Date: April 14, 2015
While an agreement between the rescued hunter and Konohagakure continues behind the scenes, a team is dispatched in the meantime to gather potential components that /may/ help resolve the problem.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Bug Hunting to the Extreme - Rogue Intermission"
Land of Fire - Southern Forest
Most hunters are well known for being cautious and patient creatures. Even the most inexperienced have at least some respect for their prey and their territory. This healthy respect keeps most from meeting a bad end when natural predators, the hunters competition, are bound to involve themselves, and worst yet, choose to treat the hunter no differently then they would their prey. Survival is always first, always foremost. But at the end of the day, the hunter is human, and thus always at risk at being led along by their emotions.
It has been over a week since the incident in Miati Forest. Since then, the hunter rescued by Konoha shinobi investigating the mysterious new species of insects that migrated from the north has recovered enough to shed some light. While either unaware or simply unwilling to divulge much on the insects, the hunter has promised — no, demanded to either be allowed to join whatever team is next dispatched to deal with the bugs, OR withold information that might shed light on /where/ exactly they have come.
While that matter is being settled, Isura and Ketsuki Uchiha along with one Aburame Sho were dispatched to gather supplies that might provide the means of dealing with the beetles without having to torch an entire forest to do so. A port town towards the south of the Land of Fire holds promise, but first the team actually has to reach it. The team is set to meet at the gate, fully prepared for a three day journey. Though the sunlight shines upon the land without clouds to impede it, clouds further off in the distance towards the south might change that…
Isura packing was top notch since he followed the golden rule of pack light freeze at night. As he glazed across the gate he notice that he was the second to arrive outside of Sho. Yawning he shifted and posted himself up on his bag as he slowly closed his eyes waiting. "What's taking so long and here I tried taking my time." Sighing Isura soon found himself snoozing.
Kyu had packed the essentials with a few things to pass the time if necessary, he packs scrolls of various kinds, not a lot of them, but more than one. Its about half genjutsu scrolls and half Medic Nin training scrolls. When he arrives he has a backpack on that seems a decent size. He did pack a blanket, a few small snacks, and a few various tools that one would be expected to take on a multiple day trip. He is by no means burdened by it, and seems to be in a good mood. "Oh… am I late? Sorry, I double checked everything to make sure I wasn't unprepared."
Zori was messaged earlier to go to a port town to the south and check for the potential imports that could help deal with those pesky beetles. Zori accepts and opens up his backpack, stuffing as much needed supplies like water bottles and medicine into it, the backpack is full enough to be of help but not heavy enough to be of hindrance during Zori's travel. Zori heads out slinging the backpack on his shoulders walking towards the entrance gate to Konoha. Upon arrival he would lean up against it, waiting for the others with a mean look on his face.
Sho digs out a hand from one of his coat pockets, raises it up index finger pointed skyward, and then opens his mouth to say something. Not a word slips out however, and it is all thanks to Kyuketsuki's timely arrival. The Aburame appears miffed, but for Isura its no new thing. Sho was stuffy during the first incident, as he no doubt remembered to some extent. Then again, Sho's inability to stand out from any other Aburame may have rendered that memory blurry at best.
After taking a moment to regather his wits about him, Sho buries his hands into his pockets. "You are. Now, if there's nothing else you two wish to waste time on, it would be best if we leave now. The longer we wait, the more likely the swarm will spread beyond our ability to deal… with them." Sho furrowed his brow at the sight of Zori, having not entirely expected calmness out of any of them. The uncertainty that began to fill him is enough to elicit an impulsive gesture for everyone to follow before taking off ahead of the group. He just truly did not want to think of why the warning was given to keep a special eye out on Zori…
The first and second day of the team's trip passes without much to worry about except poor weather throughout most of the second day. That and perhaps some small argument about rations, the weather, or whatever could possibly spring up between the group. Throughout the trip, Sho has been mostly contemplative and distant unless intentionally provoked. Even then, the chuunin doesn't offer much to keep one's fury going except straight-forward response. If need be, he isn't above having his Kikaichu bind the agitator(s) when necessary.
It is now day three of the trip. The summer's sun is again blanketing the land, granting light on what should be another uneventful morning. Sho is, for the most part, operating on autopilot at the time. This may explain why the chuunin hasn't voiced any concern about the feeling of being followed to the group. That or he had some cunning plan in mind. Whatever the case may be, only Zori and Isura perceive the sense, and through further investigation they might even divine the who.
Isura kept most to himself on this trips and thus dealt with Kyuketsuki and Zori chaotic relationship trying to stay out of it for the most part. However on day three it's clear that they're being follow using basic perception skill Isura survey the surroundings trying to gather as much information as needed before speaking. "Hey Sho we're totally being followed however outside of that I can't tell who or what it is sadly." Shaking his head Isura had more then prepared for any confrontation that could arise at this time.
Kyu is surprised Zori hadn't tried to kill him yet, even with the chuunin watching and all. He doesn't avoid speaking to Zori on the trip but doesn't try to spark up any conversations. When Isura speaks up about being followed he takes as subtle of a looking around as he can, but sees nothing, and doesn't get the feeling really, but if Isura says so, he believes him, he readies himself for battle, which for him means literally nothing except being mentally prepared.
Walking alongside Sho, he hears Isura speak up about being followed. Zori grins as he immediately turns around, clinching his fist together focusing his chakra. He looks forward to try to see who or what it was, that was up ahead. "Try me if you dare!" he shouts outwards to the followers.
Sho's head jerks up at the news, and for a brief moment, he almost gives in to the impulse to look behind them. After a lengthy moment, the Aburame finally nods quietly at some unspoken thought before regarding the others. "This is most unfortunate… Alright, they should not be aware—" The rest dies in Sho's throat thanks to none other than Zori. Sho can only stare at the boy incredulously at first, then glared pointedly behind the Aburame's trademark shades. He would have to deal with Zori later unfortunately, because the sound of their pursuers was picking up.
"Pause it, Zori… Everyone, halt. Isura-san, vanish. Kyuketsuki-san, behind me." Sho commands after muttering under breath at first. The chuunin leaps one more time before turning about in mid-air and landing on a wide branch. With any luck, they wouldn't notice Isura before it was too late.
A few minutes pass before three blurs finally pause a few meters away from the group on separate trees of their own. Five dark-haired males bearing bandanas that were no more than perhaps two to three years older than Kyuketsuki. They all could pass as simple village punks… if not for the fact that all seemed to have some shinobi training, what with their tree hoping and so on. The tallest and leanest of the trio is the closest to the group, and seemed to wear a more stylish bandana then the others. The de-facto leader, or so he seemed to carry himself as. "Well, we dare. You still want to be smug about it?" The leader states.
In hopes of forestalling a confrontation, Sho tries to speak up first by asking, "Why are you following us?"
Not one of their apparent pursuers says anything…
Isura was slightly ahead of the game and with a twitch of a foot he vanished from view. He hugged the shadows closely as he waiting for either the right moment to strike or was further instructed to do so. Isura for now thought of how to deal with Zori on a private manner, for now chakra was swirling from within as he laid waiting as he watched over the others like a guardian angel.
Kyu was listening to Sho's orders but he visably winces when Zori yells out. 'You don't even know what stealth means do you?' he thinks silently to himself. When he's told to get behind Sho he considers defying that order, but knows where the order is most likely coming from. He /did/ almost die once before. And was warned that he'd probably be watched closer than he used to be. 'Guess this is what Kenta meant..' he moves behind Sho, but off to the side so he can still see all five of the men. Kyu watches carefully, awaiting an attack, and waiting for Zori to do something dumb.
Zori hears the leaders words and tunes out everyone else around him. His attention is directly on the leader as he grins wildly. "Care to put your words into action?" Zori's wires crawl out from up under his sleeves to it slithers to the ground. The wires then make haste and lash outwards at the leader in hopes of wrapping him up.
Sho had every intention of trying to wait out the opposing team until someone cracked under the awkward pressure, but Zori apparently had other plans. The Aburame cannot even begin to voice his disappointment without the risk of giving the enemy the advantage. At the very least, the leader was bound, leaving Sho free long enough to sigh heavily before pointing directly at the struggling bandanna leader. "Take them down, but I want at least one of them still able to talk." He states dryly. The cue to attack included Isura as well, though whether or not he interpreted it as such is up to the Uchiha.
In the meantime, Sho would send a swarm of Kikaichu at the entire group, forcing the group to split. The mass of beetles are not discriminate. Whatever was in their path, they intended to rip apart bit by bit, freeing the leader incidentally, though not without his earning a few hundred bug bites in the process. "Che… Don't just stand there! Get them!!" He yells as he ripped off his bandanna. Following a single sweep of the cloth, metal shards are coiled inside are sent flying at the group. The worst of the barrage was directed at Zori. Even should the impulsive genin manage to avoid the barrage, he would still have to contend with one the pursuers trying to land a lightning charged dive kick on him. Kyuketsuki on the other hand need mainly fear the pursuers further to the back trying to pin him down with a flurry of coordinated close quarters combinations.
Isura just watched the group and couldn't argue with Zori results, thus he watched. Everything appeared to be in control and if push came to shove he would leap into action. For now he used his ninjas training to gain a lot of information on the group.
Kyu activates his Sharingan as the action starts to try and allow himself more time to react, but even with that, he makes the ram seal and one of the bandits is a bit quicker than the other, punching straight through his illusionary self into his real self, he gets pushed back by the punch, it stings! And ends up spinning to where he's facing the other bandit, "Time to get serious." he mumbles, making the ram seal and ducking down, the bandit would see his punch clearly land from his perspective, while in reality having never hit, the real Kyu stands back up straight and looks him right in the eye, in the bandit's head he'd see the punch hit, Kyu lean back, his cheek red from the punch, and he comes right back and looks him in the eye, the red punch he just took fading away and healing, the other one staying, Kyu would then leap away from him and flick through some seals, aiming to lock both of the bandits that attacked him out of their own bodies with Out of Body Experience!
Zori watches as Sho's bugs accidently chews apart his wires releasing The Bandit Leader. Zori eyes flicker over to Sho "Really?" Zori eyes flicker back to the leader just in time as he hears "Get Them!". When the metal shards make its way into Zori's vicinity. He swipes his arm upward as his wires follow the same pattern flinging itself upwards knocking the shards away. Zori is distracted as the Lt. Merc sneaks behind him and lands a lightning dive kick right into Zori's back sending him to the ground. Zori pushes himself up as he stares at both the Lt. Merc and the Leader, he then stands up completely with a serious look on his face. This is unusual for Zori, any other time he wouldve just went koo koo. Possibly being watched by the Chunnins have somewhat kept him a little more tamed. Zori's eyes flicker over to Sho as he thinks to himself "I got to try to maintain calm or i could very well be in serious trouble." Zori's eyes flicker back over to the Leader and Lt. Merc still maintaining his calm serious look. "Alright then, two vs. one? Sounds fair to me." He swipes his right arm upwards diagonally then back downwards in the same fashion as the wires follow the motion slashing at their bodies.
Both of Zori's attackers barely manage to avoid the wires. The chief especially had to put in extra work just to avoid the razor sharp wires, leaving him slightly exhausted and kneeling on one of the few undamaged tree branches by Zori's attacks. "Don't get… too cocky… *pant*… We're just warming up." As if in agreement with his point, the nearest bandana wearing mercenary whips off his own bandana, sending metal shards flying at Zori. Unlike his boss, this mercenary seemed to have a better handle on his shards, because at least two barrages are sent his way.
As for Kyuketsuki, his targets are easily disconnected from reality. Unfortunately for one of them, he plummets to the ground as soon as the genjutsu kicks in, possibly snapping his neck upon impact. If anyone is listening closely enough, it would surely sound like it. "Kyuketsuki-san, back up.. Zori-san." Sho sounded almost relunctant issuing the order. Nevertheless, the order is given. Hearing the order aloud, the last remaining unoccupied Bandana bearer would try to cut off Kyuketsuki, only to be forced back by a cloud of Kikaichu. While the teen glared at him, Sho just calmly adjusts his glasses using his middle finger, then sweeps his hand sharply to the side. "Do not think you shall pass." He states darkly, coat humming as hundreds of wings begin to beat at once.
Almost as if as an afterthought, the cloud that missed the Bandana teen, sweep about to feast off of Kyuketsuki only obviously uncouncious foe.
Isura study their movements long enough and the time to strike was now. Using his stealth mode to set up perfectly timed strikes aimed at two smaller ones with the last saved for the big boss man himself once landing he sighed and shook his head at Kyuketsuki and Zori "stop playing with your food and let's push pass these fools." Isura expression was dull as he yawned and waved the them to attack if they dare. "Come and face me if you wish to taste the ground."
Kyu grumbles a bit as he's told to back up but follows orders. He backs up, the bruise on his face was certainly nothing serious, but it stung. He eyes the one that tried to cut him off. And tries his best to hold in his frustration at being defended like he's still just some kid by Sho. He, as if to prove the point he never actually made, leaps straight up, flipping upside-down and hanging from the bottom of a tree branch. He then rapidly goes through seals, it was a cluster of seals he's used to, but hasn't used in awhile. It doesn't end in ram, it ends in tiger. "Fire Style: Blazing Shuriken!" is what he says before taking a deep breath and releasing a rapid machine-gun style barrage of shuriken sized bolts of fire. He wanted to prove he doesn't need to be defended so much.
Zori's wires immediately react to the first pair of metal shards slapping them away, but when the second wave of metal shards comes his way. Zori hears Isuras words "Stop playing around" Zori intentionly moves his arm in the metal shards path as they stab through the sleeves of his hoody injuring his arm. As the blood rushes down to his hands from his wound, Zori hears "Come and face me if you wish to taste the ground" Zori grins wildly as his thoughts begin to fill up with all kinds of wicked things. Zori lifts his hand up to his face as he stares at the trail of blood that continues to very seldomly drip to the ground. Zori then quickly turns his head over to the Leader, with the look that says "Im going to kill you" Zori laughs maniacally as his wires lashes out at the tree the Leader was resting on to cut it down. As the tree begin to fall, Zori's wires rush upwards at its precious victim in pursuit to wrap the Leader up, the wires squeezing and twisting him if caught. Zori could not control himself any longer.
Isura sighed as Zori words rung in his ears wasting no time nor energy he would activate sharingan and five Isura appeared two made it got the leader and pulled him to safety while the other died in his place. While the last Isura held onto he man he spoke "resist and you'll die." Is stated as the real Isura lashed out with wire of his own trying to capture Zori while this is happening Isura is speaking rather sternly "Zori calm down before you do something that might jeopardize this mission." Isura focuses on him as his chakra echoed off him. "The orders where to keep one alive make sense to keep he leader yeah he'll hold more knowledge in which we can use later to do our job…you killing him just means trouble and paper hassle for me and Sho. Have 'that one' words means nothing to you?" Isura crossed his arms and glared at him facing him face to face.
Having expected to be able to draw his opponent out as they battled, Sho is caught even more off guard then his would be opponent. Isura's combination of high speed maneuvers and well timed strikes off balance bandits one by one, leaving them vulnerable long enough for his comrades to finish the job. Blazing shuriken bury themselves deep, cauterizing one bandit's wounds, but kill him all the same. He falls like one of his comrades from before, shrieking in pain until the impact with the ground silences him forever.
A similiar fate awaits Zori's opponents, or would have if not of Isura's timely intervention. Unfortunately, he could not save more. Zori's other attacker could not evade the falling tree in time, nor even cry out before his body is pulverized beneath so much timber. Sho stays aware after the initial shock of Kyuketsuki's refusal to follow orders through his beetles. To say he is angry at Zori, and actually appreciative of Isura's efforts would be somewhat of an understatement. He only stops glaring at Zori long enough to nod in appreciation to the Isura double. "Get him bound." He states curtly before turning his attention to the others. Kyuketsuki earns a brief look, but no reprimand as of yet. Instead, Sho motioned for the Uchiha to guard the prisoner in case the clones grasp is broken. This time, Sho would broker no argument or change of plans.
"Our destination isn't far from here… We shall set up a temporary camp for now. Once I've learned all I can from the prisoner, we will move on. Any deviation from my plans will not be tolerated. Is that understood?" Though he spoke to all, it is clear enough from his passing gaze who the words were meant for most. Assuming there aren't any other snags from the team, all but one of the components they sought is later picked up from the port. The team would discover through one of the locals that another had already bought every scrap of it from town. A woman bearing a similiar description to the one the bandit inevitably spoke of hiring his men to delay the team…