Rikimaru nods at the idea, “That may help. Even if nothing is found, finding the general in charge of the village and bringing them to justice may help the village regain natural control.”
“Then that’s the first location I’ll be searching.”
Rikimaru changes his attention to Rin, “Rin, do you know any locations that may have any leads?”
Rikimaru passes the paper to Rin and she unfolds it, carefully holding it so she can see it clearly. After eying it for a moment, she points to a spot on the map, “Here, this town in the north. It’s a gambling town that always has heavy foot traffic. Last time I went in it was for a girl who was being traded as a bet.”
“Did you notice anything unusual about the town?”
Rin folds her arms and closes her eyes to think, “Let me see… Yeah. The guards were wearing a different kind of armor that I didn’t recognize. Now knowing that it’s Akechi territory, it all makes sense. The only thing is there aren’t any major places where troops could hide, except for…”
Rin has a slight pause before she speaks again. She scratches her head at the idea of a potential location, but it seems so unlikely to her that she hesitates a bit speaking about it, “‘The Blue Geisha.’ That place is massive, but it would be too hard to hide the fact that it’s a base.”
Rikimaru keeps his voice in the same deep, monotone manner, “Regardless, it’s best to check out the town and ‘The Blue Geisha’ for any leads.”
Rin lets out a tired sigh, “Right. I just hope I don’t see something I shouldn’t…”
Turning to the final person in the meeting, Rikmaru turns to his partner, Ayame, “And Ayame, how should we–”
Ayame doesn’t let Rikimaru finish speaking before she gives an answer, “I’m taking every town and village to the west.”
In unison, Rikumaru, Rin, and Tesshu look at Ayame. They’re able to sense the urgency behind her answer, but they know that her taking on that much wouldn’t result in any positive leads.
Confused, Ayame questions her team, “What? We’re all taking spots to check and I’m taking everything to the west of here.”
“Ayame, covering too much area is bound to lead to mistakes. We all want to find the Akechi and rescue Kiku, but we can’t lose focus and acting carelessly will hinder us.”
Ayame shoots everybody a glare, keeping eye contact with each person for a brief moment. After a while, she gives in shrugs, putting her hand on her hip afterward. As much as she wants to see Kiku again, she knows that rushing will only backfire, “Alright. I’ll take the west, but I’ll focus on the trading town not too far from here. That should take a day to see if something turns up.
In agreement, Rikimaru nods. Each person with their own plan of action, silence falls upon them. The dire situations of both an approaching army and a kidnapped princess is on everybody’s mind; nobody wants to the potential result of their dangerous foe. They know that they must be swift and move as shadows.