Ice Age - Chasing the Snowflake


Kazumi, Naoya, Yoichi

Date: November 18, 2015


A scouting team is rapidly assembles and briefed about an assignment. Their goal is simple, collect distant agents to be brought back(alive) to gain information about their target from.

"Ice Age - Chasing the Snowflake"

Land of Water, Land of Marshes, Land of Demons

Late at night in Kirigakure, a number of shinobi have all received summons from none other than Kaguya-Hozuki Yoichi himself to meet at Mist Lake at this time. There would be no details as to the purpose of this meeting provided, other than that they should come prepared to leave on a mission and not to be late. As a sign that Yoichi is already there, though he is not visible, the mist around the lake is wider and a bit denser than normal, which also means he likely has full awareness of any and all that might approach the vicinity of the lake.

Tsubaki was released from student-duties. She has been for a while now, though in general she was doing things similar as usual. The occasional simple mission that no one could possibly screw up along with training her abilities. Control… Potency… And a bit of genjutsu if she can. When she gets the summons from one of the Seven Swords, she can't help but wonder if it's a trap… And so the girl makes her way to the Mist Lake, all senses alert as can be. The mists provide Yoichi a bit of awareness… And Tsubaki attempts to hijack control over said mists to also get a feel for who is in the area.

'Now you'll never get up in the morning,' grumbles the voice in Kazumi's head. The pink-haired Genin just groans at the late-night summons, willing his body to move on little sleep. There is the ever-so-slight temptation of just… ignoring his sensei's summons and falling back to sleep, but on that, both he and that inner voice are very much agreed. No. That would… end very badly. So he got dressed, grabbed something small he had leftover to stuff his face, and went to the lake. Approaching the mist, he gazed around before stepping into the edge of it, but not daring to go further because… he may well fall in the lake, which he doesn't want to do.

Breathing in deep for a moment, the young Okumo stretches his neck forward before drawing back his shoulders not seeming stressed about the meeting. Having begun to walk through the streets some time before the needed arrival hour, he would take the time to look around the village from side to side, his eyes a dark brownish gold as he did so. 'So.. you can speak again? Good.. good.. time to focus. Show me who's here..' Waving out a hand lightly, several small creatures begin to flow in lines, two by two around the lake's parameter. With his creatures scattered about, Naoya begins to navigate his way closer to where the the bladesman has been, as sight alone didn't help locate the man, the creatures began to scent for him.

This one definitely isn't a mission that no one could screw up, so perhaps Tsubaki is being tested to see how she's progressed in her time as a student. Kazumi, as Yoichi's current focus student now that Kiji is strong enough to stand on her own, has to come along for experience to help him grow as a shinobi. For Naoya's part, he's an experienced Jounin, so his help with this mission could be quite vital… With the chosen team having arrived at the lake, Yoichi's form rises up from the lake, arms folded over his chest as usual. Tsubaki's attempt at taking over his mist would simply be overpowerd by the Swordsman's chakra, and he cuts his crimson eyes at her as a sign not to try that again. He then looks between all of them, saying, "Good. You're all here… The mission I've called you here for is one of vital importance to the safety and security of the village. It's going to require various investigative skills, and with any luck on our part could lead to battle in which we are able to capture prisoners to further deduce the plans of our enemies…. The enemies I'm talking of are a group of shinobi who disagreed with the forming of the villages as a start and would now see us annihilated. They attacked once a few years ago, and only now have they stirred again enough that I was able to pick up on a trail. If we don't pursue them before they can finish their preparations for whatever they're planning, we could be destroyed before we can do anything about it."

Tsubaki tried! Well, it's not like the mist is a single person's, right? … Technically. Well, she didn't really think Yoichi would be so touchy about that. The girl simply inclines her head slightly to show that she'd noticed Yoichi's glance, then she'd listen silently. "…." She would frown faintly upon hearing about this mission. She was a bit surprised to suddenly be thrown into this… But then, should she really be? It /is/ Kirigakure, afterall… The young Shirayuki asks aloud, "Do we know anything about these enemies?" It didn't sound like they knew much, considering what Yoichi just told them…

The moment Yoichi mentions that the mission is actually important, the pink-haired man has to stifle a whimper. Why oh why is he on such a mission? He's not going to be helpful for investigation… Kazumi gulps a little, paying full attention to his teacher and only slightly observing who else is present… Not that he can truly see them, given the mist. He hears Tsubaki's voice, though, and shifts on his feet slightly. They were certainly an interesting pair for this mission…

Lowering his head, Naoya would bow his head towards the voice wrapped in the mists as he closes his eyes. "Yet more enemies return, though these ones we know? I will follow your lead sir.. While we are moving, can you tell me more about these defectors?" At the mention of taking them alive, the young man's eyes drift first to Kazumi and then to Tsubaki, his brow faintly starting to press together, studying the pair but he didn't say anything. Standing upright once again, he would begin to make his way closer to the lake's edge and to where the man's scent lead to, but he wouldn't begin to step foot onto the water. "I will tend to those that are captured, they will not die if I am given time unless there are too many at once."

"Actually, I know at least something of what the materials they're gathering are, and I know what at least one of their generals looks like and the clan she is from," Yoichi says as he looks around then specifically over to Tsubaki. Bringing his hands into a seal, he sprouts a clone of himself from his side, which then changes shape to a woman looks roughly around thirty years of age with a long blue coat with white fur on it covering her body and snow white hair. Once she's been fully shaped, he says, "I don't know this woman's given name, but I do know that she is a Shirayuki and a quite powerful one at that. When I was within my first few months as a Swordsman, she was able to get the jump on me and freeze me in a giant block of ice. I've grown a lot stronger since then, as have many of you, but I would assume she has as well."

Tsubaki blinks a few times when Yoichi's gaze lands on her specifically. Of course, the reason for such is revealed soon after the two would end up locking eyes. She sees the clone form, and the girl blinks. The woman looked like… 'a Shirayuki'. Tsubaki would frown faintly at this news, but she would nod to Yoichi. "Do you think we'll run into her this mission?" she wonders aloud. An idle thought. And she didn't know if she'd be able to take this Shirayuki on, either… But there was always a chance…

Kazumi shifts awkwardly on his feet, watching the clone come into being and then shift into another woman. He only looks at it a moment before his gaze wanders away… into the mist. He didn't know the woman, but now he has a… well… a few images in his head, some of them not for the mission which he is trying to dispel, much to the amusement of his inner voice. A Shirayuki, wonderful… Such an interesting mission…

Turning his head slightly, an eye is focused onto the small girl before back to the lake, though it was now onto the mimicry of the Shirayuki in question. "One that specializes in ninjutsu, ice at that.. someone of Jounin reserve." Shifting his pose, he begins to pace around the lake, studying the woman from several angles with a light nod. "I see.. I see.. We have a lot known of that clan and their tendencies, so there would be only limited surprises." Turning his head to one side, he lifts a hand and points towards Kazumi and says, "Will you keep an eye on that small one there? I think we will be moving out soon. Unless Yoichi-san orders otherwise, it is likely one of us will be a more forward scout, and our eyes not on her." With that said, he turns his attention towards the swordsman to ask, "Are there rumors of where a smaller post of that force may be, to see how they organize at least?"

"I would assume not. She is a high-ranking general at least, if not the leader of the organization. I only met her because I intercepted a shipment of theirs moving through the Land of Water once," Yoichi says, shaking his head. He then looks to Kazumi for a moment, lifting an eyebrow slightly before turning his attention to Naoya. "I believe we have a chance of seeing some of their forces tonight. I've gotten wind of the black market trade of some rare metals going down. They are consistent with what was being trafficked through last time, but the information isn't whole. We're going to have to do some more investigating to find out exactly where the meeting is, but the chakra signature put off in the area around where the transaction takes place should be a bit heavy and sort of strange."

Tsubaki nods a by more to the information. She didn't really have any other questions for the time being, so she fell silent, glancing to the others. Her gaze flickers to Kazumi when the genin is pointed out… And she hears Naoya's orders. Okay, mental note to self: try to stay near Kazumi or within his line of sight. Easy enough, right? The girl would just shift a bit where she stood before stilling once more.

Kazumi blinked when he wasted singled out and his gaze shifted quickly to the girl. The cackling in his head doesn't make it very easy to murmur, "O-okay…?" He was sure Tsubaki could evade him easily if she so chose, but… Naoya's reasoning was entirely sound. He was the only one who could actually watch her since he sure as a kami's tail couldn't keep an eye out for enemies very effectively. Still, he stares at the female a long moment, wondering how in the world he'd be treated if she decided she didn't like being under his watch…

"Metals.. always the metals." Closing his eyes slowly, Naoya would begin to shake his head gently from side to side. Lowering his head slightly, several spiders would descend from the trees and land upon his shoulders, acting as sentries. Looking above, Kazumi and Tsubaki would notice that the spiders weren't being erratic or random but were hovering over almost transparent threads, being rather watchful of them. "I lack that sense for now, the Shi- Okumo Kiji would be able to aid with that. I don't think she is free from the task of Sei-dono just yet… Do either of you have that kind of sensitivity to pick out a feeling of chakra? It would be useful so please, speak up quickly."

"I have it, and I am able to sense through water in ways and distances that most people can't," Yoichi says to Naoya as he looks over to him then glances between all three. Since the other two didn't ask any question, he says, "Let's get going." With that he turns and moves with the group out of the village to a ship that's waiting for them. It leads them over the sea to the eastern continent containing Marsh and Demon Country, though it drops them off at in the mostly uninhabited land closest to them outside Marsh Country. "What we're looking for is supposedly somewhere on this continent. Most people don't come out this far, so search for clues of recent traffic by wagons and horses."

Kazumi just blinked when they reached the land and he was given different instructions. Tsubaki, stay. Kazumi, come. The pink-haired man turned his gaze to the girl for a moment, then flicked it to Naoya before his attention fell fully on Yoichi and he followed after obediently. This was just… terrible. He was just going to get in the way again.
'Maybe you'll have to be absorbed again. Heheheh.'
The man gulped at the idea and sighed, trying to ignore the teasing voice.

Waving a hand dismissingly to no one in particular, the leaves rustle for few fleeting moments as the small creatures that had been over watching the lake retreat in mass. 'Only need a few of you.. not all..' Nodding lightly to himself, he turns towards the swordsman and allowed him to lead the way towards an awaiting ship while following behind the more quiet pair among them. -<>- When they made landfall, Naoya looks out towards the fields before looking around, trying to gain a feeling of the plant life that grew from brush to frees or even just space grasses. "Hmm.. Wagons, horses? Do you have a hint on the number?" Even as he posed the question, the young man would crouch down low, letting a hand touch the ground before pressing into the soil, testing how dry and how hard it was. While the young man was crouched, several dozen small creatures would flow from his pants legs, down his boots and onto the ground before scattering in many different directions but always in pairs.

"Not an exact count," Yoichi says as he looks over to Naoya while they dock at the island. "But the shipment is rather large and heavy." He looks over to Kazumi then back to Naoya, nodding to each of them before he leaps off the deck of the ship onto the land brings his hands into a seal. With that he splits into a few clones that take off to study around the surrounding area. "Kazumi, stay with me. Naoya, have your insects search or whatever your best form of wide perception is."

'Oh, yup, this is going to be great.'
Kazumi gulps and nods his head lightly at the instructions to stay close to his sensei. He really doesn't know why this particular mission was good for him to be on, but hey… Push the limits and whatever, right? So here he is, staying within a few yards of Yoichi and just looking around… as if he can help. He's trying!

"I am not specialized in this as a nester might be, but they will examine things for several kilometers." Closing his eyes, the young Okumo becomes stock still though a sensor would be able to feel the chakra within the young man swell faintly, partly from molding it but also from concentrating it to himself but for each of the small creatures that made up Naoya's internal brood. Scattering across the field, little to no webbing was made during the creature's journeys. As the spiders would proceed to flow out, they would consciously avoid the pink haired young man by half a meter before enclosing again and continuing on.

After checking out widely, the clones and spiders would find heavy wagon wheel tracks. The clones would come back and merge back into Yoichi before he says, "Let's follow the tracks obviously… This area isn't normally travelled often, so this could be one of the shipments we're looking for." Of course, if they can manage to capture some enemies from this one, they don't need to find the others right now since they just need information. As they take off, he brings his hands into a seal, creating a storm overhead that spreads quickly and moves ahead to give him indication of what might be in front of them. "… There are wagons ahead. So far they're moving at the same speed as they were, so I don't think they realize the rain was made by jutsu yet, but we should probably prepare for combat and assume they may have a sensor that'll figure out we're coming."

Kazumi watched the spiders avoid him and let his gaze follow them before he looked back to Yoichi. This was just… terrible. Combat. Sure! Fantastic. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. His lips closed again and he sighed through his nose. Okay… Okay! Yes, he can do this.
'You're trying /really/ hard today, I see…'
"Sshhhh," Kazumi half-whispers aloud, then clears his throat and looks awkwardly between the other two males.

Waving his hand to the left then the right, the creatures would split off rapidly, moving towards where the tracks came from but also where it was leading to. "This storm though will make tracking their scent harder, I'll have to resort to just using the sight.. until it passes and we're in door's I'll be more limited." Falling silent, Naoya listens to the swordsman and nods his head lightly a few times before starting to follow after him. While the brood had avoided the pink haired man, when he makes a sudden shushing sound, dark golden eyes were quickly fixating onto the young man, watching his face as he tried to understand who he was trying to silence. "Lets move.. quickly."

"It helps my tracking, so there's no getting away from us," Yoichi says with a glance over to Naoya before he looks to Kazumi who for some reason seems to be shushing himself. With a shrug he looks back forward and reaches to his back to draw the Kiba blades. As the wagons come into view, he whips the swords man, creating an enormous flurry of long whips of lightning that, go to knock off the passengers on the wagon along with stunning the horses to cause them to come to a sudden halt.

With the looks from both of the others, Kazumi seems to shrink in on himself a little. Saiken laughs hysterically, which just causes a sweat droplet to form on the poor Jinchuu's face. "S-s-sorry," he whispers and just follows after silently. It's only once they actually reach the wagons and Yoichi is already attacking that the young man focuses his own chakra to prepare for the coming assault.

"Coming with…" Baring his fangs, the young man's clothes begin to rapidly writhe and shift as something moved under them. Leaning forward, his feet dig in quickly before pushing back, moving closer towards Kazumi, more loudly stating, ".. me!" before kicking off again at a rapid pace. Not expelling chakra with each step, Naoya began to carry not only himself but the pink haired man with him towards the wagon unless he manages to wiggle free from the grasp during the rapid movement.

When Naoya literally picks up Kazumi to take him with him, Yoichi blinks. That's really not a smart mission strategy since Kazumi does have jutsu he can cast that aren't as Taijutsu-centric as Naoya's, but that can be dealt with later. As the wagon is brought to a halt, Naoya is able to reach it rather easily with Kazumi.
About this time, of course, those who managed to not be outside the wagon at the time of the falling of lightning start to pour out of an opening door an throw weapons at the incoming shinobi. All of them are adorned in dark blue, their entire bodies shrouded in the true likeness of a ninja.

Kazumi just stared at Naoya's words, not really sure what he meant until he's grabbed and dashed off with. He is very frazzled by this turn of events (no thanks to Saiken's laughing) and just feels very… uncertain of what to do. To be entirely fair… Kazumi does need to be closer, but… maybe not /this/ close. Even so, when he sees the people coming from the wagon to throw things, he forms a seal and throws up a shield of his acid to protect both of them… just in case.

Coming to a stop, not behind it but in front of it, blocking the way. The barrier before himself catches the young man slightly confused though it does spark a smirk on his lips. "Good good, not blade shy after that" is said softly as he sets the pink haired man down. moving his right hand onto the hilt of his blade, he soon begins to roll his shoulder, a pair of gloved hands slip from his layers until they force his collar line of his over coat back, casting it off only to reveal another set of arms wrapped around his own stomach. "Now, you said before you had something to show, I won't get in your way." With those words said, Naoya starts to draw a metal blade, holding it in a reverse grip as he shifts into a defensive position.

As Kazumi thinks quick enough to throw up a shield and keep them from getting hit, the men still continue to attack. Since those who were stunned by lightning weren't disposed of or bound, they stand up and begin attacking as well, charging at the shinobi with blades intent on stabbing and obliterating them.

Yoichi smirks slightly as Kazumi has made himself useful already. That's an improvement. With a flicker he appears with the other two with his blades out again. Any attacks aimed his way just pass through his body easily enough without doing any harm as he whips the blades back. "I'm going to take them down again. Once they're down, Kazumi, use your Sticky Acid jutsu to bind them so Naoya can further bind them with web. That'll disable them enough so we can transport them back to the village."

Kazumi only managed a noise of agreement at the Okumo's observation that he wasn't bladeshy anymore… There was a fairly good reason behind that. He says nothing, however, until Naoya remarks on having something to show. "N-not what I said! Or… or m-maybe not what I /m-meant/." What /did/ he say, anyway? He doesn't remember. Too much is said every day that he couldn't keep track… He nods to Yoichi's instructions, though, preparing his chakra in order to spray a viscous, trapping form of 'acid' over those that he can. Of course, the problem with this plan is he has to do each one individually. He just doesn't create enough of this acid enough to cover more than one individual.

Shifting his stance, Naoya stays behind the barrier though he hops side to side as blades hurled continue to move through the barrier though he is able to watch them as they break down into nothingness when they land into the soil. "Very nice.. I think I'll have to study that." Arching a brow as he waits briefly for a reaction, he looks behind himself before suddenly nodding to his orders. Bringing across a pair of his arms, the young Okumo tenses before whipping them to the side while two more arms whip forward, expelling meter after meter of webbing within an instant. When his arms come to a pause, he kicks forward, with his blade, increasing his tempo notably while trying to cut into each of the masked being before them before leaving his webbing to ensnare them even further.

The teamwork works quite well. The men are bound by lightning and then acid then web and finally a paralytic induced by Naoya. Luckily this group were just laborers and lower level shinobi basically, but they should have enough information to be useful to those trained in extracting information. "Load them into the wagons. We'll just drive them onto our ships so we can take them back to Kirigakure and see what we can glean from their contents while the men are questioned."

That was… remarkably easy, actually.
'Doing better, kid. Hopefully she'll keep you around long enough to keep this up.'
Kazumi's face flushes /ever/ so slightly and he coughs lightly. "S-sounds good, S-s-sensei." Stupid stutter… He actually grumbles a little bit at himself as he starts trying to load some of them into the wagon. He's… obviously not very physically strong, though, so he kind of struggles just a tad.

Moving a hand to his shoulder, he begins to press onto a pressure point slowly before rolling it. His blade wielding hand shifts and begins to sheath the blade with an aid of one of his other right arms. The three remaining arms become more loose without the weight of literal pounds of webbing flowing from them allowing him to quickly begin work on individually binding the troops that had opposed them. Paying attention to bind their fingers separate, leaving one hand close to their waist while the other was wrapped around their neck, stressing their shoulder joint but also making sure none of them would be able to easily form a hand seal, even one handed ones. "Should we await others, or during the fare back to the mainland, that I begin to prepare toxins to use? Possible some of Kazumi-san's acid. It's growing more potent than I remember."

"We'll handle all that back at the village in a controlled environment, not on a rocking ship," Yoichi responds to Naoya then nods to both him and Kazumi. Once the goons are loaded onto the wagon, they'd take off back toward where they docked their ship. Mission accomplished.

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