Date: November 9, 2012
A troup of Konoha nin on a simple guard mission encounter a bizarre adversary.
"Prince of Rat-Thieves"
An urban city in the Land of Fire
It's time for a fall festival in one of the Land of Fire's larger cities! Everybody's in a cheerful mood, and a spirit of neighborly competition is brewing in certain parts of the market. The reason? This burg is host to a famous annual harvest contest, to which their locals bring their best seasonal foods — breads, cheeses, fruits, fresh brews, and more. The very best is sampled by a panel of judges to determine a winner, and the rest is sold to a populace waiting eagerly to stuff their bellies.
Of course, any event this big needs a bit of security, so a few Konoha ninja have been hired to keep an eye on things and provide crowd control if need be. Noab stands by with his team, reluctantly watching the vast spread. "How do I keep getting assigned to missions that go exactly against my strengths?" he mutters. Of course, Noab has more than enough self-discipline to deal with this, but being told to watch food is torture for an Akimichi. >.U;
It was an interesting assignment, to say the least, but it was something easy enough to get young Eremi back into the swing of things after his return and there wasn't much that was easier then guard duty. Though he had a feeling as his eyes fell on the the large Akimichi, he may have to try and play barricade. Something he was sure that would just get him trampled. "Oh, umm…" Swinging the backpack off his shoulder to hold it out in front of himself, he'd unzip one of the pockets and pull out some wrapped beef jerky. "I have some of this if you'd like. It's not much, but I enjoy it and I've seen a ninken take some and survive so it can't be all bad." Glancing toward the others as well, "I have plenty for just us and so long as this doesn't go over night." He wasn't sure if they were allowed to sample any of the foods on display, so he didn't want to be tempted either.
After the handouts were taken or not, Eremi would zip everything back up and put the backpack across one shoulder once again. "So is there anywhere you'd like us? Should we stay together or split up? Maybe even mingle through the crowds." He'd shrug, not knowing the best route to take, eyes slowly scanning through the crowds as he waited for orders and to see if there was anything he'd could spot out of the ordinary fresh out of the gates.
Festival time~ The perfect time to get up to mischief, feed until one burst, and just overall enjoy oneself! Sadly, and due to an unfortunate string of events, Ryoji found himself roped into a bit of 'nonsense' about protecting the annual harvest festival. "You just had to listen to me and check Konoha first instead of Kadopie didn't you." Ryoji murmured irritably too himself while pacing back and forth directly behind the team. A team consisting of none other than a jolly, green giant, a mouse, a blind man, and… probably some other guy. In a nutshell by the Iga's perspective, it was the ultimate dream team. e.e
Just thinking about it all prompted an exasperated sigh to be released before Ryoji forced himself slip back closer to Noab and open his mouth to speak; only to close it once more since 'the mouse' was more prepared. So, after shaking his head in response to Eremi's offer Ryoji closed his eyes to focus purely on listening instead. "I presume it is because they love people that have proven themselves adaptable, Akimichi-san.. *clears throat*… but besides that, is there anything in particular we're supposed to keep an eye out for boss as well?"
Festival time and this time around the young Senju Isato didn't see himself skipping out on training to go, however that wasn't the case it appears a mission has come up that would force his hand in the matter. The young man would have no other choice but to enter into the ranks and prove his worth. After a while of scanning everyone over only Ryoji stood out as the sore thumb. The young man appears was to Isato standards rather abnormal and thus a sigh escaped his lips before speaking to Noab. "So tell me what's the mission again? As in who are we protecting and if you don't mind me asking why?" Is said in an over the top relaxed voice. This is the first time the young man didn't feel out of place. Taking a moment to access the situation he spoke once more "so shouldn't we go around and get to know everyone or something to that effect?" Isato cheeks would be slightly red as he yawned, "sorry about that spent most the day training." Isato started to feel as if he has talked to much which caused him to blush an even brighter color than before.
Noab clears his throat. "Orders are, prevent all forms of theft, cheating, and mischief in regard to contest; resolve any issues of crowd dynamics; and provide other assistance to local authorities as needed." Always have some clause in there like that for unforeseen circumstances, lends itself to abuse occasionally, but you can bet the village will think twice about contracting missions with groups that tend to take advantage of it. e.U "Occasional patrols of the vicinity would be useful, but for the most part, this location right here where the prize-hopeful food is will be the hot spot if trouble shows up. Besides, it's centrally located, best place from which to launch general response."
Noab grabs the offered strip of jerky and immediately tears off a piece with his teeth. "Top marks, soldier," he mutters around his chewing. "Preparedness and squad support. I'll put a commendation in the mission report for you." Noab swallows and forces himself to save the rest of the jerky for a while. "'Course, the real problem isn't that we're actually hungry, we all had decent rations before the mission began, I'm assuming. The real problem is psychological, having to keep up alertness to the task while faced with a constant distraction. It wears down on the mind, eventually you can even start imagining strange things, like…" Noab peers at the far end of the long table where the contest foods are spread out. "…like a loaf moving on its own?" c.U
If that's Noab's imagination at work, then it must be a mass hallucination, because pretty soon other items from the food table start floating up. They then cascade off the surface toward the ground below, with little pink clawed legs extending down to catch their fall. Rats! Hundreds of them! O.O; They scurry toward alleyways and sewers in an organized pillaging of all things edible. The townsfolk soon notice and pandemonium erupts, some screaming and rushing to get away from the scene, others trying to grab the purloined goods back or smash the rodents with whatever they had in hand. "Senju, evacuate the civilians!" Noab barks. "Satonezu, pick an enemy column and head it off! Iga, try to figure out where they're congregating!" Noab does some handseals and puts his palms to the ground, blocking off some sewer accesses with earth.
Eremi nodded as the orders and what's expected of them was explained. "Seems easy enough." Considering nothing goes wrong that is, but the thought of something going haywire during a food festival seemed a bit far stretched to him, but it wasn't his concern to question such things. So long as he was required to be somewhere, he was happy to offer any assistance he could.
"Oh…Well, I was just…Thank you." It wasn't often Eremi would get commendated for sharing his food, in fact it never happened. Though he never carried jerky with him before leaving the village. The long trips and lack of money often made it difficult to buy a decent meal and the dried meats was just enough to tide one over until the next chance of food.
The boy would nod once again as Noab spoke of distractions. Anything that was in Eremi's peripheral would get a second or third look over, before he was sure things were normal. So being distracted is something he knew all about.."Huh?" A loaf moving on it's own didn't sound too plausible, that had to just be the Akimichi's own inner struggle to guard the food and not eat it, but as he looked around the scene, the spread of foods placed all about, he too was starting to see the same thing. Rats!
As soon as Noab gave Eremi his directions, he'd drop his backpack and go off in full sprint after a row of rats that were scurrying away with the prized food. He thought about shouting for them to stop, but they were just rodents after all so instead he reached behind his back, dipped his hand into his kunai holster, retrieved two and threw them out in front of himself and toward the critters, hoping to either pin one by the tail, startle them a bit or force them to change course. Anything to slow them down.
Ryoji is barely able to cast a curious glance over at the last minute addition to the team before, with a start, the Iga locks his focus upon Noab. A Jounin he grudgingly believed was seasoned, highly disciplined, completely in control, and…. and a true, blue Akimichi appearantly. Another exasperated sigh escaped the Iga's lips, and was almost followed up by a light facepalm if not for a few warning bells. The first and foremost being the barely perciptable squeeks beneath all the more ambient noise alerting him. Disbelief however made him hesitant even -after- Noab mentioning of walking food.
And as a result, the Iga is ill-prepared to tune out the screams or keep from getting nearly run over by people breaking away to fight or flee the horde. So he fell. Not quite so gracefully, face first ontop of pie rat (wink wink, nudge nudge). The scent (and pain!) however sharpened his focus instantly and fueled his next attempt to rise.
But he fell thanks to some crazy woman rushing past…
Then he's up again!
Then a flying shoe knocked him straight back to his knees. @.@
"Ugh… Okay, plan B." He murmured as crawled under the nearest, sturdiest filling table. Thus far the safest place to try and get a read on just what exactly was going on. Although this still proved difficult thanks to everyone stepping and slowing down his sensory organs, so a back-up plan appeared in order…
"Noab! Everyon-werr-Just Noab! Manhole now!!" Ryoji cried out, then snatched up the nearest rats. "Believe me, this will hurt me more than its gonna hurt you," He whispered as he shoved a sensory organ or two down the rats throat before letting it run off with the early.
The rats attacked by Eremi squeak in alarm as the sharp kunai clank against the cobblestones. Each throw was just barely a miss, but it was plenty to disrupt the rats' formation. They bunch together in confusion, dropping their loads and chittering at each other. Finally they abandon the food and bolt in another direction, following some of the more successfully escaping rats.
Ryoji's captive squeaks and squirms like, well, a captured rat. :P Nevertheless, Ryoji's implanting of 'tracking devices' is successful, which is a bizarre experience for the rat. @.@ Rats are used to gorging down on large edible objects, but having them force-fed, when usually they have to steal and run away with their food? Crazy humans. XP The unfortunate rodent wobbles away as best he can after being released, heading after the other rats.
Almost as suddenly as the raid began, it seems to be over, the rats vanishing underground. The rats didn't get as much food as possibly they were planning on, and a fair amount of what they did grab was dropped in their haste to escape from the unexpected ninja intervention, but who'll want to eat that stuff now that the rats have touched it and left it on the ground? :P This definitely isn't going to look good on the mission report. Still, there's a chance they can still do something about the cause of the problem. Noab stomps on the ground, and a nearby manhole cover is popped up by an earthen spike. "Iga, you lead the way. Satonezu, back him up. I'll…stay here with Senju and help get things under control. Sorry, don't think I can fit through that hole." e.U;
Watching the rats move about, Eremi had hoped to be able to keep track of those he was chasing after, but as they formed together only to drop the loot then split once again. He had only managed in helping them escape with those that were possibly too far now to follow. "…easy." He mumbled to himself as he bent down to pick up a pie that hadn't been dirtied and a loaf that only needed to be cleaned off. It's appearance was still appealing and maybe the judges could take that into consideration, he didn't know, but he was still bringing them back to place on the table before rushing over toward the others of the group to see how successful they were.
"Sorry, I wasn't fast enough." Saying something like that was enough to cut Eremi deep, but he kept his face hidden as he went over toward his backpack and slung it over a shoulder. Turning around, he catches Noab stomping on the ground and can only assume it's out of anger. Which it just might be, but with the now open manhole, they had a new direction to go. "Don't worry. Ryoji and I won't return until we discover the source of the problem." Glancing toward the Iga, Eremi thought about question the others eyesight, especially in the dark, but didn't. Instead the teen unzipped his backpack and withdrew a small glowstick (Pretty sure they had those in Naruto), broke it, shook it and then moved toward the hole. "After you?" Then would follow behind the other.
"Right, right, of course. Whatever was I thinking." Ryoji muttered darkly underbreath and relunctantly crawled free of his safe heaven. Mildly hoping all the while the agitating feeling of claustrophobia would go away by time the action started again. Not that he was particular excited about trapezing around in human waste OR possibly battling some type of mutated horde of rates in said space. Still, a promise was a promise and for mou-er-Eremi sake he would try to resist the urge to use the tunnels to escape.
"Yes sir, Noab-kun~ Either we find the source or the next team will get a chance to play with our skeletons!", He exclaimed brightly, jabbing an index finger skyward. Then without further adieu Ryoji began to strip down to only his boxers, folded them the discarded clothing into neat little squares, placed them onto some random table before meandering over to the manhole once again. Heedless of the tangled growth of red hair breaking free of their minds and descending to cover his entire form in a second skin of sorts.
"No need mousy-kun~ A real man of the people needs to only rely on his heart to guide him through such a perilous darkness! But thanks all the same… *clears throat* BAN-ZAAIIIII!!!", He cried out before jumping straight down..
Yeah, let's face it, they're going into a sewer, although it's at least a fairly efficient and spacious one, serving this metropolitan area. The rats take quite a few different paths through the tunnels, but thanks to Ryoji's trackers, the ninja are able to follow one rat in particular to what seems to be the meeting place for them all. In a large central chamber, the rats congregate, bringing their ill-gotten goods. A high-pitched voice echoes down the passageway as Ryoji and Eremi approach. "Cheez, dis is all yas got? It's a freakin' jackpot of goodies up dea! What happened, somebody blow da gaff before most of yas was ready?"
As Ryoji and Eremi get to the entrance of the chamber, a strange sight greets their eyes. The rats are gathered around a somewhat larger rat, who sits upright while they chitter their report to him. "Ah, nuts. Figgas dey'd have some ninja around. Hey, whea yous guys back dea goin'? Oh, da spell must be wearin' off, hang on…" The big rat pulls out a flute and pipes a few crude notes on it. The rats on the fringe who had started acting more like normal, disorganized rats suddenly come back to attention. "Dat's betta. When Gonfu da Prince of Rat T'ieves talks, ya listens! Now den, maybe wes kin still grab some — "
Suddenly Gonfu spots a tuft of Ryoji's bright red hair sticking out around the corner! "IT'S DA FUZZ!!! SPLIT UP!" The rats suddenly scatter in every direction. Gonfu smirks as he tucks a wheel of cheese under one arm and the flute beneath the other and bolts down a tunnel himself. "I always wanted ta say dat." >)
Looking toward the Iga, waiting for him to come to the sewer, Eremi's jaw dropped. "Why are you stripping?" Quickly averting his eyes to look away, before he saw more then he'd want to. "We're going into the sewers, not a hotspring!" Slowly he'd turn his head just enough to see Ryoji in his peripherals and now completely covered in their own red hair. "I guess that's better, but not by much…." Shaking his head, "After you."
Once Ryoji did jump in, Eremi would follow behind, but not too close. Naked man, is naked. "So" Whispering quietly. "Which way?" The boy would glance around the sewers, moving the glow stick this way and that while being as careful as he could to not step in something that he shouldn't or trip on any wires that might be about, ready to spring traps that will kill them both.
As they continued further into the sewers it wasn't until hearing the soft squeeks of a large collection of rats which was slowly overpowered by a louder and thick, unknown accent, that Eremi would toss the glow stick back the direction they came to avoid being detected. However, it seemed the bright, red hair of Ryoji's was still enough to spot for the low-light to no-light visioned creatures. "Way to go, naked man" Shaking his head as he waited for orders on which way to go, though he was sure the plan was to chase down that large rat looking man.
Even after undergoing the transformation the feel, and worst yet, stench of the sewer threatened to dry the Iga straight back into Insanity! Presumebly if he does not pass out first from sensory overload or flee with the promise to never again work for Konohagakure. Ever. He pressed on nevertheless against his better judgment, resisting all the while the urge to gripe openly about their current situation. This also meant ignoring Eremi's question for awhile to help focus, but certianly the Satonezu wouldn't take much offense to that?
"Hnn, this looks certianly promising.", He murmured, rubbing his chin as they observed rat horde little gathering and molding a bit of flesh idly. A muttered curse escaped his lips incidently along with a few sensory organs once the alarm goes off. Pursuit however is delayed by one of the upchucked organs been turned about in hand to glare back at Eremi before the Iga chucked it into the general crowd, willing it to follow the leader. "Pursue the boss directly, but only go with the intent to remove that flute for now above all else. Alright, mouse-kun?", Ryoji mocked and made room for Eremi to take the forefront. The Iga himself however lingered only to spread out his sensory organs to wander the sewer system and find any faster paths in order to cut off the threat, then try and slow down the runners using nets of hair. A safety measure just incase there was more going on here than meets the eye.
Watching the Iga and its strange abilities was almost enough to make Eremi sick, but not quite as he swallowed back down what was trying to force its way up. "Sounds good, just give me a brief moment." While the other was tossing at organs and hair, the Satonezu raised his arms in front of him in an X-fashion in front of his face. This wasn't something he was planning on using seeing as how it was only supposed to be guard duty to some food, but with having to chase down some gross and possibly mutated ratman, the chance of avoiding a deadly and contagious disease took more pressing matters.
Eremi would begin to take in a deep breath, then slowly exhale it out. "Initial Gate, open." A small vein would appear on the boys head, "Gate of Healing, Open." The vein would grow in size and those around his arms would begin to bulge in response. "Gate of Life…Open!" The boys skin would change to a dark red and the chakra within his body began to pour out in waves only to wrap around his body as it overflowed throughout his system.
The moment Ryoji stepped aside, Eremi leaned forward and took off in a sprint. The pressure he let out from his speed alone, pushed the sewer water aside as well as any rats that were in his path. He continued the momentum up until catching up with the Gonfu and even pressed ahead to block the others escape.
Gonfu dashes as quickly as he can through the tunnels, which is pretty darn fast compared to what most humans can manage. All of his ratty instincts tell him to find some sort of hole to slip into (no duh, brain!), but he's having trouble finding anyplace big enough for him, while too small for his pursuers. Especially one he can also fit the cheese wheel into. :P Darn humans, only making their sewer ducts big enough for normal-sized rats! >P It's discrimination, that's what it is!
Of course, even Gonfu's best speed is no match for a ninja using chakra overloading. Gonfu skids (splashes? skishes?) to a halt as Eremi suddenly zooms by and blocks his path. "Erk…yous don't look like da type ta cut a deal, huh?" c.c; Gonff quickly starts piping on his flute. Other rats suddenly start coming out of hiding, and surge forward to attack Eremi in a wave of nipping teeth and scratching claws. Gonfu picks up his cheese and tries to make a break past Eremi while he's occupied. c.c;
The rats weren't the only ones literally blown away by living red tornado the Satonezu had transformed himself into. Thankfully he managed to at least glue himself down by hand, foot, and chakra before the force of the charge knocked him too far off balance. "Well, at least his motivated," Ryoji mused, returning once more to rat catching and impeding despite the futily in catching the speedy devils. Seriously, shouldn't a few of them be bloated down from nipping their haul along the way? Even if only a little! Oh wait, there's… no, it was just the same rat he placed the tracker in. ._. "You are one spitefull little vermin aren't you?", He stated more than asked after reeling the rat into arms reach.
"Hmpf, if only I had'na sent Satonezu-san after their lead.. *sighs*.. Guess that means—" Abruptly Ryoji cut himself and leaned out into the main cavern with his head turned to better hear what he only dared dream to imagine. It was with great pleasure after excessively straining his ears to catch even the faintest noise beyond that he gained just what the doctor ordered! BUT he still err'd on the side of caution and began to crawl his way up to the shadows admist the cieling above to wait out his quarry. Unless impeded by another source, Ryoji would let loose the full force of his steel-like tendrils of hair upon the trouble maker. Snatching him up and buring all but Gonfu's head admist the tangled folds of red (as well as a strange tinge of other colors best not noticed).
"Ohayou, said the spider to the fly, but I must add, do you surrender?" He asked, presumebly if he even succeeded… but if not, back to the drawing board. z.z;
Huffing and puffing while clenching his fists, Eremi eyed the over fed rodent, that wasn't a ratman, expecting the critter to give up upon realizing it had no escape ahead. It was basically trapped…like a rat, but that didn't seem to bother the possibly self-proclaimed prince. So when the flute began to play and the horde of rats began to charge at him, the young teen didn't plan on punching and kicking each of them into submission and instead jumped to the side, feet sticking to the wall with ease. His form several feet above what they could reach. Now if they can climb walls as well, then he was in trouble. For now though, Eremi simply stayed on track with Gonfu, even as Ryoji's hair comes out to attempt and grab the creature in a mess of hair.
Some of the rats do get pretty close to scaling the curved walls of the sewers up to where Eremi perches. c.c Guess that flute really motivates 'em. Still, the natural climbing skills of a rat aren't quite up to the task of hauling themselves up brick surfaces inclined past ninety degrees. Gonfu looks back over his shoulder as he runs. "Keep 'im busy, boys, I'll get da loot to a safe — GAH!!!" Suddenly Gonfu is obscured by a pile of hair. A moment later, there's enough squeaking coming from Ryoji's hair bundle for three rats put together. In fact — *POOF!* — that's exactly what he's caught! "Sure, dey's happy ta surrenda, sucka!" sneers the real Gonfu, a short distance down the tunnel. Then he dives into a drain pipe, having finally found one big enough. It was a lot easier once he was forced to drop the cheese and — wait a minute! o.O; "GYAAAAH!!! DA FLUTE!!!" Sure enough, Gonfu's magic flute is caught up in the hair trap. Guess that's one rat prince who won't be able to command his subjects again anytime soon. Spluttered curses echo from the pipe as Gonfu makes his escape. >.<
Ryoji nearly crushed the three entangled rats, flute, AND cheese as his anger flared up from Gonfu escaping, but reigned in his temporary with an exasperated sigh. "Another day little one, but never another after." He muttered darkly to himself, then dropped down back to the ground softly. After a few moments pause considering the threat level of the rodents themselves they are also released along with the wheel of cheese left by their leader. The flute on the other hand is examined while he waited for Eremi to return.
"Hnn… well, this is certianly a keeper for sure and I'm sure your superiors would agree, neh?" He aksed, half-turning to peer at Eremi. "But, if agreed, shall we call this one a fake?" He suggested, hoping for the younger male to agree. Although if he should not Ryoji would relunctantly hand over the flute and meandered back to the surface. Many a plan needed to be changed for the future. One way or another… but FIRST he needed to find himself the nearest bath house if his precious locks were to be saved. T_T
Well, -that- and see about weeding out a bit more money out of this 'mildly' disturbing mission.
Blinking in confusion as the sound of Gonfu is heard from behind, a thought occurs to Eremi to quickly race down the tunnel and scoop the creature up, but before he even finished the thought he was already staring at the fat rat's behind slip through a pipe just begin of for it. "Well" He said through staggered breath while he reverted back from the gates, the chakra the poured through him completely vanished leaving his muscles in a weakened state. "That's a first for me." Stating as he walks over toward Ryoji while remaining glued to the curved wall. "Wait, what? No you can't keep it. What would you even do with a flute that can control rats? Wait, I don't even want to know. Besides, it probably only works for rats anyways." The boy shook his head, "Come on, we have to get out of her and back to Noab, fill him in on the details and hand over the device. Also, you still need to get dressed. I'd hate to see what happens when you run out of chakra before then." With that, Eremi began to race toward the manhole they came from.