Date: March 22, 2015
Shinobi from Suna and Kiri are sent to investigate murder in a village on the border of the Land of Fire, as the people there didn’t trust Konoha-nin. Their search ends in a fruitless loss.
"Sword Shinobi - Who Dunnit?"
Land of Fire
There was a land between the Fire and Wind nations that hosted a village. Rumors have it that there have been a murder of three families there, and very little trace of what actually occurred is existent. Shinobi have been called in from Kiri and Suna for some reason, the village itself wanting to clarify a few things with those villages. Now just what is going on, is the question?
Kirigakure decided to send the chuunin Sei along to answer the questions. The Okumo was good at both search and destroy. It'd also give him an advantage over whoever else may show up due to the style of communication that he could do. Thus, the teen would show up eventually at that edge of the village. Although his brood had been there for a while, infiltrating and establishing locations within the village before the Okumo was around, so he would know better what is going on.
As a representative of Suna, the young Miira was selected from several of his native gifts, and most of all deception. Rikuto would make his way towards the village though his shape wasn't his own, but a mockery of his. Not his hair, nor his voice, not even his gender were his own for the time being as he scouted ahead. Pausing for a time outside the village, the young Miira bring his hands together and focuses faintly, quickly trying to sense and evaluate those that were within the lesser village before entering. "What sort of traps will there be this time I wonder.""
Kiji was wearing her usual outfit, a black silk skirt and tank, black shorts under it and a belt about her waist. She had long white hair in a braid down herr back and her eyes for the moment were dark blue as they paused ont he edge of the village. She came to rest beside Sei and closed her eyes, opening her mind to that which was around her. In the process she unlocked the first of her focuses, so that when she looked up herr eyes were golden ringed in orange….
Jiro was one of the last to hear about the mission, apparently, as all the others had pretty much left. Figures. The boy managed to somehow convince the others that he was going after the missioning group and left - probably leaving many baffled at what Jiro was really trying to say. This whole pointing thing is confusing. For all they know he was probably going fishing for sand demons. The boy doesn't catch up to the others until they reach the village, and even then he doesn't really recognize anyone so he just kind of…stays a little back and observes for now.
People, people. talking. Chatter. Sei glanced over to Kiji and gave a whistle with a nod towards the village. Then his attention turned to Jiro, eyeing him appraisingly for a moment. Finally, he'd walk forward, heading towards the center of town as a swarm of spiders from his brood would spread from him, gathering sticks and the like that could be lashed together with silk to craft those harps. Music to soothe the savage beast? or with Sei, to deliver the ultimatum. Once at the center of town he'd glance towards Kiji and point towards the people. Obviously they needed to know why the group was there, right?
Kiji turned and looked at Jiro, those strange eye taking him in, piercing into his soul, his secrets. She narrowed her eyes and pressed looking to divulge both Jiro's and Rikuto's primary affinities so she could figure out what they had to work with.. Once Sei began to move Kiji moved too, her mind open, alert. When Sei pointed toward the crowd of people Kiji nodded and stepped forward, hitai-ate plainly on display. "What is happening here?" She asked a member of the crowd…
'One.. two.. large ones, likely chuunin scouts.' Turning to the side, and to Jiro the young Miira motions for him to continue following along. Seeing as he was followed silently, Rikuto thought to only talk to him silently in turn. Soon after he would begin to make his way into the village, though no words were asked to the locals, he did observe them carefully but only in passing, every so often his gaze would flick to where he could sense the other pair.
When Kiji would look deeper into Rikuto she would find chaos, a blend of elements and not one, a blend of fire and of wind almost evenly, though the ratio writhes back and forth the longer she would be looking at it. His own hitai hidden from normal view within his collar line. The Miira on the other hand moves a hand into his robes, pulling out a scroll to observe what was written, trying to glean where this 'meeting' was to happen and quickly make his way there, and not linger.
Jiro looks into the village and for a moment he looks a little uncertain with what to do. But then he feels those piercing eyes on him and he turns his head to look at Kiji, staring right back without hesitation or fear. When some strange woman gestures for him to follow the boy just looks at her oddly, tilting his head slightly at the henge'd Rikuto. He decides to follow after the Kiri nin for now, leaving the woman to her own devices. He says nothing as he goes, stopping a little bit away from the other nin and just…watching.
~Should you really be doing this?~ came the voice, Gyuki once again questioning just how stable his host was. Really, though, this is like the third host in little time. 'Uh-huh! I just gotta follow after Rikkun and Jiro-kun. Pretty easy.' Arika creeps along, staying outside the village and watching curiously to see Sei and Kiji meet with Jiro and … A strange woman. Someone familiar, but not. The girl skitters forward, eventually meeting Jiro and Kiri-gang, about as silent as her friend. Kiji would notice her chakra was … Surprisingly large for a girl her size. It contained wind, mostly, though a very very small hint of fire could be noticed despite a darker chakra snuffing it out.
The people eye the shinobi warily, especially upon seeing the spiders moving towards sticks. What were they doing? Who were these guys? Some of their suspicions disappeared when Kiji appeared with the Hitai-ate on her clearly displayed, but others were further aggravated. "You two… Kiri-nin? And then pipsqueaks from Suna…" A man comes over, scratching the back of his neck. 'Dang, shinobi…' he mutters. "You two. Kiri-Nin. You guys have the next few minutes to say why you /weren't/ the ones that murdered our friends!" he manages. People from the town start to surround the group, nodding their heads in agreement.
Sei didn't exactly raise his voice. He couldn't.. he's mute. Instead, the genjutsu that swept out from that harp being created by the spiders would ensnare all within range, a heavy connection, the solidification of that voice adding power to it, strength and definitely seeking to focus those who may not pay attention to it. While it'd be obvious it's an illusion, Sei wasn't speaking, the voice was there and demanding in it's attention. A thousand voices, a thousand more and they all whispered together, the many pressed into one solid voice that would speak as Sei directed while that black stare turned on the one who accused him, accused Kiri of doing the killing. "If Kirigakure was to do such a thing, there would be no witnesses. You would be dead. Think about that one moment." Sei's attention glanced to Kiji, a nod given to her, before his attention turned to the rest. "We were sent to figure out what happen. You will be organized into lines of those who know something and those who don't. If you resist, you will be considered part of the cause and dealt with.. appropriately. Any questions?"
Kiji noticed the group was a curious mixture of elements.. Interesting. But she was in the middle of soemthing.. So she blinked, her head tilting oddly as she found herself basicly accused of murder. She was about to speak when Sei beat her to it. He was already a chuunin after all. She waited a moment as she tried to ascertain if the people would revolt against the Okumo's commands, ready to call foth her whips at any moment. "You heard him. Those who know soemthing tot he right and those that don't to the left and if anyone on the left lies.. Well, I'm a walkinglie detector so I would not suggest you try…."
Rikuto extends a hand out to Jiro, motioning him to stay still still and mostly quiet as he usually had been. Looking around the village, he stays quiet himself and focused onto the villagers and like them turn to look towards the pair of Kiri shinobi. "They killed your friends? How many did they kill?" Furling his brow, Rikuto asks one of the villagers that still stood around and shouting at the others. The young Miira didn't raise his? her? voice when asking though he soon begins to move around, slowly starting to evaluate those that stood to oppose the pair.
The youngest of the shinobi gathered only listens still, arms folded over his chest as the Kiri ninja seem to kind of just be taking charge of things. He has nothing to add. There's not really anything he can do is there? The other shinobi are obviously older and more experienced and are already ordering people around. The voice in his head is a little surprising at first but he realizes what it is quickly and just…allows it. When that woman appears near him again the boy frowns at her and looks her over. Who does she think she is ordering him around? Sheesh. Well, he's already doing what she wanted anyways so…whatever. He'll just keep watching.
Arika feels the tingle of genjutsu before she sees the mark of Kirigakure on Kiji. Allies… While she doesn't like genjutsu, she allows for it to mess with her senses, eyes narrowing just a bit as the voices start in her head. ~Genjutsu…~ comes the disgusted voice. 'Hush…' she huffs back. The girl gives a shake of her head, not piping up quite yet. Let the other village take charge and do their thing. So long as no one hurt Jiro, she would be okay. When Jiro wanders along, she tags after quickly, staying as close as possible to him.
"…" Sei's 'words' were met with silent obedience. It was likely due to the fact that Kiri-Nin were scary. Kiji's words did happen to bring glares to the table, but no one was stupid enough to try and resist. People ask their questions, and they're swiftly answered. They don't have many witnesses. Just a few have information that the shinobi would find useful. "Three families. I lived on their street, actually. About twelve people killed total," one would say. Another from the same household would mention that there were sounds of a struggle, but they had dismissed them when they heard them… Too tired to bother with it all.
There were no police in the village, and no official leader. Everyone here was everyone's friend, and they didn't think it was one of their own that killed the families.
While Sei would maintain the genjutsu connection to all there, he'd actually let the others ask the questions, no need to flex power needlessly. When it is flexed that makes it all the more useful. As the information is gathered, he'd glance to the others, his 'voice' reaching out to the suna shinobi. "The houses in question. Two inside to check if there are any tracks. One outside to check for tracks away. We need to know if this is internal or not." Sei's attention would shift to Kiji then. "Find out friends and potential dislikes of the families. Any relation between the families." Sei would finally turn his attention to Arika, studying her for a moment. "You, do a run of the parameter. We-Sei recommends you do the outside check, then the parameter search." The voice would shift slightly, the connection refined to be send to just Arika, Rikuto and Jiro, along with Kiji. "We know one of you is using a henge. We are not giving away the cover. If we find out the one with the henge is not a Suna shinobi, this is your graveyard. We advise you verify it quickly. We-Sei is not patient with those who would attempt to hide that sort of thing." His gaze shifted over each of them in turn, before returning to the citizens, needing more information so they could track down the culprit fully.
Kiji listened quietly as the information was gathered. The fact that there had been sounds of a struggle but that no one had gone to check suggested these people were not as friendly with eachother as they would pretend. She turned to Sei as he began giving the orders, listening to a much as she could and finally nodding. She stepped back toward those who had given information. "Was there any known grudges against these families or bad business deals? Anything like that?" She asked Sei's questions politely but firmly, her eyes always watching to try and detect a lie….'
'Hmm..' was said before nodding lightly before turning around and looking towards the home doesn't go through with moving that direction. It wasn't until the voice that began to ring out causes him to look away and towards the Okumo and then to the Shimizu and then back. "Ari-chan, stay with Jiro-san.. don't question it, okay?" A light smile was offered towards Arika when he speaks up, "You know him better than I do, don't let him get into too much trouble while in the village, okay?" Glancing across, Rikuto focuses onto Sei for the moment, looking at him questioningly but then shakes his head lightly before moving around the village, looking around rather carefully trying to see just what ways it would be easy to enter or leave the village discreetly.
Someone is using a henge? Jiro blinks and looks around uncertainly as he tries to determine what the Kiri shinobi is 'talking' about. Well, he can worry about that later. For now he was told to do something by their allies, and a superior shinobi in rank and skill. He wasn't going to question it. When Arika is told to stay near him the boy looks to her with a bit of surprise, then frowns. He didn't remember seeing her before…hmm. The boy lets his arms drop back to his side as he simply gives a little nod before moving to the houses that had been indicated and going into one to start searching for anything suspicious. Odd footprints, blood spatter, bodies, you know just the random 'suspicious' stuff. No trouble here, just exploring.
Arika wrinkles her nose as she hears more complaining when genjutsu is focused on her, but she nods and offers a salute. "Hai!" she exclaims, making her way to one of the houses as soon as she's pointed in the correct direction. Sei's words catch her by surprise, of course. Henge… Henge… And then she's called 'Ari-chan' by the strange woman. Oh… "Rikkun, why D'you look like that..?" she wonders, grumbling just a bit as their paths lead them apart and she starts looking around the outside of the houses.
"Well, their kids … They always like to make fun of this one shinobi. He didn't have his protector on him, but he was always talking about the Academy and what he learned," a woman tells Kiji. "Other than that…" A helpless shrug. For those who are searching, they would notice nothing unusual except that the houses all seem to have had their doors unlocked. Not forced in. Signs of struggle were inside, but rather far on the inside. As if the killer didn't want to do anything until they couldn't escape. Footprints from the back lead to the house, but signs of departure were nonexistent.
Kiji tilted her head upon hearing of this 'shinobi' that the kids had made fun of. That sounded 'promising'. To a point at least. "I would like to speak with this shinobi. Where is he now?" She tilted her head curiously, her eyes shading into a purple color with a hint of red. It did not sit well with her that a shinobi would do this but perhaps he was lying about that… She would find out.
Once Rikuto was out of sight of the others, his fingers would begin to weave together slowly as the heat around him dies. "Now.. lets just see what is truly going on." While the truth was he simply walked, he attempts to infect the minds of the others around to make it seem as if he didn't exist. Taking on the image of the gust of wind, Rikuto makes to way towards the other homes that were close by, checking their doors and windows, testing ways of entry before scaling higher along the house's wall to test entry that way.
As Jiro explores the house he discovers that there is no mess until farther back and he takes a moment to explore that area, seeing if there's anything telling where the destruction is. Since he doesn't see any kind of escape that happened he then starts trying to follow footprints to see where the attacker went, eyes mostly on the ground but also flicking around the house carefully in case someone was still present. He silently has to wonder if there's a trap door or something…
Arika pouts a bit as Rikuto ignores her question, but continues to seek things out. Oh hey, there's some tracks! But where's the other set? She continues to look around the perimeter, planning to report back all that she had found to those who were of slightly higher rank than her. "Jiro-kun, d'you see anything?" she calls over, trying to find something 'tasty' to latch onto, information-wise.
"We… Don't actually know," the villager would admit. "He used to come over here often, performing tasks or some sort. But he's not been around for a few months." Some of the others that know things decide to pipe in. "He was pretty tall, though. And he usually carried around a large sword."
Those searching the houses would find the different signs of struggle. One house actually had some blood in a bedroom. Another's furniture was all but destroyed. It's a wonder the village didn't report it. Of course, said house was also the latest one that was attacked, so it's likely it was that that alerted people to actually call for help.
Jiro would notice that no, there was no trap door. The tracks that left were just very neatly covered, and there's no sign of anyone 'escaping'. Is the target still there? But there's no one that's around except the shinobi.
Kiji nodded. They didn't know very much did they? She nodded then simply and turned, opening her mind to see if there were any shinobi level chakras around that did not belong to the group she had come with. If ther was she would head that direction, looking for this 'shinobi' that no one seemed to know anything about. If ther was nothing she would go to join the others.
Humming softly to himself as he makes his way into one of the upper floors of a house a fair distance from the victims, Rikuto slows down and furls his brow. 'This is too easy.. Still don't sense anything either..' Shaking his head lightly, the young Miira begins to take his time to not search for stronger chakra signatures but to work his way through the personal effects of the villagers who house he 'accessed'. 'Lets just see if these people are as they say they are..' Rikuto would focus on trying to search through cabinets in the bed chambers, testing jewelry boxes and the inside of drawers for letters or weapons.
Jiro crouches down when he spies one of the covered tracks, still with that thoughtful frown as he looks over the spots, running a hand along them. Something is definitely off here. He doesn't respond to Arika, which isn't entirely unexpected. He follows the tracks as far as he can, then goes through the whole house inch by inch just to make sure no one is hiding and there's not some kind of hidden area. It doesn't really make sense.
Arika hops into the house to try and see what it is Jiro is so hung up on that he won't even throw a stone to acknowledge her. Oh, wait… It seems like he found something. She helps him look around the house, but there really isn't anything else there except for the fact that people struggled, then they were killed. "We should go back and report stuff to everyone, Jiro-kun," she would say after they search high and low.
Kiji stepped into an open area where she was mostly alone and spoke as if to herself. "There is no one in town that has a chakra signature of a shinobi level, not even a genin level. Please have everyone meet on the western edge of town." And she headed that direction herself. She was of course speaking to Sei, though how could he hear her when he wasnt anywhere near her?
Sei paused, spiders attentive and then a small nod was given. Sei would dissperse the crowd as that genjutsu would reach out to all of the shinobi. "We-Sei and Kiji-san have not been able to find anything in town. We are requesting a meeting of the shinobi on the western edge of town. Bring any information gathered with you quickly." Sei of course would simply.. vanish. To another shinobi he might not be the super-speed blurs, but for normal citizens, it'd be fast enough to not be tracked as he'd head that direction himself. More harps would get pressed into service, continuing that music across the whole area.
Glancing through the letters, Rikuto would only skim through them seeking out names and yet.. nothing. 'Wasting my time. Wrong house.' He doesn't rush his movements and soon returns the letters back to where they had been once prior. Narrowing his eyes, he tilts his head to the side once the voice began to be heard once again leaving him grumbling faintly. 'Just what did they find?' Closing his eyes for a moment he sighs but doesn't move. Lingering behind the young Miira would leave one letter out from the rest and would write onto the back of it in large styling /Lock Your Home. You Could Be Next/ before tossing it on top of the bed and leaving out of the window. With that left in his wake, Rikuto would begin to make his way to the western side of the city.
Jiro finishes the search with Arika and shakes his head a bit as they come up surprisingly empty. He nods to the girl when the genjutsu'd voice hits him and he nods again…not that Sei can see that really. He tugs on Arika's sleeve, then points for her to lead while he follows, just to make sure nothing bad happens on the way to the meeting point. Once there he just folds his arms over his chest and shakes his head a little to indicate he hadn't found anything really.
Arika hears the voice and resists the urge to lash out. It was a friend. An ally. The one within her wasn't too happy still, but it didn't do anything to anyone. She drags Jiro off to the meeting place, watching Jiro when he makes his little signs because he's still not speaking! Grr! The girl waits for everyone to get there finally, though, climbing into Rikuto's back when the opportunity arises.
The crowd looked confused, but accepted the fact that they weren't needed. Had the shinobi found what they were looking for? Was one of them the killer? Well, whatever the case, many went back to their business of traveling in small packs and gossiping. Or they actually got things done. Whatever they chose to do, they were no longer needed, and thus ignored. A certain young woman, just a few years older than Rikuto, likely, finds the letter in her bedroom and seems rather huffy that 1: they went through her stuff and 2: someone had the gall to do such a thing. Just more rumors to spread, though, since she doesn't know who wrote the message.
Kiji could sense the crowd going about their business. Good. At least they weren't grabbing pitchforks … yet. Once everyone was assembled she looked around and sighed. "If this person has the chakra of even a genin I'd sense him but no one like that is in this village. He must be close enough for the villagers to have gotten used to his presence but far enough away to be left alone. She opened her senses again, to a wider degree searching for that kind of chakra within the few miles radius she could sense…..
Sei would watch the people disperse, a small nod given and he'd head for that west point gathering as well. Glancing to the others, it seems none of them found anything. He'd nod towards Kiji at her statement. She had a valid point. Sei's own attention turned outward, spreading his brood wider, to the range he could, searching for signatures that would match the criteria they need nearby.. or at least a location of a death that might be in relation to the issue at hand.
After settling close to where Sei and Kiji had come to stand still, the illusion around Rikuto fades, leaving him with a solid body and further.. now male, the henge had faded in turn as well. "Just what did you find? I was in the middle of searching the other families for details." Shifting his gaze from one to the other, it was easy to tell he wasn't sure which of the older shinobi where trying to take control. While he did seem unaware of Jiro and Arika when they came to a stop, Arika using him as a climbing post causes him to move a hand over his shoulder to pat the 'monkey's' head.
Jiro mentally grumbles about being dragged around but he's completely silent. As he waits for the Kiri nin to explain stuff he looks over to Rikuto and sees it actually is Riku. Now it all makes sense. Jiro rolls up his sleeves, walks up behind Rikuto, then hops a little to try and bop the older Genin on the head. Yeah, that'll teach him to trick Jiro!
«GM» Rockpath needs a clarification on what Sei is searching for
Arika snuggles Rikuto happily, keeping her perch. Jiro's hand gets a wave of her own as she tries to fend him off. "We only found some tracks that didn't lead anywhere," she grumbles. "But none of the houses seemed like they were broke into. So the guy must've been familiar with everyone or is a super good lock picker."
Sei frowns, shakes his head and looks around, then over to the others. "We searched out five miles. There's a merchant four miles that direction." Sei would point in the direction of a merchant. "We have not found or seen anything else that would be shinobi related. We think this may be someone in the village. A regular killer. We're just not finding the right clues. Have any of you found anything of note?"
"To kill within this city wouldn't be difficult.. I was just in one of the houses, not related to the victim. Most of the doors and windows were easily accessed." Turning around, Rikuto raises a hand and extending two fingers towards where he had come from. With a slow shake of his head, he grumbles faintly to himself. "A student with half a mind could steal or kidnap half the town if they tried. They're blaming shinobi because we're 'hired mindless killers'. We should wait until nightfall.. If nothing else, we'll be here when the next killing begins anew."
Jiro has nothing to offer, himself, so just nods a bit at what the others are saying. Of course then there's always another possibility…the boy crouches to draw in the dirt before tugging Sei's shirt sleeve to get his attention, pointing to what he wrote. 'Shinobi hiding chakra? Not use chakra?'
Arika glances over to Jiro, looking down at what he wrote. For those not looking at the ground, she translates, "Jiro-kun is saying what if it's a shinobi that's hiding his chakra or can't use it." This makes her hmm softly as she thinks about that possibility. A shinobi disguising his chakra wasn't unheard of, at least. But not using? That was odd to her.
looking between the others, he'd nod to Jiro at the note. Gathering himself, the brood was pulled from abroad and infiltrated into the village at large. He'd get his spiders everywhere, hiding everywhere. Let people get use to it and then the webbing would start, subtle additions to all of the houses to enable Sei to know entry and exit. If they were going to try and catch this guy, then he needed it to be ready. With that set in place, Sei would sit. "We will guard the village. The rest go check out the merchant. That is the only thing unusual We-Brood found within a range. If they are still around, question, search. We will see what occurs."
Kiji looked around at the others and sighed. Well Sei was going to sit ane watch the village and they were going after a merchant who still probably knew nothing. She wondered why shinobi were called out to such a mundane murder. Local magistrates must be seriously lax…. She sighed and headed toward where the merchant was, thoroughly annoyed.
Rikuto has reconnected.
"Arichan, Jiro-san.. go with the woman, keep light on your feet though.. and don't steal anything, bring him back to the village is all I ask." Rikuto looks over the two for a moment before turning to look as Kiji already made her way out. 'Don't like any of this' Turning away, Rikuto hops onto the side of a building before moving higher until he lands on the roof. It was easy to see he was looking for something and in his case he was looking for a good vantage point.
Jiro nods as Arika translates his writing, then the boy simply steps back to wait, watch and listen. When Rikuto tells him to go with Kiji to check out the merchant he gives another quick nod before darting after the Kiri nin, dragging Arika along with him as he goes. He does wrinkle his nose at Rikuto when he says not to steal anything though. Ruin all the fun!
«GM» Rockpath turned into a plushie
Arika nods as well, slipping off Rikuto's back a bit unhappily. But she follows Jiro and Kiji, dragged by her friend for now. It's not too difficult for her to keep up to Kiji, at least. Four miles is nothing!
Eventually everyone would get into position. Sei and his spiders would get to find all the doors and windows and cracks and crevices in each house. Kiji and co would get to the merchant with little difficulty, as he's taking his time in his travels. He didn't have anything to sell except for some furs that he's still needing to catch (bears and lions and stuff! Likely he's going to Kumo for that).
Kiji approached the merchant warily, stepping out in front of him, her hitai-ate displayed blatently. She hoped he would be freaked enough to just do as she wanted. "Hold there. The town about four miles in that direction. There have been murders there. I need you to tell me what you know."
Jiro follows Kiji, moving around the wagon and such and just kind of inspecting it while waiting for the man to answer the Kiri nin.
The merchant blinks a bit, pausing in his spot. He shifts the pack of furs and supplies on his back so he doesn't topple now that he's not moving, thinking on how to answer Kiji. "Murders? They were dealing with them when I got there. I left just today and they were at three. Suggested they get some shinobi on the case. Though I didn't expect to see Mist ninja up here…" His eyes flick to Arika and Jiro, both of who have their Hitai-ate on their arms. "Or Sand…" Being a traveling merchant, it would make sense for him to know the different villages and their marks.
Rikuto and Sei wait for night to fall, many of the activities in the village being normal. Well, they bury the bodies, but that's all that's different. And they continue to travel in their packs. But everything is normal!
Kiji narrowed her eyes, the blue orbs shifting into a golden hue as she looked annoyed. Slowly blood vines crept up her arms, thorns for show along them and Kiji lifted her head, her eyes piercing into the core of the Merchant. "Tell me.. have you ever seen someone after they've lied to a Kiri shinobi?" The whips fall and coil about on the ground as she waited for him to react to her overt threat.
Jiro frowns when the man says he doesn't know anything, more or less. He steps behind the merchant and just folds his arms over his chest and waits. He may not be as threatening as Kiji with those whips but he is a shinobi. So he waits in silence to see what happens, prepared to move in an instant should the need arise.
Arika's eyes widen a bit when she sees Kiji unleash her blood whips. Kiri-nin are scary! Really cool, but very scary. She half wants to tell Kiji to maybe calm down, but has a feeling that might make her in an even worse mood. She focuses her own chakra, though, just in case, and watches both, eyes narrowing at the merchant.
The merchant blinks a bit, then coughs lightly, trying to figure out what in his story didn't match up. "Ah, No, I haven't. Heard plenty of stories, though… I'm not sure what you're trying to say, though, miss…" Lie… "Just put those there … things… away. And we can talk peacefully."
Kiji shifted, her whips flicking lightly back and forth. "I'm not in a very good mood right now so why don't you tell us the truth. You have things a bit mixed up. And these…" She flicked the whips. "Are for if you're stupid enough to run."
The merchant would have a heck of a time running at this point since Jiro is literally only a few steps behind him and ready to move himself if he needs to. The boy watches, deep blue eyes hard as they stare at the mans head while his arms remain crossed over his chest. He looks about ready to start kicking some butt just out of annoyance.
Arika shifts herself enough so that the trio of shinobi form a triangle around the merchant, blocking off any paths he might try to use. And with his parcel, he's not gonna go anywhere. The man is thoroughly trapped, basically.
The merchant frowns a bit. "I got to the village a bit before the murders happened. First one, at least. They held me accountable, but the second and third happened, and they decided it couldn't have been me since I was all locked up. So they let me go today. That's the truth." Those looking for any dishonesty would find none. Truly, this mystery was unsolvable… Who was it that they were chasing after?