Date: June 1, 2014
Atsuro, Michiko, and Sado hunt down two wild animals used for the chuunin exams that have escaped the testing grounds.
"Animal breakout! Ninjas on the hunt"
Land of Lightning outside of the tenrai plateau
On this fine day, a C-ranked mission is required for the genin of Kumogakure. Based on those who are available, hawks have been sent to the two genin from the team that are available. With Hiei training with his clan and Ryouji out on a mission for his own clan there are few options left. Due to the mission's particulars a request to Konohagakure to let one from the inuzuka clan join the mission. Their skills could come in handy. The message from each hawk is that several large animals from the tenrai plateau have escaped the fences and other protective seals surrounding that outcropping of land used for chuunin exams. The team is to meet at the point of the broken fences and seals of the plateau. From there they are to track the animals down and capture or kill them if necessary before they destroy any nearby farms or ranches…or eat anyone. The broken fences and protective seals are already being repaired by other teams of genin and chuunin.
Michiko is taking advantage of this amazing day to catch up on her reading. There hasn't been any missions lately, and she had trained her taijutsu skills yesterday. At this point, she's pretty sure it's to keep her current skills rather than improve, though. Michiko receives the mission, blinking a few times at what it says. "Well… This will be pleasant…" She grabs her gear quickly and moves to put her books back before going off to the meeting place. "I wish everyone weren't so busy… Hiei-san and Ryouji-kun and Hiro-san and the others are going to miss the most interesting missions if this keeps up…" she mutters to herself while waiting.
Animals were loose and Sado had been asked to help corral or put them down. He fussed over the fact that he might have to put down innocent animals all the way to the meeting point at the broken fences. Upon arrival, he spots Michiko, picking up his walking pace into a jog to meet up with her. "Hey Michiko-chan." he says in his cheerful tone before he goes back to fussing about potentially having to kill animals. "This should be an interesting mission, no? I'm not sure how I feel about having to possibly kill some of the loose animals. Unless they are like carnivores and have started killing people." he remarks, suddenly the picture of a giant dinosaur eating people pops into his mind instead of cute innocent animals.
While Atsuro is a scout, and therefore knows plenty about navigating unfamiliar lands, the Land of Lightning and its geography is totally unfamiliar to Atsuro. Fortunately, he and Taizen have struck on a plan to kinda just fake it. Half navigating proper-like and half sniffing around for a gathering of Kumo nin, the Inuzuka duo eventually makes their way to the meeting point. Hooray!
"Hey gang," Atsuro says cheerfully, walking up to the group, Taizen following behind. He pauses for a second as he realizes that he's the oldest person here by a large margin. "Not sure what to make of this…" he mutters to himself. Taizen wags his tail. "Hello," he says. "So," asks Atsuro, "Can either of you tell me what sort of animals are in the Tenrai plateau? And what they might smell like?"
As the team reaches the point, one of the chuunin directed a genin seal team comes up to the gathering four. He waves and says, "Hey, you four must be the team sent out to capture the animals? We're not sure what escaped, but there are two sets of tracks heading town the plateu and into the forrests." He points farthere down into the valleys surrounding the plateu. "But a bit of hair was snagged on the fence from one of the animals." He pulls it out of his pocket and shows it's been stuffed into a sent free plastic bag. He hands it to Atsuro, thinking he's the one in charge. "We don't know about the other one, but I'm guessing you and your dog can track it too? But the hair will help for the first one." The prints look HUGE, bigger than any regular animal. One looks hoofed, the other looks to be toed padded with claws. Each are heading down into the nearby valley, not too far away.
Michiko isn't bothered by the fact that animals may or may not be killed. Considering this is a mission, they are most likely dangerous, and even more so if they're being barricaded by seals and fences specifically for the Chuunin exams. "Hey, Sado-kun. It will likely be interesting, yes. And don't feel too bad, Sado-kun. They're probably not that nice, if they need to be chased down like this." Atsuro and Taizen enter at this point, distracting Michiko from her friend. "Ah, hello there. You're the Konoha Shinobi sent to help us, then? My name is Iwata Michiko." she bows slightly in greeting. "And I'm not sure, sadly. I haven't been a part of the Chuunin exams, and the mission letter didn't specify what kind of animal. Sado-kun, do you know?" While talking, she starts making her way to the actual spot where people are. And the guys over there help answer Atsuro's question, which is good.
Sado looks at the Leaf nin and his dog, bowing politely. He didn't expect to meet a foreign nin here, but to his delight, the dog speaks! Sado's mouth swings open and stays there as Taizen speaks, his eyes wide with amazement. "Hello." he says in response to the greeting, feeling silly, but at the same time awesome, to be talking to a dog. "Michiko he is talking.." he says, moving towards Taizen. "May I pat you, sir?" he asks Taizen, patting him only if he accepts. Sado shakes his head at Michiko when asked about the animals. "I have no experience with that area, was told it was dangerous." At least the chuunin gives some fur and supplies for tracking to Atsuro as they move.
Atsuro takes the sample from the chuunin and sniffs it, then passes it over to Taizen for him to do the same. "Thanks," Atsuro tells the chuunin, putting the sample in his pocket — they've got the scent, but it doesn't hurt to have it ready for them. He nods to Michiko, "Yep, that's us." He looks between her and Sado. Well, it's a pretty good bet he's the most experienced ninja here by far, but he's only hear to help, so can he really be the leader?
"Yes please," Taizen answers Sado's request, lowering his head to make it easier to reach. Meanwhile, Atsuro examines each track for a moment, then he sniffs the air, hoping their scent is still around. It's pretty obvious where they went from here, but it doesn't hurt to get a scent-trail going too.
The tracks don't looks very old, maybe by a few hours tops. Easily followed because by the time the team reaches the edge of the forrest valley, it's a clear sign where the pair went. For each path they took, there's signs of their passing everywhere. Broken limbs of trees, whole trees pushed over, ground ripped up as if something large was coming through the area. The tracks here are only an hour tops old. If the group hurries, they can reach the first animal in no time.
"I've heard that dogs could talk in Konoha. It's interesting to see for myself, though…" Michiko says to Sado. She lets Atsuro take the lead, assuming that he probably outranks them and has the most experience. As he follows the trail left by the animals, she follows the Inuzuka and also sets about getting to know a bit about him and his companion. "Umm… What're your names?" she asks, glancing back and forth between the two foreigners while also trying to figure out where the loose beasties are.
Sado pats Taizen, sheer glee on his face as he does. "Awesome." he says as he refocuses on the mission at hand. For now Sado follows the older Inuzuka and his dog, walking through what was once a nice forest, now seemed to be wrecked by something big. He lets Michiko get the Konoha nin duo's name as he keeps his eyes out for any sign of the animals, not having any kind of heightened senses to track, only his eyes to rely on. "I wonder what got loose…" he thinks out loud after all this destruction, not being familiar with Chuunin exam animals at all.
Atsuro and Taizen look all around as they follow the tracks, still sniffing the air all the while — the scent will probably be a better indicator than tracks of when their targets are getting close, after all. And considering how big they must be to cause this destruction, that could make a big difference in terms of not getting killed.
"Oh yeah," says Atsuro, "I guess we didn't do introductions. Just so excited to beat up some wildlife, eh?" He gestures to himself, "Inuzuka Atsuro. And my comrade is Taizen." Taizen wags his tail as Sado pets him. "Thank you," he says, once that's finished. "A warthog and a bear," Atsuro answers Sado. He adds cheerfully, "Hey look, I know this stuff better than you guys do. It's like I'm a Kumo native already."
The group goes deeper and deeper into the Forrest on the trail of the bear. These are after all still dumb animals. There's a large growling grinding sound as the bear is spotting up ahead using what's left of a stripped tree as a scratching post. The bear is the size of a first story house. Scars and cuts cover his body, most cuts fresh and probably from breaking the seals and fences. He hasn't seen the group yet as he's stripping the wood off the trunk with his knotty and scarred back. Most notable for this bear is his bald head and backside. He most likely took a fire jutsu sometime in his life in both spots and still managed to escape the genin.
Michiko doesn't know the answer to Sado's question, and is rather uncertain if she wants to hear the answer. And once Atsuro speaks, she's even more positive she didn't want to hear it. "Ah, that's great. A bear and a warthog… It's nice to meet you two, by the way." She grins slightly at the last sentence. "It's not our fault we're only genin!" she retorts, skidding to a halt once she sees the bear. "… whoa…" is all she can say, a bit breathless and in a very low voice in hopes not to get its attention. It's now that she decides to focus her chakra, taking in most all of the bear and its appearance.
"Nice to meet you Atsuro-san, Taizen-san. I'm Sado and she's Michiko!" Sado says as they walk through the forest, introducing himself to the Konoha duo. "I'm mostly a taijutsu fighter while she specializes in fire and range. Hmm….A pig and a bear, this should be quite interesting." Trekking deeper into the forest, Sado probably isn't the first to notice the bear, but he stops when he does notice it, his eyes wide at the size of the bear. 'Damn' he thinks to himself, looking to Atsuro as he prepares himself for battle by getting pumped him.
Being something of an outdoorsman, Atsuro knows how to handle bears when one is in the wilderness. But he gets the feeling that only a small portion of that knowledge will be of any use here. Realizing that he's made a small mistake, he stops here and asks quickly, hoping to get the answer before the bear notices them, "So, what sort of jutsu do you kids specialize in?" He adds, "And feel free to focus on any areas that might help us come up with a plan here." Taizen politely says, "Nice to meet you as well."
The bear turns its head and spots the four and gives a growl. Many times he had to face genin who entered his plateau and fought him. He's driven them away or made a meal of them. To him, this is no different. He drops down on all fours and roars at them while charging in large strides of his legs. He just barrels on through the four, trying to use its massive size to stomp the group flat before they can react.
Michiko nods at what Sado says, adding, "I also have some earth Jutsu up my sleeve, if need be…" Then the bear notices them and barrels at the group, causing her to jump away. The bear runs into her clone, which disappears in a puff of smoke, while Michiko stays up on a tree. A few quick handseals and she launches three firebolts at the bear, hoping to turn it into some barbecue. Maybe the team can have a nice party afterwards.
"Right! I forgot about those." Sado says to Michiko, nodding his head and hoping atsuro hears all the details they had given him this time. As the bear charges at them after finally noticing, Sado jumps away out of the bear's path, moving around the bear to get in some powerful strikes to it's back, careful not to get hit by the fire Michiko is throwing out.
"Guess there's no time for strategy," says Atsuro, watching as the bear charges at them. He and Taizen both quickly hop out of harm's way, landing to the side of the bear, on opposite sides. Fortunately, he and Taizen just kinda strategize naturally, even when they can't directly communicate. They both jump up into the air, rotating at high speed, their paths weaving together in the air, then going down, close to the ground. As they reach the bear, they pull up, attempting to smash it into the air before coming around again and aiming to pound it right back into the ground.
The Bear's momentum takes it past the ground and it starts digging into the ground to turn around. It gets a flaming chunk of fur taken out by the first of Michiko's firebolts leaving a stinging wound on its backside. It completely passes by Sado's hits as it was turning to turn around and avoid the last two firebolts. However, mid way through the turn, the spinning pair of Taizen and Atsuro smash into it with both the beheading fang and gatsuga sending it bouncing and rolling a few times before snapping a tree in half. He pulls itself up slowly, blood leaking from the gaping spinning looking wound in its side. He roars in defiance and fear, there's something to be said for a caged animal as he rears up on its back legs and takes a swipe at Michiko in the tree and comes down with its other paw at Sado before turning and trying to take a bite out of Atsuro.
Michiko watches Atsuro and Taizen attack, inwardly cheering when they succeed against he bear. She is a bit too distracted, and too slow when she notices, a giant bear paw with its claws extended. It rakes across her leg, creating several gashes and leading her to jump. More fire is released to give her time to examine the wound and see just how much she should (not) move thanks to it.
Sado is close enough to the giant bear to misjudge the distance he is able to reach. He gets nicked by the sharp claws, his shirt taking the worst of it as a claw mark cuts a slash across it. "Bear with it, Sado." he says, charging forward towards the animal again and lashing out with three powerful attacks, this time weaving inbetween it's feet to keep it confused as to his location.
Taizen completely avoids the bears swipes, but Atsuro ends up with a deep cut on his shoulder. Not having an awesome bear pun to go with it, he simply swears under his breath and steps back for a moment to recover from the attack. It doesn't take long before he's ready to return to the fight, jumping into the air once again and smashing the bear with another round of tsugas once, twice, thrice! Taizen stays off to the side for now, waiting and maneuvering to get at an exposed flank before he attacks again.
The first fireball engulfs the bears back sending it howling in pain. It thrashes about to miss the second fireball, but as it does it puts it in line with all of Sado's strikes. The first is absorbed by the thick hide of the beast, but the other two strike home in vital areas causing the bear to wince and make sounds it probably shouldn't make. Its in its death rattles as it stumbles back but that's when the tsuga tri-combo knocks it flat on its back. It's bearly dead when the smoke clears and the team has won the day against the bear. Time to skin it and take it home to throw in front of the fireplace.
The wound isn't too bad, she thinks after looking at it for a minute. The bandages in her pouch are put to use and wrapped around so that it won't bleed excessively later. There's still that boar to hunt down! (Hopefully the battle won't be a bore). She watches the bear get taken down thanks to the teamwork of everyone. "Good job, you guys!" she calls out as she comes down from the tree. "Atsuro-san, I think we'll leave you and Taizen-san to tracking down the pig?"
The bear is down as Sado finally gets some hits and Atsuro/Taizen finish him off. One down, one to go, he thinks to himself. He turns to make sure everyone is ok, sad about his shirt, as it was only a few months old. Oh well, he will have to save his pennies. "We should get moving so the tracks are still fresh, in case this pig is attacking somewhere important or someone." Sado suggests, waiting for Atsuro to find the direction to go in.
It's beary sad it had to end this way, but there was probably no good way for them to subdue the bear and get it back alive. "Rest in peace, guy," Atsuro tells the bear after landing following his final attacks. He pats the bear softly on a giant shoulder. "Hopefully we can do better with the warthog. But I don't know that we'll have any better chance of capturing it." He looks over to the two genin and nods. "Tracking is our speciality." He and Taizen take a moment to sniff the air for the warthogs scent, then start following the trail.
At the edge of the forest on the far side of the valley sits a farm. A few buildings dot the compound and it's obvious the pig has been here or still is since this is where the trail ends. A family is standing right outside the fences surrounding the place. The family is looking at the barn with the giant pig size hole in the sliding doors. One has been tusk stabbed and ripped off its hinges to rest on the ground. As the team approaches, the father of the farming family waves to the ninjas. He points, "A giant pig smashed into the barn! I already sent a message to the village, but please tell me you're hunting this thing down already? He'll eat all my seeds and animal feed!" There's a bunch of snorting, squealing, and grunting from inside the barn and the place shakes as the pig makes a mess of the inside. This could be a good way to capture the pig if the door can be blocked.
Michiko follows after the two from Konoha, moving a bit slower thanks to her leg. Once they get to the scene of destruction, she sighs and gathers some chakra just in case things turn sour. "Yes, sir, we've been tasked to get rid of the boar somehow. We'll do our best to get this done quickly," she tells the father, staring at the barn. "Any ideas? I could try and seal the pig in with my earth Jutsu, but I doubt that would last for long…"
Sado walks down the forest, following Atsuro as they come to the end of the trees and onto a farm. He turns to Michiko, noticing a bit of a limp, though it didn't seem too serious. "How you holding up?" he asks Michiko, eyeing her before deciding he could probably carry her weight if need be, offering as such. As they make their way down through the farm, the barn and family come into sight. The barn is certainly a dead giveaway, even without the family there, but Sado looks to the others for an attack plan. With Atsuro taking out the bear pretty handily, he has proven to be strong enough to look towards for leadership in this situation. As Michiko offers up a plan, Sado adds his thoughts. "I think the Pig needs to go down like the Bear before anyone like the family gets hurt."
"Unless Kumo is generous about compensating people whose property is destroyed during missions, I don't like the idea of trapping it inside," Atsuro says, "Someone's livelihood is at stake here." He rubs his chin, "But, if we can get it to leave the barn, we do know where it will be coming from. Seems like a good way to set up an ambush." He glances to the farmer, "You and your family should get to safety. We don't know this might go." Then he looks to Sado and Michiko, "Either of you think you can get it to come out while the rest of the team sets an ambush?"
The father nods and takes his family away from the area to get to safety. At least far enough so they won't get in the way. The warthog is certainly a noisy and smelly brute as it munches on the food inside the barn and occasionally bumps into things in there. If trapped, it probably would smash its way out, so an ambush would be the best bet.
Michiko glances over to Sado. "Well, I don't want to burn the barn down… Sado-kun, you should go and drive the pig out. I think Atsuro-san and I can ambush it." She focuses her chakra, letting a fiery aura surround her and grins slightly. "Finally got it to work…" she hops back from where the boar will appear and ends up atop the barn, though nothing around her is burning. "Ready!"
Sado hears Atsuro ask for volunteers to enter the barn, and so the young Yotsuki child suits up, as it were. He slams a fist into the other open palm, channeling his lightning chakra through his body to improve his muscles and movements. He nods his head to Michiko and says, "I'm ready." before he charges in yelling and hollering battle cries to startle the Warthog before actually attacking it with his fists to corral it out the proper way.
Atsuro and Taizen get into position, moving to either side of the barn door. Atsuro grabs a nodachi from Taizen, while the dog himself grabs a katana. They're ready to fight! They wait while Sado goes inside and starts harassing it. Unfortunately, it seems like they're going to have to kill this one too. When the warthog comes out of the building, both human and dog immediately start their attack, Taizen mostly distracting it with quick swipes of the katana, while Atsuro makes deadly chops with the huge nodachi.
The pig is turned into so much bacon. As Sado enters, the pig stops munching and turns its warty head towards him. He squeals as sado lays the smack down on it. It gets hit on the flank once, then spins around to miss the second, then finally gets punched square on the snout. It takes off over Sado, nearly trampling him, but it wasn't really trying. It just wanted to leave! But, with the ambush ready, it doesn't get the chance as the katana cuts into its back once, and twice. That was enough as it legs give out and hits the ground in a skid, the nodachi missing the third chop only because it fell down and just bearly. It gives a small grunt and dies.
Michiko rains fire from above to turn the pig into actual bacon that the whole team can enjoy. The spoils of victory, or something like that.
Sado moves out of the way of the trampling pig, watching it burst out and fall victim to Taizen's attacks as Atsuro seems to miss. Praise be to Taizen! Sado walks out of the barn and watches Michiko torch the boar, licking his lips. "Who's ready for some roast pork and bacon!" he says with a fist pump in the air. So much for the worry of killing animals earlier.
Atsuro sighs a little. Again, it was probably necessary to kill it, but it's a little depressing that these animals had to be put down. It certainly wasn't /their/ fault. He walks over to Taizen and they put their swords away. "Alright then," he says, "I guess that's that." He grins a little, "I'll leave you guys to your roast pork and bacon. Leaf nin can't be eating all the Kumo food. And I don't wanna jeopardize our payment or whatever."