Date: August 01, 2010
A cartographical and exploration mission into the southern Land of Fire runs into a reminder of the death and horror that were intrinsic to the Clan Wars.
Southern Pathway - Land of Fire
The mission that three ninja of Konohagakure have been assigned to Uchiha Fuyu for is rather simple. It probably does not even need a full team, but one never knows for certain what one might run into on a mission, and there are regulations in place. The team was briefed before leaving the Village. Essentially, the mission is to perform one of many cartographical expeditions into the Land of Fire. Others are being sent on similar missions, but Fuyu's experience and expertise with map-making and land navigation made her an obvious choice for mapping out the southern Land of Fire.
There are various small villages, townships, hamlets, and so on, throughout the country. However, even three years after the Clan Wars ended the full extent of the damage inflicted is not completely documented. Thus, this team is attempting to establish whether a certain road is still intact, and the status of the hamlet at the end of that road.
So far, the mission has consisted of hiking or walking for the most part, occasionally stopping for minutes or up to half an hour while Fuyu makes notations or additions to her maps, and then continuing on. It has been rather uneventful. But it is a pleasant enough day, with the sun shining, and yet the temperature not too hot.
Having been choosen to help with this mission, Hinotori had prepared himself. Taking only what he needed, he met up with the team and headed off. It has been some time since he's seen either of his two team mates, Yuzuna and Tosai. "Hey Yuzuna-san, and Tosai-san." he smiles to them. But then again, he's been keeping himself pretty busy. As they explored the southern area of the Land of Fire, Hinotori was actually watching Fuyu as she noted things down on her map as well as asking questions periodically. Looking to Tosai and Yuzuna, "Sorry for all the silent treatment." he says to them both. He offers both a smile and a bow, looking back over to Fuyu, "What was it you were just looking at Fuyu-sama?" he asks. The Uchiha chuunin walks over to where Fuyu is and crouches down and looks in the direction she was looking, to maybe find what she was looking at.
Missions like these, though strategically sound and rather smart idea-wise, were usually, for Tosai, really boring. Being that the Village Hidden in the Leaves, had only in recent years became the official militia of the feudal presence of the Land of Fire, it was needed. After all, one can't claim jurisdiction in an area with out the assurance that the area was theirs. It wasn't smart, especially in a world where being in the wrong place as a ninja can result in the last breathe you ever take. Not to mention that three year old maps, and resource dating back even before the Clan Wars, were even considered viable in the greater scheme of things. Some of the places on the old maps, hadn't existed in last thirty years. So in away, this whole trip had been useful.
This indeed, were main examples of the inner conflict between the kid in Tosai who wanted action and the sensible adult within him. One aspect had been wanting some bad guy to show up and have his keister kicked. One aspect wanted to get the job done for the greater good. And yet, both sides would now be in agreement when it came to the bag of chips the larger nin had now been scarfing down, crunching rather loudly with every morsel of potatoey goodness he inhaled. It was comfort food it seemed, both managing to occupy, and sedate the kid within him with junk food, and let the adult within him, concentrate on the sights and beauty of the land around him. The Land Of fire was a wonderful place to behold, when you got to actually look upon it. The last chip would be scarfed before the nin would roll up the wrapper, and stuff it in his pouch, just to stay earth friendly.
Another reason for the chips? Well, it seemed to dull the everpresent silence that had been within the atmosphere around then 4 man cell. Being a ninja often meant working in silence sure, but even this kind of silence was a bit of a nerve tapper. Two Uchiha, a Main Branch Hyuuga, and a Akimichi. Talking about a mixed bag. But thankfully it would be broken by Mister Cheerful himself, Hinotori. "Hmmm? Oh.. hehe! No problem, Hino-san. For awhile, it seemed nescessary for the mission to me actually. Maybe I was just over thinking things abit, if I say so myself.", a heavy pat coming down on the shoulder of the Uchiha, with a hearty chuckle. Hearing him inquire about what Fuyu had been looking at, he would say, "Probably still mapping the area no doubt. It seems like we have come out way farther than I have seen so far in my travels here. I don't even see Konoha anymore."
Standing near the edge of a cliffside, Yuzuna remains silent with pale opal eyes alert, quietly scanning their surroundings while Fuyu makes notes and notations. With the quiet lingering between the four shinobi, the only others sounds occupy the air are the scarfing of potato chips and the more subtle sounds of nature. Wordlessly the Hyuuga kunoichi glances back over her left shoulder at the group, watching them for a passive moment before looking to their nearby surroundings once more. Her pale gaze narrows subtly with the small shift of her weight, a heeled sandle barely taking a step back before she lifts her arms to cross over her chest. "No apology needed." Yuzuna murmurs idly, her senses still receptive and open with attention.
Fuyu glances towards Hinotori briefly at his question as she performs the by now routine procedure of putting away her pen and ink correctly, and then storing the scrolls that she had been using for both the maps, and personal notes and reminders concerning things that might need to be investigated later, and so forth. Indicating with a nod of her head a large tree some distance away, she answers the younger Uchiha with, "That tree has moss growing on the south-facing side of its trunk." Once she has completed her preparations, she moves to depart. Apparently she feels her answer was sufficient.
However, it is highly unlikely that anyone present other than her will get why this is relevant to anything at all. "The road we are supposed to locate should be just ahead, on our right. If it exists still, we'll see it. It was previously used relatively often." Tosai's comments on not seeing Konoha are not remarked upon. They ARE pretty far south. The range of ninja patrols is more centered on Konoha itself, and the west and north, rather than the south. Maybe criminals and such could have gathered in this region, or maybe there's no trouble here at all. No one knows.
As he looks out at the distant tree, Hinotori notices the moss on the southside of the tree. He didn't know what that meant, and as Fuyu began walking again, the younger Uchiha would be moving along with her. Chuckling a bit at Tosai, "Well yeah, I tend to be quiet on most missions, even this one has me being alert. But there is nothing wrong with low whispered conversations every once and a while." he tells his friend. Looking back ahead, "What does that mean?" he asks. "With the moss on the southside of the tree?" he asks. Cartoprahical and biology wasn't a big thing he was focused on when learning the ways of the ninja, and right now he was interested to know.
Nodding his head at the mention of a road coming up, Hinotori hadn't been this far south but it was to be expectant. As they walk, Hinotori beings looking for any signs of paths leading toward the road or out towards the distance away from Konoha.
Yuzuna would have an eye at her back, Tosai maintaining his position at the rear almost subconsciously. Either that, or he had been checking her out. Likely a mix of the both, as when she would speak to Hino, Tosai would turn his head, turning red with a hint of nervous blushing. Hearing Fuyu speak, Tosai would began responding to Hino, although hearing Fuyu's observation would still chain off into a rather foreboding sense of danger. "Hehe, its fine to relieve tension with conversation, when it doesn't interfere with priority. Although right now, you probably have good reason to be alert, Hino." He would look to the tree, furrowing his eyebrows and asking something abit obvious, "Shouldn't it be growing on the northside? Thats not normal.", his bearded chin being scratched alittle, the little since he had with farming and camping seeming to give hint to this weird occurance.
Fuyu's other statements about next road they should be approaching being not to far away, if it exist would give him update of there status so far. However, something about the location seemed to be starting to make him think abit more about things around him. No sight of any patrol, meant they had been pretty far down, and with Fuyu's words giving more information as to the whereabouts of the other patrols, Tosai was now sure that they had to be on guard. After all, being this far away, began to hold a certain bit of danger, especially with potential backup being so far away. He would look to the tree, and then to Fuyu, before noding to the woman, as if to gesture that he had been on guard for anything strange.
Yuzuna narrows her pale opal eyes subtly as she shifts her weight and begins to move as the others do, the soft earth path at their feet crunching lightly beneath footsteps. She breathes out slowly as she continues to keep her senses open and alert, even while keeping her attention partly to the conversation. At least it isn't idle chatter. The kunoichi remains stoic and silent, every once in a while glancing to Fuyu to make sure they keep to the right path while she can almost feel the subtle tension in her classmates, for some reason. Yuzuna suspected that its because they were further away from the village than normal, though she didn't dwell on the reason much longer.
Fuyu's brow creases slightly at Hinotori's question, but since she is facing away from him, that is likely unseen. Before she can answer, Tosai does in her place. "That is correct. Moss is more prevalent on the northern side of trees, because of the need for water. There is less water available on the sun-facing side of trees. It dries up. That's not to say that moss can't grow on the south side of a tree, but it is generally densest on the north. That tree I pointed out is the opposite. And dense moss on the south side of a tree is most common south of the equator."
She glances back in the direction of the tree briefly, though it is now behind them somewhere. "So either that one tree has more moisture on the south side for some reason, or there is some other factor at work that is not obvious. Either way, no, that is not normal at all." Shaking her head briefly, causing her long curtain of shiny black hair to sway back and forth, she seems to dismiss the issue for now. Her next words contradict that impression, however. "Yuzuna, check that tree with your Byakugan when you get the chance — assuming you can see it without turning around. If not, then we'll be stopping soon anyway. You can check then."
Maybe Fuyu thinks the tree is not a tree at all. Maybe it is a fake, or an illusion. Or maybe there's a logical and natural explanation, and nothing is wrong at all. Only one way to find out.
After a few more steps, Fuyu slows and then stops. She turns to face into the forest and begins rooting around in her tool pouch — presumably for her pen and ink, but that may just be a ruse.
As Tosai, then Fuyu-sama explaning things to him. Hinotori nods his head slowly, "I see." he says to them both. "Thank you." he states. Hinotori keeps up as they walk, and as they do so, his eyes continue scanning the area in front of them as well as looking for the path. Reaching up to scratch the back of his head, Hinotori does glance back at Tosai, "Well you have to know when to talk and not to." he states. "Luckily I can do both." Hinotori turns to Yuzuna as Fuyu gives her orders to check out the tree. He hadn't heard Yuzuna since meeting her, but then again she tends to be quieter when she is on a mission. Stopping, only a few steps ahead of Fuyu, Hinotori crouches down and begins looking around.
So it was true! Tosai would hear the indepth explanation, knowing some and little in some cases of what Fuyu had been talking about. But the cause of this was really eating at him. He couldn't figure it out for the life of him. A thumbs up would be shot up to Hino, in response to the glance, but it would then be shaded by a more serious look of concern as the mystery would unfold. "Well, we have gone south, but ain't no way we are south of the equator. The whole area would be different." While the order for Yuzuna had been issued to take a look at the trees he seemed to look down to the earth. Some dumb he idea he had about the earth around him being turned around, or shifted unnaturally. He would shake his head, and then stop thinking, his brain starting to hurt. Big dummy.
He would hear something about moisture and water, and think about Kirigakure, and the Land of Waves conflict. It seemed unlikely that battle like that far away would have managed to effect this area. But then again, the notion would bring his mind to think about something else. If a large source of water had been around, maybe that could be perhaps a likely cause. At least if something simple like that was the case then maybe it would help things move along without much concern. "Do you think there is a lake or stream around here that we haven't run across, Fuyu-sama? I mean, sure moss like this is fed by dew, and light moisture, but still… a large source of water like that, helps alot of things in nature.", the thought crossing his mind as he would look around keeping watch.
Yuzuna lowers her chin just slightly in a single nod towards Fuyu, wordless as the smooth silken skin at the corners of her pale eyes suddenly shifts, veins spiderwebbing towards her temples with the intensity of the Byakugan. The corner of her lips tugs faintly with what is known to be subtly Hyuuga smugness, her pace never pausing, never slowing as the world is opened up around her in complete three hundred and sixty degrees. Yuzuna narrows her instense stone gray eyes at the tree mentioned in particular as she finally slows, concentrating a bit longer, "It is, real…" she murmurs slowly. "In a sense. It is not a living tree, as it does not have a chakra system, and it is also not a genjutsu. Also…" Yuzuna says the word slowly, "there are pockets along the base, inside it appears…"
Fuyu nods once, but otherwise does not respond at first. Afer a few seconds she retrieves her hand from her tool pouch with nothing in her grasp, and closes the container. "Maybe some ninja decided to conceal an emergency water supply in that tree via those 'pockets', and the moss has been feeding on that." It makes sense, in a way, though who would feel the need to do that, and why that particular tree, and a number of other questions all remain unanswered. "Well, I made a note of it already. If it's not dangerous, then I'll check it out on the way back."
She then gives a nod to Yuzuna. "Good job." To Tosai she says, "There are plenty of water sources in this forest, but I don't think they would only affect a single tree if the bodies of water were going to have an impact on moss growth to that extent." She shrugs and turns forward again. "The road we are looking for is right over here somewhere." About twenty seconds later, Fuyu stops and starts kicking at some lichen with one boot-covered foot. When this fails to provide the results she desires, she bends over and starts peeling the layers of vegetation back. Underneath are some stone tiles set irregularly in the dirt. "This is it. And it looks like no one has been here for quite awhile. Not a good sign for the people who used to live near here."
As Yuzuna does her recon of the tree and then informs them of what shes found. Hinotori continues to look in the opposite direction. He does listen to what Tosai asks, and even he does have to think about the water source. Could there be a small lake or pound or underwater source of water around? Shaking his head as he continues look ahead, and keeping in his crouch, Hinotori watches the area ahead of them, so far he hasn't found anything or seen anyone. Turning around to look at the others, he continues listening to Fuyu as she explains what shes done.
As they continue onward, trying to find the road, Hinotori places his hands into his pockets, he didn't like speaking when information was given out. He knew he didn't know some aspects of ecology, but it was always good to listen to the information as it's relayed and store it for later. As they arrive at the area where the road is supposed to be at, Hinotori moves out in front of Fuyu and just scans the area as she digs into the ground. When she states that she found the road, Hinotori nods. "So will we try to follow the road back to where maybe a settlement is, or just mark it and keep moving?" he asks. Seeming not to mind tracking the road further up or continuing to adventure further away.
Hearing everything, in its entirety, Tosai would shake his head. The two ideas were complete strike outs. He would sigh, and shrug it off. After all, he was paid, in very few cases to use his head in such a manner. Although, he would be still thinking on what had been the case with the tree being used as a storage place for water, so far out in the middle of nowhere. It made him more suspicious. Fuyu's blaming of such a techniques being used to conceal on ninja, while it seemed appropiate, still seemed alittle specific. He seen alot of techniques, ninjutsu, and other, used by non-ninja as well. Any person wanting to hide this far out, could have set this up. But his concerns wouldn't be voiced beyond a, "Perhaps this serves more as a warning than anything else to keep our eyes peeled. After all, a hidden water source like this, stills points to the chance someone was, or is still around."
He would then look to the uncovering the pieces of lichen, only to see and hear that they had already arrived to the next spot to scout. Looks like no one had been down it in awhile, if the moss covering it served as an indication. Tosai would nod to Fuyu's words, and yet still his eyes would scout around, for anything else suspicious. He had faith in Yuzuna's Byakugan, but at the same time, Tosai had no Dojutsu of his own to help him keep track of his surroundings. He had to rely on his own regular trained senses, well, at least everything other than his eyes. Being nearsighted, as a ninja, hurts sometimes. When Hin would ask about the road and such, Tosai would only be listening, keeping in mind to do what had been the result of his question being answered.
Yuzuna silently quirks a brow ans slows her pace as Fuyu kneels down to inspect the vegetation at her fingertips. The subject is one she studies, but nothing of a specialty to the Hyuuga, so for the moment she remains quiet as her right foot steps back and she turns some. Narrowing her stone gray eyes while the Byakugan continues to scan the nearby area, she widens the circumference of her view as much as she is able, looking out for any signs of abnormality. The single tree couldn't be the only thing out of place. "If there are no people…" Yuzuna murmurs lightly, "Something or someone must have either driven them away or killed them… This area does show signs that there has been inhabitants in the past, but not recently…"
Fuyu rises to her feet and dusts off her hands on her thighs. "Yes. We found the road, which was part of this mission's objective. The other part is determining the status of the settlement that should be at the end of the road. Once we have that information, unless we find something out that will require further action on our part, we can return to the Village and I'll make a report. However, as you are all probably aware, this might not be that easy. Even if the people at the hamlet have fled, others might have decided to use the abandoned homes and so forth as shelter. They might be friendly, hostile, or indifferent. But letting down our guard is not advisable."
Then she turns and begins heading down the lichen-covered path. It doesn't take long for the team to find the settlement's remnants. It has clearly been abandoned for at least a few years. The buildings are not in great disrepair, but they are also far from pristine, with signs of animal habitation, plant life overtaking the boundaries of the hamlet, and so forth. Fuyu stays at a distance at first, letting Yuzuna scan the settlement for signs of life. Only once she is sure that there is no one else around does she actually walk into the center of the ring of houses, shops, and so forth. A wood shed sits nearby one house, and a quick investigation reveals a lot of rotting logs. The rain has been getting inside and making the wood disintegrate. "Hmm…"
More investigation shows that dishes, clothes, farming tools, rotten food, and even children's toys, all lie around in various places. It's not as though the people were killed or that there was violence of some kind… It's more like… Everyone just got up and LEFT one day. No signs of combat anywhere. Turning her eyes suspiciously on the hamlet, Fuyu gestures for anyone who may be looking around other places to join her at her location. "Does anyone else see what's wrong here?"
Upon reaching the outskirts of the hamlet, Hinotori waits as well, and once the all clear is given, Hinotori flanks Fuyu, but after a moment, he begins going west. Looking around at the surrounding area, checking a few of the small houses, and even going out towards the other end of the hamlet to see if there has been anyone here. From what he is able to see is that tools lay on the ground. This didn't seem right at all, why would the whole community just up and leave like this? Hinotori continues looking around but as he comes out one of the houses he was investigating towards the rear of the hamlet, he starts to make his way back to the others. Shaking his head, he knew something was wrong, something must've happend to these people. Seeing Fuyu-sama gesturing for eveyrone to come back, Hinotori makes his way to her.
The briefing of the next step in this mission was now put into full effect with Fuyu's explanation, and with the crew now moving into the ghost town, Fuyu was right to assume what she had about what the team had been aware of. This was a text book scenario of ninja entering into unfamiliar, and potentially hostile territory. Tosai seemed to put a large emphasis on 'potentially', as he would nod at the womans advice and follow in taking the rear. Tosai had also been looking around, keeping an eye out for anything strange. And, like Fuyu had, it seemed he would as well. Not a single shuriken, broken window, kicked in door, or explosion. This place, was abandoned all at once. It was hard to tell whether or not it was a speedy evacuation or not, but one thing was certain. No blood, or battle had gotten rid of these people.
If any damage had been to any of the surrounding, nature had been the culprit, but only because it had been doing what it would normally when people weren't occupying a space. Tosai would have an eye out on Hino as he flanked and went checking a few places, but for the most part, he limited his range of movement in between 5 and 16 feet proximity. He didn't need to see much to confirm Fuyu's assumptions. "Big time.. but if if battle didn't make em' up in leave, then what? Don't look like this place had any storms, or bad weather. And I haven't seen a left over kunai, a burn mark from an explosion, or even an old corpse for that matter. Its like, they got bored, and ran off." Half constructed house, tools left behind haphazardly. Open shops, with no one to tend. Open doors to homes huts, and kids toys let behind in the open. If anything, at least the rats and birds around these parts were putting them to good use. However the eeriness of it all still had Tosai guessing. "Looks like they didn't even bother to lock up their homes. Something really weird had happened here." It was almost as if, one could close their eyes, and fill in the missing people who had been just living about there lives normally. But something cause them to just up, and go. What in the world could have happened here?
At the other reaches of the settlement, Yuzuna silently scans her intense stoic gaze as she searches for signs of life, for anything resembling that of a chakra system with the familiar rhythm of a beating heart. Though there is nothing, with the exception of their team. She lightly gives Fuyu a silent nod, signaling that it was safe, from how it looks. The team continues forward, following Fuyu's lead as the Uchiha begins to investigate further. Yuzuna remains silent, a subtle frown forming as the Byakugan continues scanning. "It looks like… the villagers suddenly vanished, in the middle of what they were doing." She arches a thin brow as she glances back to their team leader, ebony hair shifting on her shoulder. "Or that they were kidnapped very efficiently. Perhaps… a Genjutsu? Though why anyone would want or need this many people is a bit enigmatic."
Crossing her arms over her chest, Fuyu closes her eyes and considers the facts. Something is nagging at the back of her mind. Something half-remembered. Maybe it applies to this situation or maybe it doesn't. But this just seems similar to a report she remembers hearing… Then it comes clear. "…We need to get out RIGHT NOW." She does not wait or argue on this matter, and starts trying to herd everyone out of the settlement as quickly as possible. "If anyone touched anything during investigation, say so now!" she calls back to everyone as she continues running as swiftly as she can without leaving the team behind.
Well, that's probably not a good sign.
Watching as the rest of the team came back from their own areas of the hamlet, Hinotori watches each of the members of the team come towards them. He shook his head, he was thinking genjutsu, but then again, a group of skilled ninja could easily take out people and cause something along these lines of people leaving without a trace. But that would require a large group of them. He didn't believe that people would up and leave for no reason. When the orders for them to run comes, Hinotori quickly starts running in the direction as Fuyu, "No, I didn't touch anything, merely looked through windows and back of the hamlet." he states.
So, looks like the cell had an empty town, with nothing going on, that was mysteriously abandoned. At least no danger seemed to be upon them. However, they now had another mystery, besides the mysterious "water tree", and this one, was even weird. Tosai would look to Fuyu, and the others, as they all would regroup, and see the woman thinking. He would look to a small coin on the ground. Something resembling token from a parlor back in Kadomai, and smile. It was a free sake token!! Those who usually got one, we treated to free drinks at the bar, for as long as they could stay conscious! It was an awesome treat! "OOooo!", would be uttered by the large Akimichi, as he would then crouch down, and peer at it a moment for authenticity. To his amazement, it had been the real thing.. Solid Gold, with the symbol of the Lakeshore Macaroon stamped clear as day.
Tosai would be about to reach for it, when all of a sudden, Fuyu's urgent orders would be hear, stopping the boy just inches before he would snatch up the coin, causing him to stand up rather suddenly, and say, "Huh?" Of course the order was strange, but with Fuyu's normally cool and calm demeanor suddenly turning into one of slight panic, that in itself would give him just enough incentive to began moving out with the rest of the group, leaving the coin behind. When Fuyu would say something about if anyone touched anything, Tosai would gulp, and say, "Ummm.. I didn't but what would happen if we did?", the boys forehead sweating nervously, as he though about the coin he almost picked up.
A few yards away from their team leader, Yuzuna blinks her eyes as makes another quick scan with the Byakugan, frowning slightly. She hadn't touched anything, there was no need to for her, though could there possibly be something she hasn't spotted? Firming her jaw, Yuzuna tenses her shoulders before swiftly turning around and moving with a sudden burst of speed. She couldn't help but scowl mildly with distaste, "An epidemic?" the Hyuuga kunoichi asks as they run, though to her it seems unlikely. If it were, there would still be remains of bodies everywhere.
Once they are back at the start of the road they followed to the hamlet in the first place, Fuyu slows down and stops. Turning to face the others, she just looks at Tosai grimly at first. Yuzuna's question is eerily accurate to the truth. "Something like that. During the Clan Wars, before the Land of Fire's borders were firmly established, and before this forest even existed… There was a Clan with a very unique ability. To this day I still don't know if it was a Hidenjutsu or a Kekkei Genkai, but the members of this Clan were able to create viruses, bacteria, and similar pathogens at will, using Chakra. They could then infect others with those pathogens. In one instance, the Clan managed to wipe out almost an entire base full of Uchiha, simply by sending one of their people to us with a gift of food to supplement our own supplies. The food was infected. Further, once those who had eaten the tainted food were infected, they were able to spread the infection to others. It took three days before anyone showed up to find out why communications from the base had stopped."
Looking in the direction of the hamlet, but not really focusing on it, Fuyu remembers what it had been like. "The answer was… Unpleasant. There were bodies everywhere, and they were experiencing advanced decomposition. It smelled horrible, to put it lightly. There were insects swarming the bodies, so we didn't realize at first what the cause was. Some of the 'rescue team' were foolish enough to come into contact with the remains and things that had been handled by the dead Uchiha in life. They started showing symptoms within twelve hours of that contact. The survivors of the base had locked themselves in an unused storage room when people first started dying. The team withdrew with the survivors, and left the infected behind. There was no other choice. We came back to the base a couple days later, and burned everything from a distance. The ones we left behind were already dead."
Looking at her hands, Fuyu tries to remember if she touched anything. She may be wearing gloves, but that's not necessarily enough protection. The only thing she touched was the woodshed door, and then only briefly. "We had other conflicts with the Disease Clan. For instance, when they realized that most insects were immune to human-affecting diseases they made, and thus made ideal carriers. So they infected every mosquito and other insect pest they could find and then fled the area. Many died from mosquito bites, and it took an alliance with the Aburame to eliminate the infected ones completely. There was no way normal humans could find every single insect, capture them, test them for diseases, and so on. There were too many. But the kikaichu could."
Fuyu then nods to Yuzuna. "So you were right. There was an epidemic. And it was the worst kind too. The ultimate weapon that the Disease-makers developed before the Clan Wars were over. A virus so insidious, and so destructive, that the moment we realized what it was and who made it… Just about the entire Uchiha Clan dropped what we were doing in order to hunt down the Clan responsible. The virus, once it infected any form of animal life, not only invaded and took over cells in the victim's body the way a normal virus would, but also infected the Chakra Network itself. This meant that if a Medic-Nin attempted to treat an infected individual with a Medical Ninjutsu, the Chakra of the patient would transmit the virus to the Chakra of the Medic. If someone attacked someone else with a Ninjutsu, and that Ninjutsu caused damage to the target, the individual would become infected from Chakra-contact as well. The virus spread swiftly, silently, and had no identifiable symptoms. The reason it was so horrible was that the virus remained under the control of the ones who first created it, even after it had spread beyond the first victim. And when those monsters finally TRIGGERED the virus…"
Fuyu looks at Tosai dead in the eye, and holds up a hand to her mouth. She opens the hand swiftly, unfurling her fingers, and releasing a puff of air from between her lips. "Poof. Gone. Dust in the wind. It turned the victim's own Chakra network against his or her body, and broke down every single cell at once. Nothing was left. If someone hadn't witnessed it being triggered prematurely by a captured Disease-maker, we never would have known until it was too late. That is why there were no remains in that hamlet. They were probably infected, and then the virus was activated."
Once they were back at their original starting location, Hinotori listens to Fuyu as she informs them of the diesease nins. He thinks he's heard of this group of ninja before, but he doesn't know for sure. As Fuyu informs them, Hinotori takes a calming breath and thinks of anything that he may have had come into contact with and still there was nothing that he touched or did he need to. With questions that were asked by Tosai and Yuzuna, Hinotori feels a bit out of things due to….he shakes his head. Right now wasn't the time to think about that, focusing on what is being told to them and watching Fuyu, he nods his head. "Well they must still be around." he says to Fuyu-sama.
Rubbing his chin with his right hand, "So, whats our next move?" he asks. "I think if this hamlet was truly infected, there may be other hamlets, or small towns that may have been infected as well. Should we check them out as well?" he asks.
Listening quietly to Fuyu as the group soon slows their pace, Yuzuna blinks her pale eyes a few times before mildly frowning at the knews. "If it were a virus or bacteria made of chakra, would I not be able to see it?" she asks, only to further frown as she glances back over her shoulder from where they had come from, "But why would this clan want to eliminate this particular village? It seemed very small, out of the way, and insignificant. What would be gained by killing every single person here?"
Has anyone ever seen that scared and jawdropped look most anime characters get when they find out something that shocking or even dumbly odd? Its that weird expression where the characters body hunches over, the feet spread apart as if the knees themselves have weakened, while only on a single eyebrow twitches. The eyes themselves, are widened in surprise, and fear, lacking pupils, and the mouth hanging oddly wide. Well, this is the way Tosai looked in reaction to Yuzuna's deduction, and Fuyu's tale of the disease that may have taken this entire villaged and wiped it out. He would feel himself weaken slightly, as he would say, "Okay… I think I need to sit down.", as he would come to sit on a nearby stump, checking it thoroughly as a result of ever present paranoia.
Even though he had counted himself blessed, the fact of the matter was that if he had bothered to take that coin, Tosai, would possibly have endangered not only himself, but, well, his entire cell. The mere thought of this situation was enough to take the war toughened nin back a step. "Whoa… that was really close. So.. you are pretty much saying that there is a clan out there that can kill a person at that small of a level? Man.. talking about some sick imagination. To think that disease can be used like that." Poor people. They really ended up dying that slow of a death. Must have been horrible. Had such a clan even been in existence in the Clan Wars? Really? He had been young during the last end of the war sure, but why hadn't he heard of such a clan? Surely, with the Akimichi Clan's approach to food, they would have been moments where they had combated such a scourge.
Fuyu answers Yuzuna first. "They most likely didn't target this hamlet in particular. That was why the virus was so horrible. It just spread, and spread, and spread. If they hadn't triggered it early, they could have infected the entire country. Infact, there is no reason why they couldn't have infected the entire PLANET. There is no evidence that the virus would suddenly stop spreading based on the boundaries of a country. The people who lived here most likely just came into contact with someone or something else that was infected. It didn't matter how or why. But it spread throughout their small community, and when the virus was triggered, they were affected. They probably never even knew what was going on."
Turning to Hinotori, she says, "No. We may wind up encountering other places they have been in the past, but our mission was very specifically to check out this road and this settlement, and then report back. There could be many other places that were impacted by the virus weapon. Checking them all would require a search of the entire southern-half of the Land of Fire. Our team does not have the numbers for that by ourselves."
And finally she turns to Tosai. "Well, you don't need to worry. The Disease-makers aren't out there. You see, the reason they were involved in the Clan Wars at all was because they were aggressively territorial and xenophobic. They hated and feared all outsiders. And by 'outsiders' I mean 'anyone who was not part of their Clan'. They were more than willing to wipe out every other human being in the world without a second thought. They are no longer a threat, however. This hamlet has been empty for years. These weren't recent deaths. And with the 'Disease-maker problem' under control, I suppose that I overreacted. Their Chakra Virus or whatever they called it can only be triggered by a member of their Clan, so even if it was able to remain viable without a host while being exposed to the elements for four or five years, there's no way the virus would be able to kill anymore."
Fuyu then turns and prepares to start heading back along the road that will lead to Konohagakure. She has yet to explain why the Disease-makers would fail to use their virus further, or how they are 'under control'.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Hinotori listens as Fuyu answers their questions. Seeing as they were to head back to Konoha, Hinotori continues to watch the perimeter, but then a question pops into mind. "I know you stated that they may not be a threat now. But what if there are still more of them hiding out there?" he asks. "I feel that our clan dealt with the problem with finality, but there is always that chance that there may be others of that clan out there that may pose a threat. Wouldn't it be a good idea to at least possibly try to find out if there are still members of this Disease-Clan out there, once the report has been filed?" he asks. This is all said while they were getting ready to head back to Konoha.
This was alot to think about. A problem like this, had been around all this time, and yet, Tosai hadn't known a things. In a way that proves how big the world is. He would sigh, and recompose himself as while coming to a stand. Listening to Hino ask about the possibility of them still hiding out, Tosai would really feel no need to imput about anything else. After all, he was curious about the same things. Besides, they had atleast be able to find a territory affected by such a clan, and because they did, something could be done about it.
Tosai would look to the answer that would come from Fuyu, before he would go on to say, "I guess this place may be done same thing, if the area will ever be of use again. I mean this place seemed like a prosperous one before such an epidemic affected it. I suppose if someone did something about any lingering possibility of infection, then maybe it could be once again." Of course the Akimichi would take once last look at the village before he would then began to follow the rest of the group. Who would think that after three years, the effects of the Clan Wars, would still be felt even now? Tosai thought about this incident, asking, "Man, if places like this still haven't been dealt with since the War, it only make me ask what else is out in the world that has been affected like this."
"An accident." Yuzuna replies as she lifts a thin, dark brow. "That seems to be a bit unlikely. Though if it had been activated earlier than intended, what made them activate the virus before their ideal timing? Especially in this little village? Again, all of these seem a bit unlikely to me. However, being several years after the fact, at least we can confirm that the virus won't spread further. Clan or not," The Byakugan smooths away into pale skin, receeding as Yuzuna looks to Fuyu. "we should probably destroy what remains soon. Even if it is a small and unlikely danger, it would be best to eliminate the chance of contamination entirely." Looking to Tosai, the Hyuuga is silent as she listens to his concerns before her pale eyes glance away, unfocused as they linger on their coming path. "War has that affect of stretching out over everything…"
Fuyu does not stop, but she does respond to Hinotori. "There aren't anymore hiding out there. The Clan doesn't exist anymore. It's completely gone. I know because I helped hunt them down. We were VERY thorough." Then she does stop, and turn her head slightly to look back at those behind her. Her eyes are normal. No Sharingan or anything dramatic like that. But there's a wave of hostility and barely-controlled anger just under the surface. "And I was there when Uchiha Madara executed the last Clan members alive. We killed them all. Even their infants. After all, if we allowed the infants to live, what would happen if they found out what was done to their Clan? What if they developed some other reason to want to attack us? We might not be lucky enough to realize it a second time. It was a matter of necessity and survival. I took no pleasure in it."
She then turns to face forward again. "But that's in the past. Their Clan is gone, and we're better off for it. Let's go home." Then she resumes walking. For a simple map-making mission, this has been a long and complicated day.
Hinotori nods his head, but does stop when she rounds on them. As she states what she did and how Madara ended the life of the last member of the clan he nods his head. There was no emotion showing on his face, but he does take a step back. "I…" he stops speaking. There was nothing to say and as he watches Fuyu, at least she didn't like what she has done. Shaking his head, and Hinotori starts walking behind Fuyu as they head back to the village.