Date: February 23, 2011
A Team of Kirigakure Shinobi and a Wanderer come to investigate rumors of a village of people that have all fallen dead in a single night.
"Just the Beginning - Investigative Mission"
Non-Shinobi Village in Land of Water countryside
Mid day, and the sun sits at its highest point in the sky. This small non-shinobi village seems to have turned into a complete ghost town. There are literally no villagers wandering, no one working, no one tending to their homes or gardens. Everything has gone silent in a single night. Any travelers that have come through obviously ran and told what they found, hoping they didn't catch some sort of strange virus. Spread out between places, all of the people of this village seem to have wandered apart from each other and died of what seem to be completely non-violent means. Their bodies seem to be drained, as if they all died from exhaustion.
Sitting in a chair in a garden in front of a house, a rather large young-looking man looks out across the empty village. Sipping on a glass of tea, he eyes each lifeless building. Bodies lie in the street, but he seems to have not made an effort to pick them up or even move them into a more respectable position. His cold eyes show no emotion as he looks around, rather calm about all this. In reality, he is actually just waiting for someone to arrive to see what happens.
Meruin called a halt to his team some half a kilometer away from the village, his eyes on the silent place. It hadn't taken long for word to reach Kirigakure, and it hadn't taken long for the village to respond, sending an investigation team, headed by the nine year old chuunin who was examining the lifeless place, his expression almost mirroring the tea-sipping man, unbeknownst to him.
"We will be preceded by a group of spiders. If there is any harmful microbes, they will be effected far faster than we." With this announcement made, a small cloud of inky blackness spread from his feet in the form of spiders before swiftly taking off in the direction of the village. "They will use what time they have to scout the area, if the disease is present. Come."
He started walking in the direction of the village once more.
Just a few feet behind Meruin is Yuuka, dressed in pale robes with the hood particially covering her snow white head. Her bright blue green eyes shift worriedly from side to side, clearly not liking this at all, that the village is literally a ghost town. "Alright…" she murmurs faintly, an automatic reflex in answer to Meruin, though no less reassured. When Meruin takes off, she blink her bright eyes once at the boy before hurriedly taking off after him, following in his wake like a shadow as her worried eyes continue to look around them in concern.
Takehiko joined Meruin's team to aid in whatever way he could. He was almost healed from his spar with one of the seven swordsmen, and he didnt like waiting for his body to continue healing, simply looking around. When Meruin spoke, his complete attention was on the boy and then he would follow after him, ice blue eyes looking about him as he follows.
Tsun would be somewhat of a distance away, not that she was being her 'what has recently been usual' cranky self, though she was simply keeping watch of the rear. Though she had become rather lax after the journey and her guard had slipped dramatically, well aware that if someone jumped them she'd more or less be fine. As for the others?… They should be fine!
When Meruin begins to speak, she'd come back to from her idle thoughts and glance up to him, a massive pink bubble expanding from her lips. The bubblegum bubble spreading just right up until he finishes explaining the situation where a soft pop would follow. Frowning, Tsun would pick at her face, giving somewhat of a nod to Meruin to show that she was listening. "Ugh…" Peeling off the last bit, she'd pop it back into her mouth only to realize the taste was gone. Nothing would follow the annoyed grunt, she'd just start digging around in her pockets for now.
After having stepped over numerous bodies, Touma's face betrayed his distaste as he walked through the village of the dead. He had heard rumors of the place and had decided to check out the rumors to see if they were true. With no one around he didn't seem to have a goal within the town nor anyone to ask, but soon, approaching a garden, he hears the sounds of humanity. Stepping around the wall of the garden, Touma adjusts his sunglasses as he spots a young man sitting in a chair sipping tea. He wondered if this man was the cause of all this death or if he had just gone nuts from it all. Kicking a body laying near his feet lightly, he addresses the man in the chair. "Someone piss you off or something?" He looks around the area before scratching his head, confused as to the mess.
When addressed by a man walking through the village, Junan looks over to him, quirking an eyebrow. "None of them appear to have even be harmed. It's been a long time since I've heard of an entire village falling like this aside from a bloody massacre." His voice is rather apathetic, face still expressionless, and he didn't really answer the question at hand. He takes a few more sips of the tea, finishing it before he sets it on the ground and then brings his arms up, crossing them over his chest.
"If there is a harmful microbe, it is not immediately effective," said Meruin, not too long later. "None of my spiders are showing any ailments." The eight year old kept his eyes on the nearby village. "And they have reported the presence of two human males, both appearing unharmed, unbothered, and in hunting condition. They are not far within the village. Be prepared for discrepancies. They prove to be the only current focused point of interest, at current time."
The others informed, Meruin fell silent, simply striding forward. His pace was a fast one, though the boy's small legs made it unlikely to be something the adults in his team couldn't handle. He soon led the way into the village through the rear of the village. "We are going to come in around them on all sides. Their current location is two houses down this road and four houses to the left. There is a well near them. I will approach them from the front of the house. Yuuka, take the left side. Tsun, you approach from the right of the house. Takehiko, you make your way onto the roof from behind.
At the news that there isn't a contagious disease it seems, Yuuka's slender shoulders relax just slightly with a faint breath, seeming both relieved and concerned when she hears that there are still two people left in the village. "If that is true… how are they still alive? And why? We still do not know what killed everyone…" She turns her snow white head slightly to glance at Meruin as he begins striding forward, frowning softly, but falling quickly into place to follow in his wake. "Left side… okay." Yuuka murmurs quietly in agreement, bright eyes full of worry as she glances up at the others for only a brief moment. Then she takes off in a quick run to the left side, following the road to the left side of the house as directed.
Takehiko would nod to the boy before giving a glance at Tsun then a longer one at Yuuka and would begin moving along the buildings as silently as he could, trying to go around the area where the two strangers were at, ice blue eyes looking about the area as he makes his way closer to the two men, giving glances to the various bodies about.
"A lot of things in the shinobi world can kill without actually touching, including most illusionary techniques." Touma says as he looks over the bodies presently around the man and him. "It definitely looks like a massacre of sorts, just not bloody." he adds as he adjusts his sunglasses before activating his Byakugan to get a better picture of the land. As he uses his dojutsu to scan he spots movement all over, blinking in surprise at signs of more life from bugs to people. "Interesting.." he says quietly to himself, wondering if the approaching people were the killers or if the killer stood in front of him. Either way he was going to stay alert.
"True enough," Junan says with a shrug, though the man is still close to figuring out what actually happened it seems. He glances to the numerous insects, quirking his eyebrow yet again before looking back up. "Perhaps it's a long-acting poisonous gas, and we're going to die soon, and you're going to take anyone else you come into contact with to Hell with you," he says, still apathetic in this sadistic statement. "Maybe these spiders have an unsually strong venom, and they're planning on killing us like they did the rest of the village… Maybe they all got bored and decided to see who could live the longest after drinking cyanide."
Meruin waited until the others began to move off before flickering from his location, reappearing outside of the small village. He approached the front gate and passed through it, his stride a natural one. He carved a direct path to Junan and Touma, arriving when the others should be converging on them as well. He came to a stop a small 15 feet away from them, saying nothing, yet.
Takehiko moves along the rooftops of the buildings, keeping the two men in view once they were in view but he kept himself hidden, before seeing Meruin coming 15 feet before them. He would then leap from a building, landing on a wall and then leaps from it to land behind them, now beginning to approach before stopping fifteen feet away from them, ice blue gaze regarding them both with a emotionless expression on his face.
"Well, that's always good to hear. We're not dying… instantly." Tsun would toss her hands up in the air and give a very dry, "Whooo.." Tsun would sigh, as they were still going into what can kill them later. "I'm gonna kill you if we die Meruin." A wink given to him to show she was joking, despite her feeling he wont take it as a joke no matter what ridiculous fashion she decided to put the comment in.
Tsun would then hold up a seal and a shroud of mist would gather and wrap around her and when it dispersed she was gone. IT ATE HER!
Then crapped her out a good distance ahead where she was now adjusting her positioning. With light foot steps she'd step over a body and press against a building. "Huh…" Tsun would observe, it was quite odd the way the two just sort of, hung around a village full of the dead and just had a casual conversation. At least, it would seem that way from her position. For now, no further action would be taken.
Though she would roll her eyes as the thought, 'Just one bite.' Would cross her mind over and over again. Hungry? Maybe a wee bit but, now was not the time for snacks.
Behind the sunglasses Touma's Byakugan follows the four approaching people, focusing on Meruin first as he approaches. "Well I don't think they decided to have a cyanide drinking contest, though the spiders may be a potential cause. It seems we have more guests, though." he says as he nods his head in the direction of Meruin, not mentioning the others though he did pluralize 'guest'. "Perhaps we have found the poison that killed all these people."
When a young boy approaches, Junan turns his head to him and gives a nod. Noticing the blankness of the boy's expression brings a few wondering thoughts to his head, though he finds it rather improbable that his is that way for a reason anywhere in the same neighborhood as his own reason for his expression being that way. As another young man lands behind and stops about the same distance from himself and Touma the other way, he chuckles a bit. "Tactical positioning, children?" he asks as he looks between them, noticing as the girl appears as well. "At least you do know to keep your guard up."
Uncrossing his arms and rising from the chair, he looks back to Touma. "Perhaps, but, for the amount of time I've been here, I doubt it… And the symbols they wear so proudly suggest they're from that… 'Hidden Village' in this country, whom I doubt would benefit from killing a possible source of food from crops, unless…" His eyes turn to Meruin, his apathetic speech perhaps showing a bit of amusement. "Perhaps you all decided to test some sort of biological weapon on your own countrymen before using it on your enemies?"
"If that were the case," promptly answered Meruin, "The bodies would be used for experimentation, training, or sent to those enemies as a message from the future. If we were public with the act. If not, there would be other measures taken." The Okumo-nin examined Touma and Junan both for a brief moment before asking a question.
"How is it that you are the only two alive in the entire village?"
From the left side, the Kaguya kunoichi steps out quietly as the wind sweeps through her snow white hair. Though the concerned and slightly worried frown still tugs at her soft features, Yuuka still stands steadfast while the others talk, glancing between Meruin and the man as he stands from his chair. She couldn't hear them, sure, but she didn't have to to know that what would probably unfold wouldn't be good, seeing as the only two standing here still in a small village of corpses.
Takehiko kept his gaze on them, his face remaining calm and emotionless as he only moves his eyes to give glances to the corpses about them then the people standing. When Meruin would speak, he simply remains silent, both hands resting at his side as he waits patiently. He wouldnt move close and infact the only movement he would even do is blinking and breathing.
"Well… that didn't last too long." Tsun steps out, the groan of her weight on her sandals audible as she reaches to a full standing position. Her right hand would give a lazy wave and she moves in a foot or two, still keeping a bit of a distance while showing a gesture of innocence. Her eyes would shift to the locations of the Chuunin, her eyelids lowering slightly as she observes their actions. Maybe these two were something to worry about! Maybe the fact that they're standing around suddenly extinct village should hint that she should be more wary!
'Seems like I'm doing it wrong.' A small smirk would show as she thinks to herself. 'What's new?' Tsun wouldn't bother to imitate the stoic ways of the males or the cautious ways of Yuuka. She'd hold her ground and shove her hands into her pockets. The question that was probably on everyone's mind was, already asked by Meruin so it was simply a time to listen.
Touma remains facing the one in front of them as the others come out from the woodwork. "Kirigakure ninja, huh. Well I suppose they wouldn't do something like this without cleaning up the mess." he muses to himself before he looks up as if hearing something, when really he recognized one of the ones coming out of the woodwork. "Hello Yuuka." he says though he does not turn his head in her direction from the side, freaky. "It seems we look suspicious hanging around these corpses." he says as he turns to the one that was sitting among the corpses moments ago. "Understandable, I guess, though at least I only arrived moments before them all to find you here." he continues, seeming focused on Junan now.
"Ah," Junan says in response to Meruin, though he doesn't actually seem surprised by the details of the response. At the next question, he looks around at all the bodies, emitting a low 'hmm'. "It would seem the populace decided they all wanted to take a rather long nap… Perhaps they may have at least served a purpose higher than themselves in their deaths, even if they were just normal beings." As another young woman arrives, he gives her a slight glance before glancing around at the gathering crowd once again. The others appears to be remaining silent for the most part, so the youngest of the group would be the leader then. Interesting enough.
"So, I imagine word of what's seemed to happen here has travelled rather quickly," the man says as he looks back to Meruin. "I'm curious, did they even think it might be wise to send a Medical Ninja along to investigate?"
All reports had indicated that there hadn't been anyone left alive in this village, from travelers. But, there was no point in letting Junan begin to build the extent of their information. "Our team was not my decision," was his only response to the question. "What is yours names and how long have you been within the village?"
"This is stupid." Tsun would peer at the two at the center, it would appear one of them were acquainted with her clanmate, though it was not enough to keep Tsun engorged in the situation. Tsun's coffin would creep open, a crimson tendril slipping out to 'lick' the cheek of one of the bodies before diving into it. Apparently this wasn't an action entirely decided by Tsun as she'd turn her head at the notice of movement behind her, looking a bit surprised.
Shrugging it off she'd look towards the two in the middle. "Nothing much we can do, unless you guys are some kind of body analysts… the deaths look pretty normal… from what I see, at least not a plague. It's too condensed, something this sudden would most likely have spread much further and have more devastating effects on the body." Tsun would fire an icy glare towards Junan and Touma. "It's probably these two, that or everyone's body decided to you know turn their souls off. They all taste like any other naturally deceased, they don't have that funky d-" This arguement would fade… and be followed by a moment of silence, her voice echoing a bit.
"Not… that I tasted any of them." Tsun's hand would quickly shift to give the tendril a harsh whap that causes it to momentarily disperse before withdrawing from the body and disappearing back into the coffin. "Anyway, I'm starting to go insane out here, we should let the other take care of the rest." Tsun's mind was not all with her, quite literally as her water manipulation would start functioning against her will again.
Fustrated to say the least, Tsun was ready for option A… to just off the two random people or, just leave. Either one would be much faster than poking at sketchy people. Ah, what a great ninja she is, though she has good reason to want to leave! Think of what may happen to the evidence if she were to stick around?
Touma gives a strange look to Tsun who seems to be speaking a little oddly. He looks over to Junan before asking, "What were you doing sitting out here anyway when I arrived, anyway?" His 'eyes' look over the man slowly for anything odd as the other Kirigakure ninja do not seem to know him. It seemed strange to him that a man would just be casually sitting in a garden surrounded by bodies, even if he had just arrived he seemed pretty comfortable. "And where did you get that tea?" he adds, feeling thirsty.
"Name?" Junan asks, a bit of intrigue in the back of his mind. It has been quite a long time since anyone's asked his name. "Akira… Nakagawa Akira. It hasn't been that long since I arrived here." Of course, who knows what his definition of 'not that long' is at this point. "Perhaps this has something to do with something like that ancient creature that caused so much trouble a while back," he says as he glances around at the group. When the younger of the girls uses some sort of water tendril to check out a corpse, he watches and listens to the explanation. At the last comment, he narrows his eyes a bit. "Right," he says before looking back to the others. When spoken to by Touma, he looks back to him, expression still blank. "Perhaps I was waiting to see if a Medical Ninja was going to come make any sense of all this and didn't want to wait for it to round the gossip vine." At the next question, he glances back to the glass on the ground
before looking back to the man. "I had it with me."
At Meriun's 'invitaiton', Junan quirks an eyebrow. "Is that right? Well, there's not much I can answer on this matter. If you want answers to what happened to them, ask a doctor… In shorter words, I believe I'll rescind since I can't help you." His words are yet rather apathetic, apparently not really worried about whether this was really an invitation or an arrest. "If you want answers on how it could have happened, perhaps you should look where I said before, back to the beasts. You just might find legends of a 'beast' that is capable of causing things of this nature." With that, he turns and bends down for a moment to pick up the glass he was drinking out of. Little souvenir of the first 'incident' to represent his return.
Tsun would peer off at the two, killing apparently wasn't an option. At least not one of the first options, the mention of needing the bodies intact would make Tsun's eyes roll. The girl would turn around, resisting any urges for her chakra to go in for another 'taste'. Akira's words seemed rather sketchy, though just about any set of words would if you were deadset on believing someone had something to do with a situation. Even Touma's lack of defending himself seemed strange, she was looking at things too harsh or… overlooking things? "Meh…" If they were to depart it would have the same effect, it would mean there wasn't much more to look at and an earlier chance of leaving this place.
At Meriun's 'invitaiton', Junan quirks an eyebrow. "Is that right? Well, there's not much I can answer on this matter. If you want answers to what happened to them, ask a doctor… In shorter words, I believe I'll rescind since I can't help you." His words are yet rather apathetic, apparently not really worried about whether this was really an invitation or an arrest. "If you want answers on how it could have happened, perhaps you should look where I said before, back to the beasts. You just might find legends of a 'beast' that is capable of causing things of this nature." With that, he turns and bends down for a moment to pick up the glass he was drinking out of. Little souvenir of the first 'incident' to represent his return. He glances back over his shoulder at Tsun, perhaps recognizing a sort of similarity behind her front face. With a smirk, he looks back to the glass before tucking it into his coat. "I'll see you around," he says before he
suddenly disappears into thin air. 'It has begun. That was a decent appetizer.'
A moment after Junan vanished, darkness burst from Meruin as a cloud of spiders, dashing away from him in all directions in a search for Junan. "Tsun," said the Okumo, "Create your mists and attempt to track him." He leapt onto the roof of the house, looking out past the village, canning the area for Junan. "Takehiko, Yuuka, accompany the Hyuuga.
"He comes with us."