Date: January 20, 2015
Isra must prove loyalty to her potential summons or Boss as he'd like it, by committing herself to assignments that are dictated by him. If she wants this contract, she's gotta do these things the way he likes it, or else. First task: Delivering shipments to businesses. Sounds easy enough, but nothing is truly ever that easy and soon she and some enlisted help find out the difficulty of their task.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Honor Under the Seas - Ink's Well that Ends Well"
A village near the coast of the Land of Water
Wanted: A helping hand! Any hand will do, one that is willing and able! All they need to know how to do is carry boxes. Will pay handsomely it's completely worth the effort!
Isra looked at her posting and sighed. This posting sucked, but it needed to be done. She wanted to offer more information, but she was completely limited on how much she could offer. She knew that she had to carry boxes and deliver them. She could not know the contents of the boxes or else… Seriously, or else. That's all she had to work with.
She looked to her left and right at the billboard and saw no one appearing to take interest in her posting. Sigh. If she goes this alone, it might be a bit more difficult.
She looks up at the sky and sees that the sun is high in the sky. Well, it's a nice afternoon, at least. She can think about how lovely it'll be until it starts to get all warped when she's sleeping with the fishes… Why did she go fishing that day? She lifts her hands to her mohawk and tugs at it lightly in distress before calming herself down. "Okay, okay, everything is fine… It'll be alright." Inhale, exhale.
This is a nice little village, she supposes. It's just removed from the sea, but that doesn't stop the people here from taking their boats down and engaging in water activities. It's only mildly obscured by tall trees and has a nice, comfortable feel, welcoming to anyone passing through. They have some great food to boot too. A small business quarter is present here, hinting to its past of being an important trading post prior to it falling into obscurity as time progressed. Still, it produces a good lot of people that find work elsewhere and they pride themselves on providing excellent talent in that regard which is why this quarter tends to receive the most in terms of shipments. This shipment Isra is taking care of appears to be no different.
A young samurai peers at the posters, his lips curling in distaste. Though it pricks his sense of pride, sometimes, even Ieyasu, the presumptive (and illegitimate) heir to the Daimyo of the Land of Rice Paddies has to do certain tasks which might be beneath him, in order to be able to do the things he wants to do. He glares at the poster and breathes deeply as he mutters, "Rectitude, Courage, Compassion, Loyalty, Honor… A samurai must always stick to the tenets of bushido, this is only a trial I must endure."
With his course set, his loins girded, he heads to where the poster indicated he was to appear and speaks in perfect, if arrogant tones and diction, "I am Goto Ieyasu, I believe you have some work needed to be done? I would not be a samurai if I did not help to serve the people in these… menial tasks."
Tsubaki, as a student, did not get many opportunities to help people, per se. She was to learn, observe, and fail over and over. Perhaps, though, she could try and do something right? The girl makes her way over to Isra, carrying one of the posters she had been hanging all over the place. "… You are the one who wanted help carrying boxes?" she asks hesitantly, holding up the poster. The girl sees the samurai and can't help but narrow her eyes at him as she studies Ieyasu. Her green eyes dart back to Isra, though, and she waits for an answer to confirm before continuing, "I… would like to help, if you don't mind? I'm only a student, so… I'm not skilled in much." Disclaimer.
The voice had come from behind Isra. Despite the soft tone the man that spoke it looked anything but the kind such a tone would normally belonged to. As soon as the MOto has the woman's attention if only briefly, he smiles faintly and bows fully at the waist. He opens his mouth as if he meant to say something, but pauses after belatedly noticing Tsubaki… and soon after the samurai fellow. The latter of which earns a lengthier look before her regards the former swordsman with a completely bemused look. "Uh.. Is.. Is this a bad time?" He asks warily.
This boy you see before you is roughly of average height, he looks to be in his early teen years and looks to be somewhat gaunt and malnourished although his frame looks to be tough and wiry. He looks to be handsome with a dark raven colored hair that is long and done up in a queue like a samurai, soft hazel eyes that change hue with his emotions, a mouth that with full lips might be considered somewhat girlish. The only features on his face that keep him from the perfection of a traditional bishounen is his patrician nose that seems almost a bit big for his face and his ears which seem slightly smaller than normal.
Right now he's wearing a simple rough spun brown shirt of wool that is threadbare and has seen better days and pair of trousers that have been patched numerous times and on his feet he wears a pair of hand-me-down sandals who's straps have been mended with twine and other jury-rigged materials. On his head he wears a much cared for bamboo straw hat that is usually pulled down to hide his face.
Isra turned her head to one side to see that some guy had shown up. She tilts her head to one side and peers at him. "Umm…Yeah?" She replied back as if she was uncertain. No, she was just confused. "You're a samurai?" She openly asked and looked around him as if he was hiding some armor. "Oh, well…welcome aboard!" She chimed. "I'll need all the help I can get! I'm Uzumaki Isra," she introduced herself.
She was about to explain what she had to do until a couple others showed up. Really?!?! She had no idea she'd get this many people! Heck, she didn't even expect just one person. "Yes, yes, I did ask for help! Carrying boxes, yep, that's it. Carrying boxes is easy peasy, so no need to have much skill for this…" She looked to Kiyoshi as well, though she can't say she was exactly comfortable with him coming up behind her, but it's a shinobi thing, she guesses. "Nope, this isn't a bad time at all to be here. You showed up at the /right/ time. This is the best time you could've ever showed up, I'm so happy!" She could just hug them all.
"Alright, so the deal is simple. I already have a cart ready to get these boxes loaded up and carried into the businesses that have requested them. The contents of the box cannot be opened or revealed to anyone except the businesses. Likewise, the content within can't be damaged in any way, so on and so forth. I think you get the picture. Once I've completed this task, I'll pay you guys all what is appropriate for this assignment. This should run smoothly enough. I just needed extra hands so I could get this done in time, so I apologize if it's lame, but I have to get it done…or else…" She looked around her as if expecting someone to come and shank her. "So…are we ready?"
Ieyasu manages to keep the snort and sneer from his face as he whispers, "Rectitude, Courage, Compassion, Loyalty, Honor…" under his breath and then bows, "I am Uzumaki-san… It will be good to help the businesses here succeed." His self-important speech would sound better if his voice hadn't cracked near the end, squirt that late puberty!
Kiyoshi retrains that confused expression even after Isra explain things. His feelings on the matter doesn't stop him from nodding absently in agreement in any case; especially not after witnessing her excitement over finding helpers. A more amicable smile spreads across his features as things are explained further, though it doesn't last for all that long. Something felt… off. It irked him enough to get the giant to avert his gaze and scratch at his chin until Ieyasu start whispering. He doesn't catch all of it, and what he does overhear only elicits a raised brow of confusion before Kiyoshi turns his attention back to Isra.
"Whatever you need, Isra-sensei." The war axe-toting man states, grinning toothily.
"Great! You guys are awesome," Isra beamed. "Okay, everyone hop into the cart. I'll be guiding it to the place where we'll need to pick up the boxes." She walked over and jumped up into the coach, taking the reins to the horse that would be pulling it. "All ready to go, now." Once everyone was ready and in the cart, she'd snap the reins and have the horse head off and take a small road through town that led to an out of the way place. The ride would be overall peaceful without any incident and gave a nice view of the area and the coastal waters that were further down the way from the view in the village overlooking the sea.
Upon arrival, a bunch of roughnecks were standing around, waiting for the cart to pull in so they could monitor the cargo. "Oh hey, it's the new recruit," a burly one called out. "Yeah, yeah, I wonder if she's gonna make it through the assignment. She doesn't look like she's worth nothin', though." A thinner one remarks with a shrug.
"Both of ya shut up! Can't be going around talking aloud about this. We'll all get in trouble for it, sheesh…" An older man mentioned. He came out with a smile saying, "Sorry about that. We have everything ready to go for you to take to the businesses," he gestured into the doorway of the small warehouse where her boxes were marked with a mon emblem of a koi fish. "Thanks. I'll go ahead and take these off your hands…"
She gestured for the others to follow suit and gather up the boxes. There were only five in number, so these should be simple enough to deliver. "Safe travels. You're gonna need 'em—Oww! What was that for?" The thin man was elbowed by the older guy. "I told you to shut up! Get back in there and clean up the mess you made. There's water all over the place."
Tsubaki climbs onto the cart when told to, the girl offering a bow when she recognizes Kiyoshi. For the duration of the trip she is silent, taking in the surround area and just studying it all for inspiration and because she's curious. When they arrive, she gets out of the cart and stares at the people who came to greet them. She idly wonders what they seem to be jeering about, but it sounded like the job was more difficult than she thought… Should she back out so the mission might be successful? Even if this technically isn't a mission, it's still a job.
Kiyoshi buries Kiyoshi gives the cart one look, hesitates for a moment, the grudgingly climbs his way in as well. The vehicle might've tipped a bit back in the process, but only for a brief moment if at all. It was supposed to be designed for heavy loads after all. Right? Once inside the Moto closed his eyes tightly shut and tried not to dwell to heavily on the unknown; such as their objective for instance, or how Isra might react to his question later…
As per the norm, a long uneventful ride meant Kiyoshi slowly dozing in and out. Only the sound of new voices give reason for the Kirryu to stir once again. However, he is sluggish as a result, and winds up the last one out, regarding everything through half-lidded eyes. He sniffs at the roughnecks general direction, noting that off feelings return immediatly after. Against what was mayhaps his better judgement, Kiyoshi bites his tongue and sets to work loading up the majority of the crates himself if given the chance. He even goes as far as to offer Tsubaki assistance as well. That is if she seemed to need it. Otherwise, it is back on the cart, so long as it looked cable of holding him for the rest of the trip..
The group would be well into their errands, delivering to the businesses as they were instructed. The boxes had not been opened and the contents within hadn't been affected. There were only three boxes to go and two satsified customers were already down. "Alright, we're almost done with this, thanks so much for the help, guys. I truly appreciate it. Now, the next place in line to deliver to is a bank and we're not too far from it. It's just down there way here," she pointed down the road to a building that was marked with mon emblems representing the village the bank was situated in.
They pull up at a lot just within the range of the bank and retrieve a box. Walking in, Isra talks with a teller who proceeds to point her towards the manager. She didn't need to do much work as the manager came out and met her instead. "Oh, good the shipment is finally here! Wonderful. We'll be secured for another few months with this, for certain," the man bowed numerous times in thanks, lifting his hand to capture his glasses as they risked falling at every bend.
"No problem. We're glad to help," the Uzumaki replied. The bank had other customers inside getting their transactions handled, with a few standing around waiting for their turn. They observed the transaction between the group and took note of the box that was given to the manager. Looks like their suspicions were confirmed. Of the waiters, one stepped outside and saw the cart that was situated in the lot and indicated to the two left inside that it held more materials. Good. Now they could put their plan into action.
A loud bang occurred outside the bank and smoke began to fill the air. People inside looked for places to hide while outside, villagers scattered to avoid any danger. Isra moved outside to see what the commmotion was about, but wasn't able to determine much with all the smoke. However, as it wavered, she did see the horse galloping off with the cart and the items inside of it being taken away. "Oh no… Oh, no, no…" This isn't happening! "We have to get that cart!" She shouted. "Everyone, after me—" She's cut off by another smoke bomb blowing up before her and blocking out vision.
Tsubaki has been mostly silent while performing the task, only speaking to ask where one particular crate might be placed or if they were all done with the lifting. She tended to carry the smaller boxes since she wasn't all that strong, but at least she was still helpful. As they continued, she started to get more comfortable with things. Of course, with that sense of comfort comes a lack of noticing things. The explosion catches her off-guard, and she ends up almost dropping what she was holding. Fortunately it was leaving the cart. She sets it down to follow Isra, but then another smoke bomb goes off. The girl shields her eyes, squinting to try and see /something/ in its mists.
Every time the carriage shook from his coming and going, Kiyoshi grew visibly more worried. He bit his lips and ignored his concerns as best as he could, but even the patient giant had his limits.
"Eh… Mmm… Its no problem, Isra-sensei. " Kiyoshi smiles, grateful for both the appreciative remark and the distraction. At Isra behest (sort of) the Moto regards the bank, noting structural flaws and the like that can be seen at a distance on reflex. He becomes so focused on the task that he winds up being forced to either trot along the rest of the way or try to hop on. His fear re-emerges, resulting in the former happening. Still, he doesn't complain one bit, and even seems to enjoy the trip more.
Once they arrive Kiyoshi again uses what opportunity is provided to look over the bank, but ultimately loses himself in the delivery portion of the task. Loud bang breaks that blissful one track mindness, though Isra is ultimately the one to give him a proper focus. He runs at full tilt, expecting to run into robbers, not a cloud of heavy smoke. Growling, Kiyoshi sifts through the smoke by ear and smell until he caught a trace, then wordlessly takes both Tsubaki and Isra by hand to guide them along it until the clear the smoke. If need be, he'll even toss Tsubaki over his shoulder given the fact his strides were longer.
While the smoke may not be able to be seen through very well, the tracks of the cart can certainly be made out as they mark the dirt and head off down the road that led to the bank. With Kiyoshi's help, Isra and Tsubaki are guided out and are able to see the tracks much more easily. "Alright, it's time to get those packages. I can see that they've taken off with the goods, but it won't be long before the tracks disappear. Not every road here is made of dirt," she admits. "So, let's head off."
There are a number of things around here that could serve as a way to catch up to the thieves. There are a few horses settled in place nearby that are used for their own deliveries, but there's also the tried and true way of just building and tree hopping until catching up. Isra decides to opt for a horse and quickly dashes for one to carry both her and Tsubaki.
"Sorry, I need this horse, I hope you don't mind!" She jumbled together as she hopped up on the horse and rode it off, stopping only to take up Tsubaki. "We're not too far behind yet. We can still catch up. Kiyoshi, you'll be alright on your feet, right?" She thinks he should. He certainly seemed more than capable of keeping up with a horse, especially considering what he is.
She didn't wait for an answer as she took off after the thieves.
Up ahead, the thieves were bobbing and weaving with the horse drawn cart through villagers with the intent of getting these goods out of sight and out of mind. What they intended to do with them is something only they know. In order to keep the shinobi off their tail, they begin knocking over things in their path, including people and other carts carrying loads.
Tsubaki squeaks lightly when she's suddenly picked up and thrown over Kiyoshi's shoulder. She is… practically useless in every way! At least for now. She's hoping she can improve that sometime in the future… The girl lets herself take a ride on the Kirryu, just waiting to either be put down or given another ride. Her next trip seems to be on a horse alongside Isra, which she honestly wouldn't mind if it weren't for the fact that she isn't used to riding horses with more than one person, let along a full-sized horse! The girl seems uncomfortable, to say the least, as they continue forth, eventually coming to a blockade. Unless otherwise prompted, she would simply stay on Isra's horse. Best to not get in the way!
Isra doesn't have to wait long at all for an answer. Kiyoshi nods curtly and takes off without a moment's hesitation. Tempted as he was to try and alter his physique to increase his speed, the Kirryu relies on the raw empowerment of his Bijuu's chakra. With or without, the Moto is more than capable enough to keep up with the horses. Then came the obstacles…
What he doesn't leap over or duck under, the Kirryu sidesteps as best he can without breaking his pace too badly. Still, the fact that the thieves were going as far as use villagers to try and stop prompts Kiyoshi to go to the extreme. Tsubaki gets only a brief "Get ready" before Kiyoshi plucks her off the back of the horse by her top and flings her at the carriage.
The carriage is only moments away from Tsubaki as she flies through the air towards it. She sticks the landing, if only for a well placed throw and lands right along with the boxes in the back, unbeknownst to the thieves who are still trying to get away with the goods. Now here's the opportunity to cause some damage! Err, not to the goods, of course, but yes, damage!
Isra, still utilizing the horse she had, simple uses it to jump over the obstacles in her path and press forward, keeping after the carriage. She'd give Kiyoshi a high five, but that'd have to wait for later and besides, she isn't sure if Tsubaki is doing alright. "That was a nice throw, though," she chuckled as she gave the Kirryu a compliment. Now, to ensure Tsubaki's safety. It's now become priorty #1!
Back in the carriage: "We're almost there and they still haven't caught up with us. This stuff will soon be ours and we'll take over the market for it for sure. We'll run those Kawaguchi out of here for sure!" They speak to themselves as they near an exit of the village that leads to a port at the coast.
Tsubaki finds herself just flying left and right through the air. She isn't a weapon!! … Well, technically she is. She's just a very poor one… The girl wobbles a bit as she lands on the cart, ducking down so the men don't realize she's there. The girl frowns a bit, imagining she ought to stop them before they go much further. The question is… how? She considers, then makes a handseal, focusing her chakra and making a clone of ice. She also has a kunai in her hand that she throws at one of the men while the ice clone she created simply smashes its arm against the head of the other. Deadly weapon!
Kiyoshi regards Isra briefly with eyes as wide as saucers. He had been expecting some sort of admonishment for having not at least prepared the Shirayuki better for the trip, but instead… a compliment. Thinking over it slowed him down for a second, but the Kirryu quickly recaptures his pace once more. Now it was a waiting game for the Shirayuki to either cause enough havoc to slow the robbers down, or for some other opportunity to outpace them. The giant's eyes widen once more at the scent of the sea wafting up his nose. They were almoost of out time!
Giving all new meaning to the words cold cocked! The ice clone smashes right against one of the thieve's head and knocks him out cold. More ice puns, yay! The second thief, witnessing what happened to his partner didn't have enough time to react to the kunai that would go right into his back. He wasn't down for the count, but the weapon was painful enough to distract him from guiding the horse. The horse, left on its own, continues running down the path. Looks like it'll need to be stopped before it goes any further. By this point, Isra has gained enough ground where she was close enough to take control of the coach of the shipment cart. She hopped off the current horse and kicked the kunai stricken thief to one side to take control of the cart and draw the horse to a stop.
"Okay!" She shouted. "I think we've just about done it! Are you okay?" She turns around to question the Shirayuki and check for any damages. "I know you were sent sailing through the air, but you seemed light enough for the job?" She grinned sheepishly. "You took out the thieves, after all! Nice work!"
Tsubaki grips the cart when it starts to teeter and totter with no guide for the horses. But luck seems to be on their side as Isra comes up to stop the cart. She seems relieved, to say the least, and hops out of the runaway mobile for less-shaky ground. "I'm okay," she says to the Uzumaki, the girl glancing to Kiyoshi next with a curious expression. It wasn't the first time she had seen him like that, but it was the first time he didn't seem angry in that form. Good thing, too! The girl shifts a bit in her spot to test her legs, but finds everything /seems/ to be alright. Okay, good to go!
As much as Kiyoshi wanted to assist more directly, the Moto kept up directly behind the carriage as Isra made her move. If need be, he'd take hold and grind the dang thing to a halt manually, horses and all! Luckily, it doesn't come to it. Before long, Kiyoshi is up with the others, dragging the robbers off one at a time after bind them with ninja wire one after the other. From his peripheral he notice the look from Tsubaki, and returns it with a bemused one until it clicks. It was the eyes and markings. While not as intense as his other transformation, seeing as much probably had her worried. Kiyoshi tries to smile sheepishly, but barring his teeth and sharpened canines might not have been the best way to go.
"Alright, it looks like everyone is okay. I'll take these guys with me and we'll finish off these last shipments," she hopped over the coach into the cargo hold to see how the boxes were doing. She checked them out and smiled when everything seemed okay. "They're still good!" Nope, not good. One of the boxes shifted and fell off of the other which resulted in an opening and…a small bottle of ink to roll out.
Isra fell ill and her knees grew weak as she collapsed against the walls of the cargo space. "Okay…okay, everything is fine… It'll be alright," she tried to convince herself, but that last part of her deal continued to echo through her head. 'Or else'. What did it mean? She could only think of the worst possible things right now!
Before she could crunch herself into fetal position, she reached forward and slipped the ink back into the box and tried to ignore it ever happened. "Let's go get this shipment done," she offered with a mild quiver in her voice.
With the two goons tied up in the back, they managed to keep the boxes secure with their weight as the last of the deliveries were made. The owners of the businesses didn't seem too upset, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was what would happen to /her/ if these /things/ got /messed up/.
"Okay, as promised, I'm going to pay you guys before I end up dying…" She gathered a satchel that had some small bags inside. Within it was the ryo to cover the assistance she received. "I was told that an extra percentage should go to those who helped, so here you are," she handed Tsubaki and Kiyoshi the small bags. "Take that and do whatever you want with it. It's yours. For now, I'm going to go try and think about not dying as I offer my report to my Boss."