[closed thread] Christmas @ Kiba's [Sachiko, Sakurai, Kiba, Hinaji, Asuka, Kureno]
Sachiko stood in the doorway to the clan kitchen's main cooking area. It was well-lit and all quite warm; done on purpose as she had only finished cooking earlier that day and more than a few dishes were still in the ovens, keeping warm until transport to the Inuzuka compound. Eying the many many containers stacked on the countertops and table-islands, and knowing there was more in the refrigerator as well as the ovens she began wondering if it maybe would be easier to get a cart to carry everything. Instead of lugging everything by hand.
"...We're going to need a cart," she said to Sakurai. "I knew I'd need a lot of food to be able to feed them, and I know I'd made a lot of food, but I guess I didn't really realize how much until now." Granted, the fact the food orders had been delivered to the compound on flats carried in carts really should have tipped her off, as was the fact that Kiba had given her a rough figure of about sixty people and thirty dogs. Ignored the obvious, that what she did. Asuka'd skin her. She frowned to herself, searching her brain for what might suffice from what was in the compound. And then flicked a finger against her own forehead. Of course. The clan had had its own merchants and grocers. Those buildings would have had carts, because the merchants had been more comfortable in gathering up the materials from in-village suppliers themselves or having them delivered to the compound entrance instead of inside the compound itself. So they would have needed carts of their own. "Come on, I know just the place to grab one."
The building that had housed the grocer was only two blocks away, and had been the place to go for planning the feeding of the clan for one of their major shindigs. The windows were mostly opaque, with a few aged signs still in the window and faded fliers for available deals and delicacies. Sachiko walked round to the back instead of going in the front, where two large, wide doors were chain-locked and barred shut.
She pulled out her keyring and selected a certain key. Unremarkable except for its antiquity, it was an honest-to-goodness skeleton key that unlocked every door in the compound and was owned only by the clan head. Sachiko hadn't known about it until she read about it in the archives, a locksmith's journal who had complained about the challenge of making individual locks for each business and house that nevertheless still could be opened by the master key. The key had to be shoved in, and wrenched to the point that Sachiko feared for twisting the metal or snapping it clean off, but finally the tumblers turned and the arm of the lock popped up. A quiet sigh of relief as she put the keyring away, then she got to removing the freezing cold chain and with Sakurai's help removed the door-bar.
The doors opened with about the same difficulty as the padlock but but they were much more noisy about it, screeching loud enough that it was a wonder the whole village hadn't heard. It was also much, much colder inside the building than outside. Sachiko breathed on her hands and rubbed them briskly to try and use friction to warm them up. It didn't help all that much.
Cold winter sunlight was their only illumination, and what it being late afternoon the shadows were already very long. Adjusting to the low light took a bit of time, but the light-colored canvas covering the cart certainly helped. She moved towards it slowly, moving around obstacles of boxes and crates so that she didn't trip or knock anything down. She instructed Sakurai to go to the opposite side, loosening any tie-downs if he saw them. When they reached the back, they pulled the canvas off together to reveal a moderately-sized flatbed four-wheeled cart with low walls and long-pole handlebars sticking out of the front, and a veritable blizzard of thick dust. A low-level wind jutsu blew the choking cloud outside so that she and Sakurai could breathe without feeling they were drowning, then she returned attention to the cart. To judge by the cart's construction, clansmen were what pulled the cart to move it to where it was supposed to go and probably needed three people to move it. It should be big enough for all the food but not too big for them to handle, even when loaded. If nothing else, she thought with a glance to Sakurai, they certainly had strength on their side.
She just hoped the cart itself would still be up to working. A decade was a long time to sit idle when you're made entirely of wood.
They tried moving it, but it wouldn't budge. Sakurai managed to drag the whole mess outside while Sachiko stood to the side and tried to figure out why the front wheels weren't turning. Then--of course! The brakes were still on! Finding the release mechanism took a bit of time to find and then a proper leverage of strength to undo, but the cart squeaked and moved, slowly. Sachiko walked around the cart, inspecting it. It didn't look too bad. Some of the wood looked a little warped and while time had rusted nails and screws, but overall she supposed it looked okay. She climbed in and walked around, testing how it held her weight. The wood creaked, and in places it bowed a little, but it felt solid over all. If nothing else, she felt confident that it should get everything to the Inuzuka compound. She grabbed a few crates and put them in the cart. They would hold the hot food, which she would cover with old blankets and sheets to help keep them warm.
They wheeled the cart back to the kitchens and found a kind of loading dock to the side. Sachiko was pleased; they wouldn't need to climb in and out of the cart, and could instead just walk onto the bed as if it was an extension of the floor. "Cold stuff first," she said before heading towards the walk-in refrigerator.