Date: May 22, 2015
Shuuren and Hanpa meet late at night to discuss the issues plaguing their countries.
"The Business of Revenge - An Enemy Deduced"
Late at night in Kirigakure, a figure one wouldn't quite expect to be in a place like Namami Restaurant is seen sitting at a booth in the far corner of the restaurant, away from any other patrons by choice by the amount of money he paid the barkeep to keep it that way. Only one man and whoever might be with him personally are to be allowed into the area where this man sits, that man being none other than the always-pristinely dressed Daimyo of the Land of Tea, Nagamura Shuuren. While most non-shinobi wouldn't dare set foot in this place alone, especially at night, this man's reputation from his days as a shinobi are still remembered. Thus far no one seems to want to test if he's still as dangerous as he once was behind the mask of that suit, or perhaps more.
A partially drunk glass of tea sits in front of the Daimyo, along with an extra glass and the pitcher, as he examines details on a map and a few scrolls. He waits patiently, not seeming to be in any hurry despite the hour. Of course, it's likely he's used to insane hours due to hospital work and such.
Sleep was not something Hanpa did much at all any more. He had quite a bit of dreams and thoughts and darkness for one life time and he had much to do since he awoke once more. Luckily, despite the recent events in the Land of Rivers, he was able to attend Kirigakure's tournament… though hed seen little of it. Too much too do… this meeting being one of those things.
Hanpa would arrive, certainly not unknown to this place by now, but still considered odd due to the fact that he always wore that mask of his even while relaxing. He would speak to the hostess for the evening, mentioning Shuuren and waiting for her to verify that he was the guest of the Daimyo of Tea. They worked swiftly to ensure it was correct as they did not want to offend either party so Hanpa did not have to wait long. He was shown to the table graciously before seating himself across from the man. Technically, Hanpa was not a Daimyo yet. His country was still too unstable for such a unified term of political power, but he was the Lord of Rivers and growing from that point. While not equals in that regard, Hanpa seemed to respect Shuuren on a level having to do more with his accomplishments than title. "I do not believe we have ever truly met face to face. I have to apologize for that, but as I am sure you understand, certain things need to be handled in person and cannot be left to others. I do hope that my… ambassador was adequate before. It seems that her speaking to you bore fruit, as well as the bounty. Speaking of which, I thank you personally for the aid in helping us establish Suisei."
Feeling an approaching presence, Shuuren glances up as the waitstaff inspect Hanpa then back to his paperwork for a few moments. When the man finally approaches the table, he looks up to him and nods. "A pleasure to finally meet you, and, yes, I quite understand that. It's the same reason I haven't visited your country myself. The work of rebuilding being stacked with other things can make life rather complicated. Truth be told, I wouldn't be here if not for the summons of an old friend from my days in Kumogakure to save his daughter after her match in the arena, but it seems it at least did create an opportunity for us to meet." He nods again. "It is my pleasure to assist. I'm carrying on the dream of the Nagamura to unite the world through trade to create a brotherhood."
A slight frown then comes to his face as he says, "Which brings to mind the reason for our meeting… to plot in getting rid of those who would hinder the rebirth of our nations." Turning the papers around so that Hanpa can see them, he points to marked spots on the map. "Each of these marks represent the men I know who are capable of creating the materials necessary for the type of sabotage our work has suffered. I have been able to question all but one of them and their associates."
And thus the reading between the lines begins. 'Other Things', purposefully ambiguous yet to the point. The 'opportunity' did denote that Shuuren felt himself and likely his associates, capable of handling the situation on his own and that Hanpa's involvement while helpful, was more a courtesy than a requirement. This was fine however, as it really was not their issue to begin with, and of course relying on outside help is not only a showing that you lack strength or leadership, but that perhaps arriving at your place was not done by your own merits. It was smart of him to distance his involving of Hanpa while still attaining it. Hanpa himself began to understand the man more by the second. And lies were not needed for any of this… which is what was truly impressive. He was certainly a leader to be reckoned with, never mind a shinobi.
The uniting of the world would bring a hidden smirk to Hanpa's lips. Quite an ambition for a businessman. Yet… not at all unexpected of a businessman, especially of his renown. A brotherhood… Hanpa would certainly keep this all in mind for later. Analyzing the maps in his own way, Hanpa would nod slowly as he'd ask, "And I assume there is a reason why one still remains unquestioned?", would be asked as Hanpa considered this information. Hanpa also takes particular note as to where the last person was.
"A quite good one actually," Shuuren says with a nod before picking up his glass and taking a sip of the tea while he points to one of the marks in the Land of Lightning, indicating the man that has not beeen questioned is from there. He's quite studious to each bit of Hanpa's reactions that he can read while the man is masked, though his manner is relaxed to the point one might not be able to tell he is doing so unless they are familiar with the technique themselves. "He seems to have vanished. From what I gathered from his neighbors and associates, his family had fallen sick and not been seen outside their home for some time. Apparently he started to act a little more oddly the longer they were sick, and then one day he himself was nowhere to be found. Were his family truly that ill, or had they perished, a caravan would be seen leaving with them, and yet no coffins were ever delivered, nor was any caravan seen coming or going in the days before his disappearance. On top that, he's an old family friend. If his family were truly that ill, he'd come to me or ask me to come to them without a doubt. Seeing that I never received word, and neither did any of my colleagues in Kumogakure, the number of options for an explanation is rather narrow at this point." He takes a break in speech for a moment to take another sip before saying, "This is rather grim, but it helps us to make our investigation a bit more swift now that we know who and what we're looking for."
"I see. Well it seems that the information is still in your spectrum more than anyone elses, given that he's a family friend at the least. It would waste time for me to merely make guesses based upon what you've told me now, but I can say that my own investigation in to this matter led me to Kumogakure for a time. I was able to speak with them about the possibility, and I recieved some … broad answers. Nothing to specific. I have to assume it was above my level of clearance as a relative stranger to the country. Still, it was enough to make me think that the information they had may not have been what I needed to track down the proper target. IT seems it is time for you to fill in the blanks." Hanpa would suggest.
Taking in the offered information from Hanpa, Shuuren furrows his eyebrows just slightly. That basically coincides with the information he has. Letting out a sigh, he picks up his glass and takes a long few sips from it, finishing it off before he finally just sets it aside. "I'm sure you've seen this by now, but… No matter how good or bad, fair or unfair, right or wrong a man with power is, there are going to be those who stand against him and try to remove him from power and take it for themselves, one way or another. In the case of my family, my father was a powerful yet benevolent man, who always sought to keep the world united at least in some ways, even in times of war. My specific job in the family was always to keep trade moving between our family and the businesses of other countries, even those Kumogakure was at war with, so that there would always be some foundation of a bond to rebuild upon between the countries once the dust had settled and the blood stopped flowing. That's why I had to retire from the life of a shinobi when Kumogakure was at war with Kirigakure. We absolutely refused to bow… even when the yakuza came knocking many times over the years. They wanted to convince the Nagamura to cross the line from unity to oppression, something my father never even considered saying yes to, but apparently someone in the family finally did. With the world at war and an emergency session in progress to keep things going as they should, a perfect opportunity presented itself for them to attack. I was in a far away country at the time, so the few more hours it would take me to reach the meeting kept me from being there to protect them when it happened. I am the last of my clan… and it appears the fools have decided it's time to make an attempt to seize the Nagamura legacy once again and now Tea Country with it… I do apologize that your country has been caught in the cross-fire of this conflict. The yakuza must have taken this man's family and made their threats rather effectively for him to not come to me before they took him as well. We may not have much time before they decide it's time to launch further attacks."
"I see. Yes… the criminal element is quite opportunistic. It is almost their entire skill set, given the fact that they cannot be open about their dealings until they have essentially absolute control. I accept your apology, but it is unnecessary. I have lived enough life to know when and where to cast blame, but more importantly, to know if there is any blame to cast at all. My country is still bleeding out the criminal element, and thus it could just have easily spilled over to yours and I would be the one apologizing." Hanpa would reassure Shuuren as he would take the cup set out for him and bring it closer to his way, but he would not partake. It was a bit rude… but he did come to this meeting in a mask, so hopefully it was understandable. "What would you like for those of Hanpa to do, Daimyo of Tea?"
"Then we have an understanding," Shuuren says with a nod. He doesn't seem to mind the man not removing his mask to partake of the tea. While some would find it rude, he himself has his own masks, as all men do. They are simply not quite so literal as the one Hanpa is wearing. At the question, he glances down to the papers then back up to Hanpa, saying, "If we can find out where he is being kept, we can find out who's doing this. Fortunately the circumstances are in our favor in that regard. He's being forced to build these bricks for them, so wherever he's being kept has a caravan flow to transport the materials. We need to investigate. I've already started with the mental side of the investigation and pin-pointed the spots along the journey that it's possible the crates of faulty bricks are being added to the shipments. We just have to find out which one it is and track the one who plants it back to where he's getting them from. That's where our mason will be, and that's where we'll find out the rest of the information we need. If your men happen to find the location before mine, they just need to show some restraint. Injury the yakuza as you wish, but don't kill them until we've pressed them for information. Don't hurt the mason. He's just an old man who's been threatened with the lives of his family. It wouldn't be quite fair to hold him to the same standards of fortitude we expect of our soldiers."
"Understood." Hanpa said simply at that. He was already formulating a plan based on his team and what they were capable of. It just so happened he had someone particularly suited to this task, and he may be able to mobilize enough people to make sure that the reaction time to the information was prompt as well. "No harm shall come to the man, if at all possible. The Yakuza themselves may even go…. relatively unharmed." Hanpa essentially promised. "I will see to this soon. It will take a bit of time no matter the approach simply due to the movement of materials. However, I assume we'll be given a copy of your data on routes and transportation methods?"
"Appreciated," Shuuren says with a nod. Of course, he doesn't mind the yakuza dying once the information they need is extracted. "Yes. I'll have that copied and brought to you once it's finalized. Be sure to let me know immediately if you find the location before my men do. I'll attend as swiftly as I can so that we can get this situation wrapped up at last." After a brief pause, he asks, "Is there anything further you need to know about the situation before we move forward?"
"Might I know the name of your… family friend so that incase we gain information that leads to tracking him down we won't be ignoring important facts such as that?" Hanpa would ask. When it came down to it, sometimes an over heard word was more than enough to go on after all. It was a pretty basic piece of information for finding a missing person as well. "Other than that, I believe we can work with what we have now." He would also assure Shuuren.
Fade to black…