Date: August 25, 2012
Following the battle between Hyuuga Uma and Kaguya Odori Keisuke, news of a Hyuuga causing trouble in the Land of Water reaches the Mizukage via the lone surviving witness… And a team is dispatched to discover what has happened.
"Digging Up Evidence"
Forest Glade - Land of Water
Word reached the Mizukage's office quickly. Not only has one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, Kaguya Odori Keisuke, gone missing while on a mission within the Land of Water, but a Hyuuga Clan member has identified herself, not hidden her visage at all, and is responsible for the witness who revealed her identity being injured. Kitaru reported what went on to the best of his knowledge. There were already ninja out looking for Keisuke, but the general location of a battle is now known to the Hidden Mist… And one of the top Hunter-Nin is sent out to examine the site and make sure that one of the worst-case scenarious has not come to pass.
Wearing a mask, garbed in Hunter-Nin gear of pale-brown armor with a long, pleated skirt down to her shins, and wearing sturdy, fingerless gloves upon her hands, Suzaku Yuri, presently known by a temporary codename for the purposes of this mission only ('Chokurei'), is heading up a small team. Ordinarily she would have taken more than just two non-Hunter-nin with her, but resources were thin at the moment. So she brought a guide, and what support was available. They now rush through the forests of the Land of Water, heading in the direction indicated by Kitaru. Yuri really hopes she gets to kill someone.
She was in the middle of some intimate time with her husband when she got the message to report to the Mizukage at once.
Do you have any idea how frustrating that is!?
A Swordsman goes missing and now it's up to them to go searching for the guy. Isra wasn't sure of how to take this, especially with a Hunter being among them or…is it the other way around? It's not like she chose to be with this person, but this person chose her and Kitaru. She was silent for the most part while trying to weigh this all in her mind and the only feeling she gets is unease.
At least they have some information to work with, though it seems like they just can't get there fast enough. These trees feel like they can go on forever.
Kitaru had a bad feeling about the whole thing. After the particular fight with Uma and having to be rescued after exactly one hit from the other person, he was worried for Keisuke. Yes, Keisuke was good, however there was just something else about that Hyuuga. Having been tapped to assist a hunter on the tracking for Keisuke, Kitaru kept up, but definitely stayed out of the hunter's way. This was their main focus, he was along for the information he had and potentially for the ability to assist with his genjutsu. "Chokurei-san. I can tell you one key weakness of the Hyuuga. I was able to stun her with genjutsu. She broke free.. but I got her. If I could get her and she could defeat Keisuke, that's a critical weakness. Hai?"
Takeshi is coming along of course, given who it was, but having heard who did it, well, that wasn't good for anyone. He hasn't said much since then, just a bunch of grumbling and something about ways to break toes with a rock or ways to redesign the intestines with a kunai.
Chokurei doesn't answer. She knows damn well what Hyuuga are capable of. Though the fact that this one who is supposedly significantly powerful was snared by Genjutsu even briefly is indeed an interesting bit of information. Sadly, she does not possess Genjutsu and, until recently, was rather weak in Genjutsu resistance herself. Of course, that was because she is insane and it's really hard to focus enough to fight off Genjutsu with such an erratic thought process. But that also wound up helping her in the end. She used her >obsession< as a focus. Because there's someone out there who uses Genjutsu a lot… Someone who has repeatedly defeated her and almost killed her… And she wants to show that uptight Uchiha ***** that she doesn't need ****ing googly eyes to kill those who cross her.
For now, this momentary tangent down hatred lane is derailed as the masked woman notices the disturbed terrain ahead. She holds out an arm to the side as she comes to a stop at the head of the group, going into a crouch. The trees of the Land of Water aren't as tall as in the Land of Fire and thus are somewhat less able to support the ninja-travel method of 'branch-hopping'. She has said very little thus far, and now Chokurei continues this trend. She turns her head enough to see out of the eye slits in her mask and then points twice towards what appears to be mounds of earth standing tall, large sections of stone and debris shifted from where they once lay and left heaped haphazardly, knocked-down trees, and so on.
Moving quickly but quietly, the Hunter-Nin captain checks first for signs of enemies still in the area by listening for any leaves rustling, rocks tumbling, or the creak of leather, or similar… Then she checks that the others have joined her where she crouches on the edge of the site of what was clearly a major battle between two powerful ninja. Quietly, she asks in a purposefully hoarse voice, "Takeshi-san, do you recognize any signs that indicate the subject of our search used his techniques here? Isra-san, take to the trees and see if you can spot anything from a higher vantage point. Kitaru-san, did you notice anything else about the Hyuuga's techniques? Perhaps, the use of Earth Release?"
Isra took the arm gesture to mean to stop, so she did. Looks like something has just been spotted. Chokurei points at something ahead and the Uzumaki tries to position herself to where she'll be able to see what it is. Once she thinks she's in a good spot, she takes note of the mounds of earth and stones upturned laying around the area among other things. This must have been quite the battle.
Given direction from the Hunter, she nods and takes to the trees to see if she can spot anything from above. She moves as quietly as she can, making sure to evade branches susceptible to moving or shifting under weight changes. She takes note of a rock with a kanji written on it and more importantly some earth that looked to be sunken in. Slipping back down the tree she states, "There's some writing on a rock in the area and the ground, from here, may not seem like much but above, it looks to be cratered in a way."
Kitaru would shake his head slightly. "Sorry, no. She kicked me once.. it shattered my arm in 37 places. I didn't actually get to really fight her. I blacked out and when I came to, Keisuke had dropped me off in the hospital and said he was going after her." Kitaru would try to assist with searching, once the all clear was given, he was intelligent enough that he should be able to pick stuff out. "I am sorry that I do not have more than that. Unfortunately, I am no where near that level of power yet.."
Takeshi sniffs, "Bone and Blood. Shikotsumyaku."
He moves forward, the rest can use stealth, but this is a battleground and he kind of wants to kill Uma really bad now, so moving on, he stops near the edge and nods, "Bone and Blood. Shikotsumyaku then." The elder bends at the knees and pulls a piece of bone from the ground, "Hmm…Definately his." It gets tossed to the side and he shrugs, "I don't think he used the sword though. I've seen those techniques, I don't see any marks." Still, he jumps into the air to look around.
The nasty, suspicious, paranoid mind that is this particular Hunter-Nin's >true< weapon begins working overtime with the information she receives from the others. Planning seven steps ahead is her 'game'. Extremely disrupted earth with some seeming to have been dumped into a hole or something… Bone fragments identified as being produced via Shikotsumyaku… Some writing on a rock? A female ninja who is apparently very physically strong and wears a mask? Able to fight one of the Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist and yet does not seem to have attempted to conceal the nature of the battle or to cover her tracks or >anything<?
Someone very confident or very stupid, Chokurei is guessing. Quite possibly both. Hoarsely, she rasps out, "What kind of writing and where?" in Isra's direction and then starts examining the ground more closely as she attempts to move as-directed by Isra towards this 'something written on a rock'. The Hunter-Nin captain turns her head and says to the others, "It doesn't appear the enemy is still here, but the disrupted earth may conceal hazards or traps. Be cautious."
This Hyuuga might have other skills than messing up the ground and punching things. This 'writing' might be a Seal of some kind. A trap to hinder pursuit? Yuri isn't sure why else the battle site would just be >left< like this. It's too easy to track the assailant. Looking at the ground she can see only one set of footprints leaving the area, and she can guess at the weight, type of footwear, etc. based on the imprint.
The filled hole in particular is suspicious… And yet worth investigating if for no other reason than to not leave an active trap that can hit someone else on their side later on. "Takeshi-san, Kitaru-san… Please step back. Once this 'writing' is identified, I am going to examine what appears to be a filled pit." Then Chokurei unrolls a scroll that she takes from her belt and applies her hand to one end of the scroll, pouring Chakra into it. Dozens of seal marks suddenly release their contents in clouds of smoke. Shortly, this forest glade with its devastated terrain will not have simply four ninja in it… But more like fifty-four. The other fifty are all garbed in Hunter-Nin outfits but appear to just stay where they land in crouched positions, moving not an inch… Not even breathing.
"It was a kanji of sorts." Isra could only point out the direction since Chokurei intended to check the area out. "On a large rock a short distance away from where we are at the moment. If I had to take a stab at what it said, I believe it said…'forgiven'." She shrugged at that. "Don't know what it could possibly mean, though." Standing back along with the others, she watched as more Hunters were summoned to the field. She wasn't aware that they could be summoned like that…Hm. Definitely useful, she admits.
Kitaru would just give a small nod at the direction to stay back. He prepped two spheres, one for each hand that would start to have a purple swirl of chakra glitter within them. He had that protection seal on both spheres, so it would take only a moment to launch them to protect against any potential trap. It was what he could offer for his own part in that tracking, otherwise he just stayed out of the way of the offical hunters and would let them do their business.
Takeshi walks over to the boulder and nods at Yuri, "Hmm. Seal scrolls? Interesting little trick to summon backup." Then a shrug, "Oh well, either way, he's obviously here. It's just like her, she's not the smartest tool in the shed, assuming this Hyuuga is Hyuuga Uma, in which case this just adds one more reason to my already large list of reasons to slit her throat. Which we're gonna do right?"
Chokurei offers no reply. She simply places one hand on a spool of wire at the small of her back, and unwinds it. Wires fly from the spool, to each one of these Hunter-nin who are so oddly still and nearly… Lifeless. No, they really are dead most likely. There's not many ninja in Kirigakure who use wires to control corpses. But she does not appear to be equipped with her infamous sword right now. Just the Lightning Chakra that lets her maneuver these bodies like puppets or… zombies or something. They move in a coordinated fashion, with no sign of the stiffness and deadness that one would expect of walking corpses. They are fluid, dextrous, and work together to comb the surrounding area, aid the physically powerful Kaguya Takeshi as he rolls the boulder aside, and then proceed to dig in the ground the boulder had covered.
Eventually, the body of Kaguya Odori Keisuke and his legendary sword are both found. It is then that Chokurei offers harshly and quietly, "That will be up to Sandaime Mizukage-dono." After examining the body and using her knowledge of human anatomy to identify the cause of death, the injuries, inflicted, and so on, the masked kunoichi sticks wires into Keisuke's body, cuts off his head with some of them, and electrocutes the rest until it is as burnt as charcoal. The charcoal is in turn stomped into bits by the dead 'assistants', and the blackened dust scattered to the winds. Yuri is disappointed. Despite her words, she was really hoping, just as Takeshi, that a >living< throat would be slit. But the Hunter-Nin captain seals Keisuke's severed head in a scroll, along with the Executioner's Blade, puts her reanimated allies back in their own scroll storage, and turns to the others. Her mask hides her expression, but she ultimately rasps out, "We return to the Village to make a report now."
Someone will need to pay for this, ultimately. All blood must be met with retribution in kind.