Kiyoshi (as Yoshi), Ryousha, Inpa
Date: February 28, 2016
One thief turned pirate brings together the perhaps most unlikely of hunters.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"A bounty for two, NO, Three?!"
The Great River [Land of Rivers]
Roaring forth, charging with unbridled and seemingly infinite power, is the Great River of the Land of Rivers. This primary body of water, the largest river of the world, is where this country acquired its name and where the pride of its people will always remain. The vast many tributaries, as well as the sheer length of the river combined with the eventual emptying out in to the southern seas has created arguably the most vital geographical location for trade and commerce for the mainland as well as the islands abroad.
Regardless of the direction you are coming from, rapid commercial and personal transportation almost requires movement through these lands as they lie in the heart of the known world. Roads are constantly being paved and upgraded to allow for more river side docking areas and infrastructures to promote even more trade and the creation of more abundant and dotted villages throughout the territory. Due to the river systems and road infrastructure, regional specialization can easily be maintained and is even encouraged, creating the opportunity for various industries and land exploitation as well as habitation within the nation. Small cultural changes can be found here and there as the other wise tiny villages grow independently while still being interdependent on each other for the over all health of the Land of Rivers.
No matter which path you follow however, you will likely eventually find the capitol of this country: Suisei. It is rumored that this city was created atop the lands of a former village known as Higure and that a localized force obliterated every trace of that former village and everything that was within it. Suisei represents the unyielding spirit of the Great River and how even such an event, if it were true, will not cease the flow of progress and the future of the land itself.
Target: Naoki the Blue
Payment: 60,000 ryo
Danger Assessment: 1.5/5 stars
Whereas luck had at once been on the side of a walking mummy in practically placing the bounty in his lap, one too many missteps led to the unbelievable. Yoshi had endured the heavy rain, pockets of thick foot traffic, the twists and turns in unfamiliar territory, and even the occasional insult thrown his way whenever any of the former led to an accident. What other choice did he have after fate offered what should've been an easy meal ticket? But instead, a half an hour (if not more!) worth of effort came undone when a pair of travelers stood between him and success.
Yes, he had called out for them to stop Naoki. Yes, he had been a bit unclear. And YES, if not due to some strange twist of fate, their efforts, or the surprising amount of acrobatic skill on the pirates part, he might've finally succeeded in his endeavor. Regardless, the fact remain that he stood at the edge of one of the Land of Rivers many large docks, watching Naoki sail off in a recently "acquired" boat. Pursuit remained something of an option, and yet in his anger, the mummified man in clothing fit for a common peasant or farmer turns to the Ryousha twins. Nothing is asked immediately, for he could not find his voice. Yet. So in the interim, they would have to deal with judging looks from him until they or something else interfered.
The twins just blinked at the man's reaction to them. "What?" They say this at once, gazing at him in an innocently confused fashion. Then they looked out to the fleeing boat and hummed. "Oh, that's what you meant," Nao murmurs and then looks to her sister. "Can you do the running on water thingamabob with the magic stuff?" The same twin asks this of Yoshi curiously. They weren't exceptional at it, but when necessary, they could usually figure it out well enough. So there was certainly a way of chasing without too much difficulty.
A moment of silent fuming passes before Yoshi relinquishes his anger in the form of a heavy sigh. Lingering traces remain in his gaze after the fact, but for the most part, the swordsman no longer seemed as if he might be moments away from turning the sheathed blade on the duo.
"I'm a mercenary, not a ninja." He states flatly, then looks back to the slowly receding form of his boats target. "… Not that a trick like that would prolly do much good. The river is on his side. Still…" Yoshi trails off for a few moments, gaze wandering over the rest of the docks as he stroked his chin thoughtfully. "You two can make up for your blunder by helping me secure a boat at least." He said without bothering to lift his focus from a particularly run down boat towards the furthest end of the dock.
"Well we're not ninja, either," Jun responds. They blink at his way of them paying him back. It's not like they have money or anything, but… hey, whatever. They turn their attention to the boat he's talking about and hurry over to it. They look around, checking for a captain or… whatever. Whether or not they find anyone, they are actually quick to make their way into the boat, either offering a rather nonchalant, chipper greeting if there /is/ a captain present.
Inpa got word that there was a thievery actively going on, at his docks. On top of that, the thief turned pirate, stole another's boat. That? That wouldn't do at all. Inpa managed to explain in quick terms to a ship owner what was going on. He also told the man he would get paid back for use of the boat as well as any damages. Inpa had a bit of funds, it'd be something he could cover. Thus it was that his boat came up at the edge of the docks where the others were reported to be trying to chase the thief turned pirate… For the twins to walk up onto the boat and smile at him? Inpa looked at the few other crew, shrugged and nodded to the twins. "You're after the pirate thief, right? Hurry up before he gets any more distance. We'll discuss specific payment after the thief is caught."
The mummified giant opens his mouth as if to reply, only to shake his head in exasperation instead. Once they have done as he asked there would be no need to interact with them further. That was the plan of course, but seeing how the day has treated him thus far, well…
"Wait, where are you-…" The rest dies in the man's throat as the twins scramble onto another boat altogether. While it is true that he had Inpa's boat in sight at one point or another, another had been in mind. Yoshi does not bother arguing however, seeing in passing just how poor a state his intended choice was compared to the new arrival. Nevertheless, Yoshi hesitated at the words "payment" tied to their intentions being already known.
Could this new character be a part of some clever ploy? Or worst yet, mayhaps he is a rival hunter!? Ultimately, suspicion gives way to grudging acceptance as Yoshi climbs aboard the ship. "Thank you… for the assistance." He offters stiffly in greeting before making his way to the bow of the ship. That is of course, assuming noone tries to stop him.
The girls look around the boat and giggle lightly. They basically ignore all the other people, not specifically reacting or responding to them. Nao and Jun are just amused by the boat. Not specifically the size or the state of it, just /it/ in general. They'd been on plenty. They do use boats to travel which they do a lot. It's definitely more foot travel, though, and boats have always been fun to them. They're ready to go chasing the pirates!
Standard mercenary. Inpa watches Yoshi, the play of emotions mostly hidden by wrap and yet Inpa could probably quote it. He's done it to plenty of mercenaries. But that's the day in the life for him. Once aboard, Inpa would call out tot he sailors and get them moving as if he was the captain. The sails unfurling to add to the speed as the scooner would take off after the other vessal. Inpa, for his own credit, at least knew how to steer the ship, working around the others to get them closer to the target. Inpa studied the other three as well. The girls were curious, twins maybe? or a clever ruse to throw people off? Yoshi was pegged as fairly close to what any of the mercenaries would do. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out.
As it turns out, the storm plays a greater havoc of their target's smaller ship than their own. Even so, it nearly takes a half an hour before the first signs of the pursuers genuinely catching up reveal themselves. There is no trick of the river wayfarer trade that the man doesn't employ to try and remain out of reach. Alas, no tributary small enough to all but force his pursuers to go by another route comes within sight. Those with sharp enough eyes or a spy glass can see the man desperately looking about for some other means to escape before disappearing into the cabin of his ship.
Just what the man expected to find there is anyones guess. The answer, fortunately, makes itself plan when he returns and points something straight into the air; a flare gun. "… Just what does he hope to gain?" Yoshi asks of noone in particular after spying the rising ball of burning chemicals skyrockets into the air. Surely, they would be able to board /long/ before whatever miracle Naoki hoped to be blessed with is upon them. Right?
The two girls look up at the flares and blink. They furrow their brows, looking around the sky and then leaning over the edge of the boat to look into the waters. What… was the point of that? Really? Nao and Jun just gaze at each other and then each looks to one of Yoshi and Inpa. Nao at Yoshi, Jun at Inpa, just looking bewildered.
Inpa frowns, then curses. "Prep to be boarded! If this was a trap then the guy just lured us into it perfectly!" Inpa would wave to the other sailors to get ready, he himself would pull a few seals that he'd apply to the area around him initially. Looking to Yoshi and the twins then, Inpa points at the other boat. "How close do you need to be for seizing that ship?"
If nothing else, Naoki deserved to be applauded for his determination. The man somehow managed to not only force out more speed from the ship to prolong the chase by another few minutes, but also made the time to reload the flare gun. Subtly trembling hands rapidly shift the makeshift weapon back and forth from the sails of his pursuers to anyone one board in sight. It did not matter to him if the contract might've mentioned having to be brought in alive. The man had no apparent attention of making such easy, to say the least.
The others reaction do not exactly fall on deaf ears. Yet, Yoshi refused to hunker down or make ready to be boarded. The warning at most gives him reason to look about the rest of the great river for any signs of possible pirate ships. However, what few ships were visible either proved to be too far off, or showed any signs of coming closer. "… Another minute.. maybe two. Then, I can jump aboard." Yoshi looks briefly back to Inpa, then turns his attention to the girls. "… Oi, tourists. Might wanna grab something to defend yerself. 'Cause if this is a trap, you'll prolly be one of the first to get snatched up." He forewarns. Then, the mummified swordsman climbs onto the railing with only ingrained balance and whatever nearby ropes are close at hand to keep from going overboard.
Whether or not it is out of fear or a tactical choice, Naoki finally fires…. at the sails! Twice, in fact, though by the nervous looks of him, the third shot might just be his last..
The girls just blink at everything going on and then look at each other and snag their sister's hand. Holding hands, they say at once, "Got the thing!" in response to Yoshi's warning. They'd defend each other. It was their way. As they watch the sails be shot at, they frown a little. They know enough about ships that they know that is bad for them… There's not terribly much they can do, though, they don't think, so they just wait to see what happens. Either being boarded or getting to the other ship. Whichever.
Inpa watched the man finally decide to fire on their sails. A small nod given and Inpa takes his hands off the wheel long enough to form a hand seal, centering himself and with a bit of chakra, taps a seal with his foot. The results are immediate, a barrier, a seal wall specifically, springs up in front of the sails. The energy sparks with the flares striking off of it, winking out as the third shot goes wide. Inpa gets his hands back on the wheel and gets them in closer. "Should be close enough. Go if you're going."
Yoshi squeezes his eyes tightly shut, and lets out another exasperated sigh. 'Just do the job, and its over. Do the job, and its over. Do the job—' "Shinobi? Are you tripling kidding me!?!" Naoki yells out after seeing his shots fizzle out, cutting off the giant's train of thought. Before he can get another word in edgewise however, the back of the boat shakes from Yoshi's rough landing. The swordsman doesn't waste time vocalizing ultimatums or starting up some cocky sounding banter. The O-katana at his side is simply unsheathed and held at the ready; a threat and warning in one.
Naoki licks his lips and casts furtive glances between the swordsman and ship before grinning nervously. "Y-you seem like a s-sensible man! S-s-so how about a deal? You scratch my back, and-…" The rest dies in his throat as Yoshi steady and calm gaze turns into a glare. Before either of them can continue the awkward dance meant to bring an end to the whole debacle, one of the sailors on Inpa's ship calls out a warning to the others. From out of a nearby tributary came a ship boldly flying the colors and designs of a pirate. It seems Naoki's crew did not believe much in subtlety. Then again, they may have something to do with pair of men that just managed to crawl out of the river and cast overboard the nearest sailors…
Both girls are quick to move into action when they find sailors are being cast off the ship by some very /rude/ pirates. They aren't nice as they simply kick some of the pirates back into the water. Jun, however, is quickly to focus chakra to her hands and feet and lower herself over the edge of the boat in order to actually help the sailors back on board. She's not great with chakra use, but hey…
The first two pirates to actually try to sneak aboard go down without much effort. Neither of them had expected for responses to be quite as swift as the twins. Or for that matter, to come face to face with something so tiny and innocent looking before having a foot shoved into their face. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the rescue effort. The great rivers movements were not gentle, and the need to keep up with Naoki's ship meant time was against them. At least one sailor is forced desperately trying to swim after a life line thrown by his fellow. The other — admittedly, shocked at the oddly positioned girl — can barely hope to get a hold of her without doubt and confusion wreaking havoc on his efforts.
Meanwhile, four more pirates in wet suits find purchase on the ship in whatever open defensive gaps their may be. Worst yet, once they got a solid footing they do no hesitate to display techniques known only to be held by shinobi! No wonder they managed to keep up with a speeding ship…
Either way, the new arrivals split Inpa's focus between directing his men, doing what he can to offer direct support, AND keeping the ship steady! That's not even to mention the stress the actual pirate ship will no doubt cause when it gets closer!
Jun frowns at her unsuccessful efforts and sighs before pulling herself back to the top of the ship. Nao has been working at getting the other ones off the ship still, and once the two are together again, they work quickly. Hopefully Yoshi could deal with the runaway idiot if they could just protect this ship.
"Looks like your friends might be in for a bit of trouble matey!"
"… Did you really just say matey?"
Yoshi offers no clarification. Forgetting his fear due to anger, Naoki stands up straighter and yells, "Seriously? /That/ is what concerns you? Not the fate of your allies, or anything else?! Just what kind of bounty hunter are you?" Rather than answer with words, Yoshi began to casually make his way closer to Naoki, holding his blade firmly in hand. The trembling returns, yet Naoki doesn't quell or tries to cut any more deals again just yet…
Ex-shinobi or not, the fresh wet suit pirates had no idea what the twins had actually in store for them, or of their most recent exploits. As a result, despite blocking the strike, the second (third?) pirate to engage them finds himself flying several meters over the ship and water before gravity can properly assert control again. Shocked as the others were, they fair better by outright trying to avoid direct contact, but are pressured to remain on the defensive so long as the twins continue to act in unison. Seeing the two, the one intent at first at keeping Inpa busy tries to break them up using fast paced water bullets.
Nao and Jun are quick to move gracefully out of the way with some flips and twirls, but then Jun gets hit with a bullet and gets sent sprawling. Nao gazes over at her and then frowns deeply, turning to glare heavily at the one who did it. Rather quickly, she is at his side and holding back no stops as she punches him in the face.
A wicked grin not only splits the features of the man responsible for her downfall, but that of those the duo were originally keeping off balance. Just as he began opening his mouth — no doubt with the intention of mocking the duo, or issuing some kind of warning — Nao surprises him by springing into action. The surprise is a brief one, and assuredly would've ended in failure given how fast the man recovered if not for several lines of sanskrit spreading out from along his arms. "Wh… What?!" He struggles to get out.
Only as the fist collides into his face does it finally don on him. The reason Inpa had allowed the man to break away so easily was because of a trap set during their last exchange…
Yoshi slow and methodical stride is never broken. The same could be said of Naoki's focus on the approaching giant until he saw flying past the mercernaries shoulders one of his top ranked pirates, and into the river. Dark eyes that widen from surprise are soon squeezed tightly shut as it finally sinks in. If whoever was responsible for the display of raw power made it onto his stolen prize, and proved to be less 'calm' about the situation, then — "I…. I surrender! I'll call off my men and everything! J-just pu-puhlease…" He trails off from there, hands shaking and in the air.
After a lengthy moment of silence following the end of the giant's heavy footfalls nearby, Naoki dares to peek open an eye. "Do it." The swordsman intones flatly, blade held just a few inches away from the pirates neck. With an audible gulp, the man tries several times to get his voice to work again before finally calling out loudly enough for the remaining pirates to back off.
No matter how the twins, Inpa, or the sailors chose to take advantage of the situation, the mission was as good as success now!