Date: June 17, 2016
Shinobu and Shugo head off on a simple delivery mission. Their priorities shift however, when they come across a complication in their mission.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
The edge of the Land of Fire
Missions come and missions go. Some are hard some are easy! This one…well, it's two Genin going out on it so it can't be that bad! Indeed it was bad in a sense. A letter was to be delivered to a village at the eastern border of the Land of Fire. While this is normally no big deal it becomes one when the Genin carry the true letter and a group of Chuunin carry a fake one. They expect some resistance, but apparently think they will go for the Chuunin. Makes sense, right? Well regardless, Shinobu and Shugo were to receive the letter and meet at the gates. Who's leading this show? Well that's up to them since it's really only the two of them…
A mission! Shinobu feels like she hasn't gone on one in some time, which may or may not be true. There have been a few unofficial ones in the mix, after all… The girl would show up at the gates, taking the letter that was offered since she was just a bit earlier than the Nara, apparently. Kame would look more excited than her human partner, the larger pup yipping and bouncing around excitedly.
Poster's note: the ability shown in the following pose has no basis and should not be used going forward.
Shugo was too lazy to show up on time and with Hige finally showing up it was amazing the Nara was willing to show up at all. Still, riding on a mass of shadows with his legs crossed, Shugo was making his way toward the gates while scratching at his hair. As a yawn left from his throat, Shugo blinked slowly a few times and tried looking forward to see where the others for the mission were. He was a bit surprised when the person he saw there was, "Hello, Shinobi." Shugo said before he'd uncross his legs to slowly step off of the shadowy mass beneath him.
Shinobu would wave silently, waiting for Shugo to come within speaking range before saying, "Umm… We just… Have to get… to the border. There're Chuunin ahead…" ~And they'll be acting as decoys for this letter that has to be delivered! We have the real letter, but no one else should know that!~ Kame would yip. The pup was using a bit of Genjutsu on Shugo so that he could understand her, so hopefully he would allow it… "Umm… So… Should we go…?" she asks, sounding hesitant. Hopefully everything would go as planned and she and Shugo wouldn't have to fight at all…
Shugo nodded at the information. "I guess you're the leader since you made it here first. I'll follow your lead." The Nara explained as he let his shadow melt back into a shady form at his feet and lifted him parasol from the ground to snap it open and rest it over his shoulder as he waited. "If there are chuunin running on ahead the'll probably eat up a lot of the attention so we shouldn't need to worry too much about someone coming after a pair of genin besides bandits and the occasional wild beast." Shugo reasoned to himself.
That's the plan at least, right? Hopefully? Now where's the fun in that. Once the trio sets out however things would be pretty nice. The sun was shining despite the season and while it didn't do much to warm the chill it was certainly nicer than rain, sleet, or snow. The Chuunin would've left a good thirty minutes before the Genin so that any trouble would hopefully find them. For the beginning of the trip however things seem to be in the clear. No trouble thus far!
Shinobu would nod quietly, taking the lead and making her way to the border. Kame stuck to her side, and both of them kept their senses on high alert as they traveled. Thankfully, nothing seemed to be moving at all except for them, and Shinobu hoped it would stay like this for the rest of the mission. She would still prepare herself for trouble, of course, but she was always hoping for the best.
Shugo worked to rush along with Shinobu while keeping the parasol held against his shoulder while concentrating his chakra and gathering the energy into his shadow to blacken it and begin drawing his shadow up onto himself rather than down along the ground at his feet. "So how long have you been training with Genjutsu?" The Nara questioned with a bit of a raise to his brow while looking at the Inuzuka girl. Not as feral looking as he was used to, but that wasn't a bad thing.
"Umm… Since… I got here… I guess…" Shinobu would reply, gathering a bit of chakra as she moved along with Shugo. Kame was focused on the path ahead to make sure that no trouble was coming their way. The girl would glance over to Shugo. "Umm… … How… is your ninjutsu coming..?" she would ask, struggling to make conversation since they were just traveling and nothing was going on.
"Since you got here?" He questioned with a raised brow, looking at Shinobu and tilting his head a bit to one side. "Did you not grow up here?" Shugo asked as he glanced from Shinobu to look away and glance off into the forests to see if there was possibly anything interesting to take note of and spark some life into their conversation while they raced along. "My Ninjutsu's coming along pretty well, I'm branching out into Medical and seal techniques now."
Of course that's a discussion Shinobu is likely to not want to have. Good thing that she'd pick up the scent of smoke in the air then. And not the kind of smoke that comes with a cozy fire in a fireplace. This smoke is far less dense and far more pungent as it's the smoke of flesh having been burned rather recently. Up ahead they would find the bodies of the Chuunin sent out ahead of them, burned to a crisp though no one else is around at the moment. Through the stench the Inuzuka might pick up a faint scent that someone else had been there before, but no longer.
Shinobu sort of fell quiet when Shugo asked on her past, instead just paying more attention to her surroundings. Yip! Kame would smell the smoke first because she was paying a bit more attention rather than talking. ~Smoke! And … Bodies? It smells yucky…~ Both Kame and Shinobu wrinkle their noses at the scent, but they press on. ~Be careful…~ Shinobu's voice would ring out through Genjutsu. ~We don't know what happened…~ When they find the bodies, though, she would pale a bit. ~Uh-oh… I think we might be in trouble…~ Kame would yip, sniffing around to try and figure out if she can catch a trail.
The warning about the smells wasn't a comforting thing but as they saw the bodies, Shugo frowned a bit more deeply. Shugo would come to a stop not far from the bodies and frown slightly while looking down at them and adjusting his parasol. If he could smell the burning bodies, the Nara didn't show a reaction while looking down at them and then crouching and reaching forward to lift a stick from the ground so he could try checking what little clothing they had and see their bodies beneath to see if there were signs of markings on their skin that might explain some other form of trauma before the fire.
There were few other injuries. A few small bladed strikes, likely kunai. Whatever happened they didn't get much of a chance to put up a fight since their items that were still intact had never even been pulled free, signifying the good chance it was an ambush. The scent that lead away from the burning bodies was not covered by anything but the smell of burned flesh. It led off the trail into the forest.
~I found a trail! Should we follow it?~ Kame would send to the other two, the pup glancing back at them. Shinobu would look to Shugo with a small frown. "Umm… Did you… Find anything?" she asks hesitantly, looking around at the bodies and thinking over what their options were as of now. They could try and chase down whoever did this, or they could keep going… She wasn't sure if she very much liked either option, but they couldn't just sit here.
"Small wounds, nothing that killed them so I would guess it was whatever burned them." Shugo explained before stepping back and looking over the area before looking back to Shinobu and shaking his head. "I don't think we should follow this trail, it isn't a part of our mission and it could be a trap." Shugo explained calmly while looking down at the bodies and slowly twirling his parasol as he thought. "If they were in lying in wait for them and strong enough to beat three chuunin we should be cautious from now on. They might not be gone for very long if they left the bodies out like this." He told Shinobu, though he wasn't the leader. It was up to her.
An explosion sounds in the distance as whoever had taken the false scroll finally opened it. There had been a number of paper bombs attached. Did it kill them? Or did they now know they'd been had and that the real scroll was somewhere else?
Well, if they didn't decide to come after Shinobu and Shugo before, they were probably raring to go… "Umm… We should hurry…" Shinobu says, turning to glance up at the trees. "… Be stealthy…" she says simply, leaping into the trees to try and pick up the pace a bit. She kept her steps light as possible to try and not leave as much of a trace, too, because she had extra bad feelings… Maybe she should head away from the explosion, too… >.>;
Shugo let his shadows reach from within his garments while kicking off into the darkness of the forests to begin blending into the shade and shadow of the trees while moving along the ground level. He'd let Shinobu move up high and keep an eye on the branches from below in case something else chose to use the trees for thier own movements. That… or he might just be too lazy to actually go up into the trees and try hopping from branch to branch today. There was never much of a give away as to if he was doing something because he couldn't bother to do something else, or was actually thinking things through for a change.
It takes a little while before there's any indication of a problem, but much as expected the person who'd had the bad luck to find false scroll was chasing down the shinobi. She was a little faster then they were and she was really pushing it too. How she'd managed to find them was a good question, but since it was down the path…well, there's only so many places to go.
Shinobu would skid a bit to a halt when Kame barked to alert both her and Shugo of someone up ahead. ~Up ahead… Should we try to surprise them, or is it a bit too late?~ Kame would ask the pair, sniffing carefully. Shinobu would simply gather a bit more chakra for an actual fight. "Umm… Maybe… we should just brace… ourselves…" she says, keeping to her branch and glancing down to check on Shugo.
Shugo would let the shadows unfold from around himself as he crouched low in the brush not far from where Shinobu and Kame were. "If they are in the way we should try to avoid contact but if they persist we won't have a choice besides removing the obstacle to the best of our ability." Shugo reasoned in a calm tone while trying to peer ahead of their location to see what he could notice in the distance from his current location. Eyes on the enemy would help his decision in how best to handle a confrontation. "One person will be fine however as their numbers grow, our odds of successfully handling them also drop.
They would only feel the presence of a single person ahead and that person wasn't even waiting. Or being nice! Instead of waiting for them to continue on down the path the woman sends a ball of fire to start smashing and burning through the trees down the pathway, intending to fry anyone that might be coming up that way. Who knows if she even realizes the shinobi are there. She could just be burning stuff hoping they might be.
~Watch out!~ would be the warning Kame gives as both she and Shinobu jump out of the way of the fireball. ~Try to go around her. If she persists, we'll have to knock her out somehow.~ Shinobu would say via the Genjutsu, keeping the link with Shugo. She would head to the right of the attacking person up ahead, trying to find a path around her without drawing her attention. If that fireball happened to be by chance, then they needed to still be stealthy…
A raccoon scurried from the brush in the wake of the flame, dashing through the bushes to disappear into the shadows of the forest in a panic. Dipping lower into the darkness and beginning to slip along through the forest using his shadow to try bypassing that person who displayed their affinity for chakra use, Shugo let his transformation break and returned to normal. At least that show of power told it most likely wasn't a form of oil trap that was used to burn the chuunin. The person was most likely very strong if they could take down three Chuunin with just that so it was no doubt best not to get a feel of that fireball's heat.
"I know you're there!" The woman is shouting from a clearing on part of the path. "Leave the scroll behind and leave and I'll let you live. If you try to oppose me then I'll have to kill you like the others. Make a smart choice and bring it to me."
Shinobu frowns a bit, trying to think. Maybe … ~I'll try to distract her!~ Kame would say to Shugo and Shinobu. ~You two try to get to the border. I'll catch up when I can.~ Shinobu doesn't really like the plan, and she'd argue with Kame silently since they were right next to each other. In the end, though, Kame would focus on the person up ahead, trying to cast a Genjutsu on the woman so that all she could see are puppies! Cute and adorable puppies that she would just want to pet! If the Genjutsu took hold, then Shinobu and Shugo could rush forward without any resistance. At least for a little bit.
Shugo wasn't eager to go along with the plan of leaving someone behind, especially a ninken that most often worked with their partner rather than alone. It was troubling to the point that the Nara waited from a position that he could see what was happening while remaining in the shadows so that, if needed, he could either flee the area or close the gap between himself and the woman quickly. He'd need to learn a genjutsu similar to the canine if he wanted to reply to a conversation in the future though for now, he could do little besides silently wait and prepare to move at the first sign of an opening, whatever it may be.
The woman doesn't seem to be even slightly distracted by the genjutsu and really all it does is give her a direction for her attacks. "Ha! There you are! If you won't give it up then you will die!" So nice she is yes? She flashes through hand seals, takes a deep breath, then exhales a barrage of bullets of fire right at where the pup was.
Shinobu and Kame would take off to disappear from the incoming barrage of fire, the pair likely over-exerting themselves to avoid it, but better than being burnt to a crisp. ~I have a feeling we're not going to do well… We should just try to get as close to the border as possible. Shugo-san, do you think you can set up some sort of trap for her with your shadows? Force her to stab herself or something? In a lethal manner…~ At this point, it's a bit difficult to figure out who's talking along the communication channel since their voices are sort of bouncing off each other and they switch off speaking every now and then. The Inuzuka duo have essentially fallen into a mindset where they barely need to think in order to work in sync.
The Nara wasn't very pleased to see the person's reaction to the genjutsu but those flames were too much of a display for him to make a quick judgement. Forming a few quick hand seals the Nara began shifting his shadows about and letting them begin to fold in on each other while he glanced toward where he assumed the Inuzuka pair would be. Raising an arm from his shadows and to a barely visible point, he gave a thumbs-up to the plan. He'd not lower his arm down but instead begin drifting backwards into the forests and off the beaten path where there was a higher concentration of shadows for him to work with. He couldn't exactly talk without giving up his position for now so he hoped that Shinobu would see the display and keep out of sight along with him while he worked on his trap. The first aprt of the trap was to snap a twig in his direction, a few meters to his right and deeper into the forests.
The woman squints angrily into the forest where her fire had gone, trying to see if she'd managed to fry some of the troublesome shinobi. She stalks towards where she'd fired off those bullets but stops, head snapping to the side when she hears the twig. "Got you!" She shouts, more fire shooting into the forest where the sound had come from. Obviously she's not very skilled at finding where people are hiding. But she's not a pushover either.
Shinobu and Kame would take a moment to regroup. Their senses were honed enough that they could figure out where Shugo was hiding. When he breaks a twig to take the woman off his path and draw the woman into a trap, she would nod every-so-faintly in approval. The girl can't really do anything, though, for the time being. She didn't want the woman to notice them… Or not fall for the trap. Shinobu would try to just stay where she was, healing some of the injuries that they sustained from having to move so quickly.
"Hot!" came Shugo's voice from near the fires, a bit distorted from the flames he was pretending to have been burned by. A clone had been formed to rush from behind one of the trees and dash deeper into the forests, fleeing the flames while Shugo himself lurked in the shadows not far off to observe the situation and to continue layering the shadows in the brush as he gathered up his chakra. The person was showing off their lack of caution in the use of their fire nature and the bodies further up the road were a testament to the strength the woman had. Letting his shadows blacken his form entirely, Shugo worked on drawing up as much of his chakra as he could. The black tendrils reached from the darkness surrounding him to slowly crawl along the ground, claiming shadows as they moved through the brush to expand the Nara's reach.
The woman smiles wickedly at the voice of the burning and when she catches sight of the clone she blasts it with more fire before she starts moving towards the area through the trees. "Foolish kids would've survived if you'd just handed over the scroll," she announces, not that she thinks anyone is around to here. Maybe hjust to make herself feel better?
Shinobu would move when the woman was shouting a bunch, making her way away from Shugo and trying to keep behind the woman in case she shows a blind spot of sorts. It was difficult to time her movements with the stranger, but not impossible. Though she does wonder about all the shouting, and she can't help but sniff around to see if there was another scent on the wind that might be hostile.
Shugo's clone would disperse as it fell into the bushes from the fire though Shugo was quick to form another just a few trees away from the last, sending that one running off to its left just a bit while he sent his blackened shadows forward in an attempt to cut the woman off. If the woman weren't careful in her persuit, the flat tendrils of shadow would be lying in wait along the ground to begin piercing through her limbs. He didn't want to kill her but those flames seemed to be her primary method of attack - a few flicks of his hand seals and tendrils were drawing marked seals from his haori in preparation.
A scowl crosses the womans features as she sees the clone running off again. But she knows she hit the last one, she'd seen it, which meant something else was going on. She stopped where she was and looked around slowly, eyes narrowed as she tried to determine what was going on. "You think I'm a fool? I'm not going to let you live to see another day so I hope you're ready."
Shinobu would make a few hand seals, nudging a bit of a Genjutsu into the woman's mind if possible. The successful Genjutsu would make her hear something off to the side of where Shugo was. A sound that sounded like a dog that accidentally barked after tripping. Hopefully that would draw her attention from Shugo and his work to trap her long enough that she really could be trapped.
The Nara had started to climb from within his shadows now that he had everything prepared though when the woman stopped in her tracks, Shugo frowned a bit as she wasn't going for the secondary clone. It seemed this person was slightly smarter than he gave her credit for. Still, he wasn't out of tricks, in fact, his last piece of the trap was crawling into place around the woman while he looked for an opening. He'd only need a moment in order to launch the tendrils from his shadows to try spearing through the woman and anchoring her to the environment. As long as he could trap those arms he'd not have to worry about her lobbing about more fireballs. Right?
Distractions abound as the woman is focused on trying to find them and gives in to the genjutsu, her head snapping to the side as this time a large ball of fire shot out to where the sound had come from. Even if it was all in her mind. It puts her back to Shugo however as she starts walking towards where she'd just roasted another portion of the forest.
Shinobu would breathe a soft sigh of relief when the woman makes her way to the opposite side. The illusion would continue, of course, as Shinobu's voice would yell out when 'Kame' was caught by the flames, as indicated by a quick yelp. 'Shugo, hurry up with that trap…' she urges in a separate Genjutsu as she tries to keep the woman distracted.
The Nara watched closely from his position and waited for the right chance before springing his trap. As quickly as he could, his shadowy tendrils would lash out from their position in the bushes and along the ground to try grasping hold of the woman and spearing through her hands in an effort to restrain her and prevent hand seals from being made before she had a chance to try resisting the strike. To his credit, Shugo took to silence for the time, not wanting to give away his own position while watching the woman to see how she'd react.
Distractions abound as the woman is focused on trying to find them and gives in to the genjutsu, her head snapping to the side as this time a large ball of fire shot out to where the sound had come from. Even if it was all in her mind. It puts her back to Shugo however as she starts walking towards where she'd just roasted another portion of the forest.(re)
Shinobu would breathe a soft sigh of relief when the woman makes her way to the opposite side. The illusion would continue, of course, as Shinobu's voice would yell out when 'Kame' was caught by the flames, as indicated by a quick yelp. 'Shugo, hurry up with that trap…' she urges in a separate Genjutsu as she tries to keep the woman distracted.(re)
The Nara watched closely from his position and waited for the right chance before springing his trap. As quickly as he could, his shadowy tendrils would lash out from their position in the bushes and along the ground to try grasping hold of the woman and spearing through her hands in an effort to restrain her and prevent hand seals from being made before she had a chance to try resisting the strike. To his credit, Shugo took to silence for the time, not wanting to give away his own position while watching the woman to see how she'd react.(re)
The shadows pierce through her hands and the woman lets out a loud curse as she tries to break free from the shadows. "That's it you little spies! As soon as I get out of this you're all dead!" Unfortunately for her she's used a lot of chakra in the multiple attacks against not only the Genin, but the previous Chuunin as well. Perhaps she'd put a little too much 'oomf' behind those attacks when it wasn't really necessary. Regardless it makes it rather difficult for her to escape though it doesn't stop her from trying.
Shinobu and Kame send a message to Shugo once it seems the woman is captured. ~What do you think… Kill or capture?~ the pair would ask the Nara. Of course, while they were waiting for a reply, Kame would rush into the woman, knocking her down while Shinobu thumped the woman in the back of the head to try and render her unconscious. Better unconscious than fighting, after all, and they weren't sure how long Shugo could hold her for, so better safe than sorry.
The Nara brought up his shadows that were dragging his seals to wind around the woman before he triggered those seals, letting them leech the chakra from the woman quite painfully while he watched her expressionlessly. When Shinobu and Kame came to assist in weakening the woman, Shugo glanced to them for a moment before looking back to the woman. "It would be better to capture her. Killing her gives us no lead on what organization she works with… Aside from examining the corpse anyway." Shugo explained in a flat tone while allowing his shadows to slowly wisp off of his form.
Between the leeching tags and the leaping Inuzuka the woman is quickly brought to an unconscious state and slumps against the shadows holding her. On the bright side they're almost near their delivery point! The shinobi manage to deliver the message without a problem and return to Konoha with their brand new captive! Now to find some place to put them with the police department blown up…