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Breakfast and a Chase

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Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Sat May 12, 2012 5:06 pm

A haze of sensations assaulted Jotaro, as he pulled himself from sleep’s enveloping embrace. The hustle and bustle of a nearby marketplace filled his ears with the chatter of peddlers and clients, outraged cries and scattered small talk merging together to form a meaningless drone. The sun’s piercing rays shone through the shoddily arranged straw, its light warming the youth’s face even as he feebly raised a hand to shade his eyes. The stench of unwashed bodies and general filth engulfed Jotaro, as he forced himself to a sitting position, groggily staring around at the handful of other waifs and beggars who had sought lodging in the inn’s stable.

However, the one feeling that Jotaro really noticed was the absolute emptiness that emitted from his gut, the void that filled his stomach. He sighed as the hollow organ let out a grumble. It was never a good sign when he started the day hungry. Which seemed to be happening a lot these days.

Forcing himself to his feet, the ragged boy staggered over to a trough full of murky water; splashing the lukewarm liquid against his face, Jotaro finally gained some semblance of consciousness. Wiping his sopping bangs out of his face, the youth stared down at his rippling reflection, wordlessly taking in the bags under his eyes and the constant layer of grime that shrouded his features. His reverie was broken, however, as an enraged shout filled the stable. “HEY! I told you worthless bums to stay out! Now move your asses before I call the police!”

The innkeeper’s tirade rankled Jotaro, but the youth bit back his response. Shouting back at the fat man wasn’t going to accomplish anything, other than single him out from the crowd. Placing his palms on top of the nearby wall, the boy pushed himself up and over the short barrier, kicking up twin clouds of dust as he landed. His stomach growled in protest again, as Jotaro set off down the street, leaving the innkeeper’s rant behind.

Right, time for breakfast.

Sighing, the youth navigated the crowd that surged this way and that, the vast press of bodies constantly moving from one stand to the next, always drawn onwards by shouted promises of cheaper prices and better quality. A smaller child would soon find themselves crushed underfoot by the mass of people shoving them about, while a larger adult would be unable to get anywhere inside the sea of humanity. Jotaro, however, was the perfect size and height to traverse the mob, large enough to stand his ground, yet small enough to squeeze through the occasional gap in the throng of flesh and cloth.

Soon enough, he emerged on the other side of the crowd, hair slightly ruffled, but otherwise none the worse for the experience. As yet another pained groan rang out from his stomach, Jotaro longingly gawked at a nearby stand, its fresh wares lined up for all to see. Fresh persimmons would make for a wonderful treat, but the police officer standing guard not ten yards away served as a brilliant deterrent. No, this was the wrong place to get food; too many people, too many ways to get caught.

Instead, Jotaro made his way to Nagasaki’s more… undesirable district. Coming down here meant a drastic drop in quality of most, if not all products and services, but it also meant a lot less watchful eyes following him around.

A few minutes of walking later, and Jotaro spotted a suitable target: a man and a woman sat behind several baskets, piled high with radishes. Even from this distance, Jotaro could spot the bruises and spots that marred the vegetables, but hey. Beggars can’t be choosers. Forcing himself to ignore the pangs his gut was firing off, the youth hung back for a few minutes, waiting until an old crone approached the stand.

While the couple kept their attention on the prospective customer, Jotaro made his move. Running forward, he zig-zagged across the square, trying to look for all the world like a boy at play. As he rushed by the radish stand, his foot caught on an invisible stone, and the youth tripped forward, placing a hand on the edge of a basket to steady himself. An instant later, he was back on his feet and jogging away, a fistful of radishes clutched in his fist. Maybe not the tastiest breakfast ever, but food was food, especially when he got it without

“Thief!”

Dammit.

Jotaro risked a look behind back, hoping against hope that maybe the shriek wasn’t directed at him. The old woman was pointing a gnarled finger right at him, as she repeated her cry, “He’s a thief! Somebody stop him!”

Before Jotaro could force himself to move, the man running the stand leapt over his baskets, proving to be far more agile then he had any right to be. Shouting at his presumably wife to watch their wares, he barreled after Jotaro, who was now frantically running away, his prize still clutched tightly in one fist.

The chase quickly spilled out of the square and into the street, Jotaro expertly weaving his way between confused and shocked pedestrians, his pursuer mostly just bowling them over in his haste to catch up. Mentally, Jotaro cursed. He had hoped that going for such a worthless stand would make it an easy heist, but it looked like this bastard wasn’t going to give up anytime soon. Unless some miracle happened soon, the odds were not stacking in Jotaro’s favor.
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  The Templars on Sun May 13, 2012 6:38 am

They saw the disturbance: a boy running from a man in the slums of the city. As of now, it was unknown what the disturbance was. They whispered amongst themselves, checking if it was worth their time. Their captain decided it was.

One leapt onto the man, effectively stopping him. Another caught the boy. The captain stood between them.

"Alright, what's going on here?"
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Sun May 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Jotaro's panicked flight was brought to a sudden halt, as an iron grip latched onto the neck of his shirt. Sadly, his feet continued to move forward, causing the young lad to lose his balance, falling roughly to the ground. As the wind was driven from his lungs, Jotaro's eyes wildly danced across the scene, bulging as their owner realized that he was surrounded by Shinobi.

"This little bastard tried to rob me!" The merchant's cry rang out as he struggled against the Shinobi pinning him down. Realizing that he'd be unable to escape the man's grasp, he settled for wrenching an arm free, pointing at Jotaro as he snarled, "Look at his hand! He's still holding the radishes!"

Had Jotaro been capable of talking, he probably would have shouted out some lie in an attempt to discredit the merchant, to earn the officers' sympathy. However, considering that he was still trying to refill his recently emptied lungs, the youth's ability to produce speech was severely impaired; he barely managed a few wheezes in response.


Last edited by Jotaro on Sun May 13, 2012 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  The Templars on Sun May 13, 2012 2:43 pm

The shinobi dropped to one knee as the boy struggled to free himself from their grip. "Could you show me a radish?"


Last edited by The Templars on Sun May 13, 2012 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Sun May 13, 2012 2:55 pm

"Could you show me a radish?"

Jotaro ceased his struggling, as he stared at his interrogator in befuddlement. What was the point of asking nicely? Wouldn't it be easier to just force his hand open, to examine the evidence? Or to just chop off the appendage in question?

In any case, Jotaro quickly realized that there was nothing to gain by disobeying the request. Trying to hide the radishes would be a futile exercise, and it was likely that the Shinobi would just resort to physical violence if he resisted. Slowly, he allowed his clenched fist to fall open, tiny vegetables spilling from his grasp.

The merchant smiled in triumph, as his story was proven true. "There, you see? Now will you let me up already?"
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Sun May 13, 2012 3:02 pm

"What is this commotion all about?"

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  The Templars on Sun May 13, 2012 3:13 pm

"You," he pointed to the one holding the shopkeeper, "Take the radishes. We're going to take the boy into custody."

"What is this commotion all about?"

"We found a thief. He has confessed. We were going to take him to be flogged, but if you will handle that for us, we would be most grateful."
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Sun May 13, 2012 3:15 pm

Yuzuru scratched his chin and looked down at the boy. He reeked of fear, trembling. "I have nothing on my schedule at the moment. However, I don't think flogging is an appropriate punishment for thievery. A thief's life is made with their hands. I think a couple missing fingers would make him think twice about doing it again. Wouldn't you gentlemen agree?"

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  The Templars on Sun May 13, 2012 3:23 pm

"That's a little weird, but it's not our place to argue," he glanced over his shoulder, "We're leaving the boy with the samurai. Let's get lost."
With that, the Shinobi left.
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Sun May 13, 2012 3:24 pm

"We found a thief. He has confessed. We were going to take him to be flogged, but if you will handle that for us, we would be most grateful."

Jotaro had mixed feelings about the way things were going. On the one hand, flogging was sure to be a painful experience. On the other, it would be better then losing a hand, or his life. It looked like he was lucky enough to be captured by some of Nagasaki's more lenient enforcers.

Still, flogging was something to be avoided, if at all possible. As his breath slowly, and painfully returned, Jotaro took the opportunity to begin lying through his teeth.

"Please sir, I - I was just trying to get some food for my mother. You see, she's sick and... and..."

That's it, play up the scared stiff part. Throw in a couple pauses, some stutters, and let's see just how gullible these guys are.

And then the newcomer spoke up.

I think a couple missing fingers would make him think twice about doing it again. Wouldn't you gentlemen agree?"

...Shit.

Okay, this was bad. THIS WAS BAD. Frantically, Jotaro looked about, trying to find anything or anyone that could give him an edge. Unsurprisingly, he came up with nothing.

Okay, new plan. Go along with this guy for now, kick him in the nuts, and run like hell.
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Sun May 13, 2012 3:29 pm

Yuzuru took ahold of the boy's arm before he had the chance to run away. An angry smirk twitched at his lips. "It happens to be your lucky day. What's your name, kozu?" He was only looking for a present to give to Mei. It was supposed to be a peaceful and relaxing day. But this child...I'm turning into Thiago..., he thought glumly.

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Sun May 13, 2012 3:36 pm

The samurai's grip was insanely strong; Jotaro knew that struggling here would be pointless, likely only irking his captor more.

"Jotaro," he finally said, his voice a mixture of fear and anger. "Please... don't do this to me. I won't steal again, I promise!"
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Sun May 13, 2012 3:52 pm

Yuzuru gave the boy a scrutinizing look. He was covered in more than a few layers of dirt, and his clothes were mere rags. "Jotaro. You will not be losing any fingers today, nor will you receive a flogging." He let go of the boy and pulled his arms into his shirt, reaching up with one hand to scratch his neck. "You are in need of a bath. I will have that worked out later. Come with me and I will get you something to eat."

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Sun May 13, 2012 6:03 pm

The silence was palpable as Jotaro stared at his "captor," confusion etched across his face. "But... you said... I don't..."

Realizing that he was stuttering, this time without meaning to, Jotaro quickly ceased trying to converse. Instead, he tried to guess what this bizarre man had in store for him, that he would just randomly pluck a beggar boy off the street. In the span of a few seconds, dozens of possible scenarios flashed across the youth's mind, each more horrible then the last.

Then, with a retch of disgust, Jotaro deduced the man's intent.

Gods no! Like hell I'm going to get stuck as someone's sex toy!

Turning about, Jotaro prepared to run off again, eager to get away from this pervert's disturbing intentions. However, he paused mid stride as he realized that the merchant and other shinobi were standing just a few yards away, a few of them idly eyeing him and the strange samurai. Running away would just get him caught again, and would likely land him in even more trouble. Sticking with this man was still his best shot; hopefully an opportunity to escape would present itself before they reached their destination.

With little other choice, Jotaro began walking behind the samurai, glowering at him as they marched. It would take more than the promise of food to get him to blindly cooperate.
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Mon May 14, 2012 1:03 am

Yuzuru hated children, and could not help but wonder why he ran into this situation. The Lord has a mysterious sense of humor, he thought. The boy was following him still, though at a noticeable distance with a scowl on his face. This one would need to be entertained. "How are your pickpocketing skills?"

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Mon May 14, 2012 1:20 am

By this point, there was little doubt in Jotaro's mind that the man leading him was either insane, a criminal, or an official with very bizarre methods. Honestly, he wasn't sure which of the options he'd prefer.

"Pickpocketing'll get you into trouble, fast. Get caught once, and you're history. Only idiots try to live off of it."

Jotaro had tried to play pickpocket before; success, though sweet, was hard to come by, and mistakes were easy to make. Naturally he'd yet to be caught, but he was by no means eager to press his luck.

"Where are you taking me anyway?"
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Mon May 14, 2012 7:16 am

Brat has a silver tongue. Yuzuru was hoping to find some redeeming quality in the child, something that could be useful to the Assassin cause, but this one had his lips sealed to any talent he may possess. "I am taking you to get some food. After that, you'll be meeting with an old friend of mine." At the very least, he could be trained easily.

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Rogelio Martinho on Mon May 14, 2012 3:47 pm

A new face was walking through the streets of Nagasaki. Wild brown hair, emerald eyes that darted about looking at the crowds, and leather armor under a white cloak.

He had been sent over by Date Masamune to make up for the recent losses from the templar attack. He had just arrived, and had been met by Thiago Lopes, a fellow Portuguese man. They were walking back to the hideout, chatting about this and that, when they decided to take a side street, where up ahead was a samurai and a kid. Though the samurai looked familiar.

"Hey, is that Yuzuru Kasai?" he idly asked the old man.

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Thiago Lopes on Tue May 15, 2012 10:23 am

"Sim, but I do not recognize the child."

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Tue May 15, 2012 10:34 am

"Thiago! Thank God!" Yuzuru nearly screamed, dragging Jotaro by the the collar over to the old man. "I was hoping you would show up. I found this beggar child, and I think we could house him or something. Make him a new maid along with Masumi." As he looked into his friend's eyes, he was begging for him to help him.

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Thiago Lopes on Tue May 15, 2012 11:11 am

"Sim, I'm sure I could find some use for him. By the way, I'm sure you remember Rogelio. Daimyo {Lord} Date has sent him to help with our numbers after the incident a few weeks ago."

Thiago decided to leave the other two to their own devices while he checked to see what the boy was made of. "What are your skills?"

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Tue May 15, 2012 12:44 pm

Jotaro looked at the newcomers, confusion clouding his features. They were evidently friends of his savior/captor, and were suddenly talking about housing him, or turning him into a maid?

Who are these people?

"What are your skills? Jotaro started as the hooded man questioned him, jerking from his brief reverie. Staring into the man's face, the youth felt something stirring within him, a sensation that this was not a man to be trifled with. Being honest was likely the best way out of this situation.

It was obvious that the man wasn't just asking Jotaro if he could cook or clean. The samurai had said something about pickpocketing; maybe he should talk about his more questionable talents? "I - I can run fast enough to steal from most stands and carts in the markets. I can get through crowds of adults without trouble, even swiping some wallets if they're stupid enough. I know where to find hiding spaces, inside crates or barrels, in crawlspaces or alleys, places people'd never think to look. I..."

Jotaro carried on, listing off everything he could think of, while the man stood there and listened. Finally, Jotaro decided to ask a question of his own: "Who are you, ossan?"
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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Thiago Lopes on Tue May 15, 2012 1:21 pm

"I am many things, você bastardo pouco travesso, but you can call me Thiago Lopes. I am one of the founders of this city. We have a lot of things that we need to do. There," he pointed to a man examining a booth across the street, "see that man? Bring me his wallet, but do not catch his attention."

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Kasai Yuzuru on Tue May 15, 2012 2:14 pm

Yuzuru's heart plummeted into his stomach, but he did not let this take away from his courtesy. "Rogelio, it has been a long time," he said, giving a short bow. "Welcome to Nagasaki."

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Re: Breakfast and a Chase

Post  Jotaro on Tue May 15, 2012 3:18 pm

Had the words been spoken by any other man, Jotaro likely would have laughed in his face. Founder of Nagasaki? That claim could only belong to the rich and successful; what right did some no-name ossan have to it?

But, there was something in Lopes' voice that made such a statement seem not only possible, but matter of fact.

"Um, sure."

Jotaro gave the man a curious look as he walked away, trying to divine what mysteries Lopes was hiding. Unsurprisingly, he came up with nothing.

Shaking his head, the boy focused on the mark, a seemingly ordinary man perusing a stand's selection, haggling with the stall's owner over some price. Snatching a wallet was a simple enough task, but to do it without attracting attention? That part would be challenging. It didn't matter how dexterous a thief was; nine times out of ten people would always feel the slight rustle as their wallets or purses were snatched away.

If he was going to be successful, Jotaro needed a distraction, something to draw the man's attention, if only for a few moments. After examining his surroundings for a few moments, he finally found what he was looking for, a slight smile crossing his face. That'll work.

Walking slowly, Jotaro eased his way over to the stand and the mark, stooping to pick up a small rock along the way. Clenching the stone in his fist, the boy continued walking, taking careful aim at his target: the pottery stall next to his target, its clay wares stacked both on the improvised counter and the shelves behind it. Halting for a moment, Jotaro cocked his arm slightly, then threw, the stone arcing through the air. An instant later, the missile collided with its target, several pots and vases behind the stand shattering into pieces.

The mark naturally had his focus the frantic shouts of the potter, whirling about as he unsuccessfully searched for the vandal who had done this. It was no surprise that he missed the slight tug on his clothes in the ruckus, and by the time he had lost interest in the stir, Jotaro was already heading back to Thiago Lopes, a wallet subtly tucked into his robes.
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