Date: May 29th, 2010
Following Datura's success in stirring up trouble between Kirigakure and Takigakure she and Mune attempt to ensure there is no further interference… This time from Konohagakure!
"Broken Memories Pt. 1 - A Failure To Communicate"
Canyon of God's Tears - Land of Waterfalls
The Takigakure nin were in a state of total uproar after their encounter with the shinobi from Kirigakure which had erupted into violence, with a little help from Datura. They were armed, alert, and likely to be extremely hostile to any unfamiliar shinobi who entered into their territory, and their scouting network was large and extensive, what with this being their home turf and all.
But a small, two-man group from Konoha just /might/ be able to sneak through that net, if they were crafty and skilled enough. Finding the tower wasn't at all an issue, as the thing towered over the entire landscape, extending more than a mile high. And that was just the support pillar, for beyond that was the tower itself, which stretched upwards further still. Even for a shinobi, that was quite a climb, and would likely expose them to every enemy ninja in the vicinity.
And there were also other problems in the area, namely the secretive band of miscreants who had stirred up the hornet's nest in the first place, hiding, lying in wait to delay any further activities of those who would try to reach the tower.
After having abandoned her inhabited body to die at the hands of his comrades, the young blonde-haired woman had returned to her own, receiving further instructions from their leader to delay the team that Konohagakure was sending. Having spent time infiltrating the base camp of the Taki, she knew where the defenses were the weakest, knew where to lie in wait for their enemies. After hooking up with Kishi Mune, the pair simply had to wait for their opponents to come to them.
Unfortunately, waiting was /not/ something the blonde missing-nin enjoyed doing. And she wasn't even trying to hide!
Or, at least, wasn't trying to hide the body she was in, which was dressed as most of the Taki-nin were, with a mask over his face, a forehead protector secured just over his brow, chuunin vest over his shoulders, his hands behind his back as he stood watching the path serenely, dark brown eyes behind the mask scouring the surrounding forest leading into the canyon for any sign of trespassers.
Mune has trekked with Ryoji from the Land of Rivers to the Land of Waterfalls. Ryoji was asked to remain behind with Kanami, another member of the Tao Shih, and watch for reinforcements or other interlopers. Mune, on the other hand, has gone with Datura. She has never met these other two members of the Tao Shih… Just the man called 'Amuro'.
But now she is expected to work with this strange woman while she is in the guise of another? Mune is adaptable, though. So she remains crouched next to the 'Takigakure' Chuunin like a gargoyle. She is dressed like a Taki-nin, but she has done little else to change her appearance. This is because she is merely a Genin, based on her garb and apparent age, rather than a Chuunin who would be more well-known.
She watches the canyon with red eyes, peering at the huge pillar that supports the tower, watching for anyone trying to scale it. Most of the other Takigakure ninja have not attempted to actually guard within the canyon itself for some reason. Maybe they just assume it is too hazardous for most people to bother climbing down there. It's a long fall.
Mune reaches a hand up and pulls down the mask that conceals the bottom half of her face, in order to touch a sprawling, snaking series of tattooed lined on her left cheek. She focuses for a moment, sending her thoughts to the one who placed this Seal on her. When she receives a run-down of all that has happened before she arrived, she nods — pointlessly, given that Amuro can't see it — and then pulls her mask back up. Konohagakure is coming.
Having been dispatched out with Yuzuna, they were ordered to find out any information they could about the second towere. If it was anything like the first, she wanted as much intel she could get. Knowing that the tower was in enemy hands possibly they had to be fast and careful. Once given the information Hinotori and his team mates were off, knowing that this could get a bit crazy, especially with the tower in enemy territory, the Uchiha Chuunin knew that he and his team must be prepared for anything.
Glancing over to Yuzuna, "How do you suppose we take this tower?" he asks her. He knew that climbing would be one thing they would have to do, but maybe there was another way of getting into and up the tower outside of climbing.
Her foot digs into the earth as Yuzuna pushes off, matching Hinotori's pace as the pair seems to blur with speed, lacing through the bottom of the canyon as the tower looms in front of them. Arms lax at her sides, the dark robes flap behind her with the speed, ink black hair bound tightly to the back of her skull. The only other remarkable feature the kunoichi holds is the pale features of the undecorated mask she wears, eyes unseen behind the narrow, intimidating slits to peer through. "Stealth is key." she states evenly to Hinotori in reply, "We must patrol the surrounding area first. I do not want us to be taken by surprise and in a situation we can not escape from. Then, search out and disarm traps along the tower, if there are any. We have our orders…" Yuzuna narrows her pale eyes slightly behind her mask.
Luckily for Mune, the woman who called herself Datura was easy enough to get along with, as long as one didn't mind the way she often complained whenever she had to do without silken sheets and leather boots. Or the way she would speak of frivolous things as if they were highly important parts of the natural world. It might even be a bit jarring, hearing the grim-faced Chuunin body next to her whisper-talking about some bit of jewelry that he'd found in Konoha, or listening to the girlish titters of amusement that came from the male's mouth whenever the one in possession thought she was being funny.
But it's not long before they would spot the pair running through the canyon at flank speed, on top of the water, no less, that bringing a grin to the male's face as he claps his hands together gaily.
"And just when I thought we'd have to wait forever for them to get here! Hmm, let's see if we can talk them into leaving, shall we? But if not, hmm… I get the girl! She looks like a Hyuuga, and I've /always/ wanted to try one on. You ready~?"
The male Takigakure Chuunin doesn't really wait for an answer as he places his hands together into several seals, before simply vanishing away using the stolen body's body-flicker technique. The Chuunin reapparates a hundred or so yards in front of the pair of shinobi from Konoha, standing with feet slightly spread upon the gently moving surface of the water, holding up a hand like a traffic guard as he calls out in a stern, deep voice.
"HALT! You are trespassing on sovereign land, Leaf. Turn back the way you have come at once. Entering any further will be seen as a hostile act!"
Mune can not Body Flicker, so she has to run down the side of the canyon from the starting point the pair were waiting upon. When she finally does arrive where the 'Takigakure' ninja has apparated to, she stays up on one of the cliff-faces, instead of jumping down to the water. If the two Konoha ninja think they face only one Chuunin, they may be inclined to fight. On the other hand, they may do that anyway, thinking it 'fair' since there are two of them and two enemies. So it is better to wait and be ready to support her team mate when the Leaf-nin act.
She watches very closely their movements, to determine if they will turn away, or stay to fight.
Hinotori kept in formation with Yuzuna as they moved and talked. Their voices only heard between the two of them as they raced down the canyon, the splashing of their foot falls drowned out by the waterfalls. As Datura jumps down, the masked Hinotori looks up but doesn't say anything. He knew that the tower was on the border of Earth and Waterfall. "We were ordered to be here." he states not breaking his stride. Glancing to Yuzuna, he nods his head.
Coming to a stop as Datura holds out a hand towards them, as if the gesture would stop them completely, Yuzuna narrows her pearl eyes slightly behind the mask. She silently lifts her left hand, fingerless glove smoothly holding two fingers vertically while she focuses chakra. The corner of her eyes bulge with sudden veins, intensifying her sight to see everything around her. Both hands blur with hand seal once more as she focuses chakra into the water beneath their feet, the corner of her lips tugging slightly behind her mask as her chakra fuses with the moisture. Within seconds, the air around them thickens unexpectedly with a fog that leaves less than an inch of sight in front of one's nose, shrouding the pair of Konoha shinobi.
"Then you were ordered to start a WAR!"
As the other two shinobi don't even bother to slow down or be diplomatic, which really only made her job of stirring up trouble between the two nations much easier, the Takigakure chuunin forms several hand seals as the water as his feet shifts. Even as the fog comes up, so too does a small, thin, whirling geyser of water… yet not aimed at any of the combatants, merely stretching high and tall into the air.
Probably a signal of some sort to others nearby, a call for local reinforcements, which meant that this confrontation was probably timed!
Another seal is made, one the two Konoha nin may recognize, but probably wouldn't, before… nothing. The Takigakure Chuunin looks down in mild bewilderment at his hands, then at his locations, as if he were just now noticing everything around him. And then he notices the wall of mist rolling towards him!
"W-What the hell!?"
His hands begin to fly into seals, obviously planning some sort of attack against the approachers even as he frantically gathers the chakra with which to launch it.
Meanwhile, up on the clifftop, a small bush rustles, rattles, and then topples over, revealing itself to be not a bush at all, but some sort of camoflage. The young blonde-haired woman that had been hidden motionless, and unconscious, underneath it sits up, rubbing at her bleary eyes with the back of her knuckles, as if just coming out of a rather pleasant dream. It takes her a moment to remember her bearings, before crawling to the edge of the cliff on her hands and knees to grin down on the happenings unfolding over the water below.
Mune continues to watch and wait, when that certain hand seal is made. She recognizes that as one rarely used, and then for only specific things. Though she cannot see Yuzuna's eyes, she knows now that she is one of the two Hyuuga sent by Konoha. But which one? She'll have to find out later. Fighting blind, or even talking without being able to see the enemy, is not something she is trained for. So she leaps off the cliff face, and backflips onto a ledge, before turning and bounding up sheer natural walls, until she is further away.
Likely, the Takigakure ninja will be on their way soon. She may pass at first glance as one of them, but if questioned she would quickly be discovered. One look behind her reveals she cannot even see the Takigakure ninja that Datura was possessing, nor the two Konoha ninja. She did see the water column, however, and assumes that Datura had the good sense to vacate that body.
Where is she now though? Mune isn't sure, so she just waits at a pre-arranged meeting spot incase they are seperated, and tries to stay out of view. That mist can't spread forever.
Hinotori knew of the plan that they had decided on and as Yuzuna went through her seals, he moves in closer so that he didn't lose her completely. And if he did he knew which direction he was running in and would only be limited to only running in a straight line. As the mist rapidly spreads Hinotori kept his course, with the mist hiding them, he knew it would take the other group a bit of time and waiting to see where they would come out. Hinotori continues running, speeding up a bit.
Yuzuna doesn't hesitate in her movements as the fog covers the immediate area, her gaze snapping upwards slightly, unhindered by the limiting mask as she watches Mune retreat to the cliff's face, bounding upwards in order to escape the fog no doubt. Or avoid others that might be coming. In either case, the situation did not look well for herself and Hinotori right now. Turning, she reaches out to grasp Hinotori's wrist, pulling once towards her before releasing her fingers, the tug meaning to give him a direction where she was going, as she is the one that can see through the fog with the aid of the kekkei genkai. And just as silent as she remained throughout the confrontation, the Hyuuga is quick to push off against the river's surface, sprinting in the direction of the tower as they were moments before. While the enemy is scrambling from confusion, the pair are quick to flee under the cover of the fog, silent as they attempt to slip away unnoticed.
Datura herself wasn't exactly a stealthy individual. In fact, she wasn't very good at it AT ALL. So when she moves to drop down next to the other woman, Mune would likely have heard her several seconds in advance, which is quite a bit of forewarning for a shinobi. The younger woman drops into a crouch, looking down at the spreading mist.
"I always knew the Leafs weren't fighters, but this is ridiculous!" Nevermind that she so rarely directly confronted anyone. "I suppose when they come out of it we're going to have to go down there. Mmn… I was hoping the Taki would do our jobs for us."
Sighing a bit as she seats herself, the outcast Konoha-nin swings her legs out over the edge, moving them back-and-forth, back-and-forth. She puts a hand to her brow, shading them as she looks down into, and around, the thick fog below. After a more moments pass, she frowns, putting her hand down.
"Nngh… I don't see them. If they get away… let's just not tell Amuro-kun we ever saw anyone, okay?"
Meanwhile, within the mist, the Takigakure nin was going BERSERK! Whips of water, small geysers, senbon made out of clear liquid, he throws them about haphazardly in a panic, as if the boogeyman were about to descend on his head, unable to see more than his hand in front of his face.
Mune is very aware that Datura is approaching, as has been noted. She is also suddenly aware of something else. A warning from Amuro, sent to both Datura and Mune, via their communication Seals. « The Takigakure ninja are entering the canyon. Don't get caught. » Amuro's thoughts echo in Mune's head. She immediately looks up and away from the dense fog and the few occasional glimpses of Water Jutsu that exit the mist's upper ceiling. She sees a ton of ninja coming running and leaping off the edges of the canyon, using various stone pillars, or the cliff faces to rapidly descend. They are all headed towards where that column of water went up into the air initially. Dozens of ninja, all heading towards the location of the Konoha ninja.
She stands and grabs towards Datura, trying to gently but firmly draw her back against the cliff face and as out-of-sight as they can be. "Perhaps they will deal with Konohagakure after all," she mutters.
Still concealed within the mist technique, Hinotori felt his wrist be grabbed by Yuzuna and understanding her meaning, he begins running in her direction which was slightly more to the right then he was going which puts him back on track. Keeping his speed up with her just in case she needs to guide him, she was no lead due to him only running in the direction dictated by her. He tries to focus a bit more to see if he could pierce the mist a bit more.
Still concealed within the mist technique, Hinotori felt his wrist be grabbed by Yuzuna and understanding her meaning, he begins running in her direction which was slightly more to the right then he was going which puts him back on track. Keeping his speed up with her just in case she needs to guide him, she was no lead due to him only running in the direction dictated by her. He tries to focus a bit more to see if he could pierce the mist a bit more, but as he does that he could hear splashes behind him and at the last moment Hinotori dives forward, tucking and rolling on top of the water as a geyser comes up just a foot away from where he just was. Still moving forward Hinotori shakes his head. 'That was close.' he thinks to himself.
Her intense gaze narrows, well aware of her surroundings as Yuzuna and Hinotori speed through the fog. Yuzuna sees her comrade avoiding the attacks as they thrash and splash all around her, the geyser so powerful that if careless, would be more than enough to knock someone unconscious. Beneath the mask, the corner of her lips tugs slightly. With each of her fluid movements, she seems to dance lightly across the water's surface with speed and precision, avoiding every attack thrown in their direction several long seconds before they aim where she was. Though now that it was merely long distance attacks aimed, without even knowing where the Konoha nin are, it was the ideal time to escape with the aide of the fog, disappearing completely. With Hinotori a hairsbreadth behind her, they move alongside the canyon wall, moving stealthily and silently as they leave the fog in their wake.
As her partner-in-crime grabs her arm and lifts her up, Datura goes without protest, shrinking back against the cliffside, her eyes, which were red today, snapping to the approaching small army of enemy shinobi. She looks back to the mist for a moment, before holding her hands up in a seal before her, henging into the exact likeness of Jakusobi Nobu, the dead Chuunin she'd been using the infiltrate the main camp just yesterday.
"Doesn't matter, we already know what their destination is. And I know the terrain, the obstacles, and some of the passwords. We might even get there before them if we hurry."
Climbing up the small distance to the top of the cliff, Datura and her companion use the trees for shelter as they begin to circumvent that part of the canyon with it's swarming forces. The Takigakure nin flood the area with numbers, two or three dozen showing up to find one of their very bewildered countrymen coming out of a fog. After finding out his account of several Konoha-nin in the area, one of which who seemed to be able to possess bodies, they begin to fan out and search in earnest. With time, they're very likely to pick up on everyone's trail, but only time would tell if they'd catch any of the miscreants romping around on their turf.
Hinotori and Yuzuna would have to dodge a few patrols here and there, but much of the Takigakure forces were drawn to either the canyon, or to fighting elsewhere. They would eventually approach the base of the tower's support pillar, which rose up so high that from this close one couldn't even see where it ended, more than a mile up.
Unfortunately, this area was wide open once they move onto the water that surrounded the pillar, and likely had eyes on it from every high vantage viewpoint for miles around. Any large, flashy, or bright jutsu that was unleashed here would likely draw as much, if not more, attention than Datura's little hijacked water-column move. Even lingering idly here wasn't to be advised.
And double-unfortunately, they were all heading towards the same place, with Datura, hopping over a rock in pursuit of the Konoha duo that was the last bit of cover for the hundred yards or so to the tower's base. Whether they made themselves known in the clearing or not, the young blonde-disguised-as-a-man stands there by the edge of the water-filled clearing, frowning thoughtfully about as he chews his lower lip and threads his fingers together pensively.
Mune stands with 'Nobu' for awhile, waiting for the two Konoha ninja to arrive. When they do, she has something to say to one of them. Based on what she knows of the two kunoichi sent from Konoha, the one that produced the Hidden Mist Technique is the younger of the two. Meaning… Mune knows a little something that Yuzuna may be interested in.
"I wish they would hurry up," she mutters. All the ACTUAL Waterfall ninja in the area is making her kind of annoyed. It means that a fight might break out that she doesn't want to have to deal with.
With Yuzunas help, Hinotori is able to escape out of the mist and with a bit of speed and trickery the two are able to escape the area before the mass of Takigakure nins come into the area fully. Knowing they didn't have time to rest, Hinotori slows just a bit so that they can work on a plan. Only using hushed voices Hinotori nods his head and using the surrounding area, Hinotori uses their surroundingings to help hide them. Upon getting nearer to the tower and breaking their cover. The masked Hinotori forms a few seals and henges into one of the Takigakure nins and slows his approach so as to not draw too much attention to himself.
Slowing beside her companion, Yuzuna narrows her pale eyes behind her mask as the Byakugan reveal all of her surroundings to her, "Those others that ambushed us are up ahead." she murmurs lightly. Not that it mattered. Turning slightly, she looks to Hinotori as he henges into a Takigakure shinobi. Raising her hands, she focuses chakra to henge herself as well, gaining weight, height and facial hair to appear as a plain and unnoticeable Takigakure nin. The commonplace man reaches up to adjust his headband slightly before glancing to Hinotori with a dull expression. "Now, we wait." rumbles his voice. "If those others take what's inside the tower, then we will follow them like this in pursuit."
The sounds of fighting echo dimly from another area somewhat nearby, likely blocked by the massive base of the tower, which was big enough around that it'd take several minutes to try and make a lap around it. The sounds of the fighting prick the ears of Datura, who turns to her colleague, who likely heard the clash of jutsu and weapons as well. After a moment, 'Nobu' shakes his head.
"This is taking too long, we're going to be caught." No sooner are the words out of her mouth than a telepathic message from their leader informs them to get out of the area. Now. "Hmph. Right on time. Let's get the hell out of here."
As Nobu and his 'genin' bound away, fleeing the area around the tower in a direction other than the one from which they came, the way would seem to be clear for the Konohagakure nin. Except that trouble was already sniffing at their tails. There'd be a few distant noises, a footstep here, a hushed breath there, but they would all point to pursuers, and, considering shinobi were generally all but perfectly silent while moving, it would indicate MANY pursuers. Staying in the area and trying to remain undiscovered would be an all-but-impossible task with so many adversaries closing in, as Yuzuna's byakugan would surely tell her. Before too long, the Konoha nin are forced to flee as well, lest they risk discovery, though whether they fled to regroup and try again, or back to report to their homeland, only they could know.
Either way, as the Takigakure arrive in strength, they begin to fan out and search for signs of their prey. Several minutes pass before both the outlaw shinobi and their Konoha counterparts trails are found. Splitting into two teams, they commence the hunt once more, though with their quarry given such a head start, and they slowed by their tracking, it was unlikely they'd catch their targets as long as they kept moving.