Date: Feburary 12th, 2010
Kenshin catches up to Miyabi. Miyabi’s father is worried about the happenings in the Land of Waves that Miyabi is investigating and sends Kenshin to help. Miyabi and Kenshin begin planning their investigation.
"Old People Aren't Targets"
// On an deserted island near the Land of Waves//
There are many islands that litter seas of this tumultuous region between the Land of Fire and the Land of Water. Many are scarcely populated and amenities are few and far between. This particular island, had little on it but the remnants of a long lost civilization. Lone pillars dot the landscape, a silent reminder of the impermanence of life.
The waters of the seas lap against the sandy beach of the island, the home to a small single mast vessel that could run aground and be pushed back to sea by a single person. The sail though had been lowered from the mast and a single line of footprints left their trail in the sand to a small cave. A flicker of light can occaisionally be seen in the cave and the scent of incense lightly fills the air. A Kamizuru would likely recognize the scent as it keeps away certain insects that are well, less than friendly.
Next time he wants an assignment… Kenshin's just going to keep his trap shut. He's been wanting something to do for a while, like go take out high level mark or act as a spy on enemy territory to gather informations, but THIS… Why in the world would a grown woman and a JOUNIN at that need a babysitter?.. With a shake of his head, the Kamizuru Jounin looks around as he continues his sailing toward the island where the "Princess" of his clan is supposed to be going. When he finally spots her boat, he pulls up and lands his own on and steps off it.
"Now why would Miyabi be in a desolate place like this?" Kenshin asks he starts looking around. When a flicker catches his eye, he looks toward a cave, a sudden light breeze carrying the scent of incense his way. "Well, here we go," he says as he begins walking casually toward the cave, not in any big hurry. It'd be about his luck she were in some sort of trouble with him just strolling.
At the time, Miyabi was still relatively unaware of anyone having come onto her little spitwad piece of land. Her bees though would probably note Kenshin's presence pretty soon and send the report. Of course, if the two hives mingled a little, Miyabi would know that the presence was probably not sinister and in the end would welcome the company. For now however, she enjoys a cup of freshly brewed tea made from some dried flower leaves from the walled gardens of Sunagakure. Her life, was relatively blessed; despite the current situation in the Land of Waves with Kirigakure. "So, Mizukage, are you here for conquest or just what are you doing?" she asked herself allowed, her eyes watching the shadows flicker on the wall behind the small fire.
A few bees of Kenshin's fly ahead of him toward the cave, meeting with those of Miyabi. As the Jounin himself comes into the cave, he hears the woman speaking apparently to no one but herself because his bees have not reported another presence. As he walks into the area, he says, "You know, you might be able to question him better if we had him in here tied to a boulder with his fingers tied down." Stepping into the light, he shows what can be seen of his face behind his cloak's collar and gives a light bow. "I rather doubt he can hear you now, M'Lady."
Miyabi looked up from the flames of the fire and smirked at Kenshin. "Greetings cousin." She said plainly, "No need to M'Lady me. I may have been a jerk back when I was a student and a genin, but it doesn't matter now. I'm a shinobi just like the rest of you, as I told my dad, this is not a tiara on my head." She said solemnly. She knew she had made some mistakes in her youth, using her fathers and grandmother's prestige in the clan to get her way. As Iwagakure started forming, her father almost naturally stepped into the position of leadership. He was well respected and liked by all the clans, though his youngest daughter was often viewed as a spoiled brat and a bit of a bully. None of that really mattered now though, Miyabi knew she had to continue proving herself worthy of her position before anyone truly respected her. "You're right though, it would probably be more effective to torture the information out of the Mizukage or one of his
councilors. The problem though, is getting in close to do it without being too much of a target ourselves. Valor is above reproach, but if it is accompanied by sheer stupidity, it's wasted. What brings you here anyway cousin? Have a message from dear ole dad for me?"
"I know. Just kidding around," Kenshin says with a smirk and a thumbs up. If Miyabi was ever mean to him as a kid, he's long forgotten it. The death of his parents and his near death began his life anew. Taking another couple steps, he takes a seat down in front of the fire across from her. "An advisor could be a rather easy catch. After all, who's going to really notice a few insects roaming around town or an elderly merchant couple just trying to set up shop in the market?" he asks with a light smirk. At her question, he shakes his head a little and says, "Well, I hate to break it to you… But I'm the message. It would seem you've been assigned a personal guard, Princess."
Miyabi nodded, "Yes, the thought had crossed my mind that a disguise could help with the penetration and information gathering side of things if diplomacy doesn't work. It appears that certain forms of diplomacy does work though. I heard Sunagakure arranged the release of some who were being held captive, though I don't know the details." She said, her right hand fidgeting with a stick that was drawing various emblems in the sand. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't call me Princess. My name is Miyabi, as I'm pretty sure you know." She paused for a moment and then tossed the small twig into the fire. "So, daddy is worried because of the events involving Konoha, eh?" she asked, figuring he was dispatched as soon as he got word of what had happened. "I just hope you're not as big of a joke as Gunjin. He was pretty handy when I was a genin, but eh, I've all but outgrown him. The only thing he's really helpful for is aerial surveillance." Gunjin, being
a giant bee whom she can summon via contract.
"Oh, really? Well, Sunagakure also seems to be full of the same cutthroat types as these. We're not exactly tree huggers, but we will have to be careful here," Kenshin says, pondering what could be done. At the offense at what he called her, he smirks a little bit. "You need to relax a bit. A bit of sarcasm can keep the mind from being too overwhelmed in the mess of this bloody business." At the mention of Gunjin, he chuckles a bit. "Ah, I remember that thing. You became known for him around the same time I became known for this," he says, holding his armored left hand up at the end of the last sentence. "The good ole' days of our lives consisting mainly of mayhem and some old-fashioned ass-kicking."
Miyabi nodded, "Sorry bout that, I'm trying so hard to put that part of who I am away from me that well, I get slightly hostile when someone brings it up. However, I also have to remember that I am also a bartering chip should something happen. Some could try to ransom someone like me with little hesitation." She then leaned back against the dry walls of the cave, "Yeah, I miss those days. The days of war. Didn't have to worry much about anything other than staying alive. Didn't matter who you fought or sabotaged, life was pretty much one big free for all until the clans started forming lasting alliances and the Hidden Villages were born. I miss beating up on the Toujitakumi for real!" she laughed. "Anyway, stealth, undercover ops. Disguising ourselves as simple merchants, perhaps selling honey and candy as we enter the Land of Waves would be an idea. In fact, perhaps we should hire a team of Kirigakure shinobi to escort us somewhere, perhaps
somewhere like Sunagakure as it's pretty far from Kiri." She said with a smile.
Listening as Miyabi reminisces, Kenshin smirks a bit and brings his hands up behind his head as he leans back against the wall behind him. Oh, the glorious days when he would go into a fight and not have to worry about preserving the bones of whoever he was fighting. Of course, it didn't do much good to interrogate some of his victims after he'd shattered their jaws, so he had to make sure to preserve at least a few men's ability to speak if his team needed information. When she breaks back into the task at hand, he emits a low 'hmm' then gives a nod. "Not bad. Of course, we need to make certain at least one of them is linked to someone who would actually know what's going on in the village. Really, it should be one of the simpler tasks in life for the lady with the Giant Bee and the man with the Iron Hand, eh?"
Miyabi nodded, "We're two of Iwa's best and brightest, it will be a piece of cake. We just have to make sure that cake is convincing." She chuckled, but then looked up at him, "You're right though. Simple elderly honey merchants wouldn't be target for much more than maybe a C rank mission. We have to have a reason to need to be B ranked or higher. We need to convince them that we are targets. Of course, if we're too wealthy and eager to pay, that may rise suspicions." She stated. "It can't be something technological that could be useful in warfare. We may be targeted then by Kiri themselves." She then looked up at him, "Any ideas?"
As Miyabi plots aloud, Kenshin plots in his head. Old honey merchants that need to be B-Ranked. Well, that's one heck of a twister. "Well, they're making some sort of amends with Sunagakure right now, right? We could be hired to transport something of importance to the Kazekage but need help fending off the rogues along the way. Perhaps an heirloom of his clan or their village?" he suggests, trying to think of things that wouldn't say 'Hey, this is cool. Let's kill the old people and take it.' After all, killing some idiot Kirigakure Chuunin wouldn't serve their purposes too well. "We'll say it's hidden within the honey."
"Eh, sadly, I don't think a couple old goats like us would be hired to carry something valuable to Sunagakure. Not on official business anyway from Kirigakure to Sunagakure. No, they would select someone they have history with. Only thing that could work is if one of us was commissioned to to craft something for someone of importance in Sunagakure. Then they may allow us to travel with that item to Sunagakure to deliver it as part of a truce type thing. My honey manipulation allows me to sculpt things which are very impressive. I know how to do it without jutsu being directly observed. I knew spending all my spare time in the candy shop watching them make candy would come in handy." She grinned. "Are there any special events coming soon to Sunagakure?"
At the countersuggestion, Kenshin ponders a moment. "That could work. I doubt the people here would be interested enough to try to kill us for a sculpture that hasn't been made yet." He brings his right hand up to move a bit of hair out of his eyes as he thinks for a moment. "Well, I'm not sure there are any official ones, but there can always be an anonymous rich man wanting to pay tribute to the Tsuchikage or one of their head Jounin over there with some sort of party where a sculpture will be made of the man. After all, some people are just that appreciative."
"Hmmm, that is an idea. We need to find out about that prisoner exchange thing. Who was exchanged, why, and all that. Perhaps, if those individuals had helped someone here in the land of waves, that person they'd helped would be wanting to send them a gift of appreciation. Sounds good to me. Once we have a plausible cover with the holes pretty well filled, we'll go to the Kirigakure office and request shinobi to accompany us on our trip to protect us from say, thugs and a rival someone who would do anything to make our employer look bad? I know we still have holes to fill here." Miyabi said still thoughtful, but optimistic as the pieces slowly fall into place.
As Miyabi explains her procedure, Kenshin simply gives a nod. Perhaps this gig won't be too bad. He might be babysitting the village princess still, but at least he'll get to do some actual shinobi work. Who knows, he might even get to break a body or two when it comes time for interrogation. Of course, this could always just lead to a simple interview, but whatever's best for Iwagakure pleases him well enough. "Sounds good. Looks like these old people are going to be making the rounds in the village." With that, he stretches a bit, obviously the duration of his trip now starting to bear down on him. After all, it's not all the time anymore that one gets pulled from a hardcore training session to get out on the sea in a small boat "If we are going to do this, however, I believe we'll be needing to get some rest." With that, he stands back up and goes back out to his boat for a moment, coming back with a medium-size bag. "Need a pillow? I brought
more than I need of things just in case."
Miyabi smiled, "Looks like it, but you're right, we need our sleep and then I suppose tomorrow, we'll get to work on our disguises." She then stood and walked to a small niche in the cave that had been covered with a dirty cloth, the spot had been pretty well completely hidden before. When she pulled back the curtain, a nice feather mattress, quilt, and pillow could be seen. Yep, she was a princess after all, and she did know how to live. "Thanks for the offer, but I'm pretty used to this type of thing. I travel a lot." She said casually as she got into the niche and pulled the blanket up over her. "Good night, Kenshin-kun. Sleep well." Yep, she knew who he was, though she hadn't worked with him very much in the past.
Smirking slightly, Kenshin chuckles a bit. "Your wit is as I expected," he says with a nod. As she goes to climb into bed, he respectfully turns away so as not to be peering at her as she gets into bed. "Good night, Miyabi," he says with a faint smile as he starts to lay out his own folded up feather mattress, pillow, and blankets. He then bends down and picks up a large piece of very thick black cloth, then moves to narrow spot closer to the mouth of the cave. Quickly hanging the cloth with kunai, he covers the area to keep any light from shining out of the cave from the fire as well as keep any annoying drafts from coming in to make the room colder or put out the fire in the middle of the night. Lastly, he puts a few large pieces of wood on the fire to keep it burning for warmth before removing his cloak and lying down to sleep.