Date: November 4, 2015
Kurome and Eremi (as Hayai) work to try and track down her old nemesis, but they find little to no clues. However, Kurome also uses this mission to help with another matter entirely.
"Ghostly Beasts - Tracking the Scorpion"
Land of Fire
Backpedaling to a few IC weeks ago: Kurome had told Eremi that she would decide on his fate within a week. The woman had thought long and hard, and two days before the deadline of her decision, Eremi would have received a mission. It was a simple mission, in all honesty. One that involved tracking and hopefully dragging back a prisoner. What made this mission dangerous, though, was the fact that this man had escaped both Kurome and Hige the last time he was faced. So yes, while Kurome has a bit of a personal issue with the target, Shippodoku Nogoro, the man could easily be considered wanted by the Land of Fire…
Kurome stood by the gates of Konoha, ready to set out at the appointed time (10am). Eremi would have already been briefed in full about the target/mission, so they could head out almost immediately.
'Simple', Hayai thought as he revisited the mission briefing in his head time and time again until the time of their departure. It was a mission that had failed once before with a Clan Head and Jounin teamed up together to take down Nogoro. Now it was his turn. Was he being tested to see if he could perform better or perhaps just had more luck on his side. If it was a test, hopefully it was graded on a curve…
"Kurome." The words sounding as if they came almost before the person who spoke them appeared. Naturally, Hayai would be dressed in his ANBU attire from head to toe. Rabbit mask still covering his face. If there was a chance Kurome didn't know who Hayai was yet, he wanted to keep it that way. At least until the 'decision' was made. "Shall we begin or are we waiting on another?"
"No, this should be all…" Kurome says, glancing around once before looking to Hayai. "Shall we, Hayai-san?" she asks, gesturing towards the land outside the village. The woman would wait for a response, of course, but there wasn't really much that could change the fact that she dashes off, intent on hunting down Nogoro. "We'll go to where he was last seen and track him from there. Or try. The trail is a week old, so it'll be difficult to catch," she tells the ANBU captain as she moves along.
Hayai offered a nod in response before following after the woman. "Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. If he was there, we'll find something that still remains of how to track him. Hopefully he hasn't gone too far." Knowing his m.o. perhaps once they track Nogoro, there's either a way to lure him out or ambush him. "I've fought Shippodoku before. Poison, pincers, scorpion like features. They're all the same and very vicious. I'm guessing Nogoro isn't much different?"
"I'm not too sure on the poison. He enjoys the hit and run tactics," Kurome says as she moves. The pair make the journey quickly, reaching the last sighted spot in about half an hour. "Him being vicious… Is all too true." Kurome falls silent for the rest of the journey, though she would alert Hayai when they reached their goal. "Here. He disappeared into the ground."
Hayai spent most of the short journey remembering his fight with the last Shippodoku he had faced and as he did so it seemed like it happened just last month, but in reality it was closer to five years ago. Last time he barely escaped with his life, this time, the Shippodoku would be lucky to live another day.
Reaching their destination, Hayai hunched over and began to look at the ground, looking for ripples or slight bulges that wouldn't necessarily make sense in a relatively flat area. "I assume unless perfect, their underground stealth techniques may hide them from their prey, but it is slow moving. They wouldn't use it for long distance travels. Once he sunk into the ground and was out of sight, he went as far as he could before coming back to the surface and moving on foot."
Hayai's search would then broaden, starting from a center point he would move outward in a spiral pattern getting further and further away hoping to find an exit where the Shippodoku would have needed to resurface before continuing on.
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a ENDLESS-PURSUIT…45
Kurome nods in agreement, setting out with Eremi. Her Sharigan activate, black ringing pink of the mastered three-tomoe state as she scans the area. There was nothing but residual on/below the ground. She follows that, allowing Eremi to travel in a circle. They would both come to the same conclusions eventually, though: Nogoro resurfaced in the ruins of an old home. The chakra trail was gone, but Hayai would find some old remnants of a fire.
Entering the home, Hayai peered about the area through the slits in his mask to see if he could spot anything unusual. Not noticing anything readily out of the ordinary, the ANBU sauntered over toward the once burning fire to see if he could tell how long it had been dead. "We might have just missed him, then again he could have left it burning…" Turning to glance at Kurome, "You've faced him before, have you picked up anything that I might have overlooked?"
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a ENDLESS-PURSUIT…51
Kurome gives a light shake of her head. "THe trail of chakra died when he left the ground, and that was faint enough." She frowns briefly ,scanning the area. Eremi might not be able to tell how long the fire was dead, but if he examined everything closely, he might be able to find a random footprint in the edge of the ruins.
"Resorting to the old fashioned way, then." Eremi poked at the fire once more before rising to his feet and giving another sweep of the room. There wasn't anything of importance during his search that came through. "He entered into this building from inside, then eventually left." Peering from the door he'd spot an imprint of a foot just barely noticeable. "This might belong to Nogoro's. It could be our best chance of finding him or could lead to a dead end."
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a ENDLESS-PURSUIT…63
RP: Kurome transforms into SHARINGAN-III-MASTERED.
RPCOMBAT: Kurome defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…50
Kurome sees the prints once Eremi points them out and nods. "Alright…" She pauses to sweep the area one more time, but there wasn't much to see. In the end, she waves for them to move out so they can continue along the path. Nogoro wasn't too close to here at the moment, but maybe he wasn't far? She recalled that he may still have experiments here to check on… "If you see any albino creatures, … Keep an eye on them," She warns, still moving and sweeping the ground. Nothing nearby… She sighs and continues forward still, wondering if this is futile…
Hayai turned to Kurome, nodding and then followed after her. He'd keep his focus on any tracks without thinking of needing to actively search for an albino creature. Something like that would surely stick out on its own without needing to look for it. "You think he's still in the area or perhaps moved on? You and Hige almost had him in your clutches last time. I wouldn't be surprised if he packed up and moved."
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a ENDLESS-PURSUIT…54
Kurome shrugs. "I'm going to guess he moved on. But I'd rather have a trail now than wait until it's died completely." So yes, this mission was likely hopeless… But she was intent on continuing. She had spent most of her life trying to hunt this man down… She wasn't going to give up so quickly. "Hayai-san, do you see anything else?" She asks, sweeping the area. There was no sign of Nogoro. Some people traveling, merchants by the look of it, but no one that was a threat. It would take some time for anything to be spotted. About 40 minutes later, they'd have traveled far enough that there were few villages around. But a flash of white might be noticed…
RPCOMBAT: Kurome defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…36
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a ENDLESS-PURSUIT…40
"I have no where else to be. We can continue to look as long as needed. Persistence and determination go a long way in finding your target." Hayai offered as they both continued to search the area for any clues. Though there might be a difference in importance to a Clan Head and an ANBU Captain, one needed back in the village sooner than the other. As they came upon some travelers, Hayai didn't hesitate to approach them cautiously to not spook them, but he asked if they had seen a man, describing Nogoro or any albino animals. With what little they offered, Hayai continued on with Kurome until pointing out in some brush. "I think I saw it over there."
Kurome murmurs, "We'll continue for a bit longer… The trail is dead right now…" She frowns, wishing she had brought a few more tracker-nin. She and Hayai were good, but with a trail this dead, more is better than less. She blinks when Hayai points something out and she glances in the same direction, making her way over to the white thing. It turns out to be a scrap of fur. "… We'll take this back to the village. I think we can find him like this," she tells the ANBU agent.
Hayai nodded though a bit disappointed they weren't able to come up with much else. "Alright, if you insist." This was most likely the last chance he would get before the time was up and Kurome would have her decision on whether or not he got to keep the eye. "If you go out again, and I'm available, I would like to help. Now or in the future. I…could still be at your complete disposal." It was a fleeting offer he felt as the two headed back to Konoha, one that hinged entirely on the woman's choice. One he would still have to wait a few more days to hear.