Ayame slowly swims up from the water and climbs out of the water garden; she rings the water out of her hair before walking up to the manor.
She moves quickly to get to the other end of the manor, but comes to a stop when she hears voices coming out of a window.
“Sounds like a meeting going on. This might be useful.”
Crouching to conceal her footsteps, she slowly approaches the window and hides just underneath it to get a clear sound of everything going on; there are only two voices, both of them men. The first one speaking is a plain, high pitched voice, his words wavering and stuttering as if being intimidated.
“Y-Yes, you have our full support in the campaign. Should the Akechi army need a place to rest, they can set up a camp here.”
Completely opposite of this man, the next voice is a deeper tone, strong and full of resolve. The way he speaks is as if everything is a demand.
“Lord Akechi will be pleased with your rapid agreement for an alliance. Troops will be sent here shortly after Lord Akechi receives word about today’s meeting. Of course, your efforts in making sure that Akechi rule is absolute will not go unrewarded. You will receive your weekly compensation when the troops arrive.”
“T-Thank you, General.”
Ayame carefully peeks her head up to get a look through the window. There’s a town guard kneeling down and bows with his forehead pressed on the floor. Across from him, stands another man, one that Ayame doesn’t recognize. He is a sturdy and muscular man, wearing a dark blue yukata that’s hanging off one of his shoulders, leaving most of his chest exposed. His skin is white and pale, almost translucent if he were a ghost. Clean shaven and no hair on top, the distinguishing feature about him being his black eye patch over his left eye. He looks down at the guard before turning around to leave; he picks up a large, clever shaped weapon, carrying it over his shoulder with one hand as he walks through the sliding door that leads out of the room.
Ayame moves back down below the window and process the new information, “Lord Akechi… That name doesn’t ring any bells. But hearing that now should start making thing a bit more clear. I need to get to that shed and head back.”
Leaving the window and to the back of the manor, Ayame continues her assignment. She looks around the area and there’s another large, open field, this one separating the manor from the shed near the riverbed. However, there’s no guards in sight. Ayame breaks into a sprint and quickly closes in on the shed, reaching the door.
From a distance, it appears small, but up close, it’s actually quite large. It seems more like some kind of shop instead of a shed. Ayame goes to the back and sees a setup of materials that would only suit a blacksmith: a large, worn out anvil, an enclosed fire put for the steel work, and the riverbed used as a source to cool down the metal. She walks back to the front of the shop and pulls on the door; it’s unlocked.