Date: February 8, 2014
Nariko and Ryouji are on a delivery run outside of Kumogakure, but a lesson is learned by Ryouji in even the simplest of missions.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"A simple lesson"
Outside of Kumogakure
It's early in the morning. The raikage has given Ryouji a mission, one of his first. Since Misa or Hiei are off doing other things, Ryouji has been picked with Nariko to deliver tools and material to workers outside of Kumogakure who are digging a tunnel. It's well known so it's nothing new. In fact, other genin have done the same thing the last few days so it's rather standard. Still, it's a good chance for Ryouji to get out of the village for a short time. He's standing next to a wagon filled with supplies being pulled by a pair of oddly enough, two large goats. They grunt and bay with impatience, eager to get going.
Following Ryouji on his mission, was the young Yotsuki heroine known as Nariko. She had been called away from her duties to go with Ryouji. She meets him by the cart and waves at him. "Hi Ryouji. Ready to head out?"
Ryouji smiles at Nariko and says, "You bet." He climbs up on the cart and looks at the reins. He picks them up and figures it's as good a time to start learning how to stear a car with huge goats pulling it. If Hiei and Hiro controls them, how hard can they be? He makes a face at Nariko that says, 'No worries, I got this'.
Nariko looks up at Ryouji and sighs. "Alright. Lets get going." She wouldn't show it, but she was absolutely terrifed of the horses. And maybe even the fact he has the reigns.
Ryouji nods and looks at the straps in his hands and vaguely recalls being on a cart once and how did dad get it going again? Oh yeah…Ryouji clicks his tongue and gives the straps a little crack, hardly noticeable by the two huge goats hitched to the cart. They just baaaaaah and snort a little, as Ryouji looks at them oddly. "I thought that'd work….um…giddyap?" he says, hoping that'll work.
Nariko shrugs. "Don't ask me. I'm not exactly the best person to ask how to move horses and carts." She looks behind her and then turns back around. "That would be a question for Hiro or Hiei."
The sound of a horse can be heard from behind the two shinobi in the goat-drawn cart. Hiei and Snake Eyes pull up beside the cart and Hiei has an amused expression on his face as he leans forwards in the saddle, looking first to the genin before looking to Nariko. "How's it going?" He asks lightly before looking towards Nariko again. "Going somewhere, Nariko?"
Ryouji nods and says, "Hello Sensei. We're going on a mission." He clicks his tongue and snaps the reigns on the goats again, "If I can make the goats pull the cart that is." They are rather large goats, easily able to pull the cart of supplies.
Nariko looks to Hiei and then back to Ryouji. "Well, what he said." She points a thumb at Ryouji and looks at him. "Why not ask for help." She looks to Hiei and tilts her head. "And you Hiei? Where are you going?"
Hiei flashes a smile at Nariko when Ryouji answers for her. The Reizei must not have been around very many Yotsuki women. He cracks a joke. "Huh, your henge technique is way better than mine. Patrol. Part of my daily duties when I'm not at the academy. Where are you you two going? If it's only patrol route, I'll ride along with you." He looks at Ryouji and grins. "There's a reason why goats aren't often used as pack animals. They're amazingly stubborn, but let me tell you a secret. You're holding the reigns to softly. Tighten up on them a little and when you give them a command, using a strong voice. They respect strength.
Ryouji blinks in surprise, "Oh, yeah." He grips the reins tighter and says a little more forceful this time, "Time to move…" This time the goats do start moving, "…don't look at me sensei, I don't know who picked these goats to be our pack animals."
Nariko nods at Hiei. She puts her hands in her lap and looks straight ahead. "Good to hear Hiei."
Hiei watches Nariko's posture and listened to how she spoke. She was pissed off. He looks between the two of them. "Well..good luck on your mission." He turns Snake Eyes around and gallops back towards the village. Or at least, that's what they think he did. He gets a little ways down the trail and slides off Snake Eyes. "Go back to the village." He tells the horse before thwapping him on the backside to send him running. Then he turns and follows Ryouji and Nariko. He'd stay out of sight, but he wanted to see how Ryouji interacted with Nariko and how he handled his mission.
Ryouji watches Hiei head off before looking back towards the trail. He stears the animals fairly well. But the goats are mostly driving themselves. "So…" he says, "…are you ok Nariko?" Since they've got a bit, might as well talk. It'd be a boring trip if they didn't.
Nariko waves to Hiei. "See ya when we get back." She looks ahead, her anxiety with the goats not dying. "I'm alright. Yourself?" She looks up, admiring the sky.
Hiei continues to stay out of sight as he follows along behind the cart. Ryouji would learn eventually, that almost everything Hiei does has a lesson in it somewhere. For now he concentrates on not making a sound, not that he's easily heard over the sounds of the cart and the goats anyway.
Ryouji shrugs, "Just figured this would be boring for you. Being it's a simple delivery mission." He looks up as well for a second, before looking back down since he's driving. He gives a little yawn and chuckles, "It is for me, can't wait until it's done. But, can't take on the bigger missions unless I slog through the easy ones. Right?"
Nariko brings her head down and looks at him. "No mission should ever be boring. You should take them on with full force. Be it delivery or not. What if someone attacked us right now? What would you do?" She tries to make eye contact with him, making him think the goats have turtle heads. "You won't always know if it is easy or not." She looks back towards the road. "Sometimes the unexpected happens on missions."
Ryouji getting genjutsued is easy for someone like Nariko. The heads of the goats blur for a second and are placed with smooth green scaly heads? Ryouji blinks and squints his eyes, rubbing them for a second. Then looks up in the sky, it's cloudy. So it couldn't be sun stroke. "Unexpected is right…do you…" he points to the turtle heads, "…no, you probably don't." Then gets it and points at Nariko, "Stop getting in my head and using genjutsu!"
Nariko looks to Ryouji and raises a brow. "I have no idea what you're talking about." She looks back to the road. Of course the heads return to their normal goat heads. "You should always keep your eyes on the lookout for anything. A person could jump out from the shadows of the trees. And if you're not careful you might cause an accident if you aren't careful."
Ryouji gives a great sigh and nods slowly, "I understand. I'm taking this lightly. All missions are important for the village, no matter how small." He tightens up the reins and keeps a sharper eye. "It makes me wish I had some sensory skills. Makes me more useful than a guy with a sword. Then I could spot ambushes miles away."
Nariko shrugs. "Our weaknesses make us stronger. You can work on things. We don't ever stop learning as shinobi." She looks off to the side. "But there is more to being a shinobi than just doing missions and what we can do. It's how we serve our village and how we treat others. We are the face of our village."
Hiei continued to follow the cart for awhile, but then he accelerates quickly blowing past them at a blur. The next thing they both would see is a large muscle bound man with a mask covering his head, nose and mouth, with just a little slit so that he could see steps out into the path. He is bare chested and clad in a loose pair of short pants that only come to above his knees. A plain sword is belted at his waist. He huffs a little, puffing his chest out as he strikes several silly poses that resemble martial arts moves. "Oooh Yeeeah!" He grunts as he continues to flex and make his muscles jump.
Ryouji sits up upon seeing the guy ahead of him. He pulls back on the goats who stop with a little protest. "Nariko-senpai?" he says before calling out to the guy. He wanted to be sure it's ok for him to handle it, but it probably is. "We are ninja from Kumogakure and you're in our way. Move or I'll make you!" He even grabs the hilt of his sword and unhooks the collar from the scabbard with a flick of his thumb.
Nariko noticed the bluur, looked to Ryouji and acted like she was falling out of the cart. "They need seatbelts on…" And her voice disappears. Where her body was it was no more, a soft cloud floating under the cart appeared. It was mere moments when she would be seen being held by the masked bandit. "Nooo! Let me go!" She looks to RYouji. "Save me Ryouji!"
"Who's going to make me, little man?" He then moves so that Ryouji would see Nariko tucked under his arm. With his other hand, he places a kunai to her throat. "I want your shipment, little man." He takes a moment to flex and make a muscle. "The name is Flexy Lexi. I am physical perfection. I'm so handsome, you don't get to see my face. So give me what I want and I give you back this girl. She's cute..not cuter than me, of course, but she'll do."
Ryouji gasps and has no reason to think this isn't the real deal. It's very convincing. Ryouji stands on the riding platform on the wagon. He looks scared and makes a hand sign. Even without an attack coming, he does a replacement technique and with a puff of smoke, a bolder replaces Ryouji. He's gone now, nice and hidden and out of sight. If this Flexy Lexi could capture Nariko without breaking a sweat, what chance does Ryouji have with a direct confrontation. For now, he finds his best moment to strike but looks like he ran for the hills.
Flexy watches Ryouji run and then shrugs to himself. He walks towards the cart and deposits Nariko in back of it before he takes the reigns in his own hand. "You better run, you little lecture." He cackles to himself before ordering the goat team. He had completely seen through the boy's attempt, but he didn't have to know that. He begins to whistle as he urges the goats to move with a little more speed.
Ryouji appears a cliff running paraelle with the trail. "Not today you jerk! I don't care if you're name is Senju Hashiramako. I am Reizei Ryouji, a ninja from Kumogakure. You have a member of my village and you're in our way. I won't let you hurt her, no you won't! All you're get from me is the end of my sword if I have anything to say about it." He looks at the bandit through narrowed slitted eyes. Even his tone of voice sounds strained and more confident. The mission comes first but teammates are even more important. He only wanted to have Flexy lower his guard and let the hostage go. Best way to do that is pretend he ran so he won't pose a threat. Looks like it worked. Ryouji leaps from the cliff above and aims himself right for the bandit. His left arm ready to pull his sword out at the perfect time. At just the right moment as he's crashing into Flexy he draws the blue and green sword out with a scraping of metal.
Nariko looks down to the kunai. "Ryouji! Help!" She yells out and as he disappears she looks up to Hiei and eyes him a moment. He would know this look as the "You're going to get it later" look. She looks back ahead. "He's too strong for me!" She wiggles, making it look like she's trying to get free. Then he comes flying at them from the side. She closes her eyes, crossing her fingers it doesn't go flying out to the side and hit her.
Ryouji's stab strikes home just before there is a *poof* and then nothing as the clone is dispersed. Nariko is now lying in the backseat and there is no sign of Flexy Lexi at the moment. Maybe he got spooked and ran off? Or perhaps he sensed that his attack timing was a little off? At any rate, the only thing the two shinobi hear is a disembodied "Oooh Yeah! Perfection, baby!"
Ryouji misses, which he's not surprised about. Even he could see that attack was sloppy. He lands on the drivers platform on the cart, then sheathes his sword. He pulls out a kunai and hops over into the cargo area to cut Nariko free. "Yeah? Too strong for you, you don't say? What do you think I'll do at this point? You're a chuunin! I'm just lucky this guy is so vain that he hasn't demolished me yet." He closes his eyes and reaches out with his senses to try to pick him up via perception. If he's going to try to be a sensor nin, at least he should get some practice with it. "Not so much perfection, you haven't killed me yet." he says outloud, "Nariko-senpai, please take the reins and guide the animals out of here please." Well, that's going to be interesting to see. He draws his blade and says, "If you're so perfect, come out and face me coward."
Nariko pops her head up after she is left in the cart. SHe rubs her head a moment and then looks to Ryouji. "Sometimes people get surprised." She is then told to take the animals out of harms way. She shrugs and moves to the front. "Alright then." She takes the reins and takes the cart far enough away. She moves out of Ryouji's sight and then catches his eye, giving him the thought of being bound by chains. "We don't leave others behind."
Hiei is hanging upside down in a tree above Ryouji and Nariko. He's already dropped the persona of Flexy Lexi and is now enjoying the fireworks from the lesson that Nariko is attempting to teach the new genin. He makes sure that he does absolutely nothing to get their attention.
Ryouji says, "Wha?" and can't move. Every limb feels like chains are holding them in place. He drops his sword to the floor of the cargo of the wagon and says, "Nariko-sempai? I didn't leave you behind!" At this point he falls over and breathing heavily says, "The evidence suggested that I couldn't face him directly. If you, a chuunin, got captured by him there was little chance I could face him in a head on fight and expect to win. I'm not as strong as you, but I am smart. I had to get around the hostage. What did you expect me to do, gut you with my sword while I struck him?" He adds, "I would have, only if I had no choice, but there were choices here." He sighs, "Who was that anyway? Hiei-sensei?"
Nariko looks to Ryouji and shakes her head. "My rank does not mean I am stronger than you. It means so much more than that. Just because he was able to capture me does not mean you could not take him on." She releases him from the bond and sighs. "What did I tell you earlier? There are many things that can happen on a mission. Things may happen unexpectedly. I don't know who that person was." She walks over to the cart and gets in the front, taking the reins. "We'll drop this stuff off and go back to the village."
Hiei watches long enough to see them leave to go onwards towards their mission. He shakes his head slowly before he drops silently out of the tree. He then turns back towards Kumogakure for real this time and begins moving back towards the village.
Ryouji is quiet as he contemplate this, still laying in the back. For the longest time he did believe that rank equals power. He nods and says quietly, "Everything is predictable in a classroom. Missions are a different beast entirely. Unpredictable and nothing can be what it seems. I'll try to be more flexible in my thinking and not be so ridged and arrogant. I see where I erred." He nods to Nariko, "I apologize. I'll do better next time."
RP: Ryouji leaves the roleplay.
Nariko looks to Ryouji. "Welcome to being a genin. The outside world is your classroom. It has very unpredictable outcomes." She leads the cart to the diggers, dropping the stuff off before turning around to head back to the village. "You have to expect the unexpected. You have to think outside the box and be creative." She shrugs, leading the cart back.
Ryouji smiles, "I think I can do that." He gets up and starts unloading the cart. When it's all done he hops in the front and starts cleaning his weapon going through the standard cleaning rituals. When he's done, he sides the weapon back into its scabbard with a click as if it's never been pulled out before.