Date: January 30, 2014
A rogue ninja and his band make a move on a gold statue protected by Konoha nin, and receive some unusually savage retaliation from Kaito.
"Malicious Mr. Boom"
Land of Fire
Another day at the office. Or not, Kaito and Noab get summoned for an A-rank mission. Not A-rank due to the risk, but A-rank due to the paygrade. These are some serious clients the Hokage can't afford to lose! Plus, they'll be transporting something of so much value it could be used to buy half the village. So it is entrusted to no-one less than the lazy Jinchuuriki and the Akimichi who is not fat, but merely big boned. What are they transporting exactly? Well, it's waiting under a big cloth just outside the gates in a rather puny looking cartwheel. But essentially it's a giant golden buddha studded with several precious stones… Its destination? It's a gift to the Daimyo of the land of birds. The exact location they need to bring it to is a monastery close to the center of this rarely visited, rather isolated piece of land that calls itself a country! Make no mistake though, the land of birds is affluent and rather unique in its trade! The fat man with the funny curling mustache is seated on a foldable chair that's bending to the point of breaking right in front of the statue. "My it is hot out here!" He says, immediately receiving a refreshing gust of wind from an overly attached accountant-type donned in black robes wearing cute glasses. Using a fan usually found in the hands of courtesans or Geisha's!
Today's mission is pretty much a cakewalk by the looks of it, which is perfect since Kaito's been sent on this one with an old man. Oh well, slow and easy makes for a peaceful mission with a nice check at the end… With one eye open as usual, Kaito approaches the gate where the transport is waiting, yawning a bit as he spots the rather flamboyant man with the fan. Is everyone besides him associated with this mission fat? Maybe the Hokage is trying to either get him to eat more and threaten him with what he may look like one day if he doesn't stop being so lazy. Either way, it doesn't appear he's taking it too seriously as he approaches, lifting a hand to wave. "Nara Kaito, reporting for duty."
Noab trudges out to the mission rendezvous point. A part of him reasons that this mission is nothing to complain about, that there is tactical value in shows of goodwill, that the merchandise they're guarding has plenty of actual value and does need to be protected…but of course the other part, which won't quit talking in the back of his head, says they're babysitting a hunk of monetary material that's been shaped into an 'artistic' form to stroke the ego of its aristocratic recipient. e.U Well, beats fighting in the trenches for some muddy scrap of land. "Akimichi Noab, reporting," Noab grunts as he comes up. He eyes the cartwheel with the cloth draped over it. "Should we take a look at the merchandise before we go, just so we'll be able to tell if somebody attempts a switch or something?"
"Feel free, it looks marvelous!" The man says in a voice so fabulous his … interests are made clear from the second words exit his mouth. "I just thought it would be wise to cover it up so prying eyes would be averted, at least a minimal defense don't you dare say?" Don't you dare say, what the heck does that mean!? "Hmm~?" Without even waiting for them to check however the man snaps his fingers, slowly getting up, the stool he was using letting out a sighing cringe of wood that could only point to sweet relief. It would live to see another day! "We move slowly, the horses drag the cart so all you need to do is make sure it doesn't stop." Simple enough! The man moves over to the pulling cart and truddles his way over to the driver. "SHOTGUUHHNNNN~" He says while waving his fingers around. Pointing onward while holding up an upside down map. Yes, quite extravagant this one. "This is so exciting!" He says while clapping his flabby hands together. "On a mission with actual ninja!" The man slowly drums his hands on his knees, seeming in quite the upbeat mood about the whole thing as the small caravan gets on the move.
Kaito is silent for a bit, offering Noab a nod in greeting before he goes still enough that one might wonder if he's actually gone to sleep already. He lets Noab's question be between him and the driver since he's the senior shinobi on the mission, and he'd rather just leave it to him. Once the cart finally starts to move after the explanation of the mission, he simply walks behind it for now, perhaps actually wanting to stretch his legs for a little while for once. It probably won't be long until he uses the lazier mode of transportation, though. "If this takes too long, I'm gonna start charging by the hour," he says in a somewhat joking tone, stretching his arms out a bit as they go along.
Noab eyes Kaito as they start moving along. "Don't clock out on me, Nara," he growls. "Your senses are clearer than mine, you're more likely to detect trouble before it happens, IF you stay sharp. And it's almost a guarantee that somebody'll be desperate enough to come after a prize like this." The material worth of the statue alone would twinge the nose of any bandit within a hundred miles, and a particularly savvy group would try to ransom it back to the original senders, so they can avoid the embarrassment of a promised gift undelivered.
Sniff sniff, sniffffffff… About twenty miles down the road a set of rather unsavvy highway men prepare an ambush. "You smell that boyysss.." Hisses the obvious leader of the group. "Smells like gold to me." No he's not an Inuzuka. He's just pep-talking his men! "But what if the tip isn't accurate!?" Says one of them, only to be grabbed by his collar and dragged closely to the leader of the band. A huge hulking bandit with connections. "The tip is good." He shouts out, before tossing the poor bastard fifty meters back where they came from. Only to have him come down with a loud thud after a long drawn *SOOORRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYHHHHHH Thud*
These bandits were a small coalition from the bandit commonwealth of four. Four independent countries without villages breeded bandits by the dozen. And these bandits occasionally join forces under the leadership of this hulking man. Who's in fact a missing nin from Iwa! Most know him as Tokugawa. Or perhaps by his bandit name: Mister boom!
Meanwhile the caravan happily rolls on through the land, seeming to have a rather easy (as expected) time getting through the land of fire!
"I'm always aware," Kaito responds with a slight smirk in Noab's direction. "People just always assume that sleeping means I don't know what's going on around me." He chuckles a bit as he looks back ahead, finally leaping into the air where a surfboard of water forms under him with a single handseal formed. Kicking back on it, he floats up to look ahead on the road, yawning a bit as he keeps a better eye on things while also being lazy.
Noab scowls at Kaito's flippant attitude and showboating. "Waste of chakra," he mutters to himself. 'Course, it's not too likely to make a difference, given Kaito's…enormous source…but it's the last round of ammunition that counts the most. Noab keeps his own eye on the surroundings, weak as it may be. He's lost comrades due to negligence before, both his own and that of others.
Something is off, any skilled tracker would notice instantly. And ninja's who have been in the war… Well, they too! Shifted bushes, broken twigs, flattened out grass. Someone is moving out in front of them, making it a point to stay by the sides of the road. Though far enough ahead for Kaito not to see him from his elevation.
"Whoever's after this thing isn't too bright," Kaito reports down to Noab with another yawn, a round-about way of telling him to expect danger up ahead. "Not sure who it is yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough." Proper his head up with his hands, he glances around and merely follows along with the transport still, keeping count of things that seem out of place to try to time when they are going to be ambushed.
Noab snorts. "Soon enough for what? To head them off before they can act, or just for you to avoid falling asleep?" :P Noab trudges up to the driver. "There's probably going to be trouble soon. Don't panic and don't run. I'll put up some defenses around you when things get rough." Noab starts building up his chakra for the fight to come.
Once they get within sight of the small elite bandit force awaiting their arrival, just over the border of the land of fire the trap is sprung. Or is it? This one isn't one of those ambushes apparently. Tokugawa suddenly appears, clearly he's as fast as word goes. Oh and, if they want to make a nice bonus, there's six million Ryo on his head alive. And two dead… But they'd need to bring his head…. "Greetings, if you don't know who I am, my name is Tokugawa. And welcome to my game." The man muses calmly. "Now if you would be so kind as to hand over your statue, we can all go about our business and resolve this peacefully and quietly.
"Maybe both," Kaito says with a shrug of his shoulders, continuing to glance around with his single open eye as he inspects the area. When at last they get over the border, he chuckles a bit as the guy comes out of hiding. "Guess we get to actually work today," he says as he nonchalantly stands up on his surfboard to look down at the man, inspecting his face for a moment. "I've got a better idea. You come with us instead, and we'll collect a nice bounty off you," he replies, bringing his hands up in front of him, and a spinning orb of water would form from nothing to fire off directly at the man's sternum with the intent of incapacitating him.
Noab doesn't pause to bandy words. As promised, his first move is to erect an earthen barrier around the cart and its passengers. 'Course, that means they're trapped in a dark, airtight dome, but there should be enough oxygen inside to last them an hour or so, plenty to take care of business and let them back out again. With that accomplished, he turns around and hefts his axe. "We're not exactly pushovers, Tokugawa-san." Letting Kaito deal with the face of the attack for now, Noab scans the area for other, more sneaky approaches.
BOOM… Yep, explosive clone. "Do you really think I would fall for that, having gotten this far?" Asks a second clone moving up now from the same direction. Towards the rather sizable crater the last one left. The man calmly weaves some seals. "Fine, we don't need the statue as a statue anyways." He says, looking at Kaito for a moment. "So have it your way. I hope you're prepped for a bumpy surf BOY!" The man's gritty voice amplifies as he weaves a set of seals. "Explosive style, mortal strike-no-jutsu!" Suddenly, the group can hear explosions a little beyond the tree-line. Seems like their assailant decided to stay at a distance. Probably knowing they would need to get to him to stop the attack, thus leaving the statue alone! A few seconds after the initial explosions it becomes clear what happened. The explosions were used to propel a large rock into the air, straight at them! What's worst, it explodes again mid-air, creating smaller rocks! Which look like they're about to explode on impact…
Might want to thicken that earth wall a bit! A good thirty tennis ball shaped bombs soar their way, as Tokagawa's clone rushes up for Kaito, jumping up and clearly going for a simple punch … Obviously, the moment he touches anything he goes boom!
Kaito peers around once the clone explodes, searching for the original caster or more clones. When another comes out, he quirks an eyebrow at its words, looking up at the incoming stone and seeming to absolutely ignore the incoming clone that's about to get him with a haymaker. BOOM! With the strike, Kaito seems to burst into… a mist of water and steam off the explosion as the real Kaito is now on top of the earthen barrier with his hands held up. "Didn't anyone ever tell thus guy that water trumps fire?" he asks as a swirling mass of water comes up from his hands, forming into what seems to be a massive tornado of water that whirls around to take all the explosive rocks into itself to cause them to explode harmlessly far above the barrier.
Noab instinctively lifts an arm to shield himself as the clone explodes. >.U Oh, joy. Then he hears the further-off explosions. Don't exactly know what that could mean, but obviously the enemy is taking advantage of their lack of mobility to work from a distance. Noab forms some handseals and calls up an earth clone, who immediately rolls into a ball and heads off to investigate the source of the explosions. About that time Noab hears the cracking of the boulder in the sky, and puts two and two together (he couldn't really see that high up). Fortunately Kaito seems to be on top of that problem. "It's not exactly fire, it's explosive chakra, from the Iwagakure explosion corps!" Noab shouts. "Keep your guard up!"
Noab's clone is not so lucky, in the middle of the forest he's intercepted by several bandits who clearly have only one purpose. TO keep anything away from the source of attack! Another explosion, and a larger rock flies up this time. Creating a shadow covering Noab, indicating what's to come. Explosion corps indeed!
"Yeah, I've got it," Kaito says with a shrug of his shoulders. Since Noab only sent a clone in, the Nara decides it's time to fight dirty just like the bandits if they're going to actually protect their cargo. With a single hand seal, he turns his head to the right and then spews a powerful jet of water from his mouth that literally slices through anything it touches as he turns his head in a sweeping motion to carve out the treeline massively in hopes to reveal their enemies for the day, if not dismember many of them in the process.
Noab ponders while watching for the next development. "They'd need at least a small clearing to launch rocks from…probably fairly large actually, considering they seem to have plenty of them gathered and ready. How high can you go with that — " And then Kaito acts to make that whole swath of forest a clearing. o.U; Not that it's really likely to make spotting the enemy harder. Noab notices the shadow passing over him, and figures he's been targeted (useful bit of info in itself, it means the enemy somehow knows pretty precisely where to aim). He puts down his hands on the ground, and a wedge of earth sprouts upward, with the sloped side facing towards the falling object. Hopefully that'll not only prevent it from reaching Noab, but shunt its momentum away a bit. "We're not getting anywhere like this! You go engage the enemy, I'll stay and guard the clients!"
"Please, no DONT!" Shouts one of the guys by the forest, that gets decimated by Kaito's spear of water! *BOOM BOOM BOOM* Several explosions go off in the forest, eventually it just leaves a huge pile of dust, people rambling around … Kaito also quite unfortunately hit Noab's clone! A man by the edge of the forest holds up his hand. "P…Please! Help us!" *Boom* … The vest he was wearing explodes, ripping his head clean off, sending it flying past Noab and Kaito! A few droplets of blood landing on Kaito's face.
It seems Mr. Boom used his signature jutsu on his own soldiers! He loved to equip people with rigged bomb-vests that explode upon impact or when someone tried to remove them! Many of these soldiers are trapped in the fallen trees and rubble, a lot exploded, but there's more behind the lines, a good thirty, all of them scared, wobbling while holding a kunai. The only group without the bombs are a small elite force that surrounds Tokugawa. Well, elite for bandit terms still doesn't mean a lot. But at least they don't explode on impact. "What are you guys waiting on!? ENGAGE!" Yells Tokugawa.. "Or do I need to blow you guys up here?" The men swallow and slowly begin to charge into the dust, their shadows slowly approaching. Quite a reluctant charge into their most certain death!
Kaito glances up as Noab stops the incoming object, giving a nod and sighing a bit as he wipes some of the blood off his face. Destroying his comrades so easily. This guy is despicable. "Got it," he says, leaping off the barrier for another surfboard of water to form under his feet. He darts off over the treeline, going up into the sky a bit to get a better view of the landscape below as he tries to spot the real Tokugawa. He goes up high, eyes narrowing as he scans for the man's presence in preparation to attack.
Noab has no sympathy for the bomb-lashed bandits. :P They chose this line of 'work', they're attempting to steal and probably murder to do so, they deserve death, even if it's especially messy (in fact, Noab figures it's probably relatively painless). The guy who strapped those bombs on them, though…a part of Noab salutes his motivational genius, but mostly he loathes a commander who'd treat his soldiers like that. >P I mean, maybe if they were fighting for a good cause and had their backs to the wall strategically speaking, such a tactic could be considered admirable, but he's playing Kami-sama with their lives for the sake of stealing a chunk of gold and jewels! Ironic that there's so much violence over a buddha statue, if Noab put any stock in superstition or the like he'd expect the thing would be tainted by its arrival.
At any rate, not going to hold back against the bandits, but long-range engagement would be a good idea! Noab takes advantage of the pause in big ol' hunks of rock being blasted his way to blow a stream of fire at the line of charging bandits.
He's not hard to spot. Huge bulky man in between otherwise lanky thin charging bandits. Center in a small stand-still unit. It was quite obviously him. And by the looks of it, there aren't any others like him around. So he ran out of clones.. Or he simply didn't expect an attack!
Tokugawa is actually quite proud of his strategy. The reason revealing itself to Noab. A man with nothing to lose tends to fight like a lion. Or at least not chicken out! Noab catches a good ten men with his stream, most of them leaving large craters where they died, taking three more charging lemmings with them! But the rest of the small army is rather rapidly closing in!
What's worse, Noab's spidy senses are tingling… Oh no wait, that's his chakra sensitivity! Why is the ground buzzing!? …
As he spots the large man down below, Kaito narrows his eyes. "Ah, there's the cockroach," he says as he brings his hands up in a seal again. He spews forth another powerful jet of water, this time aimed directly at the man's neck and spin to follow him in its attempts to quickly behead him and quite literally cut this problem off at the head. *Badum-tsssssss* As he attacks, he blinks a few times as he starts to feel a little sick to his stomach… The heck? Did the Ramen House not have their food prepared properly today?
Noab looks at the situation as the enemy troops close in. Problem: close-quarters fighting would be extremely hazardous with all these walking bombs and their trigger-happy boss. Possible solutions: evade? Feasible, but Noab's pretty slow as ninja go, and anyway it would be far from ideal to leave the clients, even with them still shielded for the moment. Eliminate threat? Unlikely to be accomplished before some of them arrive. That leaves, prevent enemy movement. And as a bonus, that should make Kaito's job easier. Noab runs through handseals and puts a large part of his remaining chakra into the ground. "SWAMP OF THE UNDERWORLD!" Suddenly the earth turns mushy, sticky even, under the feet of the charging foes.
Noab finds his move rather successful! The small army of grunts are mostly stuck or too slow to approach without being decimated one by one! Giving him a clean break from the assault. At least for now. Unfortunatly for him, he forgot about the rumbling ground. Kaito now also gets to see why that is! Mr. Boom had his hand flat on the ground. "KATSU!" *BABOOM* Yes, he just blew up a large portion of the ground underneath and around Noab, causing the ground to literally collapse into a large hole in the ground. Including the golden statue and its crew! Thankfully no one is harmed by the initial explosion, but there's a lot of flying people to save from flying rubble and falling to their deaths! not to mention a giant falling golden statue! If only someone were big enough to catch that!
The man looks up at Kaito sending his aimed attack, which pierced straight through a grunt jumping in front of it. Tokugawa looks up and holds up his hand, his glove glowing up before an explosion is used to counteract the force of Kaito's attack, preventing it from harming Mr. Boom!
With Noab having nicely taking care of the incoming threat to the transport, Kaito is left to deal with guy who's so found of explosions. Maybe he should try to make him blow himself up as some sort of poetic justice, but turning him in for the bounty is a lot more inviting. Of course, as the guy actually counteracts a rather strong attack, Kaito realizes this might not be so easy. "Bring it," he says with a smirk as an aura of blue-ish gray chakra picks up around him, sprouting a pair of tails. With a menacing wink, he forms another hand seal, this time a massive pool of water suddenly shooting up from the ground around Mr Boom in an attempt to trap him in a Sea World-sized Water Prison. Of course, underneath this impressive display, the Jinchuuriki is beginning to feel even sicker, his transformation acting as a catalyst to kick the parasite into overdrive. One might suspect he's not quite himself as his other eye suddenly pops open, a look of rage in his eyes as he looks down on his target.
What on — they actually dug a pit that deep underneath the road?! O.U Why didn't they detonate that to start with, instead of making threats and bombarding them with boulders?! Did Mr. Boom have to come in close to do that, or were they just hoping to avoid the work of pulling a big gold statue out of the hole? Bah! Well, whatever the reason, Noab's got his hands full now, literally. He stretches and enlarges his arms using his clan's signature technique, reaching out to grab the carriage by its sides. Then he shoots his legs out to make contact with the side of the pit, semi-attaching them so that they slide with a degree of resistance down the wall. He knows he's not about to stop the whole carriage, he's just trying to slow it enough to prevent serious injuries. When he feels the carriage crash against the bottom of the pit, he slaps lets go and slaps his palms against the rock, bringing a quick arch of earth over the carriage's seat to protect the passengers from falling debris. Finally, he retracts his limbs and tries to shield his own head, relying on his natural toughness to pull him through the cave-in. >.U; Seems like the A-rank paygrade is getting its money's worth on this mission!
"You're not very bright for a Konohanite…. On a what is it? A-rank mission?" The man calmly says while surrounded by water. Clenching his fist to demonstrate what he means, lacing the water with chakra, causing the prison to literally explode around him. Underwater explosions… Quite impressive, would be a great Sea-world show! This break in resistance gives the man enough time to show off why he's so muscular! Jumping up rather rapidly. He's been a missing nin for a while, too dangerous for capture… Most people that got send after him got send back in a million pieces! He moves to punch Kaito! Better make sure it doesn't connect! His punches are rather… Explosive….. If it does it's aimed to send Kaito sliding through piles of rubble and fallen trees.
Noab is more successful, saving both the statue from most damage and the crew, who are at the point of fainting from the shock and stress! The rubble being rather heavy, but manageable for someone with Akimichi strength!
Watching the man blow up the area around him to keep the water from trapping him, Kaito smirks slightly and doesn't budge as he sees the Mr Boom coming right for him. BOOM! With another explosion, another clone of Kaito fades into mist. From directly behind the man on his board, the Chuunin spews another powerful jet of water at the back of his neck, this time at point blank range with no intent of giving him the chance to defend himself from his head being taken right off. While effective, this tactic is rather dastardly, even for a shinobi, perhaps not something he'd usually do.
The rubble at the bottom of the pit shifts, then a couple slabs are overturned as Noab pushes them off himself with a grunt. >.U Sometimes it really stinks being the defensive expert, it means you take all the hurt the enemy slings at your side. XP Noab moves over to the carriage and checks on the passengers — good, still breathing. The statue? Pfft, whatever, it's a fat lump of gold. If anything happened the artisan can buff it out later. Noab's more concerned about that horses even than that, though it wouldn't break his heart if Muffin and Mittens didn't make it.
Once he's sure the clients are safe — ironically, they're in a more defensible spot down here — Noab starts climbing out of the pit to rejoin the fight. He comes up over the lip just in time to see Kaito's attack. Noab doesn't think it all that dastardly himself, those guys have been trying to kill them, it only makes sense to try anything to kill them first. It does strike him as a risky move, though, and wasn't Kaito aiming to take the guy alive before? -.U Whatever, Noab's not greedy for the premium bounty.
Mr. Boom's eyes widen as he realizes he's lost the initiative, and he's in the perfect setup for an attack from behind. Pulling out all the stops, he makes a detonation out of his own back! >.< …But it's not enough to stop Kaito's high-pressure water jet at this range, and it successfully cuts through his cervical vertebrae. His head rolls to a stop, eyes twitching madly toward his men…and against all sense, for a moment it looks as if his wavering body is responding to his last will, bringing hands together in a seal. O.O; But the nerves in the decapitated corpse suddenly quite, and it slumps to the ground without detonating all of his troops. U.U; Needless to say, the remaining bandits don't have much fight left in them; frankly, most of them seem relieved their tyrannical leader no longer has a lethal hold on them.