Date: December 19, 2011
This is the first log of the campaign 'All Sealed Up'
"All Sealed Up - Part 1"
It had been an ordinary day of seeking out monetary sources. Odo had found word that a local town had been having some troubles with a vandal in the area drawing odd designs on the sides of buildings, one on the front of a shop, and another was actually in the middle of the street with an indistinguishable animal carcass there, drained of blood right next to the strange and now seemingly demonic symbol.
The swordsman had requested the help of the others he was with to accompany him. Both for their own experience, and backup, though the latter he wouldn't admit to in a thousand years.
Now though, Odo stands talking with the leader of the village, an elder man with white hair, where he still had it, and his wife. They complained that it was scaring the townfolk and merchants were merely passing through instead of making normal stops. They were about to send out for a team of Shinobi from the Hidden Mist Village when Odo and company arrived, and just in time, too. Without merchants stopping, the market was nearly drying up from the fish that were brought in from the nearby fisheries, since this small town was far enough inland that fish might go bad and rotten before they got here with the resources of transportation the town had, they wouldn't make it much longer. Other than the obvious and what the group could find on their own, the information they had was a couple of young men staying in an abandoned cottage just outside of town. Spooky.
Naru let out a quiet sigh, it seemed like no matter how much her vacation was involved with training there was still the element of mission time… SO much for a nice break. Brushing her attire which was what she would call her adventures outfit, a black skirt, a loose green shirt with another black jackety vest thing that finished it all, Naru kept moving off to the side of the group, seeming to be following Odo who knew exactly wha they were here for. The mission was odd of course, it seemed like something creepy out of the text book from what she had been briefed on so far, though she still didn't realize just what was going on, it seemed like another one of those investigation stunts, was Ryoji still testing her information gathering skills.
" Maybe I should leave this to Ei instead… I don't need to question anyone right…?" Naru thought quietly to herself, for the most part staying silent, her eyes looked around observing the area, she was just letting it all soak in, maybe she would learn something.
Ei felt sick… There was nothing about this 'mission' that she liked. Animals drained of bloods? Creepy symbols on walls and streets alike? No thank you… Of course, Ryoji was involved and that meant she was following, too. She stuck close to the Iga, though she tried to keep a comfortable distance so as not to cause him any annoyances with her seeming clingy. She /was/ clingy, of course… but she didn't need to seem it. For once, she kept quiet, not so much as uttering a teasing giggle. This was partly due to their situation for the investigation, but also due to Ryoji's request. Less teasing, she kept telling herself. It was difficult!
Ryoji could've probably thought of a thousand and one things to do on a thus far dreadfully boring day in the Land of Water. None of them were better than following Steel-kun however. SO, the moment Odo came knocking about needing assistance with something. Needlessly to say (though he kept his enthusiasm to the bare minimum of grinning creepily the entire time while remaining silent unless prompted) Ryoji conceded in joining on such a venture…. Only to partially regret his decision when they finally arrived at the scene of the crime. Or, creepy misplaced ritual thingy? Regardless of what the actual case may be, Ryoji makes certian to arrive with Ei and Shun in tow.
Despite this and without even a word on Ryoji's part be spoken, Shun quickly drops into the background as everyone waits for Odo's discussion with teh elder to come to an end before fading all together from view as soon as attention was fully lost on Shun. "…. Ei-hime.", Ryoji states abruptly barely above a whisper after falling back a step to stay by Ei's side. "I sense, tension in you… is staying true to my request really getting to you?", He asks warily at first, then chuckles and shakes his head weakily, "Or, this particular mission has you on edge right now?
Odo was already accustomed to bloody scenes, but usually it was -after- the mission was completed. He kept questions to a minimum, including if the boys were there currently, and if anyone knew if they had anything to do with this. Of course, fingers were all pointed in that direction even if firsthand accounts of seeing the acts was numbering less than a hands worth of counting. It wouldn't be long before he had it basically figured out. Kids playing a prank or two. Worst case: bad nasty jutsu that doesn't need to be messed with by anyone who wasn't a master, and could control whatever it brought along.
Caution was the game today, and Odo, as usual, was not the MVP. "Let's go.." he started saying, but then pausing to let Ryoji and Ei have their momentary conversation before he would get bored for a moment enough to start walking nonchalant down the road where directed by a given tourguide. The merchant himself who had lost lots of business the previous days to this 'calamity'.
Odo knew the others would follow, just a matter of when, so down the road he walks, easily listening to whatever additional gripes the man from the town had about business being bad and how kids could be so uncontrolled and uncouth. A look over his shoulder, Odo was just checking to make sure with last-minute calculations of what all they had in stock of ability combinations and total strength of their makeshift team. "Let's hurry, we won't be staying here overnight." A callous and rude gesture that they would be heading all the way back this evening. Even if he knew the others might not be able to keep up with him like that again after the trek from Konoha to Kiri.
Naru was becoming a pro at walking, she wasn't completely pumpedbut for her a mission was a mission. She yawned once again and began to move off followin Odo, further silence ensued whyile every now and then offering Ei a casual smiley and peering at what Ryoji might have gotten them into. Luckily, Odo continued to take the lead, questioning and speaking with the merchant before eventually geting the group of four, Naru stretched her arms again and continued to look around, keeping her eyes peeled for anything unusual, nothing was going to get the jump on here today, she was far too serious perhaps..
A bit surprised by hearing her name suddenly, Ei blinked and focused on her sensei curiously. For a long few moments, she didn't say anything before she smiled softly at him. "It is difficult," she admitted, speaking slowly due to having to choose her words carefully so as not to tease. "I just like seeing your many expressions and reactions. Teasing you gets those reactions more quickly than other possibilities. Although…" Just as she started to say something, she bit her lip abruptly to stop herself. No, no teasing, Ei! After clearing her throat, she shrugged. "But yes, this situation is also… unnerving for me."
"Whaaatt? All the way back?" A very swift reply to Odo and very much a drawn-out whine. Quite unlike her usual collected self, a slight pout appeared on her features before she gave a quiet sight. Ah, well… at least it wasn't like he was asking them to travel all the way to Konoha and back again or some ridiculous idea like that. She could survive a walk back, she supposed.
"Excuse me sir.", Shun voice would suddenly cut off whatever train of thought one of the local villagers well direct sight from the others with both a question and a soft tug of sleeve. "I couldn't help but overhear that uncouth youth are believed to be the one's responsible… but might I ask beyond eye witness accounts of why this is believed?", The Iga asked in clear, concise words before canting his/her hooded head to the side. "Have they, if I may also ask without offending you, been progressively seen to grow more disturbed prior to this latest disturbance?" Shun continued on to say while hoping beyond hope that the most sensible villager among the others was successfully picked out after scanning the village from the shadows through sensory buds hastily gathered from other parts of the Land of Water.
Ryoji listened calmly to all that Ei had to say without a trace of judging or even his usual knowing smirk in his expression. His delay however in breaking it all down enough to even begin formulating a calculated response, for Ei's growing manipulative skills has long since made him wary of the girl, took way too long before they'd be forced into a hard march to keep up even partially with Odo! So, for the time being Ryoji settled for holding his words back until either they either finally came their destination or Odo would slow down. The latter after being thought it would illicit a chuckle from the Iga. "NARU-HIME!", Ryoji abruptly yelled out at Naru mid-route without any intention on elaborating further should she look. A test perhaps of her focus?
The merchant man would turn around and walk backwards, causing him to slow and Odo's pace was now stunted and awkward at such a slow gait. "Well, they moved in here not a week ago, when the symbols first started appearin'. Also, they have the same stuff drawn all on the outside and inside of the run-down house they overtook. Yeah, I'd say it's them alright!" He got a little angry at those last words, but immediately calmed down and held out his hands to try and defuse his own anger as well as any others' that might spring up from his outburst. "Oh, sorry, just wanna say that it's been a hard week from them boys runnin amuk, bein out around the town till the early hours of the morning, drawin all those symbols everywhere then doin it all again the next day." He shook his head slightly in thought then turned around and started walking again.
Odo and the merchant's heads snapped around to look at Ryoji while kinda walking sideways to see what in the world the boy was shouting for, but would likely turn around once again as the merchant was pointing up towards a row of trees that blocked most of the view past them. "They're up there past the bend in the road, just off to the right from the road about a hundred yards. Can't miss it," he informed.
Odo would stop for a moment to think, then, in all his awesomeness (or lack of subtlety) would start walking right to where the guy was talking about, further up the road to the bend. Same pace, same stride as before. Though the Merchant kept walking along with him, keeping up the pace.
All Naru could hear was the loud ringing in her here from the sudden outburst from Ryoji, frowning angrily at the teacher before finally tilting her head to the side to allow her eyes to look at him. " What is it now, Ryoji-dono?" Naru questioned him curiously, still keeping her voice down, and her attention adverted just briefly, Naru kept along pace with Odo, who seemed to be heading in yet another direction, Naru wasn't going to be much for talk, for now she was far to into things to do much.
"I do find these symbols a little bit odd…But i don't think I have very much information about anything else in regards to them personally..
Ryoji's lack of response made her uncertain of if she'd actually avoided teasing or if she had mildly upset him by giving an undertone of teasing. Or perhaps that one-word slip… Ei couldn't be sure, of course, and she wasn't about to give him more reason to worry over her due to her… worrying about what he thought. Worry, worry, worry. Reaching up to rub her nose to get rid of an itch, she hummed thoughtfully. Although she did look to the other girl to see her response after their sensei's outburst, she said nothing. She still didn't understand this 'dono' thing going on between the two of them, but she wasn't about to question it again. Instead, she actually shifted to jog a bit ahead and start walking beside Odo. Giving him a small smile, she shifted her gaze to his feet, starting to try and match his gate… awkwardly.
Ryoji opened his mouth to say something to Naru. A momentary lapse in judgement on his part quickly corrected with the shutting of his mouth and smiling brightly at Naru and waving leisurely until she turned back to her vigil. He then, despite their faster pace making it difficult for him to formulate his thoughts process, turned to continue 'grilling' Ei over her discomfort and quite possibly assuage a few of her fairs… but she takes off well outside his comfort zone for of walking. A slightly bothersome thing that at least provided an opportune time for Shun to slip back up next to Ryoji fro a brief whispered report in the other's ears.
"I see… Then it is best that you post your 'sentries' around the village right now… divide a few others to search for a quick escape route as well." Ryoji commanded gruffly before speeding up along as Shun dropped away once more to carry out his/her duties elsewhere. "…. *sighs*…. Ei-hime.. Steel-kun.. and Naru-hime…. just what kinda madness are we walking into?", Ryoji quietly questioned himself before like Ei, begin to really pick up the pace until his next to Naru. Sometime along the way bits of pink, gooey messes starts falling out of his sleeves, but as to exactly what they are… matters little for within seconds every piece goes zooming off into seemingly random directions. "… Naru-hime, I require a bit of favor — " Ryoji lowers himself a little. " — When we arrive, study they symbols carefully and try to see if any ring bell, neh?"
As they all approached the little ramshackle building quite quickly, the Merchant looks back to the younger ones, Ryoji Ei and Naru (Well, Ei next to Odo), he would hold up a hand to them in some form of warning, offering for them to not follow. "It might be best if you kids stayed back for now," he would say in a slightly worried tone.
Before they would know, he and Odo would be at the front door. Then something would happen.
Whether or not Ei, Ryoji and Naru would have waited or come along, the door would burst inward to open abruptly, and with some sort of unnatural speed, even rivaling that of Odo himself, two bodies would fly out the door while the Merchant would quickly turn in some form of protective 'big man' mode, stepping in front of Odo yelling some obscenities to the two young men.
"What did I tell you! Wait until they got inside!"
This would leave Odo a touch startled, but the hand that was on his chest was already glowing, as well as the ground beneath him in a symbol used to hold prisoners while being questioned.
Odo couldn't move while the man, no longer thought of as a Merchant would laugh a bit, "Get 'em.."
The two boys, each circling around either side of the group, jaunting at them with 'Hey there pretty ladies..' and such.
You paged Ryoji with 'Not as far as I have had it explained to me.'
"Sure thing, Ryojin-Dono," Naru simply replied back, shifting her gaze to the side she wished that his yelling of her name would a lot to more work than that, nevertheless she took the orders to heart, hopefully to get some type of symbol to further investigate. She was also quite curious on what the man was up to, oddities of some kind of substance coming from his flesh, for now she would sweat drop and not question what he was doing… Once they reached the house they were to heading to. Naru yawned quietly under her breath, though her eyes remained peeled. Naru was the one that followed in right as soon as Odo had, stepped in front of a bursting open door, her body failed to react, and simply watched as the merchant man had turned into a bulking powerful figure.. " Trust… no one.." Naru whispers, remembering the first teaching she had learned from Ei/Ryoji, Naru was more so confused that Odo had not moved…. Not even in the slightest bit, " Odo-sama… MOVE!" Naru shouted out at him, not quite sure what the guy was doing but the two boys beginning to circle the "girls" was enough to turn Naru's attention away, "How about you pick on someone else?" Naru questioned the boys before applying a few hand seals and letting out a stream of fire towards one of them, she herself almost certain that Ei would take the other. " Fire Release! Fire Bullet Barrage!
When 'told' to stay back, Ei frowned and titled her head at the merchant. To be honest, the whole idea of just going right up to this house, which supposedly held a pair of boys that killed things for the sake of killing seemed dumb. Shouldn't they be sneakier than this? Try to gauge whether they were home or not to start with? Maybe look around the house for clues if they weren't? Watch if they were? Still… it was of no consequence since Steel-kun was leading them here and it was his choice to go right up to the house. However, she didn't like the idea of going right up to their door, anyway, so she stayed back and watched… If she had said anything before, she might have wanted, at this point, to say 'I told you so' but as things were, she had said absolutely nothing for quite some time and now it was just two silly boys trying to get them riled up. Although she did flinch somewhat initially, she ended up standing calmly and watching the two as they circled. One was taken out by a Fireball from Naru and… well, since they didn't seem to actually be much of a threat, Ei just stared, unimpressed. She was rather worried for Odo, however. She just didn't find it smart to avert her gaze to check on him.
There wasn't even a single second of hesitation on Ryoji's part in channeling his chakra to his hair rapidly enhancing his growth as well as transforming locks into spears. He did afterall anticipated such turn of events on some level after all, and thus remained behind next to Ei. And although eight of these makeshift spears are created only six are actually sent out on the offensive in pairs of three. One set to toy with other boy untouched by flame before slashing out the back of one of his feet tendons while the others went straight to do the same to the older man albeit in a more cautious manner. At the behest of their master, arms crossed over his chest and a mask of complete apathy in place, they remained hovering protectively around Ei, Ryoji, and Naru (though the latter to a lesser extent) in preparation of second wave.
"I do not understand your purpose /merchant/-san for doing this, nor will I ask of it if it matters little in changing things…. Release Odo or….", Ryoji commanded tonelessly before trailing off. Any number of threats stacked upon one another implied in its emptiness.
As the attacks came, the first young male was burnt, charred in a few places by Naru's fireballs. The second fell directly to the ground with the unexpected lethality and pain deliverance of locks of hair. He screamed like a little girl and started crawling back towards the older man with tears in his eyes and a bloodied foot. The first lay rolling on the ground wailing in pain.
As for the older man, he was nearly finished with what he was attempting to do to Odo. Ryoji's hair attack caught him unaware and his hand faltered for a moment on Odo's chest, causing an imbalance in the chakra released into the jutsu. A loud flash of chakra release sent Odo flying backward past the rest of the group, landing in a heap.
A sinister laugh in a low tone rumbled from the man, "Oh, it's not -my- job to release him anymore… that part is for you to figure out.." and in a moment, he reached to either side of him to grab the hand of the leg-wounded boy, and the leg of the burnt boy, and another symbol flashed from a small tag that fell from the man's pocket. In a flash, the three of them were gone.
It would take some time getting the unconcious Odo back to the town, leaving them no choice but- to stay overnight. Explaining the happenings would be left up to Ryoji, Ei and Naru while Odo recovered, and in the morning, our heroes would awake to a quite unexpected and possibly unwelcome surprise.
TO BE CONTINUED…