Date: March 28, 2012
Etsu and Ryuunosuke are escorting an old businessman to the Land of Wind and run into a bit of trouble.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
The Waterfall - Land of Fire
Mid-morning, and the sun shines brightly over the Land of Fire. The temperature is not too hot, not too cold. Very few clouds cover the blueness of the sky, blooming flowers quite visible around this area around the river and waterfall. Birds are singing, insects buzzing. This day could hardly get anymore perfect.
Unlucky enough for three certain Leaf Shinobi, they do not get to enjoy this day playing or relaxing. A prominent businessman named Hikawa Jirobu made a deal with some a gang that went south. While the gang's members are mostly low-level grunts-for-hire, they did manage to take out Jirobu's normal bodyguards. The job of the Konoha team is to escort the old man safely to the Land of Wind, where they will rendezvous with his cohorts there and the mission will end.
Sitting at the top of the waterfall on a large rock, Wu Youkio sits looking at a picture of his mark for the day. Whatever this guy did to wrench these guys off, it must have been pretty bad for them to hire him. In any case, he got word that Jirobu would be passing this way today. If he takes him out before he is able to reach the Land of Wind, things should go rather smoothly. Taking in a deep breath, the Dire Wolf takes in all the scents he can, waiting patiently for his prey to approach.
Etsu was part of the team that'd be escorting this man. She didn't understand why he'd make a deal with a gang, but it must have been something of a desperate measure. They met with the man at some point and after going over the mission and details, started out in a trip towards the Land of Wind. It was such a long way, that land, but they'd get there eventually.
Time passes and they're making progress, nearing the waterfall. It almost establishes itself as a marker indicating the halfway point. She looked around at the team and then to the man finally deciding to ask him, "What made you make a deal with a gang? It seems…unusual." What she actually meant was stupid and foolish, but this works.
This would be Ryuunosuke's first mission and thought he reminded himself several times he couldn't hold back the anxiety and excitement mixing inside him. Escort missions were especially dangerous but Ryuunosuke was more wworried about screwing up. The young man was comfrotable knowing he would have twwo other teammates. He figured the woman with the goggles was of the Aburame clan. She seemed calm which did make him feel a bit better. Ryuunosuke was curious about Jirobu as well. When Etsu asks him the reason for him making a deal with a gang Ryuunosuke is listening. He didnt mean to do so intently but his attention was suffering because of it.
"You must've had your reasons I'm sure. Still that's pretty gutsy." Ryuu comments to the man. Their mission was only to escort though. The man's personal business quite frankly was none of their own. The waterfall was up ahead it would be a nice marker. Ryuunosuke sighs still working out his angst.
"That's none of your concern," the old man replies, peering down at Etsu with a stern look. "All you need to know is that you won't get paid if I don't make it to the Land of Wind safely." While he is fairly certain of what the girl really wants to say to him. This situation is troublesome enough without a critical little girl. A brief glance is shot toward Ryuunosuke as he speaks, but the man doesn't seem to be too much on having any more conversation.
As he team nears the waterfall, Youkio catches their scents on the wind and turns his head to look down at them. A faint smirk tugs at his lips as he stands up on the rock and stretches his arms out a bit. He turns around, stepping out and acting as if he is simply stretching, though his peripherals are locked on the team. He simply bides his time, waiting for them to get close enough…
"If you say so…" She remarked to the man. "Well, we'll get you there. We've only a short distance to go." Though, she didn't think going to the Land of Wind was going to protect him from anything or anybody. Maybe there were people he knew there? Whatever the case was, she can only wish the best to him. He's going to have it real rough. As Youkio steps out, she glances to him, though her head is kept looking forward as they pass by.
"As shinobi we're in no position to pry for that kind of information. We'll guard you with our lives. However it's the nature of some to want to know what they're risking their lives for exactly." Ryuunosuke comments as the waterfall comes into sight. Ryuunosuke manages a smile "We've got a nice pace going." he adds. It would be a long journey. Spending it in silence or awkward tension didn't go over too well in Ryuunosuke's head so he might come off as a bit talkative. With Jirobu refusing to talk more on the matter Ryuunosuke regained his alertness. He notices Etsu's attention divert momentarily. "Something wrong?" he asks her.
"Good, good," the old man says with a nod. He glances up at the man on top of the waterfall, but looks back ahead as the man turns around. He glances over to Ryuunosuke again as he speaks, giving a nod. "I like your attitude, son."
As the team starts to pass by, Youkio glances back. A predatory grin crosses his face before he turns and bounds off the rock down toward Jirobu and the shinobi. His hands change as he plummets toward them, fingernails turning into claws as they look more like the hands of a werewolf now. He starts to make a swipe down at old man as he comes down, hoping to rend his throat in half and end this all in one strike.
Etsu hummed, but said nothing more. She shouldn't have pryed, but she wanted to and felt it necessary to do so. Not just for curiosity purposes, but there's probably more to this situation from what they're experiencing. She continued on with the mission, hands in her pockets, but didn't have time to keep them snug in there as Youkio jumped to attack. She took note of his claws and wondered if he was anything in relation to what she experienced before. She thinks it's time for some answers. She lifted her arm and a sweep of kikaichu followed her lead in order to keep Youkio at bay as she began to question him asking, "Do you know anything about werebeasts?"
Ryuunosuke didn't get too much of a response from Etsu. She seemed calm still so he figured it was nothing. His attention returns to Jirobu. He didn't really have too much of an opinion about the businessman. He was an assignment. Ryuu noticed someone making a leap at Jirobu. A beastlike hand caught his eye and he barely yanked Jirobu from harm's way. Etsu's kikaichu keep the attacker at bay. "Werebeasts nothing really. Depends on what beast they're mimicking. They're physical traits and abilities are seriously augmented though I know that." Arming himself with a kunai Ryuunosuke shields Jirobu "Stay behind me and stay close." he says. "He'll probably track us down if we try and escape. We should take care of him here and now." Ryuunosuke suggests.
As the large man comes down, Jirobu freezes up. Were it not for Etsu's quick actions, he'd be dead already, which he obviously knows by the paleness that comes over his face. "I-I don't know. He's probably a mercenary." He allows himself to be pulled behind the boy and does as instructed, knowing to stay out of the way.
As bugs come to keep him back in the air, Youkio growls and moves to dive off them onto the ground a few feet away from the group. "Smart kids," the Dire Wolf says, that dark grin still on his lips as he turns to face them. "Really smart kids would get the socket out of my way before they get hurt," he says as he starts focus ki through his body and prepare for a fight.
It pays to know things. "I see," Etsu remarked to Ryuunosuke. "We'll do what we can to keep him at bay, then." She prepared herself to attack this guy. "So now you've got a mercenary problem…" She muttered some words to herself and scrutinized Youkio. He didn't look to be of the werebeast variety, but then again she doesn't know enough about them to make that kind of decision, but her blood is boiling a bit just by looking at him. "I knoy why you're here, but I don't see the point. What will it take for you to go away? More money? I'm sure I have some to give," she offered to Youkio.
As Ryuunosuke guards the old man, Youkio squares off with Etsu. He chuckles a bit and shakes his head, stepping into a very straight-forward stance. "A bribe? Sure. I'll just take the old man's head, and we'll call it even. I get paid after the job is done, and a kid like you handing over a few ryo for a peace offering doesn't do much for a wolf on the hunt… Let's do this then." The large man darts like a beast toward the girl, fist surging with volatile ki as he drives it directly at her gut.
Etsu shook her head. "Leaving with any part of our target is unacceptable. I have more than a few ryo to offer to you as I am not without money. If there's something else that can satisfy your needs, I'm certain I can handle it," she offers to him, raising a column of kikaichu to absorb his attack and stop it short. She then lowered the column, all the while funneling kikaichu into the ground in order to attack him once they'd gathered. Before long, they'd be bursting from the ground to bring some damage to him. She's follow it up by taking advantage of the moment to have a few kikaichu spray volatile acids onto him.
As the insects attempt to come down on him, Youkio leaps to the side to avoid them. He cuts around and thrusts his fists toward her. As he does so, they glow with ki, leaving an after-trail as he feigns and leaps into a side-flip kick and attempts to bring his foot down on the back of her head. "I didn't realize we were bartering."
Etsu tried to follow Youkio's movements closely enough and seemed to be having some success so far. Her eyes watched his fist thrusts and she prepared her kikaichu to receive the blows that would be coming toward her only to end up being a feint. With kikaichu still wandering around within her, those with the earth element gathered over her body and shielded her from the impact, allowing her to stand and take the blow without much harm to her body. Without much hesitation, she sent the kikaichu forward to swarm around him and drain him of his chakra while also causing some damage. "There must be something you want aside from this target…"
As the bugs come his way, Youkio leaps to the side once again, though a few do manage to catch onto his arm at the last second and drain some of his ki. "Like what?" he asks with a smirk as he begins to push ki throughout his body. His hair turns pure white and start to grow down toward his shoulders, along with some appearing facial hair. The man seems to actually grow a bit height-wise and in muscle, his ears becoming pointed and face taking on a more feral look. "Round two," he says with a dark chuckle, voice a bit deeper now, before lunging toward her with ki surging through his hands and he moves in a fierce combination of punches, one at each side of her head.
Etsu grumped as she lifted another column to take on the combo strike, effectively absoring them in the same way she did other attacks prior. As she sees him change, she winces from behind her goggles and questions begin to surge through her mind. If anything, she thinks she might have to report this when she returns back to Konoha. "I don't know what you want, that's why I'm asking," she stated and sent a swarm of kikaichu toward Youkio once more to provide him with an acid bath while directing the others toward their target to protect to cloak him so that he could be sent off to safety.
"And I already answered you," Youkio replies as he steps out of the way of the bugs. He lunges toward her once again, attempting a fierce punch straight toward her gut then her cheek before the last one leaves an after-image of ki as he leaps into a flipping kick just like before. "What more do you think I want?"
Etsu had to get this guy off her and keep him back, so she had two waves of kikaichu sent toward him to force him back so she could take the time to focus. She didn't mind staying back so long as their target was well protected and cloaked to continue on to the Land of Wind. "I don't know, but if you don't want anymore…" She allowed her voice to trail off as she refocused her chakra to be able to maintain the fight in this battle.
As more waves of those blasted bugs get in his way and push him back, Youkio lands about five feet back from his previous standing point. "Not bad," he says with a smirk. "I suppose our little draw will do for now. It's not that satisfying, but it'll do." That said, he turns and starts walking away. Lifting a hand, he waves to the girl as he reverts, apparently quite serious about just leaving now. "See ya around, kid. Good luck.
Etsu was ready to give more, but the battle drew to a close. She waited, however to make sure that Youkio had wandered off enough for her to be secure and even still, she decided against uncloaking their target so that the team could ensure his safety to the Land of Wind. Once she returned from this mission, she thinks she should inquire into the one she just saw. She should have thought to ask for a name, but a description may serve her well enough.