Date: April 8, 2015
Plans are set on hold as news from the Land of Tea's Daimyo reaches the ears of Hanpa, foretelling sabotage. Hanpa responds accordingly…
"The Business of Revenge - Crumbs and Crumbling"
Land of Rivers - [Suisei] The Manor
Looking over the site of the city being prepared for construction, Hanpa cannot help but feel a sense of pride in the accomplishment. This was not Higure as he had considered… but in any ways it was better. IT was not an anchor to the past, but a progressive step forward to the future while not forgetting what once was. It is… appropriate. And soon it may even be appropriate for him to stop being a mere remnant as well.
Ayumu had been asked to join Hanpa atop the vista that over looked the construction… after leaving a few things his talents allowed about the area prior. They didn't get to talk as often as he'd liked, and in rebuilding this… Ayumu should certainly be involved in both witnessing and knowing what was next. The masked man would face the construction, perhaps unable to see it at all but that was of no matter. "This time… I am planning to make it last beyond me or individual, Ayumu. I think I feel a small amount of why the shinobi villages were created. A sense of permanence and order. But… I do not ever plan to make it in to a place that exists for the purposes of war. Locations such as that should be as finite as the conflicts that bring about their creation." Hanpa would say to the other man. "How…are things on your end of life, Ayumu?" would then be asked more personally.
They were everywhere and nowhere, shifting and squirming from one realm to the next one. It mattered not the when or the where or the why, only that the thirst of the one was satisfied. An uneasy smile lit up Ayumu's features as a single thought came to mind.
Despite all of his best efforts to avoid emulating those that came before him, the present bespoke of failure. A great number of sensory organs were scattered about, observing the laborers' progress from the shadows. Sometimes, they even went as far as to merge themselves with the very material being worked or moved for transportation. They would do anything to please their master curiosity, though there was more at stake then simple satisfaction.
A normal man would've been overcome by the number of view points in some manner or form. But not an Iga; not Ayumu. "May you.. hmm… may we succeed to whatever degree that this reality alots, milord." Ayumu says, ignoring the initial comment as he peeled away from his surroundings. "But that be aside… Things are.. well, things are as they are. Unfortunate yet fortunate.. such as my resignation from Sunagakure and.. heheh.. the desire of my better half wanting to see you."
"Hmm a resignation… you have gone that far? It may not be something you can take back again in the future. And since Sunagakure itself is interested in building up their own, it will be harder for us to work with them." Hanpa wouldn't quite warn… but illustrate the situation through words before nodding. "I appreciate the sacrifices you have always made, Ayumu." Hanpa expressed his gratitude. Just then, the shadows cast from the both of them may have darkened just slightly, but Ayumu would have noticed the approach of Shie with relative ease as the figure loomed behind them both. He would tilt his head back, slowly extending his bizarrely long tongue that appeared to be wrapped around something. A small scroll he'd hidden in his throat. Hanpa would turn slightly towards the shadow, apparently aware of his presence as well.
The Shadow would bow before offering the message. "A missive from the Land of Tea, Lord Rain." the shockingly deep voice from the tall, lanky, alabaster man would be uttered. Hanpa didn't seem to mind grasping at the scroll even as it was covered in saliva, though he was wearing his gauntlets. He removed his mask before the two here, trusting them implicitly as he'd scan the note swiftly. Furrowing his brow slgihtly, he would say, "Ayumu… investigate the shipment of bricks that arrived for the construction project. Look for defects within them… perhaps utilizing your abilities with earth." Hanpa was displeased… not because of this so much as his helplessness in this situation. Having to wear this mask had become a curse more than a boon. It protected him from even the sharpest and unnatural of senses… but that also meant that his own were equally obscured. If only Yuki was around… she could have invented a means around her own mechanization. "Thank you, Shie." would be offered to the shadow who now retook his place within Hanpa's own in silence. "When you are able to find something… we will halt the usage of the shipment, and I want to see it for myself. There is apparently an attempt to sabotage our and other's efforts."
Ayumu simply inclined his head, refusing for the moment to give an excuse or offer a suggestion. Hanpa would adapt as need be to overcome whatever challenges presented themselves. And besides, it wasn't as if the Iga did not have some influence on Sunagakure; small though it may be. The currently masked and blonde-haired man perked up at Hanpa's last words, or seemed to at least. Then, those narrow slits are turned upon the 'thickening' shadows. Ayumu offered no immediate warning, but instead stepped aside as if to offer greater room for another to pass through.
Sensing Shie take form always excited the ex-shinobi for some reason. It was so much like — "Tea Land.. hmm.." Ayumu murmured, stroking his scruffy chin thoughtfully. "Milord?" He replied quietly during the brief pause on Hanpa's part. By the time Hanpa has finished speaking, the command has already been passed down to the rest of his senses. Out of wariness of watchers, the organs devoted to investigating remain in their static form and made their way hastily towards the latest shipment using Ayumu's 'unique' abilities. The moment they arrive at a relatively ignored set, the peel away from the ground and examine them. Eyes searched for the slightest of flaws, tongues sampled and assessed their composition alongside noses, and skin… skin acted as pressure pads to warn the others of any approach.
Hanpa exhaled slowly, knowing Ayumu would get on it in his own way and there was no concern there. "I am not sure if we will be able to track down the contractor themselves… but it is the next step of course." Hanpa would confirm. The fault lie in a defect with the bricks themselves. Internal and designed to crumble away from the inside out. Prodding and experimentation may reveal this, and trace amounts of earth based chakra could be found if one was able to sense it. It was very slight and very clever in the end. After a building was built, the failure of it could not at all be traced to anything but accidental. Without Shuuren's warning, there would have been little to no way of realizing this fault prior. "Hm… it seems the Daimyo of Tea is more than merely resource full." Hanpa quipped. "Are you able to discover the flawed materials, Ayumu?"
"Indeed milord, and from what I taste.. this isn't the work of the more average spectrum of humans." Ayumu says before returning briefly to rolling his tongue around in his mouth a few times. "Earth Chakra.. wait.. yes, earth chakra. Far too salty. Dispersed just enough to keep the bricks stable.. hmm.. delayed timer?" He frowns and starts to raise his hand up to stroke his chin, but stops short as a few absent-minded probings started to make the brick cave in on itself. The shifted pile squashes one of his eyes, earning a mild look of annoyance out of the Iga but no more.
"Whoever the individual or -uals are, they are unfamiliar to me, but.. I.. think I'd recognize them again… But of course before that, shall I see to it that the workers pause or carry on in case observers? Either way, progress will be slowed by quite a bit."
"We cannot afford to have the city itself fail before the eyes of the people who finally got the courage to look towards the future. We'll need to eliminate the flaw, even if that means the temporary escape of the sabotoures. We have some other ways of tracking them, and unless they have some other idea in mind or ploy we have not discovered, a second attempt will be far more difficult." Hanpa said with certainty. "We will be thorough… and we will be open about the discovery. Perhaps displaying that we caught on so quickly will provide an opportunity in the future as well." Hanpa would replace his mask before gesturing for Ayumu to follow, it was time to appear, handle the situation, and refocus the efforts of those who wanted this land to prosper once more.