A Hero's Request


Rise (emitter), Yori, Michiko (as Yukari), Amani

Date: March 1, 2015


Kumogakure shinobi have been dispatched to the village of Nemuro, a relatively small farming village in the Land of Lightning, at the request of its 'protector', Ryouichi Koboyashi, to relieve stress regarding the safety of the village. After scouting the area and further talks with the 'protector', the village as a whole agreed to accept future shinobi training and plans to make the village more defensible until they become self-sufficient.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"A Hero's Request"

Land of Lightning - Nemuro Village

Some of the surrounding territories are feeling a need to increase their protection. A small squad should be sent to check on their progress and make suggestions. Feel free to lend assistance to the village, too!

That essentially summed up the information every shinobi assigned to the mission were given. That, and orders to meet up initially at the village gate. As technically the most senior shinobi of the group, Amani was assigned to lead the team from the onset, though whatever change of plans can be discussed once everyone was gathered. Awaiting them at the gate would also be a representative of the village that issued the request. An elderly gentlemen given all the wrinkles and grey hair, but certainly an extremely healthy one given what shown through the thick clothing covering his form. He was patient, but not nearly so much that he could resist pacing back and forth while awaiting the team assigned the mission. The team weren't to officially arrive for at least another good few minutes, but still! He was already forced to waste most of the day (not really) waiting to be heard in the first place!
"Sheesh.. These beseech cold… How the petition do these northerners deal with it?" He muttered derisively under-breath.

"We deal with it like any other person does. We grow accustomed to it," Amani remarked, having heard what the man said. Those sensitive ears…"The majority of us were born into this sort of weather. I came from a frozen wasteland and traveled here. By far, this is much more tame," she described. "All that aside, you won't need to wait much longer, but while I'm here, perhaps we can go over the details of what we have been hired for," she came to a stop before the gentleman. "I am the lead officer of this mission, Yamayuki Amani. I am a shinobi medic," she offered. "We will see to it that the services provided to you are what you asked for."

Apparently Michiko had kept her word on assigning Yori to more missions since the boy had wanted to be kept busy. With the arrival of the notice he'd prepared and then went out to follow after the shinobi in in charge. The young Saito remains observant through the trip and he watches even after they arrive to take in the surroundings as best as he can. Never know what might be asked of them, so it's best to remain observant.

"Reizei Yukari, reporting for duty," comes the voice of a young girl, her white hair covering her face when she bows in greeting to everyone. When she stands back up, it's revealed that she has soft green eyes and is actually rather pretty. The twelve-year-old looks around at the group, staying quiet as she waits for further instructions or the order to move on out. Copying Yori's attitude, basically.

The old man whirls around on the speaker with a glare, only to grimace and hold his waist. "A medic, huh? Well, hmm… no, you might just be of some use." He admits grudgingly before his attention shifted towards the other new arrivals. The young Saito is met with a glare after a few silent moments of staring, followed by a pointed gesture of dismissal before the man turns to the Reizei. "Well, at least your women have the decency to greet a guest properly." He states dryly. "You may all refer to me as Ojiji-san if your feeling cute, or Koboyashi-san if otherwise. And…. wait… Weren't there supposed to be four of you guys at least?" Koboyashi eyes Amani pointedly on that note, but once given an answer the intensity of his gaze lessens quickly.
"Well, basically, I'm to guide you guys to my village. The path is a bit tricky, you see, and none of mines have time to wait for you guys to figure out a bunch of simple directions. That aside, you guys are to help us increase our protection, offer suggestions, and if need be defend the village while you're there. Now don't you start about what this and that were labeled as, cus' I did gave up some of my own hard earned money just to make sure if things got bad all of sudden, you guys wouldn't pull any crap about not being paid enough for this." Koboyashi pauses for a moment to catch his breath, giving his chest a few idle pats a few times during the pause. "Now… if that's all you got to ask, let's be off already. I sure as heck ain't getting any younger."

"I certainly will be as will the rest of us," Amani replied back to the old man. "The boy is possibly mute, you never know. That doesn't make him any less of a shinobi," she spoke with a straight face. "And I will refer to you by what was written down on the mission request. You will be Koboyashi-san." She turned to the others while he explained his purpose to take note of who all showed up for this mission. "The fact that you could keel over and pass away at any moment along the way there is already a calculated possibility. Therefore, we've already predetermined what could happen in such a case and these simple directions that couldn't be sent could just as easily be researched. We are on the case. Now, as you've said, let's move," she faced forward and gestured for the others to follow up.
"I am certain you both are already familiar with what the objective is. Yet, we cannot undermine it as a low rank mission. It must be given our full strength, ability, and focus at all times. We should treat with utmost priority. No less than you would a mission of higher caliber. We are going to help out by providing protection for nearby territories. We will observe and suggest as well as draft effective plans of defense among their own so that they will learn how to defend themselves in the absence of a shinobi presence. This is a full investment of knowledge we have gained and are continuing to learn that will be placed into this effort. Is this understood?" She looked over her shoulder back to Yori and Yukari.

Yori blinks in surprise as he looks from the surroundings to the man before bowing, "My apologies." He mumbles, having been distracted with his own thoughts. "Saito Yorishiro. It is nice to meet you Koboyashi-sama." He says before adding. "We would never leave people in our nation in danger if we were close enough to help sir." Not to say the village wouldn't charge later but hey! When Amani mentions he might be mute the boy blinks over at the chuunin in surprise. And said so…seriously. No, there's no point in saying anything further there, it would only get him in trouble probably. As they follow the old geezer Yori nods at Amani's words, having read the briefing it's still good to know they are all on the same page. "Hai Yamayuki-san." He responds in the affirmative as they go.

Yukari simply bows her head again to the older man, saying, "We'll do our best to assist you and the village, Koboyashi-san." The girl is quick to fall into line behind the others, taking up the rear unless instructed otherwise. "Yes, Yamayuki-san," she says, echoing Yori. The girl tucks her hair behind her ears as she takes a breath to get rid of the excitement making her want to speed on ahead like any Reizei would want. Speed was a wonderful thing…

Unlike Amani's comment about the weather, Koboyashi at least "Hmphs!" at the suggestion that the boy is mute. Aside from that however, he didn't press the issue. As for the rest spoken by the Yamayuki. The old man keeps his expression stoney for the most part. Then she started talking about his dying on the trip back. While he could certainly appreciate her taking the very, very, VERY remote possibility of that happening into account, the fact that she dared to voice it out loud earned her heated glare, then some grumbling after he averted his gaze.
His attention shoots to Yori at the greeting, but by then the damage was already done. Only the honorific kept the old man from glaring again or pointedly ignoring the boy outright. Instead, he meets Yori's gaze and simply nods curtly before shifting his attention back to Amani. From how much he gathered up to this point, the man cannot fully suppress looking at the purple-haired woman with admiration. Briefly, that is, then he is pretty much back to being Mr. Grumpy.
"Nice speech. Now you and your troops are ready, or were you wanting to take a quick tea and potty break before we set out. We're already burning day light, and it'll take us at least two to three days just to reach the village." He states gruffly, then waits impatiently for a moment or so for those words to sink in to lead the way for the most part.

"I already made the gesture to move they are following. If you continue to huff and puff, you'll lose valuable oxygen that's necessary for breathing up here. I don't want you to asphyxiate before we arrive at your village, but I assure you that you'll have a proper burial should such a issue arise," Amani described. "We are well trained shinobi and our values are of high importance," she nodded. "Tea and potty breaks have already been had. Let's get going before my calm leaves me."

Yori is normally one of the most calm, even tempered, and innocent of shinobi around. He rarely gets comedy out of other peoples situations and is often quick to defend instead. But the banter between the old man and the chuunin is quite special and he has a hard time not laughing out loud. Instead he manages to cough into his hand to cover up the smile that was appearing as they go.

Yukari focuses first and foremost on keeping an eye out, her ears training in on the conversation only once in a while. As such, she misses out on some of the banter, but not enough to miss the gist of the conversation. A small smile touched her lips, but she managed to suppress any laughter. Phew.

The old man blinked roughly twice, then rubbed at his eyes. It is then that it dons on him what was missed, and boy was he unhappy. His face turns so ready, one would think the man was gonna explode or have steam shooting out of his ears before long. Hearing Yori laugh and seeing Yukari smile made Koboyashi all the madder, but thankfully he calms down on his own after that first step in Yori's general direction prompts a reminder to pop up in the form of some joint pant. He huffs again, but ultimately forced himself to match Amani's pace.

The trip is… uneventful. Sort of. There was a storm that came out of nowhere along the way for one that would made resting difficult, and closed off certain routes. The Yagi-Oni decided to play at one point, though were quick to run the moment someone decided to fight back or the group managed to get far enough away. Then, there was just the sheer number of hills they had to cross over once they reached the lower lands. Hills, after hills, after hills! Some of which had wide enough valleys filled with miniature lakes to top things off. So to say the least, the group would have to endure some trouble, but by the third or fourth day's morning, they would reach the point in which the village was in sight. A pure farming community by the looks of things from a distance with folks already up and about, getting prepared for another day of labor.

Most were dedicated to whatever task seemed at hand or shaking off sleep, so they paid no mind to any distant new arrivals. A pair, however, seemed to take notice of the group and after a moment's pause, they made a bee line towards the group. As they grew closer two things become clear. The pair were a young man and a woman, very closely alike in appearance that they were more than likely family, maybe even siblings, and they were absolutely, positively livid given their expression. Amani above all might hear the old man mutter a curse and start looking everywhere but in the direction of the approaching duo as if searching for an escape route.

Ah, this is the kind of trip Amani could enjoy. Absolutely nothing but pure nature and other happenings that managed to pass the time. What day was it? Who cares?! They'll get to their destination eventually! Endless hills? No problem. Massive lakes? Fine with her. Miles and miles of frozen tundra was her home and all these things were a welcome sight to her eyes versus looking at pure white and grey clouds all the time. Not to mention those storms. "We have finally arrived! I hope everyone is as refreshed and energized as I am!" She shouted. "Today, our mission begins! Look alive!" She chimed. "Koboyashi! We…we are over here, what are you looking for? Did you lose something along the way?" She glanced at the couple approaching and their expressions. Why is everyone so angry here, what is up with this place? Is that a custom in these parts? Maybe she should do the same thing.

Yori could see the anger from the man and he quickly wiped the the humor from his face and making it as neutral as possible. As they traveled Yori would keep a close eye on their surroundings in order to try and make sure they weren't attacked. He dealt with each issue as it came up as well, doing what he could. For the worser of the hills Yori would offer to let the old man ride on his back, not minding helping the elder to keep him from keeling over. When Amani starts to act so excited at their arrival Yori just watches her with an odd expression "Um…yes, I'm ready." He says finally.

Yukari just steadily made her along, the Reizei snickering softly when Amani declares that they've made it. She gives the elder gentleman(?) a curious look when the two twins approach. "Umm… Hai!" she tells Amani, blinking a few times to make sure she's awake.

With one look earlier, the old man could anticipate Yori's intentions, and cut him off with a resounding "No." in regards to assistance. He may be old and tired, but he withered all that came before without complaint or slowing down to often. It is only the duo that finally managed to elicit more than anger out of his weathered visage.
Just as the old man turned to reply to Amani, which chances are it wouldn't have been a nice one given their track record, the duo cut him off with a synchronized shouting of "Ryouichi-sama!!", startling the old man at first, then eliciting a groan. "Great, just.. great." He murmurs before straightening out and grudgingly approaching the two. He makes it about a step or two before they closed the distance themselves. "We told'ya ta wait at the village, not go off on yer own! What if somethin' happen?! What if we could'na shake them like last time!? You're the village's leader, not a Ronin anymore! YOu can't just go running off all willy nilly cus' ya got —"
"I know, I know already!!" He barks back, interrupting the back to back attacks from both siblings. "Now would you two quit embarrassing me, go back, and gather whoever we can spare? We're already late as it is, and we don't have a lot of time left." THe Koboyashi goes on to say, startling the two momentarily silent. Once the initial shock wears off, the two glare at the elder man for a good long while. He glares on back, but eventually starts to break out into a nervous sweat from the effort.
He doesn't back down first.

"Fine, Ren/Rin, head back to the village." The two say together after folding the arms across their chest, speaking each others respective name. After a second or two they realize the mistake made and immediatly start glaring at each other next. Meanwhile, old man Koboyashi just rubs his facepalms lightly, then drags his hand down his face.
"How could that daughter of mine have such ornery kids are beyond me." He states gruffly.

"Isn't that sweet? See? This is what happens when people have children," Amani explains to Yori and Yukari. "Just remind yourselves of that whenever you get older. This is what children are like. This is what you will have to deal with every waking moment of your lives until they are older. Don't think you are ready to face the challenge because no one is. It is arguably the hardest challenge ever. Even shinobi would crumble at that," Amani stared at the both of them long and hard, not even thinking she was describing this to children. Still, they should have a nice, long reflection about themselves from this. There is a reason she just couldn't stand students. She was certain they had some hidden secret agenda against her and the conspiratorial evidence was strongly in her favor.
"I think…" She began before approaching Koboyashi and simply offering him a pat on the back. "I misunderstood you. You have my deepest sympathies. Had I known that you had to deal with such treachery, I wouldn't have given you such a difficult time. You have every right to be upset about everything in the world." She nodded at this fact.

"I'm pretty sure I know," Yori whispers to Yukari as he hears the last bit the old man says, trying not to laugh again. It's so hard. When Amani starts trying to explain things to them about children Yori turns a blank gaze to her and just nods dumbly a few times, "Uh…hai…hai…" he mutters every now and then in response. He's eleven, what the appeal does he care about having children?

Yukari shakes her head, whispering, "Don't be rude," to Yori, though she does find his comment funny. The girl listens to Amani with the same blank look that Yori has, wondering why anyone would think of having kids. She was barely leaving that age herself! "Hai," she echoes, following after … well, Amani and awaiting further instructions.

The old men turned to regard Amani, and for he awhile he gave her an inscrutable look before solemnly nodding in bemusement yet agreement. For once, the two were on the same page, if only for the moment. Luckily for Yori, the old man either didn't hear or didn't care to glare at him anymore, because the next thing his attention shifts to his back to the fraternal twins.
"Would you two just go back already?! You can save the grilling and introductions for later." He states firmly, and regarded them with a look that would broker no argument. The twins try to hold on to defiance, but they knew all too well that the old man won't be defeated so easily. "Just don't go pull'n another disappear'n act on us again, alright.. Ojiji-san?" The girl gives a sly wink, and while the elderly man fumed, the duo both took off before he can get a word in edgewise. "Every time.." He winds up muttering to himself. "… Alright, its gonna take awhile to get everyone together. You folks are welcome to take a look around first and get a lay of the land. Or chat people up if yer feel'n noisy. Don't expect to get much though. Me and mines have plenty of work that need doing, and what little time we got to spare is already tight as is…"
"Now… Just make sure to meet me and the rest back at that house over there. You see it? Its that.. big one towards the center of the village." He says, jabbing a gnarled finger in the general direction. While saying its big is a bit of an over-statement, the home in question was definitely bigger than most of the other nearby buildings. "Ya can't miss it. Just be there by or before noon." The elder man stroked his chin thoughtfully as if reconsidering something. After a moment or two he just shrugs his shoulders before making his way down to the village.

Amani shook her head. So much trouble. If only she truly knew. Regrets were had at this moment, but only for this moment. "Alright. We'll go around the area and see what we can draw out of the people. For now, you should rest. I think you deserve it," she offered. "Yori, Yukari," she began. "I want us each to go around and take a survey of the area. We need to know the lay of the land as well as what the inhabitants of this village are like. We have to know what they're capable of and draft up a means of defense that suits their abilities. It will also help to know if they have any sort of problems with other people. There should also be known escape routes if there is any such problems to worry about be they man-made or natural. If there is anything else you can think of from what I've listed, do not hesitate to present it. We need all the minds we can get on this. Is this understood?" She questioned.
"We'll start with the survey of the land and worked down." It's obvious this was hill and valley country, which should provide a decent enough defense as it is, but still.

"Hai." Yori answers quickly before pulling out a fresh notepad. He'd had to replace his other one since he has filled it up completely. He prepares to write and draw out the surrounding area as well as the village so that he can have detailed notes. Notes was what he was good at and, when he was done, his notes and maps would be good enough that they could easily look back at them if they had to see something. "Are we going together or separately? I would be best at getting a lay of the land if you both want to talk to the people?" It's just an idea…

Yukari nods and offers a quick salute. "Hmm… I could get a really good look at the land… Pretty quickly," she offers, planning to enter blur mode a bit if she was to do so. "But otherwise I could try and talk and survey everyone." She waits for instructions, knowing that they would probably end up getting split up in order to get everything done before noon to meet up with Koboyashi.

The elderly man waves off Amani's suggestion both literally and figuratively. "I'll rest when I'm dead." He calls out over his shoulder, tempting fate recklessly. Whether or not he'll truly follow Amani's suggestion or not, well, they team might find out later. Until then, they had to figure out who does and ask what. The team still had at least good few hours to work with before noon finally arrives. Plenty of time to explore or talk. So far, the day promises to be a rather peaceful one, weather wise, but the Land of Lightning did not get its name for things always remaining so.
Regardless of who does what, there will be difficulties. While the village folk were much more kind to visitor, some even being outright happy to see that help had arrived, they indeed tried to stay mostly focused on the work, shortening their attention span to all else. The least friendly of which may even become volatile if pressed too much while in the middle of work, so timing and tact would be everything. Well, those two things and the willingness to walk massive stretches once the villagers got truly into the swing things. Massive fields of rice needing tending to, and some of that land lay up along the larger hills, or mini-mountains from the perspective of some. With the exception of natural defenses provided by the land and layout of the settlement, it would become clear that no real attempt on the residents part has been put forth towards emergency escape or even intentional man-made defenses.

"Both of you, split up. I can listen and process information a bit differently than other people. I'll use my abilities to record a number of conversations to pull out the details that are most important. So, I will ask the townsfolk about what problems they have here and what needs to be fixed. You both can survey the land and combine your information together into a greater map of information that can be used to our benefit. We will reconvene at Koboyashi's home at the appointed time given to us. To make this a bit easier, Yori, you will take the western side of the village and Yukari can take the east. Time yourselves and switch sides once you've finished. This way, you can both go over one another's work and determine what pieces may or may not be missing. I will work my way around the village and end my trip at Koboyashi's home. Should everything go well enough, we should each be at his place at the same time."

Yori listens to the instructions and nods quickly before looking to Yukari. He offers the Reizei some paper and a pencil if she needs it before heading off to start his own mapping. As he goes he'll mark any weak points in the natural defenses that would need strengthening as well as anything else of interest he might see. Yori was an excellent note taker and researcher so this was actually kind of his thing, much more than all out fighting.

Yukari thanks Yori for the paper and pencil, tucking them away for the time being so she can dart off. She speeds along, taking rough notes on what she notices before adding to them a bit more with each pass. It doesn't take much for her to catch the important details on the terrain.

Word gets around quick in the technically large village. Among the things gossiped amongst villagers are the arrival of the shinobi, jokes about Ryouichi acting out once again, and the occasional greetings mixed in with idle talks farm related business. It may be difficult to discern at first, but there's a noteable tension to the tone of some of the speakers. A sense of apprehension that did not seem to fully fit into the conversation being spoken aloud. Only once — no, twice did someone murmur something about some sort of fight the "old man" got into with a few visitors a week ago. Unfortunately, every time the speaker seemed about ready to go into details about it, they wound up shushed by one of the older folks that happened to overhear things.

As for Yori and Yukari, they find their job somewhat easier said then done in some cases. The surveying itself goes well. However, the problem came from some of the seemingly haphazard way the farmlands themselves were situated. If there's a pattern to the madness then only the farmers saw it. But to an outsider, one would have to have a lot of patience when it came to finding paths through the field, or be willing to risk the ire of the farmers by cutting through some of the areas just to make sure they obtained a decent picture of the land's layout; let alone get back in a timely fashion.
Roughly fifteen minutes before noon, those few hands that can be spared as well as a few 'idle' villagers begin making their way towards the center of the village. It seems word about the meeting two has been circulating about town as well. It is up to the team to decide on meeting up first and share details is worth the risk of arriving late. Or arrive early and perhaps weasal out more information from someone, perhaps from the old man himself even, if not his kids. Though in the latter's case, they'll have to be quick about reaching the man's home before the area surrounding the front becomes too crowded.

Hmm, this is unusual, but thankfully words aren't the only thing Amani can pick up on. Diagnostic jutsu helped in determining a number of other things. She couldn't rely strictly on words, but also body functions and so far, they've all been reading some sort of danger. Now, all that's left to do is determine what that danger is. She kept a mental note of all the things she heard and witnessed and finally made her way to the home in the center of the village. She figured Yori and Yukari wouldn't be too far behind.
Once they arrived, she would begin speaking saying, "I've just finished my review of the people around here. There's an overwhelming amount of tension that they've been feeling. Though their conversations didn't reveal too much and asking seemed to present a problem, it still revealed itself in other ways. I will have to determine what this danger is that they seem concerned about. What did your survey of the area reveal?" She questioned.

Yori is very methodical in his work and, for the most part, avoids causing any problems with the locals as he maps out the location around the farmlands and village. What he finds isn't all that impressive though. Even with the rough non-pattern of land things are going to be tricky to defend. By the time he returns to meet up with Amani he's got some bad news. "From what I gathered it's going to be very difficult to build any real defenses. The area is large and the farms themselves to seem to be set up in any defensible pattern. In fact it's almost the opposite. The village itself may be defendable but the farmland would be a loss if any great force descended on the village." He looks over to Yukari to see what else he might have missed.

"There… were a lot of fields. … But the placement didn't make much sense to me. I'm not too sure it was organized or not. If it was, then where they are less crowded could be a dangerous spot. If not, then… I'm not sure what they were doing…" She frowns lightly, Yukari peering at her notebook while her blur shuts down. "It's like Yori-san said. If we do this, the village itself is going to see some farm destruction. Unless we're able to set up a large enough defense for the village, which I'm not sure we can do with not that much time."

"Hmm. I doubt we'll be able to set up any real defensive work today. But, while we're here, we can probably use the resources around them to work something out. Since you've described what the land is like, I'll go ahead and remark about the people. Since many of them are laborers of the land, they're fairly strong. I imagine they have the strength to defend themselves, but their attitude towards their defense can be a problem. They have been quiet about whatever issue appears to be plaguing them and I am going to err on the side of safety and assume that means they don't have the ability to defend against it which, given the circumstances and descriptions you've provided, is not that difficult to understand," she looked around the area briefly.
"They would already be a hard target to get through because they're surrounded by hills and valleys. That would be a great deal of effort put in by any force to try and get to this place, not to mention the lakes in between, so that is some natural cover, but that isn't enough to stop someone. Especially a small taskforce. In fact, it'd be easier to use a smaller one here than any major grouping of people…" She crossed her arms. "As far as defenses go, some outposts situated along the hills surrounding the area would be wise. They would also be capable of warning about threats coming from the outside. However, those on the inside are a different story. So far, I only know of Koboyashi being anyone with knowledge of fighting being identified as a 'ronin' by his grandchildren. What does that say about the rest of his family? Are they well trained also?" She questioned. "I think him and his family would be an important source of information regarding this community and their history here. We'll need to question him now." She made her way to the home to knock on the door. "Koboyashi, we would like to speak to you right at this moment."

"Hmm. I doubt we'll be able to set up any real defensive work today. But, while we're here, we can probably use the resources around them to work something out. Since you've described what the land is like, I'll go ahead and remark about the people. Since many of them are laborers of the land, they're fairly strong. I imagine they have the strength to defend themselves, but their attitude towards their defense can be a problem. They have been quiet about whatever issue appears to be plaguing them and I am going to err on the side of safety and assume that means they don't have the ability to defend against it which, given the circumstances and descriptions you've provided, is not that difficult to understand," she looked around the area briefly.
"They would already be a hard target to get through because they're surrounded by hills and valleys. That would be a great deal of effort put in by any force to try and get to this place, not to mention the lakes in between, so that is some natural cover, but that isn't enough to stop someone. Especially a small task force. In fact, it'd be easier to use a smaller one here than any major grouping of people…" She crossed her arms. "As far as defenses go, some outposts situated along the hills surrounding the area would be wise. They would also be capable of warning about threats coming from the outside. However, those on the inside are a different story. So far, I only know of Koboyashi being anyone with knowledge of fighting being identified as a 'ronin' by his grandchildren. What does that say about the rest of his family? Are they well trained also?" She questioned. "I think him and his family would be an important source of information regarding this community and their history here. We'll need to question him now." She made her way to the home to knock on the door. "Koboyashi, we would like to speak to you right at this moment."

Yori can only listen to what Amani says and nods his agreement. It all sounds well and good but that doesn't really mean much of anything at this point. They can toss around their own ideas all they want but without someone actually in the village that knows what's going on and what they're capable of it's all just conjecture. He follows to the mans house, watching the other villagers as they go to try and get a better feel for what exactly might be going on.

Yukari makes a soft noise of irritation when she realizes that right now, the shinobi are useless. There's only one thing to do: get information. She follows after Yori and Amani, staying to the back and intent and keeping an eye on the people who are surrounding the house. She wonders just why they feel the need to crowd. It's not like they'll hear much with so many people there…

Quite a few folk have already made their way towards the center of the village, and seemed to be awaiting something. Word perhaps from the shinobi, if not from Ryouichi, seeing as how the old man took it upon himself to recruit outside help for… whatever reason. Mayhaps someone got word about the prisoners that escaped? Or maybe something else happened? A few of those gathered seemed irritated with the wait, though the reason could just as well be because of the fact that they were called away from work sooner. Either way, the way remained clear enough for the group to reach the house unimpeded. They just had to endure some looks that ranged from awe and welcoming to mildly interested and… suspicious? Yep, at least one of them looked the part at least.

It is not the old man, but one of the twins that answers the door. Compared to before, she seems downright friendly and would practically pull Amani in after offering for the group to come inside. Seemingly without a care in the world, she left closing the door to whoever is last to enter, because she sure as heck didn't linger around to close it. Nope, she yelled ahead, "Ryouichi-sama! Ya got visitors! Its dem ninja from before!!" as she made her way towards the back of the house.
For all intents and purposes, the house looked surprisingly more western then eastern. Its almost as if whoever built the house was making some haphazard attempt at combining the two styles, and winded up with some very weird amalgamation of a two story home western home and a eastern lengthy compound. Thankfully, after only a few minutes of walking they group finally arrive in what roughly appeared to be a living of sorts fitting the traditional eastern side of things. The elder man from before is laying on his side and looking out into the fields through one the sliding doors. He would seem awfully relaxed for someone that is supposed to be waiting on village meeting in another ten minutes or so, and yet…
"So, what'chu guys think of our humble village, hmm? Things were bout as you first expected or somethin' else?" He asks, only belatedly looking over his shoulder to regard those gathered.

Amani had to conserve all the energy she had to prevent herself from gripping the twin and forcefully removing her from her body. She didn't want to come across as disrespectful, but that kind of thing just sent her over the edge. When she was eventually released, she straightened out her clothing and tried her best not to think about what happened or the consideration of burning her labcoat. "The village is nice if a bit different from other places we've seen," she began.
"But we've already seen a few notable concerns that we need to adress. For one thing, there are no real defenses for this village. There are natural ones, but none that are crafted by the village itself. Secondly, the people here seem to be all but vocal about issues that bother them. The vast majority of any information that was gathered was largely cut off before anything important could be spoken of. Unless we have something to work with our work here can be hindered. So, you are one of very few we can speak with about this problem…."
She proceeded to take a seat on the ground with her legs folded under her. "What is everyone so quiet about? Additionally, how long have you and your family been here. You were spoken of as a ronin, so you have a past that is grounded in skilled fighting. Is this the same for the rest of your family?"

Yori follows after, pausing long enough to be polite and let Yukari enter before him so he could close the door. With that done, and after he would follow the rest, he would try to get the twin's attention to remain just outside the room the others went in so he could talk to her. He used all his eleven year old cuteness to try and get her to stay out. "I didn't get to introduce myself. Saito Yorishiro." He says, giving a little bow to the twin. "You have a very interesting village. Have you lived here long?"

Yukari is about to follow after Amani and enter the room, but she stops when she sees Yori not enter. She stays inside the room with Koboyashi, but mostly stays near the door and just wonders what Yori's up to. She eventually presses herself to stay close enough to the door so that she could maybe pick up Yori's conversation while also listening to Amani and the old man talk. Multi-tasking, go go go!

Rin almost manages to resist the boy's cuteness, and yet, there's just something about the look he gives that she couldn't help but do a double-take. "Nice to meet'cha, Yori-kun." She says easily after giving a bright smile. Rin giggles at the Saito's assessment of the village, and nods enthusiastically to his question. "All my life! Me, my brother, and Ryouichi-sama. Oh, I almost forgot. I never did introduce myself properly to y'all. Rin Koboyashi." She says, offering a more formal bow to Yori. "Uhm.. Oh! Whose your friend over there by the way?" She asks.

Amani had a lot questions. Far too many questions for Koboyashi's liking given all the subtle clues. But then, his mood suddenly sky rockets at the mention of the rest of his family being fighters. "Those two? Fighters?!" The old man bursts out laughing so hard, he rolls onto his back and holds his gut, only to go rigid as pain shoots through his back. Groaning, he forces himself to sit up and rub at his backside, then mutters something along the lines of "##purple#Entreat## back…" before the rest becomes nigh indecipherable grumbling along the same lines.
"Let's see now.. It's been… bout forty years.. or was it sixty.. Bah! Its been a long time since I settled here myself. Those two you met earlier… they all the family I got left." He says, tone growing somber near the end. After a moment of silence he shakes his head swiftly, then refocuses fully on Amani. "You ain't need to hear all that. Suffice to say, yeah, me and mines know a thing or two bout fight'n, tho' those two still got a long way to go before they take over for me. And I'm guess'n the thing everyones been so quiet about has somethin' to do with me more than likely…" Ryouichi finds himself shaking his head in exasperation this time around before turning his attention towards the outdoors. Following a moment's pause, he goes on to say, "The thing is, this village is so out of the way that noone really comes to bother it. And as you said yourself, there's plenty of natural defenses to make it even less worth it unless your someone that's /really/ determined…. Sometimes, they get folks like that. Usually it be bandits desperate enough to try their hand, or dumb enough to think this village will be easy pickings because its so far out."
"Occasionally tho', you get those smarter fellows that think to try and use this area to keep under the radar, or cus' they think their might be something beneath this land that might make it worthwhile to takeover. And who knows! Maybe they are right that there's something extra here, tho' noone here feels inclined to look into it… But anyways, they needed a protector and at the time… I needed some place to rest my head for awhile. Next thing you know, I'm setting up roots and got labled officially as this towns 'protector' on account of all those times I scared off or.. took care of those look'n to take advantage of the land here, if not the people."
Ryouichi pauses for a moment as if to let that sink in, then turns about fully to regard Amani, giving a somewhat pointed look. "Problem is.. I'm getting too old for it. And after what happened about a week ago with these stupid little suits from the north, well… Hmph! Well, everyone got a real good look at what I've become, and they know how passionate I tend to get about insults sometimes, so.. I can only guess they're a bit twisted up inside on how to handle the situation."
"Me and mine… no, those kids got them thinking of working on something a bit more permnant. That's all well and good, but ain't none of them exactly got that kind of thinking that folks like you and me got, ya know."

"I understand. The people are just beginning to lose a bit of trust with the way things have been going. Although, I wonder if it's even proper to lose trust if they haven't even been the ones invested in their own safety," Amani described. "If they've relied on you this whole time to protect this place, then that's a failure that falls onto their shoulders. You did what you could for them and they didn't help themselves enough to provide protection. Therefore, what these people need is to be trained. We can provide some shinobi to be stationed here and live among the population so that they will build a connection. Additionally, they'll be able to understand and know the land as well as provide the villagers with the proper training to do for themselves. You probably have a keen eye for this sort of thing, but there may be potential shinobi among these people that hasn't tapped into that potential," she explains.
"Otherwise, they'll just have to deal with the fact that they are in the open and will have problems to deal with. The fact that they refuse to talk about this is already telling enough…" She turned her head towards the doors as she had noticed the people were gathering there earlier. She did see Rin poking around with Yori and she wasn't sure exactly of what to think of that, but he could hold his own, she's sure…maybe. Girl seems like she could be determined. "The people are gathering outside. I assume you were going to have a meeting with them soon?" She questioned. "If so, this would be a good time to make such a proposal."

Yori bows to Rin when she introduces herself to him and he keeps up the little boy cuteness as he speaks. "Nice to meet you too Rin-chan. Oh, amd that's Yukari-chan." He adds, the cuteness forcing him to use honorifices he rarely does. "It's a nice village." He repeats with a nod. "What is your grandpa so worried, if you don't mind me asking. Doesn't seem like much bad stuff is going to happen around here.

… -chan, eh? Yukari doesn't move from her spot as she listens to both talking, acting more as a placeholder now than anything. She wonders idly why she was even called for this mission if she couldn't do much. She wasn't as smart as Yori, she didn't take good notes, and she wasn't even that good at talking to people like Amani was doing right then. She sighs softly, so softly that it could just be a normal exhale, and then she slips outside the room to approach Yori and Rin. She … is still quiet, though. She's not sure what to do! A small bow is given to both, the girl saying, "It … is definitely a bit odd so many people are worried over nothing…" Hopefully that's the right thing to say.

Rin seems to withdraw into herself at the question; and soon enough, she looks away outright. Hearing Yukari speak of the village folk worrying about nothing elicits a wince from the girl, followed by a heated look directed purely at Yukari. "It ain't nothing!" She exclaims, stomping her foot as if to emphasis her point. After an awkward moment of silence on her part, Rin straightens out and looks away again with cheeks burning from either embarrassment or anger. More than likely both. "Ryouichi-sama is just… he's just so darn stubborn, and… and he always gotta do things on his own." Is all she seemed willing to say immediatly at the moment, and even then, she seemed to be talking more to herself than anyone in particular.

Ryouichi's normally stone-y visage cracks under pressure from Amani's word. Something akin to anger flashed in his eyes at the mention of shinobi being stationed in the village. And when Amani spoke of shinobi canidates, the elderly man balatantly waved off the suggestion. "That was the idea, though if you go talk'n bout stationing shinobi here, things might not turn out so well. Their fine with outsiders so long as they don't cause or attract no trouble." His eyes narrows. "You shinobi tend to do that, or I'll be a banana's uncle… As for the rest, well… I can't rightly say how they'll react to it. Look out points might be fine, but beyond that-…" Ryouichi shrugs helplessly.
"You seem to have a good head on your shoulders girl. Mostly. So I won't badger or bad mouth your ideas no further. I've gave you enough fair warning, so its up to you to decide how your gonna proceed. And who knows! Maybe I'm just just being paranoid… Now, if that's all, we aughta get out there before one of them gets a pair and come banging on my door."

Amani winced as she turned her head in Rin's direction. She frowned and shook her head, facing back to Koboyashi saying, "I can agree with the stationing of shinobi here. That would give the appearance that we are attempting a move that they won't like, so that, I can leave out. Lookouts? That could be a good start and blend well with the people here if they take to training themselves to defend against threats that come through. I believe they start to see their way of life is being threatened, so the only way to protect it is to put up the proper defenses for themselves. Otherwise, there's no point in us being here." She answered honestly.
Rising from the ground, she continued saying, "I can present the ideas, but I will likely need your help in getting there. If you have something to say to the people, again, I'd give them the truth about why we're here and what we desire to assist them with. Depending on their response, we may or may not stick around and quite frankly, I don't want us to waste time where we aren't wanted. Whatever consequences befall the people rests entirely on their decision. It is their home and their wishes that need to be respected." She proceeds towards the sliding doors and opens them to head out to the courtyard outside the home.
"Yori, Yukari, with me," she gestured. "Rin, I will advise you to stay in here for now. I think it may be for the best."

When Rin leaves, Yori looks a little flabbergasted. Well, sue. He gives a little frown back at Yukari then but he doesn't say anything. He was trying to get some more information but, well, it's already passed. He looks back into the room where Amani and the old man are talking, listening to the tail end of their conversation from just outside. When the chuunin calls his name he nods quickly and unfolds his arms, ready to move out to do…whatever it was they were doing next.

With Rin's little outburst Yori looks a little flabbergasted. Well, sue. He gives a little frown back at Yukari then but he doesn't say anything. He was trying to get some more information but, well, it's already passed it seems. He gives a little bow to the twin in apology for making her upset before taking a step away. He looks back into the room where Amani and the old man are talking, listening to the tail end of their conversation from just outside. When the chuunin calls his name he nods quickly and unfolds his arms, ready to move out to do…whatever it was they were doing next.

Yukari doesn't let it go, of course, with that outburst. "Oh? So if it's not nothing, then what is it, exactly?" she asks, trying to sound both curiously and slightly challenging at the same time. Not condescending. That might ruin it. The girl just wants to fish for information, using the angry outburst to her advantage, hopefully. Maybe her intrusion will all work out…

Rin looks up after awhile, and upon seeing the look in Yori's face, her expression turns from one of frustration and anger to that of guiltiness. The expression dies almost immediatly once Yukari spoke up and started questioning her again. Anger is the first to light up her eyes, but just as she opened her mouth to speak, she pauses for a second. At its passing, the hand she had raised up at first falls to the wayside. "Ryouichi-sama.. doesn't like the idea of us taking his place even after he's gone… He taught me and brother how to defend ourselves, but made us promise only to do just that. Defend ourselves and each other. He… he didn't want us going out of our way look'n for trouble, and.. and he doesn't even really trusts us leaving the village! He says we're too dang hot blooded to be out and about without him being around to wrestle us out of trouble… as if." Rin says, alternating between simply explaining things how they were to putting more passion behind her words; barring the end. The last two words she murmured to herself.
Just as she seemed ready to say something else, the sliding door opens, startling the girl into silence. It takes a moment or two for her to regain some semblance of composure. As soon as that happens she bows her head curtly and without really thinking about it, missing the relieved look on Ryouichi's face as he stepped out. The elderly man is quick to wipe the look off his face once he fully registered the presence of others, but inwardly he held onto hope that things might just turn out well. Anything was better then the alternative…

When shinobi and elder step outside the house, the villagers gathered about — roughly twenty or so folks all in all — begin to cut off their side conversations and activities, and drift closer to the house. Most waited patiently for answers, but plenty of others — the younger ones mostly — continued to murmur every now and then about one thing or another.

Amani goes outside and looks up to the majority of the people that have gathered round before her. She had a piercing gaze, as if seeing right through them to determine the contents of their being and character. She maintained a silence similar to that she experienced in her walk through town, perhaps to show just how unsettling it could be, but she needed them unsettled. They needed to face the problems before them, especially those that start at home. Her time of scrutiny had come to pass and she began to speak to the crowd, using her abilities to boost her voice well enough so that she could be heard.
"You all have gathered here to receive a message and I will be the one to deliver it to you. Recently, you all have been experiencing issues in your humble community, having it shaken up by various factions of people who have come along and decided that they could benefit from you. I have come to understand this problem as well as my fellow shinobi here and we are here to help. However, the only way we can help is if you are receptive to it," she began. She looked at the faced before her and those beyond prior to continuing.
"You defender and leader, Koboyashi, is beginning to reach an age where his services will begin to come to an end. You all will need someone else to take the mantle and lead this village as he has. He protected you all when you needed it most, but it now seems as if his presence has bred some complacency among you. Complacency does not provide protection…it is a vulnerability." She pointed out the hills around them. "Did these hills protect you from those that were determined enough to come this far? Absolutely not…and word will spread of these actions. Even if you have defeated the enemies before, the fact remains that they powered through the natural defenses to get this far. That means others will be likely to take the same risks and reap greater rewards. Now is the time to ask yourselves if you wish for this to happen?" She folded her arms.
"Me and the shinobi I've brought here do not wish for this to happen and we want to help. But you have to be willing to want to defend your own community. It is becoming clear that it is no longer a haven and if we continue on this track, it will be come your prison… Everyone else will take the resources your hands have created except you, your relatives and your friends. Tell me if you wish to protect that which is dear to you. I will await your answer right here."

Yori stays behind the others and just listens to what is said, remaining silent himself. Whether he agrees or not with any or all of what is said it's impossible to say. He watches the faces of those in the crowd though, to see the reaction and take mental note of it for later.

Yukari joins Yori in the background, not really sure what to make of everything. She watches, taking note of everything, attention on Rin before they all had to disappear. So it was mostly a matter of them being concerned, or something? She hmms, wondering just what Rin is going on about… What she's frustrated about.

Rin had watched the progression from afar with a look of worry in her eyes. For a brief moment she's tempted to disobey the Yamayuki, but all she makes is a step forward before feeling someone grab her arm. Even without looking back, she knew it to be her brother that restrained her.
"… *sighs*… Fine." She mutters grudgingly.

The villagers may largely be complacent folk, but they do not allow themselves to be shaken so easily. Those that did drew strength from their neighbors, and forced themselves to put on airs. Even so, Amani's scrutiny do ensure that she had just about everyone's attention. Those that she hadn't fully have a handle on looked to old man Koboyashi, the invincible iron man, to see if he might say at least a few words before handing things over. By amplifying her voice, Amani makes absolutely certain that all eyes were on her. While she speaks not a peep can be heard from the crowd, or those elsewhere just near enough to hear.
The young were more in awe than anything when it came to what was spoken about. None of them truly had to see or face the dangers that Amani spoke of. This much was obvious, for they wore their thoughts on their sleeves. The older generation appeared indignant for a time. A few even seemed on the verge of calling out something in either defense of Ryouichi or denial of Amani's claims. But the longer she spoke, the harder it became for any one of them to keep ahold of their resolve. A few looked away as more than likely memories of close calls played in the back of their minds, or simply out of shame.
"It a-ain't like we're afraid of defending ourselves!" One brave and probably foolish soul finally spoke. Bodies part as a single man, roughly around his late twenties or early thirties given his appearance, makes his way towards the front. "We can.. We will!… But… How do you.. we…. Just what are you suggesting we do, shinobi?" He finally asks after practically self-destructing on the spot. Those nearest to him offer him brief sympathetic looks before turning towards the gathered shinobi, curious yet apprehensive.

Amani saw the man that approached her and spoke his defense against her words. She narrowed her eyes at him and unfolded her arms saying, "Good. Now that I know that you're willing and able, I can proceed forward. You have every right to feel what you feel right now. Tempering frustrations will get you nowhere, so let it out," she offers to him. "But things can be done. I had my fellows survey your village to see what weaknesses were present here and to say the least, there were many. The organization of the farmland is unlike anything we've ever seen, however if it is beneficial to the way you grow your crops and take care of your animals, then there's no need to touch it. However, what you will need are defenses. You have enough natural barriers to provide you with some protection, but you will likely need to have eyes in the hills. All of your enemies come from the outside and work their way in. Thus, you will need those that will be dedicated to the task of keeping lookout and signaling all of you just in case danger arises. Additionally, you will need escape routes in the event that a major strike will occur."
She walked through the crowd and proceeded further into the courtyard. "But most importantly, I want you all to be armed and ready to handle the problems you will face and I will not have you all being taught like common guards. You will be taught like shinobi. There may be those among you who can be just as powerful as Koboyashi and do not perish the thought! He is your protector and leader and his contributions and role here will never be diminished, but there will come a time where another must take his place and it does not have to be someone with shinobi ability. Your heart must be vested in your village first and foremost and that is not a trait unique simply to shinobi kind," she described. "You all must work diligently towards determining who the next in line will be and be certain to pick somone who you know will absolutely see to it that your village thrives in every way."
She took a few moments to gather up her next words and reached into her pocket to pull out a root to chew on. She sighed to herself, thinking she was going to be especially aggressive with Hiei's next check up for this. This is not her style at all. "I want you all to be as skilled as possible to face the threats that come to you all," she began. "You will be able to maintain your farmlands, livestock and above all your livelihood without anyone being the wiser to your capabilities. That makes me smile. The deception that you all could utilize to your advantage would be amazing. From the outside, you appear to be farm folk, but inside, you have the hearts of those willing to defend those that you love and cherish. This is something that comes naturally to any one person and I can see it in your community. I'm not blind to it at all… I just want that to be shaped into something that will keep these threats from you. For them to think twice about coming into this place and taking advantage.'

Koboyashi kept his arms folded and face devoid of expression throughout the entire event. Even after spending years in the village, helping as needed, and simply enjoying the company of those around him (after a few years), Ryouichi remained an outsider at heart. The villagers treated him otherwise, but the former Ronin could never fully shake the feeling. He stood apart from them now so that they could come to the villagers could come to their own conclusions. A barely perceptable scowl graced his features. One of distaste when a few continued to shoot him glances as Amani spoke. The look is enough to set them back on the right course; but still, the fact that any villager looked to him now set him ill at ease. The idea — His plan had to work….

Amani's words continue to grate on the nerves of some. Many even, perhaps. They were farmers, not warriors! While the man from before spoke true when he said they were willing to defend themselves, setting aside the time to train some sort of militia when there was usually so much to day by day just seemed like an impossible task; especially without guidance.
In the end, what Amani promised to do — /offered/ to do spoke to those gathered. Again, the young seemed more smitten with the idea than the old, and a few even seemed ready to volunteer on the spot for training. The rest talked among themselves in hushed tones, considering things such as numbers, interference to their work, and perhaps most importantly, what would it mean in the long run if they agreed. It is an elder woman with eyes more lively than what her physical appearance suggests that steps up to speak, quieting the rest by merely stepping up. She takes her time in speaking, having decided or needing to appear more firm in stance by straightening out and holding her head high, as well as wet her lips as if in preparation for a big speech.

"When do we start?"

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