Date: October 17, 2012
Team 6 is actually given an easy mission: protect a merchant caravan. Though there are obsticles, it should be nothing the team can't handle.
"Protect the Caravan"
Land of Fire
No sooner than he was declared fit for normal duty after the latest attempt on his life, Taiki had called the team together for a mission. It seems that a discussion with some of the merchants he had gone to before turned up more than apologies, one had a simple delivery to make to a town within the Fire Country but about a day's civilian travel from here. Only thing is, there was one piece of merchandice that a rival merchant wanted badly, and he was afraid that the caravan would be attacked. Thus Taiki arranged for his team to get the job, and has sent messengers to instruct them to meet him here, just outside the gates of Konoha, in an hour. The bandages are gone, though a few still exist on the dogs. A caravan of five wagons stand ready to travel this morning, with them just waiting on the escort. As Team 6 approaches, Taiki smiles slightly and nods. "Good Morning. This should be a simple one day escort mission. We're guarding this caravan until it reaches its destination, then we'll be coming back. Nothing flashy or especially dangerous, save that we're to be alert for both bandits and sabotage. We will stay in the town overnight and come back by ourselves the next day. In other words, a simple walk in the woods. You ready?"
Ryo appeared on the top of the gate in a flash. The boy was easily reaching Jounin level speeds now. "Uchiha Ryo reporting for duty." the boy states as he steps off the gate and falls to the ground. His eyes scan over Taiki for a few moments. "You know one day we will have to take the fight to the Recluse. Until then I do not see them leaving you alone."
After the mission statement is given, Ryo nods his head in confirmation. He had no issues with the mission. "Where are we being stationed? You in the front, Usagi in the middle and myself in the rear?" he asked. It seemed logical since Taiki's nose would be taking in scents first and his eyes could scan the entire area. Usagi then in the middle could move to any area that needed help quickly as support.
Usagi wasn't too far behind the two of them, simply walking up to the village gates for the time being. "Works for me" As she hears the mission briefing. She doesn't bother introducing herself, shrugging slightly. "We will. But now is not that day, Ryo" She gives him a glance, and looks at the caravans. She does see the sense in regards to the order. "Makes the most sense. you two are better at detection. Though another alternative is I could provide scouting in the surrounding areas….let's just say I've gotten better at blending in lately"
Taiki grimly nods at Ryo's comment, then saying, "As soon as I find a lead. I'm gaining… allies… as each attack happens," he says, briefly looking over to Usagi and nodding. "You just remember my standing orders, Usagi-san. I do not wish to have another argument with your brother when he has legitamate reason to be angry with me."
Taiki then gives another slight smile as he agrees with their assessments. "Ryo's suggestion for a formation is the one we're going to be adapting. Not only can I and my partners sense danger from a farther distance than most, but Team 10 was a tracking team. I know more about tracking than many others would think. Ryo-san will be in the back, keeping his eyes open for attacks from either side. Usagi-san will be stationed on top of the middle wagon. No one other than the driver, or me and my ninken, is to approach that wagon until we reach our destination. Don't ask why, I'm not at liberty to say. If you have a choice between defending other wagons and that one, that one gets priority. Nozomi and Shinobu will be taking turns performing as circling outliers, keeping their noses out for any potential trouble. Any other questions?"
Usagi raises a brow. "Sounds like I may be able to spar Ryo if he gets too close" She nods slowly, taking a deep breath. "That means I won't be leaving that caravan at all, to prevent someone from using another caravan as a distraction, unless otherwise ordered" she nods to Taiki after a few moments. "Should I be worried about anything coming out of the wagon that may impede my ability to defend it?"
Ryo nodded his head. "Fair enough. When do we move?" Ryo asks. He was a little anxious to get on the mission. He also flashed a grin at Usagi. "When you are able to take me, you'll really want that spar. Until then you might want to stick to sparring Taiki." the bald headed boy joked. He actually had no idea where the two of them stood in regards to each other anymore, at least in combat.
Taiki arches a brow at Ryo's comment to Usagi, and the implications made therein, but quickly shrugs it off. "Nothing in that wagon is alive. And yes, Ryo can approach it, but not enter it. It is locked, and I have the only key." With that said he called the lead merchant, and indicated that they were ready. "Okay people, let's move." With this Taiki and his two partners launch themselves forward, heading toward the lead wagon and leaving the other two to take their positions. "The blond will be guarding center," can be heard as passes the third wagon. The man gives a nod as he waits for her to approach. The wagons are all solid roofed, looking more like lock boxes on wheels than anything else. Small, barred window holes are located on the center of each side, apparently to give at least minimal circulation.
Usagi nods again to Taiki. "Got it" she smirks to Ryo. "I may not be able to take you in one on one combat, but I will be able to make your life easier, I think" She nonetheless hops up onto the roof of the last wagon, playing a game of hopwagon until she reaches the middle one, landing and taking a seat cross legged. However, she doesn't look lazy or anything, but simply takes a slow breath and starts watching the area around her. She's not just sitting there either, as she begins going through handsigns to keep herself fresh, staying at a steady pace and increasing her speed very, very slowly.
Ryo gives a smile as the others move off to their spots. He then gets on the last wagon and rests his head back with his legs up. Yep, this mission seemed to have easy written all over it. He was going to do his best not to fall asleep. He was scheduled to activate his sharingan every so often. Plus is anything attacked, it would likely try to do so by stopping the wagons. That would be an easy give away that he was needed.
Yes, this was proving thus far to be an easy mission. In fact, the next hour seemed to be almost mind-numbingly dull. Nothing seems to be happening up front, and Nozomi apparently is on orbiting detail at the moment, as she just briefly flashes into view a fair distance from, but even with, wagon three. She seems to be slightly curious, as if trying to figure out something, but she's looking inward instead of outward.
Usagi continues to work through her handsigns, even at this point, her eyes moving back and forth. She does tilt her head to look in one direction for a moment, then does the same on the other side of the wagon as well. She stops her handsigns and sighs, idly tapping the top of the wagon now.
It did not take a Jounin to figure out something was off. It was off nearly from the get go. It was hard to speculate the cause of it, but the wagon seemed to have some issues in their marching order. Ryo activates his sharingan and glances around. He is still sure something is wrong but he does not make his move yet. The boy reaches down and places a hand on his Shin Gunto. Unfortunately his eyes could not hear the tapping of the foot by Usagi.
Nozomi, however, can hear perfectly well. And like her human partner, is perfectly capable of understanding codes. As the man starts to pass the "no approach zone" the dog starts moving in quickly but quietly, so as to not alert anyone else. It can be seen from Usagi's point of view that she's coming as backup, it will be up to Usagi to make the first move.
As soon as the man's foot crosses the invisible line, a kunai is rapidly brought into hand, spun once, and launched to stick right at the guy's feet. "I'd suggest that you pick your pace back up" She brings her hands up again and takes a moment to give the merchant in question a cold look, her hands coming up slowly for handsigns. "And rather rapidly at that"
Ryo scans around guessing where people are suppose to be in their formation. It sucked cause he only knew where the shinobi were suppose to be. The one seems out of place compared to the others but was that planned? Then he spots movement from Usagi. She tossed a kunai at the person. Knowing full well that Taiki would be on his way soon, Ryo decides to remain in place. "Alright, lets see what the enemy does with a little misinformation…" He was intentionally letting the enemy think that only two of the shinobi were capable of responding. He was hoping they might unveil their hand before he entered the fray.
"What's yer problem?" the merchant asks beligerently before Nozomi materializes right beside the guy, growling ominously. Taiki appears a second later, jumping down from the second wagon with a brief flash of lightning. The man falls to the ground unconscious, allowing Taiki to pick him up. "Keep up the good work," Taiki says as he heads back toward the front with the man over his shoulder. Nozomi gives a very short all clear howl before heading back to her patrol.
There's some grumbling from some of the merchants, while the others seem to do be going about their jobs with grim nods. These Shinobi are definitely on their toes is the general concensus.
Usagi mutters something softly before she resumes her watch, now just sitting cross legged. Every so often, she'll tap again, though it doesn't seem to be any sort of code this time. Her gaze does seem to be migrating in one area in particular, and she glances to Nozomi, actually tapping out a quick few taps to get her attention, and then glance in the direction of the men that were grumbling.
Ryo spots something though. It seems that the one man moving was merely a diversion for a man from the wagon behind to make his move. Ryo figures now it is time to make his move. While he really wanted to shoot a fireball at the man, it might set the wagon on fire. That ideas was out. So now he stood up and moved from the top of his wagon to the next wagon. He waited a moment as he watched the man make his own leap to the middle wagon. "Guess that is evidence enough." He then launched himself from his wagon to the middle one behind the man.
"Hi." the small, bald heaed Uchiha boy stated to get his attention. He then slammed the hilt of his shin gunto blade into the man's chin. "And good night…" his words come as he catches the man as he falls on top of the wagon. Now sheathing his blade, he picks the man up and returns to his own wagon. He simply drops the unconcious man lightly on the ground before returning to the wagon.
Nozomi seems to be paying attention and howls, soon producing Shinobu, who materializes right beside the grumbling merchants and growls deeply. The men, having just witnessed two of their brothers taken out in mere minutes, dispurse quickly, appearing to stay well away. In the meantime, someone picks up the unconscious man and thows him bodily into the back of the fourth wagon.
And so this game continues for another two hours. Every ten to twenty minutes one poor fool or another tries to approach the wagon, only to get detected and knocked out. Soon the merchants are down to a third of their strength, and the driver of wagon three is shaking his head in wonderment of human stupidity. But suddenly the wagons up ahead stop, causing all in the line to stop. Shinobu is on this round, and seems to growl at something. Too bad neither Usagi nor Ryo can understand dog…
This time Usagi stands slowly, letting off a shrill whistle. This was about to get interesting, to say the least. "Keep your head down" is spoken to the driver, as she turns to face the incoming bandit. Another kunai is pulled from the thigh holder, flipping it up into her hand in a reverse grip. "I'd bet there's a lot more than this one around" She'd done her part and alerted whom she needed, and was preparing to make her stand. She did a quick check on her back pouch to see what she had, nodding. she'd definitely be able to hold for a bit, at least. Depended on numbers.
Usagi narrows her eyes for a few moments, and then flips two handsigns out for a moment, and literally….fades from view as she flips back into a shadow. It doesn't take long for her to reveal herself after a few moments, having already closed the distance between herself and the thug in question, a sudden crack being heard as her foot connected to the side of his knee. The bandit cries out at the pain, but is quickly silenced by the follow up spin kick that catches him next to the temple, immediately knocking the man unconscious. Once done, she's immediately heading back to the top of the wagon, crouched and searching for more enemies. That couldn't be all of them. And all the while, it seems there's a thin layer of black smoke crawling up her form….perhaps how she managed to hide in near plain sight.
Ryo spotted a small group moving towards the middle wagon. As he was planning on making his move he turned to spot four coming for him. "At least you guys were considerate of the person on the last wagon. I really appreciate it." the boy stated as he stepped off the wagon. He then dashes forward making a slash at the first bandit. He then made a second slash as he dashed past another and followed to the third. Now he stands face to face with the fourth bandit and the other three fall over dead. "Is what's in that wagon really worth dying for?" he asks.
The sound of lightning jutsu fills the air from the front of the caravan, followed by the sounds of a tsuga. It seems that Taiki and Nozomi are tangled up in something, for screams soon follow. In the meantime, Shinobu opens his mouth to let a stream of lightning needles come out, taking down a man trying to be sneaky from around the second wagon. Another two come out, and Shinobu performs a tsuga toward one, leaving the other for Usagi to handle (17 to hit).
"The keys to a house, and that's all you'll ever know," the lone thug facing Ryo says as four others come pouring out of the forrest. Two start attacking the wagons, while the other two fire arrows at Ryo, not caring if they hit their partner who has a sword that would be more of a crow bar than a sword that he's attacking Ryo with.
Usagi's not too far in reacting to the second one coming out around the second wagn, shaking her head with a sigh and shrugging. "Your funeral" the man surprises her by ducking her first swing, though her second connects solidly in his stomach. The third he manages to move aside from, despite being doubled over, and she hops a step back, raising the kunai defensively. "Not the brightest candle, are you"
Ryo was unsure what the man meant but as the two arrows are fired, Ryo steps out of the way. He then dashes through the man slicing into him and then hits the next two shooting at him. As each is cut down, Ryo shakes his head. "People know they are going to die, yet they continue to step forward. Has stupidity among the locals really driven them this far?" The question was muttered under his breath.
Another cry of lightning and tsuga sounds from the front, and then silence. The entire area falls silent, only to have the normal sounds of wildlife slowly make it. Taiki appears quite suddenly, his hair ruffled but he himself is likewise as undamaged as the rest. He picks up the two living people that Usagi downed and nods. "They're retreating. I just got their leader up front. Secure the bodies, and once we're ready we are moving out. Congratulations. I know this was an easy one, but still…"
After all the bandits are either downed or retreating, Ryo places his blade in the sheath as his side and returns to his seat on the wagon. He gives one more scan of the area with his sharingan before leaning back and closing his eyes. If he was lucky there was still time for a nap. The others seemed to have the rest handled.
Taiki looks at his team and nods. "Enjoy the easy, if aggrevating mission. They don't all turn out this easy, but I don't think we'll have any more problems the rest of the trip." With that he takes the two back up front, and after a few minutes the caravan starts up again. And, true to Taiki's word, the rest of the trip is boring, and uneventful. The prisoners are turned over to the merchant's guards, as per the contract, and afterward they head home, with a job well done.
Usagi nods and takes a seat on the wagon, starting through her handsigns again as she waits…and waits…and waits. Nothing else happening, so once arriving, she simply hops off, nods to the merchant, and off they go! Back home with them.