Date: October 19, 2016
As Daisuke returns from a secret mission it’s time to see just how far his protégé has come.
"Brushing the Dust off: Remnants of the Storm"
Land of Fire
Summer had returned to Konoha! Normally this was a time of fun and joy for many since the snow was gone and time outside was much easier to be had. Normally. Of course with Summer came other problems. One such was that once the snow was melted, trouble in the form of bandits and the like seemed to increase since travel was easier, and such things fell on the Hidden Villages to take care of. These were generally fairly easy affairs and left to a normal team, but occasionally a special group was located. A special group requires special attention! And since this was rumored to be one of the remnents of the Storm Brigade, it was sent high on the chain of command. Because of course one would expect a few strong teams to be sent out, or maybe even ANBU, right? Right?
At least, that's what Tatsuo thought. So when he received word to meet at the gates to take care of such a special group he thought nothing of it. Until he arrived and no one else was there. Was he just the first? Surely they'd be sending a small army. Nobody would be crazy enough to just send one or two people out, would they?
Daisuke had just returned a few days prior from something most people will never know of, but the Hokage wanted to hit the ground running. Naturally, he wanted to see how his protege had been growing since his departure, and so when this report came in, he immediately snagged it and sent out word to Tatsuo to meet up at the gates. Deep down he was perhaps a little excited to see his aspiring student, though he would do his best to mask that and be all official and lecturing.
As the time of meeting approached, the Hokage made his way down the streets towards the gate. He spots his student as he approaches and greets him. "Hello there, Tatsuo. Ready to get going?"
Well Tatsuo had expected an army and in a way he did get one. Still, it was a surprise to see that the Hokage had not only returned but that he was taking on a mission such as this. Dark eyes widen as the man speaks and Tatsuo gives a quick bow. "Hokage-dono! I didn't know you'd returned. It's good to see you!" And then he realizes by Daisuke's words that they really were it. "Oh…hai. I'm ready. Is it just us?" He takes one last look around just to make sure that, you know, a real army isn't hiding behind the gates or something.
"Thank you, it is good to see you as well, I trust all is going well?" Daisuke says to his protege, resisting the urge to ruffle his hair. He starts heading towards the gate before he turns back to address Tatsuo's question with a raised brow. "Well yeah, who else would we need?" He chuckles lightly and waves Tatsuo forward before turning back towards the gates to start out on their trip. "Lets go!"
"Everything is going very well sir," Tatsuo replies quickly. Well, for him it was at least. Occasional missions, lots of time spent at the hospital as he furthered his medic skills with Kenta. What wasn't there to like? "How about you Hokage-dono? I hadn't seen you in so long I was getting worried something might have happened." Of course he had no clue where Daisuke had been, but that doesn't stop one from worrying after so long of no sign of that person.
Once Daisuke starts heading out, telling him they're it, Tatsuo follows, mentally checking to make sure he has everything in his vest pockets for about the tenth time. "This is a fragment of the Storm Brigade…" he lets out a bit hesitantly, not wanting to outright question Daisuke but at the same time just putting it out there.
"Good to hear." Daisuke says as they pass the gates and start out on the adventure at hand. "As for me, I had something to take care of. I can't go into too much more detail but I appreciate your concern." he answers the teen, turning back to give him a friendly smile. "But I'm back and ready to get going again, even almost missed all the paperwork." he says with a chuckle. "So this Storm Brigade, fill me in as we head towards our target?"
Personal business. That's what Tatsuo will chalk up Daisuke's absence to, since he knows he won't hear any more about it, nor will he even attempt to pry into it. It's not his concern after all! It's not like the village burned down or anything while he was gone. He jogs a few steps to be walking besides Daisuke, tugging on his vest as he thinks back to the start of the Storm Brigade. "They were attacking mostly small villages to try and draw out shinobi. They had many powerful chakra users in their ranks and would use multiple at a time to attack and enhance their attacks. Wind, water, and lightning users. They also did attack some of the other Shinobi Villages.
"Kumogakure located their main base about a month ago and most of the Villages put in a coordinated attack. We managed to wipe out all of their most powerful people and leaders, but rumors sprung up a few weeks ago saying there were some smaller factions still around causing trouble." He looks from the road ahead over and up to Daisuke. "We don't really know the strength of most of the splintered groups."
Daisuke nods his head as he listens to Tatsuo explain the situation. getting a general idea of what to expect from him and the reports he had read. "So these bandits may have chakra users amongst their ranks. Well, it makes it all the more interesting I suppose, we will just have to be a little more careful. Lets pick up the pace in case we need more time." he says, warning Tatsuo before he does just that, pushing off and starting down the path in a brisk run, heading to the location the group was spotted at.
"Hai, the reports are they have at least one," Tatsuo informs Daisuke. When the Hokage pushes off Tatsuo joins him, running alongside Daisuke and prepared to use his water techniques to speed them along if necessary.
The area the bandits had reportedly been holed up in was inside and near a large cave, a good few hours from the Village itself. Their vantage point was high and gave the bandits a good view of anyone who may try to come up the front of the mini-mountain at them. Sure it might take them a little more time to travel, but they had extra protection on their side! Once they neared the area Tatsuo would slow so that they didn't just outright run into view of the bandits.
Daisuke slows himself as well at the approach to the large hill, strategies running through his mind. "It seems they have a good vantage point. You can't flow through the earth, right?" he says to Tatsuo with a chuckle, already assuming it was a no and just making a joke. "Should we go around back? That might take us a little more time. Charge the front? That could be dangerous. Hmm, what to do, what to do." he says aloud, looking towards Tatsuo for input. This was a mission to see how he had been doing since Daisuke's absence after all.
"Both of us have techniques that can carry us up and over the backside Hokage-dono. I think that would be the best option," Tatsuo replies as his dark eyes scan what he can see of their target which isn't much from in hiding. "We could surprise anyone that's in front of the cavern they're using which should be most of them. The leaders are more likely inside the cavern itself." Tatsuo considers, thinking back to their orders. Clear out the bandits. "If we don't want any prisoners you could collapse the cavern or I could flood it. Otherwise we'd have to proceed with the more difficult task of trying to take some alive."
"Sounds like a good idea, we don't know if they have any innocents or anything inside, so just flooding the cave may not be the best route until that is confirmed. As for prisoners, I usually only take someone if they would provide useful information." Daisuke explains as he looks up at the mountain again. "No prisoners unless needed." he confirms with a nod. "Lets go for the surprise in front. Lead on."
Tatsuo nods slightly as he looks from Daisuke to the mini-mountain before he hops up onto a sliver of water. This takes him back and around faster than one could run comfortably and after only a few moments he's peaking over at what's in front of the cavern. A quick count gives him nearly twenty outside. A few small cook fires are around in front of the cavern, a few tents, but mostly it seems that people sleep outside at this point. There are a few lookouts but, as expected, they're watching down the hill, not up. At least from this vantage it doesn't appear that there's any innocent folk outside.
Daisuke watches the sliver of water appear before he himself calls his nimbus, hopping onto it and following Tatsuo in close quarters. He observes the teen as he works, and can't help but smile as he does. "So what do we got, and what's your plan to take them out?" he says as he slides up beside Tatsuo and observes the situation, making note of each individual he sees. "I'm itching to stretch out a bit, it's been awhile."
After only a moment the Nara opens his mouth to respond, then shuts it when Daisuke follows up with the need to stretch. He glances sideways at the Hokage a moment, then back out at the people below them. "Well the easiest way would be to wash them away from here and let them bash themselves against rocks on the way down. But…" he gets a little bit of a wild look in his eyes as he looks to Daisuke again. "I guess I'll get left and you can get right?"
Daisuke finishes the scan and turns back to Tatsuo as he makes up his mind on what to do. "Left and right, huh? Alright, lets get to it." he says as he moves off to the right, careful to move unseen on the terrain until he wanted to be seen. He takes care to keep tabs on Tatsuo's movements when he can, just in case he needs to step in. He makes his way to the lookouts first, attempting to sneak up on one and take him out quickly as to not raise the alarm.
Tatsuo moves to the left when Daisuke goes to the right and water raises up in small amounts all around him. However that's only just hanging with him. Meanwhile the lookout on his side meets a quick demise without him even getting close. Water simply manifests itself behind the lookout for a fraction of a second, a bit of the water spearing out right through the neck before dissipating. A few others who are by themselves meet a similar end while Tatsuo doesn't really move, instead just watching as his water causes people to silently collapse. With that done he prepares to drop from the sky to handle the rest, glancing at Daisuke to ensure he was ready.
Daisuke finishes off his lookouts on his side and turns to glance at Tatsuo. So far the Hokage had finished his targets off swiftly and without any use of ninjutsu or his beast, but that could change at any moment. He cracks his knuckles a bit, letting Tatsuo know that he was ready, but waiting patiently for the boy to make the first move.
Once he sees that Daisuke is indeed ready to go Tatsuo jumps forward, falling from the sky to land in the midst of the remaining six or so people on his side, the water still hanging loosely around him in a living, flowing circle. In the time it takes for the men to realize what's going on chakra flares a brilliant blue as it flows from Tatsuo. A number of people are grabbed by water or chakra and simply thrown off the top of hill. The others are smashed into rocks before they can even react. Surprise!
Daisuke watches Tatsuo go to work with interest, making note of his control and flexibility with his chakra and water. As the remaining few people are smashed against the rocks, the Hokage strolls up to the scene after Tatsuo has dispatched the rabble, nodding his head in approval. "Looks like that is most of them. Should we check inside, then?" he asks his protege, giving the camp a quick scan of the area to make sure no one was visible before focusing on the cave itself.
They don't have to wait long for a reaction from inside. Just after Daisuke finishes speaking lightning comes from inside the cavern, striking out at the duo. Tatsuo's cloak shifts to absorb the lightning, blocking Daisuke without even thinking about it. Just a natural reaction and all that. The teen gives the Hokage a bit of a sheepish look as his cloak shifts back to a smaller state around him. It's not like Daisuke couldn't take care of himself, what was he thinking? Reaction. That's all it was.
A trio steps out from the mouth of the cavern, the obvious leader frowning as he looks around his now desolate camp. "Shinobi are nothing but trouble," the man snorts. "What do you want?"
Daisuke spots the lightning from within the cave and is about to react when Tatsuo does so for him. He looks over at his protege and smiles. "Thanks for the help, you have gotten quite good at using your cloak. That's awesome." he says with a thumbs up to the boy. As the trio walks out and demands to know what they were doing Daisuke's attention is pulled to them. "We got word of some troublemakers in the area with ties to a fallen brigade. We thought we would come out and see if the rumors were true…. and squash them." he says to the trio, holding a hand out to point out the bodies of their fallen comrades strewn about in various places.
"Well you came to the right place. Unfortunately it's going to be the end for you two. Did you really think that only two of you could handle us? All you did was clear some rabble I was preparing to do away with anyways." With a hand motion to the two behind him they form hand seals before unleashing a barrage of attacks - one lightning based, one water based - towards the two Konoha shinobi. Meanwhile the main man starts to head back into the cavern, seeming unconcerned.
Tatsuo's cloak flares out again and between that and the water around him he manages to keep anything from hitting him, though he's not able to help Daisuke out this time. The Hokage was on his own in the defensive department. However he's able to distract the two afterwards with some swift strikes of his own, his cloak and water moving fluidly and interchangeably. "I'll handle these two Hokage-dono."
Daisuke chuckles lightly to himself. It seemed like the bad guys were always one to underestimate a shinobi, and that was completely fine with him. As the main guy started back into the cavern, the Hokage focused on the two in front for now, lightning striking out and passing through his body as it phases from its position, having already moved to the side for safety. About to attack, Tatsuo calls out to go on ahead instead as he had them. Daisuke looks to Tatsuo and nods in understanding, "Have fun, but not too much." he calls out as he starts heading into the cave, shifting himself into the rocks at the side of the cave to make his way inside using his heightened tremor sense, just in case there were traps or surprises waiting. He would much rather be the supriser than the surprisee after all. As he moves he keeps tabs on the man's location, waiting for the right time to strike.
Tatsuo nods to Daisuke and as the two attack again his cloak and water clears the way for Daisuke to enter the cavern mouth. Lightning dances along the outside of the blue cloak but doesn't reach any deeper within even as each watery attack is met with yet more water, effectively keeping both of the men at bay for the time being.
The cavern is deep, deeper than it looked from the outside certainly. The man is continuing to walk in a non-hurried pace ahead of Daisuke while the Hokage would find traps of various types along the way. A rockslide here, some exploding tags there, even a pitfall onto some spikes. Further ahead, deeper within the cave, there are others. Only a few, but they don't seem to be moving much. That seems to be where the man is heading.
Daisuke continues to move through the rocks and earth of the caverns walls as he keeps tabs on the man and where he was going. For awhile he figured that the man was just going back to his base to do work or something, as he wasn't picking up anything else when using his enhanced tremor sense, but when he finally started picking up the others, he knew that he had to act quickly. Whether they were foe and sleeping or sitting down for food, or they were captives tied up or worse, Daisuke did not want to fight the man within their general area. And so Daisuke would act, surfing through the rocks ahead of the man and slowly, almost creepy in a way, begins to rise from the rock in the man's path. "You know, it is rather rude to just leave your guests and go back to your room. Didn't your mother ever teach you that?"
The man seems rather unsurprisingly displeased with Daisuke's rather sudden appearance. He scowls and shakes his head. "You shinobi are nothing but trouble. We left you alone, why do you even bother us?" Because obviously if you leave the shinobi alone and attack innocent people that's okay. "I hope you're prepared to find your friend dead back there. That was two of our stronger ninjutsu users after all." The mans eyes flick past Daisuke to the path beyond him, scowl deepening as he figures he can't just walk past or anything.
Of course, the sensation of bijuu chakra is hard to miss, and it certainly hasn't lessened in any extent since Daisuke left. In fact Tatsuo seems to be doing just fine. Despite the continued barrage of attacks they haven't broken through his defenses. Meanwhile between his own water and cloak he's managed to get in a few rough hits, knocking them around a bit and roughing them up. In fact it could almost seem like he's just toying with them. Maybe he's hoping they'll give up?
"If you think that just leaving us alone is good enough, you clearly do not understand the shinobi system very well. Our obligations and our pay comes from people like the ones you terrorize." Daisuke says with a sigh, rubbing the back of his neck. "And my friend will be just fine, or can you not sense that sickly feeling your stomach is giving off right now?" he adds, pointing out the increase in bijuu chakra. "Now, I don't usually like killing people who give up and get carted away to prison like good people. Are you one of those people? Clearly the odds are stacked against you here. You seem like a logical man, being the boss and all."
"I would ask you to move aside but something tells me you won't so I'll just warn you. You're messing with the wrong person. If you want to survive I'd leave now." Following through on his threat the man makes a few hand seals as his chakra surges and his eyes narrow to try and make him look scarier. "So? What's your decision?"
Daisuke folds his arms across his chest as he listens to the man's warnings, why did they always have to try? He lets the man do his thing, going through his handseals and letting his chakra surge. Finally, after the man was done flexing, Daisuke smiles and unfolds his arms. In an instant, the Hokage is covered in the bright orange flames of his cloak, illuminating and instantly heating the cavern around them. The bijuu chakra in the air thanks to Tatsuo would amplify tenfold for the man in front of him. "Unchanged." he replies to the man.
The man wrinkles his nose at Daisuke as the cloak flares but he surprisingly doesn't really flinch. A faint look of annoyance crosses his face but that's all. "We dealt with your kind while we were whole, your little show doesn't frighten me." Cause it's all just a show, right? That's why a shout of terror from outside is suddenly cut short as one of the others meet their end at Tatsuo's hands. "Ugh, useless." And then he flashes through seals, one handed seals even, before unleashing a powerful blast of lightning towards Daisuke. Water is injected, causing the lightning to flow and surround instead of just stopping after the direct strike.
"Then you should probably be a little more worried." Daisuke says as the man readies an attack, a quite impressive one at that, mixing water in with lightning. It reminded him of the Hizumu of Kumogakure in a way, though not quite as elegant. The attack would hit his cloak, though it would not pierce the cloak. As the dust settles Daisuke's cloak is unfettered.
"Because not only am I the oldest one you have ever met…" he says before he blinks, his eyes pure gold upon reopening. "… but the strongest." he finishes in the dual voices of him and Son Goku. The cloak around his fist begins to grow and grow and grow into a massive fist that takes up the entire cavern from top to bottom, leaving no room to dodge if one was to attempt to go around it. It shoots out towards the man, opening up and attempting to grasp him tightly.
Okay that wasn't supposed to happen like that. The man's eyes widen slightly and he lets out a curse as the hand grabs towards him. Water forms up around him, keeping him shielded within for the time being at least, though that doesn't help him to escape the cloak fist. And it certainly is getting warm fast as he tries to keep the water from just turning into steam and burning away. "You shinobi, getting involved where you shouldn't be. This is why the Storm Brigade was created. To keep you in check."
Daisuke continues to squeeze the water shielding the man slowly with his chakra fist, purposefully to give him the opportunity to give up. A man losing his pride and giving up is a much more satisfying defeat after all. Death was so sudden and unsatisfying. "People will always fear and loathe that they don't understand or cannot have. But the problem with your cause is that it was completely unnecessary, and really just resulted in a lot of unnecessary lives lost. We keep ourselves in check, as does the government of each Country, and the Daimyo about all else. We don't need others to butt in where they aren't needed. So how does it feel, to throw your life away for a useless cause?"
"If we don't stop you someone else will," the man says, voice shaking a bit with the struggle to keep the barrier up, but it starts to fail quickly. "Someone else will step up to keep shinobi from taking over…" And then his barrier of water falters and fails. At least he was willing to die for his cause?
Outside things have quieted down as well and for the moment Tatsuo remains out and away, leaving Daisuke to do what he's doing.
Daisuke sighs as the shield fails and his massive fist wraps the man up and squeezes him tight. "No one is taking over, you sad delusional man." he says with finality as he squashes the man within his cloaked grasp, all air escaping from his lungs before they are crushed. "I hate fanatics." Daisuke says as he drops the cloaked hand and the man falls to the cavern floor. He takes a moment to listen or feel for any signs of battle outside the cavern before calling to Tatsuo. "There are more at the back of the cavern, we should check it out." He then heads deeper to investigate the other people he picked up earlier.
Tatsuo peeks into the cavern as he hears Daisuke's voice. Outside has been cleared. Tatsuo even took some time to wash off the side of the mountain. You know, housekeeping. He enters the cavern and moves past the crushed body to follow Daisuke to the back of the cavern. There, chained to the wall, is a small number of villagers. Only three. They looked up at Daisuke's entrance with a hint of fear in their eyes. "W-who are you?" one of them asks warily, as if expecting something bad to happen.
Daisuke kneels down next to the villager, his cloak no where in sight since the battle. "It's ok, they are gone. We have come to get you out of here and back home." he says to the one who asks him, putting on a friendly face. He looks up at over to the other two, making sure they are generally alright, dishing out a few protein bars. "Tatsuo, can you handle the chains?"
Tatsuo enters the smaller area and looks around with some surprise. At Daisuke's request he nods. "Everyone hold still please," he says, water forming in front of him and moving slowly forward to surround the metal attached to limbs and necks, then slicing it from within. The water also checks and heals various small bruises and cuts that they may have. After that's done Tatsuo moves forward, having felt something while releasing them. He runs a hand over the walls and blinks, water digging a chunk out of the wall to show metal underneath. He glances at Daisuke and motions to it, just for his reference. They'd all be connected. Lightning to any one would've killed them all.
Daisuke makes sure they all get free and settled before he gets back up and looks to Tatsuo. He nods his head, having mentioned before that fighting in an area where innocents may get involved is usually something he avoids. "Well, if everyone is ok to walk, let’s say we start heading home, ya?" he says to the group, figuring that they could call this missions complete.