Date: June 22, 2013
Suterusu and Keiji are dispatched to protect a high priority caravan from bandits. The bandits strike out with shinobi mercenaries.
"High Priority Trade"
Classified Route in Sunagakure
Mountain Range - Eastern Desert [Land of Wind]
The mountain ranges that rise up along the border of the Land of Wind with the neighboring country of the Land of Rivers have various paths and underground tunnels that traverse them. It is no easy feat for outsiders who are unfamiliar with the geography to navigate the tunnels, but they are clearly marked in various ways to minimize the trouble to simple civilian travellers and merchants. However, there are forts in the Land of Wind for monitoring who uses the caves and thus while the illuson of free passage is provided by a lack of interference from Sand ninja, there is actually a very close watch upon the border here in the Eastern Desert, and it is unlikely that enemy ninja can enter and leave the country without being spotted.
Warrior's End Graveyard lies in this region, a place where the honored dead are interred beneath a single monument for all Sand Ninja who have died in the service of their Village and their Land. North leads into the network of tunnels beneath the mountains. To the west lies a large stretch of desert with a single small oasis located in it — and the town of Sukoppu Machi situated beyond it. To the south lies Fort Zaru, which monitors travel and activity throughout the Eastern Desert.
Trade in the land of Wind had recently been at an all time low due to the rebels and recent happenings. Things were slightly better but not much. As part of the effort to help regain the lost trade, Sungakure had been dispatching shinobi to protect the caravans coming from other lands. The higher the value of the caravan, the higher the level of the shinobi to protect it.
Keiji sits on the inside of the first caravan. He looks at Suterusu sitting across from him. He was still somehow shocked that the guy managed to make Jounin in his absence. The thought was quickly dismissed as Keiji started to focus on buisiness. He did not know what exactly the caravan was carrying, but he was certain it was extremely valueable. "Did they tell you what we are here to protect?" he asks the other shinobi. While it did not matter, curiosity seemed to get the best of him.
Keiji then moves towards the window of the wagon and peaks out. It was a good day for him to be out. The rain clouds over head seemed to cut down the amount of bright light. His eyes were able to look around without the usual pain. He was not getting antsy, but it made sense for him to prepare. "We are a few hours into our homeland." An attack was more likely now, than it had been for the previous day or two.
That figure was watching his side like he did most things, calmly, those red eyes giving away nothing, while the wrap avoided his expression giving away anything else. He had his clones out, five of them going, two to the front, one on either side and one behind the caravan. While he might be in the middle, he still had a fairly wide ring of awareness to avoid them getting ambushed. Looking over to Keiji, he'd shake his head slightly. That soft crooning tenor would whisper out to him. "They did not mention specifics. Medical supplies, building materials, high grade items that are in critical demand. Of any of the caravans coming in, this one is the highest priority." The figure shook his head again, looking back out around them. "It's been too quiet. I believe the attack may come soon."
Keiji nods his head. The top usually did not give too many specifics. Guard this and kill him were usually two of the most common orders given. The fact that two top assassins were sent to guard the caravan only served as evidence that this caravan was top priority. "So, do you believe they will do a frontal assault or try to attack from the rear?" This was just conversation being made. If there was an attack, Keiji was certain that they would be seen by a bandit check point or come up on a road block. "I wonder how long this conflict will continue."
Around this point a large spike of earth would rise upwards from the road. It did not damage any of the wagons, but certainly blocked off the road… Then another behind the last wagon. All five were trapped. There was at least one shinobi involved. An earth style user.
At about the same time as Keiji mentioned it, the stone pillars would get launched, stopping the caravan. Shaking his head slightly, the figure looked to Keiji. "Not too much longer. They are actually surrounding us." The figure would pull a kunai, something simple to most, but to those who are a metal manipulator, it was raw material. Those clones were already in action. The ones to either side would get close to the bandits and those razor wires would be launched, seeking to tangle up as many of the bandits as possible. The clones up front would split up. One staying to do a strike at the shinobi in the front, like the one at the back did with that metal tree aimed to catch and rip apart the shinobi. The other clone from the front came back to stick close to that figure. His abilities got stronger working in tandem with another clone afterall.
The metal trees rise. One of them manages to snag a shinobi. He is not mortally wounded by any means but he is wounded and bleeding. The other however is impaled until he turns into a mass of mud. The bandits end up ensnared in the razor wire. There are a few that get away but not many. Most of them go running off into the desert.
Keiji glances out the window. He was able to spot the two shinobi, one on each side of the caravan. His eyes then focus towards Suterusu as he pulls the kunai out. "Can you keep the shinobi occupied from above ground?" he asks. His hands them make some signs and a clone appears. Both Keiji and the clone exit the wagon.
Got one, hurt, the other no luck. That figure would nod in agreement to Keiji before he'd vanish from sight there. The clones continued their attack. The boulders coming in would get deflected, or attempted to be deflected, with that clone making a metal clone that was just as dense as the boulder. It was a simple move, easily done. However.. only one of them worked. The other wasn't able to get a grip on the ground, metal and shadow clone crushed by the rolling boulder. A mental curse, he focused on that one that was wounded, the clones, dealing with the bandits to the side would wrap about. Four as one, they would surround where he knew the shinobi to be at, planting hands to the ground to hit him with that metal forest. If the tree got him already.. then the forest, expanding rapidly outward would most likely finish him. Meanwhile the one who got away was hunted, that clone that was following him working on trying to capture him with some manipulated shuriken that would put those wires out there to wrap up the shinobi.
As the second boulder rolled directly towards the caravan, the ground beneath it turned to a quick-sand like substance. Small arms of earth reached up grabbing it and pulling it down into the earth. Keiji breathed a sigh of relief as he stood before the caravan. His eyes remained vigilant as he stood directly infront of the caravan. It was an unusual move for him.
The wounded shinobi placed his hands on the ground forming a wall around himself. As the metal forest rose upwards, the wall protected him from it, pushing him away. As the manipulated shuriken moved towards the other earth shinobi, he ducked under the wires. Though he was not wounded, he did lose a few hairs as he barely missed the wire.
The ground beneath the uninjured shinobi starts to break as a rather large pincer moves upwards to strike him. Another pincer comes froward in an attempt to stab him as a large demonic scorpion emerges from the earth. The Keiji standing infront of the caravan turns into a puff of smoke. Keiji had been using it as a distraction to mask his true movements from the earth users.
The bandits attempting to come back would find one of those shadow clones to deal with them. Multiple shuriken pulled and thrown, those strikes would stop them from coming in further, deflecting them from the caravan while they dealt with the real threat, the other shinobis. They were good.. worthy of claiming the eyes. That one that Keiji had almost finished off with the assassination was left for him, the other one who had managed to stop the metal forest however, would be focused on. The clones that were left with that figure would match him again in actions, planting hands to the ground for that razor wire to snake about the ground where he was standing, to suddenly have a massive surge of wires snap up about him, attempting to bind about him and latch him down. The figure wanted the eyes and to get it, would require capturing him.
The second shinobi is no longer uninjured. The pincer grabs a hold of him and the second one pierces into his body. He's not dead, but mortally wounded. Suterusu's target was barely caught by the wires. As he dashes away they grab him by the leg and continue to pull him back down. His screams can be heard as the razor wires continue to cut into him.
Keiji on the other hand moves forward and stabs the man with his venomous tail. The man screams out in pain as the venom burns his nervous system. After the stinger is pulled out, the giant scorpion makes his way back to the caravan. Luckily he finds there is not a scratch on it. Now to deal with the giant earth spikes blocking travel…
With the wires lashing him down, that figure would step close to him. That kunai pulled the figure gave a small nod to the earth user. "You fought well." That soft whisper of the tenor voice would croon. "I shall immortalize you by your eyes." With that, he'd reach out with the kunai and very carefully and expertly snip the optic nerve behind each eye. Once done, he'd pull them out, leaving the now screaming man as the eyes would be put into storage promptly. One of the clones created that daiklave to very quickly end his life, beheading the shinobi. With that, the body and head would get latched onto with the wires and pulled under the ground. Out of sight and all that. The claiming done, the figure walks over to where he sees Keiji at, looking at the block. "We need to fix the road." That tenor would croon. "Any ideas?"
The giant scorpion moves towards the earth spike and slams his claws into it causing it to crack. He then repeated the process until it turns to rubble. His massive claws brush the debris from the road until the path is clear. Once done with his form, Keiji reverts back to his human form. "You think the caravan drivers will be ok with me riding along still?" he asks.
Looking back at the drivers, slightly tired, but still able to keep going the figure would study it for a moment, before finally a shrug was given as he'd look to Keiji. That soft crooning whisper of the tenor voice reaching out. "Do you think they really have a choice? We may as well get moving. Before any more of the bandits come along." The figure would approach the caravan. Who to dislike or fear more.. the one who just claimed someone's eyes.. or the human scorpion? Each one of the caravan drivers may have their own particular dislike, however the figure would ignore most of the stares his direction.