The hive of modern development and livelihood, where most ordinary people go about their days work - Blacksmiths who forge devastating weapons of war fair are currently in high demand, so plenty of high quality weapons can be found here, in addition to most other works of craftsmanship. In contrast to the badlands surrounding it, the inner sanctum has a much more Picturesque appeal to it.
Bored. You pawns just need to do your job, and amuse me better -.-''
A foot lands atop a wall, followed by the other as a shadowed figure squats to view the land before him.
"(Hmmm... so this is where he stays. This will be like finding a needle in the haystack.)" Iz scans each and every street and establishment from his perchpoint. "(No time to rest. Pretty as this place looks, there are knowing eyes that guards this secret I seek. I must hurry.)"
With that said, Iz makes a twist of his body to the right as if ready to bolt, and in an instant, his figure went on a blur and vanished.
At such an early evening, the whole city bustles with commerce. Vendors selling their wares on the streets... the thundering voices of men everywhere as they hang with comrades purchasing supplies, while some others merely walk through stores alone. There is also the whirring noises of what seems to be chains. Vehicle or weaponry? In Iz's mind, it may as well be both.
From rooftop to rooftop, he leaps, scouring for that store based on directions given by his employer. He had been in the Inner Sanctum before, but that was years ago and only twice the occasion. Back then, the establishments were sparse, a barely growing community. Now it is on a whole different level and Iz had to find just one particular merchant without any further aid from others.
As he stealthily sprints and searches, a voice echoes in his head, the voice of his employer.
"The name is Gudo. Gudo Marisetti." the words flow from the man's lips. "If you need directions to their hideouts, he is the man to help. But be extra careful. The Inner Sanctum has eyes. It is not always that this land is roamed by mere warriors. There are sentinels abound. Make one false move and this mission is over." The man's voice continued, just as Izanagi stoops on a ledge, eyes transfixed at a billboard sign before him, "Once you set foot away from my threshold, I will deny any affiliations you have with me, but I will never forget this deal and the pay that goes with it. Understood?"
Izanagi's voice echoes in answer, "HAI!"
"Very well. Find the merchant, follow his request to the latter, and get the hideout."
And as the last phrase rings through his mind, Izanagi slowly smiles. The billboard he was looking at says "G.M. Armaments & Supply Station".... he has found his contact.
Straight through the front door, Izanagi enters. As expected, warriors of different classes filled the establishment, all wanting weaponry, a repair of what they already owned, or merely perusing through the merchandise. The echoes of hammers and welding can be heard not too far, a sign that everything is done under one roof.
"Booming business." he utters under his breath.
"And neutral too." a male voice chimes in from behind.
Iz turns and gives out a grin, "I'll wager youre the owner. Gudo Marisetti?"
The other lets out a chuckle, while planting his hand to his hips, a hand stroking his white-bearded chin, "Well well now. How in the world did you deduce that when there are lots of people here?"
"Heh, its the way you stand as if you own this place. Not to mention your facial features. Marisetti is obviously not an oriental name but european. I think that's enough said."
"Ahh, right you are there, lad. So very right you are." the man called Gudo pats Izanagi's shoulders and gestures to follow him towards the main desk. "We are neutral in this store. No leanings towards any type of clans whatsoever though we are still governed by a single ruling. That of course, cannot be avoided. But we sure leave out any political beliefs. Its bad for business, you know." he turns to the visitor and continues, "I'm sorry. This old man's ranting. What brings you here, lad? How may I be of service?"
Izanagi paused his steps and recites what was mandated of him by his employer, "I'm actually a messenger sent here to check if there are any vermins in the area, an inspector to be concise. I was told that you have the best weaponry that can help eradicate such and hence this visit."
"Messenger?" the man showed puzzlement followed by surprise and understanding, "AH! Yes, yes the inspector. My apologies. Uh I didn't expect you'd be coming this early. But please please." his tone went a tad lower, "Let me show you some of my wares. This way please." he slowly led him to one of the aisles of the store, Izanagi following suit.
As they reached a wall filled with weapons built to carry toxins, Marisetti continues, "These are the weapons I mention. But the problem is, they are better suited for combat than rat control."
Iz detected a certain cautionary tone from the other and rides along with it, "Awwww too bad." he pouts playfully, "I can actually use those muzzles to maybe shoot some down. Makes the killing more thrilling if you know what I mean." He once again grinned.
"Heh I know I know." the man smiled in embarassment and leaned close to the visitor, as if trying to explain the complexities of his creations. At least this is what it seems from afar, but in actuality, he whispers, "This place isn't safe. I know what you seek, but I can only give the info indirectly." for a mere second, he slides his glance towards the far left, which directs the ninja to follow his meaning. There, amidst the milling crowd, are 2 men. Ronin by appearance, a small scarf around each neck, their eyes looking about, but not on merchandise... on people.
When Marisetti looked back, he said out loud, "Well! I guess it can't be helped. What the patron wants, the patron gets. We cannot deny our customers their wants and needs and if you just badly wanted this item right here," he pats at a weapon on the wall, "then I will have to sell it. But if I may suggest something."
"Hou? And what may that be?" Izanagi arches his brow.
"This may sound maternal, but if I may alter some of its parts so its environmentally sound, then at least it wouldn't look like a weapon against society but for what its properly intended."
The nin lets out a sigh and a wave of a hand, "Fine fine. Do whatever you like, old man. Its troublesome and a waste of time if you ask me, but if it gets my job done, then go ahead."
Marisetti halted for a moment, mistaking Izanagi's tone to be that of defiance, but when he saw his eyes and the slight nod, he nods back and answers, "Very well." he takes down the weapon in topic and leads his patron to the front desk as he writes something on a piece of paper, "I want you to come back tomorrow. This will take a lot of time to tweak, so have patience." he scribbles more notes hastily, and before Iz objects to the timeline required, the man rips the paper and hands it to him. "Here, take this. You'll present this note to whoever clerk may be on shift to claim this item. This is in case I'm not around. Got it?"
As much as he'd want to say further about coming back the next day for a weapon he doesnt need, Izanagi remembered his employers words and merely nodded, "Got it."
The owner smiled and shook the other's hands, "Heh its been nice doing business with you. Hope to be seeing you later then, my lad."
And to that, Izanagi exits the store.... a sprint through crowds, in case he's being followed.... up a tile and onto the rooftops... and finally settled into one of its highest to get himself rested while opening the piece of paper given to him.
Its a letter.
Your search is obviously for the Boryokudan. You must travel east from here and into the wilderness. Search on the highest point you can find, and when you spot the solely planted Jōmon Sugi, the largest tree of its kind, keep track of the mud. If successful, you will find the secret passageway, supposedly not too far from it. This is where I'm stumped. Many had tried to track them down, but lost their lives instead. I am sure you are skillful enough, else you wont be employed for this job. If "he" trusts in you, then so shall I.
Forget the toxic weaponry for pick-up, that's just a ruse.
(While Izanagi reads the letter, the two men wandering about in the store approaches Marisetti, asking specifically what his recent customer wanted.)
By now, those men will be asking me about you and your whereabouts, and they can wait all they want till tomorrow. All they'll wait for is air.
Good luck... when done, payment awaits you.
"Well well. The old coot have the cunning after all." Izanagi paused as his eyes spotted the darkening of the clouds over yonder, smoke bellowing wildly. With a grim look on his face, he folds the letter, and with a tinder from his pouch, he lights and burns the paper thoroughly before skidding off the roof and down the alleyway. As much as he have a mission for the pockets, he is still a ninja with the sense to be updated. "First thing's first. Need that one stop-over."
And off he rushes down the side streets, through stores, and finally, into a repair shop that almost looked like a hole in a wall. Despite its size, many patrons visit, making it viable to compete with the larger neighboring ones in the city.
With a kick of the door, Izanagi shouts, "CHOTTO BADI-SAMAAAA! HAH HAHHH!!" and familiarly pats a man who was bent over at the corner, inspecting an engine.
The other looks over his shoulder with a sigh, "Unghh, I hate it when you call me that." he straightened up and looks Izanagi up & down, "Long time, no see. You sure uhhh..." his eyes roamed at the other's chest, "...grew up a little?"
"Don't be a perv, badi-sama. It's not like you, you know."
"I know I know. I bet youre out there breaking a lot of women's hearts again, huh?"
"Ahh," Iz waves it off with a hand, while his cheeks turned a tad pink from embarrassment, "I'm not here to talk about that."
"War, my friend.... war."
[post continued on the 'Wilderness' thread]....