Date: October 10, 2012
Part 1 of the Plot to the Kitsune Realm begins when Soren, Sakuryu, and Fuuta all meet up at a village being plagued by fox spirit.
"Kitsune Crisis Pt.1"
A moderately sized village near the Land of Waves
"Come'oooooon Raindrop move your rump! I've seen corpses move with more gumption than you." Fuuta calls out back to Sakuryu. It was intensely humid today as the two traveled the countryside on route to their new assignment. The sun was at its summit and bore down upon the land with heat that shamed Hell itself. Fuuta actually was shading himself under an umbrella but he still suffered the humidity. "Maaaaaaaan it's hot. Yoko Fuutama does not approve of this." he'd begin picking up the pace when Sakuryu caught up. Why was she so far behind? Well that's simple. Fuuta's hands are full, with umbrella in one hand and the other hand used to sign autographs should he come across a fan (Fuuta's own words). Therefore Sakuryu had to carry all the overnight supplies and equipment. It wasn't much but for someone of her physique in THIS heat well unlike other's Fuuta would call this 'tough love'.
They'd actually be upon their destination soon. The client was the mayor of a village that was being terrorized by a fox apparition. Fuuta and Sakuyu were both very curious about this. Fuuta was of a clan which worshiped Kitsune and shared a spiritual bond with them. He felt drawn to this in more ways than one. The attacks left several villagers in comas. Despite his respect or interest in kitsune Fuuta had to be on guard and he hoped Sakuryu would do the same. They arrive at the gates of this modest village. As discussed the mayor's aid was there to meet them. Before he could greet them Fuuta is already at it "Stay thy breath commonman and present the manifestation of all your envy, Yoko Fuutama, with some water. Ice water. No wait scratch that Raindrop over here can create the ice. Anyway it's inexplicably hot! Oh…we're the Kirigakure Shinobi sent to assist you with your problem, situation yadda yadda yadda…..where is my WATER?" he asks.
Sakuryu trudged along. "Unnghh why…did…you….make…me….carry…all this!?" She asks as she carries the things along. She was the one that is supposed to use her parasol and to carry light, her body was STILL in recovery from all the recent attacks…and kidnapping….and other assorted events. "I'm hurrying, you gave me like….ten tons of junk to carry." She grumbles as she walks along.
Saku was very interested in this fox attack, she had a feeling from the location, local legends, scrolls from the libraries, and rumors that there might be true fox spirit problems instead of someone being a nuisance as was thought. With a sigh she relaxes at the meeting spot. As Fuuta prattled on Saku got more and more tense, her hands balling up with a little growl before her hands flew into the seals soon, a heavy ice cold blast of air would hit Fuuta, probably the largest Ice Style: Chilling Wind Jutsu she had ever released/ "There you go Fuuta-San~ Better?" She asks in a clearly agitated praising voice.
The travel time for this particular trip would've been a lot longer if Soren hadn't been rushing them. Regardless, they made great time. The advantages of a pair of Taijutsu specialists, plenty of stamina to work with. Regardless, they had rested and slowed their pace recently, giving them a chance to rest and recover their strength, so they would be in top form as they arrived.
The blast of frigid air, and the frost crystals formed around meant those two were obviously ninja. So the town had already sent for aid. Regardless, Soren had dragged Yuzuna out here, they may as well offer their help. He glanced back towards Yuzuna as they strode closer. "Looks like this could be the place." He wore a much darker suit than was his norm, a black, frayed cloak billowing out behind him the finely crafted suit of combat armor hugging his form nicely, elegantly crafted pauldrons, and stitched shirt and pants the only distinguishing markings on his outfit. Various armor plates and bracings strapped in place, his armor looked almost ceremonial, but still fit for battle.
AS they approached, Soren gives a small wave. "Ho there… is this the village plagued by the supposed fox spirit?" he yelled from about 25 feet out. Far enough to maintain a tactical safe point if need be.
Way before the pair even slipped into the village her pale opalescent eyes were watching over their surroundings, if not from curiosity but sheer habit as well. Yuzuna is silent all the while as her gaze looks over buildings, huts, people, as if absorbing details of their daily lives. Indeed, there seemed to be a few shinobi around. A bit more than she through there would be for a rumor about a fox spirit, so perhaps the village or whoever the client currently is sent out word. "It does." she murmurs lightly in agreement, thoughtful.
Sakuyu's blast of cold air was refreshing at first, for about 2 seconds, then it felt as though a fridge old woman was clinging to his very skeleton chilling him to the marrow. Fuuta shudders and drops his umbrella as he tries to warm himself. "Th-tha-tha-that's Fuuta-sama t-to you." The aid just watched the two in a bit of shock. "You two are the….professionals?" he asks skeptically. Fuuta looks to him "Y-yeah? Wh-why do we not l-look, goddamnit Raindrop that was cold…." Fuuta would be shivering for quite some time. The aid shakes his head "No nevermind. Welcome and-" a voice calling out to them in the distance interrupts the introductions, crude though they may be. Fuuta turns around seeing a silhouette of a cloaked figure in the distance. "Yes it is. You must be the one I sent for." The aid answered Soren.
Fuuta blinks in confusion. "The mayor was prodded into making a hasty decision which lead to your being here. I on the other hand decided to go with an alternative who I felt better met the stipulations and needs of this predicament. Unfortunately now we have you both. No matter though we must make haste hurry." the aid turns around to lead the group of shinobi into the village after waiting Soren and his partner Yuzuna.
As he leads them through the village they'd notice the absence of people out on the roads. Eyes watched them from buildings and huts. Eyes of desperation and distrust. The aid goes on to explain that shinobi had been called in before but they also met the same end as a few of the victims. Sakuryu is relieved of the luggage when the aid instructs a couple of men to take her and Fuuta's things to the lodging prepared for them. He then goes on to further explain. "Technically should take you to the mayor but we don't have time. As you can see the people are tense I fear they may begin to panic or take drastic actions soon. This may seem a bit unorthodox but I'd like for you all begin handling this right away. We simply don't have the luxury of 'procedure'." he pauses ready to accept any questions, concerns or requests.
Saku nods a little bit, stretching out slightly as she watches them all, the bags heavy as she picks everything back up. "Unngh, you deserved it." She huffs a little bit, starting off for a slow trek towards the huts, gladly relinquishing all but a few small bags to the aids as they come to take the bags. Saku just nods as she listens to the Aid and the other people, her eyes slowly flickering over the few people and the new followers, a low hmmm escaping her lips as she taps along.
Soren and Yuzuna weren't the pair originally hired by the aid, but they were here to do the job, so may as well not argue. Regardless. Soren's stride is swift and purposeful, but he gives a pause at Sakuryu. Seriously? Was this guy seriously that kind of person? Well, this was going to be a pleasant mission. "How many attacks have there been so far? And have the attacks been localized in any specific areas?" He glances back towards Yuzuna. His focus was needle sharp. He turns back and looks at Yuzuna. HE glanced at the other two. "Well I see no reason we shouldn't introduce ourselves? Asano Soren, at your service." he says bowing a bit from the hips as he walked, following the aid.
Yuzuna moves easily to keep pace with Soren, though her attention was divided between the other group and the obvious fact that there were no other people about. No citizens doing every day chores. It gave the village a fearful, almost eerie presence that was close to foreboding. And they've have other people hired before for the same mission, all having met their ends. No wonder the people that lived here were scared. It was a bad sign alright. Turning her raven head, Yuzuna catches Soren's glance for a brief moment before he introduces himself to the aide. And she doesn't hesitate to follow suit, though only with a slight bow of her chin. "Hyuuga Yuzuna."
The aid would answer Soren's questions after the introductions go through. Fuuta was eager to announce himself in the eccentric over-the-top flamboyant way he normally does but someone has him on ice right now. The best Fuuta could manage giving his condition, much to his dismay, was "Y-Yoko Fuuta-ACHO!" he sneezed midway through his introduction. "Yoko Fuutama." he looks to Sakuryu and shoots her an accusing glare. "Well I am Takahashi Shiro." The aid introduces himself returning a bow to the group. He looks to Soren "Now to your questions. There have been several attacks. I believe the last number I recall was 8 or 7. However there are 12 victims not including the shinobi that were attacked. The attacks all occurred around the same area. There is a field beyond a forest pathway nearby some ruins in which an herb commonly used in medicine grows. After the first two attacks we urged that all avoid the venture there. However there were, as always, a few deviants who neglected to heed this warning. But the herb that grows in the field is very important to the health care of the villagers. A few brave young men volunteered to make the trip to gather a good supply to last us until help could arrive. They weren't successful. We found each victim lying on the ground somewhere on the pathway. There were no attacks along the forest pathway which led us to believe the field where the herb grows is most likely where they were attacked." he explained.
Fuuta would speak up now "So what makes you believe it's a fox spirit that's attacking these people?" Shiro closes his eyes for a moment. When he opens them they avert from the group. If Yuzuna read his body language with her Byakugan she'd see that he was becoming a bit frightened at the memory. "I saw it." he looks to them finally. "The 4th or 5th attack I accompanied a few brave souls. I stayed behind along the pathway. Hours went by and I began to fear the worst had happened to them. I was about to head further to look for them but the pathway became darkened and I saw it at the end. A monstrous creature with fearsome glowing eyes. It let a piercing howl loose and the darkness faded. They appeared then on the road." he finished.
After all questions were answered Shiro lead the group to the pathway he'd spoke of. The sun was setting leaving the sky hazy. "If you continue further up ahead you'll come to the field. And if the pattern holds up you will be attacked by this creature. Best of luck. I'll await your return. Just follow the path back to the village." Shiro bows to each of them and leaves them to begin their venture.
Sakuryu hmms a little bit, pulling out her notebook as she starts to quickly jot down notes for the whole situation, mumbling a few things under her breath. "Hmmmm sounds interesting, Any evidence of the attack? Wounds? Distinguishing marks?" She asks with a little stroke through her hair, completely ignoring Fuuta's glare, showing her own icy disposition to him.
Soren continues to nod at the aids explanation. "How big was it? Has there been any evidence of a new large animal having moved into the area? What about the village animals? Have they been spooked at all?" he continues to ask. He then turns and glances at Yuzuna. "Sound like anything you've ever heard of, Yuzu-chan?" he says, running through the list of creatures he had encountered in his years of traveling. It certainly was an odd one. "Wait… it gave them back to you? I'm assuming still unconscious, but still, it gave them back?" he asked, blinking a few times.
A tinge of rose colors her cheeks, but Yuzuna merely presses her lips softly together as she shakes her head to Soren in reply. "No, I do not recollect ever hearing a tale of such a creature. Foxes in general are very cunning, so I can only speculate why a fox spirit would chose to continuously attack those that come here. Something significant must have happened in order for this to have started happening in the first place." Her pale opal eyes pull from Soren to glance at the others, lingering only briefly before looking to Shiro.
The aid simply shook his head to the remaining questions. He stated there were no marks, wounds, or anything of the sort. The victims just 'appeared' on the path still alive but they never opened their eyes. He didn't know of any beast of this world that was capable of putting people in a comatose state without harming them physically. The aid could only explain what he saw. The evidence or lack thereof suggested that the work was of something supernatural. Fuuta folds his arms "There is an old tale of a demon fox spirit inhabiting a stone after being hunted and killed. The stone became known as the Killing Stone. There are a few plays about it too. Fox spirits are definitely capable of such things. They're abilities are beyond that of man. Still as the lady stated…" Fuuta motions to Yuzuna "Something had to bring about this behavior. This 'vengeance' or whatever reasons this spirit attacks." Fuuta looks to Sakuryu "Hey Raindrop. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't there something that caught your attention about this location?" Fuuta asked her. The aid by this time had gone back to the village.
Sakuryu nods as she pulls out a rather old looking book. "Hmmm yes, there used to be a path nearby here where the locals would give thanks to the local spirits, the most deified of them all being the fox. It was said that when the people gave thanks he would come alive from his statue and walk amongst the people, where he stepped the ground would turn into a strange and leafy grass. The locals picked it and found out it's curative properties giving it the name of the fox fern. Hmm…. though it also says that the shrines were abandoned……..a good amount of years ago due to a bad storm wiping out a lot of it. Seems that when they rebuilt they just forgot about the shrine since..well….this book was in the deep part of the archives." She holds it up for others to see, it's bound in hand strewn leather with a hand carved wooden cover.
Soren glances at her. "That could've been it. Spirits have a different concept of time than us, or at least are likely to being immortal and all that. This could just be it noticing, and getting angry." He glanced around, keeping his pace up. "So does anyone know what a fox spirit's favorite food is?" he asks, grinning a bit. "I think our best option is to try and appease it. Although, how we'll go about that… that's a bit over my head. Do you have any information on how the locals gave thanks? Raindrop-san?" he looks towards them in turn, before looking towards Yuzuna. "Any suggestions?" he says, a brow quirked a bit.
"Hm." Yuzuna ponders. "Luring it out is one option. Trapping it would be another. But this would be easier if it was an actual physical creature instead of a spirit. Perhaps we should consult a shaman. There should be local customs and traditions to 'appease' the spirit as Soren-san suggested. We could try that maybe." A small hand rubs at her chin for a brief moment in thought before Yuzuna lifts her pale lavender eyes up at the group. "I do know that we should not rush something like this. That is the last thing we should do."