Date: January 4, 2012
Atsuro and Ryo sneak through hostile territory to deliver an important message.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
Mountainous region in the Land of Fire
Atsuro and Ryo find themselves on a mission in a small,
semi-mountainous region of the Land of Fire on a mission. Officially
named the Wild Rose Hills, the area has recently become more more
commonly known as Kunai Valley, having been plagued by groups of
brigands (many including missing-nin) in the past few months. Local
law enforcement has been trying their hardest, but it's a trying
situation by anyone's standards.
Even sending messages from one task group to another can be
difficult, which is why the Leaf nin have been hired. Their objective
seems simple: to deliver a letter from one commander in Eagle Base to
another in Panther Base. But it needs to get there in only twenty-four
hours. This would be rather unlikely using the task force's usual
routes, but a team of ninja could cut through hostile territory,
delivering the letter in less than a third of the time.
The team has already travelled some of the way there, but now they've
come to a particularly nasty part of the route. If they encounter any
hostiles, it'll probably be here. Atsuro climbs up over the ledge of a
small cliff and takes a look around. "We're good," he whispers down to
Ryo and Taizen, leaning over the edge slightly and waving them up.
Considering he didn't smell anything, this was expected, but there
wasn't any reason for recklessness.
They've climbed up a good ways, perhaps a couple hundred meters. Over
the cliff, the land stretches out far below. Away from the cliff,
where they're headed, there's a large forest with a big stream not far
away to the west, flowing up the cliff from somewhere higher up.
Atsuro points it out. "We're supposed to follow that for a couple of
kilometers," he says, "C'mon. We'll watch out for traps, you watch out
The missions with Atsuro usually ended up being kind of interesting.
Ryo could rarely ever turn one down. This one seemed simple enough.
They were delivering a message to one of the other bases. It was
likely to coordinate attacks or something important like that. Not
that Ryo had really been paying attention to the reasoning. He was
happy to be out and about with someone he did not have to worry about
As they moved up the path, Ryo's sharingan activated. He spotted
something. "There is a chakra signature way out, near the stream." he
reports. He then glances towards Atsuro. Yeah, this was not quite like
And already they've reached a complication. Not only has Ryo spotted
someone, but Atsuro thinks he sees a trap. He shares a glance with
Taizen as the dog climbs up over the cliff. "You smell old food?"
Atsuro asks Taizen. He kneels down and reaches carefully into a bush.
He fishes around for a second, then pulls out an old soup can with a
few pebbles inside. "Improvised alarm," he explains, pointing to a a
length of wire tying it to a nearby tree. It's a simple design:
someone trips the wire, the can tips over and the pebbles rattle
"It's almost a good sign," he says, carefully emptying the can and
putting it back in the bush. "They don't expect people coming through
here, so they put in only a few sentries and make up for it with
traps. Normally I'd say we just sneak past your friend there, but
we'll be going up the stream, and I'd rather not have him stumble up
on us from behind. If I make a distraction can you take him out?" He
gestures to Taizen, "He'll come along and sniff out any traps for
Ryo shakes his head. He then runs up the side of a tree and draws
the blade from his back. "Why not… let the alarm do what it is
suppose to?" he asks. Pebbles in an old soup can could not have been
too entirely loud. Now that Ryo was hiding, they were going to be able
to use the enemies alarm to set up their own ambush.
Atsuro glances back to the bushes. "I was hoping for something that
would distract him without alerting him," he admits, "But I suppose
the main problem is if he sounds the alarm himself. Which he won't
until he's sure it wasn't just a squirrel or something." He gestures
to Taizen and the dog quickly disappears into another patch of bushes.
Then, once Ryo is in position, he grabs the can again and throws in a
handful of pebbles from the ground. He gives it a good shake and the
sound is loud and clear. Then he quickly tosses it on the ground and
hides behind the tree trunk.
He manages to escape the guard's notice for the time being, and the
hapless bandit charges right into the little trap set out for him.
Soon he'll be under the tree, and then it's up to Ryo.
Without hesitation the young Chuunin drops from the tree using his
blade to slice down the back of the bandit. He never stood a chance.
Ryo nods to Atsuro. "We better move before someone comes to take his
position. Unless you want to try hiding the body. Either way, when
he's not there, they will likely sound an alarm." he states.
The bandit doesn't even see what killed him. He makes a choking noise
as the air is forced from his lungs, then falls to the ground, dead.
"Huh," says Atsuro, "Well, that was an anticlimax." He steps out from
behind the tree and Taizen soon comes out from the bushes. "Nice work,
kid," Atsuro says, giving Ryo a grin. He glances over to the cliff. "I
have a place to move it," he says, "But let's search him first, eh?
Maybe he'll have something useful." After a minute of search, Atsuro
is just about to declare nothing useful. But then he finds a slip of
paper tucked into the man's belt. "Hello, what's this?"
Atsuro unfolds the paper. It's a crudely drawn map. It covers a small
area, but… "All the traps and patrol routes in this area," Atsuro
says, "Nice." He frowns a little, "That's not so nice though," he
says, pointing out a tiny drawing of a tent for Ryo and Taizen to see.
"Looks like they've got a camp up the stream a ways. We can either go
through it or take this rocky area here, then rejoin the stream once
we've passed the camp." He points to another spot nearby labelled
'dangerous terrain.' "Not many patrols though. You feeling agile?" he
There was no remorse in Ryo's eyes as he took out the bandit. He had
not even considered searching him but as Atsuro pulls out a piece of
paper containing a map, it seemed to be all worth while. "I am agile
like a cat, fearless like a dog." Ryo replies to his question. "You
think you can keep up old man?" he asks getting in a jab. It was one
of the first few jabs Ryo had made yet. Either way Ryo really did not
care which way they went.
"Well, the map doesn't say much about the rocky area," says Atsuro,
"But they don't have many people going through. And I'd rather face
traps than ninja. Traps are harmless as long as you see them. And
boulders and chasms aren't actively trying to kill us. So despit my
decrepitude, we'll take the rough terrain." He picks up the bandit's
body and drags him over to the edge of the cliff, then lays him down
and nudges him off with his foot. "Nobody'll think to look there, at
least. Hopefully he didn't have anything else useful on him. Let's get
moving before anyone shows up to check on him."
Using the map, the team is able to easily evade the patrols and
traps. And soon they come to the border of the rocky area. It is
indeed some rough terrain. A narrow, gravelly path starts at the
forest floor and winds and twists up into a great rocky ridge. So far
things look non-threatening, but there's probably something beyond
that ride. The sound of chatting and merrymaking comes from the camp
slightly to the west. It's out of sight, so Atsuro and Ryo don't need
to worry about being seen, but a wrong move could draw attention.
Atsuro leads on, taking the path up and over the ridge. "Dangerous
terrain," Atsuro comments drily. Yes it is! Shortly over the ridge is
a wide chasm. "See any ways across?" he asks as he himself starts
Taking a moment to look out over the area, the group spots a number
of ways across, though they've all got some risk to them. Off to one
side of the chasm is a narrow ledge of rock. Someone could sidle
across it to the other side. And just underneath that, the rock face
is quite rough. With some difficulty, a ninja could tree-walk across
or simply climb. Third, there is a slope towards the camp. While it
doesn't actually appear to lead to the camp, it's not much more than a
gentle hill which would allow the group to simply skirt around the
chasm, though there's an increased risk of alerting the bandits.
There's also a scraggly old tree, tall and dead. Its roots look like
they might give at any moment, and it's possible they could simply
knock the tree over to make an improvised bridge. Finally, there's the
daring option: take a running leap. Even if they don't actually make
it to the other ledge, they might be able to hit the rock face and get
up to the ledge with tree-walking.
Ryo was fine with the rocky terrain. He wanted to see how agile
Atsuro could be anyway. The guy always preached strength over speed.
Luckily their journey towards the terrain, they had not actually seen
many bandits. Ryo was still kind of considering how Atsuro just kind
of nudged the body off the cliff. That did seem pretty efficient but
also cold. He was a bandit though, what more did he deserve?
As they approach the chasm, Ryo glances around the different ways as
he sees Atsuro looking at them. It was not hard to read the Inuzuka's
mind. "Awe peak it." Ryo states as he takes off running towards the
chasm. He easily leaps it, making it to the other side. He does not
even need to use the tree walking jutsu. "You coming?" he asks.
Atsuro was actually considering a different method, but he finds
himself agreeing with Ryo. Peak it indeed. "Just a second," he calls
over. Then he and Taizen take a few steps back and run towards the
edge. The form of the jump is excellent, but they're much bigger than
Ryo and gaining enough momentum to make it proves tricky. They both
land on the cliff face at more or less the same elevation, just below
the ledge, and quickly climb up. "Kids these days," Atsuro sighs, "So
He dusts himself off, then the group finds the trail again. They
navigate through the rough terrain with relative ease, and soon enough
they're past the camp and back in the forest. Atsuro pulls out the
map. "Crag," he says, "Hardly anything about this area. But if we keep
going forward, we should stay parallel with the stream. Keep an eye
"Thats a sign of age. Maybe if you worked on your speed and less on
the muscle, you wouldnt have almost died there." It was clearly an
exageration but Ryo was going to go there. Ryo then follows behind
when they hit the trail. His sharingan is still active, especially
when Atsuro states there is not a lot on the map about the area. Ryo
scans ahead before informing Atsuro of what he sees. "We have a lot of
people up ahead. Not ninja, but still something up there in a line of
sorts. How do you want to proceed?" he asks. He was looking around to
try and find a clear path around.
"That's not a good colour on you," Atsuro teases, "The one situation
where you're better than me. Don't get too cocky, kid." He almost
grins when Ryo reports the group of people up ahead. "That's why they
sent a scout," he says, "Don't you worry your cute little head. We'll
be right back." He and Taizen crouch down and disappear stealthily
into the forest. In a couple of minutes, they're back.
"Bandits," Atsuro reports, "There's a road up ahead. Looks like
they're waiting for someone to rob. I think we can take 'em. Now,
we're only here to deliver the message, so we don't have to get rid of
them if we don't think we need to. But they'll be watching the road
pretty closely. Any thoughts from our newly minted chuunin?"
"First we catch them off guard. I use that fireball jutsu to put
them into chaos and then you and Taizen run clean up while they
scramble around. We strike quick and effectively. Kill them all in a
few moments before moving on. What do you think?" he asks. It seemed
the most logical out come for the boy. Any other might lead to them
not catching them off guard and actually having to put some effort
into the battle.
Atsuro glances off to the side and scratches his cheek, thinking
about this plan for a second. "Pretty good," he agrees, "Element of
surprise, uses speed to keep them off balance. There's the risk that
some of them might be ninja, but if we can sneak up on them and
surround them properly, the odds are in our favour — a truly skilled
missing-nin wouldn't be handing around with some robbers. Let's move."
He gestures for Ryo and Taizen to follow, moving back towards the
It is always nice when a plan is well accepted. This was a slight
source of pride for the young Uchiha. He had always been competeing
with those older than him. To keep up meant something.
Ryo moves up into a tree once more. He moves tree to tree until he is
in position. The young boy wanted to be able to place the fire attack
into the right position and not risk missing them. There was a
difference between the chaos caused by a well planned attack and the
humor people find in an unorganized failure. That was the difference
in this job between life and death. As he moved up the tree, he waits
for Atsuro and Taizen to get into position. Once there, Ryo's hands
went into motion. Soon he blew out the small fireball aimed at the
center of the road where they were standing. Even if it did not hit
one of the bandits, the firestorm would blow upwards and take out a
good maority of them while enstilling panic in the rest.
While Ryo climbs up into the tree, Atsuro and Taizen split up,
getting to either side of the bandits. While having one of them cross
the road would make for the best angle of attack, that's not something
they can risk. So instead, they'll settle simply for coming from two
different positions. That's surely enough to throw the enemy into
chaos, combined with a fireball and a good use of Gatsuga.
Once Ryo's let loose the fireball, they leap into action, spinning
through the air and smashing into the line of bandits. Of the six men,
four quickly fall, whether to the fireball or the Inuzuka attack. Two
men evade, however. Very skillfully. Yep, they're ninja. One of them,
a stern-looking man with several nasty scars on his face, merely pulls
out a sword and gets into a fighting stance. The other, a skinny,
weasely sort laughs bitterly. "You scalers," he calls out, "You've
bitten off more than you can chew. Hope a shallow grave sounds good!"
With that, they attack. The man with the sword lunges towards Atsuro,
riasing the blade above his head and bringing it down in a flourishing
twirl. Not an amazing technique, but reasonably advanced. The twirling
makes its path hard to predict, but the overhead slash means it'll
still hit nice and hard. The skinny man, on the other hand, goes after
Ryo. Making a couple seals, he lowers his had to the ground, then
flings it upwars, toward Ryo. Several large rocks come flying behind
it. They'll certainly pack a whallop if they hit.
Ryo is not quick enough to evade the rocks. They actually hit him
causing him to burst into a puff of fire. Ryo then appears behind the
man with his finger curled around his mouth. He begins spitting up oil
on the man. As Ryo dashes backwards he sends a single fireball towards
the oil to light it. "I only eat cooked food. I just hope you wont be
"What the h— " The man's question about the oil is interrupted as he
bursts into flames. He manages to stamp the flames out, but the patch
of burnt flesh on his side looks rather grizzly. Anyone but a ninja
would probably be out of the fight already. Not this guy, though. Not
yet. He makes a couple more seals and slams his hand down on the
ground. A huge spike of rock rises out of the earth beneath Ryo's feet
like a stalagmite. It's sharp and has a great deal of force behind it.
Could be a nasty hit, Ryo!
Meanwhile, Atsuro ducks under the other bandit's sword. Taizen
charges up from behind, ramming the man in the back while Atsuro
skirts off to the side and slices the man in the flank with his own
sword. It's a vicious slice, and the bandit staggers back, but he too
is undeterred. Brandishing his sword once more, he decides to really
show off his ninja skills. He charges at Atsuro, turning into a blur,
getting around him and taking a nasty slice at his back.
Ryo's eyes read the jutsu and he quickly steps to the side before
placing his fingers together once more and sending another small
fireball at the man. This time when it hit, it was set to explode like
the first one. "You are overhanging me off. If you run away now, I might
let you live. Imagine all the people on the other side that you would
have to explain to that you died at the hands an eleven year old." Ryo
then glanced towards Atsuro and Taizen to see how they were doing with
Ryo's jutsu gives the man yet another grizzly burn. He's in a bad way
now, and starting to realize it. "You attack us out of the blue, then
you tell me I can run away? What the slope are you guys doing, just
attacking poor working stiffs at random?"
Atsuro gets down on all fours and leaps out of the way of his enemy's
attack. But the man just manages to hit him, giving him a deep cut
before he can completely get out of the way. Atsuro winces and sucks
his teeth, but it's not a serious wound. Nothing a first aid kit can't
handle, once he's handled this guy. Atsuro and Taizen both disappear
into a blur which surrounds the man, who begins to cry out as his skin
and clothes suddenly begin to tear in a rather bloody fashion. After a
couple of vicious final slashes from both Atsuro and Taizen, the man
falls to his knees.
Figuring this is a good opportunity to stop the fight and quite
wasting time, Atsuro points his sword at the man. "You'd have attacked
us if you'd seen us first, right?" he asks, "I think we were
justified. I figure your wounds'll put you out of the robbing business
for a while, so if my partner agrees, we'll let you go." He looks to
Ryo nods to Atsuro as he offers the guy a chance to go. "I will not
warn you again. Leave or die." Ryo then draws the ninjato blade from
his side. "We have work to do that does not involve taking from the
innocent. Though you are not innocent, it does not involve you." He
then turns and walks towards Atsuro. "Think they will admit defeat or
want to die?"
"What," says the weasely man, somewhere between bitterness and
incredulity, "You look down on us, some poor guys living in the woods,
while you help out the merchants walking down this road dressed like
they're going to a mossy /ball/? You think /they're/ innocent either?"
Atsuro sighs, "It's a worthwhile point, but most of them don't kill
people. I'd love to have this discussion when you've gone legit. Which
you /are/ going to do, right?"
The man shares a glance with the swordsman. "Sure," he says, "Sure,
whatever." The words are dismissive, but the tone is beaten down.
Atsuro and Ryo have steered as many as six men off the life of
banditry through judicious application of violence. Even though four
are probably dead.
The team continues its journey. While there are still bandits and
their traps about, this was indeed the roughest patch. They even
manage to set up camp for the night, then get to Panther Base with
time to spare. They drop off the letter and get their thanks (and
money) from the commander. After spending another day at the camp
(it's not without its luxuries, and the letter was important enough
for a little bonus), they head home, this time taking the longer, but