Date: May 15th, 2010
A Sunagakure team must pass through the Land of Waves to deliver medical supplies to Kirigakure
"Delivery through Land of Waves"
Land of Waves
Their first trek to deliver medical supplies to Kirigakure had been met with failure. The transport had only two low class shinobi guarding it. It seemed that not even a flag of peace had kept off bandits. In fact, it had only heralded of their intent. So Sunagakure arranged for a quicker escort that'd move with speed along the southern edge of the Land of Fire, farthest from Konoha, and up to the Land of Waves where Kirigakure had a secure sea route waiting. The journey had been uneventful, as they'd successfully travelled disguised as merchants, but as they entered the Land of Waves, Sora had cautioned them to be on their guard. It was a very short trip compared to their days of camping shortly and moving in long strides, but it would also be the most risky.
Why was Sora in charge of this, when any number of Jounin could have gone? It was for the fact she had some authority as clan head, and a natural ability to spot dangers coming from a mile off. Unfortunately, as they entered the Land of Waves, the air became much more humid and much less hot, making it more difficult for her hawk to soar without the hot air to push her up. She landed to rest more frequently, and now Sora looked a little curious bundled up under a cloak. It was summertime, but compared to Sunagakure, this place was a refrigerator.
To her team who'd been chosen for quickness, or at least the willingness to ride on a horse drawn cart until their butts grew sore, Sora says, "We've been a few hours in the Land of Waves. Our orders are to not engage in any of the battles at any cost. If we're attacked it will be justified in self defense, but no being the hero." As if to emphasize her words, a plume of dark smoke rises in the distance from what might be a burning building. Sora seems to ignore it and instead calls for a short break to give them a rest before they start the non-stop journey to the eastern end of the Land of Waves. All around are the signs of war no matter how you look at it: marching feet pounding the verdant grass to mud, the smells, the lack of meeting any travellers on the way. Most of all, anyone with a warrior's instinct can sense this is dangerous territory. Her hawk Megami wheels overhead for a few more minutes before settling on a stump beside Sora whose eating a piece of dried meat around a dead campfire.
Kichiro was uncomfortable in the Merchant's garb the way it was intended to be worn. However he reveled in the false character he created for the merchant. A portly, loud man with a ridiculous mustache. This disguise is all the more hillarious given the ninja's acrobatic tendencies. When the break is called, Kichiro bounds off the horse, arcing his jump and landing in a cartwheel before flopping into a sitting position on the ground. He sighs, "Hawk-san. How much further is it to our destination?" He flops dramatically onto his back as if all his strength had been drained to finally ask that question.
This had been, to date, the farthest Imota had been from home in a long time. It had been a mission that he had been prepared for obviously, many of the things he needed or would need being stashed in scrolls for summoning later. The trip had been indeed inventful, alot of times, walks along the roads by Imota, spent looking at the scenary, while keeping an eye on what had been the caravan's surroundings. The enviroment seemed to change the longer they walked, going from what had been the dryness, and barreness of the open desert, to what soon becam forest, and trees the likes of which Imota had only read of in books. Strange herbs, most of them known to be 10 times as poisonous as even the venom of snakes, drawing the boy's attention every now and again, before he would return to what had been his own duties. He had been a genin in truest form, taught well, and skilled enough to face an enemy but at the same time, knowing well the dangers that could be faced if he ever decided to just "wing" it.
He would keep this in mind as Sora san, a woman whom had proven invaluable against the Choir Bandits, would give them continual warning and brieffing along the way, his disguise in a simple gi, and that only, with his ankles and wrist wrapped for work, and a peasants hankerchief tied about his head being worn. The enviroment, in all its beauty would soon darken, its very nature being corrupted by the presence of what was now showing as war. Heads decapited, none discrimant of boy or girl, ninja or villager, and every part and home in between being destroyed or burning. Leftovers of kunai, craters from massive explosions, and blood… the smell thereof enough to attract all manner of scavenger, and, at the same time, give this worn torn land, a scent to go along with what had been in utterable chaos. This was death at its busiest time. Imota's expression… was none existant even in the face of such a horror, his mind, programmed to not feel such things as regret, sadness or even the most remote portions of compassion first hand. His only concern? An ambush hidden amongst the carnage, the enviroment being a perfect cover for what would be the worst fight they could probably have.
Hearing Kichiro's question, Imota, who had been on foot walking next to the wagon, would only keep an ear open, his eyes seeming to scout the area like that of… well… a hawk.
Sora looks wearily at Kichiro as he performs any number of acrobatics. He certainly got into the whole stealth part of the mission till he started acting like a complete comedian. She’d long since stopped trying to stamp it out of him. But she answers readily enough. “If we move as fast as intended it should take only half a day. This is a small, flat country.” She then reaches into her bag and takes out three scrolls and tosses one each to Kichiro and then Imota. “The wagon holds 1/4 of our supplies. Another quarter is in each of these scrolls. Hide it. Guard it. We have enough that if even one of these should get through, Kirigakure will have something to go off of."
They’d rest another half hour before Sora would stand up. Megami takes flight into the cool air. Then under half-light they’d start to move out. The sunset was gold and bloody red… rather fitting, given the environment. They’d have been moving only an hour, though, before they pass by rock formations that make a strange canyon. Megami was scouting ahead, and had passed over the canyon, so she would have failed to notice the strange movements within. A moment later just a hundred yards away three riders on horses coming galloping out, amazingly, from the rocky corridor. It would have been slanted so it was out of view, and now Sora suppresses a few choice words. From the way they’re angling, they’ve already been spotted. “Just ride,” she says. “Don’t stop, just move on and maybe they’ll pass.”%r%tFat chance. It’s soon that the nearest rider would reach them: a girl on a horse too big for her that was frothing from the mouth with exhaustion. She’d run towards them, waving her arms. “Help me!” she shouted, “please help me!” Sora on her part would give a sigh, and glance at the rest of her team. She wasn’t going to help, but she wasn’t going to forbid them doing something either. The girl is heading towards Imota, no doubt thinking he’s the most reliable looking one of the group.
They'd rest another half hour before Sora would stand up. Megami takes flight into the cool air. Then under half-light they'd start to move out. The sunset was gold and bloody red… rather fitting, given the environment. They'd have been moving only an hour, though, before they pass by rock formations that make a strange canyon. Megami was scouting ahead, and had passed over the canyon, so she would have failed to notice the strange movements within. A moment later just a hundred yards away three riders on horses coming galloping out, amazingly, from the rocky corridor. It would have been slanted so it was out of view, and now Sora suppresses a few choice words. From the way they're angling, they've already been spotted. "Just ride," she says. "Don't stop, just move on and maybe they'll pass."
Fat chance. It's soon that the nearest rider would reach them: a girl on a horse too big for her that was frothing from the mouth with exhaustion. She'd run towards them, waving her arms. "Help me!" she shouted, "please help me!" Sora on her part would give a sigh, and glance at the rest of her team. She wasn't going to help, but she wasn't going to forbid them doing something either. The girl is heading towards Imota, no doubt thinking he's the most reliable looking one of the group.
Kichiro in his goofy disguise pulls on the horses reins. He acts as if he were surprised by the girls passing and having trouble controlling the horse, but in fact he is wheeling the horse around to block the road. He whoahs and holds his feathered hat to his head, looking quite the comical sight. Of course, since he 'accidentily' blocked the thugs pursuit, they might not find it quite so funny.
This was not a good situation indeed. Imota, who had been walking, knew well that if Megami-dono had not seen the horsemen, then they would not have much time to defend themselves if they had been attacked. But thankfully, this lowly band of "travelers", had not been the target. A girl. Small, and frankly exhausted by what had probably endless running, would be being chased mercilessly. Imota logical thinking, had been to merely keep his own heading. These men, had been unknown to him, and most likely, would not probably be able to tell that his current three man cell had been a Sunagakure unit, delivering supplies to Kiri. So hey, if they wanted the girl… let them have the girl. Not so much a cold hearted tendency. Imota was not an evil person. But he was an obediant one, and frankly he had been ordered not to play the hero.
But then came Kichiro. My, this would have been quite improbable for the boy. But he and Kichiro had been quite different. Kichiro had been a follower of his instinct. Imota, had been a thinker. He would see the horst be pulled away, but know well what Kichiro had done. Imota would merely pat himself once, to check his scrolls, but other wise, anything else would have been unseen, the Sasaki clansmen, already making it a point to ask Kichiro why he had been making an effort to decrease the rate of success on this mission.
Sora doesn't know if she should sigh in exasperation when Kichiro…plays the hero. Do all her orders go through one ear and pass out the other? The bandit reins up hard, so hard that his horse rears and dumps him on the ground. The other bandit reins up, and wheels his horse around. He draws a sword, pointing it at Kichiro. "Traveller! Do not get in the way!" This would give the girl time to try and run over to Imota, sobbing, and hugging him tightly should he let her. Sora rolls her eyes at the whole scenario. She says loudly, "That's enough! Sir, what's wrong? Why are you following this girl?" She indicates the bleeding, sobbing villager.
The bandit scowls. "She's a thief," he says. "Trying to run away! You have no place here, you outsider, move on." Sora was inclined to do just that, but then all of a sudden a shadow descends from above and lashes not at the man but the horse. It's only a mild graze, but the flapping wings and loud cry of a hawk are enough to make the horse rear. Now there are two bandits dumped on the ground. But unlike the first he falls on his head and is knocked out cold.
Sora would have to have some words with Megami later. She's already suspecting the hawk /let/ her get this close. The girl cries, "That's no t-true! P-Please they've taken our village, and have k-k-k-killed my father and are taking the w-w-w-w-women and children into b-bondage! I-I escaped!" While she's saying this the first man would stand up, drawing a fistful of shuriken and send them flying in every direction, three in the direction of Imota and the girl, though only two would actually be aimed properly. Sora would say quietly, "Okay…take him down. Quickly."
Kichiro comicly falls sideways off his horse, narrowly avoiding the shiriken. He hits the ground and takes one roll, shedding his oversized and baggy robes before dashing back to the opponent, sliding under his horse before sweeping at his feet. He follows the sweep on the (hopefully) now prone victim by taking a handstand, then dropping a chakra charged axe kick to his chest. He looks around for a second. "you made me lose my hat!" He seems most frustrated by this.
Even a normally emotionless Imota had to let out a sight at this entire thing. Poor Sora,who had given orders not to play hero, was now being put into the predicament of having to negotiate on behalf of a mistake. This had gone to far, and would seem to go even farther as he would see the watch the large bird, in almost as fast a speed as the Shunshin no Jutsu, come swooping down and make mince meet out of an entire horse. Then came the trouble maker, Kichiro, who all willy-nilly, goes on an attack spree as he would began his incessive rolling and all, and began kicking the bandits, almost at random!
But that would not even be the icing on the cake. Imota had been managing well to saying and do nothing as the entire time, would watch the bandits, who were knocked off their horses, one of them anyway, then become hostile. Imota had been only trying to remain inactive, not wanting to have his own cover blown. But it would seem not to matter, as then the chased little girl would then cling to him, and then antagonize the bandits even further!! Ugh!!! Looks Imota had a bulleyes on himself, and now had to be involved. The shuriken being thrown, would prompt the boy to grab hold of the girl, and say, "Hold on.", in his droningly drab voice, before they would then vanish, once, then twice, and then once again, this time, leaving in their wake, a large rotten tree trunk. Imota would have flickered, appearing behind large tree nearby, only to leave the girl, and say, "If you want to live… stay here… and remain silent."
With a single flick of his wrist, a scroll would be taken out with his gear, which included his packs and the large shuriken he used, and while still in hiding, he would launch his large shuriken, along with two wind enhanced kunai, which would hide within its shadow.
The girl would indeed cling sharply to Imota, so hard he'd almost have trouble breathing. The bandit is hit with such a volley of attacks he simply drops down, bruised, broken, and bleeding. The girl would then release Imota with a sob, wiping her hands on her tattered dress and sniffling. Then she'd leap with surprising nimbleness onto the horse. And she'd smile tremulously at them. "Th-thank you so much," she says. "I-I…there's a friend hiding over there. Let me get him." Moments later Megami would swoop down and give a loud caw. Sora frowns and says, "You just spotted some bandits in caves? Hmm. Maybe they were the ones the girl spoke of…" The village girl gallops off towards the ravine, and it'd be quite immediately that Imota would probably notice the absence of his scroll. Well, that's what one gets for letting an unknown girl hug you for such a long time. Though the girl had been so good that no normal person would've been able to tell of their misfortune till she was no long gone. Turns out that the "bandits" were right after all…she was a pickpocket. And likely they'd never see her return.
Kichiro kipups to his feet, unaware of anything missing. he grins and stretches a little before turning to look for his costume. He gathers his robes up, then glances around. "where'd the girl go?"
Seeing the girl leave and everything seeming to die down, Imota would feel something missing. One of his scrolls. Then he would think back. He would then look to Kichiro, and then to Sora, as he would say drabbly. "One of my scrolls are missing. I am afraid that the probablity of truth being within whom had been our attackers….has increased. The girl must have stolen it upon contact." He would grab his remaining gear and after a handseal, it would be contained within another scroll, before he would then turn to Kichiro. "Kichiro…. the probability of our mission success depends on the obeying of orders. Why had you disobeyed? The affairs of the girl and the bandits were not our concern."
Sora smiles at Imota. And here she'd thought this guy didn't have a sense of humor! A girl stealing his scroll…wait… Her grin slowly fades as she realizes he's telling the truth. He's too humorless to lie. The pickpocket is already to the ravines and inside, when she hears Imotaprobably rightlyaccuse Kichiro. She says, "No time for that. Imota-san that was a very humane thing you did…and stupid. But a shinobi's foolishness is a team's foolishness, and so we'll work together to rectify this." She signals to Megami who would take flight. In the meantime she goes to the wagon and flicks the reins, urging the horse around the ravine. "It'd be a perfect place for a trap to head into that narrow corridor," she says. "We'll have Megami scout it out and wait for her return."
It wouldn't take long. Megami settles on the edge of the wagon and after a few moments of some strange exchange, Sora would say, "Yep. She's joined the rest of the bandits. Ten of them, very well hidden. We must get that scroll before they damage it." She urges her horse to go faster.
Soon they'd come up to a rocky wall, and Sora points to a narrow entrance half obscured by thickets and shrubs. But one could see the footprints leading there. She smiles then to Kichiro. "So, shinobi-san. Suggest a plan. Imota-san, you go after him."
Kichiro would blink at the revelation that he had been played. He looks to Imota, "I did follow orders… I did not attack except in self defense." he looks at the hawk, "but I won't go accusing the one who did strike first." He mock whispers an aside to Imota, "I think the bird outranks me." He bundles the disguise up for later and follows Sora until they get to the ravine entrance. He hops off his horse and place his hand to the ground, trying to feel through the vibrations of the chakra of the ground itself to identify their targets location.
Having been really not so much occupied by the talk of teamwork, Imota had been thinking of a way to find out how to get that scroll back. It had been a screen play for of his favorite books. He would not let this die, his typically emotionless face frowning into one of slight annoyance. He would look to Kichiro and say, "Nevermind this. We have to go to where Sora san has indicated. I have an idea of how we can work on flushing that girl out. However it will take some speed from one of us, and perhaps a small bit of accuracy on the part of Kichiro."
He would say this and look to Megumi, before he would look to the team leader. "Megumi-san. Falcons are known to fly at almost as fast 100 mphs. Do you think Megumi dono could do that in close quarters?" He would look to Kichiro, who would have been using his jutsu, and say, "Would you also be able to tell how the caves are made, Kichiro san? Cause I am thinking of this." With that, Imota would handseal, and within seconds, 6 clones would be at his side, all seeming to materialize from small whirlwinds.(wind clone) "Cave in the exits, except one. Allow the bandits to run out of that exit, and once they arrive…", the frown turning into a smirk.
Sora raises an eyebrow when Kichiro emphasizes he didn't attack. That horse he'd moved in front of the bandit was an accident, no doubt? When he mentions Megami though Sora does roll her eyes. That hawk…she'll have to make sure to apologize to the two unconscious fellos back there. At least the one who'd fallen off had been stirring when she last checked, hence why she could leave the both of them for a bit. She does nod slightly to Imota. Use the narrowness of the cave and the exit against them. "Megami says there is only one exit anyway," she says. "Unless another one exists underground." She looks to Kichiro. "What you just did…some earth detection jutsu? Do you think you can check to make sure there aren't any underground passageways? For them to get away?" She turns back to the cage, chewing her lip slightly. Her moves were aerial based, not made for caves and within walls. She shakes her head. "It'd be a good plan but it's too risky. I don't want that scroll damaged. We'll wait here for someone to come out by themselves, pounce them, and then that person will walk in as the imposter and get the scroll. Easy in and out." And so they'd wait in the bushes. They'd wait for an hour. At last a guy comes out rather urgently, heading straight for their hiding place. Not because he'd seen them but because nature called. Either way he is keeping a good eye out even as he goes for cover.
Kichiro nods. "I'm not so good at it as my teacher. if I can get closer I can give you a lay out of the cave." During the wait Kichiro takes time and uses the tremor sense to read the cave as best he can, giving a rough lay out. Number of exits, visible traps, etc. When the bandit finally makes his appearance, he glance to Imota. "your jutsus might be a little more… subtle."
Hearing the plan, Imota would nod, and dispel his clones before he say, "Subtle. I can do that." He would then handseal, and, using the replacement technique, bring the man bandit right to the group. Poor bandit mine as well been put into a den of lions. He would then be seen blazing through handseals and within moments, have henge'd into the man's appearance immediately. Next stop!! Into the caves!!
"Tie up this guy," Sora says to Kichiro, indicating the downed bandit. "To a tree. Make sure he can't get outta it, and gag him." In the meantime she keeps a steady look out for Imota. Inside the cave Imota would see people who were bandits…and natives. Sometimes war reduced you to doing terrible things. Fortunately, the scroll is of little interest to them. It lays half unrolled. It was obviously observed but not understood, as the Jounin who'd stored the items in that scroll hadn't indicated what it was in writing or in kanji. The young girl they'd met is laughing and chatting with a boy her age. Some of the makeup she'd applied hastily to look injured is smeared. When Imota enters a few greet him, but he'd go unnoticed as they're looting through various things they'd mobbed from other passing people. It just so happened those last two had managed to catch the pickpocket in the act and try to stop her.
Fortunately, due to Imota's stealthy henge he's able to take the scroll without a second glance. It'd be the leftover turkey that would likely get him in a brawl if he tried to hog it for himself. And then they'd be on their way…to apologize to the men they'd beaten up.