Date: January 6, 2015
Preventive measures are taken to put an end to a prank war that has been escalating for months. The mission also serves as a final exams/field test of Arika's studies over the Shadow Clone technique.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"More Arika, More Fun - Field Test "
Village Entrance [Sunagakure]
The entrance to the mighty village of Sunagakure is a pair of towering sandstone pillars, with a banner bearing the symbol of the village strung between them. Guards are at the gates, greeting and questioning most of the newcomers to the village. They are wearing what would seem to be the usual wear for a Sunagakure citizen, long heavy clothes, covering the face and hair, to protect from the harsh winds, and driving sand of the desert.
Once a person is cleared through the gates, they enter into a bustling square just inside the entrance. There are many locals offering their services as guides through the desert, for those wishing to leave the great village. There are citizens selling the long cloaks and mantles that everyone wears, as well as dried and preserved food, fruits, and waterbags both empty and full.
Leading away from the gates of the city and further into the town is a road tiled with large flat pieces of sandstone and shale, which are being swept constantly to remove the accumulating sand.
There's a time for everything, and yes, that even includes pranks! And while it may be considered understandable to vent some of pent up tension caused by the recent "peace" agreement being broken through the art is well and good, there /is/ a such thing as an acceptable limit. Unfortunately, the younger of the two Koboyashi brothers — both of which are infamous for their trouble making ways — either did not quite understand, did not know, or the elder brother was exceptional paranoid! Either way, a team consisting of one Arika, Ayumu, & Kaidan were assigned the task of looking into the younger brother's activities and making sure that whatever schemes he had in mind were followed up on. Bothersome? Probably, but nevertheless, the trio had their assignment.
Fearing his brother intentions, the elder made mention of meeting him at the village gate around mid-morning if they wanted anything more from him. Why he could possiblye have felt safer there and around time remains a mystery meant for the team discover by following up themselves. Aside from that, they were to free to start wherever Kaidan decides to lead the team following their summoning to the mission assignment office.
Appearing at the village gate and having told the other two to meet him there, Kaidan is standing there, with his back against one of the gate walls, legs crossed at the ankle and his arms crossed as well. He idly looks off into the desert, hmming as he does and then looks back to where the others would likely come from as he also awaits the arrival of the eldest brother s they can get mroe info out of him. As he waits, he idly pulls up a piece of wheat to is mouth and starts to idly chew on the end, hmming as he ponders the situation.
I don't see that here.
Spiked up blond hair flows backwards over his head with some flecks of hair down over his forehead. His eyes are a greenish blue with a softly pointed nose and a smirking mouth with a strong jaw. His ears are pierced by a pair of gold rings that are worn loosely enough to move with him at times. He wears a trenchcoat like duster in a dark tan, dirtied with time and torn at the bottom. His right sleeve is ripped of revealing a right arm that is fully puppetry. His chest is bare with a bandage around his abdomen. His right arm is covered in the sleeve.
His blue pants are ripped along the right leg, tattered at the base to reveal that his right leg is also puppetry. His left foot is covered in a normal sandal which goes up to mid shin and has his pants tucked into it.
Arika follows after Kaidan, not hitching a ride on his back. Nor Ayumu's, for that matter. She wanted to try and stand on her own two feet for as long as possible! And, while she may or may not be best for whatever this job is, she can certainly try her best! The girl is bouncing with excitement from another mission. It's not as simple a D rank as previous ones, by the sounds of it. And she got to work with Kaidan and Ayumu, which is a bonus right there. "Kai-kun, Kai-kun, what's the plan?" she asks, poking a bit at the man.
To the untrained eye it would seem as if Ayumu materalized from nothing. In truth, he had during the last leg decided to give a show by bounding from the roof top of a nearby building to the ground just a few meters shy of the others. Aside from a few bags under the Iga's eyes, the man was his old foxy smiling self on the surface. "Indeed, Kai-kun~~ What is the plan my liege?" He asks moments after he appears with his head canted slightly to the side.
Belatedly, he straightens out and bows mockingly at the waste. "Iga Ayumu, belatedly and by the way… though I suppose that was obvious enough, neh?" He adds, smiling sheepishly after cracking pale seagreen eyes wide open.
Once the introductions are officially out of the way, it wouldn't take long to actually find the elder Koboyashi. Granted, it helped he had been search for them to, not to mention also the general description their superiors left regarding him. From his well-kept cloak, stylish done dark hair, and even the way the boy move screamed higher caste. And yet, he was involved in low brow pranks that have been escalating for awhile now according to the rumors? Impossible! In any case, until direct contact is made the boy just roams around looking worried and jumpy.
Looking over at Arika, he grins and states, "We'll start by not poking me over and over." He winks at her and then pushes up from the wall and takes a step forward, "And the plan, Ayumu-san, is to start by getting info. Given this mission is about info anyway." He nods and grins before starting off toward the nervous looking man in the nice clothes. He approaches and gives an exaggerated bow before standing up, "I believe you are the older brother of which we seek. Kaidan, at your service. This is Arika and this is Ayumu." He gestures to each, "We'll be helping you find out what your brother is up to." He chuckles, "Any info you have at start would be quite helpful."
Arika peers long and hard at Kaidan, then pouts. "But it's fun…" she mumbles, blinking a few times when Ayumu suddenly appears. And out of nowhere, too. She hugs him and hmms, following Kaidan again as they move to approach their client. "Hello!" she says cheerfully upon introduction, offering a bow in response. The girl seems to be impatient to set off, but also realizes that her desire to do this might be a bad idea. She struggles to calm down, taking a few breaths and thinking calm thoughts. ~Stop thinking of that horrible music~ that voice groans. 'You just don't like it cuz you get sleepy while it plays.'
Ayumu eyes grow even wider after the hug. He stands there as stiff as a board until Arika lets go. Immediatly after, he smiles apologetically and even pets her on the head if allowed. "Ohayo, Arika-chan." He says before his gaze cuts to Kaidan. "Mm, agreeable, Kaidan-san." And with that, Ayumu is ready to follow the puppeteer to the depths of hell for the success of the mission. Well, perhaps not really, but he does shadow the man along with Arika once he moves. There's only a brief pause at a belated thought.
"Arika-chan, After a bit of consideration, let's make this mission your final exams.. You know, regarding that special training." He says with a wink.
For his part, the elder Koboyashi doesn't start, but he most certainly comes to close to doing so. He turns, beaming an innocent smile and bows respectfully to Kaidan. "Hinata Koboyashi is most grateful for assistance. And I'm of course more than happy to help." The smile falters and transforms into something more grim as the Hinata looks away. "Haru-baka has gone too far I tell you! The paint was one thing, but real caltrops?" Hinata shudders and shakes his head weakly.
A glance to Arika and he chuckles before saying, "Well, if it is fun, than by all means continue it but if you continue your fun, I'll start mine and I find tickling to be quite fun." He grins and then looks to Ayumu and states, "And what is this training then? The little thing I've noticed Arika working on?" He hmms and then chuckles as he looks to the brother, "Apologies, curious matter, these two." He chuckles and then idly pulls forth the bit of wheat and rolls it between his fingers as he listens, "Caltrops, huh? That is an issue. After all, that can be truly damaging." He nods his head, "So, I'm assuming someone somewhere started this and now one must one up the other. Well, eventually you can only so high before you have to become more dangerous to win." He grins, "Sounds like fun in the right doses but do you have any idea what it is your brother is up to now or where he normally likes to stay?" He then stops and peers at Koboyashi, "And also do you usually refer to yourself in the third person?"
Arika beams to the Iga, tempted to hug him again. But they're on the move… When he brings up mention of a 'final exam', she blinks. "Huh? D'you think I'm ready for it, even, Ayumu-San?" she questions with a tilt of her head. The girl starts to bounce excitedly. "I like that idea!" And she doesn't pay much attention to the conversation. The heck are Caltrops, anyway??? She doesn't know. The girl just starts making sure she has enough chakra and enough concentration to make a clone, not even acknowledging Kaidan and Koboyashi as they speak.
Ayumu seems to regard Arika's general direction before daring to speak up himself. It wasn't as if he had anything to hide, but he erred on the side of caution for her sake. Her response elicits a chuckle from the Iga before he refocuses back on Kaidan and the noble kid. Well, a kid that smelled like a noble. Ayumu would need to taste him to be sure however…
"Mmm.. Probably. Low rank missions like these are always good for some form of training, neh?" Ayumu replies belatedly. Meanwhile, Hinata seems to regain some focus as well during the exchange and is smiling thinly by the time Kaidan finishes. "Hinta does not understand what you mean by that last comment. Hinata is however aware of where his brother usually likes to purchase his good." Hinata then turns about and points down along the main road. "Hinata's brother has taken it upon himself recently to purchase good from Desu, er, D-san general shinobi goods at the center of the village. Its just a little ways to the right if you go there from here." He turns back and regards the trio each with a speculative look before frown and looking towards the ground. "Hinata has tried confront his brother regarding this, but he would not listen. Hinata's mother and father… Hinata cannot go to them with this. Please, you will find out what Haru-baka is up to and stop him right?" Hinata asks, leveling puppy dog eyes upon the trio.
A blink at Ayumu and then at Arika before he shakes his head with a chuckle, looking to the client he blinks before pointing at the man's eyes, "I don't know what you are doing there but you're gonna wanna have that looked at by a med-nin." He then clears his throat, "We'll head over to D-San General Shinobi Goods and see what we can see. We'll find out what your brother is up to and put a stop to it. K?" He then gestures to the others, "Come along and lets keep an eye out." He nods his head and then starts off.
"That's true, I guess!" Arika replies to the Iga, waiting once more for their client to be quiet and lead the way to their destination. Or at least send them in the right direction. Ooh, then Kaidan leads them! She sets off to follow, dashing ahead, then back, then forward again like an excited puppy. Well, missions were exciting, and she was young… "Ayumu-san, what should I do first?"
Ayumu winces for a moment, then looks about rapidly. He could've sworn he heard something that sounded like breaking glass. Odd. Especially considering how it sounded so very close, and followed immediatly after Kaidan's reply to Hinata. Speaking of which, a disenchanted Hinata nods mechanically in response to Kaidan's suggestion before stepping aside so that trio could pass.
"Heh, I suppose you do not mean that literally, eh, Kaidan-san?" Ayumu teases good-naturedly before double blinking in surprise. "Hm… That I cannot answer. I will however — assuming you're life is not in any real danger — suggest you reflect on your lessons, and use every opportunity to make use of them. How you go about that however I leave up to you." He replies, regarding Arika with a side-long glance.
Whenever the trio do finally reach D-san's shop, there is… a snag. It seems there some sort of sale going on at the moment, because a lengthy line extends well outside the shop; making it a dead end for immediate results. That is unless they find some means inside, one way.. or another.
A look back as they walk and Kaidan glances at Ayumu, "Hey, can't your clan leave parts behind?" He hmms and peers at Ayumu before gesturing back to Hinata and then states, "Do me a favor and keep an eye on him." He then looks forward chuckling, "Pun intended." He snickers and then states, "As a note, I am not joking and I am joking, simultaneously. Best kind of joke." He then keeps walking. As it becomes obvious that the place is locked down by that big sale. He ponders and then taps his chin before looking at Ayumu and then at Arika before nodding, "Arika, we need a distraction and nothing says distraction like a child who is in distress." He nods and looks to Arika, "Think you can fake being hurt or perhaps being lost? I'd recommend losing the headband before you start though, people are less sympathetic to a ninja."
Arika gathers her chakra, makes the handseal, and a clone of herself appears. It still needs work, but it exists. Now that there are two of her, the girl untied her headband from her shoulder and the other transforms into a guard. "Ready?" she asks Kaidan and Ayumu. Once they are, her clone starts calling out, "Does anyone know where this child's parents are? Hello? I'm looking for someone by the name of Ikiyama!" calls the clone, pushing through a lot of people to try and jostle people. Arika sniffles, and it's a pretty good act, all considering.
Ayumu sweatdrops and chuckles, but there's no genuine mirth behind the latter, seeing as how /everyone/ and there mother liked to pull that particular joke. He does however follow Kaidan's isntruction, though the puppeteer might not see it. An eye, ear, a couple of tongues, and… something else dislodge themselves from the back of his tangled crimson jungle — otherwise known as his head hair — and crawl or roll there way back after Hinata with little more than an absent thought spurring them on.
"Done." He murmurs before returning his attention fully back on the present. So far, Kaidan's plan to seem work, though with promise a sale on the line, the distracted folks seem mighty agitated by being shoved around. Seeing and hearing little Arika sniffling at the guard side keeps them from acting. For now. Heck, some even thoughtless give up their spot to try and comfort the little one as well.
A look as people are now starting to focus on Arika, he shakes his head and then looks as some people seem to stop to try to help the poor little girl. He chuckles and looks to Ayumu, "Lets go. There's a sale after all." He chuckles and then starts toward the now less blocked up door and glances over to Ayumu, "You are the best one hear with your sight, keep it as active as you can but remember, client is priority." He then steps inside and starts looking around. He isn't too shabby himself at spotting this and that. He looks around as he walks in, hmming as he does so, trying to spot the other brother or someone acting out of the ordinary even as he tries to approach the guy who runs the place.
Arika milks it for all it's worth, crying, letting tears shed. She looks around at the gathered people, but doesn't see what she's looking for, it seems. "I want my mommy!" she cries, sniffling and trying to wipe at her tears. The guard seems to be bewildered, too, calling out still, "Please, does anyone know this girl?"
Ayumu smiles broadly at Kaidan and nods in agreement. But behind the smile the older man grinds his teeth. The joke regarding his sight was really starting to get old, and without Ryoji to mitigate such slights, well… it would best if they found their target and found it soon. After a brief consideration of sending in a shadow clone to assist Kaidan with the search, Ayumu elects to avoid crowding the building further with his presence, and instead focus more intently on just the taks given to him. "Huh.. Oh.. now where did you go?" He murmurs to himself as he formed a single seal.
Kaidan unfortunately has his worked cut out for him, seeing as how folks wouldn't stop moving from one place to the next trying to grab up or investigate the "ohs" and "ahs" of their peers regarding the shinobi gear. Still, through preserverance it would become clear after a few minutes that noone remotely resembling Hinata is there, leaving the only option remaing to either go for the direct approach and question folk; especially the shop keeper. Either that or get really unorthodox with his search.
Those now partially surrounding the shadow clone pair look and whisper amongst themselves, though it is clear noone had any idea. The restlessness of some leads them to leave outright or begin looking and calling elsewhere for anyone missing a child.
A grin on his lips, Kaidan seems to be just fine in the crowd, not even bothered by it. He hmms as he looks around before he notes a bin nearby and walks toward it. The bin simply has a varying collection of different bags that shinobi often wear. Stumbling over a leg, he 'trips' hits a hand on the edge of the bin, falls into it and attempts his best to make it look real as he makes a fool of himself as he knocks a bin of those bags all over himself, trying to spot those who laugh versus those who don't. An accident that, hopefully, a practical joker won't be able to resist laughing at.
While everyone is distracted by Kaidan, the guard ends up disappearing to search for the girl's mother. Once secreted away, the clone transforms into a young woman. "Oh! Thank goodness you found her, I've been so worried!" she exclaims, rushing towards Arika. Arika stops her sniffling and perks up a bit. "Mommy!" A bit odd to be calling herself that, but… The girl is scooped up by her clone, and the mother takes it upon herself to thank each and every one of the helpers… Good distraction.
The plan yields an unexpected result. Everyone but an elder gentlemen nearby and the salesman behind the counter cringes, snickers, or outright burst out laughing after turning to see the accident. While the latter is of course reasonably angry, the other… is speculative. A little too speculative perhaps for merely one who thought something was off about the situation. There's even the smallest of smiles playing at the corner of his lips as well. Even the sound of the folk scrambling to try and reform the line doesn't distract him from looking over the scene.
"Well done, Arika-chan, though… no, I'll save that for the end of the mission." Ayumu says, grinning toothily after having followed Arika around the corner. "hmm… now what shall we do next I wonder? Oh if only the boss man remembered to asked me to lend him my ear." Ayumu blinks slowly, then growls and scratches his head furiously. Now he was doing it as well.
Standing up slowly, he sighs and shakes his head, "Well, oops." He chuckles and looks sheepish as he tries to get things back in the bin and then sighs, shaking his head as he stands there before looking over toward where the old man is but not right at him. He walks over to near where the old man is, sighing and shaking his head, "Just not my day." He states and then looks over to the old man, leaning in with a grin, "Yeah…the salesman." He nods his head a little without looking the salesman's way, "Old friend of mine. He's probably pissed as heck at me for giving him a mess to clean up in the middle of this mad rush." He chuckles softly to himself as he seems to purposefully put his back to the salesman as if he didn't want the salesman to see him smile.
Arika makes her way back to Ayumu, and the clone disappears. She blinks a bit as the information rushes to her head, but she's learned to filter useless things and repeated things away. With Kaidan so far away, she looks to Ayumu for orders or suggestions, tilting her head to see if he has any advice. And no, she has no idea who their target is…
After dragging his fingers downwards along his face Ayumu lets out an exhausted sounding sound. "Hmph.. Either way, Arika-chan, Kaidan-san might need a way out. I'd do it myself, but I seemed to have… misplaced my target." The red-haired wonder admits with a sheepish grin on his face. "So—" he claps his hands sharply together. "While I stay focused on that, you can work out a way to free up some room, jesh?" Before even a yes or no can be given, Ayumu takes to leaning against the nearest wall, and almost immediatly zones out. Despite his mirthful exterior he had been joking about anything. A child had actually managed to give him the slip. It wasn't exactly unheard of, but still…
"I wouldn't say that. D-san is actually pretty cool.. er, or.. Did I use that phrase right? Because I could swear it is what you young'uns are using these days." The elderly man says and smiles awkwardly behind his thick beard. "An-anyways, I'm sure he's laughing on the inside too. I would've been too, but my heart probably won't be able to take it."
"Heart condition, huh?" He hmms and Kaidan ponders before saying, "What's your name sir?" He hmms and then tilts his head as he smiles outwardly, calmly smiling as he offers a calm nod to the man but the hair ont he back of his neck is already drawing up to attention as he stares at the man, smiling on the outside but seeming to keep a sudden edge as he starts trying to notice his surroundings even better as he stands there, "You wouldn't happen to be…oh, you look familiar…Haru or Hinata…or something along those lines." He taps his chin.
Arika chews on her lip as she ponders. over what would clear the crowd… The girl makes another shadow clone, which transforms into a burly man who just saunters into the room. He makes a few hand seals, then sends a gust of wind to make every customer fly out the doors. Or at least, attempt that.
"Ah.. er… uhh…. oh prank." Those are the last words to leave the elder gentleman's face before he explodes into a column of smoke. Standing in his place as soon as the smoke clears is none other than what can be best described as a miniature version of Hinata, though with more unkempt hair and no false innocence about him. He smiles sheepishly up at Kaidan and rubs at the back of his head. "Man, and here I thought I got'chu going there for a sec." He sighs lightly in defeat. "But yeah, I'm Haru. And if you can promise to protect me from Big Bro, then I'll.. uhm… j-just get him to apologize for paint bombing my room, alright?" He pleads.
Barely a minute or two goes by before Haru along with every other customer is either thrown out by the gust of wind or into the displays, dazing folks, if not knocking them out outright. Thanks to the counter the salesman suffers the least, and recovers quickly. All he takes is one good look about his shop before yelling, "MY SHOP!! Who the — What.. huh?!?" He narrows his eyes at the shadow clone and glares. "You! You're gonna pay for all of this!!" And with that, the man is scrambling over the counter to try and get at the man despite his burly physique!
"Hrn… Well, while I'd call that a successful field test, I think.. we might wanna scramble before Kaidan-senpai comes out here and scold us, neh?" Ayumu suggests to Arika with his head canted to the side. With or without her agreeing to leave as well, the Iga is quick to leave a clone behind to handle the mess while he takes off while the getting is good.
Even as the wind whips around, Kaidan holds his arm up to try to stop the wind from knocking him away. He shudders in place, leg holding back as he shakes his head and then watches as the store is cleared out by the 'strong man' and even as the salesman comes forward, Kaidan steps between the shadow clone and the salesman, holding his arm up, "Allow me to catch this dastardly nogoodnik!" He declares and makes sure to flash a smile and his headband of Sunagakure. Of course, his actions give the shadow clan a chance to escape and when Kaidan rushes out…he is actually grabbing up Haru before rushing off. Oops! Seems he captured the wrong nogoodnik! At least in the salesman's eyes but he none the less grabs Haru up and rushes off to the rooftops before whistling and calling out, "Ayumu, Arika…you got some splainin' to do." He nods his head and chuckles even as he looks to Haru and shakes his head before awaiting his compatriots so they can go turn in this odd little mission.
Arika clings to Ayumu's back, taking perch as a piggy-back-rider while her clone is left behind. The clone just eyes the burly man trying to chase after him and starts walking away. Then dashes off quite quickly, leaving a cloud of dust behind him. With that cover, it disappears in a poof of smoke. "Umm… I think Kai-kun is mad at us…" she says in Ayumu's ear, arms wrapped around his upper body while her legs are around his waist.