Into the Inferno - Embers on the Wind


Hanami, Sakuya, Kiyoshi (as Yoshi), Rockpath (emitter)

Date: August 1, 2016


Aid was sought from Kumogakure when a northern village of the Land of Lightning called Doshi came under literal fire by unknown enemies that torched the whole town. Hanami lead a team immediately and met up with the mercenary Yoshi at the scene to investigate.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Into the Inferno - Embers on the Wind"

Land of Lightning, remains of the northern town of Doshi

Of all the times for something like this to happen. Kumo was in a state of alert, the higher ups were gone or missing. So of course something happens beyond the usual bandits and such. A messenger came in at the end of his ropes covered in soot and travel dirt. The village of Doshi up north had been attacked, shinobi set fire to the place causing the whole village to go up in flames. The man didn't know much more than that, once the villagers realized what was going on he was sent to get help. Yori had seen to the man, making sure he was set up in the hospital getting the best care. In the mean time summons were sent out to available shinobi to investigate the situation and see what could be done for the villagers. Sadly the village was low on available shinobi so Hanami was requested to lead with Sakuya. They would try and find more support to send as soon as possible but speed was of the essence.
When Hanami got the mission order initially she was pretty casual about it. But upon skimming it she froze, going back and rereading carefully. Fire, a village being burned. Her heart thudded in her chest, breathing coming out quickly. No. She took several moments to get herself under control then burst into motion snatching up gear and rushing out the door. Likely using the wind to push her along causing a bit of chaos no doubt as she tore across the village to the gates. They had to move! She had to fight not to just take off for the village herself right now. At the village gates she clenched her fists, working to keep herself from getting too worked up. Wouldn't look good. Especially cause she was suppose to be in charge, even if only of Sakuya. With images of burning buildings and people flashing in her head the fact that she was suppose to be in charge actually didn't get much attention.

Emergency response missions happen within moments, and Sakuya never has time to properly prepare for them. This must have been the Storm Brigade, goading to spread Kumogakure thinner and thinner. They were doing a fair job of it. They took two of their finest Chuunin as it was. Sakuya was at the gates within moments, and even as she approached she was still putting shinobi tools in their proper pouches.
Doshi was not that far north, just across a veil of mountains that keeps Kumogakure from having a direct line of sight from it. They would get there soon, but would it be soon enough? Sakuya comes to an abrupt halt by the gates, locating Hanami surprisingly quickly. "What's the situation? I didn't have time to read anything other than the headline…" Her eyes were looking frantically around. "Where's everyone else? Are they late?" Don't tell her that they are all there was going to be.
Moments after she stopped, Zuzu seemed to vault himself off the village gates, landing upon Sakuya's shoulder in short order. Zuzu seemed to have more insight, as usual. "I read the order, Sakuya. You two are the only village shinobi that are assigned to this response…." The white snake, capable of speech, quickly coils around Sakuya's torso, head raised at Hanami as he gives a terse greeting involving a flicker of his tongue and a blinking of his nictating membrane.
Sakuya and Hanami seemed… A little understaffed for something like this. Not even a full team. Zuzu reaches his head up to Sakuya's ear to summarize the pamphlet she hadn't the time to read. "A village is burning north of here. Everything else is speculation." … "Speculation… Hai…" Sakuya would turn and give Hanami a proper Kumogakure salute. "I'm ready to go… No time to waste."

Reizei Yukari got a mission notice from Kumogakure. Very last minute as she was actually about to head off for a basic patrol when this one came in. The girl blinks at the change of plans, but she would nod all the same and hurry to the gates. Thankfully, she had already packed up her mission gear, so she doesn't need to waste any time in packing or preparing. "Gomennasai!!" the young Genin calls out, rushing to the gates. She stops, bowing in greeting … No wait, she's actually gasping for air… Her hands are on her knees as she attempted to recover from the sprint she had just broken out of. "I…" she pauses to gulp for air. "I just got the assignment. I was meant to go on patrol, but they changed my mission!" she explains, the girl suddenly exploding upwards to give a proper salute. "Reizei Yukari! At your service. I'm supposed to be following Shinatobe Hanami?" The girl had changed a bit since she had missioned with Kaido and Hige about three or four years ago. She was taller, though still a bit lanky. Her white hair was longer, and her green eyes sparkled a bit with energy. "I hope I can help on this mission! I heard it involved bandits or shinobi setting fire to a local village?"

Hanami shakes herself mentally when Sakuya shows up shortly after herself. She gives a nod, her face impassive though her eyes are burning, though not with craziness…probably not. "Just us, right Zuzu. Doesn't matter, can't wait. Nothing is known, but it doesn't matter. We'll figure it out when we get there. The important thing is getting there and making sure the villagers are okay." And the wind was already stirring around her as she was about to take off when Yukari shows up. The faint wind ripples around her but Hanami doesn't move yet, looking at the girl, "I'm Hanami, yes. If you were assigned then we're moving out now so better keep up." And with that she bolts with the wind. Enough control is still there though that she doesn't try and outdistance the others. But likely she'll be a little ways ahead. Her vision focused before her. Under her breath she'd mutter something to the effect of, "Gotta get there, must be there in time. Can't fail.." repeatedly.

COMBAT: Hanami focuses 3825 stamina to turn it into 5000 usable chakra!

"Just… us…" Sakuya looked worried, but at the very least she could acknowledge something. Hanami was usually not so spirited. It wasn't the sound of her voice, or even her posture. It was definitely Hanami's eyes. They are about to go into a war zone for all intents and purposes, and Sakuya would shrug her shoulders and roll them, attempting to ease the tension within her. Just as she had settled, however, her ears picked up an unfamiliar battle-cry, from a genin no doubt. "Yukari-san is it? I'm glad they redirected you here, but… You are a genin, so please take caution!" She would give Yukari a salute. She knows she herself loved to receive recognition from a Chuunin when she was a genin. She pays that forward to Yukari. "I am Sakuya." Sakuya crouched a moment as she took a deep breath, and then she too begins to run. "Well, it was a lot better than I thought…" Here is to hoping she does not need to take any bullets for the genin.
«Hanami must have some personal gain in this.» Zuzu communicates. «Perhaps she is familiar with Doshi, which allowed her to be placed as the team leader for this mission…»

COMBAT: Sakuya focuses 4254 stamina to turn it into 5000 usable chakra!
RP: Sakuya transforms into ZUZU.

If it's one thing the Reizei are known for, it's speed. Yukari would give a bit of a cocky grin. "I can keep up," she assures Hanami, gathering some chakra. She focuses it in such a way that she would be able to move quickly and keep up, though she doesn't enter her Blur mode. Not yet. "Sounds simple," she says, confidence having been built over the past few years. "I'm sure we'll be able to take care of it." She might exacerbate the problem of the fire, but she could get rid of the shinobi and/or bandits wreaking havoc to the poor village. "I'll be fine," she tells Sakuya upon the warning, waving a hand dismissively. She does flash a grateful smile in Sakuya's direction though. "Nice to meet you." Then she moves to follow the two Chuunin.

COMBAT: Rockpath focuses 3118 stamina to turn it into 4000 usable chakra!
RP: Rockpath transforms into RAPID-MOVEMENT-MODE.
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a PERCEPTION…27
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-SENSE…39

As the group races across the landscape Hanami stays mostly silent except for a few things to which she'd call back to the others, "Priority is making sure we know the villagers are okay. Hopefully the escaped, but we don't know what happened with the enemies since the messenger took off early on." She would glance back at Yukari, "Be too much to hope for you know water jutsu? Either way, we'll assess the fire situation. The village is probably a goner but we can't let the fire spread at the very least. Might be difficult if the people who started this really are shinobi." She had been keeping her senses open, habit and a good one she thought whenever out on a mission. Never know what could happen. And as they were getting to the mountains she felt it, which honestly surprised her. Chakra. Had to be pretty strong if she was already picking up traces out here. "Be alert," she calls back, then pushes forward past the mountains. Once through they're only a few miles from the village, with smoke and embers on the wind. But that's nothing compared to the huge pillar of what can only be described as brilliant red burning chakra shooting up into the sky. Hanami skids to a halt upon open plain, staring dumbly at the pillar which seems to be surrounded by what can only be the burning village of Doshi. "What in the…"

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…43

«Can you really claim you belong in this village?» The voice of a serpent resounds in Sakuya's head. «You run, and run, and run… Yet even the genin outpaces you! Quite hilarious!» It was true, that as time progressed, Sakuya found herself unable to keep up with Hanami and the Reizei. They seemed to take the lead. "Shoot… W-wait up! I can't hear you, Hanami! Did you say we needed to take the villagers away?" She would ask. She would surely would get the gist of what needed to be done, of course. Sakuya's senses pick up not chakra, but the feeling of the ground trembling, and the subtle scents that she seems to have a mind to sort through. "Burning… Burning…" She mumbled, as her tongue flickered from a mouth as a snake's would. The fluttering organ, long and slender, did pick up something relieving.
"I smell people… I don't smell blood. I think we have survivors… Hanami, should we go observe the villagers or fight the flames?" Are they even equipped to fight the flames? Hopefully, Yukari would come out on top.

[NPC System]: Yukari roll(s) Perception from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 23. - Rolled by: Rockpath

Yukari is probably the most ill-suited to this mission excepting for the fact that she can run fast. Maybe she can just act as a messenger… "G-Gomen…" she says. "I only know lightning and wind release…" Yukari keeps her eyes peeled for the time being, scanning the area… It actually is her nose that picks up the scent of smoke, and she wrinkles her nose a bit when suddenly a pillar of flame appears. Her eyes go as wide as Hanami's. "Wh-What the… What is that?!" she exclaims, feeling a thrill of fear run through her veins and turn them to ice. "I… I don't like this …" she says unhappily, even as she shuffles about where she stood. Reizei: cannot stay still.

RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a PERCEPTION-III…64

"So you've all finally arrived."
It was more of a test more than anything. Although the temporary contract had already been accepted, Yoshi needed to test his so called "allies" mettle. And what better way to do that than to approach them from an unexpected direction, and try there nerves with the sound of a gravelly, and almost sinister sounding voice? Either way, once out in the open, the man proceeds to bow slightly in greeting, then hold a scroll detailing for the group's leader.
Tempted as he was to glance back at the great pillar of light and heat, Yoshi kept his attention upon the others; examining them closely. He had already gleaned as much as he was going to from a distance while awaiting the others, so there was no need to pay it further mind. For now. As for the scroll, it contained largely the details explaining his participation in the mission as well. Just why and how some lowly mercernary had arrived persumeably before the others is anyones guess however…

COMBAT: Hanami defends against ADVANCED-STEALTH(33) attack from Yoshi with a WIND-SENSE…45

The pillar of glowing, burning chakra might also be some of the source of the heat around the area. Even though the group is a decent distance from the village the heat can still be felt. That and of course the village on fire. The village doesn't look to be too big though but still, plenty of flames. Other than the crackling sounds of raging fire there doesn't seem to be any noises going on that you can tell from this distance.
Hanami had been straining her senses to pick up anything, though the pillar of chakra was messing with much of her chakra sensing abilities regretably. The whole village was just a bright spot of chakra now. But as such, she was still able to pick up things around her and sensed Yoshi before he made his presence known, turning to face in his direction when he arrived. She gives him a hard look at first, silently taking the scroll and reading it over before handing it back, "Yeah, we have. And clearly the giant pillar of chakra is something our messenger didn't know about before hand. But anyways I'm Shinatobe Hanami, leader of this mission so welcome. This is Hebisuuhai Sakuya and her companion Zuzu along with Reizei Yukari. We need to work fast, have you been here long? Had any time to find anything out about the situation? I can pick up the traces of people not far from here, I'm assuming villagers but beyond that I don't think we've come up with anything else," the last statement was said over her shoulder, addressing Sakuya and Yukari as well in case they had picked up anything. Otherwise she continues looking over Yoshi as he's assessing them himself.

COMBAT: Sakuya defends against ADVANCED-STEALTH(33) attack from Yoshi with a PERCEPTION…26

Sakuya recalls Furoo, who also had to move in some form. Though, it was mostly standing still and just striking a cool pose every moment. The skittish and jerky movement was endearing on Yukari. Still, while she stared at the genin and planned the best way to keep them out of trouble (trouble being what she seemed always caught up in when she was a genin), the villain appears! He appears, and catches Sakuya off guard. She would reach down and squeeze Zuzu's neck, causing him to suddenly cough and sputter, "WHAT ARE YOU!?" before pulling him roughly while channeling chakra into his body. Soon enough, Zuzu was pulled completely straight, turning him into a metal rod of sorts. A transformation technique. She spun the staff around with the skill of any shinobi as she aimed it at Yoshi. "Halt! Identify yourself!" Sakuya said as the crescent-shaped end of the ornate Khakkhera-like rod pointed at Yoshi… Serious Snake.
Wait… The ominous sounding gentlemen was an ally? "…. He's a friend?" Sakuya asks. "False alarm Zuzu…" Still, someone as intimidating as him was sure to make a few people shake in their boots…

RP: Sakuya transforms into STAVE-OF-SERPENTS.
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…45
[NPC System]: Yukari roll(s) Perception vs. Yoshi (39) from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 23. - Rolled by: Rockpath

Yukari didn't really notice Yoshi until he was almost upon them. He scared her half to death, the girl jumping rather high from nervousness. "I-Is that a monster?!" she squeaks out. The girl would then blink a bit when Hanami talks to the monster all friendly-like. "Oh… Is he working with us, then?" she asks with a few blinks. Yukari would rub the back of her neck sheepishly, bowing slightly in greeting. "Nice to meet you," she says cheerfully.

"Not all that long, and… Hmm…" He trails off briefly, eyes shifting back to the others. There's a hint of linger amusement in what little expression can be seen beyond all the bandages. A fact during the brief lapse Yoshi becomes self-aware of, and immediatly tries to suppress. "If its east those tracks are headed, then that would be the villagers. Beyond this, I know nothing more than you. I didn't dare get too close." He adds, conviently leaving out the part 'without the rest of you'. With the report out of the way, Yoshi went back to studying the two—three who had the strongest reaction to his presence.
The transformed snake in particular seemed to warrant a more intense stare. But soon enough, whatever interest the man had in it fades with a weary shake of the head. "I am Yoshi, by the way. An ally, not friend." He amends for the others before turning to Hanami. "Now that that's done, how do you wanna proceed, Shinatobe-san."

Hanami looks at Sakuya when she reacts with transforming Zuzu, "Sakuya, it's okay…" but things seemed to have settled down shortly, "Don't worry you two. As he said, he's an ally on this mission. Now, Yoshi. You mentioned tracks heading east to the villagers, that's good. I was hoping that was the case. I'd prefer to get working on the fire but we'd best get to the villagers and make sure they're alright. Come on then, lets move out." She waves the others on as she takes off for where the villagers seemed to have holed up. Upon getting near she holds up a hand to halt her companions and calls out, "Villagers of Doshi! I'm Shinatobi Hanami, shinobi of Kumogakure. Me and my companions have been sent in response to your fellow villager who was sent for help!"
It takes a minute but eventually a middle-aged man comes out, looking tired with singed clothes and streaks of soot and dirt over him. He approaches the group, looking over them, "You're the ones they sent huh? Thank you so much, we were worried help wouldn't get here. The village…every thing is burning. And that pillar!" The man visibly sags, nearly dropping to his knees with maybe relief? Or exhaustion, probably both.

Sakuya lowered her staff, of course. The snake actively talking from it. "I knew he was an ally all along. I cannot help that my lesser partner is such a fool, sir. Forgive her transgression." - "Shut up, Zuzu…" She punishes her opportunistic partner as she spins the pole around as quickly as she can in one hand. "I am Sakuya! We'll be friends later. Time and place for everything, ally of Kumo." She would bow, not letting up the staff spin for one moment. Poor Zuzu must be absolutely sick to his stomach.
Her pole hits the ground, burying it in as the pole seems to wiggle uneasily. Just in time for a villager to exit from the house, looking in poor condition. "That… Pillar?" She asks. She hadn't seen a 'pillar'. She looks at Hanami briefly. Sakuya stared at her comrade, as if trying to convey that the mention of a pillar brings her some worry.

"Mhm.." Yukari says absentmindedly, wondering who the heck this Yoshi was. For him to have snuck up on her… Well, her eyesight wasn't that good. Oh well. Yukari would visibly shrug off the details and turn her attention to Hanami. "Hai!" she says eagerly, following Hanami to where all the villagers were. She would frown a bit when she sees the group of survivors, and she then asks, "Umm… Excuse me, but… What exactly was that pillar, anyways?" Then Sakuya speaks, and she would aside as quietly as she could, "Sakuya-san… There was a huge pillar of flame. It was that one, I bet, that he's talking about."

Aside from a bit of eye narrowing at her, Yoshi doesn't respond to the Hebisuuhai's declaration. Fortunately, Sakuya doesn't have to bare the weight of the stare for long, because its time to move out! For the majority of the trip, and even after the team reaches it destination, not a peep is heard from the mercernary. As a result, it may come as a surprise to all when a question is accompanied by the man's gravelly voice. "Tell us what you know, and leave nothing out… Sir."

Hanami moves forward, grabbing the man to support him when she sees him nearly collapse, "Hang in there, it's okay." She looks at the large cabin, which had seen better days. Some trees and rocky outcroppings protect the sides up to the mountain likely giving it a somewhat enclosed and protected backyard area. More of the villagers come out slowly, many looking in the same shape as the man. Hanami hears Sakuya but doesn't respond, anyways Yukari seemed to have it handled. Hanami gets the man back up as others come to take him. The man leans on the others, two young men and addresses the shinobi, "I'm sorry. We…we didn't know what was going on till it was too late. Started off as a small fire just at the edge of the village. Everyone rushed to put it out. Then another popped up, then another in different spots. That's when the men showed up. They were horrible, using those jutsus you shinobi learn to burn the village!" The man has a coughing fit, and one of the young men pats his back, taking up the narrative, "As my father said, it came on suddenly and so fast. We tried to put the flames out but then those men attacked us. And their leader…a tough looking man was ordering them all around. We were running for out lives then, trying to escape the village. The man looked crazy, and he was doing something at the end of the village where the fires started. I was at the edge of the village when it happened. There was a loud rumble and a boom. I fell, stunned for I don't know how long. When I could move there was the pillar. It wasn't fire but it looked like it…and…those men. They started grabbing up people, captives. I don't know how many. Several we think? It's hard to tell. I barely made it out, and between the fires and those men attacking us we just can't say for certain…"
Hanami frowns, listening to the men recount what happened. She then turns to look back at the village and pillar, "Their leader, he caused /that/? But why?" She bites her lip, looking to the others, "We need to get over there, now. Yukari, I want you to take command of the villagers if you can. We need to work on those flames. If you can get together any able-bodied people together and work on that, I'd appreciate it. I'll also have you help evacuating any survivors we can find. Sakuya, Yoshi, and I will make our way into the village and see what we can do about this fire starter guy and his men. And rescue any of the villagers that were captured. That clear? Any questions, suggestions? I'm all ears." She's fidgeting a bit though. Knowing at least most of the villagers were safe helped calm her impatience but she still felt the urge to rush out and stop this.

Sakuya didn't mean to. It was lapse of fair judgement. Happens to everyone. "The pillar of flames. Of course! I knew that." She said as she looked away, embarassment upon her face as even the genin calls her out on it. «Idiot.» Even Zuzu capitolized on her mistake! As Sakuya rubbed the back of her head sheepishly, eyes eventually dropping to the ground, she heard the man's story. It confirmed what she already knew. The village was attacked. Sakuya can't assume it was the Storm Brigade, because why would the Storm Brigade need captives?
Remaining silent, Sakuya merely nodded at the order as she grabbed the serpent staff and drew it from the ground. "No mercy, Hanami?" She asks as she lay the polearm against her shoulder.

COMBAT: Sakuya focuses 1705 stamina to turn it into 2000 usable chakra!

"But…" Yukari wanted to fight… "I understand. Leave it to me!" She would try to regain her usual cheer, putting on the farce so that she could encourage the townsfolk. "EVERYONE!!!" She yells. "I NEED EVERYONE THAT CAN PROPERLY MOVE TO GATHER AROUND ME HERE. WE'LL FIGURE THINGS OUT. ALSO, IS THERE ANY WATER SOURCE NEARBY?" The girl would be shouting as loudly as she could, probably breaking a few eardrums… Oops.

While Yoshi may have sensed no imminent threat from the villagers coming out of the woodwork, a hand remains close to his choice of weapon, nevertheless. His apparent attention on the villagers only wavers as assignments are passed around. After the slightest of pauses, Yoshi briefly nodded in acceptance of the new orders, but offered no suggestions or questions in return. "Hnn… a good point, Hebisuuhai." He states softly before turning expectantly to Hanami. Regardless of the answer, Yoshi was prepared to adjust his actions accordingly.

The villagers jump a bit as Yukari starts yelling, but immediately several of them start coming forward both men and women. One woman steps forward to address Yukari, "Lena, Miss Shinobi. We'd be glad to help, of course. There should be a well a little more to the east by the outskirts of the village. As long as it hasn't been damaged we should be able to use it." Lena calls out to a couple of the others and they run back into the cabin coming out moments later with a few buckets and such containers, anything that could carry water. "We'll follow your lead miss."
Hanami watches the villagers rally to Yukari, pleased at their swift reaction though not surprised. They wanted to save their village more than she and the others did… Then she blinks before the memories get the better of her again, "Don't worry Yukari, I understand. But this is important. More of the fires you put out the better it'll be for all of us. And you'll be guarding the rear in case any of the attackers try to get by us. It's important, okay?" She spares a smile, then looks to Sakuya and Yoshi, the smile turning into a firm line as she considers, "No mercy. No, wait. Keep one of them alive if possible, we'll need answers. And if we can't capture the leader than at least we can try and turn over one of his henchmen to Yori for questioning, regardless of the outcome. Otherwise…they die." Her voice is firm and cold.
She'd rather show no mercy to any other them and if it was simply bandits trying to burn a village she wouldn't have. But this pillar business smacks of something more and that means getting answers. Giving a nod to the villagers she addresses them, "The rest of you stay here and be safe. We'll do everything we can to rescue the others and put an end to this, I promise." With that she gestures to Sakuya and Yoshi to follow her as she takes off across the open ground. There's the occasional scattering of trees or rocks except for stretches of farmland with what will hopefully the beginnings of a bountiful harvest. "Move quietly, there's not much cover but if we can sneak in there it'd be better. There's an opening up ahead where that house has burned out." With that she goes silent, grabbing her waterskin and dousing a scrap of cloth from her supplies she wraps it over the bottom of her face to help with the smoke, also ducking low as she exudes minute traces of her chakra to still the air around her.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with STILL-AIR with a roll of: 32
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-SENSE…49

"Please… leave the keeping one alive to me." Sakuya would offer. She could tell that Hanami was… very, very spirited about the situation. Sakuya honestly found a new respect for her comrade. She would nod silently as the order was given. Follow. Silently. Sakuya follows with basic stealth maneuvers, not that she had learned the value of silence quite yet. Given her rod makes quite the loud sounds when he is annoyed, Sakuya would release the serpent of his duty as a polearm, allowing him to snake right around her waist once more. Following closely, but still remaining behind both Yoshi and Hanami, she prepared for a fight. «Clearly, this individual is a Fire Manipulation user, Sakuya.» Zuzu communicated wholly through genjutsu, to keep silent.

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with STEALTH with a roll of: 32
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a HEBISUUHAI-SENSES…49
RP: Sakuya transforms into ZUZU'S-RATIONALE.

"Reizei Yukari," the young Genin introduces herself. "Excellent." She's glad at how efficient these villagers were working. "First, is there anyone injured? Too injured to move? If so, we should move them somewhere safe. Then we can move them to get healed somewhere later. Or we'll call for a proper medic. Burns can be treated with cool water and soft cloths, so if anyone is burnt badly, keep that in mind," Yukari says, though a number probably already knew that. "I need the injured that can still move to take care of the people that can't move at all… It's easier that way. And everyone able-bodied… First, show me to the well. I'll figure out a plan once I see how far it is from the houses," she says." Then the girl turns to Hanami, saying, "I know… Don't worry about me, okay?"

COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with ADVANCED-STEALTH with a roll of: 36

Yoshi relinquished the task of subjugation to Sakuya without complaint; only a brief nod in her direction. Afterwards, it was time to move out. Aside from taking a large swig from a water skin, the man makes no further preparation efforts along the way. One could only assume that either whatever trauma suffered in the past desensitized him to the threat of flames and smoke, or the means were simply unavailable to him. Either way, Yoshi trails behind the others using an almost disturbingly quiet gait, and alert ears kept on a proverbial swivel for any changes in the environment. (re)

RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a PERCEPTION-III…49

Lena smiles and nods to Yukari, "Miss Reizei then. Those who aren't able to help with the fire will be staying here to take care of the injured. This is the best place we got right now. Though the man who lived here…"she sniffs, then shakes her head, "Anyways, they'll make sure to keep helping them and the rest of us will watch out for ourselves and bring any injured back here." She nods, "Right this way. Everyone, lets go put out those fires!" She runs ahead with the other villagers, full of renewed spirit, following along. Of course while they're not yelling and cheering, they still just aren't going to be moving that quietly but what can you do?
As for the others Hanami leads into the outer edges of the village through the burned down house. The flames are still going around the village though many are starting to burn down by now. The problem though is that the fire could easily spread and cause a huge problem. Hanami would find her chakra sensing to be mostly useless. The large pillar of burning chakra is still causing the whole area to light up like a beacon drowning out lesser signatures not to mention the nature of the chakra is setting her senses on edge and giving her a headache. There was something…odd. Dangerous about. The pillar itself looked rather big now that they were closer, though most of the village separated the group from it still they could at least tell it was bigger in diameter than an average size house. The wind was a mess too for more mundane senses. Burning and ash cover most scents that Hanami and the others might pick up, along with the unpleasant smell of burnt meat. But a couple houses up ahead the trio could hear noises, voices that seem to be enjoying themselves in the ruins. They could also pick up the sounds of crying. Hanami slows, looking back at the others to see if they picked up the voices as well and points to Yoshi, gesturing for him to circle around the other side of the house hoping to pincer what could only be the attackers. Sakuya she points ahead, having her continue along. She then turns and continues forward quietly, pausing by the last house where the voices can be heard around the corner. This house was still mostly burning but as long as you didn't get too close one would be just fine. The voices were more clear this close, two male voices joking and laughing, along with the cries and whimpers of a couple villagers, "Don't know why we're staying around here. Boss did what he came for, we should just high tail it." "Who knows, he said to keep these prisoners and that's what we gots to do." Sound of someone being hit followed by a groan of pain.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with STILL-AIR with a roll of: 32

Sakuya kept as low as she kept silent. Very low. Very silent. Smoke rises in the air, so keeping herself bent forward as far as she can was important. As ordered, she seems to take the long away around, making sure that she was below the sill of the houses' windows, as to reduce all chances of being seen. Once she had reached the other-side of the house, she brought her hands to a seal. In a matter of moments she would attempt to manipulate one of the attackers. The one she was planning on capturing. She waited below one window sill at the very back, crouched down as she looked up in preparation for the incoming individual. She then begins to manipulate a single individual's mind, by creating the sound of a child crying and even replicating shadow where the child hid. Enough to hopefully bring the man close enough to the window that she could strike and disable him. This, in part, helps divide and conquer as well.

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with AUDITORY-HALLUCINATIONS with a roll of: 38
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with DISTORTION with a roll of: 40
[NPC System]: Stooge 1 roll(s) Genjutsu Defense from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 29. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge 1 roll(s) Genjutsu Defense from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 28. - Rolled by: Hanami

Yoshi never slows, nor becomes distracted by the aftermath around them. After all, the mercernary was no stranger to it. The only thing to give him pause were directions from the team's leader. Following a subtle nod on his part, Yoshi precedes as directed using whatever cover — be it smoke, flames, or wreckage — to get into position safetly, and unseen. Once a callused and bound hand falls to the hilt of an o-katana, the mercernary is ready…

COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with ADVANCED-STEALTH with a roll of: 36

Yukari and the villagers get to the well and quickly start a fire brigade working to put out the flames. While they're doing that Hanami moves in to attack when the others have gotten into position. As she starts to move she hears one of the men stop, "Wait a second, did you hear that? I thought I heard a noise…" Then he turns in Sakuya's direction, "Swear I heard a child over there. Did we miss a plume? Let me go look…" And so Stooge 1 moves in toward Sakuya and Yoshi. Hanami meanwhile dashes around the corner wind rippling around her as she strikes at the other target with a quick right-left jab. There's a huddle of three men, one woman, and two young girls bound hand and foot on the ground crying and begging for help.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-PHYSICAL with a roll of: 40
COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-PHYSICAL with a roll of: 33
[NPC System]: Stooge 2 roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 45 and get(s) a 35. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge 2 roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 45 and get(s) a 33. - Rolled by: Hanami

Sakuya was quick to act as soon as the man came to the edge of the window. She opened her mouth as she looked up and behind her, spraying venom that would likely cause a fair amount of pain and blindness. In quick order, before he was able to react, she stood up and wrapped her hands around the man's neck before pulling him out of the window. "Shhh… Quiet. Don't cause me trouble, and you'll be the only one to live today." She said as she was on top of the bandit in a moment's time, already preparing to tie him up after she shoved a piece of cloth into his struggling mouth. If Yoshi was nearby, she would look up and… ask him to divert some of his attention. "Hey… Uhm… I didn't get your name, but… Can you help me with him? He's… Struggling quite a bit." She would indeed have the man likely trying to grab at her while also trying to rub his eyes. Though her venom effectively spread and helped to paralyze him to some extent, he was still being quite grabby. Bothersome. "… For the record, what is your name again?"

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SPITTING-COBRA-STRIKE with a roll of: 58
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with YANK with a roll of: 22
[NPC System]: Stooge 2 roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 45 and get(s) a 40. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge 2 roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 45 and get(s) a 35. - Rolled by: Hanami

Yoshi had been indeed close at hand. Which is why there's a look of admiration waiting for Sakuya… that quickly fades as soon as she mentions not catching his name. After sighing quietly in exasperation, the man grudgingly made his way over to the strugging prisoner, grabbed both of the prisoner's wrist as best he could, and dragged them away from Sakuya. An added threat is implied in the form of nearly breaking the bone beneath as he glared balefully down at the man. "Your choice… Life for silence, or hands to warn your friends." He states solemnly while pointedly ignoring Sakuya at this point.

COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with PHYSICAL-III with a roll of: 52
[NPC System]: Stooge 2 roll(s) Struggle from 15 to 45 and get(s) a 39. - Rolled by: Hanami

Hanami's first wind enhanced punch connected, owing probably to the surprise of the attack on both him and Sakuya's attack on his buddy. Grunting as he feels the blow he manages to dodge the second one with sparks of flame around his body propelling him back from her. "Hot nosy shinobi scum. Can't just let us have our fun can you?" He brings a hand to his mouth and breaths out a small fireball shooting it at Hanami.
On the other side of things, the other Stooge took the acid straight in the face crying out as it burned him leaving him blinded as he scrabbled to wipe it away. Thankfully he had had enough wits about him to react by sparks of flame burning around his body sending him away from the spot. Problem was, it was right in the direction of Yoshi unknowingly, whom reached out and snatched the man by the wrists, "Lemme go!" The man struggles, blinking away tears trying to see again.

[NPC System]: Stooge1 roll(s) Lesser Fireball Technique from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 34. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-DASH…34

Hanami hops back when the guy gets away from her blow, eyeing him silently. She wasn't messing around here and she really wanted to hit something, or someone. When the guy spits a fireball at her she jumps, twisting in the air to avoid it though her own wind nearly did her in as the fireball seemed to shift a bit in her direction but thankfully she was fast enough to avoid it. Pushing off the crumbling wall of a house she launches herself back at the Stooge with a wind enhanced spin kick giving her attack more oomph and speed. She'd follow that up with an elbow to the gut.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-PHYSICAL with a roll of: 37
COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-PHYSICAL with a roll of: 35
[NPC System]: Stooge 1 roll(s) Blaze Dash from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 26. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge 1 roll(s) Blaze Dash from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 27. - Rolled by: Hanami

Sakuya dusted her hands off as Yoshi relieved her of the bandit. She did need a moment to recover after that. Her fangs always itched fiercly after projecting venom, and her tongue continued to caress each fang. "Doumo." She clearly said to the individual who both ignored her and took care of her task. No more talking to him. He has proven to be a -very- pleasant person. With Zuzu around her waist she spent no time moving over into the window that housed Hanami and the stooges that were left. She raised her foot, stepped on the sill and pushed herself right in. "Hanami!" Sakuya placed her hands in a seal and in short order brought genjutsu upon the minds of her attackers. To those who hadn't the capacity to resist, Snakes burst from the ground while splintering the wood around them, curling around the man. Just in time for Hanami's attacks to strike him one after the other perhaps? "We have a big fish to fry. Gotta save our energy for him, right?"

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SNAKE-CONSTRICTION-METHOD with a roll of: 53
[NPC System]: Stooge 1 roll(s) Genjutsu Defense from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 24. - Rolled by: Hanami

Yoshi lets loose a guttural growl as the man struggles despite the threat. Ever the man of his word (mostly?), the mercernary only hesitates long enough to acknowledge Sakuya's last word with a brief nod before flipping the bandit overhead, and then merciless slamming him into the ground. With the wind hopefully knocked out of him, Yoshi releases his quarry only long enough to make sure any future noisy complaints about broken arms is dimmed by a mouthful of ash, dirt, and debris…

COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with FLING with a roll of: 65

Stooge 1 had been taken by surprise with Hanami's speed and ability, launching off the wall like that. He tried to jump out of the way but wasn't quick enough, taking the kick to the head making light flash across his vision as he spun around only to be met with an elbow to the gut, the air going clean out of him as he gasped. As such he stood no real chance to Sakuya's genjutsu prowess and was struggling to scream as the snakes began writhing and coiling around him, pinning him to the spot. Well, at least he thinks so. Stooge 2 on the other hand just couldn't catch a break, and clearly wasn't up to face off against such strong opponents. His vision cleared, but only in time to see Yoshi flipping him and then it was dark after a flash of pain through his body sending the attacker into unconsciousness.
Hanami straightens up, nodding to Sakuya for the assist as she peers at the Stooge, "The other one?" As she asks she grabs her chakram and steps up to the man, angry. Silently she whips her arm around, intending to end the man's life by slitting his throat, not even waiting to know whether the other one had been captured or not.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with LESSER-WIND-SLASH with a roll of: 28

Sakuya replied in short order. "Subdued." Just in time for Hanami to cut his throat. Though he broke out of the genjutsu, he had no time to rally an attack before Hanami severed him. Sakuya stood, legs slightly parted, as she slipped her hands behind her back in parade rest. Her tongue flickering as she tasted the blood of a bandit who found that killing for no reason was an acceptable practice. "That really is the worst, to me, is someone killing for no reason but to cause fear." A man can have reasons to kill another, but if their reason was one that could never be justified, Sakuya finds that the guiltiest sort of crime.
Should the man truly die, Sakuya would stand at attention and give Hanami a salute. "It's clear there is a leader amongst the rabble. What are your orders?"

Yoshi tried his best to finish up promptly, but one couldn't rush a professional. The arms had to be broken just right to limit the bleeding. There was also the matter of binding the prisoner's legs in case he regained consciousness, and dragging him far enough away from any nearby blazes. With any luck, their prisoner would live to see another day or so. Just how many days, however, Yoshi did not bother pondering on for long.
As the mercernary comes around the bend to see Sakuya saluting Hanami, the man is left… awestruck? Confused? Nervous? Its hard to tell due to all the bandages, but soon enough, he gets over whatever froze him in place. "So, I don't suppose you need our prisoner awake any time soon, Shinatobe-san? If so, well… getting anything useful out of him soon might be easier said than done."

Hanami looks at the body of the dead stooge, then over to Sakuya, "We move on. I want this guy dead. And no, the prisoner is for later, whether he'll be worth the effort…" she shrugs, "But most likely someone would ask why we didn't try to take a prisoner later so best cover ourselves. And I still want to know about that pillar of chakra, it's irritating my senses." Her voice is steady, but there's an edge to it. Something boiling beneath the surface. It comes out a little as she kicks the dead stooge's body once before turning to the captive villagers. She quickly frees them with a kunai, "Are you okay? I promise, you're safe now. We met the other villagers, it'll be okay."
One of the villagers, a woman, speaks up after coughing, "Thank you! Oh ignite, thank you so much! So they did get out? We were worried these…these people might've caught them too, or worse." She sobs, and the villagers huddle together. Hanami looks up at Sakuya, "Will you show them out of here? Most of the fire is dying down, just get them on the right path and they can meet up with Yukari and her fire brigade then get back to us. We're heading toward the pillar still. Come on Yoshi, lets go." With that she stands and heads out, not running but moving carefully through the village the pillar of chakra coming quite close.

"Roger, Hanami." Sakuya said as she moved over to the captives, slowly. Unthreateningly She would crouch in front of the woman, putting two hands upon her shoulders. "Hi. I'll help you. Just follow me, and don't worry about the eyes, tongue, and my fangs. I'm less of a monster than these people, I can assure you." She would slide her hands down to the woman's own as she slowly stood up, attempting to help her to her feet. That included a hand for the other two whom were captured. "Alright… We need to move fast. Theres a place where other villagers have gathered, you'll be better there. Come, come!" She clapped her hand as she head over to the door and opened it.
Her journey through the smouldering buildings wasn't short, thanks to the villagers being wounded, physically and mentally. It would take her a while to return to her comrades. Hopefully, in time to be a part of the finale!

Yoshi had admittedly forgotten about the hostages from earlier. So, when Hanami moves over to them, their prescence elicits enough surprise for the swordsman to grip the hilt of his weapon, and study them each in turn. The tension in his shoulders have hardly eased from his shoulders when the orders to move out are issued. Nonetheless, Yoshi follows behind Hanami after casting one last look back to where he deposited the prisoner. "Eh… He'll keep." He murmurs as he turns back to play a bit of catch up.

Hanami moves through the wreckage of the town, now most of the flames are burning down along with the efforts of Yukari and the villagers. To be frank though her focus was pretty narrow at the moment; the pillar of chakra and the one responsible for this travesty. Eventually Sakuya does catch up as the pair make pause in the ruins of a building. Hanami's attention is grabbed by the sight of two burned bodies in the far corner, huddled together. Oh enflame…no… She raises a hand, pinching the bridge of her nose as she tries to get herself together. No, she had to focus. Focus on the mission, the mission! It was during this struggle Sakuya managed to catch up startling Hanami a bit, "Sakuya! Good, good you're here. Okay then. We seem to be pretty close to the epicenter. Not sure what exactly we're dealing with. Best I got is we move in quietly, keep hidden and try to get the drop on whoever is there. Any questions?"

Sakuya's reapproach was quick, but she had managed to get back before they took down this indirect agent of the Storm Brigade. She approaches, breaking a bit of a sweat as she took a deep breath. "… Hanami. It smells like burning people…" Sakuya said with a look of distaste upon her face. "Are you sure stealth is how you want to go? Maybe we should let them see their death as it happens, rather that kill them before they know it." Zuzu's head lowers as he begins to move, coiling down Sakuya's left leg. "I have a feeling you want to have a little more fun, Sakuya. So do I. Being your waist ornament is boring."

COMBAT: Sakuya focuses 1649 stamina to turn it into 2000 usable chakra!

"Strange… And here I thought you were a shinobi, not one /them/." Yoshi motions to the result of fire starter's works. Unintentional or not, he goads the Hebisuuhai pair further with a narrowed eyes should the chance to back at him. Fortunately, the look isn't held for long, because there was still the matter of Hanami's question. "I do have one question, Shinatobe-san… Are you certian you are still up for this?" He asked, apparently having not missed the reason for their journey's pause.

Hanami avoids looking at the bodies as she addresses Sakuya, "It does. Burning, ashes, and the scent of charred flesh. It's not a scent I care either, I promise you. But I would like to approach quietly if we can. If we can get to them without alerting our enemies that'd give us hopefully an advantage." She sighs, looking between Yoshi and Sakuya, "Just keep…this…out of that," she gestures to the burned village, meaning the fight ahead, "And yes Yoshi. I'm up for it, that's never been an issue don't worry. Now lets go. Time to end it." With that she takes off out of the ruined home and the bad memories working to silence the air around her as she makes her way through the last couple houses.
When the group gets there, they'll find a cleared area of destruction around the giant burning pillar. Random flames are still burning here and there, not only because the last enemies are setting things aflame at random seemingly for fun. There's one nondescript man, similar qualities to the stooges the group had already taken down. He's the one mainly shooting off fireballs and such at anything he wants. The other man looks somewhere in his mid-twenties or so, his back to the village staring at the pillar. He appears calm and collected with short, dark brown hair and tan skin, a lanky frame and casual clothes.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with STILL-AIR with a roll of: 34

Sakuya would not want to waist time, but she could not let Yoshi get off without issuing him a very firm glare. "We did not start this, but we will end it." Stooping to their level, and making them an example to all future bandits who recklessly slaughter a city? "If being a shinobi is being merciful to those who slaughter innocents, then perhaps shinobi ways have their flaws." Sakuya would bring her hands into a seal, "Zuzu." She said softly a she focused her chakra.
Moments later, Sakuya was enveloped in a rather large puff of white smoke that rose to the air and mingled with the rest. Sakuya did not linger in the smoke, and all Yoshi and Hanami might have seen was a rather massive tail disappearing into another house nearby as whisps of smoke linger. Sakuya had changed, combining with her partner to create something inhuman. If one were to follow that massive serpentine body up to it's source, one would find the torso of a woman crawling low through the burning wreckage as if finding a vantage-point. Her target was the one currently burning, and so she positioned herself in preparation. She was like a mythological creature in the flesh. What better way to scar their minds before death?

RP: Sakuya transforms into SERPENT-FORM.
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with STEALTH with a roll of: 31

Yoshi does not try to argue, nor did he back down. He simply met the glare head on until Hanami distracted him by answering his question. Although he still appeared somewhat unconvinced, Yoshi grudgingly inclines his head, only to stop part way from the sound of a small explosion. Once again, his sword is nearly drawn just to be dismissed moments later with an agitated tongue click. "I'm starting to see why you dislike snakes, Kokuo-sama." He states before taking off with the others.
Yoshi may be slower than the others, but he keeps up after a fashion. Sharpened eyes, and a focused mind all but ensured the man stayed out of sight, and yet upon fastest route to their next destination. When at last he catches up to the others, Yoshi doesn't bother waiting to consider finally brandishing his weapon fully. Still, he kept in mind that this is Hanami's mission, so it is she he kept an eye on for the to attack, or reposition elsewhere.

RP: Yoshi transforms into BATTLE-MIND.
COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with ADVANCED-STEALTH with a roll of: 44

The Stooge seemed to be occupied with blasting random pieces of scrap or just standing around and doesn't catch on to the fact that the team was there. He turns to the other man, clearly the leader, "Why're we still here boss? You opened that pillar thingie, we got to torch this poor excuse for a village, kill some people, it was a good time. Shouldn't we go? You said you had other stuff to do…" The boss seems enraptured by the flames, not immediately responding to his companion. Eventually though his voice comes out, tinged with excitement, "You are correct, we have accomplished our goal here sure. And there is plenty to do. But no doubt some meddlesome shinobi will show up and I do so want to play with some shinobi. Watch them burn…." His voice spikes a bit at the end with excitement.
Hanami grits her teeth listening to the man. There seemed to only be two of them, either that meant the leader was really powerful, over confident, or maybe there were more around who knows. But Hanami was done with it. Seeing him there, all casual as the village burns and corpses litter the street… Her grip tightens on her chakram, "Enough. Lets end this." Her eyes burn, memories of her past still hanging around the edges as they've been this entire mission. But her vision is focused on the leader as the air ripples around her and she darts out across the open, charred ground, "I've had enough! What you did to this village is unforgivable!" And with that she charges straight for the leader, carving the air in front of her quickly with one hand launching a large wolf head of wind snarling at her target intent on ripping into him. Immediately after she stops a short distance away and thrusts out her right hand wreathed with swirling wind that shoots out in the shape of a tightly spiraling lance, not messing around.

RP: Hanami transforms into BREEZE.
COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with HOWLING-WIND with a roll of: 47
COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-LANCER with a roll of: 39
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Clone from 30 to 65 and get(s) a 64. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Dodge from 30 to 65 and get(s) a 42. - Rolled by: Hanami

Sakuya slithered her massive body through the wreckage, having prepared her technique to begin the fearmongering she was planning to do. She had done a little preparation while she was in the shadows which was now evident upon the tips of her fingers. Iron nails, partly acting as thumb rings for her developing archery, were placed upon her fingers. Long, and easily as effective as a Kunai would be while still allowing Sakuya to move her fingers freely, she dragged her claws through the rubble as she took a predatory position behind the one spewing fire. Then in rather order, the female shinobi turned naga would lunge rather quickly at the bandit, slicing her nails into his back before thrusting her outstreched fingers into him. All the while, her snake fangs would dig themselves into the man's neck. She was behind the bandit, who couldn't have possibly seen what was coming after him, but Sakuya's eyes would still check to see his reaction if she successfully latched onto the man.
Everyone else would witness that Sakuya had become part snake, part human. A lowerbody as long as seven people stacked head to foot, and Sakuya's upper body attached to it…

RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SLITHER…70
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SHARP with a roll of: 34
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SHARP with a roll of: 34
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SNAKE-BITE with a roll of: 48
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 60 and get(s) a 57. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 60 and get(s) a 34. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Clone from 25 to 60 and get(s) a 27. - Rolled by: Hanami

The Kumoagkure shinobi aren't the only ones agitated by the leader's words. Though they weren't exactly unexpected, they struck a deep enough cord to tempt the mercernary to charge into the fray alongside Hanami. At most he manages only a step forward before a calmer mindset steped in, steadying nerves long enough for a closer examination of the battlefield.
Finally, he sees an opening provided by the surprising appearance of the naga, and acted without further hesitation. Cold steel would meet the back of underlings legs as the mercernary passed by in the man's new blindspot. That is of course if Sakuya hasn't finished him by then. Regardless, Yoshi doesn't linger long enough to check his work. Their leader was fighting alone and angry, and he intended to provide support in the form of a flying kick should he get the chance to.

COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with SWORD-STRIKE-II with a roll of: 46
COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with PHYSICAL-III with a roll of: 54
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Blaze Dash from 25 to 60 and get(s) a 56. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Clone from 30 to 60 and get(s) a 37. - Rolled by: Hanami

The leader turned at the yelling, smirking at the sight of the shinobi coming out to attack, "Ah, how precious! Now we can have some fun!" Hanami's first attack seems to hit him dead on, but as the biting wind tears into him he breaks apart in flames, a clone. Laughing at Hanami her lance of wind would've hit except he expels a gout of fire propelling away. Unfortunately he had been a bit too confident as Yoshi's flying kick came at him, burst through flames in his failed attempt to make another clone and striking him in the chest. The leader grunts, stumbling back but he still just smiles, "Good, good! Make this more fun for me!" The guy may be crazy. Who knows. He looks between the two shinobi, calculating. His hand moves pulling a small bottle from his wait slugging back a quick drink? No, cause he immediately spits it out and it turns out the drink was oil which ignites shooting straight for Yoshi. After that he whips his head around spewing flames that cover the immediate area where Hanami and Yoshi are.
As for the Stooge, he managed to escape Sakuya's attempt at a surprise attack. At the last minute flames flicker around his body sending him out of range of the first attack and the second though that one was pretty close. Unfortunately his attempt at making a clone didn't work, Sakuya's slithering form exceling at the quick strike of fangs digging into his neck pumping venom and causing him to scream. Might've been the pain that saved him from Yoshi's impressive leg slice as the Stooge reacted to the bite by trying to himself away with fire and dodged the attack. Clamping his hand to the neck bite the Stooge glares at Sakuya, "You shinobi think you're all that! Gotta burst in here and ruin out fun huh? Maybe the boss is right, burning some shinobi could make for quite a bit of fun!" With that he cocks his head back then spits out a large fireball flying right for Sakuya. This he follows with a barrage of little balls of flame.

[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Flame Bullet from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 57. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-DASH…46

Hanami grits her teeth, seared the man avoided her strongest attacks so easily. But she wasn't giving up. She would see him taken down, there was no other way. When the man turns to attack Yoshi after his successful attack she readies herself for another round. Fine, she'll settle for her usual combo then. See if he dodges this! Of course then the wave of fire comes out, spreading across the area to which she twists and ducks, moving beneath and around the flames to avoid getting burned. After that she launches into her combo attack, sending another wind wolf head rocketing toward the man. This time though she's following it up with a quick set of hand signs and a gesture dropping her hand to try and smash a condensed block of air down and attempt to smash him into the ground. "You cocky blaze! How could you do this!"

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with HOWLING-WIND with a roll of: 52
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Dodge from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 32. - Rolled by: Hanami
COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with MACROBURST with a roll of: 45
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Flame Field from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 25. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SLITHER…58

The Fireball was fast, and it was aimed rather accurately. It should have hit Sakuya, whom had shifted herself away from the stooge after injecting him with her venom. When the fireball left the stooge's mouth, Sakuya's serpent lower-body raised her up off the ground rather high. A great vantage point for certain. "We are all that." Sakuya said as the powerful muscles of her lower serpentine muscles glide her body seamlessly away from the fireball. Sakuya brings the iron claws to her chin, tapping it slightly as she looked down upon the shinobi who had gotten lucky as Yoshi's kick had missed. "As my venom eats you from the inside out, I want to know what makes burning people 'fun'." Sakuya would suddenly lunch out at impressive speed as her mouth opened. Her fangs would dig into the man's bicep if he wasn't fast, and if she were able to pump her venom into his body, he would definitely start to feel the terrible burning sensation.

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SNAKE-BITE-III with a roll of: 54
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Dodge from 25 to 60 and get(s) a 55. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Great Fireball Technique from 25 to 55 and get(s) a 52. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Bullet Barrage from 25 to 55 and get(s) a 44. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a UNCANNY-DEFENSE…80
RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a DODGE…55

Having not expected the leader to feel so solid, Yoshi fails to mask a wince from the lingering pain in his leg. Soon enough, the aches from the strike, as well as the embers coating bits of clothing from the predisposed of fire clone becomes the least of concerns. Yoshi refused to give ground easily, and instead displaced the ball of fire with such rapid strokes, it hardly seemed the man moved at all. The same could've perhaps been done to the follow-up bout of flame spewing, and yet Yoshi chose instead to hop back a few feet at a time.
The distance — as it turns out — made it all the easier to avoid getting caught in the summoned downburst, and the debris kicked up. Unfortunately, without a means to taking advantage of the windy combination, Yoshi chose stride into what he predicted to be the leader's blindspot should he survive whatever else the team's leader had in mind.

The leader watched the young shinobe dodge out of the way of his attacks, but he wasn't real ruffled by it. Instead he watched as Hanami unleashed the same jutsu at before, and chuckling the man began spitting out a stream of flames to push himself out of the way but misjudged the speed and pattern of the attack. It caught him straight on, causing him to growl in pain as the winds sliced into him until he dropped. This of course was followed up by her second attack and the man was flattened against the charred ground by the solidified air, coughing out he began to laugh, "Well there, the child has some gusto, haha! Silly child, you don't know what I intend to do. But I'll humor you, since you seem so intent on keeping me put. Why? Because it's fun. Because I want to see all of it burn!" He exhales a coughing laugh disturbing the ash and dirt.
For the Stooge, he actually fared a bit better. As Sakuya went for a powerful, poisoned strike fire burst from his mouth propelling him back but only just in the nick of time. He got a great view of her fangs infact. Glaring he snarls, "I'm getting rather tired of you missy, and your little fangs. Try this on for size! BOOM!" And focusing chakra the man spits out one small ball after another arcing straight for Sakuya and the area right around her. Which becomes apparent why when the balls come in contact with anything and explode; boom, boom, boom!

Hanami watches in grim satisfaction as her attack rips into the man and her second attack smacks him into the ground where he belongs. Well six feet under is where she thinks he belongs, but close enough for now. But then he just laughs it off. And taunts her with his twisted pleasures and she snarls, "That's enough! I hate you! I hate all your pathetic, evil kind!" And her hand wreathes again in tight swirling wind as she punches another wind lance straight into him while he's vulnerable, "Enjoy that you sick monster."

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-LANCER with a roll of: 39
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Explosion from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 51. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Explosion from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 31. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Explosion from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 27. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SLITHER…80
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SERPENT-EVASION…70
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a EVASION…39

He managed to dodge her. Sakuya would coil up into a rope, as she rubbed her mouth, fangs drooling venom. "You really are insane." She says as she coated her claws in her own venom. All the while her coils were tightening and tightening almost like a spring. When the wide-scaling attack, aimed directly at her, littered the ground with explosions she would surely be caught! Alas! She launched herself in the air! When she came down upon the man, it would be her poisoned claws that tore through his chest, and barring that, she loved wrapping her mouth over his bodyparts it seems… She goes straight for his neck this time.

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with COILED-STRIKE with a roll of: 57
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SNAKE-BITE-II with a roll of: 46
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Dodge from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 34. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Dodge from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 31. - Rolled by: Hanami

What the air doesn't flatten, it scatters across the field. Yoshi eventually had to keep his eyes narrow, and raise an arm just to keep his view clear enough on the leader. Catching Hanami seeming to remain unaffected by the wind earned a certian level of spite, but the feeling and look proves to be fleeting ones.
Yoshi spied the continued exchange between underling and hebisuuhai from the corner of his eyes, speculated for a moment, then ultimately ran into the fray with the intent to put a swifter end to it. The swiftest, in fact, for there is hardly finese or strength spared behind the horizontal chop from behind meant to cleave the man in two at the waist. That is if the Hebisuuhai doesn't beat him to the punch!

COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with CLEAVE with a roll of: 53
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Clone from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 37. - Rolled by: Hanami

The leader took the hit, pinned as he was though the pain as the wind lance pierced his back had him roar in pain. Okay, now he was getting charred. This uppity little girl thinks she can do this to him? And it seemed his henchman wasn't being much help. Fine. He jumped up, the effects of Hanami's jutsu didn't last long. He felt his blood running down his back, but that didn't matter. Time to give some payback. He darts around swiftly, spitting fireballs from any and all directions peppering the area, and more importantly Hanami's team. Once done he pauses as his hands flash through signs before raising one to his mouth. A powerful stream of flames erupts forth and he begins moving his head back and forth to strike all his enemies.
The Stooge didn't fair that well this time, maybe his luck had run out. Spouting flames he couldn't move quick enough for Sakuya's retailiation as her poisoned claws raked his chest setting it aflame in a new and very unwelcome way. This followed by another bite to the neck leaving blood running down his body. The strikes and poison doing a number on him he failed to get out of the way of Yoshi's powerful strike, feeling the sword bite into his back. Arcing in pain he roared, spitting blood as he was left barely on his feet, wobbling, "…stupid…shinobi…" He coughs, then laughs faintly as the area around him is bathed in flames from his boss. Oh how he hopes those shinobi will burn, burn, burn! Using the flames as a kind of cover he'll try once more to strike at that irritating snake girl as now there're two Stooges leaping out at her with kunai to stab at her.

[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Flaming Downpour from 30 to 65 and get(s) a 55. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Breath of the Dragon from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 64. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-DASH…29
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-STEP…55
RPCOMBAT: Hanami took 237 damage.
RPCOMBAT: Hanami took 204 damage.

Hanami hopped back as the leader jumped to his feet, her jutsu done. Before she could consider moving in the man had moved and the area was being peppered by little fireballs. Painful little fireballs. How she had failed to dodge them she didn't know, but as she tried to twist and move out of the way they were everywhere and one after another she was peppered singing and burning clothes and flesh alike. This left her disoriented and sluggish when the powerful jet of flame whipped across the area bathing her, leaving her screaming as she fell writhing trying to put the flames out. She manages to get the flames out, leaving her burned and raw and seriously smoked off. Channeling the pain she charges for the leader, "Why wont you die!" Another hand wreathed in swirling wind as she tries to punch another hole in the man with her wind lance, right for the gut.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-LANCER with a roll of: 30
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Clone from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 51. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Flaming Downpour from 30 to 65 and get(s) a 41. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Breath of the Dragon from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 37. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Fire Clone from 25 to 55 and get(s) a 34. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SERPENT-EVASION…42
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SERPENT-EVASION…51
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a SERPENT-EVASION…44

Sakuya quite literally had to put her entire body out of the way of the fire. Hard to do when your lower body is quite large. Still, she managed to get out with only a singed tailtip. A tailtip that is promptly put into her mouth to cool off. It seems the combination was legitimate enough that Sakuya felt Zuzu's pain, and vice versa. "Starting to get tired…" Sakuya noted. "The combination still need work to maintain." Moments after she said this, the stooge jumped the gun on her, two fire clones! "Idiot." She slithered out of the way. Time and time again, her mobility was incredibly impressive in this form. "You don't quite understand… We're a 'professional' military. We train, day in and day out to acheive our capabilities." It was honestly both Zuzu's cynicism that seemed to overcome her mind. "Do you -really- think that some run of the mill fool who can't even restrain themselves could even scratch me?" Sakuya almost laughed, a chuckle escaping her lips as her iron nails were brought to a seal. "You're disillusioned, and you will die disillusioned."
Serpents would begin coiling up the man's form, slowly spinning and grasping every limb. Within moments, at the climax of the technique, each snake would open it's maw. Each would bury it's fangs into the man. Each would inject powerful venom. It was substantially light at first, the venom did not hurt at all. Within seconds though, it was a torment in which the likes his mind had ever likely experienced. An impossible venom that kept someone at the edge of death.
It was all an illusion, as the actual venom still circulating in him brought him slowly to death.

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with SNAKE-CONSTRICTION-METHOD with a roll of: 47
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with VIOLENT-VENOM-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 39
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Genjutsu Perception vs Snake Constriction from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 51. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Stooge roll(s) Genjutsu Perception vs Violent Venom from 20 to 55 and get(s) a 32. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Flaming Downpour from 30 to 65 and get(s) a 40. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Breath of the Dragon from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 38. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a DODGE-II…67
RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a DODGE…51

«Shallow» A voice from within chided the swordsman. With a grimace, Yoshi whipped his sword about to discard most of the blood, but refrained from responding further to the internal antagonist. It is a good thing too, seeing as the lack of thought over a comeback left him free to briefly reassess the situation.
«It seems you left her alone too soon as well.» The voice comments, eliciting a guttural growl that gets cut short by the need of the swordsman to move quickly out of the way of another fire jutsu barrage. "That's it-…" He cuts to Sakuya and Sakuya. "Mind if I borrow that one for a second?" Yoshi asked, gesturing with his swords to the underling. There isn't that large of wait, because regardless of the answer, Yoshi used whatever momentary confusion his words might've caused to hastily approach the man, then violently fling him at his leader by the head or top! A violent act made all the more intimidating during the set-up by Yoshi seeming to grow in stature.

RP: Yoshi transforms into BULK.
COMBAT: Yoshi attacks target 1 with FLING with a roll of: 75
[NPC System]: Chitabe vs Stooge/Yoshi roll(s) Fire Dodge from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 35. - Rolled by: Hanami

The leader grinned coldly as he watched Hanami writhe from his flames, how good it felt to see her burn even if only briefly. He was also amused as he saw her pierce his fire clone with that pesky attack of hers, dissipating it while he showed himself a short distance away unharmed. That left him a bit cocky though, and he certainly wasn't anticipating Yoshi throwing his own henchman at him! So when the guy speeds through the air tumbling and screaming he's a bit late to dodge and with an oomph goes down! But not for long as there's an audible snap and rush of flames that engulf the stooge blasting him away. The leader stands, "You! You had the nerve to throw my own henchman at me? If I wasn't so burned with you irritating shinobi I might actually respect the nerve. But instead I'm going to do this." And he vanishes even before the last syllable, appearing before Yoshi. His right hand ripples and burns with a layer of fire chakra hot enough to distort the air around it as his hand shoots out to grab Yoshi's right arm. If it connects Yoshi will feel incredible pain. The touch would only last for a second though before the leader jumps away.
Hanami curses, missed the flame again! She whips around looking for him as the flames clear and she watches Yoshi nail him with his own stooge. Under different circumstances she'd be laughing, but now she really doesn't feel like it. As she darts across the field for him the man moves in to strike at Yoshi. Hanami leaps in the air, inhaling and mixing chakra as she expels not one but two whipping vortexes to tear at the leader churning up ash and debris making them even more deadly.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WND-VORTEX-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 34
COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with WIND-VORTEX-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 41
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Dodge vs Wind Vortex from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 51. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Dodge vs Wind Vortex from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 37. - Rolled by: Hanami

Sakuya's form had taken a toll on her body. After Yoshi gave the thug a fling out of her range, she fell back and in a poof of smoke the two were separated once more. Zuzu was far more exhausted than Sakuya. Still she slipped Zuzu over her shoulder as she brought he hands to a seal. "Come on!" She huffed as she weaved her mind around the big badguy, trying to support her allies with the last of her chakra. She would try to distract chitabe, draining his stamina as his mind had to deal with the pain of a powerful venom coursing through his blood, without even being bitten!

COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with VIOLENT-VENOM-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 45
COMBAT: Sakuya attacks target 1 with VIOLENT-VENOM-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 37
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Chakra Pinch II vs Wind Vortex from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 32. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Chakra Pinch II vs Wind Vortex from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 47. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Searing Chakra Palm vs Yoshi from 50 to 100 and get(s) a 79. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a BLINK…60
RPCOMBAT: Yoshi took 857 damage.
RPCOMBAT Yoshi took 212 chakra drain.
RP: Yoshi reverts to his normal state.

The small, but undisguised smirk from Yoshi transforms into a thin-lipped frown from watch the treatment of the stooge at the hands of his own boss. Deserved or not, the leader's lack of even the tinest compassion for a like-minded individual removed any chances of mercy or sympathy on the mercernary's part. Yoshi's ire, however, is not give any time to truly develop into something greater than itself. Searing pain flares up in his arm, causing the o-katana to fall free after a stubborn attempt to maintain grasp of it, a pained growl slipping free along with it. What determination the mercernary had left is spent trying to kick the man away. But by then, it is already too late.
Uncertain as to what just happened, Yoshi tries to shrug off the pain, take up his fallen blade, and see just how far he could ram —
A sharp gasp slips out as the mummified man falls, clutching at his arm. If not for an instinctive effort, Yoshi knee wouldn't have been the only thing to hit the ground. This small saving grace is scarcely given any notice over the intensfying and spreading agony.

The leader, Chitabe, exhaled jets of flame propeling him up into the air in a flip dodging the first vortex and then jetting to the side to avoid the other. At that time though Sakuya's genjutsu invaded his mind, managing to get a hold as he hissed at the feeling of poison coursing through his body. But when the second attack comes he's prepared and shifts his chakra to break it. He stares at Sakuya sitting then and licks his lips, "Trying to get into my mind little girl? Shouldn't have done that, I had forgotten you were even here until now." And then he shoots forward, stopping with a spray of dirt and ash his hand, once again burning with fire chakra darting to grab Sakuya by her left ankle and flood her chakra system with his fiery chakra. Instead of moving away like he did with Yoshi though this time he'll try to keep his hold and lift Sakuya bodily by her ankle, laughing cruelly.

RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-STEP…33

Hanami lands, ready to follow up her failed attacks when she sees Yoshi nearly fall from Chitabe's last attack. Torn for a moment she rushes to Yoshi, "Are you okay?" It was during that time Chitabe seemed to target Sakuya and Hanami cried out, "NO!" Wind whipped around her and she took off. She wouldn't get there in time, would she? She had to try! But she came up short, not fast enoguh again as the man grabbed for Sakuya. So she turned it into an attack forming solidified air above him with hand signs and tried to smash him back into the dirt with a gesture.

COMBAT: Hanami attacks target 1 with MACROBURST with a roll of: 38
[NPC System]: Chitable roll(s) Searing Chakra Palm vs Sakuya from 50 to 100 and get(s) a 98. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitable roll(s) Physical vs Sakuya from 25 to 55 and get(s) a 35. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a BLOCK…18
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya defends against with a TENSE…4
RPCOMBAT: Sakuya took 731 damage.
RPCOMBAT Sakuya took 202 chakra drain.

Looks like this wasn't your typical bandit. Not even a special one. This one was resilent enough to be a shinobi. The tired lady of serpents had lost, and as the man approached, his sudden halt flinging dirt in her direction, she raised her arm to block it. Sakuya cursed the man, but in the middle of the curse his chakra filled her "Conflagra-AAAAAAH!" Sakuya screamed quite loudly as the fire-chakra spread like a terrible wildfire in her chakra network, affecting her already dwindling supply of chakra. She was unable to stop the chakra from spreading, as there was no defense she had ever learned for such a thing and as she was lifted into the air she continued to squirm, and cry out. It's all she could do. "Gh… It's not over…" Sakuya said as she dangled from the man's grasp.

The only answer Hanami recieves are rasps from the mummified mercernary. Though a futile struggle, Yoshi fought to hold on to some semblance of composure while whatever jutsu or trick their adversary employed coursed through his system. Ever at the back of the man's mind is a deep rumbling not unlike the sound of a rock slide, and a presence asking for… something? Everytime an attempt is made to focus on the question and past the pain, the mercernary could feel himself losing the battle of will against the wave of suffering. Simply finding the spare resolve to lift his head, and regard the ongoing battle was ahrd enough…

[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Fire Dodge vs Macroburst from 25 to 65 and get(s) a 30. - Rolled by: Hanami
[NPC System]: Chitabe roll(s) Searing Chakra Palm vs Hanami from 50 to 100 and get(s) a 72. - Rolled by: Hanami
RPCOMBAT: Hanami defends against with a WIND-STEP…40
RPCOMBAT: Hanami took 761 damage.
RPCOMBAT Hanami took 187 chakra drain.

Chitabe had Sakuya upside down, dangling by her leg, cackling, "You good for nothing shinobi. Pathetic. It'll be so much fun watching you all burn." Then Hanami's solid air dropped down on him, smashing him to the ground. This of course meant he dropped Sakuya as well(she of course wasn't caught in the attack). He growled, straining against the pressure. Flames erupted over his body and suddenly the solid air burst surprising Hanami as he roared, "Enough! I have had enough of you ruining my fun little girl. I had a great opportunity there to pay that whimpering heap of bandages back and you ruined it. No more, I got work to do. Now isn't the time." Flames wreathing his body he charges straight at Hanami, hand aglow as he sends a punch straight to her gut to not only hit her but fry her chakra network like the others.
Hanami can't dodge, still stunned he broke through her jutsu she backpedals trying to get away but he's there, a flaming figure and the blow sends her flying back crashing into the wreckage of a building screaming in pain as it feels like her insides are on fire. With a sneer the man looks around, grumbling, "Ruined my fun, stinking shinobi…" And quick hand signs see an eruption of flame around him exploding the dirt and ash causing a haze. When it settles the man is gone. Leaving the burned wreckage of the town, the shinobi and mercenary, and a huge still burning pillar of chakra going straight up into the sky.
Hanami whimpered from the wreckage, struggling to her feet. Everything hurt. She stumbles out, toward the others, "You…guys okay? I'm sorry…didn't…do so hot there…" She sinks to her knees.

Sakuya's fingers barely moved a moment, and her veins were on fire from the foreign chakra that lingered still. It was as if she had been struck with her own venom. "Definitely… Storm Brigade." Sakuya groaned, as she dug her iron-nailed fingers into the ground and slowly got to all fours. "W-why didn't he finish the job?" Sakuya asked. "… Are reinforcements coming?" Sakuya promptly felt Zuzu coiling up her leg. "Stalemate. After all, I was getting my second wind! He was merely… quaking in his boots." … "Shut up, Zuzu…" Sakuya says as she gets to her feet, shakily. "Hanami, he's still on the loose… He could attack any other town he pleases… We need to prepare for the next time he arrives."

"No need… to apologize." Yoshi replied somewhat breatheless. Despite the painful lingering sensations, the man mountain managed to work himself onto shakey feet, retrieving his weapon along the way. Every step after is hard fought one for a time. Yet, Yoshi would push himself to search their surroundings in knowing futility.
When one last sniff at the air reveals little worth noting, resignation sets in, prompting the swordsman to turn towards sitting watch over the others. "Tch…. So much for seeing about a bonus." He jokes half-heartedly one last time before settling in for a long wait for aid to arrive. Aid he meant to refuse personally, but gladly make a point of seeing to it that the others did not.

Hanami groaned as she got to her feet. Right, still more work to do. She first sees to Sakuya, supporting her, "There will be reinforcements as soon as they could gather a team so hopefully we wont have to wait long. And we can get Yukari and the villagers to help in the meantime. We'll be fine…" Hopefully is what she doesn't say at the end there. That man's attack was still burning through her gut. She wouldn't feel better until they had been checked out by a trained medic. For now though it was a matter of making sure they were okay as can be right now. She went to Yoshi to check on him, "You did great, thank you for your help though I'm sorry things didn't turn out better." She wasn't feeling too good about this mission. Lost the bad guy, the village, and there was still a giant burning pillar of chakra. All they had was one lackey to question. And likely she'd have to give a report to Yori about this….ugh!
Eventually they got the villagers and Yukari to help them to a safer spot to rest. Their prisoner was kept guarded and trussed up, so everything was as best as they could hope for at the moment. It took a little time, but eventually a team of shinobi arrived, reinforcements. One of which was a young med-nin. He was rather shocked by the state of the shinobi and mercernary, telling them they all suffered damage to their chakra networks. Nothing permanent, but it was like the equivalent of getting a burn. He wasn't able to attempt to heal the damage himself, but otherwise took care of them. After a time Hanami and her team were escorted back to Kumogakure to seek further medical attention and report on the incident. The whole town, once the fires were completely put out, was cordoned off as the burning pillar of chakra was still going strong and would need investigating. But for Hanami and her team, the mission was over and it was time to recover and prepare for the next spot of trouble whenever it happened.

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