Rin gives a slight nod and keeps her eyes ahead, focusing on the path.
Coming to the end of the bend, the pair notices a bright, freshly lit torch hanging placed on the ground between two massive trees. Not taking any chances, they both go into an offensive stance as they approach it. Taking the lead, Tesshu moves up a bit and stomps on the flame of the torch, quickly extinguishing it. Each one of them positioning themselves behind a tree, they both peek around to look.
Just a few steps away is a small enclosed area, surrounded by trees and greenery, with a bonfire set in the middle. Nearby is a small shack, most likely used to house some kind of supplies. Rightly across from it is a well. At the furthest end of the area is a small hut that seems big enough to house roughly a dozen people. However, there are no people in sight.
Feeling a presence lingering, Tesshu lightly taps on the tree to get Rin’s attention, “I’m going in first.”
Rin nods and draws her blade, “I’ll be right behind you.”
Tesshu comes out from behind the tree and carefully makes his way into the area with Rin just a few steps behind him. They head over to the shack to check for any supplies or possible enemies lurking insde; it’s empty of both. As they make their way towards the hut in the back, they heard a deep toned voice speaking behind them.
“You two have arrived.”
Although it was a familiar voice to the both of them, the sudden sound of the voice still put both Tesshu and Rin into a defensive mindset. They quickly turn around to face whoever is behind them and all of their worry melts away.
Tesshu lowers his hands and relaxes a bit, “Rikimaru.”
Standing between the trees, Rikimaru looks at Tesshu and Rin for a moment. He looks down and notices the unlit torch, “I see you two made it here without any issues.”
Rin puts her sword away and puts her a hand on her hip, “Anybody can follow instructions on a piece of paper.” She takes a better look behind Rikumaru and notices he’s alone. “Ayame isn’t with you?”
“She went to go search for any possible clues that may help us find the location of the Akechi army. She’s moving around through the forest.”
Rikimaru walks into the area and sits in front of the bonfire; he takes a few rocks around and sparks a new flame, lighting up the entire area. Tesshu and Rin sit round the bonfire as well. With only the sound of crackling embers around them, Tesshu asks the main question that’s on his and Rin’s mind.
“So, what is the reason for having us meet here? Is this a new assignment for all of us?”
Rikimaru calmly shakes his head and sharpens his tone, making sure he comes out as clear as possible, “This isn’t an assignment, but a suggested idea given from Lord Gohda. This area we’re in was used as a secret meeting place for Gohda and former Azuma ninjas when there was a discussion that needed the utmost secrecy, even from his own advisers.”