Date: October 9, 2012
In his rush to find the Recluse, Taiki is lured into a trap that nearly kills him, only to be rescued by someone he would not expect
"The Recluse Saga - Ambush and Rescue!"
Somewhere in the Land of Fire, outside of Konoha
The sun is high in the clear blue sky, as would be expected at close to noon. Nature sounds echo through the forrest as Taiki and his ninken appear to stroll easily down one of the lesser-known paths in the Land of Fire. He is not alone, though he thinks there's only one other human with him in the form of Nara Usagi, one of Taiki's students. He seems to be at ease, though his pleasant monotone does contain a subtle hint of warning as he discusses the upcoming meeting with his student. "From what little information I could gain, this person is a merchant. They'll likely be scared, since from what the message said he or she found out something they weren't supposed to. So your job is to be on guard, without /looking/ like you're on guard. If you sense /anything/, get my attention immediately. This should be a fairly safe trip, but I don't take too much for granted where the Recluse are involved."
Usagi nods slowly, and puts her hands behind her head. "Looking bored or distracted is a strength of mine" She grins at him. Her last name should say it all. especially if they were at the market, she could actually go shopping and keep track of what she neded at the same time. "Either way, hopefully it'll go without incident. If it doesn'….we'll be up to the task" She shrugs again, then looks over and around. "Lead on, Inuzuka-sensei"
The both of them were being shadowed from behind, the piercing scarlet gaze of the Uchiha behind a neko like mask obscured all of her facial features. Her body remained adorned in traditional Anbu attirement, a jet black hooded cloak shrouded the padded white armor beneath, for now she simply looked like a shadow, even if she was spotted ashe remained to be simply a mask and shadow, high amongst the trees as she silently moved forward… Whether Taiki realized it or not, had sent an extra eye to assure his protection, especially with recent events coming to mind… Though it did come at the request of one particular individual…
Taiki thinks about this for a moment and nods, slowing down as the clearing comes into sight. It's a circular clearing not that far from where Taiki goes to practice destructive techniques that would have the entire village on him if he were to do them inside the village, training grounds or no. In fact, they had traveled by one such place getting here. It was relatively lifeless with craters and boulders of varying sizes littering the place. No part of a tree larger than a man-sized log remained.
But this was beyond that area, by about an hour's travel by civilian speed. Thus this place was very familiar to him, but it did not seem odd meeting here, given who they were supposedly meeting. There was a lesser-known trade route about two hours civilian speed away, after all. Taiki pauses and looks into the clearing, not seeing anyone yet. Even this doesn't come as a surpise, though he does surupticiously activate his heightened senses. "Okay, now to send the signal." With this he nods toward Nozomi, who lets out a loud howl, followed by ten seconds of silence before Shinobu lets out one of his own. "Now we wait…"
Almost like clockwork a sketchy figure revealed himself into the clearing, his facial features muffled with a vibrant gold cloth tied around her mouth and forehead, his clothing was a little worn, obviously from what an average merchant would consider to be a long trek into the Land of Fire, he was an informant among anything else. In one hand he tightly held a scroll, a scroll with the contents of what he waished to present to Taiki. " I don't even want to speak about it," the man suddenly explains at once, clapsing his hands while peering at Taiki. " How do I know you are the right guy? I thought I told you to come alone, are you trying to get me killed?" Quick and straight to the point the Merchant spoke.
Taiki strode out into the clearing, motioning for Usagi to remain just behind at the tree line. "The message I received made a suggestion that I come alone, but failing that, I could bring one person. It was my intent to come alone, but I was followed and it was too late to send her back. She knows nothing of what is going on, other than I am meeting someone undisclosed for information of vital importance. She will not tell anyone who you are, as she doesn't know." Taiki explains clearly, a hint of apology in his voice. He looks back toward Usagi for a moment, his eyes telling her to stay put.
"As to how do you know its me, the answer is rather simple." He slowly reaches for a scroll from a scroll pouch on his vest, opens it, and sets it down. A faint blast of chakra later a second scroll appears. Once it is there he steps back a couple of feet and says, "The information you asked for about the traitors is there. The first few lines should be enough to verify my identity." Of course none of that information is sensitive material, Taiki wouldn't go that far. But he's not above telling others what to look for in potential allies to the Recluse.
Usagi is, of course, nearby, but she's found a tree to lean against for the time being, not even really facing the merchant. Instead, she seems to be casually watching the clouds go by. She's occasionally glancing this way and that, but nothing too particularly bad. If only she had a hammock….
As was silence, Naru kept herself hidden amongst the darkness of those very trees, observing the situation as it began to unravel from afar, to the Uchiha's perspective things didn't appear to be heading off on the right foot, the Merchant looked a little bit of confused and concerned while he spoke with Taiki. For Now Naru maintained her stealth, safely hidden away from the sight of others…
RP: Shifter joins the roleplay.
The man behind the cloth mask smirked as Taiki revealed himself along with the contents of the scroll he had been holding. For a moment the man merely shook his head, chuckling quietly, menacing under his breath. " You don't listen well do you Inuzuka? Maybe you will be able to here me now… How many people have to get hurt or die before you finally clean out those ears of yours and listen? You brought someone else with you, and now they will undoubtly get hurt," the main spoke honestly, spiking his chakra levels in preperation with them,. His intentions at this point were becoming slightly obvious. "I need more than just a scroll… I'm going to need you to return back with me…"
Taiki narrows his eyes at the man, then sniffs the air again. "No wonder why I couldn't get a good scent on you," Taiki says as he handsigns the dogs forward. The dogs do indeed come forward, both growling as they approach. "I listen very well, unfortunately for you," Taiki growls out. "But it would seem to me as if you Recluse scum don't have that good of a learning curve. You keep missing the point, so let me spell it out for you," he says as he leans forward into his own taijutsu stance. Shinobu does the same while Nozomi assumes the generic four legged stance and stands by Usagi. "Every time you hurt someone precious to me, every time you kill a loved one, you make me that much more driven to destroy you all. You hunt me because you're afraid of what I might become. But you're /making/ me into what you're afraid of. You're giving me a sense of direction, a target. And unfortunately for you, my target will be destroyed. And you're first." The fact that Taiki seems to be getting coldly angry instead of the usual intensely hot anger would serve as a warning, if the lightning and the sudden increase in chakra levels didn't do the same.
It's about that time that a sneaky little shadow spike flies along the ground in an attempt to lock the 'merchant' in place. Usagi's hardly moved, just her hands are together in the rat sign. She's barely looking, but she's got a bead on the man and is raising a brow. But her posture and the rest remain unchanged. Perhaps why a little sneak attack like this would work. The shadows of the forest's trees only aid in allowing her to snake the shadow around instead of just a straight shot, extending her range. She's remaining quiet for the time being, not wanting to tip her hand early by giving the man warning of her strategy.
Narusegawa focused a bit of chakra into herself, watching the events begining to unfold right before her eyes. All she could do for now was prepare for what was to come, she maintained a hand pressed along the hilt of her blade she maintained her patience, curious to see if there would be any other leads, was this the only man they had to worry about? Or were there others? Naru for now would keep herself silent becoming the observer rather than summoning her own call to action…
COMBAT: Narusegawa focuses 4000 stamina to turn it into usable chakra!
"Who says you aren't becoming what we want you to become, Boy?" The man questioned him honestly a bluntly, the sudden manifestation of shadows skiping through the clearing caused a shift in the mans movement, no he wasn't at all a merchant, instead he was a full fledged shinobi, slipping away from the Nara's grasp while taking a sudden leap back allowing a single tag to drop at his feet. " We will feed that lust of battle of yours until you are drunk with blood…" The tag at Taiki's feet emits a blinding flash of light, while two more tags were thrown, one in Taiki's direction and another in Usagi's attempting to leech them of their chakra forcefully out of their body. "We don't come here ill prepared,"
Taiki is on the move with the first attack, already up in the air and away before it gets anywhere close to him. "Flashbangs? Really? Did you forget that we Inuzuka don't rely…" That's as far as he got before he's hit with the chakra leech tag. He falls and rolls on the ground, coming up in his stance once again with a grunt. There's no scream like one would expect with such a solid hit. "I felt worse when I was six." Taiki takes another chance to focus more chakra, for now going on the defensive until he gets the chance to attack. No straight forward no holds barred attacks this time, from him or his ninken. What was that about learning curves again?
Usagi again doesn't really mve from the tag, instead bringing her hands up again in a few seals, and her shadow leaps up to cover her. It works! Except the tag drains the shield completely, leaving Usagi blinking. She curses softly, shaking her head and growling now. She mutters about making a note, then pulls her hands up, three kunai flying towards the person's form. Once that's done, she simply steps behind the tree she's leaning on, and then is out of sight…for now. Likely hopping into the trees to make a more stealthy approach, since her direct attacks don't seem to be working too well.
"The little girl seems to have more fight in her than you, I thought you had something up your sleeve, but perhaps all this wrecking on your life has become counter productive… You are getting weaker," The man spoke, his body moved with the flow of projectiles thrown at him, offering a smirk to the Nara from afar while brandishing his own kunai. These were different however, they were all laced with a different assortment of tags, the first was a seal to eat away at Taiki's chakra and stamina, while the other aimed to sap at what was left of Usagi's Chakra. "Don't worry neither of you have to die, I just wan't you to report back with him as shriveled up raisins,"
Seems Usagi took a bit too much time in throwing the kunais, leaving herself to counterattack. She does manage to pull a jutsu off, but both she and the person who threw it could tell it hit just before she did get the poofing log going. She takes a moment to get out of sight first, and now trying to move about to keep him guessing, and watching for an opening by which she could surprise this person. Though she knew she was seriously outgunned.
The battle didn't seem to be going well just yet, though it was far from over, ever attack that was sustained would have been easy to recover from thus far. Narusegawa bit her lip from behind her Neko mask, there had to be more merit to this battle than simply attempting to assassinate Taiki… A hidden motive? Whatever it may be Narusegawa awaited to see just what would happen, Taiki's raging attack had suddenly alarmed her, his strength was steadily increasing, as well as the power of his techniques… Narusegawa also took a quick look for Usagi as well, keeping an eye on her especially if she was to sustain another attack.
The Lightning electricity crackled along the sealing barrier, dancing across the spherical structure as the man menacingly watched over Taiki's efforts to penetrate the barrier. Taiki almost managed to crack into the barrier before the interesting merchant shinobi surged more chakra into the sphere of energy. "You owe us a lot Taiki…Your strength, your life, sparing the lives of yoru friends," The man smirked soundly and began to manifest more of his own jutsu, watching as Usagi had moved out of sight. " Though even now your friend abandons you, but it is no matter," Finally he began to shift his attack. Using an alternate hand seal a series of spikes rose from the ground attempting to impale into Taiki. Earth release appeared to be his main element.
Taiki winces as the first spire grazes him. The only reason it didn't hit harder was because he had already prepared for a ninjutsu battle by using his newest defense. Pads of lightning form under his feet and hands, allowing him to skate around, sliding down the spire with ease despite the damage. He has apparently been doing more than just learning how to destroy things.
"She's not so much abandoning me, as getting out of the way. You see, she's rather new at fighting people like you, and isn't ready. She's doing exactly what I told her to do. Which, in case you were wondering, frees me from having to worry about her being collateral damage… from this!" This time both Shinobu and Taiki act as one, jumping up in the air and twisting, becoming more than what Shinobu showed earlier, a lot more. Two twisting, electrified, tornadic, spiraling, eel-like sprials of death form, crashing into Shifter's location with several sounds of explosions. Electricity can literally be felt in the air, causing the hair everyone not in the blast radius of the attack to stand on end. Anything caught in the center is viciously cut, stabbed, slashed, and otherwise perferated by the twisters as they intertwine with each other. Large segments of earth, both soil and rock, fly outwards as the ground shakes from the impact. Flaming bits of foliage rain down for a short time thereafter as the duo comes out of the technique on the diametrically opposite side of the clearing. Where shifter was, regardless if he is there now, is a deep crater, filled with burning roots.
Usagi isn't simply moving away….she's reassessing her position. One that, after a few moments, she notices turned out to be a VERY good thing. She raises a brow from the branch she's on, pausing only to see the destructive nature of the attack that she'd so far only heard of. Perhaps now….
She takes a quick moment to drop out of the tree, flowing through some quick seals as her shadow once more parts from her body, this time trying to stay hidden so that it could connect. She 'was' timing it to land right after his attack, to give him an opportunity to open up on the guy, despite the large chance of her losing. She couldn't go back into hiding with the jutsu up, but it was a risk she figured would be alright this one time….if it didn't work, other strategies would present themsevles, ones she was already going over in her mind. For the moment, she focused herself to this one.
There was a chain combo of attacks, and finally Narusegawa decided to reveal herself as she slipped through the forest and moved in the direction of Taiki's assassin. She waited for his attack to rip and tear through the terrain around them before reacting on her own, her sharingan darkened for a moment, eyes becoming slightly strained as she focused a torrent of scarlet lightning at her point of focus, attempting to surge it instantly throughout the main's body, strong enough to scorch through his flesh and chakra, endless streams suddenly forming and arcing a cross his body, even after the technique had finished though only if it connected. She finalized with a single swing of her blade, attempting to cleave the cold steel into the man's shoulder while her body remained obscure by the mass of her cloak, hopefully the man was torn to shreds at this point. "You are coming back with us… to Konohagakure…" Narusegawa ordered, her voice muffled behind her mask, she did peer at both Usagi and Taiki. " Are you two… okay?"
The Tornado of strikes bite cut and slashed throughout the man's body. If it wasn't for his vigor and fortitude as a shinobi undoubtly he would have found himself literally being torn limb from limb. After the onslaught of attacks from both surges of lightning, he found himself become worn out, attempting to sldie way from the elusive shadows while placing a barrier around himself to soak in the bulk of the damage done to him. He was panting heavily, blood trickling down his form as he attempted to hold his composure. "I'm… not going to let you two get away with this…" He concluded, setting off a series of more seals buzzing in their direction, this time for both Naru and Taiki in a full massive explosion of energy sapping seals…
Taiki sees the attack comming, and warns Shinobu. Both attempt to get out of the blast radius, but both are caught by it, and thrown forward. Taiki lets out a gasp, the first sign of real pain as chakra and flesh are wrent from his body. He slams into a tree front first, but he's not quite out. Instead he stands up, slowly, shakily, with blood dripping from his mouth. He looks at his ninken, who are similar conditions, torn up, tired, but conscious. Taiki forms a ram seal, trying to get some energy before he unwraps his sickle and chain from his body and allows it to fall to the ground. "You'll be the one to die first," he growls out, preparing for the next attack.
Usagi grunts softly. Even with that onslaught by the other two shinobi, the man was still standing, and it was pitifully obvious that she wasn't up to spec on him. Something she'd have to seriously work on at this rate. She comes out from behind the tree, blinking only once before she immediately leaps back into the shadows, trying to get out of the man's way….and to make sure that Taiki didn't have to worry about her. At the very least, if the man was weakened enough by what was coming next, if she had to, she could pull a finishing blow. Other than that, if Taiki and the anbu didn't make it, someone needed to report this….so she stayed to the shadows, watching, but waiting for now.
Naru's body lathered in the numerous amoutn of seals which buzzed and ripped against her flesh, or at least that was what was seen briefly while her genjutsu went into play, in reality she made her way a safe distance from his attack, though the massive amounts of explosion did crack along her mask, she actually allowed it to reveal alittle more. The twirl of her sharingan began to flourish into view, the pale red had become a vibrant scarlet red. "Ta-kun….Nara-san… Try and hit him with everything you have," Naru requested, allowing her strongest genjutsu attempt to grab hold over the man before them, locking him down in a massive black prism of chakra, shredding his body from the inside out… That pain would be nothing if the attack managed to hit…
The Black Prism wasn't entirely too much for the apparent seal genius. As the Genjutsu began to take hold over him he had placed his hands together simply and whispered the magic word, "Kai," in a single instance he found his chakra levels returning back to normal, forcing the invading chakra out of his body, though he was becoming drained throughout the entire process. " I see, this battle is getting us no where is it? I didn't intend of things to last this long so perhaps I shall go a little quicker…" He began to focus more on his ninjutsu, attempting to capture Naru within a barrier while litering the area around them with spikes of earth…
Taiki is moved, physically, out of the way by Naru's attempt to divert the other guy's attack away from him. Taiki himself certainly wasn't going to be able to do it, given how wounded he was, and how tired and painful his movements have become. He lays one last gamble though, if this doesn't work, he'll have to call a retreat. Their mission is to kill him, so his survival is a victory, even if he's forced off the field. Claws of lightning form out of his hands and feet once again, finishing the job of destroying his combat boots. He launches himself forward in a burst of lightning induced speed, claws swinging to cut deep even as he moves past shifter. This is a singular move, and the flip-side of the Raigatsuga. At least if he has to run, he'll be already on his way…
Usagi's putting out handsigns when she's bumped out of the way of the spikes, recovering quickly into a handsping and up into the trees again. However, her next move is several handsigns, and then several puffs of smoke as well as she puts out several copies of herself. She takes a slow breath as the four charge the man, likely as only a distraction maneuver, as she attemps once more to meld into the shadows. The second part of the distraction was to maybe let the Anbu, whose voice she 'did' recognize, and Taiki, either do their stuff, or get the hell out of dodge. Either which way, despite not being able to do damage, she can at least assist in forcing the man's concentration in multiple directions.
Things werent looking good for them, and as naru found herself jumping into the fray of attacks to bat them out of the way she still managed to get caught in her elegant array, feeling the earth slice against her surprising frail form, she rolled with the attack though and skid against the ground, her body becoming damaged as she notes both Usagi laying the ground work for a grand distraction and Taiki pulling off a last strike… This technique was something she had never seen before, but she was going to be sure to work in unison with him, with his biting electricity coming in from behind, Naru was going to further bind him with her own rushing chakra, building up within herself and crackling along her finger tips as she motioned through a set of hand seals, her eyes began to burn and surge with chakra, spreading out the three tomoe into a seven tailed spiraling lotus, the awakening of those eyes made it easier for her to launch her own ninjutsu…
"Lightning Release! Lightning Orb!" crackling sparks of electricity surged and shattered iuntil moving in the form of a ball, only to finally and hopefully lash and spasm against their enemy… They absolutely had to defeat him.. harder to complete with depleting chakra…
Caught within the confusion of attacks, suddenly he was seeing quadruples + more individuals arrive o nthe battle field, and while throwing up his barrier forced Taiki in suspension in the air, the crackling of his electricity didn't go through just yet, instead it shimmered down his barrier, finally penetrating after the second dose of lightning swept through, spasming his body, and grunting as he attempted to find a way out of the stun of the technique, foaming out of the mouth in the process. " I'm…going to get over this…and kill you all!" The main exclaims, in his bizzare shocking state, electricity still shocking throughout his body… If there was going to be any end to this… Taiki needed to end the mans life while there was still a good chance at doing so.
Taiki slides down as the field gives way, forcing him back just far enough. "Not… if… I have… anything… to say about IT!" Taiki finishes on a very canine roar as Shinobu charges up and jumps onto Taiki's back. "Giju Ninpo: Juujin Bunshin no Jutsu!" Taiki and Shinobu are enveloped in a ball of smoke, and when it clears there's two very worn out and pissed off Taikis ready to pounce. The both howl a warning, the only warning Naru and anyone else is going to get as lightning pads spark under their feet and hands, and wickedly long lightning spikes form on their front claws. By now any friendlies would be advised to be out of the way as they once again form Taiki's most devistating technique. The crater widens, larger boulders rain down on the field around them, and whatever wasn't on fire before is likely on fire now. The technique comes to an abrupt end, with both Taikis barely standing.
Well now. Seems things did seem to look up for a brief moment. Distractions can work, after all…either case, with the attack throw, and with Taiki going in for a final shot, Usagi slides her hand into her thigh holster, and comes up with three shuriken. She jumps up above the treeline, her hand blurring slightly as she launches all three simultaneously, her next move being to head over to Taiki(s) and look at them. "Whichever one of you can't walk, I'll carry you as best I can. The other one….Nozomi or the ANBU would have to help" She doesn't really wait for an answer, time was not on their side here, so she grabs the one that looks more apt to collapse, and starts to pull them away from the field.
Narusegawa found herself quickly becoming exhausted, holding her transformation drained a considerable amount of resoruces, though she still had some fight in her yet. Taiki's onslaught combined with Usagi's attacks were definitely going to be biting and tearing, but with the hell the group had just went through Naru was going to make sure she lashed back with a terribly powerful burst of fire to blast through his barrier if he decided to erect it. " We just have to wait…and see," Naru spoke hurriedly to Usagi while her own fingers went into a series of hand seals. "Katon! Kukokku!" She took in a deepbreath and expelled a small fireball into the crater below, only to erupt the area into a massive hemisphere of destruction to further the crater even more and hopefully maintain the end of this battle.
The Combination of attacks was all that was necessary to finish off what was left of the man, his body already torn and ripped to shreds, after Taiki's attack he was gross and mangled piece of flesh. The kunai launched by Usagi managed to cause some harm in the already dying man, while the massive explosion was just the icing o nthe cake to assure him a fairly quick death. After the smoke cleared from the crater only his body remained, a smoking charred crispy assassin. There were no other warnings or hidden objectives…All that was known from this mission was there were more, and they were getting stronger.
The Taikis look at Usagi, and don't fight her. One barks, indicating it is Shinobu, and motions toward the other, who obviously is Taiki. "Uch… AN…" Taiki gasps out, the pain so overwhelming at this point that his brain isn't working that well. "Naru… retrieve the body… but watch out for seal traps… The last body… had… acid trap…" He then looks at Nozomi who comes out from the woods, motioning to the transformed Shinobu. "Help… him…" It is evident that Taiki is holding on to consciousness by a mere thread. "Ho… hos… hosp… take… meeeeeee….." the last word comes out as a sigh as two poofs of smoke, one from each Taiki appear. A moment later both ninken and partner pass out from chakra exhaustion, physical exhaustion, and extreme wounds. They need medical attention, soon.
Usagi nods and catches Taiki before he falls. "On it….Uchiha-sensei, be careful. If I don't see you at the hospital within a half hour, I'll come back to make sure all is well" For all the good she'll do. She nods to Naru after a few moments, looking to see if Nozomi had Shinobu well in hand. Once making sure, she's off into the trees, doing fast jumps to get her propelled on her way. This was an interesting night, and gave the girl a taste of what she'd gotten herself into. With any luck, there'd been no other witnesses, to not know how much of the battle Usagi'd been able to get into, but she wasn't counting on that at all. As soon as she was cleared to return to duty, she knew where she'd be heading…and who she'd be talking to. But, that's for after Naru makes it back too.
Narusegawa was exhausted, but it wasn't like she couldn't move… She was almost certain that the body within the crater was rid of any sort of traps after that attack, however she was going to need to becareful.. " I will… Remain here until we can properly recover what's left of this body…" Naru responded tiredly, both to Taiki while he was still able to listen and more so to Usagi. Despite being worn out she settled herself sliding down towards were the body was, her Mangekyou Sharingan returning back to a pair of three tomoe, she didn't do anything to the body just yet… Instead she just watched, briefly regaining her energy, she was heavily exhausted…but perhaps backup would find their way to her shortly. Naru was glad… That they were all okay at the very least.