Date: October 18, 2016
Shuuren's goods seem to be disappearing from brutal attacks. At first, it just seems like bandits, but a closer inspection of the attack site makes it seem like there is far more to the situation than meets the eye.
"Responsibilities of a Summoner - Natural Enemies for Tea"
Land of Tea - Random Island
Suspicious things were happening with the shipments. Shuuren probably thinks that it mostly happens to do with the various businessmen trying to usurp him, though. Well, he might. It's completely possible, right? The fact that things heading to the Land of Tea sometimes went missing from vicious beast attacks is obviously concerning. There were never any survivors from the attacks, either, implying that whoever was attacking didn't want their identity known. Maybe. There was a lot of strange things about these attacks, really. The most evidence provided, though, would be the animal tracks. The animals themselves seemed to be larger than normal, judging by some of the wreckage surrounding the various attack sites…
Well, whatever Shuuren decides to do, he , obviously is gonna check it out at some point, right? That's what today's plan is! Trying to figure out what the heck is going on with his shipments. All this destruction really made for bad business :| Gosh, such inconsiderate bandits or mercenaries or whatever was attacking.
It's not often that shipping troubles require Shuuren's direct attention, but ships being attacked by beasts is pretty strange and not something he wants to send normal soldiers to investigate if there turns out to be more to the situation than what is believed. Despite the need for royal guards and such for appearances and the sake of strengthening the country, his own strength as a shinobi can be quite frightening when he actually shows it.
Aboard a black ship with black sails and lines built for stealth, the Daimyo sails toward the site of the last attack where a shipment and its guards were obliterated. A rather fierce look shows in his eyes as he moves toward the location, using his extremely wide area of chakra sense to try and feel out if there is anything alive in the area besides normal sea life.
Saki was here! She was … not necessarily a royal guard, actually. Nor was she in any way a fighter. Publicly. The girl stood on the ship, kimono adjusted per the mission. Black with some emerald lining to keep it from getting too monotonous. Adding on to that was a similar dark-green obi. To make sure she was capable of moving around freely, a slit was added to the side, though it might not be visible since her sword was there as well. The girl seems to pace the deck a bit, slightly nervous since she had heard the tales surrounding these attacks.
As the Daimyo makes his way to <Insert Island Name Here!>, he wouldn't notice anything in particular. Nothing to indicate there were enemies as of right now, at least. How fortunate. It isn't until he touches upon the island and would start to explore a bit that he finds the remnants of the last shipment. The cart that they were using to cart the goods to the ship was all smashed up, and the bodies present were torn through by vicious fangs or claws or something.
As they arrive at the island, Shuuren frowns a bit. "… No sign of anyone or anything out of the ordinary around, but that doesn't mean we should let our guard down. Stay close." With that he would move off the ship to explore. When they come upon the wreckage of the cart, he frowns again as he walks between the bodies and looks them over. "… This doesn't seem to match the M. O. of the criminals we've encountered in this attempted siege as of yet," he points out as he steps over to the cart itself to look it over.
"If they've recruited Inuzuka or other animal partner clans, that makes them a bit more dangerous than before," he notes as he looks the wreckage over more. Really, what surprises him the most here is the efficiency. Most of the people involved with these groups are ruffians. Few are smart enough to pull things off this well…
Saki sort of pales at the scene before her. It really was terrible-looking… The bodies were torn into shreds so that it was practically impossible to tell who they were originally. And the wreckage of the cart was so thoroughly smashed, too. Today, she brought along a Serpent-friend who was hiding out in her pocket, just napping. Except even it poked its head out to glance around, and it didn't seem all too pleased. The tiny snake quickly ducked back down. "So… There's animals involved…" Saki would say. Well, duh >.>
The cart itself didn't have much of its contents left. It was primarily food, and all of the food was gone if it wasn't smashed up. Such a clean banditry… Saki, meanwhile, would follow some wrecked undergrowth for a bit, thinking it was a trail until the tracks just disappeared like magic! "Umm… Shuuren-dono, do you think they could fly..?" she would call out, looking around a bit more to try and find traces of a trail. How odd that they just disappeared suddenly…
While he would seem angry about this occurrence, Shuuren doesn't appear to be particularly affected by the gruesome sights this scene offers. Really, he's probably seen worse before. "Yes, animals were definitely involved," he says as he looks to see where she's going. He steps up behind her, furrowing his brows a bit as he looks over the same things she did.
"…. Maybe if they were Hayato, but I'm not entirely certain about birds doing this pattern of damage," he says, shaking his head as he turns to begin moving back toward the rest of the wreckage. "We should look the place over for more clues. If nothing else, once we're doing looking, we should bury them properly."
RPCOMBAT: Saki defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…29
Saki takes a small breath and nods once. "Hai…" she says, starting to look around a bit more. The girl just peers around carefully, trying to find anything of note and really not finding anything that wasn't obvious. Alternatively, she didn't think it was worth mentioning. One or the other. Saki frowns as she makes her way around the area, trying to find something.
Shuuren may or may not notice, if he's paying careful attention, the fact that there was a /lack/ of something. Specifically, there didn't seem to be any signs of humans aside from the poor guys who got mauled. There weren't any weapons, at least, nor did the injuries seem to have been created by a blade. It seems more and more like it was only animals that were in the assault, but does that even make sense?
COMBAT: Shuuren focuses 8444 stamina to turn it into 12000 usable chakra!
RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a PERCEPTION…47
As they look over the area, Shuuren begins to piece together that there were no humans involved in this attack. He blinks a few times as he looks over the evidence more and more and then his eyes widen. "… This is another trap, but it's not who we thought is was," he says then turns and moves quickly to be back to back with Saki. He's not certain exactly who this is, but his mind starts to go through the claw and teeth patterns they've seen. Really, though, he doubts he'll have to wait long to find out exactly who set this trap since they'll likely be springing it sooner rather than later.
[NPC System]: Mongoose roll(s) 'Tsuga' vs Saki from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 39. - Rolled by: Saki
RPCOMBAT: Saki defends against with a RAPID-PARRY…37
RPCOMBAT: Saki took 250 damage.
[NPC System]: Mongoose roll(s) Summon Technique from 1 to 1 and get(s) a 1. - Rolled by: Saki
"A trap..?" Saki echoes, immediately unsheathing her blade and taking up a defensive stance. She wasn't really sure what to expect since Shuuren said that it wasn't who they thought it was, though. "Umm… Then… Wh-" Saki's question is cut off, but the answer to it is made obvious when the snarling creature zips past her to try and rip off her face. It was comparatively small to whatever caused the destruction of the cart and its guards, but that's likely because it was primarily meant to launch the sneak attack just now. Whether it strikes Saki successfully or not, it would quickly whirl around to face the Daimyo and his guard. Closer inspection proves that the animal is a mongoose, which just so happens to be a natural enemy of the Snake…
Saki ends up getting clawed on the cheek, though she batted away the claws with her sword so that she didn't get the worst damage. "Wh- … Is there a clan that partners with mongoose..?" she asks aloud, confused. As she speaks, it becomes a bit clearer what the plan is… Technically. The creature that just attacked placed its paws on the ground, summoning some of its backup: A rather large mongoose that was as big as a modern day school bus, and a medium-sized mongoose that was about half the bus in question.
RP: Shuuren uses SUMMONING-TECHNIQUE-III.
COMBAT: Ryutaro focuses 5457 stamina to turn it into 6000 usable chakra!
Normally Shuuren would react fast enough to guard her, but appearing through Summoning Technique was not entirely expected. "…. Not that I know of, no," he answers as he eyes the creature as it summons its friends. "As I thought, summon creatures… Fighting on their own. That's rather odd…. but we are not unprepared." He brings his hands into a seal then before slamming a palm on the ground, causing a large puff of smoke to raise up as he grabs Saki by the collar of her kimono to yank her up with him.
As the smoke fades away, it reveals that they are now standing atop a gigantic snake that's even taller than the giant mongoose. The regal white snake looks down at the mongooses with a fierce look, peering around for their summoner who is not around. "…. What is the meaning of this?" the Snake Prince Ryutaro asks in his menacing voice as he prepares chakra to do combat with these creatures.
Saki nods slowly. "Summons?" she echoes. That was the thing that let Shuuren use some of his more interesting abilities, right? Saki would glance over at Shuuren when she hears him summon something, then a squeak when she gets dragged up with him. She's glad that she was yanked in the first place, but it kinda hurt for a moment where Shuuren grabbed her by the collar. "Ahh… Umm… Hello, Snake-dono…" Saki greets a bit warily. At least she can assume it's on Shuuren's side, which means it's an ally.
The three Mongoose hiss at Ryutaro when he appears through the smoke, and the smaller one grumbles and makes a few more handseals to summon further backup. None of them were, judging by their size, very high in the ranks of their clan, but their numbers would at least provide some challenge. The largest one chooses to speak, "Because we cannot attack you directly, we felt that perhaps a more … Indirect method would be more productive…" The large creature narrows its eyes, then it would dart forward to try and score its claws along Ryutaro. The other summons, totaling five, would be quick to follow suit, though they aimed their attacks at Saki and Shuuren.
The smaller Mongoose were focusing on Saki. Three of them all tried to sink their fangs into her. Thankfully, it wasn't really poisonous. The problem was that it was really painful, and the bite had the potential to do some lasting damage if they targeted things correctly. Saki ended up with a deep bite on her arm and leg. Wincing, she tries to shake the two off her, flailing a bit with her sword to bat them unconscious, too.
The snake is definitely on Shuuren's side. The Daimyo smirks over at her, saying, "Saki, meet Ryutaro, the heir to the throne of the Snake Clan." As the medium sized mongooses come his way, Shuuren rather easily sidesteps their attacks, seeming rather amused almost. He stretches his arms out then toward each of them, sending an extra pair of fists out from his sleeves that stretch out well beyond normal length to strike right at their faces.
Ryutaro meanwhile moves around the giant mongoose with a circular slither, seeming rather furious. "Is that so? Well, you've chosen the wrong clan to screw with. Kneel, cowards." His voice booms out fiercely, acting as a trigger for the Genjutsu he uses to try to and force the mongooses into a state of fear so they can't attack or defend themselves.
One of the smaller mongoose that had latched onto Saki gets brained, and it falls off in a daze. The other, though, would use Saki as a sort of springboard to launch off the girl and avoid the hilt of her sword. Then it and its similarly-sized friend would come in as a combination, each of them moving around Saki while lashing out with their claws and pretty much fighting on top of Ryutaro while he was occupied with the larger summoned creatures.
The giant mongoose is able to dispel the Genjutsu, blood dripping down the claw it used to break free of the illusion. "I kneel not to serpents," it growls, suddenly using some form of Earth manipulation to bury itself into the ground, likely preparing for an attack.
The medium-sized mongoose… Well, only one of them is really lucky, but they're starting to realize that Shuuren is actually a fearsome opponent. One of them ends up getting punched away from Shuuren, though it's quick to scramble back into place so that it and its partner can work together. Teamwork prevails! … Or something. Anyway, one of them has lightning going along its claws while the other doesn't seem to change, and both of them come in towards Shuuren in a form of tsuga. They clearly stole some Inuzuka skills!
"Oh, umm… It… It's nice to meet you, Ryutaro-sama…" Saki says quickly, even as she's forced to avoid some of the claws. She's not very fortunate, still managing to get harmed along her leg. A wince, but she couldn't allow herself to dwell on the pain. Saki would shift her mindset slightly to one that hopefully would allow her to focus more on not getting injured. With that done, she would just try to OHKO the three mongoose attacking her, speed making her a bit of a blur as she tries to slice a few necks.
Shuuren watches as the two mongooses squaring off with him regroup, a light smirk tugging at the corner of his lips as he observes their attack preparation. Again he rather easily steps around their attacks and hops to the ground. "You really should not have come for us," he says as he moves through a set of handseals then slams his palm on the ground again. A second snake appears, this one around his shoulders. "Ryoma, always a pleasure," the Daimyo says in his ever-calm voice, not seeming tense despite the situation.
"Greetings, Shuuren-dono," this new snake says as it rests around his shoulders. While it doesn't seem to actually be doing anything to the naked eye, the older snake is actually gathering natural energy from the land and preparing to give it to Shuuren once it has gathered enough.
Ryutaro meanwhile is a bit busy to talk back to Saki. The medium-sized mongoose left behind by the large one is about to have a bad time. "You may not kneel, but you will die all the same." To emphasize this point, he strikes down at the stunned mongoose and sinks his enormous fangs into it with intent to do as much damage as possible while injecting his venom into its veins.
The mongoose that was paralyzed by Ryutaro's Genjutsu was forced to stay still as the large snake's fangs sunk into its body. While the creature itself wasn't affected by the venom, the bite itself caused severe enough damage that it poofs from existence to recover. The larger mongoose takes the opportunity to spring upwards from the ground and try to pierce Ryutaro's midsection.
Saki was a bit lucky in her strikes, managing to injure two of her opponents enough that they disappear in a puff of smoke as well. The third was proving to be difficult, though. Still on the offensive, the small mongoose slips through a few of the openings Saki made and launches itself at her to try and leave deep long claw marks on her.
When the smaller snake appears, the two medium-sized mongoose realize that they're probably in trouble… Trying to keep the tides from turning, they would now attempt to combine their jutsu into one powerful strike.
The sudden launch of a small mongoose surprised Saki enough that she, while trying to twist and evade, would still end up clawed. Again, the damage could have been a lot worse, but she at least was able to make it so that it only got her side. "Itami…" she mutters, narrowing her eyes at the summon creature. Saki shakes her head a bit to try and refocus herself on the mongoose, then she just unleashes a flurry of strikes against it. She was only partly-aware of the smaller snake that suddenly poofed into existence.
Shuuren is actually hit for once, causing him to be knocked backwards into a tree, yet he actually just smirks rather than making any sound that indicates any pain. "… Didn't anyone ever tell you not to mess up my suit?" he asks with a smirk as he reaches into his coat before a puff of smoke goes out around him. One might expect he's making some sort of clothing change to keep his suit from being further damage, but, when it fades he is no longer there.
Instead, what appears behind the two mongooses that struck him a moment later most definitely does not look like the Shuuren Saki knows. It's questionable if this being is even human rather than some snake or dragon kami or demon that has interjected itself into the battle. In the place of the Daimyo stands a man with short green hair and a face that is similar to his but much more serpentine with white scaly skin and four horns that stand atop his head. Even his eyes look much more like a snake's, bearing an eerie glow. His body seems to have grown in muscle as well, larger than before and perfectly sculpted with an eight pack of abs with their own scales like a snake's underbelly. Any changes to his legs are obscured by his pants, though one might assume they simply turned white and scaly as well.
"…. Really, you should not have done thing," the calm voice of the Daimyo rings out, though sounding a lot scarier than before with a serpentine sound to it. At least Saki might recognize the voice as being close enough to his to know that it's him despite the frightening change in appearance.
Pointing his hands forward, he sends a pair of snakes forth from around his hands that appear with a puff
Saki was actually pretty lucky. The barrage of attacks had hit a few key points on the mongoose that made it choose to turn tail and flee rather than continue to fight. Of course, that's probably not solely because of Saki… The mongoose had seen Shuuren transform, and it chose to run and maybe or maybe not get backup. Who knows. Regardless, Saki would get a temporary break from her constant fighting, and she glanced back towards Shuuren to see what was going on with him. She thought she heard … Well, he wasn't on Ryutaro anymore. It took her a few moments to find him, and when she did…
Well, suffice to say she didn't exactly expect his appearance. Normally she'd probably freak out a lot more, but in the middle of a battle, the most she can react is her eyes going a bit wide in surprise. Really, though, she wouldn't have recognized Shuuren if he hadn't spoken…
And then she doesn't have much time to dwell on the matter as Ryuusei gets struck from below. She topples off him, potentially hitting the ground rather hard. Ow … "Itai…" she huffs.
Of the two medium-sized mongoose, one is ensnared by Shuuren and forced to disappear thanks to Ryutaro's vicious bite. Sure, the poison may not work, but a bite from a huge fang is still worrisome! Thankfully for the Tea Team, there are a lot less enemies to worry about. Of course, the two remaining enemies are still vicious in nature. The larger mongoose is trying to continue its assault on the snake prince while the smaller one takes a moment to try and summon more backup.
Running away just might be the best decision that mongoose ever made. If one ever questioned if rumors that the Daimyo was actually a quite strong shinobi, those doubts are likely erased now as Saki and these mongooses get to see first hand why Shuuren is one of the people in the shinobi world you simply do not come against. Even Ryuusei and Taro have not seen this level of his strength.
As the giant mongoose charges Ryutaro again, he would find himself instead met with the fists of the Snake Sage as he appears in front of him in a flicker of pure speed that is basically impossible to follow with the naked eye. Somehow now bearing six arms rather than two, he appears to collide his limbs with the giant beast in a flurry of strikes and send him flying backward. He then lands on Ryutaro's head again gently and gracefully and brings his hands into a seal.
"That was a decent plan, but didn't anyone ever tell you, there's one thing you never put in a trap if you're smart? If you value your continued existence. If you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there's one thing you never, ever put in a trap… Me." Suddenly the very plants around the giant mongoose turn against him, flowers and foliage rising up and growing enormous before emitting a cloud of spores all around him. This normally wouldn't seem to be such a harmful thing, but to the mongoose it would feel as if someone had poured burning acid through his pores into his bloodstream to wreak absolute havoc on his body.
Meanwhile, ever on his game, Ryutaro stares silently down at the mongooses, casting his Genjutsu again to try and keep their opponents from defending themselves or attacking due to fear.
Normally, the mongoose is able to cut through blades with chakra-enforced claws. However, Shuuren ended up doing something unexpected: his smaller figure was able to barrage the larger creature with a number of punches that send it flying backwards. The big creature lands on its back, softening the earth a bit upon impact so that it isn't as winded. It even tries to tunnel into the ground, except the plants can easily swarm it so that the spores take effect.
One of the remaining mongooses is able to dispel the Genjutsu, and it chooses that time to dispel the illusion on its friend. Within moments, there are two *POOFS*, and the attackers are gone. Of course, a majority of the battle still showed in the earth, but for the most part, there was no sign of the mongoose that had attacked.
Saki breathes a small sigh of relief when the mongooses disappear, and she sheathes her sword before she glances in Shuuren and Ryutaro's direction. "Umm… Thank you for the assistance, Ryutaro-sama…" she would say to the giant snake, obviously a bit nervous. Through the battle, she had managed to sustain a number of injuries, so there were a good amount of tears in her clothes as well as blood. Then Saki would shift in her spot before glancing in Shuuren's direction, sort of studying him.
The worst of the shock on his new appearance was avoided because of the fighting, so now there was just her usual nervousness laced with curiosity. "Umm… So… What should we do now..?" she wonders.
As the giant creature vanishes, Shuuren smirks slightly then hops off Ryutaro's head to move over to Saki. As Ryutaro nods to the girl, Shuuren approaches and places his hands over her, creating a wave of particles around his hands that flow into her to begin repairing her from the inside out. "First I heal you. Then I'll put these men in scrolls so I can put them back together before I take them to their families. Then I'll use a jutsu to erase any evidence this battle ever happened and we can go home."
"I must inform the Elder of this incident. Be careful, Shuuren-san," Ryutaro says as he looks down at them. "A pleasure to meet you, Saki-san." With a puff of smoke, he vanishes into thin air to head back to Ryuichi Cave, though Ryoma stays for the moment to help Shuuren maintain his form.
Shuuren would nod to Ryutaro just before he leaves before looking back to Saki in thought. It seems he is involved in yet another sectret war…
Saki would exhale lightly when Shuuren healed her, grateful that her injuries were pretty much gone. Of course, that doesn't say anything for the state of her clothes, which were bloodied and torn in various places, but at least her body was okay now. Saki nods quickly when Shuuren says he'd make it so that everything looked as it used to, then she sorta looks around. A number of trees got clawed up, and the earth shows signs of … well… giant serpents moving and claws slashing it where they missed the target. "Elder..?" she echoes, glaring back towards Ryutaro. She'd probably ask him more, but then he disappeared right after she offered a bow in his direction.
Saki would shift a bit in her spot before looking to Shuuren. "Umm… Is… there anything I can do..?" she wonders uncertainly. Obviously, she was still wanting to ask a ton of questions, but now wasn't the best time for that…
As soon as Saki's wounds are healed, Ryoma would vanish with a puff of smoke. The Daimyo reaches into his pocket then, triggering a wardrobe scroll. By the time the smoke fades, he is back to the image she knows of the suit-clad Daimyo with blonde hair and a nornal complexion. "You can gather the pieces of the cart so I can seal them up in a scroll." With that he moves to start picking up the pieces of the crewmen the mongooses destroyed, a slightly apologetic look in his eyes for what happened to them just to lay a trap for him. That seems to be the theme his enemies are going with lately. He's going to have to do something to prove to them why that is a bad idea. Showing them just how badly he can obliterate them if he wants to should hopefully be a good start.
Saki nods a bit and turns to go and gather the various pieces of the cart. She keeps a majority of it near the wreck since she figures it'd be silly to move it further from the main pile. She ends up finishing after Shuuren was done handling the bodies, likely, so she would glance to the Daimyo and wait for him to seal everything up. Then she would just watch Shuuren clean up the area and put it back to whatever it was he wanted unless he told her to go back to the ship. of smoke and go to wrap around both of the mongooses he is facing off with to bind them up and keep them from attacking and keep them open for the next attack.
With one of his opponents down, Ryutaro ponders how best to thin the numbers down. As he is struck in the midsection, he lets out a fierce hiss and yet, when he strikes, rather than going after the one that hit him, he strikes at one of the ones Shuuren caught to try and kill it or at least force it to retreat like the other one did.