Date: August 11, 2013
Once again leaving to pursue his past, this time armed with information and coordinates, Fudo only takes Yuzuna along with him this time, as she was the only reliable person in the last venture. Akane tracks and catches up to the duo going after Fudo's long lost history when they discover a seemingly insurmountably obstacles: An army of pirates.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Full Circle - Debt's Owed"
Southern Coast of the Land of Rivers
The preparations had been made. Fudo would go with only one companion this time, as he did not want to be slowed down for anyone as he was the last time he went on this journey. Only one person had stuck with him from begining to end, and thus Yuzuna would be at his side once more as the ship sailed briskly across the waves. He stood at the front of the ship, his arms crossed as his coat hung loosely upon his shoulders and his bare chest bore the salty sea air and crisp winds. His eyes smoldered with the sharingan the entire time, peering out ahead of them at the sea as he was more than ready to push forward and to meet his past so that he may conquoer his future.
Yuzuna sits silently at the port bow, her hands resting on the stern wood she leans against while the sea air teases through the tail of her updo. Every once in a while she idly glances up at where Fudo stands, his expression hard with intent as it was the last time she checked on him. Exhaling a small breath, she lifts her arms to cross against her chest, "Really, Fudo, you need to relax. Even if it's just a little."
"I have been made to wait for far too long." Fudo would reply with the wind as he turned his head back to look at Yuzuna. "That war… was a nuisance. It wasted so much time. but perhaps you are right. Though, the last time I let my guard down, I ended up unconcious on a beach." Fudo stated with a bit of a tilt of his head. "I do not want to underestimate what is waiting for us at this… Master Seal. I do not want to put either of us in danger again."
"I understand," Yuzuna murmurs, "But if you are too hyped up then you will react to every little thing and wasting chakra in the long run. Nor do you want to underestimate what is to come. Remember, balance." Her dark lashes flutter as she closes her powder lavender eyes, slow to glance up at Fudo and meet his gaze. "Take a slow breath, focus yourself. And know that I am here for you."
He would do as he was asked, Fudo nodding a bit and staring forward only to close his eyes and inhale deeply. His shoulder would relax, almost causing the coat to slip from his form as he would smell the air and feel the breeze. Worrying or being too eager for something to go wrong would never turn out well. It would stiffen him and slow him to change or unexpected circumstances. It my even agitate him in to starting fights he cannot finish if it came down to it. His greatest strength had been his ability to stay calm and analize the situations before him. No matter how strong the foe was or how big the obstacle, he used his wits as his primary weapon and defend and it had so far never failed him when it counted. "Thank you… Yuzuna." he would say with a slow exhale.
Her pale eyes glances back at him, a small closed smile tugging at her soft lips for a brief moment before she returns her gaze forward, at what's to come. She needed no thanks for her reassuring words. They were here, now in this moment, and she knew that she would support him regardless of what may happen. Just like he would for her. There was no doubt, no anxiety. She only felt a little bit of excitement that seems to electrify the air. Fudo felt it too, maybe a bit more since he felt it stronger. Every part of him wanted to know his past, of who he was, and she understood that. The brief exchange of words was all that was needed. "A reminder, nothing else." Yuzuna murmurs, a small bit of warmth in her voice.
Slipping back in to his coat, Fudo would inhale deeply once more before moving towards the center of it. "From what the maps says, the location isn't too far away from where my… home village… used to be. And taking a boat much further wouldn't do us any good because of the great river. So… we will land there once again, and move on foot." Fudo stated as he looked to Yuzuna with his crimson gaze and would recall the map directions. He also didn't want the captain getting any ideas about what they may find, and besides, the captain was already weary of possible pirates and raiders closer to the river. "I'm not bringing ya closer any way. Ever since the Land of Rivers became unstable again when the Lord passed, the pirates have gotten back to doing what they did before. In less numbers mind you, and held back by some Shinobi movement, but over all… it is still more dangerous than I like."
Yuzuna lowers her chin with a small nod as she smoothly pushes herself from the railing. "Right." she murmurs, rolling her shoulders gently as her pale eyes idly glance at the captain over her shoulder. "Fine." She can't blame him for being a little fearful, not really. He was the only one that even agreed to bring them out this far. Straightening the curve of her back the kunoichi turns her gaze to Fudo, nodding subtly to him. They were ready.
It wouldn't take too long before they would see the familiar, barren shore that Fudo had once called home. Their sea voyage was going to end soon enough, and Fudo would pull his shirt over his head and tug it down over his torso before sliding back in to his coat. Shaking his long hair out a bit, he would peer at the shore line. The mystery of his village disappearing was still on his mind. He would see a shadow cast over him and glance up, seeing a raven yet again. This couldn't be the same Raven from Konoha… it made no sense that it would follow him all the way out here, across the sea. Even if it stayed near the coast… this made no sense. Fudo would just shake his head and ignore it. What did it matter if it was or wasn't the same raven any how?
After Fudo pulls on his shift and coat, Yuzuna silently moves towards him at the bow of the boat. While she catches sight of the bird overhead, much like everything else around her, she does note that Fudo seems to have a particular interest in the raven. Quirking a slim brow, the kunoichi gives him a small sideways glance for a pause before asking, "You alright?"
"It is… nothing." Fudo would state as the boat would anchor off the shore several yards out. The sun was still high in the sky, giving them plenty of time to travel today. Fudo would pay the captain the rest of his fee as he'd learned a long time ago in Fuuma Alley never to pay full price up front for an extended service. He would then gesture at Yuzuna as he hopped off of the edge of the boat and walked atop the water towards the shore. "We'll be heading due west from here, to the river delta. We can use the tree line to move a bit faster and possibly avoid most confrontation." Fudo stated as he'd survey the area a bit. "Do you detect any more chakra or seals about the area? I do not."
"Hm." Yuzuna doesn't press further. Whatever it was that was bothering Fudo wasn't important enough for him to mention it, so she lets it go for now. With the captain paid, she's quick to leap from the bow and skim the surface of the water alongside Fudo, close enough for them to exchange words while also not be hindered if they're caught off guard unexpectedly. When he asks about any chakra that may be around the area, Yuzuna narrows her pale eyes just as the surge of chakra pulses through her temples, lighting up everything with the natural glow of chakra that everything on earth held. "Nothing like the chakra you still have in you, no…" she murmurs. "If there was still any left, its dispersed."
"That is what I am detecting too… nothing at all." Fudo would concur as he moved about the area just to make certain. It seemed clear enough, so he'd gesture his head a bit. "Let's move." he'd say as they would head towards the trees a few hundred yards away and leap in to them to start heading towards the location on the map. "From what I understand… this place is underground. That would explain why it was hidden from these pirates at atleast. Still… it must be in a good place for it to rarely if ever be discovered by anyone." Fudo would comment as they would rush forward towards the location known as the Master Seal.
Camp was broken down almost before day light as Yuzuna and Fudo would prepare themselves for the next leg of the journey. Having pretty much nutritional bars for breakfast, they would set out atop the trees just as dawn would rise. "It shouldn't be too far from here, but we will be getting closer to pirate activity along the way." Fudo would remind Yuzuna, but beyond that, it was of no true concern. He would be off in a blurr of motion, his eyes focused, his heart ready to finally get some answers, and his mind open to what ever those answers may be.
The bare minimum campsite was broken down just before daylight, the sleeping bags they had set up in the tree branches the night before rolled up. Not even a hint of their presence left behind as they take off through the treetops, eating the last of their breakfast. As they travel, Yuzuna's pale eyes give Fudo a glance out of the corner of her eye. "Easily handled." she murmurs. Between the two of them, she didn't doubt that whatever or whoever they encounter wouldn't be a problem.
Akane had kept well back since leaving the village. she wore a baggy black outfit that the average moron would refer to as a 'typical ninja suit'. Tabi boots, pants, tunic, face mask and a longish 'hood', all black, that left only her hands and jade colored eyes exposed. She carries a small pack on her back, crossed straps across her chest to secure it and of course two kunai holsters to keep her knives in. From the front, her short swords are not visible.
She had come upon the campsite shortly. Fudo always wore his belt and kunai specifically, so she watched the moss on the trees as she moves. Yup, there's a telltale rubbing that the belt would make if one wore it while sleeping. She smirks under her face mask. She had switched out his usual softer belt for one that would leave a tiny impression before she'd brought him his gear. It would not have been noticed until he was a good ways out. But there was no warmth left from his body nor from the other shinobi's presence.
And she would take off, in the trees now, doubling her speed as she thinks she lost time on the two of them… She doesn't know who the second person is that is travelling with Fudo, but she had done her best to keep out of sight and sense the entire trip. But now it seems that she had taken too long to get to thier camp and thus doubles her speed. And with speed comes more noise, no matter how slight, it's there. As is a sense of irritation.
As Yuzuna and Fudo would swiftly move through the trees, they would eventually notice a tail due to the extra nose. It seemed someone was movign to intercept them. He would glance at Yuzuna and nod sharply as a kunai was loosed from his left hand and he'd double back around another tree, waiting for the tail to close in so that he could spring the trap. It was unlikely it was a pirate if they coudl catch up to them both, at least not an ordinary one. And as long as Yuzuna kept moving ahead a bit, while still keeping an eye on the situation, Fudu assumed answers were soon to come.
Yuzuna barely dips her chin with a subtle nod in return, suddenly sharply breaking away. Fudo doubles back around one tree while the kunoichi does the same, clearly not letting Fudo stay behind as she lands on the underside of a branch in a crouch. She snaps her hands together, the chakra pulsing through her eyes and bulging veins. The Hyuuga sees Akane's fast approach.
Akane kept moving, the only chakra is in her feet, a subtle use of tree walking to give her better purchase on the tree limbs. She realized her mistake just a second too late. She skidded and dropped from the trees to land hard on her bottom before rolling back to her feet, her back to a tree.
Fudo moved around the tree, walking upno a very slender branch with ease as he would look to who got dropped by the ambush. His gaze falling upon her, he would slightly narrow his eyes. "Akane…" he would say as he watched her. "…you followed me. I did not want you involved in this…" he would say to her with a soft sigh. "Yuzuna, this is my friend Akane. She was the only person I trusted in Fuuma Alley to do anything but betray me the first chance they got. She apparently found her way to Konoha after I got her out of Fuuma Alley. Akane, this is Yuzuna. She is a hyuuga heiress and the person i've grown closest to in Konoha. She had helped me to discover what little I was able to tell you before… and more." He would explain shortly before gesturing for Akane to get back up. "We don't have time to talk about this while standing still, however. Come."
Yuzuna sharply narrows her intense gaze as she watches the figure drop from the branches and skid on the ground just below them, the girl's back towards them. Whoever it was, they were far too trusting, leaving their back exposed. Before there's a chance to move, Fudo utters a name, forcing Yuzuna's pale eyes to snap up to him across the distance. Her passive express subtly changes with the smallest of frowns and after a moment, her expression hardens. Standing on the underside of the branch, she shifts couple of steps to land right side up. "Fudo… there's no time for this." Nevermind that Akane had somehow managed to track them down, but she also brought an unknown element to their mission. They would have to work even harder to protect Akane if she didn't have any skill. Yuzuna knew that she and Fudo would be able to have each other's back, but a third? The Byakugan remains intense in her powder lavender eyes as she glances back to Fudo. It was his mission after all, and his decision. And it wasn't safe to be standing around here, making introductions. As soon as he takes off she blurs with sudden speed, following him like a shadow.
Akane had landed and kept her feet under her, standing there defensively but showing no hostility. So when Fudo instantly recognizes her, despite her hair and face being covered she smirks under the mask. Pulling it down to expose her face and the long scar over one eye, she is still smirking at Fudo. "I should have henged like last time. What's the point if you recognise me so damn fast, 'Huu-do'? She uses an old 'nickname' she uses when she's trying to joke around, slurring the F in Fudo's name.
Her sparkle and joking dessolves into a sinngularly unreadable expression when Yuzuna is introduced. She blinks a few times before returning her mask to cover her face..and drops to one knee before both of them, offering a traditional — if a bit archaic — way of greeting those with 'noble blood'. One arm on her knee, one fist to the ground, head lowered.
She instantly moves to follow them as they both — almost simulteneously — order her to hurry and follow them. She doesn't ask where they're going, she doesnt try small talk, the girl simply follows silently and keeps up quite well, again, her main focus is that subtle use of tree walking to keep better traction on the trees.
And they were off. The trees had new shadows briefly, before they were gone, for miles this would keep up, but eventually, they would be closing in on the great river that the country was named after. Even from a few miles away, it was massive. It seemed almost like an entire sea was flowing out towards the ocean rapidly. And within the area around them, they would have small groups of rebels and pirates. Congregating is the wrong word. It was more like they were doing their deeds together as long as it suited them. A few fights were already starting to break out here and there as the shinobi had halted their pace and took time to take it all in. It looked like some sort of raid was being organized between several pirate factions. SOmething big was going down, and this location was strategicaly important to Sunagakure and Kirigakure, let alone surrounding countries and villages. This amount of pirates could even be a concern for the shinobi world, at least as far as supplies and trade were concerned.
Some time passed, and Yuzuna could see the river before anyone else, but soon it appears through the treetops and the small group comes to a silent stop. The Hyuuga kunoichi lands on a high branch, sticking to the surface and barely making it move as she narrows her pale gaze around them, absorbing everything important that was happening in a large circle from where she crouches. Even at this distance Yuzuna knew the others could see the pirates, just like she does. "They are getting bold…"
Akane halts just as the other two, silent and watchful. She turns her jade eyes on Yuzuna when she speaks, then a glance to Fudo before she tilts her head at the Pirates laid out before them. They were kind of like cockroaches…. kill one there's a hundred more waiting. She speaks softly, her black hood stiring in the breeze a bit but revealing nothing else of her apppearance. "Do you want to go around or shall I distract them? for you?"
Fudo had jutsu for situations similar to these… but there were too many. It would take too long to cross using genjutsu. He could start a fight, but that would waste a lot of time, and it may even be an issue in the end. They could try to sneak by, but with the pirates clearing out so many trees for boats and weapons, it just wasn't feasible in the end. A distraction would work but… "How do you expect to get out after the distraction?" Fudo would ask as he continued to consider what options they may have. "We could use Henge… but we'd be surrounded if we were found out. And going around them would take too long."
"Slipping through with henge might be the best option. So long as we don't draw any attention, there shouldn't be any resistance. I agree." Yuzuna murmurs quietly. She leans forward just slightly, a hand touching the branch as she shifts her weight forward subtly.
Akane grins at Fudo when he asks how she plans on getting out after the distraction. "That's easy… straight across the river." She pauses a moment then adds. "Hey, I'm a Chuunin for a reason Hu-do." She glances over to Yuzuna when the kunoichi says she feels they should try a henge. But that presents it's own problems. After a moment of silence Akane speaks again to both of them this time. "These guys jostle and push anything within arms reach. And I can guarantee they willa ll be very interested in selling the two of you as slaves."
Fudo stares at the masses of pirates and raiders before them. He looks them over keenly for a good long time as the discussion continues. There were risks no matter which way they chose to go. Fudo sighed deeply and scaled the tree with a single bound, standing along the top as his sharingan flared up it's vibrant crimson as he clapped his hands together in a seal saying, "Enough." Fudo would begin to exhale a nearly invisble gas then, allowign the gentle breeze to waft it over the area where the pirates were currently at. "They only understand one thing. We will simply speak their language." His chakra rolled over him in it's strange, dark purple flame as he focused his energies on this task.
Finally, he would unleash his attacks, amplified in sheer area by the gas within the air while keeping the destructive power intact. "Katon: Hosenka no Jutsu! Katon: Gokakyu no jutsu!" He woudl fire them back to back, Phoenix Immortal fire woudl blaze through the air in multiple volleys of fire, setting the area ablaze and obscuring the few of his enemies as the small balls of flame would rain upon them. And just when it seemed that was over, a much, much larger ball of flame would come roaring down upon them, exploding on impact.
Yuzuna blinks her pale eyes back at Fudo as he suddenly stands to his feet, seeing the flare of chakra growing through him as he activates his Sharingan. A small frown tugs at her delicate brow, just before the Uchiha boy begins to spread the mist out to catch and stretch the reach of his purple flames. Her frown deepens for a longer moment still as she watches this, though eventually she exhales a small breath and pushes herself to her feet, standing with smooth grace. He was impatient, rightly so, but rushing into a situation wasn't always wise. Yuzuna isn't his mother though, and she let him do what he felt was right. Or needed to be done.
Akane Angles her head up as Fudo scales it easily and ducks as soon as she spots the sharingan. As he began his preparations for the attack, she moves fractionally toward Yuzuna then she stills, waiting for the pirates to react to the attack. She'd figured that Fudo had a few strong jutsus up his sleeves but she hadn't figured on the scale of what he actually wrought. She narrows her jade eyes silently but says nothing verbally, waiting for thier next move, watching for Fudo's lead and the safe track away from the damaging flames.
Destruction would rain upon the pirates, raiders, mercenaries, and all the sorts gathered here. Many would be killed and many more injured in the initial assault. In the chaos of all of this, Fudo would play his hand. It was a gamble, really. High risk to be certain, but Fudo did have a plan that wasn't simply blowing everyone up and striding by as if nothing happened. He'd kip forward, landing on a tree near the line of the most recently cut wood as he'd yell down to them, "It is time to get off my father's land. I am here to reclaim it. All of you who have lost your way since Lord Rain perished, it is time to find it again. This senseless theivery… will only lead you straight to hell." he'd say as he gestured towards the flaming corpses.
Many of them still looked at him with contempt and anger. Some even laughed at the boy for being so brash and stupid. But still.. a few began to shake with fear. Not fear of him… fear of Lord Rain. Some even began to kneel down, causing a great wave of confusion throughout the raiding party. Fudo had put an all in bet on some research he had done. There was a time when this great, vast river ran red with blood. A slaughter took place, all of the criminal activity that plagued the river and coasts suddenly stopped, and his father suddenly became the Lord of the Land of Rivers. He may not have known the specifics… but he wasn't a fool. He also knew that Higure was a refuge for those who needed it, vagabonds, thieves, what have you, as long as they were willing to abide by the rules there. So any whom survived what happened there… would also be knowledgable of his father. He bet it all… on the name of a dead man.
"What the IOU do ya know about it any way boy! Even if ya are what squirt 'tween his nethers, what the 'ell is that 'posed to mean ta us??" One of them would say to the cocky brat before he would be gazed upno by Fudo's sharingan and suddenly he'd fall to his knees as if begging for his life. "It means that you will get out of my way, or you will be removed from my existence." The man tried to resist the urge to kneel before the boy, but he simply had no defense against genjutsu's influence. Murmuring began to fill the make shift ship yard as influence began to spread. Is this really the former Lord's son and if so… shouldn't they let him through? Normally a Lord's son was ransom bait… but Rain had treated all of them well, and they actually were a bit prosperous under his reign. "L….le….LET HIM THROUGH!" someone yelled… working up the courage to stick up for the good 'ol days of Lord Rain. "His father saved us from the tyrant Lord Akuma… we should… let him be on his way." There was quite a bit of discussion about what to do in this situation, and Fudo would leap down before them an begin to walk towards them without a hint of hesitation. "Come." he'd say to the girls.
Yuzuna turns her dark head just slightly as Fudo flicks forward, landing on another branch to announce their presence. And the pirates reacted to his words, some of them even knowing the name of Rain and the fear it carried. It was a gamble, and Fudo had surprised her by using the name. She wondered if that meant that he had accepted Rainos had been his father, or if he was just using it to his advantage in this instance. And the one man that did dare to talk back… falls to his knees from the sheer gravity of the powerful Sharingan. The resulting murmurs causes Yuzuna to lift a slender brow as she glances to Akane, pondering if she's ever seen anything like this before or if it's just new to her. With a small breath, the Hyuuga kunoichi casually leaps from her branch, following silently. "I wish you wouldn't be so reckless, Fudo…" she murmurs softly.
Akane remained hidden until the pirates started reacting and the flames died down. As soon as Fudo announced himself as the son of Rainos she made her move, landing on a branch just below him, using her 'typical ninja suit' as a sign of Fudo's 'power'. They would probably think he had more shinobi in the forest surrounding them, for what idiot just decides to face such a mass of people alone with just a name and a few tricks… oh right. Fudo. But she remains just behind and to one side of Fudo as they move. Inside Akane agreed with Yuzuna, she wished Fudo would have gone with something less flashy.
He would remain mostly silent as a path was made from him and his group, though many were still not sure what to do about this, and some even wanted to lash out… the chaos is what truly controlled this play. He did not seek to convience them all, just enough… just enough so that… "…YOu killed Junko!! I'll Kill you!!" One man would say as he would run towards them with his sword held in both hand for a thrust. However, he was held back by a few others, who were glared at by yet others…. The tension was thick in the air… and Fudo planned to allow it to remain thick enough to walk right over. He would speak lowly to the girls saying "There wasn't a choice… but still.. i'm surprised that worked."
As the would finally get past the still rather large group of pirates, they only had a mile or so to go before they reached the river. Fudo would wipe his brow slightly and smirk lightly. "Hmm… well… that could have ended worse." He said to them. He looked over his shoulder, they had left the men behind so far that they were actually out of sight now. He'd look forward again, releasing his sharingan. "There was too much risk for one or all of us trying to be sneaky. Akane was right about them being… rough with each other, and as fast as you are Akane, that was nearly an army of people you'd have to slip past during a riot… knowing you and your distractions. Going the sea route would just be more pirates. Going the land route to the river could have more pirates at the river, and would have taken a lot more time. I simply saw no other path… but this one."
As they walked, Yuzuna closes her eyes for a short moment to resist the overwhelming impulse to facepalm. Just by his words. Not reckless. Incredibly reckless. What was he thinking? Honestly? She resists even to shake her raven head as her pale eyes open, the Byakugan keeping a careful watch around them even now. The small group passes through, pirates on either side of them for several minutes. And it wasn't soon enough til they reach the mouth of the river. "You could have at least discuss it with us first." she murmurs lightly. "I will keep an eye on them, just in case.
Akane kept at Fudo's side until they are well out of the sight of the pirates… then she reaches up and /SMACK/ her hand hits him upside the head. "Bakamono. Don't play with your lives like that." Her tone is kind of authorative, like an elder sister would adress a younger sibling. Still only her jade eyes are visible.. and they're slightly colder than than had been yet on this trip.
Sharingan gone, and guard down, the smack does connect with the back of his head, but he'd mostly just shake it off and smirk. "I don't think words would have convienced you that it was any safer… but I did have a plan B. We had the preemtive strike… and they were only aware of me. If they truly did try to counter attack, we still had the forest, which would have made their numbers mean less. With their morale shaken, less of them total, and with the terrain advantage we would hold as Shinobi, we could have either led them in to the forest and /then/ snuck past… or taken them out a lot easier. In either case… we were not without options." Fudo would state before finally rubbing the back of his head a bit. "I always think things through… but… I also know how to take risks. So far… i've been lucky enough not to slip up."
Gazing forward, they were close to the "X" on their map… but what exactly were they looking for when they got there? How would it help Fudo figure anything out about his parents and his past? Hopefully, Odo hadn't sent them on a wild goose chase… but given this situation, it seemed unlikely. Given the fact that his village was gone… something was happening here.
"That is not the point." Yuzuna murmurs, her voice noticeably hardened. He hadn't trusted them to tell them of his plan to begin with, and that's what had hurt the most. "And luck can only tack you so far." Her eyes remained forward while they walk, the Byakugan making sure that they're not snuck up upon as they get nearer and nearer to the mark on the map. The destination where Fudo will find all of his answers, or at least, find more of what he's looking for. His past.
Akane remains silent, unaware of thier destination and seemingly uncaring. She keeps her eyes up and to the sides, otherwise she simply walks. She shows great trust in not even double checking Yuzuna's rear guard or Fudo's forward.