Date: June 23, 2012
During an impromptu training session, a stranger from another villager approaches several Sunagakure shinobi to acquire their assistance in helping repair a caravan stranded in the desert. Gathering a willing few, the sand ninja set out to help this stranger in distress, and encounter some beasts that bite off more than they can chew.
"Deserts & Caravans & Wolves - Oh My!"
Training Fields - Sunagakure; Desert - Sunagakure
Training Fields [Sunagakure]
This training area is an open field surrounded by large rock formations that help keep the harsh winds of the desert from just erasing it from existence. The field is actually divided into four major areas. The main area is used by all ninja of Sunagakure regardless of rank. There are many training posts, a few obstacle courses as well as a number of sparring circles for everyone to use.
The other three areas are set up to better cater to the needs of ninja of different ranks. They are all accessible by three paths that snake through some of the rock formations and lead to them. There's one set up for students, which is also used to test students intending to graduate as Genin. Another area has been primarily set up for Genin usage, even though some Chuunin can usually be seen there as well and finally there's an area set up for anyone of with the rank of Chuunin or higher.
All three of those specialized areas mimic the challenges found in the general training area, except the challenges found in them are customized for the appropriate ranks.
South - (S) [Ninja Academy]
December in Sunagakure. For most it seemed a colder time of year. To outsiders though it was still a desert. The sun still beat down, but the temperature was noticeable different. Most of the people in the village dressed slightly warmer. Even some of the shinobi did. Keiji on the other hand remained the exact same. The boy wore his black chuunin vest, hood and face mask.
Despite the sun being out right now, the boy stands in the middle of the training fields overseeing the training of Sunagakure's shinobi. There are at least three areas he keeps focusing on. The first is a group of kids trying to walk up the rock wall that protects the training fields from the elements. The second is a group of children practicing the kunai toss on a group of dummies. Then there is the last group, which seem to be older children practicing their taijutsu skills on each other.
Zalosu walked into the training area, noting each of the groups that were training. He had sent a missive to Kazeodori, requesting that he showed up here for some further training. Slowing as he'd spy Keiji, a smile touched his lips as he'd walk over to the other chuunin. Stopping to the side, about 10 feet away so as to not get in Keiji's personal space, a nod was given in recognition. "Greetings, Keiji-san. I have a request for you, if I may?" Zal continued his scanning of the younger shinobi as he hesitated, trying to figure out how to put it properly. "I've gotten a new genin on my team. He's a bit of tai and ninjutsu. Would you mind showing him some pointers on more specifics with Taijutsu? It's not exactly a strong suit for me."
Had Zalosu perhaps been paying as much attention as his Chuunin counterpart to the activities of the youths in the yard, he might have noticed Kazeodori climbing the rock wall with other children. Such an error is certainly forgivable, however, seeing as how the Genin is (instead of his normal garb) wearing a pair of slacks, a button-down shirt, and has his hair pulled tightly into a ponytail. More over, he is not - as with the others - attempting to use chakra attached to the base of his feet to ascend the slippery slope. Rather, he is trying to climb it, though by no means as normally as one might expect. Taking a cue from his perfomance with the travelling troupe, Kazeodori has decided that, if he can juggle shuriken with the manifestation of wind, perhaps he can also manifest enough wind to cling himself to the rock face. Like a suction cup.
Keiji offered a nod to Zalosu as he spoke. "Sure. I am always eager to help. This student of yours uses both taijutsu and ninjutsu if I heard you correct. Does he use a specific element?" Keiji asked. His dark pupils glanced about until he spotted the unusual climber. It was relatively easy to make out the climber compared to the others.
Keiji then raised a finger and pointed towards the young boy. "There is an odd one. I give him credit for not taking the normal path, but that just seems… unique. What do you think of his actions? Does that type of jutsu actually have any practical uses in non simulated battle?" Keiji had no idea the boy whom had caught his attention was the student in question.
Zalosu would look towards where Keiji pointed and laugh, shaking his head slightly. "Hai.. that is unusual.. that is also the genin that I speak of. He's.. unique." Zal glanced to Keiji with a grin. "He's a wind user. I'm guessing after our last mission, he's trying to find other uses for his element.. Although, I'm not sure that'll really be helpful anywhere else.." Looking back to the boy on the wall, he'd take a deep breath and use some chakra to increase the volume of his voice. "Kazeodori!! Front and Center!!"
Ah, the grace of timing, bound with such unfortunates that we can, as people, deem them by a single, explainable, shrug-worthy word: accidents. It just so happened that Kazeodori - with steps as reminiscent and hesitant as an infant's first - had found himself a few feet up the wall (that would make him horizontal, of course). Upon hearing the calling of his name, however, his head would cock back, his eyes would find Zalosu upside-down, his attention would falter, and he would fall - with a skip of a yelp - back-first onto the sand below. Oh, but the foibles of the young; and oh, their ability to disregard them all. With but a cough (and a groan), the young Genin is up, slowing padding over to the two Chuunin watching him every step of the way, his hand rubbing at the back of his head.
"C'mon, what's with the yelling? It's not even a training day."
Well that was a surprise for Keiji. He had never been asked to help a wind user before. None the less, he was happy do so. He even smiled slightly under his mask until the boy took a fall. Though it did not seem to be that horrible of a fall, it was not real graceful. "Interesting…" Keiji stated upon watching the boy crash.
Once the boy was front and center, Keiji simply waited for the older Chuunin to introduce him. He had no desire to cause conflict by trying to step in and hold the reigns on the situation without at least having the boy's sensei explain the situation.
Zalosu just looked at Kaze for a moment. He'd sigh softly and reach into a small pocket on his cloak to pull out a copy of the missive he had sent to Kaze. "Actually, it is. I sent this to you via the messangers. I'm guessing you missed it, hmm?" Zal would put it away with a shake of his head. "No matter. You are training now. This is Shippodoku Keiji. He's much better versed in Taijutsu then I am. Listen to him, he'll help you well with your training." Zal would glance to Keiji then with a nod of his head. "Go ahead. Kaze-san will listen.. mostly."
"Yeah, sorry, didn't get it," says the Genin, tugging at the ponytail tight behind his head, his eyes casting themselves down, to meander along once again the modern, respectable attire he's wearing.
"I was at my grandmother's. She's so booooooooring."
It is at such times - times such as these - that Kazeodori often forgets (perhaps never even knows) the range of rank and the respect that is desired, sometimes demanded, from those of a station above his own. Apathy, however, is a thing that engulfs as the ocean, as often leaves room for nothing but itself. The young boy, upon having explained himself away, and having been introduced to the shrouded figure standing before him, offers a slight bow of the head, before pointing at Keiji's face.
"What's with the mask?"
Keiji nods his head after he is introduced and given control of the situation. He starts by answering the genin's question first. "The Shippodoku clan is a clan of assassins. I have not shown my face since shortly after the Chuunin Exams." Of course anyone who was in the village at the time of the exams would have heard Keiji's name since he did win the tournament portion of the exams. "I am a master of stealth and taijutsu."
The young Chuunin's dark pupils scan over the boy momentarily. "Attack me with whatever you have. Come at me with the full intent to kill me. Nothing less."
Zalosu would nod when Keiji handled Kaze's unusual questions. Stepping back a few steps, he'd cross his arms over his shoulders while watching the two handle the situation. A quick scan of the surrounding training areas was also done, to make sure none of the other training shinobi were running into any potential issues. While the two started the throw down, he'd head over to the rock wall, to give a few pointers to some of the genin there on how to best control their chakra flow to go up the wall.
Shuuren arrives from Ninja Academy.
Shuuren has arrived.
Well, today has just been a bloody eventful day for Shuuren. Not only has the team he hired to drive the caravan into the village proven themselves to be completely incompetent, but the morons crashed it out in the middle of the freaking desert. Due to this, he cut their payment in half since they weren't able to fully deliver the goods, and the rest of what he was going to pay them for the delivery is instead going to Sunagakur to pay for a small group of shinobi to go out into the desert with him and retrieve the caravan and its contents. Oh well, at least this will help with village relations or something. Really, there's probably a lot of untapped business in a place like this he could find if he sticks around for a while… But first things first!
Stepping into the area, the Jounin Medic Nin of Kumogakure spots what seems to be sparring session starting up. He tilts his head slightly in thought as he glances between the three shinobi in the area, letting a low 'hmm'. He says nothing to draw attention to himself for now, simply waiting to see how things go in the spar.
Kazeodori stares at Keiji, unblinking, as the shadowy man makes a most unusual request.
The Genin looks, again, down the face of his clothes, from the dull shine of his shoes to the press of his trousers to the ivory buttons of his shirt. He runs a hand along the top of his head, pressing further down the hair that his mother so tightly culled back. Kazeodori looks once more to Keiji, in his stark robes and surely humidifying mask.
"You can't be serious. My mom would kill me if I messed up these clothes. Seriously, she would stake me to the ground."The young Genin takes a few steps back, shaking his head with his arms held up, his palms extended out.
"Ain't no way, man. I don't really know you, firstly. Secondly, she. Would. Kill. Me."
Kazeodori folds his arms across his chest, still shaking his head.
"Ain't no way."
Keiji frowned beneath his mask. He had not yet noticed the spectator, but that did not matter to him. He was in the middle of a lesson. "You are a shinobi of Sunagakure. You are willing to try an experimental technique to travel up a wall, but you are not willing to attack me at the risk of ruining your clothing?" After a moment of thought, Keiji extended his hand to reveal the sharp pincer guard on the edge of his finger. "There are only two ways for this to occur. You can attack me and I can judge your ability…. or I can attack you and judge your ability. Since you do not like the first option we must be going with the second. That or are you going to attack me now?"
Zalosu finished with giving some help to the ones climbing the wall. He'd glance back at Keiji and Kaze to have to hide a smile behind a hand. Yep, figures that Kaze would have something to make the plan go.. oddly. Shaking his head, he'd walk back over towards the others, only then noticing the observer. Studying the new fellow for a moment, Zalosu would shrug and walk over to him, a small nod of his head given. "Greetings. You are not from Sunagakure, hai? Is there something we might be able to help you with here?" Zalosu was fairly relaxed with the forigner in the area, afterall, if he got this far, then he must be deemed ok by the guards of the village, or at least under watch by those much better than he.
As one of the boys seems to back down from the fight, Shuuren snickers a bit and shakes his head. Of course, the higher ranked of the two seems to have little patience for this. "I'm sure there is training gear somewhere around here that you can change into," the smooth, diplomatic voice of the Medical Ninja rings out as he glances between the two. "If he hurts you too badly, I could always heal you." As a third shinobi approaches him, Shuuren turns his head to him and gives a nod in return. "Hai. I'm Nagamura Riku, a Medical Ninja from Kumogakure, but I'm here as a businessman today. I came by to see who might be interested in a quick mission out into the desert. It seems the fools I hired to drive my caravan here have crashed it, and the goods it was carrying were to be delivered to this village.It won't be anything too difficult, a few hours rather than days in a mission as one might be acustomed to. Who might you be?"
Of course, one might wonder how a guy who's probably only about seventeen can afford all this. Then again, the suit he's wearing doesn't look cheap.
By the time Shuuren introduced himself, Kazeodori had already been rolling up his sleeves; had already been muttering out loud like a train rolling through the distance, "You know what, that's fine, but let me tell you, these clothes get ruined, these shoes get scuffed, and it ain't me who's gonna catch a beatin'. Oooooh no. I'm gonna tell her it was all his fault, and he made me do it, and he was a stranger, and-"
Kazeodori's head jerks up.
Obviously, the youth had already prescribed Shuuren's first words to mindless drivel or useless background noise, but like a child throwing a tantum, there was - as it were - a key word which would cause such ceaseless complaining to, in fact, cease. Kazeodori's look of alarm, of disbelief, of scrunched-face hatred which he had so gallantly worn through his preparations for Keiji, dismiss themselves with nary a blink as he approaches the fashionably dressed stranger with his hand already outstretched. "Name's Kazeodori. Pleasure to meet you."
To Keiji it really did not matter what exactly the boy was wearing. If he had stopped through a village they would not stop burning it so he could change his attire. Chaos and conflict did not wait for fashion. As soon as the boy seemed distracted by the arrival of the stranger, Keiji vanished beneath the earth. Soon his hand would be reaching up around Kazeodori's anklet. He was attempting to pull him down into the earth so that he would be forced to pay attention. Afterwards Keiji appeared from behind him.
Zalosu glanced over as Keiji would pull Kaze into the ground. A small shake of his head was given. "Kaze-san, focus. Keiji is your opponent, defend yourself, hai?" Looking back to Shuuren, Zalosu would bow formally to him, "Kuroki Zalosu. I'm sure we can help you with the mission. You have already done the neccessary paperwork to obtain our services, so this is offical, hai?" Zal would straighten up to look towards Shuuren curiously, noting the suit as well as the casual confidence that he has which is well beyond what most their age would have. A small nod and he'd glance over at the other two. "Keiji-san? Make it fast so we can set off on this mission. Kaze-san.. you should always be prepared. You're going in what you're dressed in, and you'll take responsability for it at home."
As the boy being challenged turns his way, Shuuren blinks and says, "Eh, kid, I wouldn't-" As expected, the senior officer makes his move, yanking the boy down into the ground and getting a light chuckle out of the Jounin. "Yes, a mission," he says before turning his eyes back to Zalosu. "Correct. If you three would like to be my the ones on my payroll today, it could be a quick way to get paid today with fairly minimal risk." Glancing back to Keiji and Kaze, he smirks slightly. "Once the lesson is done."
Scarecly had his name left his mouth before Kazeodori found himself beneath the sand. Sure, he had felt a slight touch upon his ankle, but he assumed it was some desert bug trying to crawl up his heel. Oh, how the devil loves to damn the wronged.
"Ya!" is all the boy can get out before he's crammed into the earth, his clothes now - seriously, surely, without a doubt - ruined. How odd, then; how bizarre; how perhaps even befuddling that the youth, stoppered in the sand like a cork on a great earthen jar of wine, would have a grin on his face so large the his eyes seem but the accidental scuffs of a pen.
"Oh my gosh, that's so cool!"
Kazeodori's smile vanishes a moment as his face jitters and shakes, his neck wrenching hither and thither, but it is very obvious that he is well stuck, and thus, the smile returns. From his fixed vantage point, he tries his best to look around at those gathered, his face still spackled with a beam.
"So we goin' on this thing or what?"
Keiji stands above the young Genin. He makes sure to place his clothed feet infront of the boy's eyes to block his vision. "Rule number 1. Combat does not wait for you to change your outfit. If a battle breaks out in the village, they will not spare your grandmother's life long enough for you to make sure you can fight in your gear." Keiji then crouches down to look the genin in the eyes. "Focus on the lesson at hand. A shinobi is a master of deception. Of the three types of combat, Taijutsu is the most forward type. Even in Taijutsu, only the fastest can make direct strikes and not suffer retalliation. You must learn to develop your style to use physical strikes in a deceptive manner. Understood?"
Zalosu turned slightly to nod towards Shuuren before watching Keiji and Kaze. "We'll go once you get the lesson. I may ask Keiji-san to join us for more lessions just to make sure that you get the message." Zalosu would muse about that for a moment before shrugging his shoulders. "Kaze-san is on my team, Keiji-san. Would you wish to go with us? It sounds like a simple recovery mission to help the merchants of the village, hai?"
Shuuren seems a bit amused by Kazeodori's reaction to being pulled into the ground, but only for a second. "And that is one reason I'm a Medical Ninja. Rarely do I fight, not that I'm not effective enough when I do." A sly grin tugs at his lips for a moment before he turns toward the exit. "Prepare yourselves however you need to once your lesson is over. The contents of the wagon are sealed up pretty well, but aren't completely unbreakable. I'll be at the village gates shortly." That said, he goes to walk toward back through the Academy to head toward the gates.
Alas, it would seem, not everyone is as fervent as Kazeodori in attending to the proposed mission at hand (save Shuuren). Not that it matters that the kid has no idea who this stranger is, or that he's from another village, or that he's dressed in an outrageous Western outfit, or that he may, in fact, kidnap them all and sell their bones to cannibals. All of that is irrelevant, utterly irrelevant in the face of… well, in the face of Keiji, as it is. For it's Keiji's face (or, rather, the lack thereof) which currently inhabits Kazeodori's sight, and any eagerness with which the youth might have been grinding to a fine pulp within his desire has certainly been vanguished by the somewhat muffled words of wisdom set forth by Keiji. It stands, however, to know that Kazeodori's father trained him in similar fashion — that is to say, by examples, and then words. First, one must see. Then, one must hear. Then, one may comprehend. It is with this fixation of memory in mind - those fortresses of recall called repetition - that Kazeodori is brought to calm. That he waste not a breath, not a disiniterested look (nor even a listen to Zalosu); that his face is filled by nothing but the most discerning of miens. He nods once, solemly, and remains absolutely static within the sand.
Keiji nods and reaches down to the boy's shoulder. He grabs it from under the ground and yanks the boy upwards from the sand. "Very good. You have focused. Lets do that mission and we will catch up on the Taijutsu skills later." He then turns and nods towards Zalosu. "Sure. This will give me a little bit of time to observe him in action."
"I'll definitely need to keep that in mind." Said to Keiji as Kaze seems unusually focused after his stint in the sand. A small nod given to them, he'd look towards the exit and where Shuuren had gone. "let's get to the village entrance. He's waiting for us and we need to get this mission done smoothly to show a good standing with another village, hai?" Zal would give Kaze a hard look, "We're under scruitny from someone in another village. You need to behave the best you can." Turning, Zalosu would leave that training area, heading off for the village's front gate, to meet up with Shuuren for their upcoming mission.
Waiting at the gates of the village, still adorned in his white suit, Shuuren stands with what appears to be a new, rather expensive-looking white cane. The tip of its handle is a gold lion's head, the eyes of which are some sort of white gem. Another new addition that should be joining him shortly is a fourth member of the team. The Jounin requested that the village add a shinobi with some sort of sensory skills to the team, so he was given an Iga to keep watch on the area surrounding the team as they travel. He stands talking to a few merchants, giving a nod to each man. "I'll be taking a team from the village with me to handle this personally, so there is no reason to fret. You will have your goods to prepare for the coming week within a few hours." Once reassured, the merchants turn and begin walking back to their respective stands. That they are so confident in the words of one so young may be a wonder, but Shuuren is definitely confident in his ways, seeming far more mature and experienced in business than one might expect of a young man his age.
That bit of business done, Shuuren glances around, waiting for the team to assemble. "This should at least be an interesting trip. A scorpion, a tattoo artist, a blind girl, and a Ninjutsuist," he muses as he brings his cane up to inspect its design and craftsmanship a bit. "… Not bad, old man."
Sachiko arrives from Ninja Academy.
Sachiko has arrived.
Once again forced to be awake before her comfortable afternoon hour, Sachiko ambles lazily toward the entrance to the village. Her eyes are closed, her shoulders slumped tiredly, but upon closer inspection there is actually an eye on her shoulder, somehow attached to her hair in a way to keep it from just rolling off. It keeps her from running into anyone but she's a little caught off-guard by what she sees waiting at the gate.
She turns her head, the eye on her shoulder shifting to look around as a look of disbelief settles on her face, her eyes now open. /This/ is the guy? Great… Walking forward, she waves at him. "Mission… right? I'm the Iga. Um… Dare I ask where the others are?"
Joining his comrades as they exit the training grounds and make their way to the village entrance, Kazeodori finds himself drawn to synchronicity with the gait of Keiji. As with many - if not all - young boys, the associations grafted to those older who stand as representatives of fathers had is too strong a pull for Kazeodori to ignore. Yet to state that it is in his ability to ignore would be erroneous, for it is with unconscious attention that he finds himself magnetized. There was no yelling from Keiji, no taunts, no threats, no machinations of punishment gurgling beneath the surface of learning. There was a lesson, there was an idea. As with most maxims, Keiji's last words to the youth - of shinboi being deceptive, of Taijutsu being more than just the fight - linger as does the waft of a peeled orange: effervescently. His strides, thereby, are pensive, his normal sprightliness lost in the endless bubbles and surf and crashes of mind. So much so that, upon Zalosu's call for acceptable behavior, Kazeodori but nods, and continues on, following by the shoulder of Keiji his march to the mission.
The young chuunin moves forward with the others. Keiji was not use to being with so many people. As his eyes set on the Iga girl at the gate, he growls a little on the inside. She lacked discipline on purpose. He was almost certain she desired trouble. It was something Keiji would keep his eyes on. She was representing his village. Keiji then glanced towards the other chuunin. He was unsure if Zalosu felt the same or not. He then looked towards Shuuren who was leading the way to the objective.
Zalosu studied Sachkio for a long moment as they gathered with the others for that mission. A small nod was given towards the other genin, he looked to Shuuren. "Alright. So the mission is to find, recover and return the materials in your convoy that got wrecked. Is there any way to repair the convoy items to ride it into the village?" He mentally went over all of his gear, verifying that he was ready for what was to come ahead as well as watch Kazeodori. Afterall this genin was part of his team.
As the girl with the eye attached to her shoulder approaches, Shuuren glances over to her and gives a nod, bringing his cane back down to a more normal position. "Yes, a mission. I'm Shuuren. The others will be here shortly, I'm sure. Your job today is simply to watch, hear, and smell, what your clan does best. If you sense anything hostile nearby, other than those traveling with us, notify us immediately." As the others approach, a nod is given to each. Finally, as all are gathered, he answers Zalosu, "Hopefully we can do just that, as the crates are made of a quite solid metal that makes them very cumbersome, just in case something like this happens." Just then, a merchant holding a tool back walks up and is given a sideways nod to motion toward Kazeodori, who the merchant then hands a tool bag to before walking away again. "The goods should be safe. They're just going to be a pain for you to carry if it is broken too badly. Then again, I suppose I can always just make your paychecks a little bigger if you have to carry them… Let's go." That said, he turns and starts to make his way out the gates of the village and into the desert.
Sachiko nods her head at the instruction but otherwise stays silent until the others have arrived. Her attention turns to them and she raises an eyebrow slightly. Interesting group… The eye slides from Zalosu, pauses on Kazeodori, before settling on Keiji as the teen's jaw begins to move, chewing almost as if she's just as irritated as the scorpion is internally. However, the truth of the matter is quickly revealed as she pulls an ear from her mouth. "Here, a present," she offers in a far too enthusiastic way, holding the ear out by pinching the top of the helix between her fingers and waggling it at him.
Regardless of whether he accepts her "gift" (and really, she doesn't expect him to in the slightest), she turns on her heel to follow after Shuuren while offering a wave to the other Genin over her shoulder. "Didn't expect to see you, Kazeodori-fairy. You just pop up everywhere when it's morning, don't you?"
"Hey! Eyeb-oof!" erupts the Genin as the merchant's bag of tools is dropped into his hands. Kazeodori - being of a more slight nature, of a more delicate mien - is not accustomed to the lifting of excessively heavy things, particularly excessively heavy things which he must drag through the heat of the desert. No matter that it's winter in Sunagakure, lugging bags full of iron and wood is not an ideal way for one so young to spend in the sun. Ah well — 'tis all for the cause of training, it would seem. Thus, Kazeodori hefts the bag, weighing it on his forearms as one would hold a baby they didn't want to particularly touch. As he tracks behind the Chuunin and the man dressed in white (his footsteps sinking ever deeper into the loose sands outside the village walls) Kazeodori proposes a question, one which - surely to him - seems more than worth answering.
"So if I'm carrying the tools, I don't have to carry the heavy metal boxes, right?
Already, is sweat glistening along his brow.
Keiji pays little attention to Sachiko. He turns his head away as he is offered the ear. He then turns towards Kazeodori. He offers the boy a slight nod of approval as he carries the tools. "Perhaps, perhaps not. Depends on the need." He then follows the others.
"We'll see when we get there, Kaze-san." Zalosu would nod in agreement with Keiji as he'd head off with the rest of them. He traveled lightly over the sand, the tattoos around his ankles would be charged, curling them off his legs to wrap about his feet and keep him off the sand. That lightest of movements had him start skidding over the sand, although he purposely kept himself slow, so he did not get ahead of the group. Afterall, Shuuren knew where it was at, so would be pointless to go ahead of him.
Shuuren seems to ignore the exchange with the ear, probably not caring what happens between them. This isn't his village, and he doesn't even pay attention to people's emotions there. "You're the one in the need of the most training, so I'd say you get to carry both if the occasion calls for it," he comments with a smirk as he walks, though he himself doesn't appear to be all that muscular. Then again, he is a Jounin, so he must have some tricks up his sleeve. He remains mostly silent for the rest of the journey, except if he is addressed. They walk along the desert, up and down dunes, for several miles until the caravan finally comes into view, appearing to be semi-buried in a dune and missing a wheel, which lays about ten feet away. However, as they get close, Sachiko would likely pick up a lingering and strengthening scent of desert wolves and a group of men. A lone body lays on the ground near the caravan, the one man who didn't get away. "Ah, here we are."
As they walk, Sachiko drops the ear and lets it dissolve into the sand, the eye on her shoulder still keeping track of things. Feeling, understandably, like the odd one out, she stays entirely silent during the trip. She figures if there's any funny business from her, Keiji is quite likely to make some action to 'correct' her behavior and as irresponsible as she is, she knows he wouldn't be the last person she'd hear from, either.
The scent that stings her nostrils soon after causes her nose to wrinkle. Glancing ahead, she hums thoughtfully before taking the eyeball and lobbing it forward so she can check around the cart for any danger that may have returned to it while living people were absent. It wriggles in the sand to get about and Sachiko is fairly clearly not unaffected, squinting in a bit of pain over the itchy, cutting grains.
"Goodness. Everybody seems to be full of advice today, huh? Why don't one of yo-"
And the bag drops onto the dune, the tools tumbling into sand. Kazeodori's face is a tight yawn of disbelief and wonder, for this is the first time he has seen a corpse, let alone one which has been madly ravaged by the slavering maws of desert wolves. Of course, such brutality, such blood hot and rigid in the steaming desert sun, would not be fully appreciated from such a distance, but the man lying in the sand certainly isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The young Genin looks to his Chuunin counterparts, uncertain of how to act, of how to respond to such a sight, to such a notion that death does not always slip through hearts in the night; that it withers the savor of life within those still living by unflinching viciousness. As a young boy, Kazeodori is still unknowning of such things — rather, disbelieving. He does not want to recognize, does not want to manifest, the truth of the situation: that, if he is not careful, death too may find his skull in the sands, bones set like macabre statues, bleach white in the sun. Thus, he inquires:
Keiji thought nothing of the corpse until he heard the sound of the tools hitting each other as the bag drops. This was not uncommon in the desert. There were always a pack of wolves somewhere or maggots or snakes. Once there was even a sand shark. "Death is a part of life. Not all of it is glorious. Place it to the back of your mind and focus on the task at hand. That body was killed by something and it may still be in the area."
Keiji then looks towards Sachiko. "Is it still around?" He was not certain if it were wolves are a large lizard or some sort.
Zal would give a nod in agreement with Keiji, he decided to focus himself to get prepared for any potential lingering.. whatevers. As the chakra would surge through him, he glanced at Kaze. "This is reality. You need to understand this is the reality you are entering as a shinobi. Death happens. All the time. Yours can too. Please pick the tools back up, we need to let Sachiko-san do her business of checking for hostiles, then get the cart repaired or prepare to carry the materials back."
Aaaand the Medical Ninja has no response whatsoever to the corpse. He's seen more than his fair share of those and is rather uneffected. Some people can be saved. Some cannot. That is one of the grounding factors that keeps a Medical Ninja sane. "At least he's not seeing this for the first time when you're up against shinobi. He'd be a paperweight," the Jounin comments as he continues forward, glancing around for any potential hostiles. He keeps the cane close, though one might wonder what exactly he could do other than just whop someone with it. A brief glance is shot toward Sachiko, the Medic Nin hoping the girl will actually do her job and let them know what's going on, rather than wait and see what happens if she lets the animals and attackers get close enough to attack. After a moment, he returns his eyes to the downed wagon, hoping the repair will be simple enough.
Of course, there is a pack of wolves approaching, all crouched down behind the dunes in preparation to attack. The bandits handling them are close behind, hoping to be able to pin the shinobi down and force them to tell how to open the crates.
First, the eye checks around the actual caravan, peeking behind it before rolling up a dune with some difficulty. Within moments, Sachiko sighs, "No wonder it smells so bad." Counting as many of them as she can without moving too much to avoid being noticed and ruin the counter-ambush that may or may not be planned in time, she grits her teeth. Then, silently, she crouches and begins doodling in the sand.
Sure, it may seem like a terrible time to do so, but she isn't sure how well the wolves are trained or how well the bandits can all hear. So rather than voice her concerns, she creates another eyeball so she can really see what she's doing, this one staying in her mouth, and writes '10' before scribbling it out and drawing a very crude and poorly drawn wolf face beside a silly cartoonish human face with a bandana sort of thing around the bottom half. Sand, of course, is not the best medium to do art with so her point may or may not actually get across to all three males.
Perhaps Kazeodori heard the tidbits of advice crawl through the desert heat; perhaps not. Regardless of either, the young Genin kneels before the dropped bag of tools, his eyes searching blindly in the sand for whatever may have fallen, his eyes never leaving the dead man in the distance. Once he has them gathered, he hefts them again, following in the footsteps of the others, his eyes not straying for a single moment from the carnage before him, which only grows the closer he becomes. The smell of decay, fresh at it may be, lifts through the heat, and it is this - the eye-watering, nostril-stinging stench of death - which rips back Kazeodori to the present moment.
"Oh, that smells awful!"
But soldiers on he does, mindful now of the actions of his superiors, mindful of the threat of what caused the man's death. It seems that once death's spirit has taken its virgin toll, it leaves the youth back to his normal faculties. Which is rather well timed, for it is just then that he peers around his compatriots to notice Sachiko's drawing.
"Oh my god, bears!"
Keiji watched how Kazeodori responded to the body. It was not the worst response to death, but it was one he did not understand a whole lot. As his eyes returned to the drawing of Sachiko the young chuunin shakes his head. "Not bears…" His hands come together to build his chakra, then Keiji sinks into the sand. Damn being the hunted. Keiji was now on the hunt.
Looking at the drawing, a nod of thanks was given to Sachiko before he'd glance at Kaze. "Stay back. Probably better to stay here with the tools, protect them as we will need them." Looking back forward, he'd surge chakra through those skates, launching himself forward. Keiji was great at hunting, so Zalosu would be the bait. He'd launch himself at the edge of that dune, getting air to send himself up even as he'd charge chakra through those tattoos with his seals, landing and skidding along the sand as he'd prepare those tattoo limbs for any potential onslaught as well as his own attacks at those he can see. Time to mix it up.
(OOC note: Zalosu had to leave at this point, so his posing is truncated from here on out.)
"Hmm?" As Sachiko stops to draw, Shuuren tilts his head slightly. Great. As soon as Keiji sinks into the sand, some rather large wolves leap over the dunes. About four head toward Zalosu, the bait, likely well in Keiji's range if he is keen on that plan. A few go toward Shuuren and Sachiko, while about three jump over the dunes and try to pounce down upon Kazeodori. "This really isn't supposed to be my job," Shuuren says with a sigh, preferring not to fight, but his grip does get a bit firmer on his cane. "Bloody animals."
Somewhere in the back of her head, Sachiko finds this lack of planning on the Chuunins' parts downright stupid. Two against ten… like that was ever going to work out well. Abandoning Kazeodori? That just pisses her off. Genin or not, he's still young and obviously not quite prepared for full-on combat.
So… she takes as much responsibility as she can: she spits the eyeball at one of the wolves, the one most in the lead as far as she can tell, and shifts to try and drag the boy behind her. She isn't very quick, however, so she can only hope the eyeball is a fair distraction to give her time. If need be, she even puts up an arm in front of her as a bit for a wolf. "I dunno what your specialty is, fairy, but don't try to do anything you aren't sure of." As for Shuuren, she ends up with a small droplet of sweat on her face. He /is/ the employer and probably should have been her priority, but… well, obviously he wasn't. Oops.
Kazeodori's ordinary stupidities and bumbles belie his extravagance when it comes to the more deadly arts. Granted, seeing a corpse for the first time would certainly not inspire the greatest of confidences in his comrades, but let that not dismiss his ability to fight, for it is what he has spent his entire life doing. There are, however, quite a number of wolves on the prowl, and a suspiciously large number of them heading for the Genin and the blind girl. But oh, the courage of youth: the innocence and naivete by which they aspire to conquer challenges. Taking fondly to Sachiko's nickname for him, Kazeodori pops from behind the younger girl's skirts, his hands a flicker of motion, his body aimed at the wolves seething through the air.
"Wind Release: Great Breakthrough!"
As suddenly as it's said, a torrent of ravaging wind drives from Kazeodori's mouth, savaging through the sky towards the wolves unable to dodge while leaping through it. If struck, the animals will certainly be blown far, far away.
As the wolves run towards Zalosu the sand beneath them turns into a rug of small stone daggers, piercing their feet and wounding them. On the other side of the of the sand dune, Keiji pops out. The boy now has a tail sprouted from the backside. He stabs the first bandit he sees before trying to sting another. He knew full well that the genin should have been able to handle the wolves.
The wolves coming down toward Kazeodori are blown back by his attack into the sand dunes. The ones running toward them are blown back for a moment before running toward the again. Shuuren himself doesn't seem to mind that Sachiko didn't bother guarding him, as he is apparently now just sitting on the half-buried seat of convoy. While Keiji has a few of the bandits tied up, their leader is seen running over the dune closest to the wagon toward Shuuren. As the Jounin spots him, he lets out a sigh and shakes his head.
"Open the crates for us, and we'll let you live!" the bandit calls out.
Letting out a sigh, Shuuren shakes his head and suddenly seems to vanish into thin air. A moment later, the bandit falls over on his face, screaming in pain and gripping his leg. He tries to get up, but can only seem to effectively move one of his legs. As Shuuren is standing over him, a bit of glow of chakra seen around his hand and fading. Apparently he cut the man's Achilles tendon.
The exclamation of the ability and the wind picking up both catch Sachiko a bit off guard. After a moment, she sighs and shakes her head. Of course. "Why was I worried about you?" Muttering this, she listens to everything that happens and simply looks bewildered. Truly, she was just for sensory purposes. She did her job and now she's entirely at a loss for what to do. At the very least, her muscles are tense, ready to move at the slightest sense that a wolf or bandit is upon her but she isn't going to throw herself at one, either.
Kazeodori curses as the wolves return along the dunes, once again hungering for some young Genin flesh.
"Motherfreakin' wolves on these motherfreakin' sand dunes…" is perhaps what was heard coming from his mouth, but it was all too caught up, as the young boy grabs several tools from the tool bag splayed open on the ground before him and flings them into the air. He lets the sharp, heavy angles of iron and wood dangle in the sky for but a moment before he again brings his hand to his mouth, a second eruption of vicious air roiling through and through the hot sun once again, except this time, within the gust, sharp things lie. Or, rather, sharp things are blown with alarming force towards the soft flesh of running canines.
Once Keiji managed to kill the other bandits, he moved up the hill in time to watch the lead bandit fall. Kaze seemed to be doing well. He nodded to the other Chuunin before approaching the client. "You did not need to lift a finger against him. I would have handled it." The boy then glances over the situation. "It seems we are about ready to fix the wagon… unless those were the tools that…" He looked back towards Kaze as he ponders which tools the boy was using.
Looking to Keiji as he approaches, Shuuren shrugs his shoulders. "He was coming right at me, or I wouldn't have," he says before turning to move back toward the wagon. "Finish him please, then get your friend to get those tools out of the wolves since he decided to use those instead of his shuriken and kunai for some reason. Talk about not thinking ahead. I'm definitely not responsible for cleaning the blood off before you use them to put the wheel back on." He places his cane on the ground, looking around at the dead bandits and wolves. With all the tools used, the wolves are all taken down, and now the shinobi on the team have tools to gather from wolf corpses so they can be used to fix their ride home.
Hearing Shuuren's simple and straight-forward response to the male Genin's actions, the teen just raises an eyebrow. She doesn't carry kunai or senbon, either, and she honestly thinks the use of the tools was good quick-thinking. Turning to Kazeodori, she reaches out to pat him on the head. "Nice job, fairy." Then she creates another eyeball and begins walking around to pick up tools from bodies, using the sand to soak up most of the blood. Sachiko lets it sit and dry while she gathers more tools before wiping it off on her skirt with little apprehension about doing it. She's getting paid~ She'll replace it with several new skirts. That thought brings something of a smile to her lips around the eyeball being held there.
Kazeodori's smile - his face-swallowing grin - at defeating several attacking wolves to save the eyeball girl is all but conquered upon realizing that the very tools he so ingeniously used to drop the onslaught of wolves are the very same tools that the shinobi need to fix the wagon. Of course, had Kazeodori not been dragged from the training fields in his non-proper attire, he probably would have been slightly more prepared. Guess this really boils down to Keiji's earlier advice: always be ready. With a grim sigh, and as much cuteness as he can muster upon looking back at his comrades (to no avail but the help of Sachiko), the young boy, alongside the girl, huffs his way into the breeze and begins the slow task of collecting the sordid, muck-covered tools. Oh, the weary life of a Genin.