Date: October 17, 2012
Eri leads the others on a guard duty mission. Things are not exactly as they seem.
Poster's note: Foul language filtered in obvious places.
It was early morning in Kumogakure and there was not a cloud in the sky surprisingly. It looked like it was going to be a great day, which is why Eri was called about a mission offer. A local painter wanted to go out into the forest but feared what he may run into there. She knew the forests were filled with many things cute fluffy animals, wolves, even sometimes bandits so she called upon a few other shinobi to aid her. Akechi, Nakaken, and Kanbei would all be summoned to meet her and the man at the village gate where they would depart immediately.
Eri was already there with the artist discussing the details with him. "Do not worry sir, you'll be able to paint all kinds of pretty pictures without worry, I have called on some very capable young men to aid me in protecting you." The artist snorted and flipped his hair "I do hope you are right..from what I have seen you are not all that impressive.." Eri simply smiled at the man, but thought to herself great another grumpy person to deal with. She hoped the others would arrive soon maybe if he seen them he would be more confident in their abilities.
Another early morning for Kanbei. He was learning to dread them except this time he was sent a summons by… Eri. That seemed to make things a little better. At least he would have something to look at and possibly interesting conversation. He even decided to pick up some flowers, though as he arrived and saw that there was a customer with Eri, he quickly ditched the yellow daisies. He was pretty certain neither of them had seen him with them yet.
As he finished his approach, Kanbei waved at Eri. "Hello Trouble. So you needed me for a mission huh?" he asks. It seems he was under other impressions.
Akechi would be coming from the mountain tops when a messenger hawk flagged him down with a letter from Eri requesting him to join her on a mission." Sighing the young man would dust himself off and head off back towards the village, Akechi was having a good day today as the hot beamed on his nice fair skin. "Ah good old Vitamin D!" Akechi would be approaching the pair as he smiled and wave. "Hello there, hope I didn't keep you waiting long. Uzumaki Akechi Chuunin." the last part was for the painter than anything else. "Who all did you request for the mission if you don't mind me asking…the bottom half listing the names was gone…it appears the hawk ate it." Akechi would laugh as he rubbed his shoulders, before noticing Kanbei already being there. "Hello Kanbei…nice to see you again." Akechi would drape his head before sighing "I thought I would've been first."
Nakaken would show up on the dot for the time they were summoned to that location. Across his back was a larger scroll furled up in the place of a backpack. At his hip was that pouch that carried the scroll his blade was in. Helm on his head, he was that walking mass of metal that would look at the client and Eri. A full formal bow was given to each of them, then to Kanbei as he showed up. "Kuroyari Nakaken, reporting as requested." A bow was given towards Akechi then, just as formal as the rest. "Akechi-sensei. It will be an honor to work with you once again." His attention returning to the painter and Eri, he'd study them. "When do we depart?"
Eri smiled brightly as all of them would be coming together "Lemon-drop, Red Pepper, Steel it is good to see all of you! This is Akihito, we are to protect him while he paints, we depart immediately." The painter stared at the three gathered his eyes resting on Kanbei "That does not look like a Chuunin to me..I specifically requested Chuunin to escort me.." Eri turned to Akihito "I assure you Red Pepper is of equivalent to many recently promoted Chuunin, besides I feel you are over-reacting most of the time we don't even find anything!" Akihito peered at Eri before shaking his head "Fine, but if anything goes wrong I am cutting the pay."
So they departed, Eri instructed for Kanbei and Akechi to stay by his side, Nakaken guards the rear, while Eri leads the front of the group. It would be a couple hours time before they reached the specific spot the artist wished to stay at. "Here! Now do not get in the way, I must have absolute focus when painting my masterpiece!" He would set up his supplies before setting to work. "Alright fellas I'll watch the north, Red pepper you watch west, Lemon-drop south, and Steel you look to the east..be prepared for anything."
Red Pepper… It was not the best nickname he had but oh well. "Hello Akechi. How are you doing?" he asks. The teen was slightly surprised as the guy picked him out as something other than a Chuunin. The guy was good. It kind of made Kanbei wonder what exactly they were getting into. As he gathered more information about the mission, he pretty much made up his mind that the customer was either paranoid or knew something the rest of them did not. Maybe he had upset someone or he was heading to a dangerous place.
Things only got worse, when Kanbei was selected to be on the side of the customer. If the customer could pick him out as a weak link, any attackers might be able to as well. He glances down over his own attire. Was it the way he dressed? No, it could not be. He was in style. Kanbei then glances at the others. Maybe there was a look in the eyes of a Chuunin. This was going to be a mission long investigation. At least Eri seemed to trust him. Maybe it was how they formally reported as they arrived…
Akechi would look over Kanbei for a brief moment before speaking "It appears you have gotten stronger and I'm doing rather well mastered a new scroll…truth be told I hope something happen so I can test it out." Laughing as he cracked his neck and shifted towards Nakaken. "Ah Nakaken how you been man? And likewise looking forward to see what you do with that huge scroll of yours." Akechi would be teasing Nakaken before hearing what the painter was saying about Kanbei. Akechi would just allow Eri to handle the man treatment of Kanbei before shrugging and falling into his spot. The young man would be on the side of his with his hands in a basket behind his head. Little did the group know but his mind was elsewhere at the moment as he thought about a new scroll idea. Akechi ears stayed open as they walked only for a brief moment they wander to pick up other sounds located in his thoughts.
(My Life is an Illusion…Glass is my heart and the eternal wind is my blood. I have copied countless seals. Unknown to love, nor known to hate. Have replicated many seals, and suffered from it. There is no other world to go back to. So as I pray…Unlimited Illusionary Seal Works.) The whole chant would be said in his head about five times over before smiling and speaking softly "okay, that works." Akechi notice that Kanbei was looking at him and stuck out his tongue before smiling at the young man. Akechi would whisper to the young man "hey keep your chin up, I trust you to watch my back and so does Eri…you making progress dude so don't let one jackass like this guy get you bent out of shape…oh as of late you been really in style."
Nakaken would bow to Eri formally at the assignment. That scroll with his blade locked in it was drawn out to be at the ready by his side. He'd fall in step exactly like he was told to do. His attention focused on the east, watching for any potential threats and that stamina of his seemed endless. He walked along with the rest of them without any slow down or hesitation to his step, although he was in a full suit of samurai armor, instead of the normal shinobi gear. Glancing over to Akechi, Nakaken would smile slightly. "The scroll contained travel materials. tent, food, fire materials, so on. While I am figuring this mission is a simple one, I have materials enough for all of us to be able to survive 2 weeks in the wilderness without requiring hunting." Those shoulder plates shifted slightly in a shrug. "I have been well, otherwise, Akechi-sensei. I am continuing my training to try and obtain the chuunin rank, hai?"
As they continued their guard duty something lurked in the woods, more specifically lots of somethings. There was a pack of five wolves stalking the group waiting for the perfect moment to strike. They spread apart being sure to block all routes of escape their prey would have. They were starving and needed to feed. As they attempted to close in the alpha of the pack would lick its chops hungrily.
Eri continued watching the north side, but something was bothering her. She felt something was amiss but could not quite put her finger on it. "Everyone remain alert, I fear this may not be as easy as I hoped it would be.." She looked over her shoulder at the painter, strangely enough he had yet to start actually painting. He seemed to be waiting for something. "Everything ok over there Artsy?" He shot Eri a look "Silence, I am waiting for some..inspiration" Eri frowned slightly she did not like the sound of that. "Well um..look at some flowers or something, or better yet I could always be your inspiration." She winked over at Akihito she did not want the group to notice her unease, so it was best to try and act like her normal self. Just in case she focused her chakra it was better to be safe than sorry.
Maybe it was the age that the painter had picked up on. Either way when Akechi starts to talk to him he nods. It felt good to have some acceptance from others, even if the guy had previously been the type to stick him with the bill for a meal. Then his eyes turn towards Nanaken. He was certain the guy was a freak. "No one said anything about being out here two weeks!" Kanbei protested. Nanaken always seemed to over achieve in some manner or the other. If it was a simple walk, he would jog. If you needed one meal the guy would bring two weeks worth. It was like if you were to ask him to cut wood for the night, he'd try to cut wood for the next six months.
Then he senses something. It was the snapping of a twig. He did not see what snapped it, but he was certain that it was not his imagination. Then again it could have been. He was not paying attention to the surroundings when it happened. The young teen places his hands together ready to make hand signs at a moments notice. He glances back towards the painter. What was he doing? Was he waiting to paint the shinobi fighting whatever was out there? Maybe he was waiting for the sunset. Oh there was a bad idea. Now Kanbei was realizing they could be out here all day. Maybe Nanaken was right to pack for two weeks. "Over achievers…" Kanbei mutters under his breath.
Nakaken would look over at Kanbei with a shrug. "Better to have and not need, then to need and not have, hai?" He'd raise a brow in Kanbei's direction, before his focus snapped back to the east. That scroll of his was pulled out to be held in hand, the chakra flowing through him as he'd stare out into the forest. There was.. something. He felt it, but he wasn't sure where or what it was. "We do have company. Eri-sensei. Please prepare." With Akechi staring off into space, he'd shift his location slightly, making up for the potential gap as that scroll was held before him. They weren't going to catch him off guard, that was for sure.
Akechi was to focus on his new seal idea to pick up of anything and thus unlike everyone else who seems to be on high alert he would be in his own world working on seals. After a moment he would look up and notice however one else was acting and with a sigh he would start to focus chakra as he rolled up the scroll he was looking at. "It appears things are about to get serious…tsk." Akechi would be rolling his shoulders before tapping his foot onto the ground as his stomach started to growl. "Oh yeah I didn't eat yet. And it's against my policy to waste time when I'm hungry."
The wolves moved ever closer to the group unspotted by the shinobi. The alpha let out a low pitched snarl signaling the others to attack. One sprinted over to Kanbei attempting to snap at his ankles, the other two went to tackle Eri to the ground, and the remaining would split up to go after both Nakaken and Akechi. As the wolf tried to tackle her, Eri's form would quickly disappear and she would reappear behind the creature. She had already sensed the approaching attack and made the precautions to get away. "Aww puppies! You all don't look very friendly though..please run along so I don't have to hurt you" She pouted slightly she did not like the idea of hurting poor animals especially when they were only hungry. Moving quickly she tried kicking the wolf in the rump in an attempt to get him to shoo away. "You heard me get!"
The artist would quickly pick up his brush and set out to work. "Perfect! I was worried we would not run into anything..I had heard rumors of a wolf pack prowling around here..the perfect subject matter..Shinobi versus the raw power of Nature.." Eri's eye twitched slightly and she turned around to glare at the artist "You set me up! You said you just wanted protection nothing about us -meaning- to get attacked!" He shook his head slightly "If you knew you were going to be attacked you would have behaved much differently which would ruin the painting.."
Kanbei turns to see the wolf attack Eri. It's then that he feels the fangs of a wolf bite into his own ankle. The young teen's face turns to one of pain before attempting to smash his fist inbetween the eyes of the wolf twice. Then placing his hands together into seals, he presses a hand to the ground looking to shower the wolf in earthen rain. He made sure to keep it away from the painter though he had considered ruining the man's painting. He was unsure if that was legal or not. It really probably depended on how the contract was written. "These are wolves Eri, not cute little puppies." Then his attention turns towards the painter. "You sir, are an ass."
The wolf that rushed at Nakaken caught his attention. One foot sliding slightly to the side, he leaned into the attack, only to have the wolf bounce off of his armor, claws and teeth scrambling to try and get purchase without success. Shaking his head, Nakaken would focus chakra into that scroll, unfurling it to snap the blade towards the wolf attacking Kanbei. As he would hop over to that side, potentially luring the wolf that had attacked him with him, he'd grab the blade from where it dug into the earth to give a massive swing at the wolf, sneding it flying off into the woods, stunned.
AKechi would notice the incoming wolves and with swift reaction he tossed two deflection seals out knocking the wolves away. A sigh escaped his lips before the started to blanket the battlefield with seals. "I guess wolves are better than nothing." Focusing his chakra he would make one seal and started to drain the wolves of all their stamina once the seal had its fill he turned to dust and blew away. "Watch how I fight."
The alpha that went after Kanbei ducked out of the way of the incoming weapon Nakaken had sent his way and turned his attention to him. With three of its pack mates down the alpha needed to act fast. It snarled a guttural growl and dashed towards him intending to try and kill the one that had sent his pack mate flying away. It attempted to quickly slam its body into Nakaken before rushing towards Akechi. He seemed to be a threat to the pack as well and needed to be dealt with. It leaped forward in an attempt to snap its jaws around one of Akechi's arms. The wolf that went after Eri easily dodged her attempt at a kick and tried to bite into her leg only to find she disappeared again. "Well they're still kind of cute don't you think Red Pepper? In a vicious wolfy way.." She went through a few hand seals quietly whispering "Hear me now.." She attempted to send her voice to them to calm the remaining wolves enough so they would not be as much of a threat.
The artist cackled slightly continuing his painting and obviously disregarding Eri and Kanbei's statement "I was hoping there would be more blood..And I do not care what you think of me…It is rather rare a normal person could ever understand true genius..This painting will go for thousands of ryo, no one will care who got hurt in the process of making it." Eri frowned and immediately ran over smacking the artist across the face. "Quiet you! Or you're going to need protection from me..your idiotic plan already hurt Red Pepper's leg..I am going to turn you in the moment we get back to the village. Pay or no pay no one intends to hurt my friends on purpose."
Kanbei missed as he attempted to punch the wolf in the face and it let go before the earth shower could hit it. The teeth seemed to rip across his flesh as they left. There is a small snarl from Kanbei as he puts pressure on the wounded ankle. He moves towards the wolf as it moved to attack the others. He pulled the blade from his side and swung the blade at the wolf twice. He doubted he was going to hit the creature but he was not about to give up on the issue and let the others deal with it. "Leave him alone Eri. We can deal with him later." Kanbei yells.
Once again a wolf would try to find purchase on that samurai armor. Nakaken would shake his head slightly, shifting his feet as it scraped along the metal to bring that weapon into play. The first strike was to the wolf attacking him, before it could move on to Akechi. He would cleave through it, stepping forward to have the end of that blow stop the alpha wolf on Eri. Obviously, Nakaken was tired of dealing with animals attacking him and his team.
The wolves were obviously confused by the strange voice in their head and stopped in their tracks to listen before Nakaken cut them both down. Eri looked over at the bodies and held her head she did not care for the way the wolves were ended, but at least they were safe. "Thank you Steel-san..Please deal with subduing this..man so he can be brought in..while I check on Red pepper.." She shot the painter another cold look before walking over to look at Kanbei's ankle. "Poor thing..here you can lean on me on the way home. I'm sorry, I did not know..he didn't tell me any of this.." She shook her head and put Kanbei's arm over her shoulder helping him whether he liked it or not. Akechi would have already ran on ahead with the work done and over with. The painter stomped around in anger "No no no! This will not do! I am not finished yet!"
So Kanbei is super wormed as the wolves are cut down before his attacks could even land. It felt like he was helpless to do anything. The teen sheathed his blade and hung his head before Eri called attention to him. "He looked up towards her." Honestly he could walk on the ankle. It was not that bad, but if she was going to baby him he might as well take advantage of it. He grins as he gets close enough to tell if Eri wears perfume. "Oh the pain. Its not your fault. You had no idea of knowing." Ok, so he's hamming it up.
Nakaken would eye Kanbei as he totally hammed it up. Sighing, he'd shake his head slightly and summon his blade back into the scroll after cleaning off the blood. The man that was arguing about going was simply hoisted over a shoulder as if he was a bag of flower, the painting materials grabbed with the other hand as he'd look towards Eri. "Lead on Eri-sensei. We shall let those in the village decide how they shall deal with our would-be painter. We should also bring the animals that are dead in, so as to not waste the meat or the hides, hai?"
She smiles at Kanbei she was at least glad to see him in light spirits. As Nakaken mentions the wolves Eri glances at the wolf's carcasses and nods "At least this mission will not have been completely useless." She lead Kanbei over to a nearby tree and left him there to lean on it before going over and tying the carcasses together with some rope. She was obviously struggling with the labor but managed to get them over her shoulder. "Some of them are not dead..We will leave the unconscious ones alone. Red pepper you can still lean on me, just be careful..I am not used to having to carry so many things. Move out team." She made her way back over to Kanbei placing his hand on her shoulder and heading back towards the village. One thing was for sure she was definitely going to be more careful of the people who offered her missions.