Find What You Seek


Meruin, Kaoru

Date: January 21, 2013


Three genin are taken on a search and rescue mission and struggle to find overcome the boundaries before them.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Find What You Seek"

Wooded Area within Kirigakure's hidden oasis.

Thick Woods [Land of Water]

This is one of the more heavily wooded areas of the Hidden Tropical Oasis. Trees of all sizes are seen, some slightly in early stages and some stretching toward the skies. This is an ideal ground for those used to living in forest areas. While not as large as a normal forest, it does provide a large enough area to allow for stealth and mid-air combat atop the trees. There doesn't seem to be any sort of path made through the trees, unmarked due to the area being uninhabited for quite some time.

Meruin (Ze lumberjack)

West - (W) [Hidden Tropical Oasis]
South - (S) [Stream]

Meruin stands at the entrance of the thicket of woods off of Kirigakure's Dark Caverns. The teenage chuunin stands tall, a preternatural stillness holding his form as he keeps his eyes to the west, a silent sentinel. Thin and translucent skinned, he gives the air of one who is a perpetually unwell in the way of one ravaged by terminal disease. But he was well enough to lead this mission.
He was here awaiting the three genin who would come to partake in said mission. This was a lower ranked mission, and one that should include a very limited amount of danger. Those who'd been contracted for the mission had been told that it was a search and rescue, that timing was paramount to it's success, and that they'd have to leave to meet the chuunin supervisor here. They were given directions, a map, and instructions to make all haste. They were just about due to arrive.

Kaoru headed straight out of Kirigakure when she got the notification of her upcoming mission. Even though she'd been a shinobi for a few months now, the young girl still found missions a little exciting, and had to work hard to force her ice-cold exterior to the front. On the way to the meeting place she comes across the other two Genin on the mission - Hakato, a boy specialising in the use of Genjutsu and Akali, a girl who used twin kamas in a frightening Taijutsu style. Kaoru had met both of the Genin before, but had never been on a mission with either of them. As the trio near the caverns they spot Meruin. Kaoru stops for a second, recognising him from the springs a couple of days earlier, then approaches cautiously. "Meruin-san," she greets him cordially, but without a bow, "You're the supervisor for this mission?"

Meruin inclines his head in greeting to the three genin who arrive in an acceptable amount of time. "Blessings, all." He nods to Kaoru at her question. "I am, yes. I am called Okumo Meruin. Be advised that supervisor, barring unforseen circumstances, is the extent of my participation within this mission. You fail or succeed based on your own merit. And your failures have unfortunate consequences."

He turned about on his heel, a gliding step taking him into the trees, a gesture telling the others to follow along. "Recently, a maneshi of your graduating classes and her companion was traveling these woods, en route to the floral sanctuary across the stream to the south." It was at this point that Hakato and Akali begin following behind, listening, the latter with a small scowl. "She was waylaid by a bear. She fought the bear, was injured, and managed to escape. However, her feline companion did not make it out, being forced to flee in the other direction. It is now lost within the forest and we are going to see it found. Are there any questions?"

RPCOMBAT: Kaoru defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSITIVITY…29

Kaoru follows along quickly behind Meruin, and her head appears to be on a permanent swivel - it turns this way and that as she extends her sixth sense out and searches for chakra signatures. Surely a beast that was a companion animal to a ninja would have a noticeable chakra signature. "Has the bear been killed yet, or should we expect that the companion animal is still being pursued?" Kaoru asks of Meruin, one hand resting on the hilt of her katana and her head continuing to turn as she tried to keep her eyes on all her surroundings at once. She glances back toward Hakato and Akali, making sure that they were both keeping their eyes open as well. Just because she was a sensor-nin didn't mean they could slack off.

"The bear is assumed to be alive, unharmed, and at large," replied Meruin. "It is an ordinary bear, however, and should prove fairly simple to eliminate should we come upon it. As to whether our target is on the move, whether due to pursuit or otherwise cannot be said." The Okumo raises his hand, gesturing forward, signalling for the search to begin in full. He moves in a moderately paced dash, an average speed that can be sustained over long distances. Two more signals flash, ordering the genin to fan out at his sides.

"If you notice anything — tracks, a scent, claw marks, let it be known."

COMBAT: Meruin finishes his turn.
COMBAT: It is now Kaoru's turn.

RP: Kaoru transforms into CHAKRA-SENSOR-INTEGRATION.
RPCOMBAT: Kaoru defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSITIVITY…22

Kaoru fans out behind Meruin, moving fairly silently and keeping her senses alert for any sign of the bear or the companion. Her head continues to turn back and forth, looking at trees, shrubs and mud as she tries to pick up on any hint of a trail left behind by either the bear or the large cat. Then, as she comes out from behind a clump of underbrush Kaoru spots a cavey type thing up ahead. She lifts a hand in a stop signal and points out the entrance to the others in the group. She looks across the line of shinobi, making sure they've all seen it, then starts to move again, heading off in a direction that suggests that she's going to circle around the den rather than potentially aggravate the bear inside it by entering and exploring.

Meruin caught the signal from Kaoru, repeating it with a whistle and tossing a nod towards the girl. He altered his path, heading towards the direction he'd been pointed towards. He soon found what it was that she'd spotted and nodded once more, though to himself this time. Rather than approach or investigate, he pauses, remaining a notable distance from the den. A wave of the hand signals for the others to continue onward and investigate.

Hakato keeps going, not having noticed Kaoru's signal, the genjutsuist running as he continuously sweeps his surroundings for hints at where they should next search for the injured companion. At least, he ran until he'd heard Meruin's whistle, looking over to see the signal. "Oh…" he says quietly, turning and watching Kaoru start to circle the den. Seeing that she had that covered, he turned to a nearby tree and leapt up, kicking off of the trunk to grab a tree branch and climb up. Looking down, he surveyed the area around the den. Meruin caught this, looking up and nodding.

"Why the search are we being so quiet?
Akali shifted her grip on her kamas, simply striding forward directly towards the den. "It's just a bear. If the three of us can't kill it, we don't deserve to make it out of here, anyway. And it's not like we can't just — " she kicks a miscellaneous rib bone out of the way as she enters the cave, more a small hollow than anything else. " — Hey…"

RPCOMBAT: Kaoru defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSITIVITY…25
RPCOMBAT: Kaoru defends against with a PERCEPTION…24

Kaoru spots several clues around the area and holds up her hand again for the team to stop. Then she sees Akali forging ahead straight toward the bear cave and moves to try and intercept the girl. "Our mission is to retrieve the companion, not kill a bear," she says, her face stern. Her other hand is still on the katana, prepared to defend herself if the bear happens to suddenly emerge from somewhere. "There's another human footprint headed west," Kaoru adds, sinking low to protect herself while she continues to examine the area.

Meruin's hair lifts from his back of it's own volition, languid motions sweeping through the air as it begins to braid itself. The chuunin simply watches the going ons, examining the situation from behind a face that gave nothing away. "Take care," is his quiet murmur, loud enough for only himself to hear.

Hakato's eyes looked through the trees, searching for hints of the bear or anywhere it could have gone to. He shakes his head after a bit, looking down to where Kaoru was — His eyes flashed back upwards through trees past the sensor genin, narrowing slightly. He grimaces. "Guys," he calls down. "Bear incoming." He points to it, northward.

"Guys!" Akali called out just afterwards. She steps out of the bear's hollow, wiping blood off of one of her weapons against her thigh. "That bear that's coming? It had a cub. And it was sick. It's coming back for it." The bear had not yet noticed them, though it was swiftly approaching.

Kaoru turns swiftly as Hakato calls out his warning. She tilts her head to one side for a moment, wondering why she hadn't picked up on the bear's approach with her chakra perception, but shakes her head and dives for cover. She quickly rolls behind a tree and glances out briefly to try and catch sight of the bear. Of course, with no idea which direction the bear's coming from, it could very well be coming up behind her right now. She motions to Hakato, trying to ask him exactly where he saw the bear, but is having trouble getting line of sight to the boy. "I hope this bear doesn't manage to sneak up on me," she mutters to herself, continuing to scan the area with both her physical and chakra senses.

COMBAT: Kaoru finishes her turn.
COMBAT: It is now Meruin's turn.

Meruin leaps onto a nearby tree trunk, running up it to reach a branch and obtain his own bird's eye view of the situation. He looked across to Hakato, pupiless eyes following his finger to the bear, taking it's location and speed in and noting that it was, indeed, heading straight for Kaoru. Reactionless, he watches.

Hakato frowns, looking off to the east, looking very much like he wished that they had simply set off and run away once they'd noticed it. But it was too late, now. It's gotten too close, now, and it'd notice them and give chace with them being so near to the den and the cub. "I guess we do some bear hunting," is his quiet mutter.

"I guess it's time for some beat hunting!" shouts Akali as she scales the rocky face above the hollow with a pair of sure footed jumps. Eyes roving, she swiftly finds the creature and dashes down the other end of the stony hill, weapons at the ready. The bear notices and pauses before giving a throaty bellow — loud enough to to sting at a close distance. As it turned out, this bear was… larger than most. Brown and big, it charged the charging Akali. "I'll be wearing your skin by day's end, bear!"

Kaoru spins around to see the bear approaching, its roar having awakened her senses. She glances across to Akali, who seems intent on going head-to-head with the beast, and Kaoru shakes her head in annoyance. "Girl wants to get herself killed," she mutters as she closes on the bear's position as well, keeping a little more distance than the slightly suicidal Genin. As she gets within range of her jutsu, the young Chakra Sensor forms several handseals and steps out from behind a tree trunk, whipping a hand toward the bear. A long whip made of lightning chakra flashes out toward the beast's head multiple times as Kaoru tries to drive it off and keep it away from Akali.

RPCOMBAT: Kaoru attacks with LIGHTNING-WHIP…11
RPCOMBAT: Kaoru attacks with LIGHTNING-WHIP…20
RPCOMBAT: Kaoru attacks with LIGHTNING-WHIP…13

Hakato sighs, not at Akali's fearlessness but at her lack of finesse with a situation. "Akali!" he called down, getting a trio of kunai from the ninja tool pouch at his hip. Arm flashing, he let the three weapons fly one after another, the metal giving a dull glint as they flew towards the bear. "Hop back! Incoming Kunai!"

Akali lets out a battlecry as she comes to the bear. Rather than attacking head on, she dives to the side of it, coming up out of a roll to stab at the bear's flank. Her dive lets her avoid it's inital swipe and her kama pierces the bear's side above it's hip. The animal lets out a roar, pivoting and rearing up on it's hind legs. Hakato's kunai come in , the first simply slamming into the ground where the bear's shoulders had been. At this same moment, the lightning lashes made by Kaoru strike, the first slamming into the ground.
Kaoru's second eletric whip does find it's mark, striking it in the head, making it let out a bark of pain as it stumbled to the side. This causes Hakato's second kunai to miss. Kaoru's third lashing of electricity comes in, streaking towards the slightly stunned bear… but that final kunai comes in and the eletricity diverts to it's metal, following it over the bear's shoulder into into the ground, where it neutralizes.

Recovering, but somewhat off in it's movements, the bear drops to all fours, sending a clawed paw to Akali, viscious in it's strike. But it wheeled about, simply charging Kaoru and looking to clamp down on her shoulder, tearing it away from her in the brutality of primal fury. (25)

RPCOMBAT: Kaoru defends against with a INTUITIVE-DODGE…17

RPCOMBAT Kaoru took 44 damage.
RPCOMBAT Kaoru took 356 damage.

Kaoru didn't even see the attack coming. One moment the bear was a good several paces away, and the next it was on top of her, slamming the young kunoichi into the ground. Her body still charged with the lightning chakra, Kaoru struggles to get her hands together into one more handsign, but manages it successfully and unleashes several finger of lightning towards the bear. Using the light as a distraction she rolls away and gets back to her feet. "Cover me, Akali!" she calls out to the girl as she renews her assault on the bear with her lightning whip.

RPCOMBAT: Kaoru attacks with LIGHTNING-WHIP…19
RPCOMBAT: Kaoru attacks with LIGHTNING-WHIP…20

The bear's body jerks upwards, galvanized by Kaoru's lightning stream, an anguished scream piercing the air, crashing through the trees and sending the nearby birds scattering. It falls down to the ground where the sensor genin had just vacated, heavy body landing with a thump. Akali, having been unable to fully avoid the bear's swipe, let out a grunt of pain as she reacted to Kaoru's request, seeing opportunity and leaping onto the bear's back as it begins to try to get it's feet under it. Letting out a scream, she begins burying her kama into the animal's hide over and over again, paying no mind to anything else. The bear roars it's pain and lurches upwards, getting it's forefeet underneath it, throwing Akali off to the side. She lands in a heap, hindered by the wound in her side. But Kaoru's final lightning lash strikes the mother bear in the neck, cutting deep.

The bear falls to the ground, legs going limp at the hit. It is silent, it's death a very sudden thing. Meruin sees this and nods, sliding from the tree branch to land on the ground beneath in a crouch. "Attend," he called out, ordering all of the genin to come to him. Hakato, unharmed and largely a spectator, slid from the tree after only a moment, swiftly making his way to the Okumo, though his eyes were turned towards the girls who'd fought.

Kaoru looks over to Akali, making sure that she's going to be alright to get to Meruin while she walks over herself. Thinking that Akali will be ok, Kaoru turns to face Meruin and stands at attention, ignoring the looks coming from Hakato and shaking her hands quickly to get rid of the excess lightning chakra still fizzling between her finger.

Meruin's eyes are locked on Akali and he simply waits, watching as she puts a hand to the ground and takes in a deep breath, wincing as it stretches her side. Through noticable effort, she brings herself to her feet and retrieves her weapons before walking to the chuunin, a hand pressed against her side and a prideful expression on her face.
When she joins the rest of the group, Meruin nods approvingly. He then goes on to say, "You failed. As of now this moment, your comrade's kitten has just bled out in a tree a few hundred yards to the north, where the bear came from. Your objective was to save them. Not to kill a mother bear protecting her cub from unwitting trespassers. You could have left when you noticed it approaching, or sent someone, like the teammate sitting in the trees watching you guys fight a bear six times your weight.
"This was a test for each of you." He looks to Kaoru, "You for your ability to find your target, largely through sensing chakra. And there was one, though they are now preparing to leave." He looks to Akali. "You for your ability to perhaps utilize some sense when approaching a situation. At the very least utilizing your team mates." He looks towards Hakato. "And you, Hakato, for your ability to show some initiative. Unfortunately, you've done near to nothing on your own within this mission."
The Okumo says, "Think on this test. There is much to learn from it for each of you. Be glad that there was no true life at risk, as you'd have just crippled one of Kirigakure's assets. It is my hope that the next time you are put to the test that you fare better. There is still promise in each of you." A sudden motion has him dipping, sinking fangs into Kaoru's wounded shoulder and retreating. She'd find that pain flared, immediately, but that it was fade to a soothing feeling nearly as quickly, her wounds beginning to knit themselves closed. Akali recoiled from the sight, surprised, but was drawn in by the Okumo's grasping hand and given the same treatment. She gasped and stepped back from him after he let go and turned about, starting to head towards the village, Hakato staring at him.
"You may ask questions on the return trip."

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