|Act I, OVA II: Do YOU know the muffin man?|
Chi stepped silently across the sand roads using a camouflage technique she knew. Each step was eerily silent. She approached an ally and hid in it as two lovers walked by. She raised an eyebrow at their hand holding and then crept around the corner to continue on one more building. Inside, through a peek hole in the curtains of the window, she could see a group of men playing cards while some girls danced in the back. It reminded her of when she had to dance for the nobleman who held her captive for those years. She shuddered, then she noticed the men were giving them money. It was a strange sight but not what she was coming for. She looked around and up top she could see an open window with no light on inside. She hopped on the window seal where she was just looking in and then jumped to the next window up above. Only one of the men noticed anything but it was all a blur and in his drunken state he chose to ignore it.
Up above Chi lifted herself up just high enough to look in through the glass. Unfortunately it was dark and Chi didn't develop eyes to go with the horns. She slowly opened the window more without so much as a creak. Damn these hinges were oiled well. She went over the window seal and into the room. She didn't smell anyone currently in the room but there were plenty down stares. Music was playing but through the floor she couldn't hear it. She decided not to go down stairs just yet. She may need to eventually but for now, she summoned an emerald that began to glow. The room was illuminated by a green shine and Chi realized she was in some sort of office. There was a desk, some filing cabinets and chairs. An unnecessary amount of chairs, thought Chi. How many people were using that desk, she thought once more. Then she shook her head clean and began to snoop around. She was absolutely sure she had felt the Morisei's power there but Morisei wouldn't saw yay or nay on whether this was the place or not. At the time she didn't feel his power which meant Ichiro was gone. She just needed proof this was his place.
After searching and finding nothing, she decided to try the door. Outside she could see the stairs and a hallway with doors. One of the doors had a lock on the outside. She decided to slip out of the room and head to the locked door. A few steps out and a door swung wide open in front of her and out stepped a man. He looked at Chi and Chi looked at him. It was obvious the man was inebriated, and so Chi had a brilliant idea. She began to dance, just like the girls downstairs and just as she had done for the noble many times before. It felt gross. However, it did distract the guy enough that he didn't question her about why she was upstairs. Then she leaned back against his chest and put her hand on his face as her mouth got close to his ear.
"Bathroom?" She asked.
"There little miss, don't mind the smell." Chi was affected by the idea of something 'smelling', that was natural in her world. The man walked away and Chi pretended to be going into the backroom. Once he was down stairs and in the music Chi made her escape to the door with the lock. She was right next to the stairs and she could see down them. She saw one of the men in a chair but that was all of note. She looked at the lock and tried to pick it with her finger nail, which was grown out into a claw like the rest of them. She didn't know how locks worked, she'd just seen them used by poachers. She did one way to get one off, though. She put the tip of the spear into the open space and it went all the way through. Using the door as a stopped she pulled back with all her strength and the mechanism the lock was attached to, which was attached to the door, was ripped off. The lock fell and Chi caught it with the top of her foot before knocking it back up into her hands.
She looked down stairs again to see if anyone had heard but the music was far too loud, Chi could barely hear it come off. She opened the door and slid in, creating another emerald to light her way. This time she was in a room with a giant hold in the middle. Looking down the hole was just more darkness for as far as Chi couldn't see. She sighed and began to look around the room for some kind of rope when she heard a weird noise coming from the hole. It was some kind of whirring noise like… She looked over the edge and she could smell people now. Not only that she could almost see them coming up on an elevator. She destroyed the crystal after ducking under a desk in the corner. When the people came up a light turned on and the two of them looked around. It was a man and a woman, both wearing outfits that suggested they were fighters.
"I swear I saw a light up here." The man said, stepping off the platform that was hidden and flush with the floor. They stepped off and walked out of the room.
"You always see shit. What's that music?" She scoffed and then closed the door behind them both. Chi got up and rubbed down the floor looking for some kind of control to active the elevator but there wasn't anything. There was no button or anything. Then she realized the platform was made of sand. She imagined one of the two must have been able to control it and used that to go up and down. She stood up straight and performed some strange hand movements, resulting in the platform becoming lose and Chi plummeting to the bottom of the shaft. That was no the intended result. After a few moments of falling she saw a light turn on at the bottom. She quickly did some more hand movements and ice formed below her, stopping her from falling all the way to the bottom but giving her quite the bruise on her butt later. She looked down and she could hear voices asking why sand just fell from the shaft. She saw the shadows of men starting to come to see what was happening so she jumped down towards the bottom, then she leapt off the ground and smacked a man in the face.
The man went flying across the room and the other people in the room, Chi quickly counted four in total including the first man, were in a stunned silence. Then they were not. All four attacked Chi at once but she was too small and too fast. She shot a jutsu out that cause two of them and pinned them against the wall. The sound of bones breaking caused the other two to flinch but then they recovered their balls and attacked her. She spun around and managed to hit both of them with powerful jabs of her spear, knocking them across the room. Then she realized what this room was, there was paperwork all over the place discussing product distribution, with the product being people. The reason Chi felt Ichiro here was that he must have been selling people to make money in order to live here. He couldn't just be stealing food from the market all the time, or staying locked up some place at all hours of the day. His presence would have been suspicious if it weren't for all the unbent that Chi had heard about. They've been driving people from their homes and Suna was full of refugees like Chi.
"Where Ichiro?" She shouted at one of the men and when he didn't reply right away she stabbed the man next to him and cracked the bone through his thigh. She kept the spear inside and demanded he speak.
"There's no Ichiro here, bitch!" He shouted before Chi put a foot on his throat.
"No yell. Speak."
"What do you want with Ichiro?" A man from behind Chi spoke, one of the two pinned against the wall.
"Staff mine. Where go?"
"None of us know where this Ichiro is, if he's been here he's a customer. We don't remember our customers and we definitely don't ask for real names. They buy people from us."
"Buy? No sell?"
"No, we get the people, then we sell them you dumb girl. He was cocky, which concerned Chi. Then she felt something wrap around her ankle and it was sand. She was tossed from a top the one man and into a wall. The jutsu pinning the two men gave way and the two of them were ready to fight. Chi rushed for the opening in the hole, figuring it to be the only way out. When that failed she busted out the only door in that room and into a long hallway. She ran at top speed to the only other door at the opposite end of the hallway and she opened it up to find an identical room with no one inside. She made for the hole in the ceiling again, this time with no one to stop her she made it up into the shaft. She stabbed her spear into the sandy lining and then jumped to the other side and stabbed it in there, all the way up to the top. Once at the top she, once again, busted through a door into an empty hallway with stairs which were identical to the other building she entered through. She heard voices calling an intruder up stairs and so Chi booked it for an open door at the other side. Once inside a shiny emerald appeared for her and she saw a man in bed getting up because of the racket. People were sleeping in here, she thought. It was an odd place to live. She crashed through a nearby window without realizing the other window was actually open. Once she hit the ground she rolled a few times and then stood to her feet. Men came out of both buildings and circled Chi.
"We can't let you leave knowing what you know, little one." Said one of the men.
"20 bucks says she kicks your ass." Says a woman.
Chi had heard enough. She started off the fight, taking out one man's knee. Then she spun around slashed through another man's chest. A woman came from behind and wrapped around Chi but the warrior was quick and agile and very small. She slipped out of her grasp and then turned around and knocked her out with the blunt end of her spear. Then the man who she had called out began to laugh, alerting Chi to his presence where she knocked him out, too. Then one by one they fell, hardly a match for her. They weren't shinobi it seemed, otherwise there would have been more of a fight. Instead she just got a bunch of thugs who thought buying and selling people was a good business plan. She stepped away from the silent bodies littering the ground when she heard a woman gasp behind her. She was a young woman about Chi's age who was slightly taller and a lot less sensitized to violence.
"Thugs." Chi said, pointing at the men. "Call… Erm… Anbu… Please." She did an awkward bow now knowing what else to do and then turned to walk away. It didn't matter if the woman called for the ANBU or not, the business would keep going. They would find a new place to set up shop somehow. They were sneaky and ingenious bastards who would need more than a few of their men taken in to get caught. Which begs the question, who was the idiot who put a lock on the outside of a door people entered the building from? Also, why were they connected in the first place? And why was he buying people instead of selling them?