't you?" still gesticulating wildly, the man smiles again as he answers. The rest of the cart is similarly filled with weapons of a single type, most of them mainly or exclusively steel. Knives in a smaller box, a few flails in a bigger one. "We've a small sample of sheaths and holders for these, but only as samples: our partner was held up a bit on your road… they hadn't gotten themselves one of those 'expedient processing' deals yet." As they approach the next cart, the merchant continues moving about Chitose, still talking. "Well, these aren't weapons, but as I said, if something catches your eye, I'm sure we can figure something out. In fact I think I could offer you something complementary for… coming out here and taking the time to look at our wares, despite the, eh… lack of comfort, if you know what I mean." He smiles brightly, as if he honestly didn't imply anything by that. Chitose's further inspection reveals cooking knives, several boxes of screws and bolts, a selection of various tools, simple metal window frames, replacement machine parts… you name it. Closer inspection reveals that material not to be so much 'no worse' than that of the blade as 'exactly the same'.
A smirk as she walks around and then Chitose looks at the man, "I'm sure." She then looks forward, "I don't need anything special or extra." She nods her head, "I assure you of that." She then looks back at the man and hten nods, "I think I have seen what I need to see." She states and then starts away, "Thank you for your help and forthcoming nature today."
"Ah, are you sure. Well, if you think so." The man begins prattling again. "Now, you know where to find me, so if you ever decide to return, well, you know where to find me. Or if I'm back at the faa-oorge, I'm sure one of my associates will be as forthcoming as I am in -anything- you need. A very good day to you." He keeps smiling very very -very- sincerely indeed until Chitose is out of view.