Thieves of Torture - The Search for Lovers!

Starring:

Michiko (emitter), Hiei, Akira, Sachiko, Jon, Sakuya

Date: January 30, 2016

Summary:

The investigation continues! The Jinzen family is caught, and now the Koutamani family is under suspicion. What’s happening in the Land of Lightning?

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.


"Thieves of Torture - The Search for Lovers!"

Land of Lightning - Raiun City

Last time, Hiei, Arashi, Reza, and Akira went undercover to try and unmask some of the atrocities that were covertly happening within the Land of Lightning's own capital. One would think such a thing would be impossible to happen given there is a shinobi village not too far. But somehow things were orchestrated in a way just right so that all of this could play out correct. Thus so far, three families have been discovered. The Wagaren family, a house of relative nobility, the Jinzen family, who owned a popular ramen shop, and the original Gyoukon family, who had given Michiko and Yori the names of the Main Seven.
Interestingly enough, the Jinzen family had ties to the Koutamani family. Their eldest daughter, Hayami, was dating Koutamani Shigeru. As such, the forces of Kumogakure decided to look into where this daughter disappeared to. Especially with such strange circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Intelligence would note that the Koutamani family has nothing bad going against them. Maybe a random ticket here and there for the smallest of infractions, but nothing major. They largely kept to themselves and worked and such and so. But their name was already on the list to investigate, and now Kumo had a reason to search their home! And that is where we begin …

Hiei had waited a bit for reinforcements from Kumo to arrive before moving to check out the Koutamani family. He had sent Reza and Arashi back to the village with orders to bring back those well versed in investigative techniques. Akira had stayed with him until the others arrived. Hiei had specifically requested Saito Jon to return with the group from Kumo. He highly valued the detective's instincts and really wanted to bring him in on this case. Right now, he and Akira were staking out the Koutamani home. Hiei was clad in his matte black armor, mask still covering his lower face and swords belted at his waist as he watches from the rooftop of a nearby building. He had been unusually quiet during this period, speaking only to answer the random question or two from Akira, if he asked any.

Between the investigation of the Jinzen restaurant and now, Akira has thoroughly soaked himself in one of the local hot springs, if only to rinse himself of some sort of invisible filth permeating that place. He could face torture, yes, but still hate and fear it (albeit less than he did). Otherwise, the boy spends his time with the Raikage. At the moment, he's sitting with his father upon the same roof, and he occasionally points out some impressive structure to inquire as to what it is. He may not get back to this city for a good while, after all.

Instinct, huh? A Sam Spade-type might smugly agree with that sentiment, recalling all the times he just 'had a hunch' about a particular case. A Sherlock Holmes-type would be more likely to go into a lecture about logic, not intuition, being the proper tool of a detective. Jon? He's somewhere in between at around Dick Tracy, understanding that the reference to 'instinct' is really meant to amalgamate the experience and skills he possesses and able to take it in stride as a reasonable human being. And of course, that's all if somebody actually said it out loud. ;) As it is, Jon just gets the message that he's wanted for an investigation and shows up for duty, with Scruvo riding his shoulder as usual. "G'day, mates. We in for anothah game o' intrigue an' deceit?" :)

A mission… That's something of a surprise. Sachiko ushered Shun to his grandparents and headed off. She wore her hitai-ate as her blindfold and got there as soon as she could. On her way, she created plenty of sentries to use later, actually carrying a pouch on her side just for them.

Sakuya was hoping to learn from Saito Jon on this investigative outing. Though she has had little contact with this particular investigation, she was partly responsible for a sting on one of the families. Unfortunately, a single sting operation does not make her a skilled asset on this mission. She will have to rely on natural senses in order to pick out scents. Kumo does not have the Inuzuka to track strange smells, but they have something just as good. They have Sakuya and Zuzu! Likely on the way over, Zuzu had been listening to the goody-two-shoes crow which caused him much stomach trouble. «How much would you like to bet that that fiendish bird would continue to speak, and speak, and speak as he slid through my intenstines? I said to you once before, Sssakuya, that I thought you were the most annoying curr in all of the world. I congratulate you for being bumped to second place…» … »Deal with it, Zuzu. This is official business.«
Sakuya would flick her tongue as she placed her hands upon her hips. Ignoring Zuzu as usual, unless he had some actual decent counsel. "First time I'm actually going to use deductive logic in an investigation." She can't wait. Newfound skills in newfound places. "So we're actually in possession of a warrant, huh?" Pretty cool, she is smiling a little.

As Hiei and Akira would find, the Koutamani family seems to be … Absent. They exist! They just don't leave their house … at all. Strange, no? Well, perhaps. But maybe not. The police told the Koutamani family that they were under house arrest until they found their son and the Jinzen's oldest daughter.

COMBAT: Hiei focuses 2060 stamina to turn it into 3000 usable chakra!

Once the rest of the group arrived, Hiei would turn to greet them and give them a briefing. "I'm sure most of you have been briefed by Arashi and Reza, but I'll do my best to recap a bit. The Jinzen family was found guilty of holding innocent humans in the basement of their resturant. They were in horrible shape, and had been subjected to multiple forms of torture. The head of the family informed me that he recieved a letter from someone claiming to be from the Capitol to receive criminals from off the street and hold them in their makeshift prison. But the letter was very vague from some nameless person and he was instructed to burn it afterwards. Very suspicious. But after rescuing a few of them, we found out that they were instead being snatched from the streets. All of the Jinzen family was accounted for, except for their eldest daughter. She was supposed to be at her boyfriend's house.." He motions to the place across the street. "..here at the Koutamani residence. I didn't want to move forward with the investigation until I received adequate back-up. So thanks for coming." He inclines his head towards them out of gratitude. "Our focus now is finding the Jinzen girl and her boyfriend. Their names are Hayami and Shigeru respectively."
Hiei turns to Jon and Sakuya. "Jon, Sakuya, I'd like for you two to take the lead on this. We have authority to search the house, but I would like you two to also interview the family and see what you can get out of them. Sachiko, I'd like you to place your sentries around the house perimeter, that way if someone tries to slip out, you'll know about it and can inform the rest of us." He then motions to Akira. "After that's done, Akira will speak to any children that may be around while Sachiko and I conduct a search of the premises. Other than that, Akira, I want you to assist Jon and Sakuya." He looks around at the group. "Everyone clear on their task?"

Akira mostly knows what the current circumstances of the investigation are, as he was there to see the horror that is their quarry's work. However, until now, he's whiled away the time between taking in the comforts of the city or keeping Hiei company. When the time does at last come to resume their work, this time at the Koutamani residence, he's attentive to Hiei's needs. Maybe a little disappointed that he alone wasn't adequate backup, but one can do only so much!
"You sure you don't want my help with, y'know, slipping into small places? Never know how they could hide!" Akira's been a diplomat to the children of the capital, a touch grudgingly, but seldom openly so. The youth likely doesn't grasp that each task delegated has its importance. At any rate, he's submitted his feedback, but otherwise straightens out his kimono and nods firmly to the Raikage. Orders given, orders clear.

Jon nods in response to Hiei's orders. "Understood, Raikage-sama." Hmm, this is a peculiar case. e.ea It's understandable that people with strong sadistic tendencies could get into the habit of kidnapping and torturing people, and even that such 'hobbyists' might develop ties with each other to help enable their habits…but why would anybody send a mail out of the blue telling a random family to start imprisoning and torturing those sent to them? Were they running out of prison space while still finding people they felt a compulsion to punish? Do they just get off on the idea of spreading their sickness? If the family they chose to contact really was random, they got incredibly lucky that it wasn't someone who'd whistle-blow to the authorities sooner or later…which means it's more likely that they were carefully chosen, which means whoever's doing this must have been observing them beforehand. The Kumo nin could be getting close to the source here.
Jon takes a look at Sakuya as they approach the residence. "Don't be afraid to ask your own questions or interject during this. Even if something you ask about turns out to be irrelevant, the more they have to think about, the more likely they are to let something slip. This is a good chance to learn by making mistakes." ;) Jon knocks on the door, then lets himself in — the place is already on police lockdown, after all. "Hello, I'm Saito Jon and this is Hebisuuhai Sakuya, we're with Kumogakure and we have some questions for you." No point in being overly friendly, these folk already know they're under suspicion.

COMBAT: Jon focuses 8752 stamina to turn it into 12179 usable chakra!

Sachiko nods her head. "Got it," she responds. "Shall I take up sentry myself on the roof of the building to help keep a lookout or come inside?" She can, of course, hear and see what's going on inside as well as long as she has the appropriate organs inside. Wait! Yup, she would… as Hiei is always carrying them, knowingly or not.

COMBAT: Sachiko focuses 4927 stamina to turn it into 6000 usable chakra!

Sakuya would salute the Raikage, standard Kumo fashion. "Yes, Raikage." She turns towards Saito Jon, scratching the side of her head. "Well. I'll consider this on the job training." Sakuya has never interrogated anyone in official manner. "I can't well mess this up too badly, can I?" Just catch them in a lie the best she can. If she can. Learn from one's mistakes. When Jon enters the room with the individuals who needed questioning, she lets Jon do the initial talking. A good first step in her book is to start asking them the basics. The simple things. Look for descrepancies in what was known based on intel, and what they say. "Hello. If you answer our questions truthfully, we shouldn't be taking too much of your time. Let's start simple, shall we?" Sakuya closed her eyes and clasped her hands together. "Tell me about Jinzen Hayami. What is her relationship to your family?" Is she close to your family? How long have you know her? Simple break-the-ice questions to relax the family before moving on to the heavy hitters.

COMBAT: Sakuya focuses 5247 stamina to turn it into 5999 usable chakra!

Oy, just coming into a man's house without war- wait, they knocked e.e Koutamani Koga stood up when Saito Jon entered the room with his partner. "Greetings," he says formally. "I am Koutamani Koga. My father is Ryuu." The old man that was indicated is asleep, a bit of drool coming out of the corner of his mouth. "This is my wife, Rena. My son, Shigeru, is currently missing… As I'm sure you know." Then Sakuya's questions seemed to come down in a flood. "She dates our son. We've seen her every now and then. She's very nice, actually. I'm surprised our son met her and managed to hit it off with her. The few conversations we've had, she's always been pleasant. I think they've been going out for six months, right?" Koga would glance back to his wife for confirmation before looking to Jon and Sakuya.

Hiei shakes his head to Akira. "I need you where I asked you to be, son. Go on." He motions to Akira before leaping off the side of the building to join Sachiko around the perimeter of the house. He asides to her. "Actually, I need a second pair of eyes to help me search on the inside. That's why I asked you to lay your sentries outside. But we can start on the outside and work our way in. Let's look around out here first." He comments as he begins checking outside of the house for anything peculiar.

RPCOMBAT: Hiei defends against with a MASTERED-PERCEPTION…80

Whatever he may think inwardly about being delegated to speaking with other children, Akira does as asked without complaint, as he always does for Hiei. The boy inclines his head respectfully to the Raikage and then turns to roam a bit from the house in search of potential targets. They have to be within sight of the Koutamani residence, he supposes, for his best odds.
"Hi. I'm visiting the capital," Akira says, lifting a small hand to a trio of children he sees playing with a ball. He softens up for them, turning the seriousness down several notches in favor of seeming more his age. Friendly, too. "Do you know the Koutamani family? I was supposed to visit Shigeru and his girlfriend. Her name's … Hayami?" Akira makes that sound like a hesitant guess, before looking with hopeful eyes between the three children, offering them a broad (if scarred) smile.

Jon quirks an eyebrow at Koga's statement. "Surprised, you say? So you wouldn't have expected your son to get far with a nice girl like Hayami-san?" Jon pulls out a little notepad and writes in it. Not only to aid his own memory, but to heighten the sense of WE'RE GONNA GETCHA WITH EVERY LITTLE THING YOU SAY. It would please Jon to find out that bad-boy Shigeru is the only member of this family involved in the torture ring, but he's more likely to find leads by assuming the rest of them are hiding something. "What about the rest of the Jinzen family? How often do you visit with them?"

The redhead makes a round about the house, dropping sentries as she goes. At Hiei's explanation, she nods her head. "Sounds like a good plan." The sentries each find a place to settle as she sets an eye in her hair so she can see without having to reveal her eyes. She doubts anyone would recognize them, but she doesn't need to draw suspicion from those they're trying to question given her odd pair of eyes. So she just makes it a point to check what's going on around the house… if there's anything out of place.

RPCOMBAT: Sachiko defends against with a FOCUSED-SENSORY-ARRAY…58

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…26

Sakuya would attempt to use her senses to find the common signs of lying. Such as the trembling of one's body, something that Sakuya might pick up on. It didn't seem as if they were lying. "Six months. That's a lot of time for Shigeru to be hanging out with such a girl and his family not to know more specific details. Do you know any venues that they liked to visit? Or perhaps you have overheard them mention a specific place? To be honest, we do not see Shigeru as guilty of any crime. He simply fell into the wrong place at the wrong time. If you can tell us anything important, you ought to. It will help us retrieve your son before he is lost, Koga-san." Inquiry. She wouldn't trust these people farther than she could throw them. They were obviously guilty, she just needed that one opportunity to catch them. Jon was being such a bad cop, sort of. She was going to be the good cop and perhaps get them to relax. Relaxation will get them to make more mistakes? Or she failed invariably.

The outside of the house? It wasn't very special. It was a sort of crowded neighborhood that they lived in, like most residential areas in the city. Narrow alleyways went along both sides of the house, and there was no back way. Unless you counted the front door that lead to someone /else's/ home. In the alleyways, there were signs of people who had done some drugs, but nothing else odd.
The three 'children' that Akira found were in their late teens playing a version of modern-day basketball. "Eh? Lay off, kid. We're busy…" says one, dribbling the ball slowly so it makes a relatively consistent *tap* *tap* *tap* against the street. At the mention of Shigeru, one of the teens would scowl. "He's too big for his britches," she comments. "About as stuck up as you can get, which doesn't even make sense."
"Yeah, Shigeru-kun hangs out with a rough crowd most of the time. Not usually around here, thankfully. I guess that's how he ended up running into Hayami-san… We don't know her parents or anything too well, either. I know that might sound a bit strange, but they're usually busy running their restaurant. You ever see how it can get? Busy from morn to dusk!" Kota taps his chin as he thinks about Sakuya's questions. "Hmmm… Nope. He liked to keep to himself, really… I think it must be those friends of his. They're bad influences, I tell you!"

After searching for awhile, Hiei turns to Sachiko. "I'm not turning up anything viable. How about you?" He'd wait for her to answer before rolling his shoulders a bit and making sure his ponytail is still in tact. He then motions towards the house. "Alright then. Let's go inside and see what we can find in there." He glances back towards the alley where he saw the remnants of the drug use. He makes a disgusted face underneath his mask. Why anyone would fill their bodies with that junk was beyond him. He'd never do it himself, no matter how bad it got. His body was his temple, and he wanted to keep it pure so he would always stay in top fighting form. At any rate, he moves towards the door to slip into the house. If there was more than one level, he'd offer to take the bottom one, which would let Sachiko take the upper levels.

RPCOMBAT: Hiei defends against with a PERCEPTION-III…57

Akira has, perhaps, underestimated the age of the young people he chose to approach. He doesn't much know how to deal with their age group, so rather than invoke the wrath of the first teenager, he inclines his head a touch in respect to the other two who actually do talk. It's something to build upon, at least.
"You're really good at that," the boy says to the teenager dribbling the ball, once again brandishing his broad smile. He behaves as though he's envious, as a boy might be of an athletically talented senior (it can't hurt to try and endear himself), until he similarly fakes his attention snapping back to the other two speaking poorly of his marks.
Akira tilts his head slightly to the right. "Really? Shigeru's with bad people? Where are /they/ at?" He sounds impatient about waiting around the house. "Maybe it's his girlfriend. Girls are trouble sometimes." Quickly, he lifts his hands and says to the female player in a cowed tone, "Not you! You seem nice."

Jon chuckles lightly. "What sounds a bit strange is that you claim not to be very familiar with the Jinzen, but you sound confident about the state of their restaurant. Come on, how would you know it's busy from morn to dusk if you haven't spent all day there yourself? You'll make things a lot easier on yourself by being honest with us, y'know." Bad cop getting a little more tough…

Sachiko shakes her head softly. "Nothing of importance… Unless potentially the drugs belonged to one of the couple," she suggests quietly. It was possible, certainly, but… As they pass the spot where there is evidence of drug use, she pauses long enough to examine and see if there's any left behind. Maybe they could figure out what kind it was… and if it was either Shigeru's or Hayami's, maybe they could track them by finding out who sells that particular drug. If there isn't enough of a trace left, she just shrugs and heads to the entrance with Hiei, nodding her head at his decision of taking the lower floor.

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…62
RPCOMBAT: Sachiko defends against with a FOCUSED-SENSORY-ARRAY…65

Sakuya would slip her arms together, crossing them as she tries to think over what has happened so far and what the family has said. Koutamani Shigeru, a member of the family that they are currently seeking answers from, had disappeared with a woman of a family that had set up a place where several innocent individuals were kept for reasons she has not been informed of. A prison under a restaurant? Sounds like canibals. Not good news. This disappearance had happened reacently, and their relationship happened six months ago. Six months does not suddenly strip a man of common sense. She hated to admit it but, this felt like Shigeru was not acting out of being head over heals in love. He was clearly an accomplice, and the rest of the family did not seem hostile enough to indicate that they were also accomplices. This family just seemed to have a bad egg on their side. Sakuya created a hand seal, and channeled her thoughts to Jon. This line of questioning doesn't seem to be getting anywhere fast, Jon-sensei. It doesn't seem that this family is very aware of their son's actions. I don't personally know a good way to flush answers out of them.

"Well, we try to meet with them. But it just never works out. And the Jinzen Ramen shop is quite popular. I'm surprised you never visited it," Koga would tell Jon. "I'm sure you've seen it. It's on the other side of town." Kota gives a slight nod before pausing. Hiei had come in through the front door (the only entrance to his wonderful home unless people go through the windows) as a rather imposing figure. The Koutamani would continue on, though, with his attention being on Jon mostly.
Within the house on the lower floors, Hiei would find nothing of interest. It is the place where most people pass through, though, so perhaps that is to be expected? Sachiko's search bears more fruit, at least. With no drugs to investigate further, she would get to make her way to the second floor with no hassle. Police guarded the stairway so that the Koutamani family couldn't change anything. They let the Kumo-nin through after checking her ID quickly.
The elder teen with the ball would puff up a bit with pride, continuing to dribble. "You ain't seen nothing yet, kid. This is cake." The girl off to the side says. "I don't know and I don't care. They're one lot I would hate to run into. Thieves, the lot of them. No goods. I bet they would drop out of school if they were allowed. They still skip classes," she says with a sniff. "Jinzen-san is pretty nice, though," remarks the third teen. "She's actually managed to get her boyfriend to straighten up a bit." "Yes, but hardly enough…"

Hiei hasn't found anything on the first floor, so he goes to look for a basement of some sort. Since the Jinzen family had the prisoners in their basement, it stands to reason that there might be something amiss in this one. With a final glance towards the parents, he goes looking for it. He also is looking for family portraits and pictures, mostly to see if they have more than one child.

RPCOMBAT: Hiei defends against with a MASTERED-PERCEPTION…75

Akira patiently listens as the three teenagers explain their perspectives on Shigeru and Hayami. His efforts to endear himself to the more confrontational teenager seem to have paid off, or at least stroked his ego sufficiently to end the shooing. "Thieves, really? And they're /that/ bad?" The boy opens his eyes wide, looking both surprised and worried by this news. "I … should go. I'm worried about Shigeru! Thanks!" The youth waves a small hand to the three teens and then turns to leave, though he'd allow himself to be stopped if they suddenly had anything else to divulge. Akira's course takes him toward Shigeru's home, where his comrades are all at work, and then running into the shadow cast by one side of the building in particular.
Once in the depths of the shadow, Akira waits until he sees a means to contact Hiei, or any of the others. He's used chakra to attach himself to the darkened wall and scuttled up toward the roof, such that someone looking for him would have to look up with focused curiosity.
With no way to creep inside without being noticed, Akira does the only thing he can think to do. He snaps his fingers, producing a small spark of electricity, and hopes that his father picks up on it like a beacon.

"Hrmm." Jon makes a dubious grimace while writing in his notepad. "Well, since we're not getting anywhere with that, let's move on. These friends you mentioned that are such a bad influence, do you have any names, addresses, places you often see them?" Jon receives Sakuya's message, but without much means of discreetly replying, he just forges on with the inquiry. Gotta keep digging, even if the ground seems dry. Besides, it helps the others conduct their searches without interference. ;)

Sachiko offered her identification without issue and proceeded to scatter her sentries throughout the rooms, though she goes to Shigeru's room in person first. She reaches up to remove her hitai-ate so she can actually see, using the ability of her eyes to focus on details to a much greater degree. Taking a deep breath of the air in the room, she tries to pinpoint where he would have hid his stash.
Akira would find that an eyeball reveals itself from its hiding spot in the alleyway to look up at him as quizzically as a disembodied eye can. It shifts to use the nerve attached to it to point to a window to the second floor. The window to Shigeru's room, which Sachiko opens while looking around.

RP: Sachiko transforms into HAWK-EYE.
RPCOMBAT: Sachiko defends against with a ADVANCED-SENSORY-ARRAY…64

Sakuya will have to agree. Not even the legendary Saito Jon could weasle any information out of them. Can't expect absolute results 100% of the time. "If you can tell us this, we will let you go on with your day." Sakuya would genjutsu Zuzu, given she needed his services. »Hey, Zuzu. I need you to help me out. Help me scout the room out. You're far better at this than me, so throw me a bone…« … «Not if you're going to use Inuzuka puns, fool. How low you've stooped… Very well, let us see if we can't find anything one last time before we depart…»

RP: Sakuya transforms into ZUZU'S-WISDOM.
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…50
RP: Sakuya reverts to her normal state.

There is no basement, unfortunately. Or perhaps fortunately. This family was looking more and more innocent as the minutes ticked by! As for family portraits, there were a number of them. Shigeru was featured in them frequently, looking like a fairly good kid up until when he'd have hit middle school. Then he'd start looking miserable… And slightly hungover in the later pictures.
"The alleys, I suppose? Umm… Some of the trouble makers… Tenza, Mokudo, and Ensa, I suppose. Those are the kids we usually see our son with." Koga shrugs a bit. "I'm not sure what got into them. They were all good kids until a few years ago…" The man sighs, and then his father snorts a bit before turning over and going back to sleep.
Akira would not be stopped by the group, and all of them would easily go back to whatever gossip they decided to partake in. Sakuya would find little of interest, as well. Or at least, Zuzu wouldn't find much new. No bad smells that seemed to permeate the home. Nothing strange or out of place… It seemed as if it was a single problem child.

Akira peers downward and spies the eyeball directing him toward a certain window. After a moment to peer about for witnesses, the boy scuttles along the wall to said window and pulls himself inside. "I don't think the boy's here," says Akira to Sachiko as he arrives in the more isolated portion of the home. "He likes to spend time with a gang. Thieves, people said, and bad ones." He pauses a moment before commenting, "They think the Jinzen girl's making him behave better. It's weird." The entire situation seems a tangled mess of relationships to his young mind, with no clear picture of who's actually doing the better part of the wrong.
"We should probably tell father and the others. His parents probably don't know much," Akira reasons, scratching lightly at the back of his neck. "He might be wherever that gang is, if his girlfriend hasn't helped him like those kids thought."

Jon nods slowly while finishing writing in his pad. Yeah, that's about as far as they can get with this. "All right, I suppose that's about all we need…for now. Thank you for your time, Koutamani-san." Jon gives a curt nod, then turns to find Hiei (presumably along with Sakuya). "No points to indict them," Jon reports. "They say their son Shigeru hangs out with a bad crowd of juveniles and gave us a few names. We'd probably best look into those next."

Sachiko listens to her son at length, but still moves about the room. Reaching out, she takes hold of a piece of paper that is sticking out of the drawer on the nightstand of Shigeru's bed. "They are downstairs, still talking to the parents. Actually… if you don't mind, perhaps the grandfather knows something. He is asleep… Do you think you could wake him?" She looks over at him before turning her gaze back to the drawer and taking hold of the handle to open it and see what's inside. "In fact… they may be missing the opportunity if you don't hurry. Can you please run down there and ask about the grandfather? You have your ID, right? There are police officers in the stairwell that will ask for it."
Sakuya would rub her head. "Well, we can't win them all I suppose." There was nothing else that could have been gleamed there. Terrible… Guess it's time to track down some bandits or something.

Koga would nod curtly to Jon and sit down with a sigh. These questions… Were a pain. And never ending. The man would at least be able to relax now, hopefully. Except Akira came down the stairs, startling the guards a bit. One goes up and a child comes down..? Well, the ID, if given, was accepted and Akira let through. Sachiko as well.
Sachiko's paper was actually the top sheet of many pieces. All of them had notes scrawled on them in messy handwriting. The top was on new-ish paper and held an amazingly angry note. If she decided to explore these other sheets of paper, she would notice the sheets would get progressively older and the tone progressively nicer. The top, however, held a death threat…
Assumedly, Jon and Sakuya wandered out of the house. With only names of people they otherwise know nothing about … Excepting that they hang out in alleys. Well, that doesn't sound right :|a

Hiei leaves out of the house after Jon and Sakuya left.

After checking in with Hiei, Jon heads up to see what the others may have found. He finds Sachiko in bedroom, looking into the drawer. "The father is giving a pretty straight story, hard to find chinks in it, and the rest of the family isn't speaking up…may have to question them separately. Found something interesting, Sachiko-san?"

Sachiko is silent for a moment as she starts reading over the top page of the pile of paper she found. "Something of note, at least. Looks like these might be letters. Haven't read them enough to know for certain if they are from our target or to him, but this one is pretty nasty," she offers and hands him the first page over to Jon to scrutinize. Then she starts reading through the rest of the stack, letting her eyes relax for now. However, she pauses enough to actually look over. "Did you pass Akira-kun…?"

RP: Sachiko reverts to her normal state.
RP: Sakuya transforms into ZUZU'S-WISDOM.

Sakuya would approach and nod to Sachiko, smiling. "Good work finding these. They might be useful. Letters always come from outside sources… It… It might be hit or miss, but I'll try my best to see if their scent is fresh enough to track." Sakuya would hold her hand out to take one of the letters, and if given one, she would flick her tongue over it. Zuzu would slither out of the collar of her Kimono and also flick his tongue. "One moment… I hate doing this." She would place that snakey-tongue on the letter and revulse a moment. Eww. v.v; Hopefully it was worth

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…55

'Shigeru-' the letters started. 'You defied him for the last time. If you don't come to the alley near the pet shop, your girlfriend is dead. He's been watching you…' It wasn't signed. The other letters were all basic warnings for Shigeru to get his act together and questioning him about monetary matters. The furthest dated back was about 5.5 months ago and they would continue to progress every two weeks.
Sakuya would be able to sense the person who had written the letters, though it was likely unnecessary… The most recent letter was dated for yesterday. …

Hooboy. c.c Well, at least they have a bit of a lead now. "Good find, Sachiko-san," Jon says. "Sakuya-san, we'd better move quick. Remember that scent, we may run into its owner soon." :/ With that, Jon gets directions from one of the police guards to the nearest pet shop and sets off.

With no real need for Sakuya's senses, and perhaps a clear lead to where Shigeru -might- be, Sakuya had to hope that the information on the letters weren't misleading. Still, just in -case- there are more than one pet shop she makes sure she can sense whether Shigeru's scent was here or not… "The tone of that letter seems to me like there might be trouble in this alley." Sakuya notes, turning her head towards her instructor. "It might be fair to take offensive positions. I will take the rooftops, and provide back-up. If you enter the alley alone to confront them, they may divulge information they wouldn't if intimidated. At the same time, we might already be too late." This is called precautions. Unless Jon has a conflicting opinion of action. Sakuya would jump into the roof, and attempt to be sneaky…

And so the two investigator-types would be going after this latest piece of evidence! Thankfully, they were on the correct track. As they reached the alleyway, they'd hear a rather sinister voice sound out. It was relatively quiet, though, and they'd have to strain to make out the voice. Then there would be the sound of scrambling and shouting, and then the sound of someone getting beat up and a girl yelling for the 'cowards' to 'let him fight'. Really, the shinobi might be a late to the party, but there seems to be an interesting connection here…

[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Low Voice + Distance vs. Any ('Stealth') from 40 to 70 and get(s) a 56. - Rolled by: Rockpath
RP: Jon transforms into MENTALITY-OF-THE-SLEUTH.
RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a PERCEPTION…40
COMBAT: Jon attacks target 1 with STEALTH with a roll of: 30
[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Normal Perception vs. Jon (30) from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 29. - Rolled by: Rockpath
[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Normal Perception vs. Jon (30) from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 30. - Rolled by: Rockpath
[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Normal Perception vs. Jon (30) from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 18. - Rolled by: Rockpath

Jon nods as they run. "That seems like a sound plan." Jon gathers up his chakra and activates his first level of brainy-mode as the pet shop and the alley in question draws near. He can't hear much of what's being said, but the parts that are yelled come in clear enough. Sounds like a typical gang beating, if they were immediately threatening his life she wouldn't say anything about letting him fight. With that in mind, Jon opts to stay by the corner and carefully peek around for now. A touch risky, and little doubt the victim would prefer that Jon intervene immediately, but he got himself into this mess, and the possibility of getting more leads is more important than saving the kid a few slugs.

RP: Sakuya transforms into ZUZU'S-WISDOM.
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…38

Sakuya, up on the roof, would stay low and attempt to look over the edge of the roof. She ketp a very, very small profile. Everything was in place for an sufficient attack. Sakuya would place her hands in a seal to communicate with Jon via genjutsu. The perfect ability all young shinobi operatives should invest in. «I'm in position, Jon. Give me the signal, and I will seal off the other exit to the alley.» Thus keeping the people on the ground unable to escape from Jon, but it looks like from her position on the roof. «I think… One of them… Sees you. His head is facing towards the alley.»

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with STEALTH with a roll of: 22
[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Normal Perception vs. Sakuya (22) from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 23. - Rolled by: Rockpath
[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Normal Perception vs. Sakuya (22) from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 18. - Rolled by: Rockpath
[NPC System]: ??? roll(s) Normal Perception vs. Sakuya (22) from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 23. - Rolled by: Rockpath

Both investigators get to see three people beating up on someone. They were dealing heavy blows with their feet to a downed figure who was currently curled up, and someone that matched Hayami's description was struggling against some binds and screaming expletives at the group of torturers. Her guard would smack her, then. "Shut up," the teen would say with a grumble. "We're doing what we been told, unlike yer boyfriend." This managed to make the girl shut up, at least for a few moments. Then the guard would notice Jon and straighten up a bit. He didn't see Sakuya, but the girl and the victim did. They would try not to let on they knew of the shinobi's presence, though. After all, Sakuya could just be spying for the gang's master or something.
"Hey… Get out of here," the guard would say.

COMBAT: Jon attacks target 1 with JAIL-CELL-ILLUSION with a roll of: 45
COMBAT: Jon attacks target 2 with JAIL-CELL-ILLUSION with a roll of: 59
COMBAT: Jon attacks target 3 with JAIL-CELL-ILLUSION with a roll of: 58

Hmm. Perceptive kid. Jon turns around the corner and strolls into the alleyway. "That's my line," he remarks, running through a few handseals. "Or, that's what a thug might say. But the fact of the matter is…" The bricks of the alleyway's walls suddenly seem to fly out of their place and swiftly reassemble into enclosures around the three gangsters. "…you guys aren't going anywhere." Jon jerks his chin toward the captive girl. "Go ahead and cut her loose," he calls out, "but make sure neither of them leave."

As Jon attacks with what she can't see as genjutsu, but knows it is based on the lack of anything happening and the resulting struggle. The Hebisuuhai would drop down to block the other side of the alleyway, which effectively cut off any chance of retreat for the guard, Shigeru, and whom she suspected was Hayami. Since none of them are on the kill-list, she prepares non-lethal forms of taking someone down. "I'm afraid this is the end of the road for you three. Make wise choices, and you won't die."

The three tormenters would blink a bit as they seemed to suddenly be trapped in a cage made of bricks. Well, that certainly stopped them. The one in the middle of them all would just groan and try to relax now that he wasn't suffering, and the girl would rush to his side once Sakuya freed her. "Examiners…" she mutters under her breath towards the three that were beating him up. Hayami would glance up at the two shinobi, then, and narrow her eyes. She hadn't really heard anything on her family since she was taken by the gang … "What're you doing here, anyway?" she asks. "You're shinobi… Why are you here?" … The girl's eyes flicker towards Shigeru, then, nervousness in her gaze.

"Take a wild guess," Jon says dispassionately. "We're here to get to the bottom of things. Now, tell us something we can make use of, and maybe things will go easier for you." >:/ No need to elaborate yet on what exactly they're looking for, or even what they already know. Keep the interrogatee off balance. ;)

Sakuya would make sure to pull the girl a safe distance from the gang. She would make sure to whisper the following into her ear. "We're here because your family is involved in criminal activities. You are a suspect, but we mean you no harm." After all, there is a chance that this woman is actually innocent of her family's crimes. That, or these gang members here are proof that (Despite the fact she was tied up) she had some dealings with the gang that may have fallen apart once her family was found out. It's all assumption, of course.

"Is he part of something bigger than drug dealing?" Hayami asks with a frown. "He said he was done with that, though… That's why those bullies were making him suffer…" Though that doesn't explain the mystery man… Hayami frowns even deeper as she thinks, then there's a blink. "My family?" she asks, sounding shocked. "What did they do?"

RPCOMBAT: Jon defends against with a DEDUCTIVE-LOCATION…68

Jon watches Hayami's expression carefully while she reacts to the news. It's pretty hard to emulate genuine surprise, and Jon has weeded through a lot of fakes in his career…this girl seems to be on the level. "Hmm. Sakuya-san, I think you'd better explain," Jon says, turning to put cuffs on the gangsters. And, y'know, tell them their rights, explain the charge they're arrested under, all that good stuff.

"Drugs are the least of our concerns, to be perfectly honest miss Hayami." Sakuya would say as she pulled a scroll from her Kimono. A small concealable one. Zuzu had pushed it to her collar, which allowed her to take it and unroll it. "The Jinzen family has been charged of many crimes, all under the umbrella of the criminal corruption of the city of Raiun which disrupts the integrity of the Land of Lightning." She looks at the three gang members. "The crimes these gang members commit pale in comparison to the scale in which the Wagaren, Jinzen, and the Gyoukon families are all a part of this corruption." Jon appears to have taken care of cuffing them. "If you want to remain innocent of these charges, you will assist us."

Hayami's eyes would widen a bit in shock at the accusation. "I…" She can't seem to speak for a few moments, and in the end, she just nods. The girl's face is pale with fear/nervousness, but she would do what was asked of her.
For now, Shigeru was found. There were still questions for him and his gang, likely, and Hayami as well. But the ultimate goal of this 'little' mission was achieved. With Hayami and Shigeru secured (and the latter needing medical care), Jon and Sakuya would escort the lot back to their home. The gang? In chains of course. For beating up on some poor sucker and possibly other charges. Shigeru was in no state to run, and Hayami was just kept a close eye on. All's well that ends well, right? Well… It has yet to be seen …

To be continued …

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