|[Sep. 18th, 2013|10:35 pm]|
Unsettled, Katsuko stuck close to the group as they made their way through the town itself. Everywhere she looked she saw locked doors, boarded up windows. Even the houses seemed to be holding their breath.|
There was a small shrine for the missing set up in the town square. Katsuko spent a few quiet moments studying the pictures of the lost, the offerings set at the shrine’s base and the curl of smoke that rose from the lit incense sticks.
Kakashi turned in a slow circle, mask tilting as he caught the weak breeze, and said quietly, “It smells wrong here.”
Genma’s head turned sharply at that. “Wrong how?”
Kakashi pulled his ANBU mask to one side, trying to chase the scent. His eye was closed, head tipped back as he frowned. “I don’t know,” he admitted, which only reaffirmed that something was very, very wrong. “It’s— chemical? Like metal and... almost like sulphur. You can’t smell that?”
Katsuko breathed in deep. The faint aftertaste of copper lingered at the back of her throat, tinged with musk and mildew. It smelled like something you’d find underneath a rock, where the damp and dark had been given free rein.
Genma lifted his mask a little. “Kind of... volcanic?”
Ryouma was further down the street, knocking on doors. When the first one didn’t open, he moved on to the next. There had to be someone in this town willing to answer questions for them.
Raidou, being Raidou, completely ignored the unease that permeated the air. He pulled his mask aside and cupped his hands around his mouth, voice raised in a battlefield roar. “KONOHA FORCES. THE DAIMYO SENT US. IS ANYONE HOME?”
Katsuko rubbed the back of her neck and sighed in utter resignation. “Subtle, taichou.”
“But successful!” Ryouma said, rejoining the group. A shuttered window across the street had cracked open a bare inch.
Raidou readjusted his mask and jerked his chin, motioning towards the house the window belonged to. Katsuko fell in line as the team followed him, wondering vaguely what the owner might make of five highly-armed individuals wearing festival masks knocking on their door.