Date: September 10, 2011
On their way to visit the Neutral Medical Center, Raili and Aburei run into some trouble that turns out not so troublesome…
Northern Hill [Land of Fire]
Landing at the top of this small hill, all bushes die out and is replaced with a total area surrounded by long burnt yellow grass, large rocks and even boulders. The most amazing sight within this entire hill is a single large tree standing right at the center; at first glance it seems to be the biggest and thickest tree that one has ever seen. Further down the path more confusing directions can be taken, however, to the east, where the bushes open up again, there are signs of buildings. Perhaps even a town.
It had been quite some time since Raili and Aburei started their journey to the Neutral Medical Center. It had felt like years for Raili, who tended to get from place to place rather quickly on her own though at least she had the fall back of someone to talk to during this long period of time. Currently, it was a crisp morning that danced between Summer and Autumn, the end of the first and the start of the second, leaving rather comfortable morning temperatures.
At the moment two were taking down camp which for Raili meant, more or less doing a few hand seals and having the small house automatically shut itself up. Loud clicks occuring before each wall folded in, eventually forming a nice little box.
"Well…" Raili stretches her hands far above her head and yawns, with a little sniffle she turns to Aburei and gives him a thumbs up. "Guess we're good to go. I kinda regret waking up so early though, my legs are still sore from yesterday.. guess I've gotten out of shape." She drops her backpack next to the box and does another hand seal to seal the box away before slinging her backpack on her shoulder.
"So." She starts to tie her hair into her signature twin-tails, "How much longer til we get there leader man and if there's a hot spring along the way, I really need to hit that spot up unless you have some sort of medic magic to get rid of this soreness."
Aburei watches in fascination while the house-on-the-go folds up into a space which looks like it shouldn't hold even a fraction of the materials. o.o "Wow. I could hang around with you for years and never get bored," Aburei chuckles. "I never know what you're going to pull out next." Aburei shoulders his own pack. "It should only take a few days to get there. Most of the distance is just getting out of the Land of Fire. Funny that you'd get sore traveling at my pace, though. I guess the ninja way of doing things isn't just quicker, it's more efficient." Aburei smiles. "Maybe you could teach me to move faster. I already do have some grasp of ninjutsu, I've just never used it for much besides healing. Anyway, I don't know of any hot springs, but I could try giving you a massage before we get going." :)
"Well I'll give you a heads up of whatever I'm going to pull out next." Raili, could've been joking but, she says it as if she were serious. "Anyway! A massage sounds nice, maybe next time we stop so I wont have ungear twice today." Raili would slide that little piece of clothing she claimed was a jacket locking it into place along with her backpack, "It's strange I get more sore standing still or moving slowly or… something. That and I've sort of been wandering for a good few weeks." Raili slides the goggles onto her forehead and looked more or less set to go.
Doing a few thigh stretches, she'd continue to explain, "As for teaching you to move faster.. I can look into that. Explain it as we go…" Raili starts pushing buttons on her wrist attachments.. the girl had, a lot going on in her morning routine it would appear. "That's set…" She mumbles to herself and then out of nowhere she goes from calmly carrying on conversatio to a dynamic stance.
Pointing dramatically in the wrong direction, "INTO THE WILDERNESS WE GO! FOR GREAT ADVENTURES AND…possibly some ninja technique learning or something. Er… YEAH!" Raili would then take off in a jog in the direction she was pointing… hopefully Aburei stops her before she puts to much effort into going the wrong way.
Aburei blinks. "…Is going that way going to help with the learning or something?" o.o Aburei points off in the not-so-wrong direction (whatever that happens to be). "I think we want to be heading this way." n.n; Aburei sets off, figuring Raili should have no trouble at all catching up. "Maybe if you go somewhere else at ninja speed then double back and track me you'll get there at the same time but not be so sore." X)
After a little while, what should our heroes come across but…a really big tree! Aburei whistles and jogs up the hill to stand at its base. "Wow…now that's a tree. Do you suppose this hill is here because the dirt is held in by its roots?" Aburei stares up at the arboreal giant for a moment, then glances at Raili with youthful exuberance in his eyes. "I wanna climb it!" 83
Raili freezes, barely managing to hear his warning. "Ah…" Raili clears her throat and turns about on her heels, "Yeah well I was hoping to double back but, that may be worse in the end or something, silly plan, besides you'd get bored without me and stuff or somethingortheother." All of that said without a breath and she barely has enough to finish up her sentence! Which leaves the girl taking in a big gulp of air before backtracking to go the correct way.
She begins chatting to herself out loud as she makes her way to Aburei. "You know, the directional system always screws up at the most embarassing times. Almost failed my first B-rank mission because of it… maybe they were right about just using a compass." Whether Aburei was listening to her or not, she'd only start speaking to him now, "Nonsense, just nonsense, my device will be superior, right?" Aburei would get a glance from Raili and about half a second to respond.
After all that blabbing, she gets relatively silent, only because she was messing with the bracelet, until the tree is pointed out. She pauses from her mechanical surgery in order to take the tree in, not entirely caring why the hill was there at the moment as she was wrapped up in trying to get her device to work. It wasn't of course until Aburei mentioned climbing it that the kunoichi would pay any real attention. "Challenge accepted, I won't even use ninjutsu." …what challenge exactly? Raili just up and summons up some spiked gloves about her hands and with a hand seal, spikes pop out of the front of her boots.
In a blaze Raili would charge at the tree rapidly climbing it, though this wasn't all she was doing. The little ounce of maturity Raili had left her to at least scan the ground for any suspicious activities under or within the tree… in case you know, this was a trap. But, it was more or less likely just a thing to do a climbing race on.
Aburei tilts his head. "Challenge? ..Whoa!" Aburei steps aside quickly as Raili attacks the tree with her spiked hardware. "Haha, neat!" he laughs after recovering from the surprise. That said, Aburei starts climbing up after Raili…but apparently he's not using ninjutsu either. He just looks for handholds and hauls himself upward like any little boy scaling a tree. Except he at least has longer limbs than your typical little boy. Aburei reaches a large branch that seems good for sitting on and pauses there. "Wow, you can sure see a long way from up here, huh?"
"Yeah… you sure can." Raili would sound a bit dismal when she said this, hanging from the tree with one arm. "Huh." She flicks the goggles down over her eyes and performs a one handed seal, the headgear clicks softly a few times before she nods. "Looks like we were going to head right to trouble. This would probably send us back a few hours in our trip but, look." Raili points out in the distance a small farm out in the distance, it would be difficult to tell what was actually happening there without impressive vision or, Raili's scoping goggles.
So Raili explains just in case, "Seems like that farmer is in trouble or maybe that shady group of characters are his friends." Raili frowns when one of the thugs shove the farmer down. It was a group of six in typcail bandit clothing bullying the farmer it would seem.
"We can't just let that happen can we? Raili grins and salutes. "Ninja speed traveling 101. Tree walking, if you really want to get places fast, you'll have to learn this." With that, Raili begins to hop from the large tree falling far down into the trees below, not expecting Aburei to do the same but, she may not have all the time in the world.
Aburei peers in the direction Raili indicates. He does have pretty good peepers, but he can't quite tell what's going on over there. "Huh…if you say so, Raili-san." Well drat, so much for fun up in the tree. :P Then Raili takes off! Aburei's seen ninja do that sort of thing before of course, but this is the first time he's observed it from the vantage of up in the trees, let alone contemplated doing it himself. o.o; Yyyyyeah, don't think he could manage that level of jumping strength yet. But, he's got to start somewhere, and he really should get over there as quickly as possible. He might not be much use in a fight, but somebody's probably going to need medical attention soon, even if it's just the bandits. :P So Aburei steels himself to practice an integral part of the skill Raili is displaying: falling long distances. With a fateful push, he removes his support and succumbs to gravity's embrace.
Aburei lands on his feet and tumbles forward, absorbing his momentum against the ground with his hands. Ow…there's gotta be a trick to that. :P Still, nothing broken or pulled or anything. Aburei dusts his hands off and breaks into a run. "Coming, Raili-san!"
The scene down at the farm is a bit peculiar. The bandit who pushed the farmer down makes a big show of laughing villainously. "Haharrhaha, had about enough, old man?! You'd better cooperate if you know what's good for you!" Meanwhile, another of the bandits starts reaching down to help the farmer up, until one of his companions elbows him sharply. "Oh, right, mean'n'nasty," he mutters to himself. The farmer picks himself up and starts to dust off. "Now boys, I know you're in a jam, but robbing me won't help things in the long run. Maybe we can — " The leader shoves the farmer down again. "Sh-shut up! You don't know anything about us!" "Yeah, we're wandering masked bandits, that's all!" another ones chimes in. "What makes you think we're from the tow — OW! Sheesh, you have to jab that hard?" :P
"Hey hey hey!" Raili calls out from the distance, before she was clearly visible. She was hoping that it would at least distract the bandits for a bit. "None of…" Raili would be in clear view now, breaking through the tree line, coming in at full speed on her skates. When her sentence begins she twists a bit and takes to the air, coming in like a missile.
Then she disappears from view. Straight out of the air, she vanished for a split second.
'Oh crap I missed.'
The bandits may feel a quick breeze zoom by them and if they turned in the direction opposite of where Raili had come from, they'd see her sliding to a stop. Looking up, she grins a large stupid grin that radiates confidence before doing her usual dramatic point. Her pointing hand starting up at the sky and eventually falling on the bandits. "You there! That was a warning kick." The girl had looked so full of confidence, it'd be hard to tell that she actually accidentally missed then, whether they actually tried to evade her strike or not.
"Leave that man alone or you will fell the great wrath of my Soul Shredding Jutsu." She then thrusts her palm forward as if she were about to suck their souls out with her palm. Bandits are usually dumb, maybe this'll be enough.
Most of the bandits startle guiltily just from hearing a strange voice. One in the back cringes. "No Mommy! We were just — huh? Oh, you're not — " Further talk is cut off by Raili's brief disappearance. The bandits take a moment to collectively figure out what just happened, then alarmed whispers ripple through them. "Shoot, that's a ninja!" "How'd they get word of this so fast?" "What are we gonna do?" o.O;
The leader of the bandits seems to be as startled as any by Raili's sudden appearance, but he rallies and faces her. "Don't let her scare you! We can take her, it's a dozen to one! C'mon!" The leader charges forward, waving a knife. "FOR OUR HOMES AND FAMILIES!!!" This is apparently a pretty good motivating cry for the other bandits, because they fall in behind the first guy and attempt to mob Raili with a variety of common tools.
"I am the defender of the farmers across the land, do not underestimate my third se-… sixth sense! To feel a farmer's distress." Raili strikes a pose with her palm still extended but, this doesn't seem to do much demotivation, at least not enough demotivation to counter the warcry's motivation. "Huh…" Raili didn't like beating on the weak and that battle cry didn't help, it seems these bandits had a purpose… like most do but, they hardly seemed like the "professional" bandit.
'Least I got a medic with me.' Raili sighs as the mob approaches, the girl was fast, even for ninja standards so she'd easily squirm her way out of the mob causing them to do more harm to each other than they did to her. They probably wouldn't notice she was gone, they would currently be taking on an elusive Earth Clone Replacement. "Summon." Raili reaches back to her backpack with her right hand, her famous 'claw' appearing in a puff of smoke around her forearm. "Well since you got yourselves all nice and bunched up for me…." Raili mumbles to herself as she launches the claw and it begins to round about them counter clock wise while Raili runs about clockwise.
The thick wire connecting the claw with Raili tightens up around the group and the Raili Clone just melts until a muddy puddle between all of them. "Well… /that/ was sloppy. If you're gonna be fighting people while not having any fighting talent… you might as well work together a bit better." Raili lectures as she approaches the group.
Raili looms over the captured and gestures to the farmer. "So what do you guys have to say to this poor old man."
The bandits with blunt instruments like rakes and shovels attempt to batter fake!Raili into submission with them, although they typically come closer to whacking one of their fellows. c.c Those with sharp tools seem reluctant to really make use of them; several opt to drop them and grab at fake!Raili instead. A couple are lucky enough to get hold, and soon this catches on as the favored tactic, miring fake!Raili in a mass of desperately clinging men. The bandit leader stands in front of her and raises his knife high in a wavering hand. "I'll…I'll…" The other bandits gasp and freeze, staring in shocked silence to see whether he actually would go that far. o.O
They never find out, because that's when they're all caught by the real Raili's wires. The bandit leader is too deep in the cluster to immediately tell what's going on; he just knows he suddenly finds himself pressed up against the girl he was trying to get up the nerve to kill. *O.O* "Guh?! S-sorry, I didn't mean to — whoa!" The bandit group collapses in a heap while fake!Raili melts away. It's at about this time that Aburei catches up, although seeing that things are well under control, he just remains on the sidelines and catches his breath.
The bandits hang their heads in shame while Raili lectures them. "We're sorry!" one of them blubbers towards the farmer. "Please don't tell our parents, we'll never do it again!" The bandit leader attempts to send a kick through the pile toward the one who spoke, though of course it doesn't transmit very well and only punishes the guy sitting next to the leader. "Shut up! You wanna get the whole town in trouble?" he hisses. The farmer shakes his head sadly. "Don't go too hard on 'em, missy. They're all boys from the next town over. They've been having heaps of trouble over there, I'm sure these boys were just trying to help. Mighty obliged to you for keeping 'em from doing anything stupid, though."
Raili eyes the group, as if not truly believing they're sorry. "Ah… I guess that's good enough." Raili forms a hand seal and the wire slackens, the claw rapidly retracting. "So then." Raili mutters after the farmer gives an explanation of the boys. "It's nice to see you're not holding any grudges. That's pretty rare lately." Raili looks down to the farmer(Assuming he was still on the floor) and helps him up onto his feet.
"Having trouble you say?" This would dampen her mission even further, though her only lead was a wild and probably false lead. "Eh… damn it Raili." Raili looks over to Aburei, leaving him to catch his breath for now. Instead of waiting for him to come over and ask his opinion on the matter, she'd make a decision for them /both/ and yes… he was coming along.
"So guys. What exactly is troubling you?" Raili returns the claw with a puff of smoke, her skates slide back into her boots. "Maaaaybe I can help." Don't say for a price, don't say for a price. They might see some intense struggle in Raili's eyes, her jaw tenses and eventually with the aid of breathing techniques, she manages to get control.
The would-be bandits sigh in relief as the wire releases them. Despite their leader's whispered protests, a few of them start removing their masks. "What? They know it's us." :P One of the youths looks up toward Raili. "Our town's biggest cash crop is honey. The bees make really good honey from the flowers nearby, and we tend the hives and cultivate the flower meadows. But over the past year or so we've had visits from…well…bears. And not just any bears, they almost seem intelligent. They come in like raiders and smash the hives, and none of us can stand up to them. We tried sending for help from the daimyou's troops, but we never know when the bears will show up, and the troops didn't really believe our story." The boy nods apologetically toward the farmer. "We thought if we could get some extra money, maybe we could hire some soldiers to deal with the bears. We didn't want to hurt anyone, but if we couldn't sell our honey our town would starve. So, well, you know the rest…"
Aburei scratches his head. "Sounds like it'd be a long shot even if you did get protection. It must take an awful lot of money to keep hired swords in one place for a long time. And the bears would probably just wait until you run out of money and the soldiers left. If they're as smart as you think, I mean." The former bandit leader looks up with fury in his eyes. "Oh, they're smart enough, believe me. I was there one night when they attacked the hives. Their growls sounded almost human, like they were saying, 'huuuuunnyyyyyy.' That's why we call them…the Huns." >(
Raili makes note to smack the leader upside the head at some point but, for now there were intelligent bears afoot! This got Raili… excited. They were among the top animals Raili was in search for, right up there with the Land Sharks. Well, that's a lie she was looking for the Manbearpig but Manbear! Close enough!
"Hah, well give me whatever money you were going to give to those useless guards. Me and Aburei here will catch them, right Aburei?" Half second pause.
A arm is slung around his shoulder and she agrees for him, "Right!" Raili shoots out a thumbs up, "These bears can be the smartest bears ever to roam the land. Though no one, no thing, ever, out smarts. Kushrenada Raili." Lightning cracks in the background, as if summoned by Raili herself for her great proclamation.
"Huh, that was weird." Raili looks over her shoulder to spot some clouds starting to make their way towards them. "Well farmer, dude. I don't know what you're going to be up to but, I can help you out too along with these boys. You all need to be able to defend yourself, don't worry no additional charges…" Raili scans the group, "Hrm… how can I, make men, out of you?" Her brain starts going off with random thoughts and a wild grin spreads.
If anyone had attempted to get a word in, the bossy blonde's voice would just yell over theirs. "To your village! We need a nice place to sleep and think things over so we can prepare your training!"
Aburei blinks. "We wil — " He's cut off before he can reach the question mark. c.c; Well, guess we will! Although Aburei's a little leery of that 'we' part. Has Raili-san forgotten that he's not a ninja? ;.; But now she's talking about training these other guys too, and…they're not exactly shinobi material either. "We've got a long way to go," Aburei murmurs. ._.;