Chapter 73 - Ch73. Spy Network
After Rei and Konan left Iwa, Tsuchikage was grumbling about the timing of the boy"s rampage. He looked at the still struggling form of the boy who was supposed to be his nephew and with a sigh, he chopped the boy"s neck, making him fall unconscious. As Onoki was waving his hand around, to soothe the burn the contact with Gobi"s chakra caused, he could with the corner of his eye see some Iwa shinobi approach him. He sighed again as he saw them look around with downcast gazes when they saw the destruction the boy caused. "And it started as such a nice and calm day..." He muttered to himself. Standing up, he decided it was time to give some orders to his subordinates to clean up this mess. While he was pondering about what should be done, and who would be the most suitable person for it, around two hundred ninjas gathered around him. These were the ones that already dealt with the monkeys in their assigned regions, the so-called elites of Iwa.
Onoki straightened himself to look presentable and was about to open his mouth when...
The ground under him burst into a flurry of paper, swirling around him. Before he could even widen his eyes, the papers started gluing themselves to his body. Onoki could see the Iwa elites slightly panic before they started reacting. It took him only a second but his mind went through his entire jutsu repertoire, looking for any jutsu that could save him! In the end, he went for a simple but quick solution and toughened his skin with Earth Release, awaiting an explosion. Inwardly, he was freaking out and praying the explosive tags are of low quality so he would not incur too much damage through his rock skin jutsu. Then, a loud boom resounded and the surroundings were covered in smoke... in pink smoke.
When the smoke cleared, all elites of Iwa could see old man Onoki, the most stubborn ninja out of all rock-headed Iwa ninjas, the feared dust release user, the fence-sitter... clad in a pink tutu covered in pink glitters while he sported a heavy amount of make-up on his face. To add salt into the injury, in front of him, on the ground, was a message.
"This is punishment for not showing me Kekkei Tota, midget!"
Onoki stared with dead eyes forward, as he realized the situation he was currently in. His lips slowly started twisting into a frown as the vein on his forehead started pulsing. The old man burst into loud shouts "Shut up!" He rubbed his arm on his face to get rid of the make-up, only to make a red smudge on his face from the lipstick. The surrounding ninja started laughing at his predicament which prompted Onoki to scream even louder in his fit of rage until his back suddenly experienced a sharp surge of pain, making his eyes go wide while he dropped on his knees.
"Am I perhaps too old for this shit?" He mumbled in bewilderment, leaning forward as he held his back. This was the start of Onoki"s back problems.
Two days later, after Rei, Konan, and Tsunade went through their rightful loot, the trio was sitting in the Capital of the Land of Water, in Biri-Biri company"s headquarters, served tea by Karubo who was requested by Rei for a meeting. Rei wasn"t amused by his last mission. No, he was going in kind of blind and had no information he could use. That"s why he was here now instead of reporting the "success" to the Mizukage. Yesterday he threw a scroll containing the daughter of the noble who hired them to him, with words the mission is done. In hindsight, he probably should have unsealed her but... meh. The bastard plotted against Rei and Konan and if he succeeded, both would be dead so a bit of inconvenience is the least he could expect in return.
"You want me to do what again?" Karubo asked pointedly in disbelief after he heard what Rei just told him. He couldn"t believe his ears.
"You heard right." Rei nodded. "I want you to pick trustworthy employees and make them gather intelligence for me. The company is almost in every country now. It is widespread with a good reach in high places. Our merchants usually know the right people to pull this off and I know you did what I asked and mostly recruited in slums. These people will be grateful enough to do this for us."
As Karubo heard Rei, he suddenly stilled, realization sneaking into his mind. "You planned this from the start." He declared, not an ounce of doubt in his voice. "That"s why you made me employ the poor. We gave them "home" when they needed it the most. There are a lot of people willing to go quite far for the company and those that became traders are the cream of the crop out of them. The most capable..." Karubo gulped with wide eyes. "I see. They were put for that two-month-long intelligence training regime not to safeguard the company"s secrets but for this."
Rei nodded. He thought quite a lot about how to make a spy network. But he didn"t want to inconvenience himself. Taking care of such a network can go only in two ways. Sasori-style or Jiraiya-style. Sasori used manipulations and held something important against his spies so they won"t betray him and will continue doing the job for him. He went even as far as using mind-alteration in quite a clever way. Rei could do this. He was much better with seals than Sasori. The problem was, he would need a long time to find "informants" and put seals on them or find good blackmail to keep them in their places. Jiraya on the other hand, spent or rather, is spending quite a lot of his time managing his network. He has to be constantly aware and visit his informants quite frequently. In short, he is extremely busy. That was a no-go for Rei as he would rather spend the time with Konan and Tsunade, rather than follow Jiraya"s example.
It was only after reading a yearly report on Biri-Biri company that he found out he had a perfect candidate for the spy network right under his nose! No matter how much he now tries to say recruiting the poor was for this goal, he just ordered Karubo to do this because he believed this way, the employees will be more loyal! Never did he think it would end up with them becoming spies for him! But would he actually admit he was not planning it from the start to Karubo? Of course, he would not...
"Yes, I naturally planned it all ahead! Ahahaha!" Rei confidently stated with totally honest laughter that made Konan roll her eyes at him and Tsunade almost did spit-take as she drank tea when she heard how shameless he was currently being before starting to choke. Rei just ignored the two women sitting around him and focused on Karubo who was awkwardly trying not to avert his gaze from Rei. "Here," Rei pulled a few tags from his pocket. "the new clones of mine that I gave you to produce the energy source seals can also produce these. It"s a special communication tag that can cover large distances..." Rei started only to be interrupted by Karubo who had a shrewd look on his face, instantly forming a plan on how to use this for trading.
Rei just gave him a helpless look but answered. "You can talk with somebody in Suna even from here. The Land of Water is actually in a very nice location. We are in the so-called center of the known world. How the country still didn"t manage to become a trading superpower with this kind of advantage will be forever a mystery for me but at least we, the Biri-Biri company can use that. You will make the company branch out to become the leader in trading in the world. I expect this to be done in three years," Rei told Karubo who nodded seriously. Three years was a tight schedule for such a goal but it was doable. Especially with all the influence the company had right now. "and while doing so, you will slowly build up the spy network from the loyal people. Choose the most loyal and capable employee to manage it. Don"t do it yourself. That would be too obvious. This tag," Rei gave him one special tag that was colored differently. "can reach only its pair tag that I have on me so it is something akin to a safe channel. This will be in the hands of the manager of the network."
Karubo nodded in understanding. While he wasn"t overjoyed at the prospect of having to spy on people with his traders, he was indeed interested in the idea of making Biri-Biri the number one trading company in the world. Compromises had to be done, he guessed. After all, Rei was the owner so no matter that it was he who built the company up. There was only one reaction to that. "It will be done." Karubo said confidently.
The following hours were spent in discussion about how to exactly implement the network and how to make the Biri-Biri company the best in the world. Rei was really hoping he would one day become someone who could manipulate various villages from the shadows through the economy. After all, in this world, these supernatural fighters were still under the thumb of fat bald men called Daimyo who spent most of their time screwing this or that maid. Why? Because these men had money! Even though ninjas could easily take the money from them... it was plainly said, a different mentality. A mentality, that was quite easy to use if one knew what strings to pull.
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