|[Sep. 18th, 2013|10:51 pm]|
Kakashi had completely focused elsewhere during Raidou’s and Katsuko’s conversation. Now he looked back at them. "That scent’s all over. The blood masks it, but it’s here. The woman fought—most of the blood around the house is hers. There’s only a few droplets from the husband, by the bed. Whatever injury he took was tiny.”|
“You’re sure that’s his blood?”
Kakashi’s voice held no trace of doubt. “It smells different.”
Katsuko tilted her head at that. She’d known Kakashi’s sense of smell was good, but she’d thought the rumors about him being part bloodhound had been based on wild fantasy. “What else can you tell from the scent?”
He shrugged one shoulder. “Not much. But that lock wouldn’t have been hard to pick, and it still smashed the window instead. It surprised the mother, but I think she tried to hide the children—her body fell next to them.”
“But it still found them,” Raidou said. “And didn’t eat them. Summons?”
“Regular shinobi would have been more subtle, and wasted less chakra,” Kakashi said. “But neither really makes sense. Shinobi don’t steal random civilians.”
Some shinobi did steal random civilians, but that had no bearing on the current mission.
“Something with teeth and claws that scaled the walls and didn’t bother with the gates,” Katsuko mused, remembering the deep scrapes she’d seen on the earth-and-timber barricade. “Didn’t bother with the door, either. Smart enough to find two little girls hidden underneath the tatami, and a reason for taking the husband alive but leaving the wife’s body behind.” She glanced over at the broken window. “We’re looking at at least sub-human intelligence, but whatever it is definitely isn’t human.”
Genma chose that moment to come back from scouting, joining them inside the house. “There were at least two attackers, non-human,” he reported, confirming Katsuko’s theory. “The tracks look like something you’d see in the Forest of Death. They’re definitely not from any animal I’ve ever seen.”
Ryouma hadn’t come back yet. The creeping feeling that it had been a bad idea to split up the team only increased. Katsuko crossed over to the doorway, leaning out to look up and down the street.
She turned back to Raidou, keeping the worry out of her voice.
“What are your orders, taichou?”