“This shit better be worth it,” one of the thugs whined.
“Don’t worry, people are buying these things up for some reason, it’ll be easy street from here on out.” They set the last crate down with a huff and left the warehouse. Shortly after they did a trashcan in the corner started to shake and Tatsuya slowly peered out from inside.
“Goddamn, I thought they were never gonna leave.” He takes the lid of the can off of his head and places it softly on the ground next to the can and hops out. “Let’s see exactly what we’re dealing with here.”
Approaching one of the crates, he sees a lighter sitting on top of it, pockets it without thinking, and goes about wrenching the crate open with the blade of his wakizashi. The nails pop loose and he shifts the lid to the side, removes some packing materials, and inside are these gems everyone has their panties in a twist about.
Tatsuya takes one out of the crate and tosses it in his hand, feeling the heft of it. He sniffs it, even gives it a little lick, “I don’t get it.” There didn’t seem to be anything outwardly untoward about the gems but… looking at them there in the crate, glittering in the moonlight streaming through one of the windows, there was something weird about them. Tatsuya just couldn’t put his finger on wh-
“-my lighter somewhere in there.” Tatsuya caught the second half of a sentence as he heard the warehouse door open behind him.
“Shit.” Tatsuya used Shunshin no Jutsu to blur forward toward the door and slammed it shut on the man with a spinning kick as he stepped through, crushing him between the door and the doorframe, breaking the simple wooden door over him and knocking him out. There was a cry of alarm from the group assembled outside and Tatsuya pocketed the gem at the same time he withdrew a flashbomb from inside his jacket. A simple toss of it blinded the group and Tatsuya’s back was already to them as it went off. He dashed away into the woods surrounding the warehouse. There were sounds of pursuit as the men started to shake off the effects of the flash bomb, but they weren’t shinobi, they’d keep up with him. All the same, he took a circuitous route back to the village; no reason to bring the dumbasses down on someone else’s head.
He arrived back at the village by morning, mind still reviewing the events of the previous night. He knew some people really liked jewelry, but why the sudden explosive popularity of these gems? Sure rubies and things like them were rare, but not enough to be smuggling them around like that. Was it something about the gems themselves that was entrancing people to them? And what about that strange aura they had? There just wasn’t enough information to be had at the current time. Oh well, it was early. Tatsuya would go get himself a hot breakfast and forget about it, for now; he had earned that much.
As he walked through the village he took the crystal out of his pocket and started spinning it between his fingers absentmindedly, he was headed to a food stand that he knew would already be frying up something good to eat and as he walked a tired, dejected-looking man passed him by. He glanced down at Tatsuya’s hand, saw the crystal, jumped up and shrieked.
The sound caused Tatsuya to jump too, “Da fuck is wrong with you, screaming at somebody at the crack of dawn?!?”
The man bowed apologetically and quickly replied, “I’m so sorry, it just caught me off guard, that’s a Blood Crystal in your hand, right?”
Tatsuya looked down at the crystal and then back at the man, “Yeah, so what?”
The man continued, “I’ve been looking for one everywhere! There’s this girl I like and she’s always going on about them. So, I think if I give her one she’d agree to go out with me, but they’re so popular they’re sold out everywhere! I spent all the last day and night scouring the city for one, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. I was just heading back home wh-”
Tatsuya interrupted, “10 ryo.”
“When I saw you and I was wonder- wait, what?”
“You can have it for 10 ryo.”
“Of course!” The man fumbled for his wallet and managed to extract a 10 ryo coin with some difficulty. With much thanks the man headed off to woo his beloved and Tatsuya left 10 ryo richer, the man had just paid for his breakfast.
“Sucker, I’dda given it to him for free just to make him shut the hell up.” Tatsuya cackled and ran off to eat.