Age : 27
Posts : 1836
|Subject: Kindled Curiosity [Travel To Hi no Kuni] Tue 17 Mar 2015, 6:48 am|| |
“Kai, the café’s not this way…”
“No. But Hi no Kuni is.” He pointed a bony finger in the direction he was headed. As the Shichibi had pointed out, this was indeed the wrong path to take if he wanted to reach the café. Said café was where another Nukenin - an Assassin with the alias Tougai - was waiting for him. Not to kill Masquerade, but to receive a casket the latter had been tasked with finding in Cha no Kuni. Masquerade was supposed to hand over the container to the Assassin, and leave him to deliver it to the requester. However, Masquerade was not going to follow through on those orders. His plan was to deliver the casket himself. He knew that the man who had requested it could be found in Hi no Kuni; hence why he was making the journey to that country. The reason for this decision was not because of a lack of faith in Tougai’s ability to deliver the casket. The shinobi was compelled by another source of motivation.
“Ah, I see. So you’re going to see Subaru?”
Masquerade nodded his head, forgetting how strange it looked when he used such physical actions to complement his mental conversations with the Bijuu. After all, to an onlooker, it would seem as if the Jinchuuriki had just randomly nodded to himself. “Indeed. I have some questions to ask him, and I would rather do so in person than have the Assassin serve as a proxy.” Questions. Questions. Questions. It seemed that whenever Masquerade needed questions answered, he went to Yuuji Subaru. This acquaintance of his always appeared to have a means of clearing up his confusion. Then again, it might have to do with the fact that the majority of queries Masquerade had for Subaru pertained to the former’s past. Really, the man seemed to know more about the Nukenin’s history than he himself did.
“And when I say “questions”, I actually mean “a favor”,” he continued in a drawl. He then volunteered more information, because he knew the Bijuu would ask if he did not. “And yes: it pertains to our discovery in Otou-sama’s hideout. Yuuji Subaru is the only person - at least, that I am acquainted with - who I can rely on to fulfill this request of mine.”
Sad as it was, Masquerade did not know many people that he could trust to complete tasks that were important to him. Well, not anyone that he felt would do so out of the goodness of their hearts. As it was, the individuals that he might possibly consider as “comrades” (both expendable and not) were so few in number, he doubted he would need more than two hands to enumerate them. His lack of “friends” might have to do with his personality. Or his criminal record. Probably both.
Masquerade stopped as the rhythmic sound of trotting hooves reached his ears. More out of habit than anything else, he immediately darted off the road and into the cover of the trees. He did not even bother to look back first at the origin of the sound; he just ducked out of sight. Peering around the tree he had hidden his paranoid self behind, the masked shinobi caught sight of a horse-drawn cart slowly rising up the hilly, dirt road.
Well, well. And here I was beginning to think I had taken a road barely travelled on.
Indeed, this was the first person he had seen on this road all day - on foot, animal, or vehicle. This cart was carrying what looked to be several bags of sugar. Or it could have been tea, considering what country Masquerade was in. The driver looked like a pleasant chap, sporting a short ponytail of black hair and a jovial expression on his young, clean-shaven face. Humming a tune to himself, he was unaware of the secluded shinobi that he passed by in his cart. Watching the man proceed further down the road, the Nukenin smirked under his mask.
Perfect. I’d grown tired of walking anyway. Based on his tone and (unseen) expression, one would think that Masquerade was planning something mischievous. But, that was not the case at all. Contrary to what most Nukenin in his position might do, Masquerade was not going to do anything devious to the driver, like steal his cart after possibly killing him. Oh no. Killing the driver would be a bad idea. Masquerade would have to drive the cart himself then. That was no fun. If he was going to hitch a ride, then he may as well have someone else do the driving. That was the lazier option, and thus the more appealing one.
So, a few minutes later, the man on the cart was stopping as a very bland-looking male stepped out of the woods and called out to him. Masquerade had adopted the most uninteresting and dull guise he could envision. His hair was brown, his eyes were brown, his skin was brown, and even his clothes were brown. Add to that the brown, leather satchel he was carrying, and one might think he was a bit too obsessed with this particular color. And in a marvelous display of his own creativity, he introduced himself as Doro. It was a fitting name, at least. He pretty much was the color of mud.
With some mediocre acting and a positive disposition, Masquerade was able to convince the driver to give him a ride to Hi no Kuni. The man, named Kazuo, offered to take him as far as the border of between Cha and Hi, which suited the Nukenin just fine. He would be able to complete the remainder of the journey on foot from thereon. So, with a monetary compensation agreed upon for Kazuo’s services, “Doro” climbed onto the cart’s bed to sit down in between the multitude of sacks. They then set off without delay, at a comparatively faster pace than Masquerade would have achieved by walking.
Little did the Nukenin know, a certain Assassin had been tailing him for the past two hours. The skull-masked shadow in the black, hooded cloak continued to flit through the trees like a ghost as he followed the cart. The Nukenin would be very amused to learn that Tougai was had been following him for so long, and all because the Assassin had not trusted the Jinchuuriki to complete the task assigned to him. Masquerade could appreciate such mistrust - especially if it was directed towards him.
[Exit to Hi no Kuni]