Starting a ghoulish investigation


Arisu, Kuoroke

Date: January 14, 2013


Kuoroke calls in the espionage favour Arisu owes the village.

"Starting a ghoulish investigation"

An apartment owned or temporarily borrowed by the Suna administration.

Arisu had been invited to a small, but comfortable little apartment two floors above an apothecary, a place Kuoroke had deemed secure enough for their conversation -and- for the invitee to be present. So, ignoring the chilly wind outside, Kuoroke has quickly made his way into the building and up the stairs. Now, listening to the sounds of the city as it finishes up its day under the last red rays of the sun, and appreciating them in that way only he can: with abject paranoia. While doing so, the Kuroki pours some hot tea and waits to see some immaterial dead people.

It doesn't take long for Arisu to show up to the meeting place, slipping in through the cracks beneath the window and slowly manifesting within the room a few feet behind Kuoroke… No doubt he was expecting such a move, but it was one of the few things that she got to truly enjoy, sneaking up on people… "…You made tea… I assume that you were polite enough to make enough for two…?" She finally speaks, having become solid enough that she felt confident in her ability to do so without sounding too hollow and airy. "…Regardless, I understand you wished to see me about something."

Kuoroke reacts to the voice calmly: he nudges the polished cup of tea a bit so he can see her reflection in it with his left hand, while his right hand rests in his lap, close enough to a weapon if he should need it. All small, but very real precautions. "Yes. I wasn't sure if you drink any, so I didn't pour you any, yet, but if you do…" he motions to the chair opposite himself. There are no trick with lower chairs here, the cup and chair waiting for Arisu are exactly the same as his own, partly because cheap psychological tricks are transparent and cheap, partly because he's got enough of a height advantage over her for it not to matter. "Yes, I did. We'd agreed you would do some espionage for us, and I believe I have a task suitable of your unique talents."

Arisu nods briefly and takes her seat. "I do not normally, however it's not because I am incapable of it." She lifts her cup, offering it for some of the tea, "It's just that it hasn't crossed my mind lately." Once she has her tea she sits back calmly, "So then… what exactly did you have in mind?" She brings the cup to her lips and sips as she shuts her eyes, apparently to savor the taste by depriving herself of another sense… though there was the question of whether she even needed her eyes to see, or if it was all just an act.

Kuoroke gives a benevolent smile as the girl sips from the tea, and takes a sip, himself. "I remember seeing you during the exams, when we first met. I don't know if you are aware, but during that time, in the Blood Marsh, people were killed. Not just in the course of normal exams, it seemed more specific. Our investigation into this is still on-going." He begins explaining, pausing to sip from his cup. "You mentioned -how do you like the tea, by the way?- that you still cared about at least some of the people back in Konohagakure… Several people from that village were among the victims."

Arisu nods a bit, "…The tea is wonderful, thank you." she nods. "As for the mission…" She considers briefly, "I went into the Blood Marsh already… I hadn't noticed anything in particular while I was there, but then again I wasn't looking for much more than a place to stay while I was in Kirigakure." She shrugs, "There is one person I still care about in Konohagakure… She is still alive, and so my interest in the killings is… low. However, I did agree to do some espionage for you, and so I shall. Did you have any particular leads so far? Or shall I simply ask around and see what other people might know? Is there anyone that I should outright avoid alerting about the nature of my questioning?"

"Excellent." Kuoroke seems genuinely happy about the fact she enjoys the offered drink. "No, not really." she shakes his head. "By all means, alert anyone you wish, if you would just not to tell people for whom you're doing this investigation. As for the method, I will leave the details up to you, but there are a few things I would strongly recommend." Judging by the sudden, and brief, change in his voice, very strongly. "Asking about would be a healthy basis, however, you can walk through walls, so you could have access to any files pertaining to the investigation stored in other villages. You could, perhaps, go and examine the bodies, wherever the villages keep their respective dead, and take a look at the details of the damage done. I trust you're not afraid of a corpse?"

Arisu shakes her head, "Hardly…" She waves off the idea that she might be disturbed by a corpse. "I assume this means you have not managed to get a good look at the bodies yourself yet…" She takes another sip of tea, "Very well, I'll go and investigate and see what I can turn up. Are you looking for any particular information? Or just an all encompassing blanket of as much information as I can gather?"

"Well, while we're mostly interested in who did it, and why they did it, any other information would be welcome. After all, you're not our only source, and you may provide pieces of a bigger puzzle even with things you consider trivial." Kuoroke answers, smiling again. He lets her have her assumption, and instead gives another request, this time in his friendly tone, again. "Oh… it may be better if you don't let too many people know what you've already found out. If only not to spook whoever it is you're looking for by showing you know too much."

Arisu nods, "Of course… I'll make sure that I report things directly to you…" She considers briefly, "On that note, it may be a good idea to have a means of being SURE that the person I'm speaking to is indeed you, or someone working directly for you, and not simply a henge… I suppose I could simply do something that would dispell a henge, but those tend to be considered quite rude in polite company… And there are a few methods I can think of to prevent such means from being effective." She nods.

Kuoroke takes another sip, considering the various options here. "Your attention to such details is noted, and appeciated." A rare time, he genuinely smiles. "But in the ideal case, nobody would know they'd have to henge into me…" he answers, finally. "But, yes, precautions are wise…" after a few nods, he turns a curious expression to the ghost he's employing "Did you have anything in particular in mind, something that would be comfortable for you?"

Arisu finishes off her cup of tea, "My first impression would be something like a password… An exchange consisting of something specific that I would say, and something specific that you would say in return. I would suggest against saying it alloud now of course, in the unlikely event that someone is listening in. This IS the nation that likes to gather information afterall, you never know if someone has found a way to listen in on conversations that are supposed to be private. I am certain that you are quite careful, but I prefer not to take it for granted. Instead, I suggest that we write down the passphrase, and then proceed to memorize it, instead of keeping the written phrase on hand."

Kuoroke weighs the value of this possibility, then nods. "That's a good suggestion. It would, at once, show us we both believe a time and place to be secure for you to report." He examines Arisu for a few moments, and then comes up with an idea… before finding himself with lack of anything to write in or on. "Excuse me for just a moment." He apologizes, getting up and vanishing in the next room. He returns with something to write with and a piece of paper, on which he scribbles as he walks. It's a quite long sentence, and when he puts the paper down in front of her, it seems to be gibberish, until Kuoroke covers part of it with his cup, and then several other parts with his fingers. The proposed text reads, 'Nice mask. Where did you get it?' and the reply is, 'The village where it was made, still.'.

Arisu peers at the paper for a moment, then puts the letters and words together properly before nodding, "That is acceptable." She looks back up at Kuoroke, "That is a very interesting trick. Perhaps I should see about learning to do something similar… I suspect that I will be doing several stealth missions such as this, and it might be best for me to have a few similar tricks." She shrugs, "In any case, was there anything else that you wanted to go over before I set off?"
<Public> Sosuke has connected.

"No, that will be all." Kuoroke answers. The word 'dismissed' hangs on his lips for an instant, but he remembers that this is not one of his subordinates, so he instead finishes his tea, pockets the piece of paper, and walks to the window. "If you want, feel free to stay around a bit and finish that tea. I'm afraid I have other business to attend to… My apologies. And, goodbye." With a final smile and a flapping of his cloak, he leaves the building by way of voluntary defenestration.

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