Chapter 52: A Plan in Motion

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I open my eyes and stare at the familiar ceiling. It's so familiar, but it feels like it's been forever since I spent the night in my own room. I get out of my bed and freshen up in preparation for the day ahead of me. Gaara should be somewhere in the house if he hasn't been summoned for a mission.

I knock on his room and I immediately hear footsteps on the other side. The door then opens and I find myself face to face with him.

"Good morning!"

He smiles at me and returns the greeting. We head down to the kitchen and eat some breakfast along with Temari and Kankuro. It's been such a long time since we've all been together like this. It's helping me get my mind off of the recent events.

It doesn't last very long, though. A messenger of the mission dispatch department comes knocking on our door.

"Temari, Kankuro and Gaara. You three are requested for a very urgent mission. Please present yourselves immediately at the mission office to get the details."

After having said that, the messenger leaves with all three siblings.

"Be careful, Gaara..."

He turns around to look at me and hugs me tightly. I feel the blood rush to my cheeks. We've hugged so many times before, but recently it's been making me feel very strange. A good kind of strange.

"I'll be back as soon as I can."

He whispers in my ear. His warm breath makes me shiver. When he lets me go, I feel a a little disappointment from breaking the physical contact.

After they all leave, I start wondering what kind of mission is so urgent. But this arranges things for me. Now I have some free time to poke around and try to get some information about my clan and where I come from.

The only places where I'll probably be able to find anything relating to that will be heavily protected. The smartest thing to do would be to get the information without being detected. I wouldn't want to have to fight off the whole Sunagakure ninja army. Besides, that would probably lead to either me going to prison again or to having to flee the village and live as a rogue.

First place I should check should probably be the library. They have a protected archive there that will probably have some sort of information that could help start off this investigation. I could go now to survey the scene and get a goo layout of the place. If I attempt anything while the library is open to the general public, I will attract way too much attention and it will be harder to be subtle. The best thing would be to infiltrate the protected archive at night, even though it will probably be more heavily guarded. I'm sure I can infiltrate it without too much difficulty, especially that now I have the late Kazekage's golden sand jutsu. I can easily disintegrate myself and pass through almost any crack.

I grab my usual everyday gear and head out to the library. It's still in the early afternoon, so I can take my time in gathering information about the structure of the library building.

"Hey, Kiu!"

I turn towards the voice that called out to me.

"Maru? What's up?"

This could be a bit inconvenient. I don't want anyone to get in the way. I don't want to get anyone hurt... Hopefully Maru has something better to do than spend time with me.

"Nothing, it's just that it's our day off and I was kind of just walking around aimlessly when I spotted you. What do you say we spend the day together?"

Great... What am I supposed to say to that? If I lie too much it might be suspicious.

"Well, I was planning on going to the library and spend some time reading."

Maru scratches the back of his head.

"Huh? That's so boring! Why do you want to spend your day off at the library?"

"Oh come on, there's a lot to be learnt and not enough time. I'm sure I'll become smarter just by being in there and smelling the books!"

"Man, both you and Koji are spending the day there. Am I missing something...?"

Maru gives me a cocky grin. Koji is there? This is not good...

"Koji's in the library?"

"Yeah, I bumped into him this morning, he told me he'd be there the whole day."

I try not to show my discontent. This could be very bad for my plans, especially that Koji is very perceptive about things.

"You know what? If both of you are going, I think I'm going to tag along. I don't like feeling left out, even when it's boring things like that."

"A-Alright..."

This is not good. Not only do I have to be discrete because of Koji, now I'll also have Maru to worry about.

When me and Maru get there, he immediately spots Koji and whacks him across the head.

"Hey there, bookworm!"

Koji frowns and sighs while rubbing the back of his head.

"Keep it down, idiot. This is a library not a zoo."

"What are you implying here, huh?"

We're attracting way too much attention. This is going to be a disaster.

"Hey, you two, enough bickering."

I whisper to them. They stop and Koji goes back to reading whatever book he had in his hand. Maru starts walking around, trying his best to entertain himself. Okay, this doesn't seem too bad. I can walk around pretending to look for something to read while surveying my surroundings.

I go up to the second floor, where the entrance to the protected archives is located. Good thing there are a bunch of books here that I can look through to not look too suspicious.

While walking around the bookshelf isles, I discreetly glance at the entrance to the protected archives. So many seals are on that door. There's no way I can get in through that door, especially with ninja stationed at the entrance alongside the protective seals. There are probably no windows either. I grab a random book and head downstairs. Right under the protected archive room are the bathrooms. That's convenient. If there's enough room through the ceiling of the bathroom, I can pass through.

I head to the women's bathroom and lock myself into one of the stalls. What I can do right now would be to use that jutsu that Gaara uses, the Third Eye, and survey the inside of the protected archive. Looking up at the ceiling, it's definitely possible for small gold sand particles to pass through. I place my finger on my eye and materialize a third eye in my other palm. Alright, it works! This is the first time I attempt this... I was kind of worried it might've not worked, but it seems to work perfectly fine. I can see through that eye. I then disintegrate the third eye and direct the gold particles towards the ceiling, through which they go through. I then materialize the third eye once more, but now inside the protected archive. Looking around, I notice how there's no ninja stationed inside. That's a relief. There are so many scrolls and books around. It might take me forever going through all of them blindly. The best thing to do would be to have a bunch of clones look through everything simultaneously or come more than once. It would've been so much easier if things were labelled...

I've spent way too much time in the bathroom, people could start getting suspicious. I undo my Third Eye jutsu and head out of the bathroom. I find Koji still reading and Maru seems to have found some interest in some visual novel. It's almost closing least suspicious thing to do would be to go home until later at night and infiltrate while there's no one around other than the ninja guarding the place. Tonight will be the night... I will find out what happened to my clan.

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