Date: Unknown (log received September 12, 2012)
Shuuren hires a couple of Sunagakure shinobi to help protect a caravan delivering a shipment of valuable goods from bandits.
"Battle on Horseback"
Land of Wind Desert
The day of the mission Kuoroke and Shuuren spoke about has arrived, and Shuuren is probably making a ton of money off this one if one notices that slight grin on his face. He's basically getting paid like a contractor, as he's getting paid for the delivery of these items as well as for having to hire shinobi to guard the caravan. Truth be told, he could probably do it himself, but a good businessman has to know how to keep the money flowing. Plus, he prefers not to get his suit messed up if he doesn't have to.
After picking up the two guards for this mission, Shuuren quickly drove the caravan down to a port to pick up the goods. Currently, the sections of it are turned so that the vault doors built onto them are opened, and workers are loading crates into each one. He examines each one, inspecting for ssigns of outward damage to the creates. So long as they are in good condition, the goods inside should be, as well as they are packaged. One might wonder why he didn't hire the shinobi to guard the voyage as well, but it becomes quite clear when one spots the cannons sticking out of the side of the ship. Thus far, the Jounin seems pleased with his crewmen, as the crates all seem to be in mint condition. To ensure that they stay that away, the very curious twins bodyguards have been told that they can stand by him if they want, but they /cannot touch anything!/
And so, Nao and Jun stand on either side of the merchant… pouting. They seem QUITE unhappy with being 'restrained' by Shuuren's words and Nao in particular seems almost grumpy about it. Still… they aren't about to make his life /too/ difficult and do as told. In fact, they each have their arms held behind their backs for extra reassurance.
They peer curiously at each and every box and person that pass by, however, even with the (grumpy) pouts on their faces. Very likely causing some nervousness from at least a crewmember or two. In any case, they usually aren't ones for missions and if it weren't for Shuuren being the one to run it, they probably would've run off somewhere to have some fun. They'd actually prefer to keep him company, though! Even if that means a gigantic lack of amusement for them.
Shuuren was not the only one making money here, of course, as Sunagakure had something to gain of this. Enough to gain, Kuoroke decided that he would want to personally oversee the protection of the merchant's goods. As things were being unloaded, Kuoroke performed an inspection, himself. He had first taken a good look at the state of vehicles they would be guarding, and, now that they goods are being transferred, stands nearby, arms crossed, counting the crates and waiting for the signal that they were ready.
Asao was tapped as one of the guards for this caravan as well. Considering the flexability he brought in form of defense and offense, plus that personal ability that was known only to those with access to his files, he was scanning the surroundings to prepare for the transport as well as mentally noting down what hecould both about the twins and Shuuren himself. At the moment, he had on his pack, with a massive scroll bound tightly under it. The pack itself looked full, when it could be seen. About his person was that unusual cloak, the metal hooks clasped at his throat as the cloth was pulled taunt and seemed to ignore how the wind would blow. The Sunagakure symbol on the back was in full display, while Asao would patrol the local area. Calculations going a mile a minute, he was sorting out exactly how to defend the caravan, in that clock work fashion.
Every so often, Shuuuren casts a glance to Nao and Jun, smirking slightly at their pouting. Still, they are doing as asked. Maybe he'll let them be the first to test out a new ice cream treat or something later. He then casts a glance toward Kuoroke and Asao, both of whom seem to be taking great initiative on their jobs. One might wonder why he's not as tense, but he has a nifty little secret himself that allows him to easily tell if any of these men are not the ones he assigned to this job or even if a rogue shinobi had managed to infiltrate his crew.
Once all the crates have been loaded, Shuuren walks over to each section of the caravan and personally closes and locks them before having the workers relink the sections. A railed seating section has been added to the top of each section to allow the two guards for this to choose a spot and still sit comfortably. Shuuren himself takes the driver's seat, which has enough room on each side for each of his personal bodyguards. Generally, him taking the driver's seat means he's not screwing around, as he's trained himself to be a quite efficient pilot to any transportation craft he might use to transport goods. "Let's get going."
The girls follow after Shuuren as he goes about closing the doors on the caravan. When he goes to sit in the driver's seat, they look up at him curiously before cheering as he states it's time to get going. Hopping up next to him, they settle in, with Jun on his right and Nao to his left. They giggle excitedly before peering off the sides of the cart expectantly. It would only take a second for them to each gaze at Asao and Kuoroke respectively and utter, "C'mon!" with impatience only children can rightfully possess.
Asao glanced over at the kids with a raised brow. Shaking his head slightly, he'd focus himself for a moment, a seal made under the cloak that would cause that *BAMF* cloud to appear. When it cleared, there were 4 of Asao standing there, instead of just the one. All four would bow to Kuoroke when he finished the inspection, seeing him back to his business, before they'd leap to land on top of the caravan. For those who could see it, the true puppeteer was in the middle of the group, two before him, two behind him. To anyone else, it'd be hard to tell exactly which one was which, as they looked the same. Although both the scroll and the cloak are now missing from his person, instead just the empty pack was on his back.
Shuuren looks over his shoulder at Asao as he brings out the puppets. A light smirk graces his face, as he can tell which one is which just by knowing which one of them has vitals and which are just dead wood with some chakra attached. "Four guards in one. Interesting strategy," he says before looking over to the crew of the ship. "Good work, men. Have a round on me when you get home." A brief glance is given to each of the giddy girls on each side of him before he looks ahead and says, "Let's get this party on the road then, shall we?" With a whip of the reigns, the horses take off, starting at a slow speed and gradually building toward a gallop. One might notice they seem rather muscular, even for large horses… Did he give them some kind of soldier pill serum before the trip? He might be just a little heartless in his experimenting at times, but that might be an idea that saves lives one day.
The twins certainly can't tell the difference between person and puppet in this particular case and even if they could, they'd probably still be as amazed as they are now. They look quite enthralled. That is, until Shuuren speaks and their attention is immediately returned to him. When he finally asks about getting the 'party' on the road, they cheer once again. "Yes, yes! Let's go~" they both agree excitedly, clapping. Large horses, you say? Completely lost on the girls. Not as if they see many horses in their day to day lives… or focuse on them, at least.
Asao on the other hand, does pick up on the increase. Indeed, he uses the girls as a measuring stick of sorts to be able to assertain exactly how much larger the horses are at. He'll collect further samples at an oppertune time to try and see exactly how far the chemical is broken down. That would be during a quiet period of the evening however. Either way, the closest Asao to Shuuren would simply nod his head in response to the strategy. Settled into position, all four Asao would proceed to pull out a fairly large book, 'Clockwork Repairs, Vol. 8' and start reading. While that attention might be on the book, he never lost sight of his surroundings, as told by various ones of Asao looking up and around, before going back to reading the book.
While the twins are excited and Asao reads, Shuuren's eyes are rather focused on the road ahead. This is a rather important deal. The trip goes without a hitch for the first hour or so. However, getting far away from Sunagakure would be key for any bandit not wanting to get ambushed by a mob of shinobi. Finally, as they ride along, a group of four bandits rides over the dunes from each side on horseback, running alongside the caravan with swords in their hands as a group of about ten come over a dune about a quarter of a mile in front of them, attempting to form a blockade and trap them in.
"… And the fun begins," Shuuren says with a smirk as the bandits start swinging their swords at the coupling keeping the caravan together and at its passengers themselves. Of course, some of them are swinging at puppets, so it's somewhat pointless. When one takes a swing at one of the girls, Shuuren points a hand at him and extends the arm out to grab him by the throat and throw him under the guy behind him's horse.
Despite their excitement over the whole thing, there really isn't much to /see/ in the desert so Jun and Nao had quickly become bored. They were lazing in their seats when they heard the horses. Sitting up, they peered at the bandits curiously. As they started to swipe at the coupling as well as Nao, the girls frown.
After Shuuren aptly dispatches of the culprit, the twins grin. A mischievous, playful grin upon both their faces. Nao quickly jumps to the now-empty saddle and takes hold of the reigns. It seems pretty self-explanatory… right? So she tugs back on the reigns, albeit a bit too hard, causing the horse to stop abruptly and whiny its displeasure. "Oops, sorry," she mutters. Of course, that was really a bad idea, as a second horse collides quite nicely with hers and sends her flying. A little roll saves her from much damage but not from other bandits. She ends up grabbing onto a leg and pulling herself up behind one of them, using her fingers alone to stab him beneath the shoulderblade so he'll drop his sword. Now she has a pilot!
Her sister is a little smarter, it would seem… While Jun does jump off the wagon as well, she doesn't try and steer the horse she kicks someone off of. Instead, she simply pats it on the neck with a 'good horsie' before hopping to another, repeating the process she had with the first.
The puppets and indeed Asao himself, would defend with those green tinted blades. The strikes at themselves and the couplings would be deflected cleanly. If any of the riders attempted to get bolder, they would be met with more severe strikes. Of course, any of the bandits that got sloppy would get a stab by that poisoned blade for their efforts, letting the poison mess them up and potentially have them drop out of the conflict. His main aim was of course, defense of the caravan, so while the twins started dancing out among the bandits, Asao and puppet Asaos stayed right on the caravan.
Shuuren blinks as Nao and Jun hop off the wagon and start taking bandits down. He chuckles a bit and shakes his head as he looks back ahead while those two and Asao fend of the bandits alongside them. His eyes narrow as they approach the blockade of bandits ahead, who begin charging toward them. "Got a plan for that?" he asks as he glances back over his shoulder as Asao then looks back ahead. "If you can, just take them down and leave them living. I've got a better punishment than a quick death waiting for these idiots. Feel free to splatter them if you need to, though."
The twins continue knocking bandits off horses, though not all of them — not even most of them — are knocked out so some are able to get back on the more well-behaved horses. Even so, Nao and Jun don't seem fazed. They continue their idea of work, trying to keep mostly kept up with the caravan, of course. Although, on foot is not very easy and since they don't actually know how to steer a horse, it's a bit difficult to keep up with beefed up horses GALLOPING. Maybe this wasn't such a fabulous plan… but it was fun!
The immediate area around them cleared, Asao would glance forward at Shuuren's comment. A small nod was given as the back two Asaos would start walking along the side of the caravan so that they stood towards the front, parallel to the ground. Both of them would react in unison, their arms coming up as a crackling bolt of lightning much akin to a jacob's ladder started dancing back and forth between their arms. The focus on the charging mass, there was the smallest shift in the arms that would have the bolts snapping out to tag the men as they came in. The lightning was precise, not touching the horses and most of the men would be left alive, if the sudden shock to the chest didn't prompt an immediate heart attack. Either way, the potential lightning storm that Asao was causing his puppets to do would potentially clear the path for them. The use of the lightning would cause the henge to fade, revealing Tokkan standing on one side of the lead wagon and the scorpion puppet on the other. The bolts dancing between Tokkan's arms and the scorpion's tail and it's body.
Watching Asao's next trick, Shuuren tilts his head slightly and blinks. As he begins to dispatch the bandits immediately in front of them, the Jounin chuckles a bit and says, "Interesting trick there." Of course, that leaves the few left remaining on the sides to be taken care of by Nao and Jun. One might notice that further back on the trail, there are already men on horses scooping up the downed mercenaries and tossing them into a small wagon they're pulling. It seems Shuuren already had a plan for that. "Those guys are mine. It'll save you the trouble of arresting them," Shuuren says as he glaces around, watching the carnage of the mercenaries getting pummeled. It's amusing to actually see his bodyguards in actions.
The twins definitely had some fun, though the 'sudden' sparks of lightning from the cart get their attention quite readily. Staring ahead in surprise, they blink a few times before their attention instead turns to the bandits being gathered for Shuuren. They watch this happen and just tilt their heads curiously. Of course, after a little while, they try and get those riders' attentions so they can get back to the caravan themselves. That is, if those riders will help them, since they do seem to be employed by Shuuren.
Asao would just shrug his shoulders. Not having to arrest them worked for the puppeteer completely. Once the path was clear, Asao would once again do that seal, the *BAMF* cloud quickly dispersed by the motion of the wagon to return the henge to the other two puppets. They would launch off the wagons to go racing along behind the main caravan. Each one approached a twin and with an offer of hands nodded forward. Said in unison between them to the twins, "Need a lift back to the front?"
The guys riding behind look at the twins like they've lost their minds when they try to flag them down. Their job is to get these bandits in the wagon before they wake up, so they don't have time to deal with the girls. Luckily, Asao offers help. Shuuren grins a bit at the performance of his horses versus those of the bandits. That's quite a nice result. He keeps the horses galloping until they are far enough away from the bandits being collected then slows down so the twins can get back to the caravan. "Nice work."
Nao glares at the riders while Jun simply pouts. However, their expressions both become rather baffled when the Asaos offer help. They kind of stare for a moment — fairly in sync even when separated. After all, even to them, exact replicas of a person are kind of creepy. Even so, they don't exactly have a choice since Shuuren's MEANIE BUTT helpers have no chivalry to speak of. So, Jun takes the offered help with slight embarrassment while Nao looks more disgruntled than anything.
Once both girls were situated on the Asao-puppet henges, they would speed up to catch up to the main caravan. Asao himself was starting to get slightly winded. Yes, he could do an increased output, but that came at a cost when multiplying the output by three. Either way, Shuuren would slow them down long enough that a leap onto the wagons got them to the caravan and shortly there after both Asao, still in sync, would offer the girls a hand down to be able to sit beside Shuuren once again. As that was taken care of, they would get a bow and the two henged puppets would return to their spot along the caravan. While it did take a bit out of him, none of them had been seriously hurt so as such, Asao would rest much the way he had before, pulling out that book and starting to read as if nothing had happen at all. This of course was multiplied by the puppets to all be in unison once again.
Once the girls are back in their places, Shuuren asks, "Having fun?" With everything settled back down, he whips the reigns to send the horses back into a gallop and move along toward the wealthy man's estate that these goods are being delivered to. As the bandits are taken care of, the delivery goes off without a hitch, and both Sunagakure and Shuuren's team get a nice paycheck out of the ordeal. Of course, Sunagakure's comes out of his, but that's why he charged so much extra.
Jun smiles, nodding her thanks to Asao — the puppet, making it fairly obvious she either doesn't realize it's a puppet OR is 'playing along'. Nao waves a hand at the puppet and nods her head in a much less thankful 'thank you'. "Well, we were," Jun murmurs, settling into her seat to his right. "Until those dummies decided we weren't important," Nao growls. She harrumphs irritably as she kneels — not even fully sits — to his left. One way to ruin a girl's day is treat her like she's dirt. Those guys certainly had that down pat.
Asao and the puppets were silent the rest of the time on the trip. No need to exspend energy if there is nothing out there to deal with. Once they got to the location they were going to, all four would hop down to almost the same point, that *BAMF* of smoke would occur again, leaving Asao once more with scroll in place under his bag, the pack itself full, and that cloak about him once again. Accepting the payment for Sunagakure, he would bow formally to Shuuren. "Appreciated the ability to work with you." His attention would turn to the girls then, another bow given. "To you as well. The assistance with the hostile forces were indeed appreciated." Once that was wrapped up, Asao would get ready to leave. He wasn't exactly one to mince words, it seems.