Invaluable Cargo


Reina, Shinime, Nanashi

Date: April 9, 2014


The three wanderers come on a ransacked village. They have three choices: to leave them, aid them in retrieving the stolen goods, or retrieve the stolen goods and make off with the loot themselves.

"Invaluable Cargo"

Desert Mesas

Reina has led her friends into an area of the desert crowded by mesas. As they get closer they'd see that there is a village literally built on and close to the mesa, with man-built stairs leading to different levels. "They have the best hot springs," she says, "and a market that's ten times better than Sunagakure. But uh don't buy anything from a vendor named Karako. It's kind of a fifty-fifty bet when you purchase anything from him, heh."

But as they neared it, it would seem even quieter than before. And suddenly men were leaping out from every crevice and hidden area within the mesa. Three near enough to attack them immediately with spears. Which are rocks tied to long sticks.

Of course, yet another sketchy place that Reina's led them into. Nanashi's really going to have to give her a good thwapping some time for all this. Still, it's not like the being can handle itself. It still remains in the disguise it used in Sunagakure, finding it rather comfortable. At least it doesn't have to buy new clothes as sharp rocks start to shred straight through it, yet leave no trail of blood and its body only reforms unharmed. Its eyes narrow as it folds its arms over its chest, shaking its head with a sigh as orbs of sand begin to fire from its body at the men with intent to latch onto them and drain their energy along with blasting the fire out of their faces.

"Yay! Hot springs!" Shinime declares with a grin and peers at Reina, "I can't wait, we'll get to enjoy a really fun time in the hot springs like last time!" She giggles and then some men come leaping out and Shinime grins, "And entertainment!" She simply moves her fingers and jumps as she does. Shikyo raises its arm and yanks as Shinime yanks and she is pulled out of the way before Shikyo steps past Shinime as she uses her very puppet strings to dodge while Shikyo steps in with that large scythe and sends it right for the poor man's neck.

Reina sighs as they're attacked from all sides. Her luck is just horrible, isn't it? She watches as men are knocked to the ground from the violent sands, drained horribly. Another unfortunate man tries to evade the blade to his neck, and succeeds in blocking it with his face…not very well. His hands flies to cover his face, blood leaking between his fingers as he screams. That seems to unnerve the others crowding close even more than the men covered in sand. They bolt.

Reina shakes her head in dismay. This is a mess. But she goes over to one of the drained, wounded man and gives him a shake. "What happened here? Tell us and we'll let you go." She glances at her companions. Just…wait a bit.

She shakes him until the man is lucid enough to speak. "A rival village…" he says. "Masked, but we knew it was them! Twenty of them came and took our goods…wrecked everything…" Then he faints. Reina sighs again, and draws her companions aside. "What should we do?" she asks in an undertone. "Let's put it to a vote. Leave? Get their stuff? And if we do, keep it or give it back to these idiots? I vote we get it, and make off with it all."

Nanashi stares silently as Reina interrogates the man, folding its arms over its chest as it listens to the explanation. "… If they were dumb enough to attack us, they lose my care. I'll leave it up to you two," Nanashi says, its lack of identity perhaps coming into play a bit here. It simply takes a step back and looks up at the sky in thought while waiting for the others to decide what happens to this lot.

Looking at Reina and then Nanashi, she hmmms. Shinime ponders and glances at the downed men before saying, "Well, I always say kill them if they attack but that's just me." She points at Reina, "You wanted to be the boss so you get to make boss decisions." She nods her head and then grins before shrugging and Shikyo merely steps over the man holding his face and stares down with that shadowed hood even as the man will start to feel the draining death effects of that poison always on his blade.

Reina looks at the three villagers still around, two now recovering. She says, "These miserable wretches should never have attacked us. Kill these three and hide the bodies." Once that's done she wipes her hands. "I know what rival village they mean. Some thirty miles away. If it's been a few minutes, we'll try to catch them before they reach their village and get those goods in transit. So much for those hot springs. Let's move." And then she'd set out for them. They'd be going at high speed for five miles when the trouble starts. Between the mesa passages Reina comes to a screeching halt and says, "Pit!" She throws a kunai, and a thin blanket covered in sand falls down into a pit of spikes. A string that would snag Nanashi's foot would trigger a barrage of boulders crashing down on Nanashi. If Shinime didn't sense a trap she'd be running over a circle of explosive tags.

With a simple nod, Nanashi would make the sand that was used to attack the men before form into spikes that jab into their throats easily. "Let's go then." Along the way, it eyes the string that is supposed to catch it, rather easily stepping over it and shaking its head. "Honestly. Who are these traps supposed to catch, children?" With a sigh, it continues ahead, bits of sand floating ahead of it to help in its watching for more potential traps or enemies lying in wait.

Stopping short of the trap, Shinime lets out an 'ooooOOOOoo' and points, "Look!" She then lifts up a rock from nearby and tosses it into the trap to watch it blow up with a giggle, "Fun!" She declares and then looks over at Nanashi with a blink, "Who blows up children? You're kind dark."

Reina grins at Shinime's jab at Nanashi. But she has to agree, the traps are fairly rudimentary. "These were meant for those villagers back there," she says. "Which means what they said was true. It also means they weren't expecting us." Fortunately, Nanashi's probing sands work and they're able to move straight as an arrow despite the traps. They would've noticed by now some hoof prints not yet blown away by the wind. But the prints grow closer as they go on, showing the horses are slowing down. It takes only half an hour for them to reach six of the men, surrounding a closed wagon in a loose formation. The two at front look especially capable, decked out in swords and gear. Reina considers them before saying, "Use the close passages around them to attack." She's gathering chakra as she speaks, stalking far behind them.

As Reina gives instructions, Nanashi simply nods. Suddenly, its eyes get a lot bigger and it calls to both of them, "There are kidnapped children in the wagon. Be careful." With that, he moves around the other side of the wagon from Reina, pondering in its mind before pointing both hands at the shinobi ahead of the wagon. From the sand around them, orbs of sand begin firing at the shinobi and horses as well as the wheels of the wagon, intending to knock them off the axel and bring it to a halt.

Looking at the group, she was prepared to start attacking when it is mentioned by Nanashi that there are kids in the wagon. She stares and then blinks and then stares with wider eyes! She growls, "You jerks!" She then points, "Shikyo, kill them!" She then moves her hands a little forward and then down and Shikyo whips up forward to stand beside the men, aimed to not hit the wagon and then she pulls down and it unleashes two wide area barrages of needles.

Reina shrugs at the mention of kidnapped children. But then, she blinks when her two teammates seem to care about that fact. Oh. She supposes that is something that's fairly detestable. As she's gathering her chakra, she watches as her teammates lay waste to the bandits. However, the two in front manage to leap clear both because of their further proximity and skill. It will take a good deal to beat them. One readies himself to fight, but the other is smarter. He points at the wagon. "See those tags?" he says. And there are some, plastered here and there. "Come any closer, and you'll be dragging your kids back in pieces! Step back or they die!" He has his hands in a seal formation, ready to trigger it in a second.

Reina considers this and then says, "Withdraw." She heads back around the bend. But as soon as they're there, she says, "Sneak up on them. When you do, either take them out quickly or neutralize those tags." She herself starts up the wall of the mesa. It will take awhile longer to reach them, but she's not completely sure of her stealth abilities.

Nanashi's eyes narrow at the men as they mention the tags. It gives a not to Reina and retreats with the crew for the moment. When they're back around, it says, "We're going to have to blame these guys for killing those three at the village if we want a reward for bringing these kids back." It then changes shape, taking on the form of a desert hawk that flies over head, moving on ahead of the men. Rather than make a direct attack, it merely lets bits of sand fly as if being blown by the wind and lets them fly down and slowly seep beneath the tags to remove them subtly and yank them far underground where they'll be no harm.

Moving back with the others, if for no other reason than Reina said so, when she stops, she growls a little and points, "I want to kill them and threaten them and tear them to pieces." She then stops and peers at Reina, "I will try to sneak up and get those tags but I am not good at being stealthy, if they catch me…I'm gonna do things my way." She nods her head and then attempt to sneak up to the cart as well to try to help get the tags off.

Reina moves up around the wall that the mesa forms when she sees below Nanashi successfully removing the tags. "Good…" Girl? Boy? "…It." When the two men see Shinime trying to sneak up, they both shout. And the first man says, "You asked for it!" He triggers the seals. But instead of the wagon blowing into splinters, the ground beneath them rumbles slightly. It seems that Nanashi had removed them all. The swordsman has short black hair and pale skin, while the leader is deeply tanned with hair that's almost white and pulled back into a ponytail. The leader makes a few seals, and shoots a crackling bolt of lightning at Shinime. Reina winces but she'd drop down to fry the man who'd tried to trigger the seals from behind.

With the tags removed, Nanashi is ready for a different type of assault. Just as Shinime is being attacked, the bird swoops down and turns back into the form the being used in Sunagakure. Right at the moment it can be spotted, a hand is pointed at the lesser of the two men, sending a wave of sand to engulf him. "Such despicable actions… Yet you die only because you have the poor luck of us passing through." With that, it clenches it fist, and one can hear a sudden crushing sound within the sand, bones and flesh being crushed and shattered.

Taking the hit, unable to avoid the attack from the leader and left to take on the stronger of the two warriors by the stronger of the warriors on Shinime's team…Nanashi!…Shinime stumbles back and winces before whipping out a scroll and opening it up to unleash a pair of bolas at the leader, "DIE!" She declares in a fit of rage as she sends the bolas for his leg before letting Shikyo unleash a volley of needles at him.

Reina watches calmly as Nanashi crushes the pale skinned guy before he can even put up any resistance. She has to agree with her actions, it's despicable to kidnap little kids. It's no wonder those villagers back there were so vehement. Maybe they had even planned to strike out. However, the fate of his entire team doesn't make the leader walk away. The attack strikes him, but a second later he is pulling out the needles, his face set against the pain of the poison. Far from down. "So you three are shinobi," he says. And then he's filling the air with lightning, so powerful it knocks off chunks of the mesa walls around them. Reina manages to dodge away from the blast, fueled by fire chakra. But when she sends a fiery inferno towards him he draws a crackling barrier around him to dissipate the flames.

With one man down, the entire teams' attention is now on this man. Nanashi's expression is stern, rather merciless since this guy was planning on killing all the kids… to the point it reveals one of the jutsu Reina didn't get to see the other day, a giant hand of sand reaching up from the ground below the man to grab him up and pin him to the ground while a clone of sand falls to the ground from being struck by his jutsu.

Shikyo replaces Shinime and seeing as he doesn't really care about electricity given his nature, he just stalks forward as Shinime stands behind him controlling him. She stalks around as well, growling, "You hurt children to get your way…" She growls and then cackles as she seems to take on a rather psychotic and sinister tone, "You don't deserve death…" She laughs and then directs Shikyo you aims for his arms with a pair of attacks, one scythe slash going for each arm as she laughs, "You deserve much much worse."

The most that could said for the man was that he'd put up a bit of a fight. But in the face of three shinobi he's soon bound by the sand. Reina is already moving towards the wagon to open it when Shinime attacks with her scythes…dismembering the man but not finishing him off. Reina stares as he screams on the ground, blood now gushing everywhere. Reina lowers her hand. Perhaps this isn't the best time to open the wagon and let the children see what's going on. She stares at Shinime. "Umm…" For once, Reina seems at a loss for words. Is this really Shinime?

Watching the display, Nanashi seems rather unaffected, though it does notice Reina is not so lucky. While the woman stares at Shinime, the sand being slips up behind her and places a hand on each of her shoulders while leaning forward to whisper into her ear, though not really so low that Shinime couldn't hear if she was trying: "You pick the two of us, a woman with a reaper toy for a pet and something you can't tell what it is even, who follow you to boot, and you really expect perfect sanity?" With that, it'd start that drumming pattern with its fingers on the woman's shoulder, that perfect… soothing… disturbing… haunting drumming.

A grin and Shinime turns away and smiles at Reina, "I'm done." She smiles and has Shikyo follow her, "He'll live…or die." She shrugs, "Whichever, but he will never be a shinobi again. He is not a proper one. He is a pretender." She nods, "A pretender who hides behind children." She nods, "HE deserves no less."

Reina listens to Nanashi, and after that she smiles. "Yeah, you do have a point there," she says ruefully, ignoring the man's agonized moans. She goes over to the man and gives him a kick that sends him tumbling about a good distance away, out of the immediate vicinity of the wagon. Although she does get splattered by his blood, yuck. The kids would be able to hear him, but not see them as Reina grabs the wagon and flips it open. There are a dozen kids, almost all of them girls, squeezed in between a sizable hill of goods. Gagged, bound, some of them bleeding, all of them bruised. It's easy to see the red chafe marks where some had tried to tear free. They look terrified at the sight of Reina, who is covered in blood.

But then she smiles and says, "Hey kids. We're — " Then, a shout is raised behind them. Reina turns to see thirty angry villagers running to save their kids, shouting abuse at the three of them. Reina says, "No no! We rescued these bra — your kids!" They don't stop and Reina turns to Nanashi. "Stop the idiots. But don't harm them." She turns to look at the kids. "Hey, you heard the shouts. We were fighting to free you. We're heroes, 'kay?" A few of them nod, and Reina takes one out to untie and ungag her.

Nanashi smirks a bit at Reina's agreement, simply nodding and watching the rest of this go on… And then the idiots show up. It nods at Reina's instructions then turns to look at the rushing villages. It ponders a moment on what to do then points its hands at them. Rather harmlessly, orbs of sand fire up from the sand at the ankles of the villages, intending to latch onto them and make them fall to the ground like shackles of sand. "If all else fails, I have a way we can fly away."

Frowning, Shinime looks at the angry villagers and while Nanashi does her thing, Shinime leaves Shikyo behind to do hers. The girl might be 15 but she looks a year or two younger and starts toward them waggling a finger, "Don't you be mean!" She declares loudly to the villagers as they approach, "We saved your children and you now run at us screaming!" She declares in her childish voice as she walks, waving small hands.

This all would've been better if Reina hadn't been so queasy, and had opened the wagon sooner. Then the children would've been able to see that man getting disarmed, so it'd be certain the three of them were rescuing them. Reina is now untying all of them at the speed of light, smiling, making jokes with some, even hugging others. Effectively building up a wall of little human shields for them.

Not that they need it. Nanashi's plan works, and it's almost comical how many people are tripping over one another. It's then that the children reach their parents, throwing themselves into their arms. After that, the villagers do seem to calm down and Reina says, "It's true. We rescued your children and disarmed those traps for you to follow!" That last bit is a small lie, but it is true they'd made the path safer by disarming them. After that it's negotiations, quite a few more stretched truths, and soon all three of them are hauling away 'as much as they could carry.' In which case, Reina had Nanashi haul the entire wagon away on its sand.

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