Date: May 6th, 2010
Sami is preparing to leave Higuregakure with Ryoji. Kasuya is looking for a bounty to claim. Will Sami fight in his weakened state? Or is there another solution?
Death Street - Higure
It's a psuedo-miserable day in the Twilight Village. The Land of Rivers is seeing an odd mix of sunshine and heavy rains. One minute the rain is pounding on rooftops, and drenching everything, and then a little while later the rain clouds will move on and the sun will shine through to dry everything up again.
Shima Sami is dressed in a simple brown cloak with a hood. The hood is left covering his head, since it's hard to tell when the rain will start up again. He has a samisen — a three-string guitar — strapped to his back, and despite his recent brush with death, he moves easily about Death Street, talking with a few street merchants as he purchases supplies for a long trip he is going to embark on soon. The street is fairly crowded, but no one really gives Sami a second glance. He's covered up, he has no obvious weapons, and he's doing business with the Village's merchants. Nothing going on with him, obviously!
Kasuya is wearing a half cloak that desn't even reach her waist. She has her hood up though to protect against both rain and sun. Her scarf is wound around her neck, half hiding her face. She doesn't wear any shinobi gear visibly though, no trademark blue sandals or forehead protector. She merely looks like a casual wanderer with an odd get-up. Her eyes are darkly rimmed as ever, but now they're constantly on the lookout for any number of people. She has an excellent memory and a vague description of every single person in the bingo book. Unfortunately, she has yet to get a specific description of either of them merely by their looks. Descriptions such as tall, black hair, carries a sword is hardly helpful. She'd stop to buy a bowl of miso and walk with it before stopping on a whim beside Sami. "Was wondering," she says quietly, "if you have a map." She glances at Sami—one of the few men to not carry a weapon.
Sami does not answer Kasuya immediately. Possibly he does not hear her. He is also in the middle of purchasing some medicine from a merchant. However, after he hands over some ryo for three small bottles of variously-colored powders, he responds. "I might have a map. Maps are useful for navigating unfamiliar places, after all. It is possible I might not be familiar with a place I plan to travel, and thus would have a map. Then again, I might not be planning to go anywhere new to me."
The tallish man tucks the bottles into a bag at his side. He then turns towards the young woman next to him, hood and bangs hanging in his eyes. "If you are looking for directions, a better question might be, 'Do you have a map of…' followed by the name of the location you need help navigating."
Kasuya scratches her head ever so lightly, and tweaks a bandage. Her eyes never leave Sami. It would've been handy if he'd simply produced a map so she could know where he might have gone. "Higure," she says. "The Land of Rice Paddies. The Land of Waves. I've asked any number of people here, and they have had neither. Or they expect a fortune of ryo to merely peek at it." She lets her hand fall, brushing against something that clinks like coins under her cloak. She'd give a great deal for that latter map. Then plunge both her hands into her pockets, as if denying any handshake, hough one might hear rubbing her thigh underneath as if she has some sort of itch she can't relieve. "I am Ayusa. You stood out because my relative once played an instrument. She was most talented."
Sami stands silent and listens. Finally, he says in a dead tone, "'Talented'." Then silence again for a few seconds. In a more human tone he then says, "I do not have a map of this Village. I have only been here a short time. The Land of Rice Paddies is to the north-east… I can not claim to have ever been there."
He glances around briefly before continuing. "The Land of Waves is an unhealthy place to be right now. War has reached its shores and plunged deep into its heart. For such a worthless island, one would think that such drastic measures as invasion would not be necessary. But who can fathom the minds of the men and women in charge of those forces? Still…"
He roots around inside his cloak, before withdrawing a tattered map, with a couple brown spots that might be dried blood. "I have no use for this map. It shows the Land of Waves and its roads and hamlets and such as of a month or two ago… Before the war began. Whether it is still accurate or not is something you would have to discover on your own."
Kasuya listens stoically, though her eyes are slightly wary when he fails to mention his name. How unfortunate. When he explains the predicament in the Land of Waves she says calmly, "That is all the more reason why I wish to have a map—to do my utmost to avoid trouble if ever I go through." When he hands her the map, she blinks and unfolds it to glance at it for a moment. She looks quickly around for prying eyes before folding it up and stuffing it in a pocket, half visible. She scratches the back of her neck. Then she asks curiously, "Are you a shinobi? You seem quite the confident traveller, and if you plan to leave here I wouldn't mind a guide. I'd pay you." Then she flips him a fat coin. "For the map," she explains quietly.
Sami catches the coin calmly, hand moving swiftly to intercept it. He pockets the ryo, and says, "I have some experience with fighting, and some training as a ninja… But I do not serve any of the Hidden Villages. I am a free agent. How long that will last is unclear. This is no longer the era of the lone ninja. To compete in this time period, one seemingly must join with others and submit to the will of a Kage."
He sighs slightly. "Unfortunately, my services as an escort have already been acquired. However, I could speak with the one I am escorting, and ask if he would mind another travelling companion. The larger the group, the less likely we would be bothered by bandits. And I see no reason why I could not accept payment for guarding two people instead of one. These are hard times, and I expect them to get harder."
Kasuya rubs her arm absentmindedly. Despite the tired rings under her eyes, she doesn't look even slightly tired. She's scrutinizing Sami closely. Then, she closes her eyes for a moment. "Yes, I too believe there is no reason to follow a Kage, if indeed I had the strength to be worthy of joining a hidden village. It would end only in a pointless death with little meaning." As if her line of work isn't even more limited. SHe blinks slowly. "Speaking of which, where are you headed? There is little reason for me to travel with you if you go to another destination." And then she adds, "And may I know the name of my escort? I don't wish an entire trip of 'hey you' and 'sir.'" She takes a sip of her miso soup then, a long slurp that drains almost a quarter of the small bowl.
Sami says, "I am not sure of the ultimate destination… My original employer said we may run into 'leafers'. I assume that means the Land of Fire, since 'leafers' is a derogatory term for Leaf ninja." He shrugs. "So the Land of Fire for a period of about two months. He is… Looking for his parents. As for my name, you may call me 'Serin'. My apologies for not sayin so sooner, but a name is not something to offer casually. Names have power to them. And a stranger with unknown goals is not someone I wish to have power over me."
Kasuya rubs her chin thoughtfully. She seems to be trying to remember something from the vague expression on her face. Then she says, "Yes Konoha. That would work well." When Sami outright refuses to give her name, Kasuya raises her eyes in surprise and then her eyes gleam. This one is cunning. She, of course, hadn't given her true name, but at least he had the grace to admit his name was false. Then she says in a low voice, amused voice, "Perhaps I shall learn it over our time together…because you'll come to trust me, of course," she adds as an afterthought. Then she gestures in a northern direction. "I am finding lodgings in the north side of town. I saw a decent inn somewhere around there, just ask for me and I shall have warned them of your company with me. I'm afraid I want to leave soon, and I may have to do so with or without you; a week at most." Then she begins to turn away, but not without a final, "See you Serin-san."
Sami, or 'Serin' for the moment, nods. "Understandable. We had intended to leave soon as well. I will arrive to check on you before we depart." Then he nods his head in acknowledgement, and says, "Good day to you, Ayusa-san." Then he turns and also leaves. He will have to find his original travel companion and inform him of the addition to their expedition.