Date: March 31, 2014
A team is sent to a hidden monastery to find and exterminate the hidden and very deadly Hashimoto 'The Dragon' Ginrei.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Monastery Madness - Part I"
Far East in the Land of Water
The sun is about to rise over the ocean horizon. Seagulls fly through the air looking for their morning meals. The only sounds are that of waves crashing upon the rocks of the twin mountains. In the water there is a small boat travelling towards an old wooden dock.
Tsiro sits at the front of the ship. His crimson eyes glare through the darkness of dawn towards the pier. It was a rickety old thing. It made sense. These people did not expect visitors. This was sacred ground. Tsiro glances back towards the other two in the boat before speaking. "Long ago, the twin peaks rose from the same island. The land was inhabited by many fisherman villages. After an earthquake desolated the area and caused the island to sink, these two mountains were all that was left above water. For some reason monks decided to move in."
As the first light peaks over the horizon, Tsiro points to the northern most mountain. "Those stairs lead all the way up past the clouds. There are said to be over ten thousand steps. The elevation is enough to disorient most attackers. Our target is up there…" Tsiro then takes a closer look at Akane to make sure she's still ok with whats going on.
Yuuka is for the most part silent where she sits in the boat, her back towards the water as the sea breeze flows through her snowy locks. Rickety or not, she didn't mind the boat. When Tsiro turns his attention towards them, the Swordsman gently lifts a pale brow as she shifts her attention from ocean towards him instead, listening. "Our target. What is it that we're doing with the target exactly?" Yuuka murmurs, mildly curious who would want to target a monk, and why. But customers often don't want to give a reason, as to hide identities and secrets.
Akane leaned against the wall of the ship as Tsiro spoke, telling them a story of the islands and how they had once been a single entity. She could not see the peaks he spoke of but it was not hard to imagine them. Apparently monks had decided to enter the islands and now considered the land to be sacred ground. She listened quietly, interested int he history.
She'd noticed Tsiro's watchful expression and figured he was expecting her to object or wax moral on him. But she showed not the slightest care that they were invading a monastary in order to kill or capture a specific man. She knew the rules of the shinobi world. No land was truely sacred. And she had no interest in upholding someone else's beliefs when she did not even know them. She nodded to Tsiro and glanced at Yuuka but otherwise showed no objections. She did have a question though which echoes Yuuka's to a point…. "What brought this 'Dragon' to the attention of shinobi?"
A wide, wide grin made its way across Tsiro's face as Yuuka asks her question. Akane's question was similiar. "The target use to be called Hashimoto Ginrei. Some called him Tatsu Ginrei or Ginrei the Dragon. According to the legend, this guy is ancient even by immortal terms. People are not sure if he is human or beast. Almost everything people know about him is based on rumors and stories that people tell their children. Any factual documents have either turned to dust with age or been lost in disasters."
Tsiro stands as they arrive at the wooden dock. He moves up to the dock quickly, expecting the others to follow as he starts up the massive steps. They had some time to kill… "From the stories, this monestary was formed about the same time that Ginrei dropped off the map of the known universe. There have been some reports from fisherman about dragons flying around the night sky. There are very few consistent details. The only consistant details is this area. That suggests the monestary up top is harbouring a fugitive. We are to execute Hashimoto Ginrei for crimes committed against multiple clans…"
Listening silently for a moment, then another, a frown quietly knits at her brow with thought. Immortal? The hull of the boat touches the dock and Yuuka rises to her feet as the story continues to unfold, the steps rising before them appearing to be a daunting task ahead of them. "If that's the case, and he's supposedly immortal, then how exactly are we expected to kill him?" she asks. Some time to kill indeed…
Execution. Akane kept her expression neutral as she followed Tsiro closely. But of course it was an execution. The woman had come along to learn, ostensibly to learn the way business was done in Kirigakure so it made sense that she would be brought along on an execution right off the bat. She let out a short breath that could be considered a short laugh. She'd done far worse than executing an old man since she'd come to Kiri, let alone in her life. There was a reason she had not found a home in Konoha. This was it. She had always thought shinobi were murderers, killing for profit, hitmen and women doling out death with closed hearts. She was hard pressed to argue with Tsiro's obvious opinion that Konoha was full of bleeding hearts and not the kind the Kaguya male prefered…..
As they moved along Akane kept to the back of the group. The Mizukage had informed her that as the medic on a mission she had taken too many risks in the past and thus had endangered others ont he mission. As a medic as well she was expected to watch out for the wellbeing of the other team members rather than fight ont he front lines. She made an effort to keep that in mind now as she knew in no uncertain terms that both Yuuka and Tsiro far outpaced her meager fighting skills. She was still healing from Tsiro's 'lesson' in the arena after all.
Akane blinked at Yuuka's question and found herself suddenly wondering the same thing. She looked to Tsiro for the answer. Hopefully.
"The same way you kill anything else. You send two Kaguya in after it." Tsiro states without thinking. He had actually pondered the question himself before the boat trip. "Everything can die. Without death, life cannot renew. I am not worried about how to kill him. I just hope the stories are exagerrated. I do not care to deal with a fifty foot serpent that can fly through the air like a fish to water."
Tsiro continued to climb the steps, eager to meet his challenge at the top. "There is an issue. The monestary is made up of all men. Women are considered…" Time to choose the words carefully Tsiro. "impure.. Then again I doubt they view me as pure either. I would like to sneak in and sneak out if possible. That means we will need to stay to the shadows or henge. It is up to you."
Tsiro's eyes traveled towards the edge of the steps and the view below it. The waves could be seen crashing against the rocks. It was quite a drop to the bottom. Probably a fatal drop. "By the way, watch your step. We do not want to alert them to our presence by losing one of us."
"Exaggerated…" Yuuka murmurs. "The stories are likely just that, but I will not discount that possibility either." By refusing to believe that the stories could be true would just invite trouble. The lethal kind. She exhales a small breath and glances up the stairs again. For a moment Yuuka just looks up the side of the mountain, before she lifts a brow and glances back to Tsiro, curious. "Impure, hm?" she murmurs. "Henging might make it easier to move about."
Women were impure huh? Akane could tell he'd chosen the words carefully and she glanced at Yuuka to see her reaction to that. Akane wasn't suprised but it certainly helped her motivation to kill this guy… Or most of the monastary for that matter. But the mission was one execution and Tsiro wanted to sneak in, kill, and leave quietly. He also outranked her. Officially. Since she'd sworn her allegiance to Meruin Tsiro was now her superior. She was not very good at stealth, so she thought a moment and wove her hand signs, transforming into a thin, pathetic looking boy with plain black hair and dull brown eyes. He wore a simple shirt and pants combination that any pilgrim might wear. 'He' looked at Tsiro and Yuuka for approval.
The steps seemed to go on forever and ever. They weaves in and out of the mountain side. They were in surprisingly good condition for their age. There are signs that these shinobi were not the first to come this way. Tsiro reaches his hand out and points at the a skull of a man who obviously did not make it. "I expect this to be quite the fight if we are not able to kill him quietly. Akane, you are to remain near cover. You can fight a villager or two if it comes to it. The fight itself is going to be for Yuuka and I." Tsiro then stops and looks across the way at the other mountain. "I sure hope we got the right one…" he mutters to himself as he continues to climb. He was now leading the group into the clouds. Visibility itself was getting more difficult. Even the steps were becoming hard to see.
The higher they climb, the thinner the air was becoming, making it steadily more difficult to breathe. Yuuka's mind was on that more than the other peak. If they were on the wrong one, they'll just have to spend another day climbing. "If he's not alone, or surrounded by monks, should we lure him out somewhere solitude or just kill all of them?"
Akane was apparently good to go with her henge. But Tsiro's orders to remain hidden and to only fight villagers made her jaw tighten… And Kyoujin scream. She was worth more than that…. Calm, she counseled herself, perhaps he was testing her willingness to follow orders… Perhaps it was just because she was a medic, perhaps perhaps perhaps. She let out a small breath but then schooled her face, the face of a boy, and spoke one word. "Hai." She listened to Yuuka's question and waited for the answer. She'd been aware of the air thinning as well and had altered her breathing slightly to make it more beneficial, she'd be damned if she fainted on a mission like this…
Yep, the air was getting thinner as the group moved higher and higher. Even those accustomed to the trip would be having a hard time. Tsiro was taking his time, trying to allow his lungs to get use to the thin air. "For once, why cant the monestary be in a valley or something? No one ever makes them in a valley." It seemed the air was wearing on him a bit. Even his steps were becoming a bit more clumsy than usual. One of them had led to some of the step breaking off. Luckily for Tsiro, he was able to recover with his other foot. "If we must, we will kill them all. I do not know their skill level. One must assume they know the ninja arts."
Finally as Tsiro and the group exited the cloud, they were able to see the top of the mountain. It was surprisingly flat. There was a wall built around the top of it, much like a stone fortress. The steps lead up to a gate. There was not really any other paths to follow. "Well, do you all want to knock on the door, or are we scaling the side?" he asked. He was even a little impressed by the structure. "These guys must have had way too much free time on their hands…"
Yuuka turns her head just slightly to take a glance at Akane, keeping an eye on her and seeing how the other woman is doing for the most part. It's almost easy to tell that she's more than a little ticked off that she was told she'll have to handle the villagers, if there are any. Reaching out, a small hand touches Akane on the shoulder in a supportive gesture. "Relax." she murmurs, pacing her breathing just like the others. "It just means that he trusts you to have our backs. And that is a great deal of trust. Don't think you are unessential." It's probably a good thing that Yuuka is here to bring up morale, since it isn't exactly in Tsiro's repertoire.
Climbing steps through a cloud is a slow process, and more than once Yuuka using a hand as if to try to wave smoke from in front of her face, with no success. "I rather hope to avoid killing them all. It's such a waste. And getting blood out of clothes has become more of a chore than you might think…" When they finally do emerge from the fog of the cloud, the mountain actually plateaus. "Or they are very dedicated to their religion, to think this land is holy." she adds to Tsiro's line of thought. "Hm. Scaling the side might prove to be useless if we don't know where he is inside." Yuuka turns her snowy head to glance at Tsiro again. "What's their daily schedule? Do we know?" she asks. "If he has a set schedule it would be easier to catch him alone. We could come in from above…"
Akane noticed Tsiro's apparent trouble with the air but refrained from offering aid just then. One of his level and skills shouldn't be having so much trouble that a medic would have to step in. And she was sure he'd resent the offer anyway. If he got worse she'd say something, but for the moment she simply monitored him and Yuuka. Besides, she was having enough trouble herself. The air was cold as well as thin and she felt her lungs burn slightly as she took in less and less oxygen. She managed to keep the henge intact, though.
She jumped a bit when Yuuka touched her shoulder, the simple reaction telling of just how off she felt from the air. And as Yuuka suggested she relax Akane found she was tense and not because of the mission or even Tsiro's 'way' but just the fact that this was her first real mission as (unofficially) part of the village. She had yet to recieve the Hitai-ate, but her heaart had chosen and she wished to do well. Kyoujin just wanted a fight.
Akane in the guise of the boy nodded to her to show she understood and rolled her shoulders, hearing them pop hollowly. Despite Yuuka's assurance that Tsiro trusted her, Akane was pretty sure that wasn't the case but she let it slide. The other woman's speech about the schedual and locating the target made her think a second before hse spoke, her voice lower than usual to keep the henge's guise up. "Perhaps I can play the part of a pilgrim seeking the ancient one's wisdom. This was not an easy trip, a pilgrim might have hired guides or aids…. Protection from bandits."
Tsiro raised a finger to scratch his head as he thought. He then turns to Yuuka and gives her a confused look. "I am not trying to be mean, but in most legends unless the schedule plays a part of the story, its often over looked for more glorifying details. This is actually my first time here." He wasnt trying to be a smartass.
Akane's idea had some merit. "A pilgrimage requires a good story. I am not even sure what religion they study. They might buy it for a little bit, but eventually the story would fall apart. I am not sure if that would give us enough time to find this guy. About the only description we have is that he is old as dirt and has eyes of a predator." Tsiro was really hoping they had not come all this way for nothing.
"If we use the tree walking jutsu to climb the outside, we may be able to get a peak inside. Then we can henge into monks and at least search that way. Then again the air will get thinner as we walk. It will be difficult to use our chakra and make the climb…"
Yuuka just frowns at Tsiro. "But it's a monastery. And monks usually have a strict daily ritual. Who cares about legends and 'glorifying details, we're talking about here and now, the mission." What's so bad about asking if monks have a schedule anyways? She just gently shakes her snowy head to herself. "So he'll look really old, and possibly have eyes that are different than usual. Maybe reptilian. That isn't much to go on." Virtually nothing.
Akane tilted her head a little and eyed the walls. "If I were a monk I would be more suspicious of someone comming over the wall than through the door. If there was a way for either of you to keep track of me I could go in under the guise of a pilgrim, otherwise I'm not sure." She did not mean to repeat the same suggestion but going over the wall sounded like it would raise alarms much faster than acting like they cared about the religion.
Tsiro raises an eyebrow as Yuuka talks about the rituals and how monks have schedules. A vein actually starts to throb in his skull. "I wasnt disagreeing. I was trying to say that I dont know what their schedules are. This is my first time doing the stairs of death and coming here. If we knew the schedule that would be great."
Then there is silent from Tsiro. He's thinking again. Giant fortress… The thought only lasts a few seconds. "Gah. Against my better judgement, we're going to go with your idea Akane. We might as well all go in as pilgrims."
Tsiro places his hands together and performs the henge jutsu. He appears as an older man with a beard. A white beard. His eyes are now blue and his skin is slightly wrinkled. His clothes are that of a normal villager. His eyes then turn to Yuuka. "We are three brothers, seeking the enlightment of knowledge…"
Yuuka is silent as she lifts her hands and swiftly forms several seals, the henge jutsu poofing smoke around her, replacing the swordsman with a village boy about the same age as Akane. His scuffy brown hair is uneven under a well-worn hat. He messes with it a little bit, as if unsatisfied with the way it's sitting on his head, but then resigns himself to leaving it be.
Akane's face remained neutral, unmoved.. But inside she was suprised at Tsiro's accepting her idea….at all really, let alone deciding to go with it. Well, maybe she wasn't so useless afterall. She nodded, a sign she accepted the cover story and glanced to Yuuka as she transformed. Satisfied with that Akane turned to Tsiro and nodded, indicating she was ready. "If there's one thing I'm good at it's monking. Who does the talking?"
Tsiro was pretty sure this was going to backfire. He had a feeling about it. Three peasants trying to find enlightment in a place that probably had not had a visitor since the shinobi villages were formed. "I will let you do the talking. Just do not mess this up. I really do not want to have to chase this guy all the way down those steps… at least gravity would be working with us then…" Tsiro states before moving towards the door. He knocks on the door for Akane. He then whispers, "If they ask, I am mute." Tsiro knew he was not exactly good with words. It just seemed smarter to let someone else do the speaking. Between himself and Yuuka, the two should be able to communicate with Akane if she needed it.
Yuuka merely dips her chin in agreement with the decision for Akane to do the talking. Kaguya aren't really the verbal type after all. "I wonder if one of us should remain in hiding, just in case…" she murmurs softly, under her breath. But it's pointless now. They were already at the steps and anything would attract attention. Infiltration isn't Kaguyas' strong suit either. Best thing to do, get in and get out. Before they're noticed, or anything is noted as out of place or peculiar.
When Tsiro says he'll let Akane do the talking the woman blinked, the boy she was wearing looking positively stunned. Yes she was screwing with him.. just a little. Yuuka's hesitation spoke a great deal about the Kaguya's way with words. So when the monk opened a tiny window int he door and peered out at them Akane put on a show of being winded. She put her hand to her (his) chest and put on a weary smile. "Hello brother….. Might you be gracious enough to aid three pilgrims in search of knowledge?"
The doors slowly part and a voice says "Welcome brothers. Come in." There are no signs of a monk on the other side. Sure there are signs that monks live there, just not one present at the moment. Tsiro was actually pretty surprised that the gate opened. That seemed to work…
Then as quickly as they had entered in a half dozen monks appear wielding spears. "Do not move! Stay still!" The monks all seemed to be yelling commands at them. As the lead monk walks infront of Tsiro, he eyes him up. "This one carries a dark aura. Take them to the jail. We will put them before him when he has time." There was no idea who HE was. At least for Tsiro. He eyed the others pondering what move they would make. For now Tsiro simply complies with the guards.
An innocent smile appears on the brunette's boy's face as she hears the voice on the other side of the doors when they open, but—His bright eyes blink as there's no sign of the monk they had heard. Did he disappear? Curious. One step, another, and… they're surrounded by several monks with spears. Pointed at them. the brunette boy tenses when they command them to stay still, appearing awfully frightened at the sight of the spears. "Dark aura?" he squeaks, voice shaking. "But he's just a mute? How could he have a dark aura?" Almost fearful, he dares to pull his eyes away from the spears to glance at the old man, confused.
Akane moved in a placating manner, stepping between Tsiro and the guards, looking to the monk who spoke and gave orders. Yuuka's words spurred her on and she raised both hands placatingly, ducking her head as she did so. "Please, brother, he has merely seen many things in his life. We only wish knowledge and to offer what we may to you in return. We heard there was a great wiseman living here and only wished to speak to him, to further our understandings of the world. There is no need for this behavior…." She sounded entirely cowed as she spoke, ducking her head as though the monks were of a far greater station than the henge-ed shinobi.