Date: September 20, 2013
A group of Kumo shinobi are tasked to free a village from the tyranny of a bandit calling himself the Ox King.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"It's Good To Be The King"
Village outside Kumogakure in the Land of Lightning
A team has been called and a Kumogakure Jounin by the name of Yamayuki Karin summons everyone listed on her scroll to the front entrance of the gate to the village. One all the nin have been gathered, she then begins to speak. "A village to the south has been under siege by bandits. Their leader is calling himself 'The Ox King'. They managed to send a runner to us and have offical requested our help. Since we have no current Raikage, Reizei Ogosokamaru has been handling the deployment of shinobi, it's from him that this mission comes from." She steps forwards, handing the scroll to Hiroyasu. "Katayama-san, you have assigned the task of team leader. Apparently someone heard about a mission you led in Kumogakure and were impressed. Let's see if you can do it again. We know there are approximately four bandits, including the leader, and that they are skilled in the shinobi arts. This one probably won't be as easy as your last one. Unfortunately, we don't have much more information than that, but the scroll does contain a map to the village. We'll expect you all to use your best judgement from there. Good luck."
+ It had been nearly five years since Tenjin Minori of the Kitsuki Tenjin family actually went on a mission for Kumogakure. It had… been almost that long since she had spent more than two days in Kumogakure, for that matter. However, today was an exception. She had decided to spend some more time in the village, and had put herself up for assignments again, and, despite figuring she would spend most of her time inactive, she recieved a summons almost immediatly. So, she had shown up, neglecting her highly useful glass transformation to keep her appearances up, and had decided to go out as herself, as opposed to the heir of the Kitsuki village leader… which would probably worry a lot of people. She needed spending money, not politicians breathing down her neck.
At the assembly of shinobi gathered for the mission, she stood further back, trying not to draw too much attention, especially once she heard of skilled shinobi opponents… ~Of course, I have to go fight people…. most likely… ~ She rolls her eyes. ~Perhaps I can talk my way through it…~ She grumbles a little bit before locking her eyes on the back of Hiroyasu's head. He seemed familiar, but she could not recognize him for the life of her, especially after the drinking binge she had gone on after first meeting him.
Hiroyasu takes the scroll, "Alright, I already know details." as he had already signed the mission earlier in the morning, not knowing it would then be turned around and assigned back to him.. "Well everyone ready? We need anything before the trip?" he ask putting the scroll in his robe. "Now is the time to get that last minute equipment, rain poncho, traveling cloak or snack" trying to keep it light hearted.
It had taken Hanako some time to get back to Kumogakure after leaving Konoha. In fact, she'd only managed to return to her home village late last night, and now she was being called out on a mission like this? The Chuunin listens carefully to the mission briefing, nodding in all the appropriate places. "Ox king, huh?" she mumbles to herself as the briefing comes to a close. At least she wasn't leading the mission. With her current state of tiredness she'd be likely to make some sort of horrible mistake and get someone killed. Glancing outside she checks the weather, wondering whether all the equipment Hiroyasu was listing off was actually necessary. "No, I think I'll be alright, Hiro. I'm ready to go," she says with a cool smile.
Amani finds her way to the village gate to listen to the briefing for the particular mission along with others who have been gathered here. It looks like bandits are up to no good around here and need some dealing with. Nice choice of an animal, though. 'Ox King' has a nice ring to it. Taking note of the Yamayuki reading things off, she thinks she may have to get in contact with her to catch up sometime. Not enough of her clan she gets to speak with daily. "Ready when you all are. Let's get this thing done."
The village nestled between a valley with a mountain range that goes around three parts of it. The only way in and out is over a bridge that is located above a ravine. Once the Kumo group gets this far, they see a lone figure standing in front of the bridge that leads into the village proper. Like Kumo, the village seems to have been cut and built into the side of that mountain range. The fellow standing out front is about five feet tall and is dressed like a farmer. Brown breeches and a tan colored tunic. His clothing is dirty and he seems like if you blew on him, he might just fall down, he is so frail. When the group gets up to him, he smiles, and one might notice that he only has a few teeth at the top and a couple at the bottom. And he's got a serious case of halitosis. "Howdy, there folks. If you want to cross the bridge, there is a two hundred ryo toll that must be paid." He looks between them before adding. "Per person."
Hiroyasu nods as everyone said they were ready, and makes the journey to the village nestled in the hills. When they come upon the man asking to for a toll, He looks to the others behind him then back to the man "Toll? On whose authority? We are on official business, no village can rightfully refuse us.." while his eyes lazily drift around looking for more visual cues, his more adept sense of soul seeks through the ether, finding what it does, and missing what it misses. "200 is enough to feed a decent family for some time.. don't you think that is a little steep friend?" he holds up a hand to signal the rest to hold firm, if they even catch it.. it didn't occur to him that they may be unfamiliar with his choice of signals.
+ Even after they were on the move, Minori was unable to dismiss how gung-ho everyone seemed about this. They had been warned that the enemy were probable shinobi, and… well… they were not exactly friendly people either. That meant possible combat. That… or they are tougher than she was and had no reason to fear. Well… if that were the case, she could rest a little easier.
Arrival at the bridge brought upon unexpected… events. Some puny, scrawny man who really had no right to be between them and the village had decided to block their way. ~Absolutely disgusting…~ She shakes her head and decides to allow their fearless leader to deal with the obvious peasant. She was a little bit too high-browed for such unnecessary dealings!
As the man stands there blocking the way on to the bridge Hanako peers around the area. She spots something on the bridge, and smiles knowingly before approaching the man. The Chuunin holds up her hands, trying to make herself seem harmless. "Look I understand you've got a job, Mr. Bridge-guard. I'm Utatori Hanako, and my entourage and I are on our way to a performance. 200 ryo each is a little expensive, but I can give you something worth even more than that - a private performance!" she says with a grin, "How does that sound?" And without giving the man a chance to respond, Hanako starts to sing. Those who know Hanako's jutsu, know that she's dangerous when she's singing. Sending out her chakra she attempts to invade the man's chakra network, attacking his centre of balance before forming the sound waves into a semi-physical spear and blasting them at him, hoping to knock the man off balance and prevent him from triggering that explosive tag on the bridge.
That was a bit of a trek, but the team finally arrived at the village. The man at the bridge seemed to be not too keen on letting them in without a fee to pass. "Really…" she sighed. Difficulties. Well, while she's at it, she may as well try to see if there's anything unusual around here. With a search about the bridge, she spots paper tags lying in wait. Looks like this bridge is supposed to come with a death toll. She makes a handseal and proceeds to send out an echo of chakra throughout the area. She can see the vitals of all her team…plus one extra. A shinobi in hiding. He's the one that's responsible for these tags. Hm. Guess she should try and stop him. Hanako was already on the move against the bridge guard. "You all stay back or else there will be an extra toll to pay," she stated as she moved into position to stun the guy in hiding.
The dirty man standing at the edge of the bridge was just about to reply to Hiroyasu when Hanako steps forwards and attacks him with her signature singing jutsu! The man clutches his hands to his ears before his body goes rigid and then limp just before he looses his balance and falls over the edge into the ravine. That's a looonng way down! Meanwhile Amani sends a shockwave of sound for the real culprit and it forces him to move from his vantage point as he dodges the attack. Now those across the bridge can see another man dressed like a villager. Amani's attack delayed him from blowing the bridge, but he quickly begins to work on doing that now. The team has one chance to stop him. Can they do it? Or will this mission have an explosive end before it even gets started?
Hiroyasu makes several seals and from the earth and rock a form which eventually takes his likeness appears and charges at the man on the far end of the bridge trying to take him down before he can activate the seals. "Quickly, get off the bridge, it's rigged to blow!.. take the civilian.. err. nevermind" he says as the likely innocent man falls to his death, some family was about to get his compensation pay for this mission.
+ Minori watches, an eyebrow raised, as her comrades get to work. The filthy beggar is removed from the scene by… a singing girl. That was all well and good, but apparently the bridge was going to explode. That was not… Minori had enough walking and didn't feel like going around.. or doing and up, for that matter. Being that she'd have to go and punch someone in the face to be of any use, she decides to stay back and let the others handle this for now… best not to draw anyone's attention.
As her original target topples over the edge of the bridge, Hanako checks for a moment to make sure that the guy is, in fact, gone. When she looks back up, however, she spots another man, one who had been hiding nearby. She raises an eyebrow and takes the still-reverberating sounds in the area, fashioning it into a pair of blades and a near-invisible spear, throwing each of them in turn at the man in the hopes that she can take him out quickly before he can detonate the explosive tags on the bridge. "Oh no you don't, you aren't getting away," the Chuunin says as she unleashes the the volley of sound attacks at the no-longer-hiding ninja.
Oh great, of course she'd miss. Should've went with an arrow to his head instead, but no, she wanted to be civil. Sigh, why does civility betray her? She backs off the bridge and takes to using her bow to fire off a shot at the shinobi trying to blow the bridge. She follows up by focusing chakra to utilize for this fight and maybe more fighting later. She just hopes the combined effort of the team can subdue him.
The Stealth Ninja wasn't able to complete his handseals, mostly because Hiroyasu's earth clones and Hanako's sound spear stop him dead in his tracks. Bloodied and beaten, he falls over to the side, unable to do any hand seals of any kind anymore. But two more figures appear at the end of the bridge. Apparently the battle between the shinobi and their quarry was heard. The two figures move to step on either side of their downed comrade before a very large man steps up between them. He is easily seven feet tall and he is wide as a..well..an Ox. He balances a hammer on his shoulder as he looks down at his comrade. He shakes his head. "Pathetic." Taking the hammer, he golf swings and impacts the guy, sending him flying over the entire bridge to land at Hanako's feet as a bloody mess. "The little shinobi from Kumogakure have showed up to stop us boys. Let's show them why that was a deadly mistake." He smirks before he turns and walks back towards the village. "Let them pass the bridge." The other two..a shinobi and kunoichi respectively turn and follow him, not even bothering to stop the Kumo team from crossing over now.
Hiroyasu sighs "Lets make sure before you kill someone, they aren't a hostage of circumstance" he points off the side of the rope bridge "That.. was a villager with no discernible training" before waving his hand "Lets go, they are expecting us" he says before looking at them.. "This is going to be.. interesting" he says before taking a moment to bring his chakra into tune before closing his eyes and bringing forth the darkness which engulfs his eyes before the seals swirls into existence. "Let's move out" he says before moving off the still trapped bridge.
+ The appearance of the Ox King was expected, but maybe not in the actual fashion that Minori had anticipated. As he literally clubs someone across the ravine, she realizes that she is very, very out of her league, and while everyone is focused on the new enemy, she blends into the background and disappears, making a swift retreat.
Minori has left.
Hanako raises her eyebrows, and says, "I wasn't trying to kill the guy, just make sure that he didn't set off the explosive." She shrugs, and then stretches her body as the enemy shinobi arrive. Looking across the ford at them she places her hands on her hips as shakes her head. Her sensitive hearing picks up on the untimely exit of Minori, and Hanako says, "And we've lost our foreign-nin. Never trust anyone who isn't a Kumo-nin, right?" She smiles and places her hands together as she reaches the opposite side of the bridge, focusing chakra as she prepares for combat with the Ox King and his lackeys.
Amani spotted the people on the other side and was already gearing up for striking. Especially against the Ox King. She had an arrow in waiting, but it wouldn't have mattered. He made the first swing by knocking the corpse of their former enemy across the bridge. That was truly harsh. Still, not as harsh as the toll guard that lost his life. It was unfortunate. "You sure we should be walking in at their invite? Seems a bit too simple. "Guess she realizes how much work these missions take. They aren't for the faint of heart." She admits while activating a more manageable Nejigan for the time being.
As the trio make their way into the village proper, there is no one on the streets. Either the citizens are being kept someplace, or they're smart enough not to be outside. What they do see are the Ox King, and his two henchpeople standing in the middle of the village square. Spotting the two kunoichi of the Kumo group, the male ninja notices the absence of two. "That girl and the bald guy are gone, Boss. Think they turned tail?" The Ox King looks over and shrugs, "The girl looked a little flighty to begin with, but I can't imagine any kind of man that would leave two women to do his dirty work. Be on guard." He makes a movement. The kunoichi moves off towards Hanako while the male ninja moves towards Amani. They each strike their fighting poses before attacking. The man performs a hand seal before a flame of fire spews out of his mouth. The kunoichi withdraws two kunai and then launches them towards Hanako. In midair, they seem to crackle with lightning as they fly on course for her. In the meantime, Ox King watches on while propped against his hammer, which rests on the ground.
Taking a moment before heading into the village while the others are preparing their kits and regalia, to charge up a little bit of chakra into his finger touching a seal on the inside of his robe sleeve, and he begins to fade out before becoming nearly invisible; the faint glimmer occasionally appearing as the barrier fails to handle an odd angle or light source but it's only barely noticable. "I have not left you guys, but we need some form of tactic.. and it seems the little girl has fled in fear.. remind me to report it." Hiroyasu says
In his visually subdued form, he lurks slightly away from the two.. his sight through the gnarled barrier is only barely legible and probably wouldn't even be possible without the added acuity of his ocular enhancements. Using his combination of stealth and tree walking he creeps up the wall to get the jump on the Kunoichi with the Kunai.. the barrier around him cancels in a sudden swirl of distorted light before he is there holding two already glowing seals and throwing them down towards her, they both rip open in a vortex of blue chakra which tendrils lashes out trying to reach deep into her network and rip from her, her very essence.
Hanako wasn't expecting an outright attack as soon as they entered. She takes a step back as the kunai, each crackling with lightning, fly at her. With a scream, she focuses her chakra into a powerful barrier, using the sound to deflect the attacks neatly. "Don't regal with me," she growls at the woman, and starts to sing. The song is wordless, just beautiful notes swirling in phrases and riffs that seem to form an entrancing pattern. Hanako reaches out through the song, trying to grab the woman's inner ear and send her off balance before attacking with a powerful blade of sound aimed directly at her. She sees Hiro attacking the kunoichi, and gives the man nod of appreciation. They'd take out one target, then turn their attentions on the other.
This place is desolate. Amani isn't sure what that means for the villagers, but she can only hope they're okay. This guy and the henchmen don't appear to have any reservations or remorse about their actions here. She takes the chance to see where the people are here and once she figures it it, she throws up a sound barrier to defend herself against her spicy opponent. "Fire. How nice…" She didn't take any action just yet and decided to focus once more to have more chakra to use.
The Ox King watches as Hiroyasu makes his appearance known and attacks the Kunoichi from behind. A sound tactic, even though his attacks were dodged by her, it allowed Hanako to gain a foothold with her genjutsu and her sound blade cuts through the woman's shoulder. With a hiss, she steps back and flings a lightning infused kunai at Hiroyasu. Her fingers move into hand seals as she molds a disc out of lightning before launching it at Hanako. Meanwhile, Amani's opponent ups his game by shooting fire ball jutsu at her. The Ox King decides to get himself involved by hefting his hammer and then swinging it towards the ground, causing a minor earth quake within the given area.
Hiroyasu holds out a seal which swirls into a stalwart wall of blue which repels the Kunoichi's kunai with ease before seeing the hammer rise and fall he leaps up on the edge of the wall as the shockwave of the hammer shakes the ground but does not pass the barrier which holds steadfast before he flips off it landing on the ground, making several seals he beings to draw in debris and chucks from the ground which swirl around his fists, before the sudden and violent hail of rocky bullet attempt to riddle the Kunoichi with too many holes for her blood to resist.
The kunoichi forms her disc out of pure lightning, and Hanako blinks a couple of times in surprise. "Oh, wow, that's a cool technique," she says to herself, taking a couple of steps back and then using the Genjutsu already affecting the woman. Just as the kunoichi throws the technique, Hanako twists her eyesight and the lightning flies over Hanako's right shoulder harmlessly. "You'll have to do better than that to hit a kunoichi of Kumogakure," she says with a grin, and then all of a sudden there are powerful tremors coming through the earth. Hanako sings a loud note, almost at the top of her range, and uses the vibrations to counteract the earthquake. In response she fires off a trio of sound spears at the Ox King, the first designed to stun while the second and third batter him painfully.
These shinobi are no pushovers, that's for certain. Amani sees that her opponent didn't take too kindly to her defense. Fight…sound with more fire? If you can't burn it, then blast it. This particular jutsu looks pretty strong. She digs herself in and starts to take it. Perhaps it was for the best that she settled herself. The ground had just begun to shake from the Ox King's attack. "Low down…" She muttered the rest to herself as she defended herself once more with a barrier of sound. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to protect her from the flames which ate right through her shield and burned her something fierce. As a result, she was distracted from moving out of place from the earth quaking, ultimately thrown off her feet and incapacitated for the time being.
The Kunoichi falls from the ground shaking when her boss does his jutsu. As a result, she can't exactly get up right now, which means the earth bullets from Hiroyasu all impact her skin. She flails on the ground like a fish out of water before her body goes still. Ironically, the same thing happens to the male ninja. After shooting Amani with his fire jutsu, he also falls from the Ox King's ground attack and when his body impacts the ground, the breath is driven out of him to the point where he can't exactly get up right now. However, when Hanako launches her jutsu against the Ox King, he steps out of the way of her first one and then allow the second two to impact him dead on the chest…and he doesn't seem fazed by it at all. He flicks his shirt as if getting red of some pesky insect. "That all you got, little girl?" Then, the big man is on the move, swinging that hammer around his head twice before aiming two attacks towards the gorgeous pop star.
Hiroyasu is prime position to execute another tactically wise assault on his enemies, having the high ground and the fact that his opponent was knocked for a loop by friendly fire. Weaving several seals and the swirl of stone continues as he unleashes another barrage of earthy bullets at the male shinobi laying in the street. His glance only momentarily glancing over to the boss with hammer and his swings at Hanako before focuses the last of the bullets into the man.
Hanako's mouth drops as sees her techniques just dissipate on the big man's chest. Surely that wasn't possible! Her eyes wide the girl sings a note, trying to bring her barrier up again, but the hammer smashes straight through it. The first blow knocks Hanako to the ground, feeling like it nearly broke her back. Struggling back to her feet the Chuunin looks up again just in time to see the hammer swing in and slam her in the face. Hanako is sent flying across the room, hitting the ground painfully and sending up a cloud of dust. "Oh gods," she moans, her body not responding to the mental command to get back up, "That's not good."
Amani was just now recovering from the attack by the Ox king that had her body paralyzed. It was always an odd sensation to endure, even if it's happened multiple times. Just after feeling began to find its way back, she watched Hanako sail through the air having taken a hit from that hammer. She was angered and promptly raised herself up from the ground and placed full use into her Nejigan. While the enemy shinobi we're down, she thought to deal with her opponent while he was still recovering. Thrusting a sound jutsu forward to incapacitate the fire user further, she then fired off an arrow to put him down. Can't deal with the Ox King while having these punks running around.
The male ninja was getting up to go after Amani again, but Hiroyasu's earth bullets impact him from behind. His body rocks back and forth with the force and as he begins to bleed he looks down at himself riddled with holes. Around this time, Amani's sound jutsu blasts him off his feet and her sonic cut, rips through his throat and the man goes down like a ton of bricks. In the meantime, Ox King has looked at the odds. He managed to take one of the Kumo shinobi down, and very soon he'd be dealing with two at once. He didn't like those odds. Sacrificing his henchman..let's face it, that's what they're here for..he decides to make a strategic withdrawal. By the time Hiroyasu and Amani finish dealing with the fire jutsuist, Ox King has left the building.
Hiroyasu leaps off the rooftop where he had took refuge for the higher ground, and lands quickly next to the injured songbird.. "Tsukikage quit neglecting your duties! She is hurt pretty badly.." he says as he rushes to lay hands on her wounds, as a combat medic his skill was mediocre but it was made to keep a shinobi going until real medical attention could be rendered or the mission completed before they expire.. "Hold on, Hanako-san" he says as the green glowing hands moving across her form gently.
Hanako sighs as her head injury dulls, and quite soon she's moving normally again. Although the trauma to her body isn't fully healed, its much better than it was. "I don't recommend it," she says as she sits up, rubbing her head against the pain, "Thanks for the assistance though. I think I would've been able to keep going, but I wouldn't have been happy about it." Hanako smiles at Hiro as she gets back up to her feet, looks around the room and realises that the Ox King has disappeared. "Are we going to pursue him, or call it a Mission Complete since the village is free from his tyranny for the moment being?" she asks, still trying to shake away her haziness.
"Ignoring what duties? I was trying to eliminate a threat," Amani called as she turned to face Hiro who was working on a badly injured Hanako. She retracted her frustration and made her way over to her to aid in healing. She broke from her Nejigan and assumed a faint glow as she placed all reserves towards healing. "I'm…sorry. I didn't really know," she offered to Hanako mostly, though it was extended towards them both. "Are you sure about walking? I understand the mission, but the least I can do now is secure your health further." She looked away momentarily and towards the damaged ground. "There's a bunker here that's holding all the people. It can be accessed from the town hall, the large building there…" She points it out.
Hiroyasu nods "The Mission was the free the village from his grip, I believe we have done that. We may have to hunt him down but we should tend to our wounded, the villagers.. and make resitution for the man on the bridge" he says dusting off his hands before going looking for the bunker to let the villagers free, while Amani and Hanako do as they will in his absence.
Hanako shrugs and says, "Alright, I guess making sure I'm not dying of internal bleeding might be a good idea." She laughs and turns her back to Hiro, sliding up her shattered body armour so that Amani can get at her stomach. Purple bruising already covers her torso, the after effects of taking such a massive hit. "Just be quick, ok? Our last objective is to rescue those villagers and get back home."
"You don't have to worry about that. A quick and speedy recovery is what I'm about," Amani grinned as she focused the medical chakra to her hands to take care of the injury. At least one guy is down, but since the Ox King retreated, he could be regrouping with more lackeys. Hmm. It's possible his death was for naught…