Date: May 28, 2015
Daisuke, Atsuro, and Hige are sent to a small village to calm anti-Konoha sentiments.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"I Heard a Rumor, Part 1"
The Land of Fire
The village of Rouzeki is simmering with anti-Konoha tension following the rumours being spread by suspicious groups. The situation has come to a head recently when a Konoha safehouse (believed to be a secret until now) was attacked by rioters and besieged. Although the rumours are the obvious cause, it's unclear what the mob's purpose is in attacking the safehouse—or even if there is any, beyond simply causing destruction to Leaf property. Fortunately, although disguised as a simple general store, the storehouse has enough supplies and fortifications to hold out for now, as long as a team can get there and deal with the rioters soon.
The team of shinobi that have come to break the siege have just arrived in the village, very well disuised as civilians, of course. Peeking out from an inconspicuous alleyway nearby, they can see the general store, surrounded by dozens of men and women, all yelling, and many trying to break into the building using whatever tools they have on hand, or even large rocks and tree branches. There are even a few torches scattered over the roof that are visible from here, but they're all burnt out, leaving only the tiniest scorch marks on the apparently fireproof material of the building.
Trade with Rouzeki village had come to a noticeable standstill and the cause was clear as reports came in that the safehouse within the village was under attack. Needing to stretch his legs, Daisuke assembled a quick team to disguise themselves as villagers and make their way to the village to restore order. The parameters were stated clearly on the way. No villagers were to be killed, any bandits found causing these nasty rumors to spread are to be detained, and the trio need to leave the village after restoring the positive feelings between it and Konoha.
Arriving in the village, Daisuke made sure his disguise was set before looking over to Hige and Atsuro. Hige was lucky that being a villager allowed him to have awful, long, grundgy hair or Daisuke might've required another trim. The sounds of the rioters can be heard even from their spot at the entranceway, drawing the Hokage's attention. "Seems like we got here in time to get in the thick of it."
Daisuke is lucky, not Hige! Or Daisuke would've woken up bald, Yep. Even though he was no longer part of Atsuro's team officially anymore, thanks to Daisuke, he still often finds himself going with his mentor. He's prepared when he got the mission, putting some gunk in his hair and finding some grungy clothing. Konsho got some dirt in his fur and then they headed out to meet the others. Now they were here in this village and things weren't going well. He looks over to Daisuke and quirks a brow. "What do you want to do Daisuke?" He asks, continuing to use the name instead of the title. Some things will never change. He slips his pack off his back, something he used to make himself look more like a farmers son.
To explain having a huge dog with him, Atsuro is dressed in a hunter's garb. Slung over his shoulder is a crossbow—not a working one, it instead conceals two ninjato for him to use should swordplay become necessary in the course of the mission. Right now he's leaning against the alley wall and looking out at the rioters in as casual a fashion as he can manage. "Looks like they have the building totally surrounded," he says, "So I'm not sure it's even 'what do you want to do' so much as how can we possibly deal with this without slaughtering everyone? The isguises-day are enough to let us walk around, but I don't think we can calm them down by just getting up in front of them and making a speech about the nature of justice and the need for law."
Daisuke looks over to Atsuro and listens to his assessment, nodding his head in agreement. "We need to find a way to break the large group up, first." he says as he slides out a few flashbang and smoke tags from his travelling cloak he has one, handing them out. "Confusion, some will scatter, others will stay. Let's separate those who are just joining the mob from the real ones with issues." he says, explaining how they were going to be lobbing these into the crowd to Hige and Atsuro. While it will stun some, and some may have mild smoke inhalation or ringing ears for awhile, this was the non-lethal way. "Unless you guys object, we should get started."
Hige takes the tags from Daisuke as he sets his pack down, sighing softly as he looks over the crowd with normal eyes. A bit of a henge to hide his Inuzuka features and all that. "Alright. I guess it'll be easier for me to slip in near the front to get this started. Give me a minute to get ready." He doesn't wait for a response before he moves into the crowds, pushing through and leaving his pup behind for the moment. Konsho just hangs out with Daisuke for the moment.
"I don't know if that's going to make them fall back in love with Konoha, but I guess the important thing right now is that we get them away from the safehouse." Taking some of the tags from Daisuke, he slips them up one sleeve, then gives him a nod. He and Taizen follow Hige out of the alley, but rather than move into the thick of the crowd, they cross the town square and slip into another alley on the opposite side. They look over to Daisuke and wait for the signal to throw the tags into the crowd.
"This is to scatter the weak willed, not to make them love us. We will work out how to deal with the remaining and clear up all these rumors once we see the results." Daisuke mentions to Atsuro. It wasn't like they were going to announce themselves and toss tags at people, either. These would be tossed into the mob annoymously. Once everyone is in position, Daisuke makes the signal so that Hige and Atsuro can see before tossing his smoke and flashbang tags, one on either side of the mob.
Hige does well looking like a curious farm kid that just came into town. While he does so he waits for the signal and then starts making his way back through the crowd dropping tags as he went, giving him a little time to get away before they took hold. With the other tags going off there's no way to pin it down on Hige which is good. As he goes through he makes his way back out towards the others, meeting up with Konsho before pushing through to Daisuke and turning to survey the damage.
Once the signal is given, Atsuro pulls the tags out of his sleeve and tosses them into the crowd, aiming them high and letting them flutter down from above to make it more difficult for somebody to see which direction they came from.
Nobody in the crowd seems to notice the tags being scattered throughout. "We know you're in there, you Konoha gossips!" calls one man, "We know you stole our — " Whatever he says next is cut off by the banging tags, which are followed immediately by screams throughout the crowd. As smoke fills the square, the already disorderly mob only becomes more unruly as some panic and flee while others try to stay and continue the siege despite the attack. Above the screaming, some people can barely be heard calling for the others not to panic, but it seems like nobody's listening to them for the moment.
Amidst the chaos, Daisuke spots a child getting knocked down as people flee left and right to try to get away from this attack that is assaulting their ears and eyes, who knows what kind of vicious attack it is! Sweeping through the crowd, Daisuke moves with inhuman speed, the hood of his traveling cloak getting pushed back to reveal his crimson hair. Like a crimson streak, Daisuke races through the mob, picks up the child, and finds a safe spot for her on a nearby wagon. He smiles at her and dusts her shoulder off, patting her head once as she looks at him with wide eyes, still unsure of what just happened. "There you go. Wouldn't want you to get stepped on by the adults, that would probably hurt."
With the girl secured, Daisuke flips his hood back on and disappears into the crowd to assess all that remains of the mob.
Normal looking eyes watch over the masses as they scatter while Hige just kind of hangs out. Well it looked like the plan was working so far. But there would always be stragglers that were probably leading this horrible charge against the shinobi. Hige crouches as Konshk comes over and pets him, eyes following the Hokage through the crowd. "Scandal good thing he didn't try to cut my hair again," the boy mutters to the growing pup before turning his attention back on the crowds again. "Alright let's go." They start back into the end of the fleeing masses to see how it's going.
The stampede dies down as the rioting citizens filter out of the square, which is now all but empty, in stark contrast to the chaos that previously filled the whole area. All that remains of the siege now is a small group of people who are huddled together in a sort of defensive formation while some of their number try to recover from the smoke, bright lights, and loud noises of the ninjas' attack. Atsuro, still in his hunter disguise, walks over, acting as if he's surprised by the whole thing. "Wow," he says, "What's all this about?"
One of the men steps forward from the group. "You must not be from around here," he says, "Konoha has a secret base in this village." He gestures towards the storefront that hides the Leaf safehouse. "The bandits in this area have cut off all our trade. We're practically starving here, but Konoha /always/ gets their deliveries through. They don't care if we go hungry, so long as their hideout is well-stocked!" Another man pipes up, "Hoax, that's if you believe what they're saying. I think they're the ones who're stealing the food in the first place!" One of the women in the crowd adds, "That's right, those aren't bandits. They're ninja! I heard it from my sister, who heard it from her friend, who heard it from her gardener."
Daisuke listens to the group explain what is going on from within the disguise of his villager garb. Something so simple and yet they seek to destroy relations instead of asking for help. He walks in front of the group and pulls back his hood, revealing himself as the Hokage of Konohagakure. "Is this worth almost assaulting innocent people that have lived within your village for years as one of you? A rogue bandit group stealing your food?" he asks the crowd as the door of the shop finally creaks open and the elderly couple peek their head out due to the few minutes of silence that had passed. "Why was a request not made to the village? The bandits would've been dealt with within a day or two." he states, looking between the villagers remaining, nodding to Atsuro briefly in case he wants to reveal himself and add to it.
While the adults confront the group and have their attention the small boy and his pup neatly and silently slide into position behind the crowd and in front of the door to the shop. He drops the henge, letting the semi-feral eyes and Inuzuka markings return before glancing back to the older couple. "Everybody okay in there," he asks on a soft tone, not wanting to distract the group from who they should be paying attention to.
The villagers gasp as Daisuke reveals himself. "Oh my heavens," one woman says, eyes wide, "That man's not just some bystander. He's… he's… he's Koichi's son! Why, I haven't seen you since you went off to university! What a good boy, coming here to see your old dad even though you live in the big city now." She holds up a hand. "But what's this about making a request to the village? I'm sure this sort of thing is real simple compared to what you're studying in law school, but this little village can't afford to hire ninja! And Konoha's the reason why to begin with!" Atsuro glances over to Daisuke, "That's right, kiddo," he says, "How can we trust Konoha, when all these rumours are flying around? Bet your fancy book learning isn't enough to help us find out who's spreading these rumours, and why they're doing it!"
Meanwhile, at the storefront, the old woman replies to Hige in a whisper. "We're fine," she says, "We've been trying to get reports back to Konoha for weeks, but we haven't heard any response. If someone hadn't passed through the village a few days ago, we would probably already have surrendered by the time you two got here. What are you going to do about the bandits?"
"You are confused, good people. I am not Koichi's son, I am a shinobi of the Leaf village. We came to see what all the fuss was about." Daisuke explains, leaving his identity at that. "I am disappointed that the relationship between our villages is so easily broken by you all over a few baseless rumors. If you would have approached us over this problem, we would've gladly helped out." Albeit, they probably would've sent Genin on 'free' missions like this one, but the trade between the villages was more valuable than a few ryo, especially with the hideout established within the village. "Now why don't you guys stop harassing this poor couple and tell us about these bandits so we can help?"
Once Hige is sure that the couple is okay, as well as anyone else that might be inside, he offers a small nod to them. The question that they ask, well, that's the interesting part. "We'll stop them." He leaves it at that for now, not entirely sure what Daisuke's plan is going to be at this point. "Why don't you close the door for now. I'm sure Daisuke will want to talk to you when he's done with…these people." He turns around to face the group again with a faint frown as he listens. This isn't all that good. Nope not at all.
A peal of angry murmurs spreads through the crowd, but Atsuro raises his voice before anyone can speak. "What, are you insane?" he says, rather hammily, "Are you INSAAAANE!? These rumours didn't just come from nowhere! All of us should tell this guy where we heard the rumours, so he knows their source. And then let's tell him everything we know about the bandits. And then he'll feel really foolish!" Members of the crowd step forward to smugly tell Daisuke of the various people who spread the rumours—a fairly small group simply assuming different guises, although the villagers don't seem to realize this, even if their descriptions all point to it. They also mention that the bandit attacks started a few months ago and focus mainly on stealing food. The rumours are more recent, perhaps as little as a week old.
"Wait!" the old woman whispers to Hige. "You'll need this." The door shuts for a moment, then she peeks out again and extends her hand, holding a small, folded piece of paper. If Hige opens it, he'll see a crude map showing the main road going through the village and possible locations for the bandit hideout, based on where the caravans are being hit.
Once Daisuke has been filled in with enough details that he had a pretty good picture, he calms everyone down and gains their attention. "People, we will deal with your bandit problem and I will personally make sure a small shipment of food supplies makes it here to keep you well and fed as the routes between our villages are restored. Let me assure you that these rumors that you are hearing are meant to incite you to turn on your allies and cause problems while these bandits continue to steal your food in all the flurry of activity." he says with a nod, turning to look to Hige to see if he's come up with anything, maybe a map.
Hige blinks when he's told to wait, turning back around to take the piece of paper. He opens it, quickly scanning it's contents before grinning, looking back up at the old woman. "Thanks, this'll help a lot." He says. Once the door is securely closed again, so nothing happens after they leave, Hige walks around the group of people while continuing to keep a close watch on them. By the time he gets to Daisuke he has somehow shed his raggedy clothing for something more normal for him. Don't ask where it all went, you probably don't want to know. He holds the map out to Daisuke, quirking a brow. "They made us a map." A simple explanation. But then sometimes you have to talk slow to the Hokage.
"I remain skeptical," says Atsuro, "But I suppose it would be against the welcoming spirit of our village not to give you at least a /chance/. But I'm warning you, Leaf nin! If you don't get us some results, there will be dire consequences. We might even SWEAR at you! I'm an expert tracker, so I'll find you wherever you go." He turns back to the crowd, "Well, everyone. I guess it's out of our hands now. Let's just see if these guys are true to their word." The crowd begins to disperse.
Once the crowd disperses, Daisuke is ready to swat Atsuro, but despite the dramatics, it got the job done. As the trio reassembles, Daisuke takes the map from Hige and examines it before giving it to Atsuro. "Why don't we start from one of these locations and you two can use those hyper sensitive noses of yours to pick up a trail? We should handle this quickly and take at least one prisoner to make sure the villagers know it was all a hoax by them. If he doesn't want to talk, we will encourage him." he says to the others, waiting for them to prepare or pipe in with some thoughts before they would move out to the location.
Hige's hands shift up to clasp in their normal lazy spot behind his head when Daisuke takes the map, waiting for the man to decide what it is they're going to be doing. "Should we split up search different locations?" Hige asks, raising an eyebrow curiously at the Hokage. "Otherwise it might take a while. And who knows if someone here is going to try and tell them something." Of course Hige is naturally suspicious like that, but he has his reasons. "Might lose our chance." That's more than he spoke the entire last mission with these two pretty much. He doesn't exactly seem thrilled with the prospect of speaking however. It's just something he has to do.