Date: December 11, 2013
After a successful ambush of ANBU operatives from Konohagakure, Rise and Eremi retreat with the answers they seek at rest upon the latter's shoulder. The price for this does not come as cheaply as what may be perceived on the surface.
"Pain and Gain - Finding Light in the Darkness"
Unknown Cave within the Land of Fire
After surviving the attack on the ANBU, the two would continue bounding through the forests, moving as far away from the scene as quickly as possible with hostage in tow while ignoring the injuries and exhaustion they had incurred during the bout. Pushing through the pain until they were a safe distance away before the search teams were sent to track them down. When that would happen was unknown, but assuming there was time to stop and relax would be foolish.
Clutching tightly to the Raccoon, Eremi would jump from branch to branch of each of the trees that made up the forests in the Land of Fire. From time to time he would look over his shoulder making sure Rise was still with him and no one was following them, yet. There weren't many as fast as Eremi and Rise, but he wasn't going to leave anything to chance at this moment. "Just a little further. There's a cave up ahead we can stop and rest in while getting the information we need from this guy. Once that's done, we'll be leaving the Land of Fire." Much of what he was saying was nothing that would give away their plans after they finished with the Raccoon in case he was still conscious.
The little last minute interlude with the ANBU nearly cost Rise a chance at catching up with the Satonezu. Thankfully, Rise succeeds due to luck and the load Eremi bears. Eventually. It may have presumptious of her to think that it was necessary to do anything but follow, but the girl still found herself working on a false trails to throw off any trackers before proceeding to catch up with Eremi.
By the time the girl is actually at her companions side, she is even more exhausted than he is. It would've been so easy to slip one of her soldier pills down her gullet to regain her strength. But at what costs? "Hai." is all she says before clamming up completely for the rest of the trip.
The rest of the trip would be rather silent with nothing more needing being said. Which was probably for the best as the next part of this plan had the potential of being harder than ambushing those Konoha ANBU depending on if the Raccoon was going to cooperate or not. Naturally there were ways of getting people to talk, even the most stubborn, but it was something Eremi was hoping wouldn't come down to and something he wasn't sure he'd be able to do.
Time would continue on, the sun slowly rising behind them and eventually the duo would reach the entrance to the cave that was probably home to a family of bears or some other type of wildlife. Wasting no time, Eremi would drop from the trees and move inside the darkened cave with the Raccoon still upon his shoulder.
The gloom still played havoc with Rise's eyes, so she was left with only Eremi's word and form to guide her towards the aforementioned cave. The rise of the sun brings relief… at first. Then she recalls what they had done the night before. A weary sigh escapes her lips. Afterwards, the girl redoubled her efforts to stay focus and alert for trouble. The thought that by now those they ambushed were probably coming around spurring her on even more.
Eventually the cave itself is but a hop and a skip away. As soon as her feet touched down upon the stone making up the floor of its entryway, Rise turned back to look at the way they came, searching for any signs of pursuit. Her eye grows narrower in search of any telling signs of their approach to the cave since there was no telling just how badly the fight and trip had effected their attempts at keeping a loose trail.
The light of the sun as it made its morning ascension would only fill the entrance to the cave with its glow leaving the rest of the cave covered in darkness and shadows making it difficult to see and distinguish between features. This would work out for Eremi and Rise in wanting to keep their true identities unknown. Though if anyone was a suspect already for the ambush, it would be Eremi.
Moving a bit further inside, Eremi would drop the Raccoon on the ground, prop him up against a wall and then remove the mask that covered the mans face. Seeing what the man looked like in the darkness wouldn't be easy, so his identity would still be safe. "Wake up, Cee" Using the code name of the individual as Eremi didn't know the Raccoons real name. "I said wake up!" Grabbing the waterskin from his side and pouring some of the contents over Cee's head.
The alcohol would pour down his face and Cee would jerk forward only to grab his side and begin coughing in pain. Once he regained some of himself, "What…What do you want…Eremi!" Coughing a bit more, "You think just cause you cut your hair and cover your face we wouldn't be able to tell it was you? Your voice, your fighting style, your inability to truly hurt those just cause they're from the same village as you." His eyes would scan the room and make out the silhouette of another, "You're lucky you found someone to do the dirty work for you."
Rise could stare out of the mouth of that cave for days and still be left unsatisfied. Knowing this, albeit on a subconscious level, still did not stop her from trying to be thorough before relenting. The sigh meant that would have escaped her lips catches in her throat when she jumps at the noise of Eremi's attempt to wake-up their prisoner. She turned to walk inside further. For a brief instance Rise actually felt sorry for Raccoon. And then he spoke, reminding her with just his first sentence just why she joined Eremi on this crusade of sorts.
Rise dared not to speak if possible. Her throat itched for her to comment however. Being of the more action over words sort, Rise settled for trying to punch the man just hard enough for the strike to sting without accidentally breaking his neck or knocking him out in the process. Failure or not, Rise would step back after that point and fold her arms across her chest.
Before Eremi could counter what the man had said, Rise had already stepped up and answered with her fist. The blow hitting with just enough force to knock the man over. Unable to catch himself due to holding his ribs, Cee would meet the cold floor of the cave, face smacking into the dirt and blood spitting out his mouth. Down, but not out, Cee would chuckle through his coughing as he picked himself up and propped back against the wall, "Seems I was right."
No longer needing the disguise, Eremi reached up and tugged at the bandages that covered his face until they were removed. "Well, unless you want more of that. You might as well answer our questions." Crossing his arms over his chest, "Why is Kanra Fukutsu doing what he's doing? Why did he set up that lie just to try and eradicate that entire village? Why does it seem like he's going after other villages as well?"
Cee would laugh as much as could through the pain, "Really? That's all you want to know? That's why you went through all of this? Eremi, you truly are a kid." Expecting another fast hand from Eremi's accomplice, Cee would tense up before he continued to talk. "It doesn't matter if you know, so I'll tell you. Fukutsu is looking for someone. Someone that simply can't exist anymore. Why? I don't know, and I don't care. It's not my job to know and it isn't your job to know either. You do what you're told for the sake of the village."
Rise listened and remain in position. Behind the cloth covering up the lower half of her mouth she smirked at Cee's response. If her first punch made him that fearful of being too cheeky, she couldn't help but wonder how he would react if she was more 'proactive' about breaking his spirit. Her smirk transforms into a dark smile. A second later and the girl is rubbing her forehead and wondering just where the heck that line of thought came from.
Although only half-aware of what else left Cee's mouth, Rise caught enough to realize that their impromptu interrogation has gone a bit more smoothly then anticipated. Still, there was more he wasn't telling them… and Rise needed a distraction from the discomforting thought from before. Thus, she would try and haul him back up by his neck if given the chance and press him roughly against the cave wall. "Name." She demanded huskily as she glared at Cee heatedly from behind her goggles.
Cee would gasp and wince in pain as he's forceably picked up simply by his neck. Through the darkness he would try to make out just who it was that was helping Eremi, but couldn't see enough to tell.. A free hand would reach around as if struggling, touching Rise's face in the process as if trying to resist, but was actually feeling for details. The only thing he would feel were the goggles and the rest of the disguise that covered the girls face.
Choking, Cee would force something through, "Name? There is none…." Coughing a bit, "Like I said, I don't know, and I don't care. Fukutsu asked me to do something and I did it." A hand would reach up to grab at the girls forearm, "The first time we were sent to a village to kill everyone through the information Fukutsu had given us. The person probably ran away thanks to Eremi. Fukutsu believed through information gathered they were now at a village to the west, but when we got there, he wasn't there. He's probably left the Land of Fire completely knowing that we're hot on his trail.."
Eremi would take a step forward, moving past Rise and getting face to face with Cee, "If you don't have a name. Then what does he look like?" Cee swallowed hard through the clutched grasp of Rise's fingers, "You keep pushing me as if I care that you know this. It won't change anything. From what Fukutsu told us, he's an older man, about the same age as him. He has brown eyes and black hair with streaks of silver. If you want more, you can go talk to Fukutsu himself."
Rise nearly snapped Cee's neck for touching her, resisting her… feeling her out! The last bit sparks that infamous fiery spirit of hers. Which in turn nearly drove her to tightening her grip. The girl just barely managed to reign in the urge before any permanent damage could be done. For now. The comment about the pushing being essentially unnecessary elicits a sneer. How could any respectable shinobi divulge information like this? Especially one of the ANBU, the elite amongst shinobi in their own way. Even if an individual did not care for their mission given… it just… it just didn't feel right.
Rise would keep her opinion to herself for the time being and waited until Cee had spoken ever word he wished to utter. Using her free hand, Rise gripped Cee at the wrist by the same arm he had clutching onto her extended forearm… and crush it. If he cried out she'd silence him by gripping his neck tighter, slowly relieving him of any air until he was on the point of passing. Then and only then did the girl release him, allowing him to either fall down unconscious or slump down coughing.
"…. We better move." She intoned stonily before turning to lead the way out.
Feeling the force of Rise's own hand upon his own tighten, Cee would let out a squeal only long enough until Rise clutched tighter around his throat, silencing his pain. The air escaping him and nothing new coming in, his eyes would water as he flailed about trying to prevent himself from passing out. The hand that grasped his ribs would reach up and grab the girls face, pushing against it, trying to survive this, but what strength he had was fading and quickly until it quickly dried up and he passed out, crumpling to the ground.
Eremi shook his head at the form, "Yes, we have a lot of ground to cover and a lot more to talk about. Is what Cee was telling us the truth or a rouse? Does he truly not care what we know because there's nothing we can do with the information?" Questions that would be left unanswered as Eremi followed Rise out before catching up to her and pointing out where they'd be heading next…Outside of the Land of Fire.