Date: October 14, 2014
There is a reported sighting of The Silence brothers that turns out to be a false alarm. But trouble still waits in the form of two thieves.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"False Silent Alarm"
Aneko Village in the Land of Lightning
Afternoon in Kumogakure is rather pleasant in the summer. The high mountains mean that you get plenty of sun and warmth, but the altitude gives a good sense of coolness. Michiko can be found relaxing on the mountaintop, the girl taking a break after climbing all the way up here. She's got a book with her, of course, but she isn't reading it at the moment, preferring to watch the clouds for now.
Kasuya walks down from the village, wearing a pack and an unusually large sword. Instead of her tapered machete she has a long, slender katana strapped to her back. Her bangs fall over her forehead protector, but the symbol of Kumogakure is still visible beneath them. She would nod to Michiko, but then pause and look at the girl. She smiles. "Do you want to come with me to answer a report?" she says. She'd look to make sure Michiko has her forehead protector with her, and then wait to see what the girl might say. Her tone doesn't have the official cadence of a mission, but more an invitation to come along an outing. She doesn't say what it's for yet.
Michiko's forehead protector is around her neck, much like usual. She glances up when she hears Kasuya, blinking a bit at the relatively sudden offer. "I wouldn't mind," she says after a second, getting up and dusting herself off. "Hmm… What exactly is the task, though?" she wonders, falling into step with Kasuya. The girl also tucks away the book she has yet to finish, as indicated by the bookmark that's around the half-way mark.
Kasuya nods and rubs her hands together. "Good," she says, and she sets off leaving Michiko to follow her. Her pace is brisk. After a minute she says, "We're answering a report about a sighting of The Silence brothers. Ever since the political upheaval in the Land of Water, many people even in our country are scared as to who will be struck next. Sightings of The Silence brothers is higher than ever. If they were all true, there'd be hundreds of them. Most of them are false alarms. I was sent to investigate one that says they're holed up outside Aneko Village. It'll take about an hour to get there. If it is really The Silence brothers, we'll flee. No questions. If it's not, let's have a nice chat with the people who reported it."
Michiko is able to keep pace with Kasuya despite how fast the other woman is going. She waits for the answer to her question, nodding a bit. "Ah, I see… Do you think this is another false report, then, Kasuya-san?" Michiko has a feeling it is, mostly because if it really were the Silence, Kumo would know all too well what was going on. A giant army is typically about when the brothers appear, and those two like to make spectacular scenes…
Kasuya is silent most of the way, but she does answer Michiko's question after awhile. "There's more substance to this report than others," she says, "because it's come from multiple witnesses. They said that the two men called themselves The Silence brothers. But…it came from witnesses who were living, healthy, and more annoyed than anything. If it were the real ones there'd be fear, dread, and a far bigger target than a paltry village. The battleground we went to was a slaughterhouse. No, if it's anyone, it's cheap imposters using the name of The Silence. If anything." Her tone trembles with anger.
At the speed they go, they reach the area in well under an hour. They stand on a bluff overlooking the village. Aneko Village is a handful of communal houses, surrounded by bluffs, caves, and crevices. Most of those who call themselves the villagers are miles away, scattered over acres of farmland. Kasuya looks over the quiet scene, and rubs her temples. "If this is the work of The Silence, I'm a goat," she says. "Let's go."
They'd head into the center of the town, and find the village leader's house in no time. He looks wildly at both of them. "Only two girls?" he says. "We need the Kumogakure army! The Silence brothers are here!"
Kasuya asks very quietly, "What makes you think they're The Silence?"
"They said so!" a young man in the corner says. His face is bruised and he wears a sling on his arm. "Then they nearly killed me! They made off with our crops and supplies! Who but The Silence would do such a thing?"
Kasuya seems to be struggling to hold back some very unkind words.
Michiko nods a bit. It sounded like something some weak bandit would do… Once they arrive in the village, she lets the people explain themselves before speaking. "Sir, if it really were the Silence, you would likely already be dead. So take a second to calm down, please, and tell us where these people are. I have a strong feeling they aren't actually the Silence, so Kasuya-San and I are more than enough."
While Michiko sorts things out, Kasuya is in a corner, looking ominous and running her finger along the edge of a kunai. It's enough to make the man near her look nervous, and she says, "I've encountered The Silence brothers in a battle. I'm quite certain Michiko is right, and this is not them. Now please tell me everything, including an inventory of what they've stolen." They'd go over it for the next half hour. Papers are even produced. Kasuya glances at them. "We'll look at these in greater detail afterwards." They'd gathered that The Silence were still raiding farms in the northeast hills of the region.
Kasuya and Michiko set out, and make it to Yutara's farm in no time. It's verdant grazing fields, huge storage sheds, and farm animals. Some lie dead already. There's crashing sounds coming from both the house and the stables. Kasuya says, "House first. Quietly." She'd slip forward—into nothingness. But a soft voice beside Michiko says, "Any force to stop these criminals is authorized, Michiko-chan."
Michiko goes over the inventory with Kasuya, then the two wander off to the farm. She nods a bit to the instructions and makes her way over to the house pretty stealthily, able to peer into the house to see what exactly is going on inside. Well, it looks like he can use scrolls, but she isn't too sure what else there is. So she decides to… Figure out a way to get inside. Or drive the guy out. Something would work. She decides to make a seal, causing a bit of dirt by the door she's not next to explode, as if the house were under attack!
When the bomb goes off, there's a pause. Then the man lets out a roar and comes out shouting, "Raija! Get out here now!" He doesn't get too far before Kasuya appears right behind him, aiming to slash him in the back a number of times with her katana. He's caught off guard by the sneak attack and falls forward. However, his screaming draws his brother out, who takes one look at him and says, "Maydays! I'll kill all of you!" He doesn't run at them. Instead he makes a few seals and the ground underneath them begins trembling, before farmland shoots up grasping hands to hold them both. "Haruda, get up right now!" the bandit named Raija yells to his downed brother.
Michiko is able to dodge the hand with a burst of fire sending her off in the right direction. She eyes the hands that had attempted to grab her before turning her attention to the two "Silence Brothers". The few handseals she makes releases a wave of fire that covers the ground and is hopefully difficult for both men to avoid. "You're not getting away that easily…" she mutters.
Kasuya flips up into the air, far above the grasping hand of earth and lands lightly some ways away. Kasuya sighs as she looks around. Some perfectly good farmland could get pretty damaged. At least this area is just dirt, not over a crop. Michiko's fire spreads out towards the brothers. Raija manages to form an earthen wall in time to block the advancing flames, but his brother's shield blocks only a few of the flames. It's enough to make him shriek as he's suddenly on fire and jump up, batting out the flames. It'll distract him for a moment but, despite bleeding profusely, he's still on his feet and gathering himself to attack. That's until Kasuya starts making hand seals, and both of the brothers stab their arms. One of the brother's points to her. "Watch out…she's a genjutsuist!"
Raija nods and says, "Get back on your feet you lout!" He makes a long line of hand seals, and a rolling wave of earth makes its way towards the two girls.
Michiko is able to dodge the rolling earth quite easily launching herself into the air momentarily, long enough to avoid the attack. By the time she lands, she's already completed the seal to make the earth below the two bandits get sucked into the earth as it swirls below their feet. "Why is this more annoying than anything…" she sighs, making another round of handsigns to attack them with even more fire against the pair.
Haruda is putting all his effort into avoiding the attacks. He doesn't want to drag his brother down, whereas Raija is staying only inches ahead of Michiko's attacks. They seem to be gathering themselves for a second attack—until Kasuya dashes forward and slashes Haruda from shoulder to thigh. He falls down with a gasp, and his blood begins to soak the earth beneath him. Raija looks wildly at his brother, and then the two kunoichi. He falls to his knees. "Wait…I yield," he says. "We're not The Silence. We're just some traveling merchants. Don't kill us." Kasuya frowns. She looks at the man and says, "Michiko-chan, go check in the house to see what became of the family here."
Michiko nods at Kasuya's instructions, relaxing her pose and moving to check the house. She looks around inside, the whole process taking one or two minutes before she comes back. "They're unconscious, but alive, which is good. These guys aren't killers, at least." She eyes the one, Raija, before her attention is back on Kasuya. "So… What are we going to do with them? Or, rather, him?"
"He isn't really my brother, we just teamed up. All the supplies are in his scrolls," Raija blabs. When Michiko relays the news of the family's survival, she delivers a striking blow to Raija. But it's with the hilt of her sword, merely to knock him unconscious. Haruda is dead. "We need to question him," she says. "Most likely he knows nothing, but no stone should be unturned. I'll transport him back to Kumogakure. But I want you to stay at the village. As Chuunin you have authority. We need to retrieve the missing supplies and return them to the owners, and I want you to coordinate their efforts. I'll send a few Genin down to help you." And with that, the initial stage of the mission is over, and they move on to the next.