Date: February 24, 2015
Suspicious of cheating in a local martial arts tournament, a Kadomai businessman hires a team of Leaf nin to investigate.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Wringing the Ringers"
Kadomai's Annual Team Martial Arts Competition, or KATMAC, has been going on for a few years now. It's a fairly simple tournament style competition, where small teams of martial artists face off against one another, competing for the grand prize of 500 000 ryo. The wealthy Uwakimono Kahei runs and funds the tournament and usually rakes in piles of cash selling tickets, food, and souvenirs. Giving away that grand prize shouldn't be a big deal for such a man, but who knows what the love of money will cause someone to do?
One of the local businessmen here is just a little suspicious of the tournament's results in these last few years. There are really two big rules in this tournament, as far as entry goes: you can't join if you've already placed first in one of the previous years and you can't join if you're a ninja. After watching the tournaments, this businessman is convinced that the champions for every KATMAC so far has been the same team wearing different diguises, and ninja pretending they're not. And since the people in charge of the tournament should be prepared to deal with people like this, these facts suggest a very interesting conclusion: Uwakimono Kahei has been using a ringer, year after year, to avoid giving away the prize money.
That's where a team of innocent-looking Leaf nin comes in. With a few well-placed bribes, the businessman has gotten Kenta, Hige, and Kyuketsuki into the tournament, with the only staff who know not reporting that they're actually ninja. He's also had them placed so that their team will fight in the very last match of the first round against the Fighting Lions — the team thought to be the ringers. With their access to the back stage, the Leaf nin are to investigate the Fighting Lions, determine if they are indeed ninja and if they're working for Kahei, and beat them in the first round if they're here for any reason they shouldn't be.
On the day of the tournament, the three ninja are brought to a sort of locker room for a single team — lockers, showers, and a sort of lounge area. Already, the first match has begun and the muffled sounds of a fight can be heard from outside. Beyond the door of the locker room is a hall. Without there being bathrooms or food in this room, the team wouldn't look suspicious moving around the hall — so long as they're not caught trying to sneak into another team's room.
An interesting mission, this one. Hige had read up on what they were to do and was immediately interested. One of the things he really hated were cheaters since he was one that practiced hard and expected others to do the same thing. It's along the same lines of why he doesn't like people to hold back when sparring against him. Sure he'll hold back against others because he doesn't want to hurt them but he has a thing about it happening to him. So he was happy to do this. Poor Konsho, though, just had to play a stupid dog and couldn't really travel freely. And Hige had to cover up his Inuzuka markings as well. Sure, not the end of the world but it complicated things when trying to hide you were an Inuzuka. They weren't hard to spot.
Now that they're in their room Hige takes a moment to sniff around to make sure no one's hiding out or anything before he turns to Kenta. He's the chuunin so obviously he's the one in charge. Besides he's the smartest out of all of them there. Or at least smarter than Hige. "Alright Kenta, what's the plan?"
Kenta's not sure how he got roped into this particular mission. He's far from the best person to work under disguise and he's not the best at taijutsu either. Sure, he'd be able to handle just about any normal person in hand to hand combat, but a shinobi is another matter. At least he doesn't have to wear any special disguises on this mission. The young man feels a bit sorry for Hige, but especially Konsho. Kenta's kneeling and giving Konsho extra sympathetic petting when Hige turns to him.
"Umm… what we have to do is to expose the cheaters for what they are. We -could- just beat them and keep them winning the tournament, but they might just be used again next year. We can't do this year after year. If the host really is cheating, we need to make sure that every knows it to prevent it ever happening again. We probably would be able to tell from their skill level whether they're shinobi. If they are, we push these guys to their limits and try to get them to mess up in front of everyone. Make them use jutsu," Kenta says.
Kyu seems and feels extremely out of place. He shifts awkwardly while trying to think of some way to use his fire ninjutsu but not coming up with anything. He keeps pacing the room and thinking until Kenta mentions just making them show they are really shinobi. Kyu looks excited by this news, and walks over. "Does that mean I will be able to use my Ninjutsu? The best I have otherwise is Clone Mirage. And Hige, don't know if I ever told you but the smoke you see when the clone "poofs" was all in your head as well. So the audience wouldn't notice the smoke, as it's simply not there. Only the person, or persons affected will see it." Kyu thinks again, hoping the answer to his previous question is a yes, but just in case it's not he still thinks of ways to stealthily use his fire techniques.
Hige's sniff of the room doesn't reveal anything that seems too suspicious. A number of muddled scents from people who have long since left the room — cleaners and that sort of thing, and perhaps a few traces of past competitors — plus the trace smells of cleaning solvents, food, and scents from the shower drains better left unexplored. The room is built with the carpeted lounge area being the first one in from the hall, then beyond that, a tiled room with lockers and rudimentary benches, plus a shower area divided by a simple tiled wall.
In the lounge room, one of the tables has a small map for the team, showing the general layout of the competitors area — the rooms for each team are labelled, plus directions to get food, the bathrooms, or to enter the arena.
"Only thing I'm worried about with your genjutsu even is if the man in charge has some kind of sensor around." Hige looks to Kyu with a bit of a frown as he folds his arms over his chest. "If he suspects who we are he may just stop the fight and then we lose our chance anyways. That's the problem I see with the man in charge being the suspect." Hige reaches up to scratch the side of his nose thoughtfully as he looks around the room again, eyes finally falling on the map. He goes to it and looks, "Hey, look, here's their room. How about we go have a look, maybe pay them a visit before the fight." He looks up to see what the others think. "If they are shinobi it'd be good to see what they could do anyways so we're not caught off guard."
Kenta nods gravely. "Genjutsu could be risky. We don't want everything to backfire on us. It could still be useful, but we have to be reasonably sure that there are no sensors working for the host." His brows furrow. It's a tough decision. "Ummm… you'd want to make them think that they're going to get killed if they don't use a jutsu against you. Can your genjutsu do something like that?"
The medic-nin finishes petting Konsho and straightens up. He pats himself to make sure that all of his gear is in place. There really isn't much, since he's not carrying shinobi weapons. It's mainly just some padding for protection in important places. "If worse comes to worse, I'll bring out my trump card. I don't want to do it unless I have to, since it can be so overt a use of ninjutsu." He finishes checking that everything is in place. "Anyway, let's go take a look at the guys."
When Kenta mentions sensors he looks especially upset. "Then I'm useless! Ugh" Kyu seems distraught "The least I can do is try and help infiltrate the room." He says that significantly quieter. Kyu thinks about how in the world he's gonna fight without using chakra, sensors just ruin everything.
The hallway outside their room has a fairly simple layout. It looks something like a cross, with the east-west line heading east into the competition area and west out of the competitor's area completely. The team rooms and amenities are arranged on the north-south line, with the team rooms on the east side, and the bathrooms and concessions on the west. The room of the Fighting Lions is a few doors past the intersection. Around the area, a few guards patrol, and some serving staff wait around to assist any competitors who might need directions or other help.
Hige chuckles at Kyu's exclamation and he reaches out to ruffle the taller boys hair. "You're not useless. Just means you have to improvise. I'm sure you can do it. And I'll be there to watch your back anyways." Kenta, well Kenta can take care of himself. He's a big ninja. "Once we figure out if they're shinobi and make them show themselves then we can use what we need to. Just have to get them to reveal themselves." Konsho, well he gives Kenta's hand a little lick as it pulls away and gives the medic a 'be careful' look before he just…sits there. It was hard enough to convince people he was a pet and to let the pup in. They wanted to leave him tethered outside. Tsk.
As they head out of the room and down the hall the young Inuzuka keeps an eye on everyone around them to try and figure out what the guards patrol pattern might be and to see who's wandering where. Once they reach the door Hige nods a bit before glancing around once more. "You two watch either way. Let me know if you see anyone coming." He says before dropping to the ground and sniffing under the door to try and see if there's anyone inside.
Kenta steps to one side of the door to give Hige room to work. "Ummm… we really should have brought some fake mustaches to stick on the two of you. Too bad a Henge would get disrupted the moment a blow lands successfully on you," the young medic-nin murmurs under his breath. He doesn't try to say anything else for a while, since Hige is going to need to concentrate to parse through the scents coming through the cracks of the Fighting Lion's door. It'll be hard enough without adding a conversation to the mix. Attracting attention from people that might be inside won't be too smart either. Kenta keeps one hand slipped inside a pocket in his shorts, where he hide a cloaking tag. He doesn't dare bring it out into the open, but it could be useful if some quick hiding is needed.
Kyu gets on the other side and keeps an eye out, listening to Kenta talk, when he stopped Kyu remained silent, simply watching the other way, he shifted slightly nervously as he made sure no one was watching, nor headed this way. He definitely feels and seems nervous but is ready to act unsuspicious should he spot someone. He wasn't about to be the reason they get spotted.
The serving staff don't pay too much attention to the team, not wanting to bother them unless there's some specific reason to do so. As for the guards, there's relatively few and the patrols aren't tightly spaced together. It's easy enough for Hige to smell the situation inside the room. Of the three smells that probably correspond to the Fighting Lions, two are fainter. The strongest smells are actually outside the room, leading away from the door. There's a stronger third scent that still seems to be in the room, but the air coming out from under the crack is warm, slightly humid, and laced with the perfumy scent of soap. Combined with the faint tinkling of water coming from the room, it's safe to say that one of the competitors is having a shower.
Unfortunately, someone being bent over by a door does attract attention. A server walks over. "Excuse me," he says, "But is everything all right? Have you dropped something, sir?"
"Smells like there's probably only one in there right now, and they're showering. The others seem to have left a little while ago. We should be…" Hige trails off as he looks up and sees the server coming. He smiles at the man innocently and nods. "Yeah, I dropped a pen and it went under the door. Thought I might be able to reach it but I'm going to have to go in. It's okay, I'm just going to grab it and get out. Thanks for your concern." The boy stands and dusts his pants off while he waits for the server to leave. Hopefully.
Kenta blinks. Did Hige really just say that? "Ummm…" Kenta utters as he tries to come up with something reasonable to tack on. "It's a very special pen. His grandmother gave it to him on the last birthday that they celebrated together before she died. So, you see, we're not trying to bother anyone. He'll just quickly get the pen and we'll go on our way." Kenta glances around until he finds the nearest wall clock. He makes a point of staring straight at it. "Ummm… we're in the next match. We'll just do this as quick as we can. Don't want to be late and miss a chance at the grand prize. It's -so- much money." The medic-nin widens his eyes at the last statement and clasps his hands together, trying to make his expression grow all starry with dreamy hope.
Kyu thinks for a moment before chiming in "We really should hurry up and get that encircled pen. I don't get why you insisted on holding it until right before the battle, good luck ritual or not, it was just asking for something to happen, and look, something did happen." Kyu sighs "You need to take better care of your things. Really." Despite this being a blatant lie, Kyu says it without missing a beat, it sounds as though he's actually telling the truth. Kyu looks at Hige. "Come on, just hurry up and get your dumb pen and lets go." Kyu looks at the server "Don't worry sir, we'll be very brief. And it won't happen again, because this time /I'll/ hold the pen /for/ you." Kyu shoots Hige a look.
The server frowns and considers the situation, weighing the rules against his own need to remain obsequious as he attempts to sort through the collected BS that now permeates the conversation. Finally, he decides, "Technically I shouldn't let anyone into another team's room without that team's permission. But I suppose it will be okay if I accompany you. I don't mean to suggest you're planning anything suspicious, of course. Just that I should be around to vouch for you if it becomes an incident." He reaches over and opens the door himself. "After you," he says politely.
Hige goes into the room and uses his enhanced senses to see and hear as much as he can, as well as smell to try and see if there's anything indicating who the team is and what they're capable of. And whether or not they're shinobi. Of course he does all this without overtly appearing to as he looks around the floor and runs a hand through his hair. "Man, where did it go? It just rolled under the door I thought but I don't see it." He sounds overtly disappointed by this revelation.
Having the server accompany them isn't the ideal situation, but Kenta was already expecting that. He already has one hand in his pocket, so it won't look too odd when he sticks his other hand into another pocket before he enters the room to look around. The medic-nin closes those fingers around a pen that he keeps there for note-taking. After Kenta is pass the threshold, he steps to one side and quickly removes both his hands from his pocket as lightly clenched fists. "We -really- have to hurry. This is our opportunity to bring enough money back to the village to get the orphanage going," the young man urges as loudly as he can push his naturally soft voice. He gestures energetically at Hige with his empty hand to draw attention to it. At the same time, he drops the pen and nudges it under the shadow of some furnishings with his foot.
Kyu sees Kenta drop the pen and watches the two, sighing to sell the 'impatient' act. Otherwise he remains quiet and stands outside the door. Watching out for anyone who could be a bigger problem than the rather helpful server. He silently mentally thanks the gods for the lie passing. He seems very worried about Kenta blowing it with his over-enthuasiasm, he also remembers that a team member was taking a shower and looks back, calling out "Get the pen and get out. I refuse to be branded a cheater because of you two." He knew Hige would probably beat him up later for acting the way he is. Oh well.
"You're sure the pen was in here?" says the server. He seems to be getting more and more nervous about this situation. "I'll help you look," he decides, then he kneels down and lowers his head to look under a couch — fortunately, not the one that Kenta put the pen under.
The room looks just like the one the Leaf nin were in before, except that some of the Fighting Lions' possessions are scattered around the room. Whoever's in the shower hasn't noticed that someone else is in the room yet, and the water can still be heard running.
"It fell under the door." Hige replies to the server, catching what Kenta does without giving any indication of what he saw. "It must have rolled really far or something." The Inuzuka ignores whoever is in the shower as he checks the floor quickly as he lets it lead him around the room, scanning the gear that's scattered around the room as he goes. Once he's seen everything he can see he gives a little nod to Kenta to let him know he can 'find' the pen.
"I found it!" Kenta says in a overly relieved voice. The medic-nin scurries forward and bends to pick up the pen. Then, he makes a big show of holding it up in the air, so that the light will catch the pen's profile to its best advantage. Really, it's nothing more than a regular pen, if one that's taken really good care of. "Now we can finally go. Thank you for helping us. We're forever in your debt and won't forget this when we win the grand prize. We'll even add your name to the contributor's plaque at the orphanage," Kenta babbles with false enthusiasm. The strain of keeping such a fake persona going to mask his usually serious visage is putting great strain on the medic-nin. His bubbly smile looks about ready to crack in half. "Let's get going, guys."
Kyu nods in response to Kenta saying 'Let's get going' "Yeah, lets." Kyu looks around the room briefly, trying his darndest to make it a natural 'idle' motion. As if not scanning the room. Kyu shifts inpatiently and looks at Hige. "And remember, I'm holding the pen this time. Your ritual clearly didn't give you enough luck to not drop the pen. Maybe its a bad luck ritual." Kyu glances nervously at the poor medicnin. He was worried about him.
There aren't any giant stacks of cash, but as Hige looks around the room, he does spot a small note on one table:
Meet me in the concession storeroom ASAP. I will arrange for the attendant to leave.
Once Kenta 'finds' the pen, the server seems overly relieved himself. "Excellent," he says, "Now, let's please leave before there's any trouble." He starts walking to the door — and not a moment too soon, because from the shower area comes the squeak of a faucet being turned and the sound of spraying water stops. Someone can be heard whistling.
"Yeah, you hold it." Hige agrees to Kyu before pushing Kenta out the door after the server, moving to close it quietly behind them before whoever is in the shower can spot them. Once it's shut he turns to the server and bows, "Thanks for your help. I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost it. It's of great personal value. Come on guys." He adds the last to Kyu and Kenta before starting to walk back towards their own room. He waits until they're out of earshot of the man before he says softly. "There was a note about meeting someone in the concession storeroom right away. It was signed 'UK'. What is the name of the guy that runs this thing again?" Hige completely bypasses their room as he heads towards where he remembers seeing something about concessions on the map before. Unless Kenta stops them of course, since he's technically in charge. Hige just isn't one to sit around for others to decide things…poor Kenta knows this already.
"Uwakimono Kahei," Kenta answers softly as they hurry away from the Fighting Lions' rooms. The young man breaths out a relief, now that he doesn't need to come up with any more clever lies and push his acting skills. "Umm… something must be gone on. Maybe this is when the ringers are given their instructions for the upcoming matches. If we can listen to what's going on, we might be able to figure out how to proceed. We'll have to sneak in there." Obviously, Hige had thought of the same thing already. Kenta palms the cloaking tag in his pocket again. When they get close to the storerooms, he watches for places where the team can easily hide for some spying. The cloaking tag will only come into play if there's no other way to listen without getting caught.
Kyu, not being shoved by Hige, follows him closely, when Kenta answers Hige's question Kyu smiles slightly, thinking to himself; Maybe the fight wont even be that necessary, if we can get sufficient proof through this somehow. Kyu follows the others as they start heading to the store rooms, he also looks around for a decent hiding place. He lets out a soft hum and rubs his chin, considering his options carefully, but trying to hurry and decide.
"You're most welcome," the server says, suddenly cheerful as he walks off. When they reach the concession, the little booth has a sign on the counter. "Sorry, we'll be back soon." The door to the storeroom can be seen behind the counter and what sounds like muffled voices coming from beyond. There's also a door leading behind the counter, but it's labelled "Employees Only". As before, they'll have to contend with the prying eyes of guards and servers.
When they reach the area of the concessions Hige looks around carefully. "I can probably focus and hear what they're saying but we should really try and see who's in there." The Inuzuka chews his lower lip thoughtfully before glancing around to see what kind of people might be watching. He considers a moment, then seems to get an idea. "Kenta, see if you can find a way in without being seen and Kyu can stand out here and block you from sight since he's bigger. If you can't do it don't worry, I have another idea. I'll be right back." And with that he takes off at a run back the way they came.
Kenta shakes his head from side to side. "I think I already have that covered," he tells his team. "Stand here and look bored for a moment." He looks around for a second, pats his pockets and suddenly turn back the way that they came from. The medic-nin pretends that he had forgotten something that he needs to retrieve. As soon as he turns a corner and out of direct sight, Kenta activates the tag in his hand. A barrier of chakra sounds him that erases him from sight, smell and sensory ninjutsu. Mostly. Hopefully there are no sensors near the storeroom that's strong enough to break through what he's using. As soon as his cloaked, Kenta jogs back into the main area and heads for the door, which he intends to press his ear against.
Kyu watches as the two both disperse and sighs, he has nothing. He does as Kenta says and looks as bored and idle as he can. Leaning against a wall or something. Sigh, if only Kyu had some fancy thing to do. Kyu wishes he could just focus chakra into his eye and do something special. If only…
Listening at the door, Kenta is unnoticed by anyone due to being invisible. He can hear the conversation now. "…just like you did before. I'll take my Hyuuga away for your match, so if you don't use any obvious ninja techniques, it should be fine. Here's your payment up front. You'll get the rest once you win the tournament." It's a man's voice. Another one speaks up. "What about those kids we're fighting in the first round? We can't go all out on them." The first voice speaks up again, "Don't worry about them. You know how to fight in a tournament. You won't need to do anything excessive. I need to go and preside over the first round. You know what you need to do." One set of footsteps can be heard, moving away, while two more start to come closer to the door.
Hige returns a very short time later and now has a Konsho with him. He had already run off before Kenta did his thing so when he gets back the boy frowns a bit and looks around, eyes focusing on Kyu before moving to the door. He understands pretty quickly what happened and catches the tail end of what's said. Oh jingle. "Kyu, over here." He mutters, motioning for the other boy to come with him as they go a little ways away from the door. Wouldn't do to be caught standing in front of it when people come out. He motions Kyu down to a crouch and starts petting Konsho like that's what they'd been doing for a few minutes.
What the? Hige just walked over to the door in plain sight of the guards! Kenta's going to have to speak to Atsuro about impatience. Right now, more important things. Kenta hurriedly moves away from the door when he hears the footsteps approach. He vaults over the counter to save time instead of going around it. The cloaking barrier around him muffles his footsteps, which would have been much louder without it. When the invisible Chuunin is standing behind Hige and Kyu, he speaks up to inform them of what he overheard. Despite speaking in a normal voice, only the barest of whispers reaches through the cloaking barrier to reach their ears. "We're going to have to be careful out there on the field. There are three of the Fighting Lions. One is a Hyuuga, so that means the host of the tournament has a sensor working for him. This also confirms that we're going to be fighting shinobi. The Hyuuga is being kept out of the tournament to prevent obvious use of jutsu, but he might still be watching nearby. We're going to have to find a way to force these guys to use jutsu without using any ourselves."
Kyu does as Hige says and ducks down, he tries to make it look as natural as possible, fiddling with his shoe. He didn't really have any other reason to crouch down and waits, when he hears the whisper of Kenta's voice he stiffens for a moment, slightly surprised but stays silent and listens. He responds in a whisper "Got it, don't use chakra." Kyu seems significantly upset by the news. His fears have become reality. He really can't weasel his way out of this one and still be allowed to use his Jutsus.
Not long after the Leaf nin have otten out of the way of the door, it swings open, and out walk a slim man and a burly woman. They stroll casually out of the concession area, giving a quick glance when they see the Leaf nin, but not paying them much mind. They walk off, heading right back to the room of the Fighting Lions. Looks like everything's confirmed. From the direction of the fighting ring, cheers and the booming voice of the announcer can be heard as the first round begins.
Hige pets Konsho as a distraction, the pup totally up for this kind of trickery. He's all rolled over on his back by the time Kenta arrives. Hige hears what the medic has to say without removing his eyes from the pup and he even gives a little smile at what's said. "Sounds like it should be pretty interesting." He admits before glancing up at Kyu. "Don't use it until they've revealed themselves, at least." He points out. "If a Hyuga is involved it shouldn't be too hard to find them in the crowd. I'll let Konsho look for them. We don't need them causing trouble later on…or trying to get away." The Inuzuka stands then, "Alright Kenta, what's the plan?"
"We don't know where the Hyuuga would be, so that makes it difficult to locate him. They can see through walls too. If Konsho does find him and distract him, we might be able to sneak in some jutsu." Kenta furrows his brows, which the other two won't be able to catch. "Ummm… I'm not that good at taijutsu, but I've been practicing. Hige, you're mainly a taijutsu user, so you should be fine, even without Konsho for teamwork. The two of us should draw most of the fire and let Kyu sneak in some shots from behind or the side. If they prove to be pretty good, we use hide and ambush tactics. Hopefully, there'll be some cover. Umm… if worse comes to worse and things go very badly for us, I'll try to take over one of the guys and make him use ninjutsu. I don't want to do that unless it's a last resort, since it's so visible and I might not even be able to tell which one would know very visible ninjutsu. It's better to risk Kyu's genjutsu before I make an attempt of that."
Kyu listens to Kenta's plan, when Kenta mentions not being good at taijutsu he seconds that "I'm especially bad at Taijutsu…" When Kenta mentions using genjutsu he kinda blushes and looks away "Yeah, about that… I /know/ alot about genjutsu, I can't exactly /use/ it that well. I still need a lot more practice and to learn some things before to do things like make them use a jutsu or something." Kyu rubs his arm and looks at the ground. "I'm sorry. I've been working on learning to actually use genjutsu but…
The first match is now well underway, and the occasional yell or thump from the fight echoes down from the hallway out to the fighting ring. A little bit also filters down from a small stairway labelled 'Competitor Seating.' Meanwhile, down the hallway, someone comes out of the Fighting Lions' change room. It's a man, but short and stout, not slim. His hair is slightly wet, as if he's just showered. He begins walking down the hall, right to the very end of the north hall.
Hige considers a few moments as he stands, head tilting slightly as the thoughts roll through. "Yeah I'll be fine. I can try and distract them all actually and let you two get in some shots from behind them. If I get them to focus on me it should make it kind of easy." A faint shrug at that thought. Even if they're decent he's used to taking a beating so he should be able to keep fighting despite it. Punching bag that he is. "Alright, let's go get ready I guess. I need to take Konsho by their door again real quick but after that we should be ready." The pair do make that pit stop so Konsho can sniff under the door and pick up the freshest scents. If the Hyuga had been in the room recently then it would make it easier for the pup to find him now. With that done Hige leaves the pup to his sneaky exploring before going with the others, either back to the room or to the seating to await their turn, whatever it is Kenta decides to do.
Kenta watches the short Fighting Lion walk pass them. "This is strange. One of them might be in disguise, if he's a Hyuuga. I wish we have more information to make sure that we're not wrong about this…" The young man blows out a breath. "I'm going to bring down the barrier. I'll be right back, so please stay here." Kenta jogs down the hall and searches for an unobserved location. Then, he deactivates the seal, so that he turns visible again. He walks briskly back to the small group to convene. "Ummm… let's check out the matches until it's our turn. Maybe we'll learn something about the Fighting Lions' capabilities if we catch them in any fights before our turn."
Kyu nods at Kenta and thinks silently to himself. He could try to keep punching them in the fight. Maybe just flailing would help. He sighs softly and then speaks "Yeah. Lets watch some matches, unless you want to do something else, Hige?" Kyu looks at Hige, waiting for a response. Kyu still looks upset about not being able to use jutsu, significantly so.
Konsho is able to make out the distinct scents of everyone who's been through the door recently — including the man who just left, the man and woman from before, the Leaf nin, and the servant who 'helped' them. Nothing about the scents particularly suggests that one is a Hyuuga. But then, what does a Hyuuga smell like? The stairs lead them to a set of nice seats to watch the fight from. Down in the ring, the Bloody Brothers are close to beating the Lightning Strikers, but there's probably still some time left in the match. The competitors seats are partitioned off from the crowded public area, but the team can see everyone around them, plus the owner's box, where Kahei himself is sitting with a few friends. One man with distinctive long black hair stands in the box further away from Kahei, looking down intently at the fight.
Hige shakes his head at Kyu when asked if he wants to do something else. Hige has done what he's needed now that Konsho is on the search for the scent that isn't in the immediate fighting area. Of course with the number of extra scents he's probably going to have a few false leads.
Once Kenta returns, now visible, he leads the way to the competitor seating to find their places so he can sit and watch the ongoing battles. While he sits he casts his gaze around (his eyes, Kenta, his eyes) to try and catch sight of anything out of the ordinary. Also he's looking for the people he's seen so far, from the short shower dude to the two that had been chatting in the concessions storage room. He tries to watch them if they're there. Other than that he just watches the ongoing fight in silence.
Kenta also casts around for their quarries once he's in his seat. The fight going on doesn't interest him as much as fighting out what the Fighting Lions can do before he has to face them himself. As he sweeps his gaze up the audience seating and to the owner's box, the man with the long black hair that sits in one of the boxes catches his attention. He nudges Hige and Kyu. "That might be the Hyuuga. It's hard to tell from here," the young medic-nin says with a chin jerk in that direction. "Ummm… I don't know if this means that the Hyuuga is part of the Fighting Lions or just a member of Kahei's staff. He should be in the competitor seats if he's part of the Fighting Lions."
Kyu looks at everything going on in the fights, as well as scanning through the audience. When Kenta starts pointing out the Hyuuga he shifts his attention over to that. Kyu considers this and then speaks up "Seems to me that the Hyuuga may just be part of staff. And even if he's not he can pretend to be just to call us out if we use Jutsu." Beyond that Kyu can't think of anything else to add, and just goes quiet, looking back at the fight.
With two of the Fighting Lion's scents being in the room, the only scent for Konsho to follow right now is the short man who just left. At the end of the hallway, he stops by a janitorial closet and leans against the wall. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out an emery board. As he buffs his nails, or maybe just pretends to, he subtly scans the area, as if waiting to see something.
It isn't really possible to tell if the man is indeed a Hyuuga from here. Nobody's really watching the stands when there's a match still going on, so the group could probably get away with it if they had some way to get a closer look at him. The partition also isn't very high — there might be some way to get over it and get closer to the owner's box without attracting unwanted attention.
Konsho just keeps an eye on the short man for now, hanging out in some shadows where his dark coat helps him to blend in. Without any other scents to follow this is all the pup can do for the time being.
Hige looks up to where Kenta is pointing and frowns thoughtfully at the man. "It's possible but kind of hard to tell from here." He looks around a moment as he considers. "Maybe you can use your tag to hide and climb up to get a closer look Kenta? All you really need to do is see his eyes. Should be able to give him away pretty easily."
"He could be using a Henge, but it's probably unlikely. My worry is that a Byakugan would be able to pierce my seal. My seal can disguise chakra signatures along with everything else, but it's not foolproof. Eyes that good are especially hard to fool…" Kenta gnaws on his bottom lip for a second. He looks around the competition area and then up at the sky. "I don't want to get close to him, so I'm going to try to get a look from afar instead. He might not be as observant about a distant viewer." The medic-nin slouches in his seat to take on an extremely relaxed posture. Then, he quickly flashes through a few hand seals and looks up at the sky. His body slumps slightly, but doesn't look markedly different than before. But Kenta is now inside a hawk that's soaring overhead and peering towards their target with the superior avian eyes.
Kyu watches the fight and listens to Kenta at the same time, when Kenta mentions getting a look from afar Kyu wonders what he means, he looks over and watches Kenta sit, when he sees the seals start he silently realizes and turns back to the fight, not quickly, as to not draw attention. Kyu watches the fight, throwing very occasional glances at the suspected Hyuga.
As Konsho waits, watching the short man, a janitor wheels up his cleaning cart and leaves it by the closet. The two men barely glance at each other, then the janitor opens the closet and takes out a broom before walking off. Once the janitor is out of the general area, the short man kneels down by the cart and opens up what appears to be a garbage bag hidden behind some cleaning solvents. He reaches into the bag and pulls out a handful of simple paper tags, which he stuffs into his sleeves, then starts walking back down the hallway.
In the stands, nobody seems to notice Kenta's sneaky use of ninjutsu. With his powerful hawk eyes, he can look into the owner's box, right at the black-haired man. And he can see that the man has whitish eyes with the veins bulging slightly around them as he looks down at the fight going on in the ring.
Konsho sees everything that happens from his hidey spot and decides to continue following the man. His puppy senses are tingling and telling him that whatever is going on is not good at all. He keeps the man just barely in sight, tracking him by scent if need be, but remaining as much out of sight as he can.
Hige recognizes what Kenta is doing at the last second and he slides over to the medic to put an arm around his shoulder to make sure he doesn't slip right out of his seat. The Inuzuka doesn't look up at the bird or the man in the owners box, letting Kenta do his scouting while keeping his body upright. "So Kyu, what do you think of this fight so far?" Might as well as strike up some kind of conversation to seem normal. Normal-ish.
It doesn't take long before Kenta slips back into his own body and leaves a very confused hawk flapping away through the sky. "Ummm… Bad news…" he says softly as he straightens out of Hige's embrace. "That man in the stand -is- a Hyuuga. He's currently using his Byakugan to watch the fight, so we're going to have a hard time using ninjutsu. We're definitely going to have to stick to our plan of pure taijutsu." The medic-nin sucks in a deep breath and blows it out again. "We're going to need some pretty good teamwork."
Kyu looks back at Hige, whos now holding a limp Kenta. Kyu looks confused at why Kenta is slumped over but shrugs "The fight is certainly intresting. Theyre doing a lot of stuff I would never be capable of-" When Kenta suddenly revives Kyu stops talking and listens instead. When told he'll have to use Taijutsu he frowns. "And right after I get done saying I won't be near the skill level they're at, I get told that I'll have to try anyways." Kyu sighs. "Fine. I'll do my absolute best. But… Don't expect an impressive display." Kyu crosses his arms and turns back to the fight. He's not mad, although he could mistaken for it, he's worried he'll mess this up.
The short man passes right by Konsho, adjusting the cuffs of his shirt slightly as he walks by. He heads down the hallway and stops at the door leading back into the Fighting Lions' changeroom. Meanwhile, back in the arena, the fight is nearly finished. Two fighters are still up on one team, and they've cornered the one fighter on the other. There are a few rapid exchanges of punches and kicks, then the lone fighter is down. "Ooh!" says the announcer, "I guess that's just how it had to end, folks! The winners will go on to the next round. Up in five minutes, the Steel Fists versus the Unstoppables!" Up in the owner's box, the Hyuuga sits down and starts waiting for the next match.
Konsho pauses down the hallway when he sees the short man stop near the Fighting Lions' door. The pup watches carefully, taking mental notes on everything that happens so he can report it to those that will actually be doing the fighting. Might be some kind of nasty trick here.
When Kenta comes back Hige removes his arm since he doesn't need to hold the medic up anymore and he listens to what's said. He nods slightly with a faint frown. "Taijutsu it is then." He thinks silently for a moment before shaking his head. "Either the Hyuga is being paid off or pulled from watching the fight, or the other team is going to be strictly Tai as well." That doesn't bode well for them if it's three skilled Tai against their team. Hige will definitely be taking a beating. When the announcement of the next teams goes out he looks to Kenta. "What do you want to do Kenta?" He's in charge after all.
Kenta worries some more on his bottom lip. There doesn't seem to be any good options no matter what. They're going to be at a -huge- disadvantage if they fight with only taijutsu on the field. On the other hand, the competitors must be shown that the annual "champions" are only ringers. "Ok, here's one other thing we can try. We can find those three shinobi and confront them now. We force them to expose themselves in front of the crowd. If they refuse, we'll either herd them out into the open, where they'd be seen defending against us with ninjutsu or we knockout out town of them and I force one out here with my Mind Body Switch technique, where he'd display his ninjutsu. It might be even more risky than our original plan, but it could work better to our strengths."
Kyu considers the idea of knocking out two and forcing the last to use Ninjutsu in front of the crowd. As well as the 'force them to expose themselves' tactic. "Sounds good to me either way, so if one of them uses obvious Gen or Nin jutsu they will be the person we save for the Body Switch, correct? Hige, any additions to the plan? Or another altogether?" Kyu speaks relatively quietly, for reasons of, if someone hears this, it could be bad.
The short man opens the door to the Fighting Lions' room and goes in to rejoin his teammates. Soon enough, the next match starts and the Hyuuga gets up again to look down on the match as it goes.
Hige nods slightly as Kenta reveals his epic plan. "Alright Kenta, you're the boss." He says in answer to Kyu's question. As long as Kenta isn't telling them to go jump into a raging inferno he's not going to question or contradict the chuunin, whether he thinks he has a better plan or not. Hige stands and starts making his way back into the hallway. Konsho is waiting for them and yips softly to Hige when he sees them, causing the boy to frown thoughtfully.
Hige nods slightly as Kenta reveals his epic plan. "Alright Kenta, you're the boss." He says in answer to Kyu's question. As long as Kenta isn't telling them to go jump into a raging inferno he's not going to question or contradict the chuunin, whether he thinks he has a better plan or not. Hige stands and starts making his way back into the hallway. Konsho is waiting for them and yips softly to Hige when he sees them, causing the boy to frown thoughtfully.
Kenta jogs up to Konsho and bends to give the puppy a quick pat on the head. "Konsho, you've been looking around. Did you see where those three from the Fighting Lion went? We have a new plan," the medic-nin says in a whisper. Without the noise in the stadium, it's much easier for them to get overheard. "We're going to take down those three shinobi before our match start. Ummm… it's probably not a very good plan, but we won't have to be on the defensive. Can you lead us to those Fighting Lions?"
Kyu follows behind Hige, when Kenta jogs past and goes and pets Konsho, Kyu watches the two. He says nothing during this, he knows the pup is smart enough to understand but Kyu simply has nothing to add that Kenta isnt already saying. He watches Konsho, ready to move when Konsho does.
When the team arrives at the Fighting Lions' room, they can hear voices from inside. It sounds like the team is still in there. If Konsho smells at the door, it should be pretty clear that all three of them are still in the room, waiting for their match with the Leaf nin… which might come a lot sooner than they're expecting!
Konsho accepts the pets from Kenta but he's obviously a bit upset. "One of them took some seals that were snuck in by a janitor. We're going to need to be very careful." Hige explains what Konsho saw. The pup leads the way to the room and does do a quick sniff check to make sure everyone is in there before nodding and backing away. Hige looks to Kenta, then Kyu to make sure they're ready before he moves to put his back against the wall next to the door so he can move in as soon as they decide to go…whether that's the easy 'knocking' way or the no so easy 'kick down the door' way. Heck, Hige'll even kick the door down for them if they decide that!
"Umm… ok, remember that we have to herd them towards the exit that leads into the stadium, if they decide to make a break for it," Kenta tells his team in a soft voice. He sucks in a deep breath and steps up to the door, which he raps smartly on. He waits for two seconds and then raps on it again much more loudly. "Fighting Lions? I know that you're in there! There's something important that we have to discuss with you and it has to be done before your match begins. It has to do with your payment!"
Kyu watches the door, taking a few steps back. He wonders silently to himself how flammable this stadium is. Which immediately makes him speak up, but quieter "Uhm… Can anyone here put out a fire if I start one?… Nevermind, forget it." Kyu decides that he'll just /not/ use blazing shuriken. For the sake of the building and those inside it. A barrage of mini fireballs cannot be controlled enough to not set things on fire… Kyu readies himself for whatever is about to happen and watches the door, and his team.
"Just a sec!" There are the sounds of some movement from within the room, then the door opens and the slim man sticks his head out. "What's this about our payment?" He frowns slightly and looks from Hige to Kenta to Kyuketsuki. "What the gold? You're just a bunch of kids? How can you be in charge of anything?" He turns and calls over his shoulder, back into the room. "Any of you guys know these kids?" he asks, throwing the door open and stepping aside. Sitting down further into the room are the short man and the musclebound woman, sitting in couches and now looking over at the team.
As soon as the man steps away from the door Hige and Konsho move inside the room and step aside so the others can come in. The Inuzuka crosses his arms over his chest and looks between the three before his eyes settle on the short man that Konsho had been following. "What exactly do you have up your sleeves?" He asks without preamble. He wants to make sure the others are in before he starts beating on anyone. And, well, if he can get them to attack him maybe they can find out which ones are more likely to use ninjutsu. "Also, why do you guys cheat? Is the money really that good?"
"Umm… I'm actually eighteen," Kenta says. He rubs at the back of his head and shuffles his feet. He steps into the room right after Hige does and to the other side of the doorway. That leaves Kyu standing at the door to act as a barrier. Either the group's going to try to flee and get herded towards the stadium, or they're going to admit their cheating with the door open where others might hear. "It's money that you're not getting this year either. That's what I mean about your payment. We're on to you people. It's such a horrible thing to do. You should go out there, admit your fault and apologize to all those people that come year after year with their hopes pinned on winning the prize money."
Kyu moves in quickly behind Kenta, seeing what they intended to do and blocks the door, acting as a barrier. Kyu crosses his arms and tries to look tough and impassible, but hes slender frame and lack of muscles probably makes that very not believable. Kyu watches the group closely, ready to take action based off what the others of his team and/or what the Fighting Lions do.
"Up my sleeves…?" The short man frowns slightly as he tugs at his collar. The frown grows deeper and is mirrored across the faces of the other team members as the accusations get more bold. The two sitting members of the team get up from their seat and the muscular woman steps forward, glaring at the three of them. "I think you kids had better leave. Now." As the Leaf nin take their formation in front of the door, they realize that these kids mean business. The woman charges at Kyuketsuki, attempting to ram him through the door and open it up. Meanwhile, the slim and stocky men leap into action. The slim man swings his hand at Kenta, an invisible blade of chakra projected from his palm, while the stocky man palms one of the seals in his sleeves and attempts to press it against Hige — if it hits, causing the flesh around it to go completely numb and likely disabling any limbs it hits completely for the moment.
Hige's eyes seem to flash in the light as the trio attacks. He shifts ever so slightly to the side so the man misses him with that tag and the boy shakes his head. "See, I knew you had something up your sleeve." One of his hands closes into a fist then and he aims that fist to try and smash right into the short mans nose as hard as he can. "Wait, Kenta, are we not supposed to kill them?" His tone is almost conversational.
Konsho moves as well when the others do and he immediately goes to help the one he feels will need it most. Namely, Kyu. The pup offers a loud yip at the woman who tries to pull over the Genin to draw her attention away before he jumps forward to try and bite her ankle.
They have their ninjutsu user. "Bad move! Now we're also going to have to drag you back to Konoha to face even more serious charges. Hige, no killing. Just immobilize them," Kenta exclaims. When the slim man starts to swing the chakra blade towards Kenta, the medic-nin responds by lifting his own hands. One of them points directly to the slim man's chest. A blast of nerve scrambling, pain inducing chakra discharges from his palm at his attacker. The other hand is swung sideways to snag at the muscle-bound woman's arm, which would allow him to release the same chakra into her system via direct contact. With Konsho slowing her down, she might get a potent dose of it. "Get her, Kyu!" he instructs the genjutsu user.
Kyu initially tenses up in preperation for the charge, when Konsho and Kenta both go for the woman rushing him he takes a deep breath in, he thinks of Kenta saying "No killing briefly before deciding that Fire Dart is nowhere close to being damaging enough to kill anyone for that matter, he exhales three sharp puffs, firing very thin, senbon sized darts of pure fire aimed right at her chest.
"What?" The slim man seems rather shocked at the mention that they might actually be killed by these weird kids who have barged into their room. "We need to get out of here. Forget about the tournament, we gotta get the chime — " He's cut off as Kenta's palm hits his chest and he gasps in pain and stumbles forward, falling into the wall and propping himself up with his hands. The short man, meanwhile, is knocked back slightly by Hige's punch. But now that he's no longer worried about maintaining appearances, he tosses an explosive tag into the middle of the ninja group and sets it off. The muscular woman falls backwards as she's hit by the simulataneous attacks.
Hige grumbles to himself when Kenta says they can't kill any of the group when he notices the explosive tag. He raises an arm to protect himself before hopping back a little to get away from the blast. "Stupid." The boy growls before darting towards the short man and reaching out to try and wrap a hand around his neck, letting his claws dig in enough to draw blood if he's successful. "If I even think you're going to pull out any more seals I'll kill you where you stand." Sure he's tiny, sure he's a runt, but there's no question about the ferocity in his eyes and the fact that he is quite serious.
When Kenta sees the explosive tag, his eyes widens slightly. He quickly makes some hand seals and slams his foot against the ground. Walls of chakra ripple up around the group to protect them against the explosion. The barrier doesn't stretch very far, so the blast has a good chance of destroying a section of the room and maybe even damage the Fighting Lions in the blast. He drops it quickly to allow Hige to push forward.
"Hige… Kyu… keep the woman and the seal user penned up. The other one's going to do the rest of our work for us. I won't be able to do more than put up barriers to protect us while I'm using my Mind Body Switch Jutsu." With that, the medic-nin flashes through another round of hand seals. He focuses on the slim man. "Now you're going to run out into the stadium, show off a few of your most impressive ninjutsu without hurting anyone and explain to the audience -exactly- what you were hired for," Kenta says through gritted teeth as he tries to take over his target's mind.
Kyu, knowing pretty darn well that he can't pin down this clearly muscularly superior woman, but he attempts so anyways, literally pouncing on the woman, he flashes through some signs and takes a deep breath, and pins her hands down,preparing to do Blazing Shuriken should she resist too much, at this range theres no way it will hit anything besides the (hopefully not flammable) floor, or here. He holds his breath, ready to release at the first sign of her excaping successfully
By this point, a number of guards, attendants, and other competitors have run over to see what all the commotion is, and the situation isn't good for the Lions. They try to play the situation cool and avoid using overt ninjutsu once again, but the seeds of suspicion have already been sewn, even if one is now being held by the throat by someone who /also/ seems to be a ninja. Then Kenta's victim runs out of the room into the arena. The surprised voice of the announcer echoes in from the hall. "What's this!? Ladies and gentlemen, one of the Fighting Lions has just barged into the match. Nothing like this has even been seen in the history of the — what the…!? Is that lightning?" There's a moment of silence followed by loud boos from the crowd. Even the muscular woman, who looked like she was ready to try and throw Kyuketsuki off, simply sits back in resignation. "Get offa me, kid," she growls.
From down the hall comes a voice loudly unleashing a litany of curses. Seems like it's time for the Leaf nin to get the heck out of here!
Hige releases his man as others filter in and he hears the boos coming from outside. Sounds like Kenta's plan worked. Hot bell! Score one for the medic nin. He leaves the short man with the parting gift that some of his claws left in his neck, drops of blood forming at the points before he looks back to Kyu and Kenta. "Think that's our cue." No need to get all caught up in this mess. Their job was done and he didn't want to be involved in all the questioning. He makes for the door, literally lifting the medic nin into his arms on the way by since he's using his jutsu. And then he will make for the exit!
Kyu's puffed out cheeks make it pretty obvious that he's gonna have to do something about it, he stares for a moment and then makes a loud 'gulp' sound and he forces himself to literally swallow the fire he had built up in his mouth. That crisis averted he promptly stands up and nods to the woman. "Thank you for your cooperation." Kyu flashes her a quick smile before turning to Hige, following him, and the carried Kenta, out of the area. "Hey, wait up!" Kyu runs after him, he wasnt about to be left behind here. Especially not with an upset muscular woman whom he just taunted.. Kyu speeds up, making sure he catches up quickly.