The tapping turned out to be an old blind peasant man who was delivering food to the prisoners. “All four of you,” he said at one point. He reached the bottom of the stairs (and the wreckage of the door), and stopped. He muttered something to himself that sounded a lot like, “Itachi’s not going to like this.”
The party, meanwhile, set up to ambush him. They ended up not attacking him – in fact, they let him go. He proceeded a short distance up the sewers, and stopped, refusing to lead the party to his master(s).
The party ended up trudging for several miles through the sewers, hauling him as a prisoner. When they reached the end of the sewer system, most of the party went to a bathhouse to get clean. Chaya and Fukurokuma took the old man outside of town to interrogate him.
On the way out of town, they were informed that the Imperial Road was closed to travelers, and so they were to stay well off of the road.
The old man had no useful information to share, and the fact that he was missing a few fingers suggested that torture would be ineffective, so Chaya and Fukorokuma killed him and burned his body in the woods.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party went to visit the governor, who appeared to be under more stress than usual. They bluffed their way past a guard by telling him that they were there about the “upcoming visit” (that he had asked about).
The party then proceeded to fill the governor in on the (massive) smuggling operation they had uncovered. She was quite displeased and more than a little angry.
The Crab Armies will be here tomorrow. The Imperial Heir will be here the day after. She doesn’t have time to deal with this, too. So the party has been assigned a squad of Kaiu Engineers and Hida Pragmatists to deal with the problem. When the army arrives tomorrow.
A short time later, Fukurokoma met with Gojin, who invited Tsuna along. Gojin wants some of the goods from the smuggler’s warehouse, and offers to owe a favor to Fukurokima in exchange for access to the warehouse (or some of the goods from it).