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> Spooktober Fest, B rank mission
Albacorbis
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 08:18 AM
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The Akatani region draws its name from the abundance of red clovers which can be found there. The specific part of Akatani from which the mission request came from is Kuroba, a small town that is largely agricultural in nature. It has a garrison of fighters that defend it against encroaching bandits and the like, but a proper ninja force is hard to come by. For this reason the mysterious or perhaps simply strange individual known as the "Three-faced man" has reached out to Akarigakure for an escort to accompany him to the ruins of Drestyn manor.

As the genin approach the village they notice that the village of Ambroth is rather small, although the number of abandoned buildings in it reveals that it was once larger and more prosperous. The empty structures are mostly inns and taverns which are up for sale, though it looks like they've been boarded up for several years. In their mission briefing the genin find that the explanation for this is what the locals call "Drestyn's curse"; a local superstition surrounding the former Lord Drestyn and his supposed connection to darker powers.

Once in the village finding the Pixie & Dixie Inn would be a simple affair as it would be the only still functioning inn there. A large white hand-painted board has been placed outside the Inn's front door listing this evening's entertainment:

Tonight at the Pixie & Dixie Inn

The North Bend Troupe

Featuring

Songs and Stories
by
Harzinon the Minstrel

The Amazing Magic
of
Arbenobos the Mystic

Humor and Amazing Feats
by
Rifin "Red Cat" the Juggling Idiot

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Vivian Hyuuga
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Uchiha, Zau
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 09:01 AM
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Zau would come slightly better stocked than he usually was for this particular mission; most notably, he would have twice the usual amount of shuriken, and his hands were entirely covered in bandages extending halfway up his forearms. The trip out here had been a long one; it was a few days of walking and carriage rides from Akarigakure. Zau was beyond glad to finally see the red clovers indicative of their destination.

As the walked into town, Zau took note of the various buildings around. They all seemed empty. One of the biggest sources of life, as it happened, was the one place they were trying to reach-the Pixie and Dixie Inn.

"Well, this looks about as podunk as is possible. When we first got this mission, I remember thinking to myself 'I can't believe we're getting paid at a B-rank rate to protect against ghosts'. Now that I see the town, it's more like 'I can't believe they can afford to pay us a B-rank rate.'"

Zau's curly hair was tied back today in a high ponytail. It didn't serve to make his hair seem any neater-the ponytail was every bit as insane as his hair ordinarily was. It did keep it out of his face though, so that was nice. He had been learning that, Sharingan or not, hair was a serious problem-an opponent could easily hide in the blindspot created by one's hair. Keeping it up kept that from being an issue.

"How long do you think this will take?"

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Vivian Hyuuga
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 09:18 AM
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The trip itself being painfully uneventful Vivian was starting to get a little stir crazy. There was only so much meditation one could do in a carriage. Then came the incessant practicing of handseals. Why not even she knew. The genin practically skipped into town, eager to finally get this show on the road.

Vivian couldn't help but laugh at Zau's reaction to their situation. She had to admit the whole thing was a little bit absurd, but a mission was a mission. That didn't stop her from having some fun at her teammates expense.

"What's the matter Zau, can't handle a few ghosties?"

Admittedly the idea bothered her on some level. Not out of fear, but more so because it opened up a can of worms she wasn't ready to look at just yet. If ghosts existed that meant that somewhere somehow her parents might be around haunting people, maybe in perpetual distress. That thought wasn't something she could handle right now.

"I have no idea how long this will be. First we have to meet our contact. While we're on the subject it'd be nice to have more than 'three-faced man' to work with on that front."

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Uchiha, Zau
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 11:19 AM
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Zau's eyes narrowed at the ribbing. "It's not that I can't handle ghosties. It's that they don't exist. Even when they do exist, it's not a ghost, it's a jutsu." Zau rested his hands behind his head and eyed up the building before them. Given the name they were given, their charge was likely to also be dressed up. People didn't give ridiculous aliases if they were bandying out their identities willy-nilly.

"Well, if he calls himself the three faced man, I assume he's in costume. Probably one with three faces. That would make the most sense, anyways."

In any case, Zau wasn't a fan of a client giving an alias either. For all they knew, this was a trap, and if the two of them were captured, that was that, nothing more to follow up on. The village couldn't track down "the three faced man", after all. Zau would think they'd require real names at the least, but what did he know? He was still very much at the 'shut up and color' rank, so that would have to be that.

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Vivian Hyuuga
 Posted: Oct 22 2017, 12:53 AM
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Vivian smiled to herself at Zau's reaction. He really needed to work on thickening that skin of his. "Jeez take all the fun out of it why don't you, " she teased one last time before letting it drop. Looking ahead at the inn they were supposed to meet up in with Mr.Three-faces she turned serious. Her thoughts mirrored Zau's; their contact really could have been a little bit more forthcoming with them seeing as they were supposed to be working together with him. This just seemed counter-productive.

"Your guess is as good as mine for who our contact is. Our best bet is to just go in and ask I suppose."

Entering the building she would look around for whoever seemed would be most likely to yield answers. Or ideally a man that actually had three faces although she wasn't holding her breath for that to be the case. That would simply be too easy, and Gods knew easy wasn't how things worked for her usually.

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Albacorbis
 Posted: Oct 22 2017, 01:01 AM
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Inside the inn there were already many people settled in waiting for the entertainers to show up. The large stage in the main room of the Pixie & Dixie Inn is a sign that at one time many entertainers frequented this place. A clean black curtain currently hides the goings on in the back stage with what appears to be a large bouncer standing just off to the side on the stage as if to dare anyone disturb the entertainment. Clearly Kuroba took their entertainers very seriously, likely because they didn't get that many which came this way in the first place.

Other than the stage and the villagers assembled there was also a bar (complete of course with a bartender of it's very own) and a few serving staff that would bring patrons their requests. With the appearance of entertainers the innkeeper knew he would be seeing an impressive amount of business for a town that quite obviously didn't get much of it.

For the genin there didn't immediately appear to be any man with three faces, or indeed anything that even resembled that at first glance. They could of course ask around or go looking, the townsfolk looked amicable enough for now.

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Uchiha, Zau
 Posted: Oct 23 2017, 06:15 AM
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Zau frowned at how wrong he was. There was no three-faced man in here, literal or disguised. Zau sighed and flowed chakra to his eyes, activating his Sharingan. Perhaps his crimson eyes could reveal what his onyx ones could not.

"Do you see anything? 'cause I don't."

If his Sharingan didn't reveal anything immediately, he would allow his eyes to revert back to normal and approach the bar. He didn't have much to go on, but the bartenders tended to have an idea of what was going on in their establishments.

"Good day, sir. My friend and I are here looking for someone who calls himself the three faced man. I don't suppose you know who that may be?"

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Vivian Hyuuga
 Posted: Nov 4 2017, 05:34 AM
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Looking around as Zau did and failing to find anything of use she shrugged at him.

"Nada. I'll check around with you."

Seeing as he went off to talk to the bartender she figured she may as well try her luck with the bouncer. Odds were good he'd be familiar with the regulars here, and if the three faced man wanted them to meet here then it might be a regular haunt of his. Heading up to the bouncer she found herself looking up at the brick of a man in slight awe.

"Excuse me, sir?"

Seeing him look down with a bored expression she gave him her best winning smile and went on.

"Have you perhaps heard of a person who goes by the nickname 'the three faced man'? My friend and I are supposed to be meeting them here tonight."

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Albacorbis
 Posted: Nov 4 2017, 06:19 AM
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Zau's attempt to detect chakra with his fancy eyes would yield no new information. Everything about the inn was about as mundane as it could possibly be. The bouncer seemed to have a more powerful chakra than your average everyday civilian but that was really about it. Meanwhile more people were trickling in as the team continued its investigation, the townsfolk chatting with one another as they found their seats.

The bartender would look up at the sound of Zau's voice and look at him in confusion.

"Yer underage, what're yeh doing at the bar? Eh? Three faced man? I'm affred I ain't seen none. Strenge name fer a folk."

He looked like he was willing to continue the conversation but sadly information about their contact probably not going to available there.

Meanwhile the bouncer maintained his overall bored look on life. He spoke quite slowly, as if the very act of talking was somehow a chore.

"No three faced men here. The show's about to start miss, please get off the stage and have a seat."

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Uchiha, Zau
 Posted: Nov 4 2017, 07:43 AM
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Zau offered his thanks to the bartender, grumbled something about being old enough to die horribly, but not old enough to drink, and rejoined Vivian. He could tell before asking that she hadn't found anything useful. Lacking anything else to do, Zau simply sat down in an open seat, next to another open seat, and gestured for Vivian to join him. If they were here ahead of their mark, they could at least enjoy the show while they waited.

He reactivated his eyes as he rested back. There was a chance that whatever they were waiting for was going to be on stage. It did seem odd to him that there was such a full entertainment lineup on the night they just so happened to arrive in town. There was potentially a reason for that, so Zau would make sure to keep his eyes ready to go.

"Maybe he won't show up and we can just go home."

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Vivian Hyuuga
 Posted: Nov 5 2017, 06:00 PM
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Somewhat disappointed but not overly surprised Vivian thanked the bouncer before doing as he suggested and finding a seat. Zau had already sat himself down so she went over to his side and gave another look around the room hopefully.

"I doubt he'd just not show. The mission's already paid for. Still, if he didn't give his name freely perhaps he's not free to make himself known?"

It was a weak argument but at that moment it was the best she could come up with. With the entertainment getting started she hoped the crowd wouldn't get too rambunctious. The more noise there the harder it would be for her to put her acute hearing to use. If Zau was going to be keeping his eyes open for any surprises or even hints as to their mysterious patron she would have to pull her own weight as well. Closing her eyes she would focus on listening instead.

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Albacorbis
 Posted: Dec 7 2017, 06:53 AM
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Shortly afterwards the act began and a man that introduced himself as Rifin "Red Cat" showed up on stage. A skinny man of average height he was dressed up in clownish attire. Throughout his act he acted like a bumbling idiot, speaking with a funny accent and often stumbling or falling over. His act mixed juggling, tumbling (hand stands, flips, etc.) with humorous short stories and jokes.

At one point he dropped balls during his juggling routine and when a woman from the audience made to pick them up for him he exclaimed loudly "Milady, unhand my balls"! There's about half an hour of Red Cat's act followed by a 15 minute intermission, then Arbenebos starts.

Arbenobos is a fat old man standing over 6 feet tall. He wears a long blue robe with exotic patterns sewn on it. He has long grey hair and a long grey beard, and his voice is quite deep. His act is mostly sleight-of-hand, making small objects appear or disappear. Zau with his sharingan active would be able to easily see them for what they are. Not only that but he would also see that Arbenobos's beard doesn't move right when he talks, and that his fat bulges strangely beneath his robes.

Towards the end of the act Arbenobos would cast genjutsu on the audience, something that again Zau would pick up. It would be entirely harmless, but it would give the impression that he is able to levitate as well as put objects that were previously broken back together. Another half hour of that and Harzinon would take to the stage after another intermission.

Harzinon is a man in his late twenties, of average build, a little under 6 feet tall. He has a brown mustache and shoulder length brown hair and comes on stage wearing a loose black shirt and pants. He mixes songs and stories in his act, and his voice is very dynamic allowing him to perform a wide range of styles.

During his segment (which is the longest at an hour and a half) he takes requests for songs from the audience and is almost always able to play them. Many of the songs are dance tunes and most of the audience takes to their feet to enjoy the performance as it was intended.

After he is finished Harzinon disappears to put his instrument in the dressing room and then comes back with a hat to work the crowd for tips. Arbenebos and Rifin do not come out of the dressing room. When asked by a member of the crowd, Harzinon says that Arbenebos is resting for tomorrow's show and Rifin is out with a female companion (wink and broad smile).

With that it seems the show for tonight is at last over. Still many of the patrons remain to drink the night away, among them Harzinon who sets himself up at the bar.

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Uchiha, Zau
 Posted: Dec 11 2017, 08:11 AM
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Zau sat watching the proceedings, but truth be told, he was largely unimpressed. He should have known better than to expect a quality show from a backwater like this place. The most he ever gave were a few half-smiles at the funnier jokes, but even those felt more like politeness than true amusement.

He sat through Rifin's act more or less painfully. His eyes easily saw through Arbenebos' sleight of hand, but he found the seemingly false beard and strange shapes beneath the robe more interesting-Arb was wearing a disguise for some reason. The genjutsu he cast over the audience was trivial as well-Zau was honestly getting a bit fed up with this act. Granted, few others in the audience likely had Zau's insight, but to Zau, it was dreadfully bad.

The last performer, Harzinon, had the best showing, with at least the greatest display of skill. When the show was finished, however, Zau seemed a bit confused.

"Viv, I know I've said it before, but right now, I'm kind of annoyed you don't have your Byakugan yet. I have a theory those eyes could easily confirm."

Zau shrugged and walked towards Harzinon, slipping and sliding through the crowd, losing almost no time as he gracefully passed beneath arms, under raised glasses, around people not looking where they were going, and finally even under a pair of legs when he found no better path available. When Zau finally reached Harzinon, he stood for a moment, studying the man. "You need to work on the two first acts. The third was easily the best."

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