Date: June 2, 2014
A team consisting of mostly Sarutobi shinobi plus one are dispatched to recover goods from a botched escort mission. Although time proves against them in the end, the team come one step closer to accomplishing their go.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"A Journeying We Shall Go "
Western Pathway [Land of Fire]
Taking the western path, the trees start to bloom more and appear greener and taller than the rest of the previous path. The aroma of the trees and the flowers are notable here, as well as the slightest hint of running water further west down the path. The essence of rocks appearing out of random are apparent, they are cleverly concealed by the small patches of tall grass found about. The wildlife here seems undisturbed and used to the presence of humans, a deer would often wander close by. However so do wild boars protecting their young.
The war against the darkness may have finally drawn to a close, but it would still take a great deal of time before things were back to normal. In the meantime, there still exists those willing to take advantage of the post war effort for the sake of personal profit in one form or another. One such Konohagakure team had the pleasure of dealing with such low lives, and unfortunately found themselves retreating to the village following a botched attempt to recover the very same goods they were supposed to protect in the first place. The client was furious to say the least. He requested that only members of the Sarutobi clan be entrusted with the safety of his goods and hired hands in the first place, only to be disuaded by assurance by Konoha's administration branch that the other team would work just as well. That, and the simple fact that there was just no way they could round up a team made of only said clan members on such short notice given the other missions going on at the time.
Needless to say, the importance of the client's business and Konohagakure's reputation was especially on the line for the recovery operation.
And so it was that a team of Sarutobi lead by Akinori, and guided by the first team leader back to the place they ran into trouble in the first place, were dispatched with three simple things in mind: Recover the stolen goods, destroy the hideout to prevent future use, and rescue the hirelings should it turn out they are still alive. A simple enough mission considering the team had the advantage of familial bonds, time still on their side thanks to the original teams effort to hamper the redistrubtion of the supplies before being forced to retreat, and a rough location/estimation of what to expect. They traveled in whatever pattern was preassigned by Akinori. Regardless of which position he's set-up, Zankuro remains oddly subdued since meeting up with the team.
Their Satonezu guide is the first to break from their journey across the treeway and land at the center of what looks to be the after math of some relatively recent great explosion. "Alright, this is the spot. You guys can.. uh… Well, you got things from here… right?" The dark-haired young man asks as looked back at those gathered.
The small team of four was being departured by the Satonezu as he'd nod. He'd raise his hand as he curls it into a fist, a signal to hold. "Zankuro, Mikoto. Inspect the blast radius , Sayuri you stick with me on overwatch." He'd cast a single nod with a signal behind it, move out. In the mean time, he'd grab a cigarette from his pocket as he places it between his lips.. igniting it with his Chakra. He'd take a small drag as he'd eye Sayuri for a moment before he glances back to the boys who are hopefully off inspecting the area up close. "So, Sayuri. First mission, am I right? Nervous?" He'd take another drag as he'd exhale the last one, having placed himself on the branch of a tree. Hopefully, the boys find something intresting down there so we can continue on.. a blast radius this large has two disadvantages.. the known fact it can happen again, and the open area allows you to see anyone inside of it from out in the woods. He takes another small drag as he'd lift his hoodie from the back up to his head, covering his blonde hair and his eyes which seem to be scanning along the treeline.
As Akinori gave out the orders and nodded to signal them to move out, Sayuri let out a small squeak as she moved to stand at the side of Akinori, though she does position herself strategically. Her back turned towards him, so that she can keep watch on the opposite direction of the Team Leader. Though curiosity was killing her, she wanted to go inspect the site of the explosion too. Despite her desire to take a peek, her violet eyes move across the tree line slowly, taking careful note of as much as she can and committing it to memory, creating a sector sketch in her mind. The soft breeze causing her blonde hair to rustle softly.
Then questions come her way, which catches her off guard, causing another soft squeak to escape her lips. "Oh… umm yes…" she says her cheeks turning a soft shade of pink, "Ummm to both…" she says nodding for a second, but returning to the sector she had assigned herself, believing it to be the best area of coverage with the area her Team Leader wouldn't be able to see. "I…I…" she starts but chokes on her words, her brows furrowing for a second before she gives herself a small nod, "I started training two years ago… you could call me a late bloomer." she says with a small giggle, trying to ease the tension, that she felt she was creating. Though something along her scan of her sector caught her attention, a path?
Gesturing for Akinori's attention, "Akinori-Sensei." she says as she gestures towards the eastern portion of where the explosion seems to start, "Looks like a well used path, close to the origin point." she says looking at Akinori waiting for his reaction.
Atoshi caught up with the group he was sent after rather quickly. While he was hardly that great of a shinobi per-say, he was at least fit enough to be of worth. Slowing, panting softly, he'd shake his head and bow to Akinori. "I.. uh.. I was sent along to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch.. I.. ran here fast as I could. So, sorry. just.. a moment to catch my breath.." He'd bow his head a moment, taking in a breath and letting it out slowly, focusing himself as he'd find his center and then open his eyes, nodding. "So.. how can I help?"
The Satonezu watches as the team splits off before taking that as his cue to return home. Zankuro gives Akinori one of those 'I'm on to you' looks before moving on to help Mikoto search. He doesn't find much beyond a bunch of broken rocks, dust, and branches. Oh! And some wire as well, though, that could've just as well been something left behind by the old team. "Meh." He emits, dropping it and moving on.
As for the others, there's some mixed results. By pooling their information together it becomes clear that their targets were prepared enough for pursuit, and willing to use deadly force to halt them in their tracks. The first time got lucky in having no fatalities, but can the same be said of the second team plus one? Only time will tell…
For the most part all turns out well, rather or not they follow directly or alongside it in some manner. Unfortunately for the team there's a snag along the way. One Atoshi, Zankuro, AND Mikoto nearly blunder into unless Sayuri and Akinori call out a warning about the trip wires in time! Failure to do so or compliance on the three boys part will result in anything range from a hail of knives to a camouflaged net dropping down on the unfortunate victim.
Akinori's gaze flickers over the wires as his eyes spread. He'd extend his neck from a casual to a more serious and strict posture as he'd shout at the top of his lungs. "Freeze!" He'd take another drag from his cigarette, slowly dropping himself from the branch as he'd tread carefully towards the open field. "Everybody stay where you are, I will be guiding you to the edge of the field. No sudden movements, look at your feet and inspect where you can sit if you get tired!" He'd glance back towards Sayuri for a moment. "Sayuri, if you can help Mikoto. I'll be grabbing Zankuro because he's heavier, be EXTREMELY carefull. Got it?!" He'd turn back, slowly stepping over the trip wires as he'd pace himself towards genin he likes the most… to tease, he ment.
Mikoto would be scared to death by Akinori's shout out. He was in the middle of a sentence before he got interupted. He would carefully stand on his toe, carefully wtching the wire as he would inspect the ground behind him. He would sigh, also a wire. So he would stand there, like a stiff ballerina to wait for Sayuri to safe him. "I must admit this is not one of my fine moments." He would say with a playful tone, but with an annoyed face. The boy of twelve would lift an eyebrow at Zankuro, feeling happy he wasn't the only person that should have paid more attention to the wires. The boy would sniff in some air as he would smell the smoke. ~Great~ He tought, ~Now I also want a cigarette together with this annoying position~.
Then the realization of something else hit Sayuri, her violet eyes locking onto something. The light caught it, cause it to shine for a second, her brain running through various possibilities as her violet eyes stayed locked on it, then finally she would yell out, "Trip Wire!" towards Zankuro and Mikoto. But she was already a bit later, Akinori had already moved into action. As his orders came to help Mikoto she would nod slowly, her eyes moving to the ground as she ran her hand through her hair slowly as she moved towards him slowly and carefully.
As Mikoto makes a small joke, she lets out a giggle. When she finally reached him, she would move slowly, carefully around the trap, offering her hand to Mikoto, "Step where I step." she said softly, moving to lead them both away towards their team leader.
Atoshi started to move after the others as he'd fall in line with them heading across the field. Frowning, he'd glance between where they were pointing and track the wires. Hopping forward, he'd make sure to land where he noted the others were safe at, keeping a sharp lookout to make it across smoothly to the other side. Once there, he'd watch the others, ready to help as needed, shifting on his feet slightly.
Zankuro tries to stop in time, really he does! But alas, his weight plus Akinori's plus the boy's slow reaction ultimately added up to him being knocked off his feat (surprisingly enough!) and nailed by his shirt and shorts to a tree in an awkward position with a knife held between his teeth. "Pew! Uhm.." He looks at the knives holding him in the way. "You guys cannaah just go on! I'll catchup… eventually." He murmurs the last part.
One way or another, the team would be able to move on eventually, though thanks to Zankuro's antics, time became that much more of a precious commodity. Their next obstacle is more of a physical test, then a trap within itself, and one the team would hear well before it comes into sight. A great river cuts through the forest, impassable by swimming due to the current from where they meet it, and sporting the ruined remains of ounce was a sturdy bridge. Without the water walking skill in their arsenal, the only other means of fording the river meant going up or down stream in hopes of finding a safer path, or testing their acrobatic skills on the floatsam caught on some nearby rocks.
There was also the option of Akinori carrying the team across one or two at a time. But doing so may leave certain members vulnerable in one form or another. What to do, what to do…
Akinori and his team reach safety, away from the mine field that they just surpassed. He'd take another light drag from his cigarette as he and his team meet the river.. he just simply starts to walk over the river as he expects the rest to follow up.. only Atoshi seemed to be capable of doing so for now as he'd turn back. "Really… Really? … You're kidding me, right? UGH—… fiiine!" He'd walk back over towards the front of the river, as he'd spread his arms into a group hug with Mikoto and Sayuri, both pretty lightweights. "I love you two so much, but I swear the next time you'll be walking over the water or swimming through it kiddos. Hope I made myself clear." He'd hold them around their waste, lifting them over his shoulder as he'd turn around. "Atoshi, mind grabbing Zankuro for me? We'll have to go over the river fast, just drop him on the other side as fast as you can and take up a defensive posture while I carry these two." He'd simply move over the water, the cigarette in his mouth as it smolders in front of his face. "Now kids, what did we learn today? Akinori hates to be a carrier, so don't make him be. Next time will be a kick over the river." Hopefully they'd reach the end of the river without any problems, as Akinori would drop them off onto the ground there.
The boy would have felt weirdly, being pushed again'st a girl, but would loose it quickly while being scared of the water he was being cared over. He would hold Akinori's arm pretty tightly while making a funny face towards Sayuri in an effort to hide his feelings of being scared. The boy would then clear his throat before stating: "You should learn me this indeed Akinori-sensei."
Traps have now been dodged and casualties averted! This of course made Sayuri rather happy, though as they reached the river, her violet eyes would lock onto it, a look of frustration forming on her face. Defeated by water, is all she can think. Though something happened next, she wasn't really expecting to be swooped up in a hug and carried across the river. Though her cheeks can't help but turn a soft pink from the combination of embarrassment and well being held and having to hold Akinori back, even if it wasn't perhaps meant that way. Her soft voice would let out a soft almost shy, "Th..thank you." she says, "I will… umm… make sure of it…" she continues meekly.
Looks from Akinori over to Zankuro. Shrugging slightly, he'd gather himself, a sudden flare of purple energy would envelop him, the Dark Cloak flaring to life as he'd simply step up to Zankuro, pick him up and with that shift of his feet would haul Zankuro across the water. He ran full tilt, doing the job told to him by the chuunin so that when he did make the other side, Zan would get set back on his feet and Atoshi would immediately take up a defensive position in front of the group to make sure they weren't ambushed.
Zankuro grins sheepishly and start to say something, only to get handle like a sack of flour before he can get a word out! How rude! "Hahah! See ya guys on the other side." He calls out. Once on the otherside, Zankuro too turns his gaze towards the forest for some investigative work! And, you know, totally not because he wasn't embarrassed about the fact he got carried across in front of a girl. Yep. Nothing to do with that at all. "… Huh? What's that.." He squints his eyes at some wierd glint in the trees…
As for Akinori's group, trouble does find them on their way across. Its form? Oh only just a bunch of high speed logs floating down from upriver! Maneuvering won't be impossible, though it may slow down their progress a tad among other things..
Akinori's gaze flickers onto Zankuro, shaking his head with the comments of the two sweet children hanging on his muscles. "March.. you're gonna make me cr—…" He'd halt at the end of the sentence, noticing the logs in the water. "Gimme one moment kids, just hold tight." He'd didn't seem to be irritated or bothered by the logs, a total of three coming down his way. The first one is being swept away with ease by a crushing blow with his right foot, splintering the log into pieces as he'd continue to walk, once he's mid end he'd receive another logs as he'd raise his right leg again. This time however he'd step on the end, leaving it to come towards him as he'd kick it away from him down the river, which may or may not shatter that piece on instant. The last log seems to be a bit bigger and respectable log, he'd turn his full body towards it as he'd step on the end of the log.. pulling his head backwards as he'd send it towards the log with a layer of chakra surrounding his skull.."H-..nngh!" his skull pierces through the log, causing the log to be sent backwards and split up the river once more as Akinori places the final steps on the river towards the other side where he drops off Sayuri and Mikoto. "You guys noticed it as well, right?" He'd remark, taking another small drag from his cigarette as he hopes for someone to remark what he'd seen.
The boy would have been looking around and noticed some hints in the forests, but before hesitating, he would look better seeing seven archers sitting in the tree's. The boy would gasp for a moment before whispering softly to Akinori and Sayuri. "Look, at the other side, where Zankuro and Atoshi are, I spot six… no seven archers." The boy would pause for a second before nodding to Sayuri. "You take the right, I'll take the right. The one in the middle… well, that's one to shout for at the two guys there."
The boy would loosen his grip on Akinori, but maintaining one elbow leaning on the mans arm, while focusing his chakra. The boy would repeat three seals, and three sudden explosions would appear on the places where he would have seen three of the seven archers. For those who could have seen, three Mikoto's would have appeared for less then a second before they exploded.
Well despite the pure awkwardness of being held and carried by the Team Leader, Sayuri had already caught the the shimmer of something, her mind moving before she placed it as an arrowhead. Her eyes moving counting even as Mikoto seems to be doing his own calculations of how many. "Yeah I spot seven." she says slowly, nodding at the plan about each taking a side. Her slender arms move, releasing her grip of Akinori, her violet eyes moving and focusing between her targets as she focused some Chakra into her system.
Her hands quickly began to form seals. Then her mouth opened, a soft almost eerie song escaping her lips, carrying greatly in the surrounding area. One by one she would attempt to force a but of her chakra into each archer in the trees, the hopes that her song would reach them and her chakra would throw them off balance preventing them from attack or even perhaps falling out of their perches. Though as they land and she is released she would nod to Akinori slowly, "Yes Sensei, it appears they know we are coming." she would say, her hand moving up to brush a bit of her blonde hair out of her face as she prepared to attack again.
Attention caught by would be snipers, Atoshi frowned. "Alright." As the others would attack, so did Atoshi, launching himself with a flare of that purple energy for the tree. As he did, he created a hand seal, capturing each of the two he saw left within that genjutsu, forcing them to bow.. right out of the tree. Atoshi would use his elevation of running up the tree to try and catch one as they passed with a leaping jump kick.
Today was just not the best day to be a log or an archer it seems. Those that don't get to ride the immolation express down to the earth find themselves swaying drunkenly on the perch or struck by the urge to bow… RIGHT off their perch. One guy in particular gets the added bonus of being kicked mid-flight, ensuring that he would /definetly/ not be getting up any time soon. Due to their combined efforts, Akinori is free to reach Atoshi and Zankuro, the latter of which having taken upon himself to watch, and wince every now and then from the damage done.
"Talk about falling for ya." He jokes good-naturedly before turning to the others, knowing (or just plain faithful) that with the exception of the guys moving around in a daze, the team was safe for the time, and could move on. Or stick around to see if they can dig out any information out of the archers. It's not a bad idea so long as they don't mind the gamble on time.
Akinori pops his arm joints, walking towards one of the archers who still seems to be breathing quite decently as he'd curl his fingers around his shirt. He'd drag him down towards the river, holding his right hand curled in a fist as he'd indicate a halt. He'd point up his index finger, wagging it around in a circle around which might be known by several genin as a command to circle around Akinori. He'd drop the archer, blowing a substance into Akinori's hand as he throws it directly after into the archer's face. He'd grab him again by the neck, slowly speaking. "Tell me, everything you know. You know what we're here for, any survivors? Where do you hide? Gimme names, gimme locations, gimme protocols, E-very-thing." He'd press the Archer's head into the stream, allowing the ash to wash off the archer's face as he'd pull him back up. "Children, give me a 360 degree security. I don't want to be suprised again." He'd lower himself onto his knee, placing his right hand onto his other knee as he'd be in a kneeling position near the archer. He'd remove his hoodie, glancing towards the man. "Remember this face, because it might be your last you vile scum. Give me what I want, or face consequences." He'd pull out his trench knife and another cigarette from his pocket, placing it between his lips as he'd ignite and drag from it. He'd eye the man, seemingly indifferent over his fate.. the only thing he wants is answers, fail to cooperate and it'll be punishment.
The boy would have watched Atoshi move with a gasp, but was not very surprised as he already had carried zankuro over the river without an issue. As soon as he was released by Akinori, he would watch the victims closely, observing everyones move. The boy would not hesitate while moving himself next to Akinori's right side, however facing 135 degree's the other way, covering 45 Degree's of the space to watch as he would listen closely what was happening behind him. "Let's see if there are more people to explode, shall we." He would mutter while grinning. The boy of twelve would ready himself, but also kept himself from locking into a jutsu stance. He wanted to be ready for everything, even if he would have to throw a shuriken…
Sayuri watches nodding as the last of the Archers are taken out. Her gaze moves and watches Akinori for a moment, before she moves and stands in the area closest to her, sectioning off her sector and letting her violet eyes move across it slowly. She really didn't have much to say, Akinori had the interrogation subject handled and she would of course agree that another surprise would not be a positive thing. Her hand moving and fixing a bit of her hair as she continued to scan, committing bits and pieces to memory, to be able to notice any changes or any new presence.
Atoshi gives one last kick to the head of the one he had kicked out of the sky, making sure the man was out. Walking over to where Akinori was at, he'd take up that position again, the purple flare of energy heightening about Atoshi a moment, then winking out as he'd styme the Dark Cloak. Shifting on his feet, he studies the surroundings, ignoring mostly what Akinori was doing to keep alert for anything else. If they were coming.. They'd have to go through him.
The brief moment of good natured Zankuro dissipates in the wake of Akinori's initial interrogation. The teen hesitates in following the elder Sarutobi's demands, but holds his tongue in check and moves on to follow orders. That is, after binding up the three fools still staggering around from Sayuri's song genjutsu. Better safe than sorry about having spares for Akinori's interrogation.
As for the object of Akinori's tender love and care, he proves surprisingly resistant to the man's threat for a time, but eventually he does spit out the fact that the team was already too late. The same information is repeated by his cohorts should they be brought up to question. Continuing onwards down the path would reveal as much in the form of a virtually silent fort positioned well enough to remain hidden. Their are signs all about pointing to a rushed evacuation, as well as the corpses of the hirelings dumped off to the side. A cough from within the pile followed by a wounded man digging his way out of the pile proves the initial survey wrong.
With a bit of time and coaxing he confirms the archers' story, but also gives some key intell on tracking the thieves down. Granted, the next leg of the journey promises to be a bit too much to rush into without first reporting back and taking some time to recuperate…