Date: December 20, 2011
The Kaguya team are sent to the Koumorite village to discover why people are disappearing.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
Koumorite Village [Land of Water]
Koumorite Village [Land of Water]
The Koumorite Village is built near the west coast of the Land of Water, and seems to be situated on a number of rocky cliffs as well as the uneven terrain that lies at the bottom of said cliffs. Caves and tunnels in the cliff walls were once the primary residences of the Koumorite Clan, and are even used for various purposes in the present. However, they now dwell mostly in typical wood and rice-paper houses with tiled roofs that have been built on the ground. Various intricate bridges and pathways lead up to the caves still, but few outsiders dare to venture along the rickety-looking bamboo ramps and stairs and walkways that are suspended so high above the earth.
Though the structures of the Koumorite Village are fairly traditional and typical of the smaller establishments of the Land of Water, there is a proliferance of bat and demon-themed statues, idols, carvings, and similar decorations. For those who know of the special ability of the Koumorite Clan, this is not that surprising. To others, it is typically seen as odd, distasteful, or perhaps even frightening. The Koumorite tend to wear many layers of loose clothing, and favor scarves and body-wraps above kimono and similar.
A path leads south along the coast, and through the woodlands of the Land of Water. To the east, a path up the cliffs leads deeper into the forest, and away from the ocean.
Mission: Roughly two dozen reports have come in from the area surrounding the Koumorite Village that villagers have gone missing. The reports seem to be spread out a week between each occurrence. There is no real connection between those who have vanished. A small team was sent out to investigate but has gone silent. Your mission is simple. Investigate and solve the issue. Chances are high that there are other shinobi involved here.
Night has fallen over the village. No one is out and about. They are all in doors or inside an establishment that looks like a tavern. There are a number of demonic looking statues that seem to act as gargoyles and ward off superstitious evil. Despite that nothing seems out of the ordinary in this village.
Yuuka quirks a pale brow as her and her team pass through the front gate of the village. Even with night having fallen, there would at least be a few people lingering around, packing away wares or heading home for the night. But not a single person. The kunoichi slows as they were about to pass one of the odd gargoyle statues, frowning at it for several moments as she inspects it. "I wonder if this village has superstitions…" Yuuka murmurs lightly. Its very possible. With a light sigh she glances back over her shoulder, "We should probably find out where the previous team was seen last, pick up their trail."
This was the first time Tsiro had actually been out this way. He was excited to be in a new village, but it seemed a little creepy at first. Especially all the demon totems and statues. He glances towards Yuuka after looking at one of the statues. "Remind me after I build my own home out of bones, I need to make some demonic bone statues like those to creep out my neighbors." He then glances towards the tavern with the lights on. "There seems to be people in there."
Following behind silently as usual, Keisuke glances around the village as they walk through it. "They do have some interesting decoration concepts," he says with a chuckle as he glances to Tsiro. He turns his eyes to Yuuka for a moment, eyes darting down to her stomach and then back to her face. A faint smile touches his lips. "So, does the kid know?"
The Kaguya kunoichi smirks slightly at Tsiro as she turns away from the demonic statue. "Why do I suddenly have pity for your future neighbors." Yuuka murmurs, chuckling lightly before turning her attention back to the deserted streets of the village. And just as her student pointed out, one of the few buildings around that were lit is the tavern. She isn't all that surprised. If something dangerous lurked the streets at night, what would be safer than a building that has the room to protect a good number of villagers. "Hm. That looks like a good place start." she agrees, shifting her weight to continue eastwards to the tavern itself. At Keisuke's question, Yuuka quirks a pale brow as she glances back at him for a silent moment. "Not yet."
Tsiro nodded towards Keisuke about the art before glancing at Yuuka. "Know about what?" he asks. He then changes the subject to his future neighbors. "I think it would be stylish. It is not like I would start rumors that they eat little kids and scare all the genin in the village." He then follows Yuuka towards the tavern.
"Your sensei will tell you when she wants you to know, son," Keisuke says with a faint smirk. "That wouldn't be a bad idea." Of course, Keisuke could actually make gargoyles of his bone fly and attack people. It would be rather amusing… Following them toward the tavern, Keisuke continues to look around, checking for anyone in the street.
As the three enter the tavern, everyone inside turns to stare. There are maybe ten people total. Each of them remains silent and just look at the outsiders. Finally the bar tender looks towards them and speaks. "More shinobi. About damn time." he states. There is a general look of fear through out most of the patrons.
Yuuka breathes out a long sigh as she murmurs, "It simply has not been the right timing. And springing this on him during a mission wouldn't be the wisest." she replies to Keisuke, just before she lifts a hand and pushes the door open. She arches a brow at the dozen people that abruptly fall silent and openly stare at her and her team, though it isn't something she's unused to. Her aquamarine eyes glance to the bartender when he breaks the silence, keeping her expression carefully guarded around the people that look like frightened rabbits caught in a corner. Yuuka ignores them for now as she approaches the bar, lightly placing a hand on the railing, "The Mizukage sent a second team as soon as he could, but tell me. What happened to the first team?" She gives a careful glance around at the patrons, "And why are people so jumpy?"
Tsiro looks between the two of them. Keisuke seemed to more or less scold him for asking, though he did raise the question. Yuuka on the other hand talks about timing. Now the boy is stuck pondering what it could be instead of a mission at hand. He grimaces for a moment as they enter the bar.
He begins to ponder what Keisuke would have been like as a kid. An image of an eight foot genin comes to mind. Then Tsiro figures out that chances were good they did not have those ranks back when the guy was a kid. Now the boy pictures an eight foot tall kid being scolded by his four foot tall father. He simply shakes his head and tries to pay attention to the mission at hand.
Nope, there were no Genin when he was a kid. Keisuke attained his rank by putting foot to periwinkle. The giant Swordsman gives no reply to Yuuka, simply following them into the bar. He brings his arms up and crosses them over his chest, intense blood red eyes moving around and accounting for each person and environmental factor in the bar… Thinking about ways to kill them all probably. After all, you never really know who you are talking to in situations like this.
The patrons remain silent. The bartender kind of squints at the group. "The last shinobi to head out this way vanished over six months ago. They were headed down through those caves at the bottom of the cliff. No one has seen them since."
From the back of the bar a man yells, "It's the ghost captain! He's been killing people for his crew!". None of the other patrons turn to look at the man. Most of them just stare downwards towards their drinks. Even the bartender does not really dispute it. "Some people say that on a foggy morning they can see the outline of a ship."
Yuuka openly frowns at the bartender. "Six months?" she repeats with some disbelief. Had the village been gripped in fear this entire time? The shout snaps her gaze over her shoulder at another man, claiming it was a ghost of a captain that has been killing people. But if that is true, why would the rest of the village be scared indoors at night? Was it more superstition? "Just who was this captain? And who remains of his crew?" She asks, making a mental note to get directions to the cliff and its caverns.
Tsiro heard the bartender, but did not want to believe him. He then glanced around. These people put up demon statues, but feared ghosts? He glances between the two elder Kaguya knowing neither of them believed there were any ghost. It sounded like an excuse at best to him.
A ghost captain and a shinobi team missing for six months? That team is probably dead, but Keisuke believes this is more the source of some jackass with a talent for Genjutsu than an actual ghost. The Swordsman continues looking around the tavern, searching for anyone who might look guilty. He purposely gives them looks that show he is thinking of ways to kill them.
Majority of the patrons are not even looking at the shinobi. Most of them seem too frightened. "No one knows the captain's name. I think it is all just a bunch of posies." the bartender states. He glances back towards the man who had yelled out earlier. The guy seems to be downing a pint real quick. He's obviously pretty drunk. For the most part it looks like all the help that would be gained from around here.
She frowns at the drunk for a moment longer, glancing to the bartender out of the corner of her eyes before Yuuka glances around at the other patrons. There are mixed feelings of what is really going on. And now it looks like everyone is too scared to say anything else. She makes a face for a short moment before sighing, "This is probably the most we will get out of them." Slipping a coin on the countertop for the bartender, Yuuka gives him a brief smile and turns towards the door, pushing it open and stepping out into the cool night air once more. Only then does her eyes narrow and her expression harden. "We should split up to explore the landscape so we can find the cliffs that were mentioned. Meet back here in an hour."
Tsiro follows behind Yuuka after it seems that there was nothing more to gain from there. There is not much response when she talks about splitting up. He finally nods his head and walks off in a direction. He had an hour to find whatever it was that he could. As the boy walks, he glances towards the ground. He could smell ocean water from where he was.
Walking out of the tavern, Keisuke gives a nod to Yuuka before turning to walk off in a separate direction. "What a hassle," the Swordsman says with a chuckle before vanishing. Every so often, he reappears in a momentary flicker along the path as he moves hurriedly.
After the hour, Yuuka returns to the designated meeting point in front of the taven, the hardened frown etched in her features and hands loosely crossed over her chest. When Tsiro and Keisuke make their way back as well, she breathes out lightly and murmurs, "There is evidence of other shinobi on the outskirts of the village. A dummy posed as a injured body on the side of the road, except the seal that is on it is designed to knock out any who touch it." Yuuka taps a finger on her arm in thought. "Someone is taking people, and they are not that picky."
Despite being told to show up at the meeting point in an hour, Tsiro is a no show.
"Interesting," Keisuke says as he approaches, glancing around and searching for Tsiro. "I found a cave that is likely the cave the first cave disappeared inside. I imagine it leads to wherever the one behind this is hiding." He steps close to her, placing an arm around her waist. "Where's the kid?"
"Not sure…" Yuuka says slowly, silent with his arm around the curve of her waist. "He was supposed to be here ten minutes ago, so he may have found something we had not. In any case, locating him becomes priority over the mission." She relaxes her arms and drops them loosely to her sides, shifting her weight to move southwards. "We can locate him through his Epigaea Dagger. I made it out of my bone." Sure enough, the pair is lead to the cliff that Keisuke had found during his own search. The dagger is in there, and no doubt Tsiro as well.
"Let's go then," Keisuke says with a nod, turning to follow Yuuka to the cave he just left. With any luck, whatever's keeping Tsiro will lead them to their goal as well. The Swordsman follows silently, allowing Yuuka to focus on finding Tsiro.
The eyes of Tsiro open and he glances around. He's in a cave and there is a large ship visible. He's not on the ship, but there are people moving things onto and off the boat. The last thing he remembered was going up to touch a body and things all of sudden going dark… Then the boy notices his hands are tied. He had been captured. There is a smile on the boy's face as a piece of bone protrudes from his hand. He cuts through the ropes and then moves his hand over his chest. His dagger was gone. It had been taken from him while he was out.
The boy stands up and looks around, his eyes are blazing red. He's breathing harder and harder with each breath. Needless to say he is pissed. Bones begin to protrude from his elbows as he looks around. He spots the nearest man and takes off directly at him. He does not care that he is a shinobi or bother to determine which village he is from. "Die!" he screams out before stabbing the shinobi in the back and then dragging the bone from his elbow across his shoulder blade. The shinobi himself cries out in pain, loud enough to echo through the caves…
Yuuka gives the entrance to the cavern a brief, skeptical look for a short moment before stepping through. She narrows her aquamarine eyes as she and Keisuke move deeper into the cave's depths, "We are getting closer to the dagger…" she murmurs, though he can sense it just as much as she could. The kunoichi almost stops when she hears the unexpected noise echoing off of the cavern walls. "That does not sound good."
Stepping though the entrance behind Yuuka, Keisuke follows her through the darkness of the caverns. "It doesn't, but he can handle himself… At least long enough to survive until we get there." He follows Yuuka toward the dagger, keeping his hand ready to draw his blade and rend anyone who crosses them to pieces.
As the two entered the main cavern, they would spot a blood covered Tsiro. He seemed to be enjoying himself. "Where is my dagger you bastard?!?!" the boy screams out towards the large ship. He takes off running towards the ship but they pull their anchor and begin to sail out of the opening. Tsiro lunges towards the boat and stabs two bones from his hands out into the wood of the ship.
If either of the two stopped to look around or caught a glimpse of the area, it was obviously a holding place for humans. These were obviously slavers with a few shinobi guards. There are a few corpses, only one of which was a shinobi.
The narrow tunnel eventually widens into a large, inner cavern with blood splattered thickly around the few corpses that are scattered around. Yuuka arches a brow as she watches Tsiro leap towards the ship, "Looks like we found him." she murmurs, some amusement in her voice as she flicks her attention to the ship itself. "It looks like these people are slavers, using the dummy to kidnap villagers and the ship to transport them. No wonder those in the tavern were frightened." Turning her snowy head, Yuuka gives Keisuke a sideways glance and a smirk, "What do you think, my love? Should we stop Tsiro-kun before he kills everyone or should we join in on the fun? This is not exactly part of a mission, but it could be a perk."
Stepping into the open area, Keisuke quickly scans the area to take in all factors. "No sense stopping him," the Swordsman says with a faint smirk as he reaches back to draw his sword. "Let's have a little family fun before we tell him the good news, hmm?" he says as he forms a dagger of his bone and throws it over to Tsiro. "Take that so we can track you, kiddo," he calls out as the blade practice flies into the boy's hand.
The blood covered boy looks back as the bone dagger flies into the side of the ship. He gives a happy wave. "Heya!" he yells as he keeps climbing. He places the dagger in his clothing before rushing at the first person on the deck.
Soon after the boy comes flying off the top of the ship. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH" he yells as a water dragon slams into him. Luckily he lands in the water. Tsiro comes up for air and looks at the back of the boat. "Bastard."
From the back of the ship a shinobi emerges. He holds the Epigaea dagger in his hand. His face is covered by a mask and he wears no forehead protector. "You all stopped me this time, but you will not do so again." he states while flipping the dagger back and forth between his fingers. He then does some hand signs and a massive waves starts to push the ship away.
Well, Tsiro seemed fine and dandy, even perky as he waves back to them before climbing up into the ship itself. Yuuka chuckles lightly with amusement between Keisuke and Tsiro's exchange. It only lasts for a few moments though before a large dragon made of water appears and crashes into the boy the moment Tsiro reaches the deck. So, there's a competent shinobi with water manipulation. And without a forehead protector, so he may not be as good as he thinks he is. Yuuka narrows her aquamarine eyes as she suddenly flickers, taking off with quick speed and leaping up onto the deck of the boat itself. "What was that? I could not quite hear you over the loser in your voice." she murmurs.
"Hey, you call that a Water Dragon?" Keisuke calls out as he sets his sword down and runs through hand seals. As he does so, he leaps onto the water and is lifted up by a forming dragon of water that rises up toward the ship. "You are mistaken. I'll show you the real thing."
"Hey, you call that a Water Dragon?" Keisuke calls out as he sets his sword down and runs through hand seals. As he does so, he leaps onto the water and is lifted up by a forming dragon of water that rises up toward the ship. "You are mistaken. I'll show you the real thing." A devilish grin tugs at his lips as he prepares the enormous creature of water, a dark chuckle ringing out. It appears Shikotsumyaku is far from being the Swordsman's only powerful talent.
The mystery shinobi grins beneath the mask. Especially at the member of the seven swordsmen. He seems to ignore the comment about the loser in his voice. "That really is a lovely sword you have. Too bad I cannot stay and play." Then his body turns to water and falls to the deck. It was a water clone.
From the back of the deck, Tsiro comes climbing up. "Did you get him?" he asks. He then looks at Keisuke. "It's ok, I needed the exercise of climbing up the ship again. Maybe one of these days you can teach me to summon that thing." the boy then rolls over onto the deck. He's soaked. "Anyone see my Epigaea dagger?" It seems the mystery shinobi might still have a hold of it. Though if Yuuka tried sensing it, she would find its no where near their location anymore.