Date: March 18, 2015
Shinobi from Kumogakure get to take a small trip to a local lord’s mansion and act as bodyguards. Each one has their own job that they get to have fun with, allowing for a fun night that quickly gets interesting when thieves strike.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
Land of Lightning
The Land of Lightning has been dealing with a lot of criminals lately, and even catching a lot of them thanks to the effort being put into tracking them down. While the villages have faith in their local Hidden Village, some are still a bit worried that they are not as safe. Especially those nobles that have all the cash and land at their disposal. As such, a team of mixed Genin and Chuunin have been sent out to assist as bodyguards during a party at a local noble's party. The task: to blend into the party crowd and make sure everyone is safe and sound. Reizei Ryouji was put in charge and would have all the details, including the map to get the team to their destination should they need it, while the others would get the message to wear their nicest clothes and put on their best attitudes!
Michiko was also a part of the mission, but she had assigned Ryouji to lead for some odd reason. Likely due to the fact that dealing with minor nobles would be more up his alley than anything. The girl is dressed in a rather nice kimono for the time being. A blue one decorated with light-purple flowers or something to that extent. There's a cart for them all to travel in. Total journey shouldn't take more than an hour, so the group is meeting up around late afternoon, say 4pm or so.
Ryouji sits in the back of the wagon adjusting his clothes to make sure everything is in place. He looks around at those gathered and says, "So we're posing as guests of the nobles party. He's a gokenin to the daimyo, so look and act your best. Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. We're not expecting an attack during this event, but there are always unknowns in any mission. Someone might try something so be ready. Even if it's peaceful, this mission will build trust between the village nobelmen and the hidden village. Something that is slightly lacking between the groups." He's dressed in his clan's best, a white and blue cherry blossom print kimono for boys with a small double obi sash. His weapons are not available as the regular guards will be looking for something so obvious. One of these days, Ryouji will need to learn scroll use to hide his weapons. "Any questions?" he looks around at those gathered.
Dress nicely? It's something Yori had done much of before but his aunt and uncle had always made sure he had appropriate clothing. And so Yori arrives dressed nicely in a full suit and bow tie and looks every bit the gentleman. Even his hair is slicked down! A small flower sticks out of his pocket as he comes into view. He offers a deep bow to those there before silently climbing aboard the cart.
Naruko…actually wasn't at all happy about this mission. The mission was fun but she had this incredibly massive headache that never seemed to go away. It pounded at her skull, causing her to flinch a few times before keeping up with everyone else. "Huh… Um go go about, party…and keep an eye on things right?" Naruko asks curiously as she strokes her nogin with a light finger. Maybe some winding down would have been the best option. 'Just shut up you…' Naruko thought quietly to herself. She was adorned in a pretty traditional pair of clothing. A long vibrant sunset kimono with a black shash tied around her waist line. She did peek at Yori. He was looking a little…outlandish. "Yori-kun…? What is the world are you wearing?"
Instead of her normal "ninja" kimono, Nozomi opts for an elegant powder-blue kimono with a white lily pattern running throughout the bottom half. Her inner garment, which peeks out along the lapels of the chest area are an egg-shell white that sets a delicate boundary between her kimono and her tanned skin. Her alabaster hair is up in a bun that is held in place by an arrangement of brown sticks trailing small blue flowers that match her soft, light blue eyes perfectly. The obi is set in a darker blue with a thin white belt, from which hangs not one but two instrument pouches.
Nozomi arrives at the designated meeting place. She is on her best manners, which are those of a musician. She holds a soft smile that almost reaches her eyes. Rather she nods and hopes that her flutes are not confiscated.
Hanami fidgets a bit, but does her best to appear calm and at ease for the crowd they're about to mingle with. She plucks and adjusts her kimono, white with purple and light blue feathers covering the right sleeve and down the side along the bottom. Looking around she catches up with the others, carefully getting into the cart. She smiles to Michiko and Yori, quietly greeting them as well as the others." She looks serious again as she listens to Ryouji though, intent on doing her best during this mission.
"No questions from myself, Ryouji-kun," Michiko says, nodding lightly to everyone as they arrive. "Anyway… We should get going so we aren't late." She steps into the wagon after everyone else, and the driver gets them moving. The journey itself is uneventful, fortunately. They don't have to worry about ruining their clothes or any such thing!
After an hour of being on the road with little to do but talk and discuss strategy, they would arrive at the small mansion that was the noble's home. Guards greeted the cart, all occupants forced to get out (though not rudely). They were quickly looked over, any and all weapons removed from each person and put in a holding room. Nozomi's flutes were noticed by the guards, which spelled a bit of trouble. She'd be asked their purpose before she was allowed to continue.
As the wagon rumbles along, Ryouji reaches into his kimono and pulls out several envelopes sealed with wax. "Ok, um, one extra thing. Michiko-chan gave me the rundown on the mission details first before we assembled the team. It would be best that not everyone is a noblemen and woman here. A large group of people slipping in that no one knows might looks suspicious. So, I randomly picked other jobs that were approved by the Gokenin that we could pose as. He hands the envelope that has a few bits of information, like what their job is and where they are supposed to meet in the party and who to meet who'll tell them what to do. For Hanami, Ryouji and Michiko, nobleman and women, people who should be guests at the party. For Nozomi a member of the group hired for the entertainment. They expect Nozomi should be able to play an instrument or sing. For Naruko and Yori, waitress and server staff. Ryouji even pulls out a pair of black serving vests given to him by the Gokenin so they'll looks like staff attending the guests. He hands them to Naruko and Yori and shrugs, "It'll be a more convincing cover." As the wagon reaches the destination, Ryouji climbs out the side of the wagon first, holding his hand out for the next person being the gentlemen he is. He smoothes out his clothes and makes sure everything in order before going in. The group's assignments are rather open ICly to what the players want to do with them, just have fun with it.
Yori's face burns red at Naruko's exclamation and he manages to stutter out, "I-it's a suit…" His aunt and uncle had assured him it was the current fashion. Shows what they know. "It's new." He mutters, ducking his head and quickly finding his pants interesting. That little speck of dust. When Ryouji gives him his orders Yori only nods a little without really lifting his embarrassed eyes. He dons the vest quickly and spends the trip kind of just keeping to himself. When they arrive he hops out of the cart and goes to see what the soiree he's supposed to be doing.
Squeezing into some tight black vest didn't seem to be all appealing. But the idea of dressing up and serving some people was actually quite thrilling. The thought…almost acted as a euphoria, easing that annoying headache and sealing away some distraught thoughts. She eventually slips into it. Tugging off her kimono and ending up in a skirt, a white undershirt and a black vest. All looking the part of being the mistress of serving people. She offers Ryouji a thumbs up. " You sure you don't want to be the entertainment? Some booming lyrics might be all these nobles need. She smirks and just shrugs her shoulders, finally she turns her attention to Yori, quickly trying to figure out how to ge tthe ridicolous suit off of him. " Let's get you in this vest, Yori-kun. you have to look the part after all." Naruko teases. There were afew others here she didn't quite known for real yet. Hanami and Nozomi… Hopefully this mission would shed some light on who they were. "I can't wait to see what you can do, Nozomi-chan!"
Nozomi takes a look at her assignment and chuckles. "Just what I thought," she says cheerfully. She then puts the card away and starts to mentally prepare herself by going through some of the same exercises she used when getting ready to be entertainment at her village. When they arrive, she slips out and around the groop before confronting the guards.
"I'm a musician," Nozomi explains to the guards. "I come from up north, near the borders. Steel doesn't last long in salt air, so bone flutes are often used as they last longer," she explains cheerfully but with an ever-so-slight tinge of boredom in her voice, playing the part of talent that she was originally trained for. The two flutes differ in length, one being a half flute and one being a full flute. "I was supposed to be part of the entertainment… did I come through the wrong door?"
Hanami looks decidedly nervous at the idea of playing a noblewoman, but she tuckes the card away and spends some of the remaining time calming herself, trying to get ready. She's not really sure what she'll do, but figures she'll find a way to make it work. Once there she makes sure her kimono is straight and proper, before moving on into the party. She decides she'll try to rely on her training here, adopting the aspects of the wind as she focuses on moving gracefully and quietly among the guests. Before she departs the group though, she'd give an encouraging smile to Yori since he seemed to be having a rought time.
The guards blink a bit. They had heard that there were supposed to be a few musicians, but they didn't expect someone so young. "Err… Sorry, miss. You just look a bit young," the one that stopped her explains. "Anyway, just go through that door on the left after entering the hall. First one. You should be able to find the band warming up there."
Yori and Naruko are noted with their uniforms and sent through a back entrance, which admittedly isn't too admirable. However, they would find it leads directly to the kitchen were some of the heads of staff were making sure everything was organized. One of them would be sent to serve appetizers while the other would be made to help take jackets and coats and the like. It's up to them which job they would like to take, as the heads don't give much acknowledgement beyond the most basic instructions and a passing 'ask what you don't know'.
Michiko offers encouraging smiles to Hanami and Yori as it seems they look a bit nervous. "You'll both do fine. Nozomi-san, play your best." Then she gets out of the wagon once the guards usher her out, slipping into the role of a noblewoman relatively easily since she had done so once before. Prior to parting ways, she says, "Be sure to keep your senses open, everyone."
Ryouji smiles and gives a thumbs up back to Naruko. For some reason, he was unsure giving this to Naruko was such a good idea. Turns out it wasn't so bad, he even gets to see Naruko take some clothes off, something he tries not to stare too long at. But he does raps to Naruko as she changes, "A noble's mind can't get behind what it takes to facilitate what it means to enunciate. Don't get me wrong, they're really strong. But they can't see what it takes to be to Ryouji." But as they reach the guards, he shows them his identification showing them he's one of the guests. He drops the rap voice and clears his throat going back to his usual aristocratic voice sounding like Thurston Howell from Gilligan's Island, "Good evening, Reizei Ryouji. Reizei clan representative."
Yori is far too polite to stare because that's just rude. He had removed his jacket with Naruko's help though and donned the vest, taking the flower from his jacket and looking at the vest with a pinched look. "Um…" He says, then looks at the others uncertainly. Eventually he sticks it in Hanami's hair. "My little sister said it was for luck. Don't want to leave it behind." And it wouldn't look right on a vest, so now the new 'noble' inherits it. With that done he goes where directed before looking up at Naruko to see what job she wants. He could do either, really, and now that they're /there/ he looks every bit as professional as one would except a noble's serving man to be.
Ryouji definitely had a way with words. She held a hard grin as he went on the rap, and then suddenly drops his voice to fit along iwth what he was doing. Such a character that one was. Once Naruko had finished helping Yori with his vest it wasn't long until she took charge of the /entire/ situation. Still… she had this pulsating headache that wouldn't go away. Owwie owwie was all that could be felt for a few moments before she cleared her throat and quickly began to raise her voice. "HEY More spices! Make sure you salt that properly! Don't boil it too long! Are you stupid?! There are rich people out there!" She reaches into one of the bubbling pots, the tip of her finger poking against a saucey substance to hence she then takes a taste, swirling it along her tongue, stabbing it against the side of her cheek she suddenly pauses. "….WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO COOK? DO YOU BURN WATER?" She reaches for the handle of the pot and sending it flying across the kitchen. " Start over! We can't mess up here. This needs to tbe the best party the world has ever seen…along with the best food they've ever tasted!" She then snaps her fingers ushering for Yori. "Yori-kunn~ Let's get some orders shall we~?" She regains some composure, taking a scroll in one hand and a pen in the other, ready to take some orders while at the same time being a freaking awesome shinobi. Her little sniffer is going off to make sure no poison or stinky people slip out to where the nobles were.
Nozomi smiles and shakes her head. "We start our careers young where I come from," she notes with a grin. "Even those of us with an easier future mapped out start early, so don't worry. I'm used to it." She notes the door the motion to, and after a short bow she makes her way toward it. She uses this chance to guage the crowd in an attempt to figure out what they'd like to hear, and more importantly, what /not/ to play.
Hanami appreciates the flower Yori put in her hair, it was nice of him to do that and she would make sure to keep it safe since it was given to him by his little sister. Though she can't help the slight frown of a thought, but that passes. As she moves around the crowd she keeps a pleasant smile on her face, greeting people kindly. She even speaks up a time or two in conversations where she feels she can make a comment confidently enough. Those are probably few and far between, but she does her best. All the while keeping her senses open in case the wind turns unexpectedly.
So far so good! Nothing odd is going on, and many a guests are coming into the party to chat with people. They all seem to be having a good time and are in a good mood, indicating that they probably want something cheerful when the band comes out to play. There's a few in particular that Hanami and Michiko might find odd. One is a young man with a monocle. He tends to spend his time near the snack table just watching people creepily… So creepy. Another is a woman with rather long sleeves, a long dress, and a large scarf so that no part of her body but her face is exposed.
Naruko's … eccentric attitude gets quite a bit of movement out of the chefs that are in the kitchen. "Yes, ma'am!" they say, scrambling a bit more to try and put out the best they can cook for the evening. They're used to a lot, but not all of the dishes that were noted to be favorites of some. Yori would get shooed to help out until Naruko dragged him off to help her.
Nozomi would get to meet members of the band she was working with. one was a guqin player, and a few others had some strings and basic drums to play. Overall, the tone would be soft, but it could be upbeat like the crowd is suggesting they want. "Well, I think you're our star tonight, miss," says one of the members. "Anything in particular you'd like to play with us?" they would ask.
Michiko simply continues to interact with the guests as she has been, the girl keeping an eye on those who seem suspicious. In general, she would hang around near Ryouji since he was still more used to such matters than herself, but she would talk when addressed and be polite and all that. A few people compliment her, which makes her blush a bit from time to time, especially when she doesn't think she deserves it.
Ryouji moves among the crowd and sweeps the area with his eyes and chakra senses. He keeps his own chakra subdued, not gathering it right now for anyone else to pick up. He stops at a few of the guests, giving them a polite bow and plucks a small vial of fruity drink from a plate from a server girl. He sips it and finds it's got a bit of sake mixed in. Shouldn't be too bad with just a little though. He nods to Michiko when she's complemented, but not jumping in to draw her away. She might be uncomfortable in this area, but the only way to get your feet wet is to jump in. Saving her from anyone schmoozing with her won't help at all. A young girl does walk up to Ryouji as he's scanning the crowd and says, "Excuse me." Ryouji looks over at the taller woman and says, "Good evening." She smiles, "I couldn't help but notice you at the front doors. You said you were from the Reizei clan?" She plays with her hair as she flirts, "I've always found that clan fascinating." Ryouji's voice cracks as he says, "Oh really?" She giggles and smiles at him and he continues to scan the area. It gives him a good cover as he keeps looking around with his chakra senses.
Yori stares wide eyed when Naruko starts her…tirade! Social BEEP, who pee'd in her wheaties this morning? While she continues on the boy shuffles a little to one side and back to put a chef between he and the vicious new headmaster of the kitchen. When she calls his name he steps out and practically vibrates like the roadrunner coming to a stop, "H-hai!" He says, starting to salute, then stopping, then just looking around to see if anyone saw that. Okay, he's not done 'undercover' before. Instead he just grabs up something to write on and with and follows after Naruko quickly.
Naruko actually knew this business and knew it quite well. She didn't own her own shop or anything but she was an amazing cook…according to her parents. Once the kitchen was situated it would be up to Yori and Naruko to take care of the orders. She leaned into the door to open it as she stared along the scroll and then pointed off into the room, mentally dividing the room in half. " So here is the plan, Yori-kun. I will get one side of the room and you should go ahead and get the other side. Flex your muscles a bit and show some chest hair so you can get a tip. You want to try and weasle in the most expensive dishes. Who knows, we might get a nice little cut at the end of the night that we can blow on some Go later tomorrow," There is an evil smirk along her lips as she straightens up his clothing a bit, and just like that she zips off to a table. "Welcome! I'm Naruko your server for the evening. What would you like to have today?" After hearing some options she lightly shakes her head. "Oh no no no, this is more your style. This dish is met for royalty. Princes and Princesses. Soothes the soul while saturating your aura with importance and self-empowerment." It was time to make some money. And look at that! Her head stopped hurting!
Nozomi cheerfully greets everyone and gets to know what they're specialties are. She's happy that there's such a wide range of people as she pulls out her full-length flute. "I figure we'll start out with Cherry Blossom Waterfall, since that's a charismatic but soft tune. We'll then guage our songs toward what the guests want. But we shouldn't go beyond say… Noontime Breeze. There's a lot of nobles out there, all talking about something they feel is important, and we don't want to trample all over their conversations." She then runs through a few exercises before the maitre d' tells them the crowd is ready. As she files out, she looks over the band one more time, then turns her attention to the crowd before bowing and preparing to begin.
Hanami does her best to continue mingling. It's not exactly easy, but she does her best to handle anything addressed her way. When her eyes catch the creepy guy by the snack table so first is suspicious, but wonders if maybe he's just the normal type of creepy. She wont completely disregard him though, just tries to stay away from the snack table. The covered up woman does make her wonder though, she can't help thinking it'd be easy to sneak in any number of items under all those clothes, but maybe it's just her preference? Too easy to just let those two slide, but she shouldn't get lax. So while she gets drawn into a small group talking together about some of the recent activities, she takes the time to continue scanning the area.
"No, no, I'm /sure/ I really want the strawberry sauce, not the vanilla," one woman argues with Naruko. Well, she's actually a very young woman probably around Naruko's age, though her attitude is that of a ten year old…. "Just give me what I asked for, please." Oh, and she has that stuck-up-ness around her too… Yori could possibly note a few things, likely the suspicious people hanging around.
Nozomi and band would soon get the call to go on stage. As soon as the music started, people started to dance a bit in their spots, enjoying the performance. Some of the younger people there even gather near the stage to 'get their groove on' as one elderly man said. That band played well, and with Nozomi there, it was probably just that much better! Whoo!
Ryouji would sense very little to no chakra that was outside of the norm. Everyone is being very cautious, or there's just nothing to worry about. If it's the latter, then hey, they weren't needed, but probably had some fun! If the former… They might be in for a bumpy ride…
Michiko finds herself slowly getting surrounded by people, a few of them boys her age. "No… I'm fine, I don't need anything to drink. No, I don't need anything to eat, either…. Is that even an appropriate conversation?" comes her stream of answers after a flood of questions. It prevents her from keeping watch on the others, too, dang it!
Ryouji does indeed get drawn away. He tries to keep his chakra senses tuned, but dang if the girls here aren't distracting. One leads him away, but he quickly gives her the slip himself. But now he's looking around the entirely wrong place for where the action might start. Poor Ryouji, he's going to miss it.
"Uh…hai Naruko-san." Yori says softly as she explains the finer points of being a waiter to him. Dammit Jim! He was a Saito not a busboy! When he's told to show off a little chest air and muscle he trips over his own feet and barely catches himself. His face is beet red and he looks to ask Naruko something but she's long gone. Oh boy. The youngster meanders out to his 'half' and starts taking orders. Okay, in the end it's not all that hard and his very organized mind and manner makes it easy to take the orders and even begin to make recommendations. In the end he finds it silly to be taking the orders down when they just stick in his memory…but he does it for show, and because it allows him to look around a little when they are ordering.
Naruko squinted her eyes at the younger woman, a light frown smoothed about her lips. Something about that attitude really began to eat at her for a moment… though instead of fighting it she just wrote down the notes for the table and move on. Eventually finding slipping some orders back to the Kitchen. She felt fairly exhausted all of a sudden. Almost as if she had done farrrr too much work than she was suppose to. "Ugh…stupid people not knowing what's best for them to order…" The words where muttered as she looks towards the cooks. She didn't know how the food was coming along but as soon as they were done she was going to start serving the first batch of orders.
Nozomi continues to play through the first song as she keeps tabs on the general movements of the crowd. As the younger generation sets out to dance, she smiles slightly behind her flute. The song ends, and she looks back to the band for a moment to set the next piece. This one is actually a song, with the singing done by Nozomi herself. Only a little faster than the previous number, Nozomi's voice carries soflty across the crowd. She appears to be quite a good singer in addition to being a good flutist.
Hanami finally extracts herself from the conversing group, mentally berating herself for getting distracted and not paying as close attention. Of course she notices Ryouji isn't around which worries her but isn't sure about hunting him down. She tries to focus back on the mission, senses hopefully more alert as she also keeps an eye out for Ryouji, and takes a quick moment just to spot the rest of her group as reassurance.
The evening goes on without a hitch for the next few hours. People are having fun, enjoying the food they ordered, whether through suggestion or not, and just having a good time. It's not until four hours into the party that the creepy people make their move. They start to head to the exit, taking various things from the people there. They also make a move on Hanami and Michiko, trying to take Michiko's necklace and Hanami's flower…. which may have been a bad call…
Michiko's hand reaches out to try and grab the thief, who just barely manages to get away from her. "Dang it…" she curses, half wanting to go overboard. With a single handseal, a small flame shoots upward from her, giving a signal to those around that the team hopefully recognizes as a single to go after the thieves.
While Yori makes his rounds and takes his orders he slowly makes his way around past the stage, at which point he gives Nozomi and smile and a little nod of approval at her handling of the music stuffs. Then he swings by where Hanami is and holds up his pad, "Can I get you anything to eat miss?" He asks, much like a waiter is supposed to, though he does have a hint of a grin on his features when he does it.
Four hours? Of serving? Well let me just tell you that he's the best festive waiter anyone has ever seen. His half of people are the happiest in the world and the most effeciently and meticulously waited on as well. They'll be disappointed when he leaves, but leave he does, and right for that thief taking the flower is where he goes. In a flash he's there to try and knock the thief down before he can get too grabby.
Naruko making her rounds actually became a bit sluggish as the night went on. She managed to get all of her tables taken cared of but obvious repetition of her orders had got her fairly bored with the situation at hand… Oh well. Once the thief had sprung into action there was a bit more excitement. A few of them managed to slip out and go about their merry way… impulsively Naruko wasn't going to let that happen. "Hey! Stop right there!" Naruko exclaims as an tinge of red chakra formed about her body, from which she slams her fist down surface below her… from under the earth a poisonous mass of chakra came out from beneath the bandit, shattering the surface they stood upon and hopefully clasping said person with in a fist of chakra… She didn't plan on letting them go if she managed to catch them.
By now the song selections have gotten a bit faster paced, and just in time as the commotion starts up. Nozomi may not normally be the most observant member of the team, but she can still notice when someone appears to be running while others try to stop him. Therefore, Nozomi decides to act, and fortunately the song provides a disguised openning for her sound attack. She merely pitches one note higher than the others while channeling her chakra into it, sending an E sharp attack toward her target.
The thieves starting to make their move catch Hanami's attention not to mention the one who tries to steal the Yori's flower. Yeah, she's not going to let that happen easily, turning to try and dodge out of the way with a swirl of her kimono as she jabs the thief in the kidney.
While everyone tried to catch them, their efforts were just a bit too slow, or were completely blocked (the thieves covered their ears at the sour note and continued forth). Only Naruko is able to capture one of them with her chakra grapple, keeping him in place. It's actually the creepy monocle guy.
With many of her team failing, Michiko takes a moment to pause and think. She considers everything around her, sending a burst of chakra through the ground. The criminals all manage to escape to the outside, but it was still within her range… Still easy to see where they were, and more than easy enough for Michiko to take down. A few seals later, hands sprung up from the ground and snatched each of the ne'er-do-wells, dragging them all into demonic graves. "Tch…" Michiko mutters softly, glad that the thieves were all caught and none of them really had to break cover.
Once all the thieves are visited and tied up, things are handed back to people, resulting in many sighs of relief. Looks like the Kumo-nin had one, if barely! And the host of this party is glad that nothing was harmed during the whole thing, giving the shinobi all his hearty thanks.
Hanami is glad Michiko was able to catch the thieves so quickly and easily. She grumbles to herself about not being fast enough, but she comes out of it to smile and express her gratitude at the return of Yori's flower. She's happy that the host was so pleased with the results though. The main point was that this mission hopefully helped bridge the gap between the nobles and all and the shinobi. Once everything has calmed down she makes sure to return the flower to Yori with her thanks, as well as checking in with Michiko to help clean things up.
Nozomi frowns as her attack fails, but continues to play on until the end of that number. As that was the last song of the set, she bowed to the audience, thanked them, and then moved off-stage and into the dressing room. She answers the band's questions as best she could while remaining undercover, then begs off any further performances, using the high note as an excuse to indicate she was growing tired. When it comes time for the team to meet again, she is ready to go home.