Date: April 9, 2015
Having discovered the flaw in their most recent shipment of material, Hanpa, and those few cohorts that were available, decide to make an announcement. Although mainly meant to strengthen the spirit Suisei's inhabitants, the action serves to root out those connected to the sabotage.
"The Business of Revenge - Impeding Hope"
Land of Rivers - Suisei
They were not far away. The site had always been in view, and there wasn't much in the way of mountains and high elevtation on the southern side of the Land of Rivers, so when Ayumu and Hanpa made their trip back to the city itself, they would arrive around lunch time, still early in the day on this clear day. The sabotage that was to occur was averted, but handling it was not. Still, time could be taken. No need to rush to ruin their hard earned break and meals.. something that most of them had had neither of for quite some time. IT also gave him time to see who of Hanpa was within the area at this time in order to fill them in prior to the public announcement.
It was unlike the Iga to remain so quiet, and yet that was the case for him since Hanpa made clear his decision on the matter of handling the sabotage; or at least, up to a point. If ever an situation arose that might provoke a verbal response out of the ex-shinobi, he opted more often than not for the one word or two, or a gesture. He could not afford more than that for the sake of quieting troubling thoughts. Inevitably, Ayumu's worn down to the point he began making mistakes. One of which entailed casting his attention elsewhere, and the other…
"Leaves in the wind they seem to be, though one.. yes, at least one or two may yet be about, milord." Ayumu turns to give Hanpa a sidelong glance and a small grin. "Perhaps the chef shall entice all to come, neh?"
It was true that lunch time likely meant YUko was to be involved… which was certainly helpful. It also meant that most if not all would be accounted for, and anyone not there would be… odd. Thus more than likely, if there was anyone here, they would be taking part in the offerings. Hanpa would trust Ayumu's insight on this, as his limitations disallowed him much of his own. "I see. That could be quite fortunate. Given what we found… we have something to look for… to narrow it all down to…" Hanpa stated, reminding of the particulars that the missive he was given indicated. Earth jutsu, strangely, was one of the most subtle for various reasons. While it seems like it would be all about a form of power or durability, there were so many forms of malleable, transparent, and even synergistic properties that it was almost the craft best suited for the delicate.. manipulative arts. Beyond contemplating that however, it was time to go to the gathering of people who were enjoying their meals as they trod forth.
Ayumu nodded subty in agreement before turning his attention back towards the path ahead. "Even if they cannot or do not, the pool is not so shallow that-…" Ayumu trails of there and slows in steps, head turned towards the right until he can 'glance' behind them. When after a few moments nothing changes, Ayumu resumes his focus forwards and quietly files away whatever 'spooked' him in the first place. Unfortunately, the desire to speak further is also shelved away as well. With far too many thoughts in mind and an empty belly to deal with, the Iga honestly just couldn't be bothered…
Serving lunch as one would expect, Yuko stands at her table with a spoon as she serves out plate after plate. While she seems to just be doing her job, one who actually knows what to look for would know that she's examined each person who's come through and their actions. Under her counter on a second level that most people can't see, she has a scroll that she's been keeping count of people's actions and noting their descriptions on so that Hanpa and Ayumu know who to check out. Still, the smile on her face would indicate nothing but good intentions as she serves out delicious morsel after delicious morsel.
Patting Ayumu on the shoulder as they approach… Hanpa would say, "I hope you all are enjoying the meal… and as far as it can be… the work!" he'd say to the mass of people, some of which where happy about it all, some of which grumbled wanting to go back to looting because it was easier… but very few were less than mildly discontented due to being sore. Though those eatting already seemed to be in the best mood. "This may only be a piece of leveled terrain right now.. with bits and pieces strewn about and no real place to call home aside from tents and rough shacks for now… but I assure you the vision is far beyond that!" Moving towards the table in order to get some food for himself, or at least seem as if he would if he did nto have his mask, he'd stand near Yuko for anything she may need to give him or say on the sly.
"This place… when it is finished… will more than simply represent the future you all will have earned with your labor and trust… but it will also be an actual, functional part of that future. It will enable all of you.. as well the rest of the plans for the Land in its entirety. This is not simply a dream… it is a PLAN. It is a blue print as real as the one you are all using to make it a reality!" Cheers would begin to ring out. Most but not all believing life had to be better than just surviving, that this could truly be real. "Well.. it will be a reality… if those who are trying to stop it do not win." Hanpa would gesture towards Ayumu to procure a defective brick as he continued to speak. "You see… someone… likely not even from this country… wants to see your dream die. They want to see you fail… to see you crawl through the mud on your bellies again and fight over scraps. Someone wants to kill your hope before you have even TASTED it."
Ayumu cringes at the contact, but refrains from moving away. By focusing so deeply inward, the Iga had left himself somewhat unguarded in other areas. Truth be told, the only reason he had not been hopping every once in a while from a twig or slightly sharp rock getting to him was years upon years of abuse. Lured once more to the present, Ayumu glances at Rain's covered face briefly before turning his narrowed eyes upon the gathered masses. Sweeping glances tell lies, whereas his other senses sought the truth. Every man and woman are given equal scrutiny by the Iga. Those he found particularly noteworthy are watched even more closely from the shadows by sensory organs that partially separated from whatever surface they hadd been secretly move along.
The somewhat detached expression on Ayumu's face brightens as they grew closer to Yuko, and without hesitance the man held out his hands in preparation to receive a meal. Just as it should've been within his grasp, a gesture from Hanpa elicits a sigh, followed by grudging compliance. At least three are gathered, though only one is offered to Hanpa quietly.
As Ayumu and Hanpa approach, Yuko continues her work, though she keeps an intent ear open to what Hanpa says. Once he's close enough, she seamlessly rolls up the scroll and slips it to him either to his hand or into a pocket. Without any sign she's done anything, she fixes a plate for Ayumu and hands it over. Once that's done, she'd stand back and simply observe unless Hanpa himself asks for something to eat or drink.
Hanpa would remove his gauntlets as the message was passed to him. He would set them down deliberately on the table before accepting the brick as well. This… was the fundamentals of prestidigitation and the art of showman's magic. He stalled, keeping everyones eyes and focus busy on other things as he'd get the slip of paper and the brick, raising the brick as he'd run his fingers over the paper itself, hiding it from view while deciphering it. "This here… is a building block. A brick. A foundational material for a long lasting structure. It is what is part of what is needed to make this plan a reality… to allow the dream to live. But this piece of the whole…" Hanpa would state, applying just a bit of chakra to the center of the brick itself in order to cause its deffect to occur, the brick crumbling away from the inside and collapsing in on itself as he'd hold it primarily in the palm of his up turned hand. "This piece of the whole… is designed to fail. It is designed to make sure that anything all of /YOU/ create… crumbles in to dust. It was made to keep you… from your dreams."
Despite how simple all of this was… simply a brick collapsing… the wording and tone made the majority take great offense to the very idea, starting to rile up and curse about no one being able to take what was theirs. "Yes… you are right…" Hanpa stated.. oddly removing one of his hands, out stretching towards the likely eatting Ayumu a bit as he'd hold up three fingers. "I see the men three paces to my right…" He'd turn an point a bit in another direction. "The women eight paces to the front of me." He'd then raise a calming hand and lowered it down slowly. "And everyone else that is in every direction around and before me… and I have to ask… who would attack this dream? It makes me think… that it must not be someone from here. Surely it cannot be anyone who has lived i nthis place.. suffered as you all have… lost almost everything you held dear time and time again. So what does that leave…"
Hoping that Ayumu got the message and that Yuko was paying attention, Hanpa would nod then, having pointed out the suspects. He did so in a way to rattle them… perhaps make them think he was on to them to see if they would take off and run or try to creep away. But they did not. Thus… they obviously weren't amateurs which given the work that they had done seemed to line up. "Perhaps we can identify…. the strangers amongst us…." Hanpa would say coldly.
Though his gaze lay largely upon Yuko's offered plate, Ayumu did not miss a thing. It was unfortunate that no clone laid in wait to try and calm things down as necessary, but he adapted to the best of his ability. Small tendrils of hair slithered beneath his clothing along the back and buried themselves in the dirt. They would continue to gradually expand as Hanpa spoke, snaking their way in all direction. Their numbers were far too sparse to alter or halt much. But then, Ayumu was more than used to adapting on the fly as needed.
Despite marking targets as he spoke, the Iga visibly gave away nothing, nor did he direct his tendrils towards them. While he may not have doubted Hanpa's visionary prowess, the risk of startling the strangers into action while amongst the populace did not sit well with him. No, their part would be to protect when need be, but otherwise cajole or distract the targets. Only once fully prepared for most eventualities did the ex-wanderer stop eating around the half way point, and casually cleaned himself off while giving Hanpa a sidelong glance.
He was ready.
"That'll be quite easy, sir," Yuko calls out with a smile as she looks around, eyes passing curiously at those mentioned. She nonchalantly picks up a glass of sake from her counter and starts to sip from it. "You've all been enjoying your tea, hmm? A special concoction I made myself, one I drink with you as a sign of trust. To those of us who stand here in comradeship to pursue the dream, it is harmless. To any whose conscience is betraying them about about trying to sabotage… You've got minutes at best. It's your body's natural reaction to the knowledge of what you've done that will be your undoing."
A silent moment would pass before murmuring would begin… as well as desperation. One of the saboteurs would swiftly grasp someone next to them, holding a knife to their throat as he'd say harshly, "The antidote… or he dies!" The other seemed to remain calm, waiting for how this played out, but they were tensing and getting ready to slip away if need be. How ever the former was treated would cause the latter to make their decision on how to survive this. Hanpa however would simply… place his gauntlets back on and see how the other two Hanpa handled this hostage situation.
Knowing the truth is almost enough to elicit a chuckle out of the Iga, but he remained surprisingly professional in that regard. In a way, his time in Sunagakure had been well spent, for without it, the Iga would surely not have been so mature about things. Or perhaps it was all just a ruse? Regardless, he gaze slips away from Hanpa and zeroes completely on the saboteur. He could not approach directly even if he wanted to, though a few nearby tendrils are redirected towards the man's general location.
"Sweat, blood, and tears… Do these things mean anything to you?" Ayumu pauses. "Of course they do on some level, though not on a high enough of one. While your friend there would very much like to live I'm willing to bet, living and knowing he allowed one such as yourself to go on do so after threatening the lives of his friends and family don't… I just can't see that being likely. Not after so much has already been sacrificed."
"Now.. I could give you a number of scenarios, but the bottom line ultimately does not look good for you. At best your name is mud to those with half way decent connections to the comings and goings of things, and worst well… your dead regardless, assuming we go by whatever plan you and your compatriots come up with… But milord here may have another one for you that might play out better should one be calm enough to lend him an ear or two."
The threat of food poisoning in quite the literal sense did make several people feel uncomfortable. Primarily because they were not the purest of heart of intention… but they certainly didn't have anything to do with /this/ particular wrong. Dealing with thieves and pirates and ruffians was going to have a lot of blanch faces full of worry and guilt. However… only one of them was starting to slowly move away as the words of Ayumu settled in. The one with the hostage would bark, "Give me the antidote… then we can talk!". Hanpa would tighten his gauntlet a bit, adjusting it and rotating it. A glimmer of the sunlight would flash in to the eyes of the one sneaking away…. only to cause them to suddenly scream in fear and perhaps agony, covering their eyes with one hand and swinging wildly at the air. A simple genjutsu, but to one worried about poisons it may appear more like… symptoms.
"No… NO! PLEASE!" would be screamed from the formerly cautious female before a swift change of Hanpa's fingers, disguised within his replacing his gauntlets and finishing just now, would cause the woman to fall to her knees, suddenly and no longer screaming. The man who was holding up a by stander was surrounded… having just seen his partner… die? Lose her mind? Go unconscious? He just didn't know any more. "Alright! ALRIGHT!" he'd say… immediately letting the man go… and finding himself with his knife wrestled away and a heavy boot to his arse, knocking him to the ground as a few of the men behind him snickered and thumbed their noses at the "punk". Hanpa would face Ayumu and say, "Restrain them…. we need to have a chat. Everyone else… feel free to continue with your meals… there is no such concoction in your food. We would not put you in harms way so recklessly."
Ayumu had gone as far as to allow the professional mask to crack just long enough to leave them with a bright smile. But as things unfortunately turned out, the man was truly going to be obstinate about things. One would at least be given pause at the Iga's almost nonchalant approach to the matter; and yet, no, barring the woman tempted to try and run.
Silently, Ayumu observed what can be at best described as "the reaping of one's Karma." The tendrils remained at the ready in case any of the villagers became overzealous. Fortunately, it does not come to that. When the order came Ayumu merely nodded briefly to Hanpa before turning to the downed saboteurs. A few of the nearby villagers seeing the display might be startled enough to step away, though a few calming gestures is — or at least, hoped to be — enough to bury their worries long enough for tendrils of hair to bind hands, feet, fingers, and even toes together in separate bundles. Their initial task complete, the tendrils leave behind cuffs that would constantly drain the victims chakra; a self-maintaining technique. "At least I wouldn't.. but I still wouldn't try the—" Ayumu glances back at Yuko, coughs, then turns back and says, "Nevermind." He chuckles weakly while making his way over to their new found prisoners. Both are tossed onto a shoulder and carried back to Hanpa. With a simple head tossing of the head sideways, the Iga hinted at their glorious leader leading the way to wherever the two saboteurs would be stored.
That is unless of course he had something else in mind..