Recluse Saga - Mission of Mercy


Taiki, Atsuro, Berii, Ryo

Date: August 26, 2012


Team 10 + Ryo - Hitoshi get selected for an escort mission to go to the Land of Whirlpool and escort an Uzumaki to Konoha. But wait… Taiki is the client?!

Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.

"Recluse Saga - Mission of Mercy"

Land of Whirlpool, Land of Waves

By the request of Taiki, Atsuro, Berii, and Ryo were called into the Hokage's office about a week ago just long enough to get a mission briefing before being told to meet Taiki at the gate. Atsuro was named in charge, being the senior Chuunin, but it was made clear that Taiki in this case was actually the client. They were told that they would be escorting Taiki to the Land of Whirlpools, almost to Uzogakure itself, where Taiki would then explain to them fully what was going on. From there, it would be pretty clear as to what would happen next.

That was a week ago, and now the group have finally arrived in the Land of Whirlpools, where Taiki found a suite for them. Once they were behind closed doors, and Taiki did his best to ensure no one would be listening in, Taiki spoke. "Tonight I will be heading to an old man's house… well, old by our standards anyway. This man is an Uzumaki seal master. We've been corresponding for the past week, negotiating a price for him to come with us to Konoha. We're to escort him back, and provide protection on the way there. I have part of the payment with me in my scroll pouch. And yes, I will need a guard for this." Shinobu and Nozomi are by the front door, laying down and listening attentively to this.

There was some natural excitement in going to a land Ryo had never been to. He did not know much about the land of Whirlpools. He also was a little uneasy being placed on a team outside of his own. Not that he did not trust the Inuzuka or his cousin Berri. He had just not really worked with them enough to know where in battle they would be or how their styles could mesh together. Other than that, he was pretty happy to be on the mission.

Now as Taiki explains the mission, Ryo grimaces. His least favorite missions involved escorting live merchandise from one place to the next. First, live people could not be placed in a pocket and carried around easily. They also tended to be opinionated and not so easy to hide. In general they were a variable. You never knew exactly what you were getting into with guarding people. It was still a mission though and that was really what mattered. Ryo nodded his head as he listened to the details of the mission.

Sprawled out on a couch nearby, Atsuro listens to Taiki's short briefing. Also listening, Taizen sits on the floor nearby. "Okay," Atsuro says simply once Taiki's finished. There isn't always much to say. He has but one question. "What are you guarding him from?" he asks, "Obviously he's safe enough here. But this team seems a little advanced for someone just expecting bandits or lone highwaymen."

He frowns. Make that two questions. "Or are we guarding /you/? Kinda odd that you brought up having the payment on you. You aren't worried that you're going to buy it?" Other than that, nothing to ask. It seems pretty straightforward. With a strong potential to get much less straightforward, depending on how Taiki answers those questions.

Berii lightly taps her foot on the ground, an empty scroll unravelled and resting across her lap. The girl was pretty much putting on finishing touches on a new scroll, humming away until Taiki started to speak. The brush stops flicking across the scroll, she raises her eyes to look at Taiki to show she was actually listening. "Hnnnn…" Berii makes a few more marks before laying the scroll out to the side and putting the rest of the calligraphy equipment away.

While Atsuro placed out the obvious question on her own mind, she nods a few times. She begins to speak but, very quietly, "Hnn yeah I…" She drifts off as Atsuro puts out another question. The possibility of Taiki needing guarding. Her head raises now so that her eyes take in the younger Inuzuka chuunin fully, waiting for a further explanation.

Taiki looks between all of them and notes first Ryo's silence. He gives the man an apologetic look as Atsuro asks his questions, now getting to the root of the matter. Taiki sighs and then says, "You're actually guarding the both of us, and yourselves." He lets those words sink in for a moment before he continues, "You're guarding us from the Recluse. You see, this is a mission of mercy… of a sort. The reason for this is simple, there is a very good reason why I had to have an /Uzumaki/ seal master."

Taiki then looks at Berii, then at Atsuro. "Not many people are aware of this, but the reason why my dad is still in a coma is that the Recluse put some kind of seal on him that is slowly arresting his nueral system and draining all of his chakra. The doctors told me there is nothing they could do, the seal was too advanced for their best seal master. They needed an Uzumaki, who live, breath, and eat seals. After going through several contacts, Kenichi'sama and I finally found an Uzumaki seal master familiar enough with medicinal ninjutsu to help. That's who I'm here to meet. Part of the payment is in money, the second part is a copy of everything we Inuzuka have managed to find out about the Recluse. The final part will be whatever new information Otou'san has. Thus, given the threats of the Recluse against all my friends and family, we can expect an attack either here or on the way back. I'm frankly surprised the trip up here was so quiet."

Now that's interesting. Atsuro sits up. His first instinct is to say something like "Really!?" but he doesn't really have the patience for dumb questions right now, and he doubts anyone else does either. He glances to Ryo and Berii first, to see if they have any questions. Once he's got a chance, he speaks. "It seems like you know more about Recluse than you've been letting on," he points out, "For one thing, I thought 'everything the Inuzuka have managed to find out about the Recluse' is next to nothing. But more importantly, why does this guy want it? If it's just some guy you're hiring, why would he need that sort of information?"

"Ah-huh…" Berii starts waving her hand over the ink, giving a light breeze as he starts to give a more in-depth explanation. Her expression looked thoughtful but, that was just an expression and nothing more sadly, she'd just mumble out what was on her mind. "I was wonde'in why this guy didn't just come himself. Assuming we do get attacked it'd be nice to know we have a medic with us." Berii stands up and stretches her hands above her head. "Sometime people just wanna know stuff, hnn. Though given how impwessive both sides seem. Maybe it ties way back." Berii looks to Taiki, "Neh, does this Uzumaki and this Recluse know each othe'?"

Taiki frowns and looks to the dogs before saying, "I know of the seal from the doctors, who told me about it. I know of what it does because while they can't remove it or even adjust it, they can identify that it is trapped and some of what it does. I know its the Recluse because that's what my parents were investigating while we went out to rescue Hitoshi. I know of the threats because our own clan council told us about it in our briefing. And finally I finally managed to get my parents evidence from the office of the Hokage. They had a little bit more information than the Inuzuka did, and that is part of the information I've made a copy of for them."

Taiki gets a far-away look in his eyes for a moment, then sighs and shakes his head. "One of the things my parents found out is that the Recluse didn't just target the Inuzuka, or Konoha. They have their spies and such /everywhere/. They're not just a danger to us, but to all the villages, and all the clans. No one knows what their goals are, but I was apparently not their only target. I'm just the most stubbornly alive one. So the Hokage authorized the release of this information to our closest allies, the Land of Whirlpools, because it is possible they are being infiltrated like we are. The information I have, after all, mentions the death of someone from this very land, a chuunin ninja who was in Kumo at the time. There isn't much more than that, but my dad was in a unique position to find out information on them. We don't know what more he has in his head." He then glances and Berii and shakes his head. "I don't know. But if there is anyone in this world that can break a seal like that, it is the Uzumaki."

"Okay," Atsuro says, slouching on the couch once more. "So the Uzumaki are concerned about Recluse too, so in exchange for trying to heal your dad, you're giving them the information we know about them." Maybe this /will/ get complicated. "And you're thinking that Recluse might come after us on the trip back, because your dad could have information about them they'd rather keep secret." That's about all Atsuro needs to know, really. "When do we move out?"

Berii rubs the back of her neck, "Hmm okay, okay." Berii nods a few times, not bothering with any more questions for now, things generally unfold. The waving of the ink continues the girl was too busy with her own, what seems to be, much less important issues now to have any true clue as to what was going on with Taiki and the Inuzuka. There was just the question which Atsuro posed once again, when did they start. The scroll is rolled up, the Uchiha showing signs she was ready to move if they were.

"I would say, given what information I told you about their spy network, that me contacting an Uzumaki seal master will almost certainly trigger an attack. You know they're after me, and all my friends. I haven't been able to tell Na'chan yet, as she has not made it back from wherever she went. But the rest of you I thought I had already warned," Taiki explains as he gets up. "As far as when we start, I need to go tonight, and I would appreciate not going alone. As I said earlier, I'm surprised we weren't attacked on our way up here. So if you're ready, let's go."

"Well, if we weren't," Atsuro points out, "Then I'd say we're being warned now." He gets to his feet, Taizen following suit quickly afterward. "You mean that actually escorting you on this escort mission is optional? This a secret test of our loyalty or something? Of course we're coming with you." He takes a moment to straighten out his clothes having allowed them to bunch up a little when he was lying on the couch, then looks meaningfully at the door. "Just lead the way."

"Neh, Atsu-sensei?" Berii replies after Atsuro says of course they're going with him. "Thought we we'w gonna nap." Berii then smiles at Taiki and gives him a thumbs up, "I know I'm not awound much and this might not mean much to you…" Berii's eyes drift off as she looks a bit embarassed, "But, I'm pwoud of you, what you've gotten through and don't plan on letting you die or fail this mission." With that said she starts heading towards the door, tilting her head side to side to stretch a bit more.

Taiki laughs for a moment then winks at Atsuro. "Atsuro'sensei, you are my team's sensei. I may officially be a client in this mission, but that doesn't mean I'm used to bossing you around. Quite frankly I'd rather ask than just order you or any member of this group. We all know the realities of this mission, but I'm kinda weirded out giving orders, okay?" Taiki then blushes slightly at Berii's words and gives her a weak smile and a nod. "Oh there were times I wanted to give up Berii-san. Ask Atsuro-sensei about that sometime. Just… if I gave up, who would they go after next? I'll fight for my friends and family, no matter what."

The conversation ended, Taiki leads them down into the streets, and a short distance away before they come across what appears to be an empty lot. "Damn… they said this guy's security was tight…" He pricks his finger and looks at the gate before putting a drop onto something that looks like a door knocker. A short time later a young man appears as if out of no-where, asking them what they want.

"I'll give orders if I have to," Atsuro says, shrugging nonchalantly, "But in the meantime, I think you're going to have to get used to it. You have the information, I don't. You had me at a disadvantage to begin with." He tilts his head over his shoulder towards the door. "C'mon," he says, "We can't sit around talking all night. Let's get a move on."

He and Taizen follow Taiki down the streets, keeping eyes, ears, and noses out for trouble. Taiki's comments on the empty lot don't get much of a reaction from him. "Might be tighter than they seem," he suggests, "Or the standards for 'tight' are different here." He stays silent when the group is questioned, figuring Taiki ought to be the one doing the talking. Nonetheless, he takes a careful look at the man, just to make sure he's on the level.

As tense as the situation is, Berii is lax looking. Afraid to get too serious before she starts over thinking things. Eventually they reach their apparent destination. A destination that she didn't really look all too impressed with. A glance goes left and then right, eventually they settle upon the new person, their greeter. Her hand goes up into a straight wave as she utters a soft, "Hey."

Taiki stands tall and makes a formal bow at the waist. It would seem this boy does know proper protocol and etiquette when it comes a formal meeting between the clans. Not so surprising really when you remember just who is father is. "I am here to talk to Uzumaki Tenken'sama. I am the young Konoha chuunin he is expecting. A tempest can be sealed in a teacup, given the right amount of ink and blood."

The last is a code phrase that the man in question accepts. A rather cryptic response is given before the man makes a few hand seals at an unbelieveable speed. The gates open, and the team is beckoned inside. As they pass the threashold the "empty lot" changes into a well-appointed mansion. They are led to a waiting room, and a maid comes in with tea. A few minutes later a man that looks no more than 30 years old enters the room, his dark black mustache forming spikes on either side of his mouth. "Inuzuka Taiki'san and team I presume?" the man asks, clearly expecting the others to introduce themselves.

Ugh, formalities. Atsuro just stays quiet while Taiki takes care of things (thank goodness for Taiki), then follows them into the empty-lot/hidden mansion. "Not bad," he murmurs, mostly to Taizen. In the waiting room, he takes a seat, not accepting the offered tea — he isn't thirsty, and this is really just one of the formalities he was lamenting mere moments ago. Finally, though, the man enters the room, and Atsuro figures he can't avoid formalities here. He doesn't really feel like introducing himself, especially not in a way suitable for a fancy mansion, but picking fights with mission-critical persons for no reason… well, that's even less his style. He gets to his feet. "Inuzuka Atsuro," he introduces himself, bowing. That finished, he sits down again.

The random phrase gets an odd look but, what comes next saves Berii from asking any questions on the matter. No doubt, Berii is impressed with the security as the mansion decides to simply pop up, her eyes widen a bit and a light gasp escapes. "Neh? No way…" She shuffles along, bowing the man in greeting simply to follow suit of Atsuro, "Uchiha Be-" Her eyes squint, "ri." When that was out of the way she backs up and sits, drinking tea while she lets the Chuunin figure this out.

Taiki nods and waits for the older man to sit down before he pulls a scroll from the scroll case behind him. Berii would recognize it as one from Hiro's store, just a standard storage scroll. "The file and the fees are here, like you requested, Uzumaki Tenken-sama. And yes, I am Inuzuka Taiki. These two along with Uchiha Ryo will be escorting us back to Konhagakure, where I hope you can help my Otou-san." Taiki bows again, considering this a debt-worthy favor.

The older man simply stares at Taiki for a moment, then looks at the rest of the team. "I'm going to assume that appearances can be deceiving," Tenken says with some disdain. "You all certainly don't look like much, and if this is the quality of shinobi you bring to guard me, I question your resolve." The man fairly sneers this part, which causes Taiki's back to tighten up even more.

And before anyone can stop him, Taiki's mouth gets involved. "I assure you they are more than capable, /Uzumaki-sama/. The two with me are members of my team, with the elder being my sensei. I myself have been the target for the Recluse for some time, and have endured things that would make just about any Uzumaki my age break. Remember this, Uzumaki-sama, deception is a requirement amongst shinobi."

The elder man laughs at this and nods. "Very good Inuzuka-dono. You pass." He then looks to Atsuro and Berii and asks, "Is there anything I should know about either one of you?"

Soon Ryo is called in from his observation point. The group did not appear to have been followed from their hotel to here, so Ryo had nothing to report on that end. He was asked to introduce himself, and plans were made for the following morning's departure. The old man Tenken was already packed, and it was decided it was best to give anyone who might have caught on as little time to plan as possible. Thus the group left for their hotel, and would meet back at the mansion the next morning. This was expected to be another week's trip back, even at Shinobi speeds.

That was about two days ago, and now the group has landed on the land of waves. From there it's across that nation and then onto the Land of Fire. But for now, they were in neutral territory, not that had ever really mattered for the Recluse. For this reason, Taiki and his two ninken are sticking close to the Uzumaki, thereby letting Atsuro worry about how to deploy everyone else.

Atsuro has put Taiki and the Uzumaki in the center of the group. They're the ones who they're supposed to be escorting, after all. They need to be protected. Berii is on point, with Atsuro and Taizen slightly behind her. The combination of smell and sight should be formidable for detecting anything that might otherwise escape the group's notice. That leaves Ryo to bring up the rear, also supported by Inuzuka smelling powers in the form of Taiki. Other than that, there isn't much to say. Atsuro and Taizen both keep eyes and noses out for trouble, ready to fight if need be.

Well, this had becoming quite easy. Which Berii was glad for since from what was gathered, the Recluse is not really something you want to bump into. Even so, despite being happy about not having to take them on it made her more worried about why they didn't show up at all. What were they planning?

This bothersome thought did good for the team as she was much more on point than usual. A kunai idly being spun about in her hand, ready for counter attack while her eyes darted left and right. The pressure was building up in her head she felt like the earth itself was about to split and gobble her up. Which actually causes her to look down for a moment before clearing her throat, "Neh… sensei?" Her guard goes back up, keeping a wary eye out as she spoke, "When was the wast time we had an easy mission?"

Ryo had no issues taking up the rear of the group. Though he hated guarding people this was still a mission. On top of that, it was a mission to aid a friend he had vowed to help. Failure was not an option. Where as on a normal mission the boy might have joked around with Atsuro or at least traded rude comments, this time the boy remains quiet and focused. His hand remains on his Shin Gunto blade. His eyes remain normal for the moment. Since mastering the third tomoe, the boy found keeping them activated for a long peroid of time drained his chakra.

For the moment the boy listens to his cousin Berii speak. It had been forever and a day since he had been on an actual mission with her. In fact the last one he could remember was an all Uchiha mission. It sounded like her lisp was improving. Not that he found it annoying or nothing. It was just different.

The Land of Waves wasn't entirely exciting, but it was going to take some time to get to the ferry which would take the group of them to the Land of Fire… Still, despite how easy the mission had been going it wasn't as if Taiki's ambitions had gone unnoticed. Things were about to become exceedingly difficult, perhaps more than was the trio of shinboi could handle.

" I see him, He seems to have some new friends… Everything is going all according to plan," A nested shinobi whispered quietly to the head shinobi leading this mission. The both of them were completely garbed in midnight black, literally covered from head to toe while donning on a pair of headbands as well, this was with the symbol of their organzation… For now they stuck to the shadows, resting in a few of the sparse trees, scoping out the situation… They wanted to get the pre-emptive but it would be up to the insight of the others if they could or not. "Lets wait just a little awhile longer… We will catch them when they least expect it,"

Taiki is on the Uzumaki's left side, while Nozomi is to the guy's right. Shinobu is the one behind them, being better at Taijutsu and at sensory tasks than Nozomi. As the group travels Shinobu barks a couple of times, as he has been wont to do every once in a while on the trip, sounding for all the world like he's holding a conversation with the other Inuzuka. Atsuro though would hear Shinobu's words for what they really mean when the dog says, 'We have company. I sense one.'

Taiki seems thoughtful for a moment before saying, "You know, that would work. I know that Narusegawa'chan has wanted to help me with my genjutsu. Using it that way may be the best." Few outside the team would understand that reference, really. But Berii and probably Ryo would be two.

Keeping his voice low, Atsuro continues to walk forward as he warns the team, not changing his pace so as to avoid warning possible attackers that the game is up. "Two unknowns," he says, tilting his head in the direction of their hidden observers, "Nothing identifying, but they could be enemies. Be ready for an attack." Having warned the rest of the team, he 'casually' rests a hand on the hilt of the sword he's been carrying. He'll be ready.

Shame on Berii! Apparently playing alert wasn't enough when putting no effort into learning how to pick up on the hidden. So, she would be left in the dark until the others start to get weird. "Huh…" The Uchiha was tempted to activate Sharingan right away but, everyone seems to be playing it cool so she joins the club.

Berii just goes back to spinning her kunai around, ready to activate her Sharingan at the first sign of attack.

Ryo had no need to activate his Sharingan. He picked up on one of them. It was a movement seen from the corner of his eye. Then all of a sudden Taiki mentions Naru in a way he never had before. Yeah, he had picked up the scent. Then Atsuro lets on that there was a second one. Things were starting to get interesting. His eyes close for a moment and he builds his chakra as he is walking. Like Berii, at the first sign of the conflict starting, he was planning to activate his Sharingan.

They were spotted… At least for the most part as the Head shinobi and his minion seemed to be picked up, individually or not, it was irritating and finally he leaped from the side of them, revealing himself along the tree side while his minion took a position right infront of him. The Head shinobi was a little taller, not a single weapon visible on his body while his minion was armed to the teeth, various blades, kunai and scrolls littered around in pounches about his form. " You all can leave Taiki along with that Uzumaki and you won't have to die here," The leader stated, not even a sign of remorse in his voice as he began to focus a massive amount of chakra… He wasn't joking around. " You won't be making it back to Konoha alive, haven't you all already had enough of this?" Each of their faces were covered, making it impossible to see who they were from behind their cloth masks. The minion simply took a step forward and remained in a guarded position, ready to jump at the occasion and element the entire group…

Taiki stops when the others reveal themselves. He looks them over and thinks to himself, 'Lack of identifying marks? Check. Covering of real features? Check. Superiority complex? Definitely check. After me and Uzumaki-san? Check. Yeah… I knew they wouldn't leave this alone.' Taiki takes a moment to consider things and then says, "Uzumaki'san, keep back please. Me and my ninken will help protect you."

Even as he starts to focus chakra Shinobu continues his voyage forward until he is in battle formation with Taiki and Nozomi. Both Taiki and Shinobu assume an odd variation of the Inuzuka Four Legged stance, weighing more on their "back feet" than Nozomi, who enters a more standard stance. They do not move to attack, but instead seam to be focusing their energies, making themselves ready to defend.

Atsuro's response is simple. "The last people who attempted something like this are all dead," he reminds the men, drawing his twin ninjato in a smooth, practiced motion and twirling them around with a fancy flourish. "If anyone's in a position to be making threats here, it's us." He smirks. "Of course, your bosses wouldn't send anyone of importance to their deaths like this, so I assume nobody bothered to tell you about that."

Taizen bares his teeth and snarls. Coming from such a large dog, the growls are low and rumbling. They don't attack yet, but it isn't just posturing. Even as Atsuro's taunting the men, he's drawing up chakra from his body. "On the off-chance you're smart enough to accept, I'll offer you the chance to turn around and walk away. If not, well, at least you'll die as you lived: embarrassingly."

Onyx eyes look to the left, just after the two shinobi hops out. "Hnn, that makes it easy." Red eyes turn back right to rest on the shinobi, the two tomoe focusing in quickly. There wasn't much hesitation, her free hand slides into the kunai wielding hand's sleeve. In a puff of smoke, a Fuuma Shuriken is summoned in her left hand. The only thing that held her back from launching it right away was Atsuro's offer.

The Uchiha steps closer to the group as her chakra gathers, getting behind the Uzumaki now. Not a word is said as she doubted the duo would feel threatened at all if /she/ said something.

Ryo wasted no time activating his own Sharingan. He does not draw his blade yet though. He glances towards the rest of the group, then at the Recluse. "I am Uchiha Ryo, my eyes have been touched by the lady of death herself. As she has been gracious enough to give me this gift, I will send both your souls to her."

Trash was spoken however it didn't seem to put a dent in the Duo's ego, after all they wouldn't ambush them in the first place if they didn't think they could handle the fight. The main shinobi slowly, almost mockingly began to motion over a set of hand seals while he spoke. "Your offer is denied you do, I will be sure to etch my name into your tomb stone… As well as the rest of you," He smirked from behind his mask though began to slightly tug down the cloth on his mouth.

" Lets finish this quickly," he commands his minion, "Water Release! Water Creation Technique!" He opens his mouth a suddenly a massively goring amount of water began to flow from his mouth, quickly flooding the area with the potency of his chakra. The Minion began to attack on his own, tossing a pair of laced kunai at the group each of them attempting to catch them all in a massive explosion…

Taiki is sorely tempted to attack, but waits quietly as Atsuro speaks. He, more than anyone here knows the two attackers won't take the offer. They're too sure of their own superiority. He does, however, get a closer look at the one armed to the hilt. "Compensating for something are we?" Taiki says with a smirk. Oh, there's no use in it. They want him dead as it is. He won't back down from them in the least.

At the same time, he is not going to make it easy for them. He and Uzumaki are the clients here, so his job is not going to be attacking, with taijutsu anyway. He then dodges the kunai sent after him by leaping to the side, with the Uzumaki following. Noticing the water flooding the area, he then opts for something a bit more selective, at least until he can figure something out. He answers with a pair of tagged kunai of his own, both aimed at the heavily armed dude. The dogs continue to help keep their hope out of danger.

A trace of a smirk touches Atsuro's lips once again. "My tombstone?" he repeats, "You couldn't carve it into butter, jackass." With that, he quickly shares a glance with Taizen, then the two of them launch themselves into the air. Their forms blur into twin drills, which corkscrew through the air, zipping all around the battlefield, first up against the ground, then higher, aimed straight for the two enemy ninja.

Berii glances at Ryo out of the corner of her eye her eyebrows shifting into a position that shows that if she could, she would ask him '…what?'. A trickle of sweat goes down her forehead as her focus goes back on the task at hand. Spotting that they didn't back off, she would be completely irked by the fact that one of the guys just started to… throw up gallons and gallons of water.

Not trusting it one bit she leaps back, her trajectory setting her for a tree to stick on causing her to avoid the explosive kunai at the same time, not intentional but it works. It was at that point she squinted her eyes full on focus as the doujutsu works its magic and began to slow the battlefield down to its full potential.

Her eyes lock onto Taiki's own assault. As soon as it is measured the girl slammed the giant shuriken in the tree from her sideways crouched position, sticking it in place for later use and pulling out another basic kunai to match her other weapon. Her hands whip forward and both kunai are unleashed, looking as if they were completely off target.
That is until… Taiki's explosive tags went off. Both kunai are launched at new speeds and new angles aiming to burrow into their enemies.

Ryo is hit by the explosion. He shakes his head as that was kind of stupid of him to remain there, especially after his speech. "My turn. Katon: Endan!" His hands start to form firestyle hand signs, then one curls around his mouth. He spits oil towards both of them. Then a single burst of flame is shot at them attempting to ignite both of them. As this happens, Ryo keeps his eyes on the two of them. He wanted to see just how adept these two were with the water.

Surprisingly enough, if not all of the attacks had hit home, smashing and slamming away into the shinobi's body, tearing through his flesh and forcing his clothed body to be torn revealing parts of his already mangled flesh… It was the first strike and yet the man didn't have much to show for him. He was slammed down into his own pool of water, the bright sparkling blue turning into a slight maroon hue as his blood seeped into it. "You…you hermits!" He spun off his back and launched himself back onto his feet, popping a pill into his mouth… His chakra levels began to increase into more dangerous levels while his hands went for a pair of hand seals. " Water Release! Violent Water Wave! He wasn't holding back and soon the water about them began to rise and tide, lashing and attempting to crush each of them with the massive weight of pulverizing water…

The minion also was impacted by the mass of attacks though not as much as his leader, still he pushed himself to fight harder, after the crashing waves hopefully did their damage he swept in, though first he too popping a pill into his mouth, energy and muscle mass increasing incredibly allowing an easier swing with his blade, he moved up close and personal, training six slashes total towards Ryo and Berii.

"To the trees!" Taiki calls out in response to the titan wave. Uzumaki takes to the higher areas to avoid the wave, helped along by Taiki and his ninken. Unfortunately that puts him off position as he manages to avoid the pre-wave only to be hit by the second, his and Nozomi's bodies taking the damage. "hermits? You're the ones who started this, now we'll finish it." With this he runs through a series of and seals and whispers, "Raiton: Raibunshin no Jutsu." A clone of Taiki appears. At the same time Shinobu opens his mouth, and a large stream of lightning needles surge from it, heading toward the minion. Time to up the ante.

There's only a moment between Atsuro and Taizen landing after their previous attack, and jumping off the ground once more to avoid the violent waters the enemy ninja calls forth, deftly leaping from place to place as necessary to avoid the waves. "So much for ending it quickly," Atsuro taunts from atop a large boulder, "I hope you run faster than you fight."

They seem to have the enemy ninja at a disadvantage, and Atsuro intends to keep it that way. Jumping down from the boulder, he lands beside Taizen and pulls the dog up onto his back. He makes a seal. There's a bang and a puff of smoke, and then where Atsuro and Taizen once stood, there is a massive, two-headed monster of a dog. It doesn't attack yet, pausing to unleash a roar which rattles the ground.

"Hnn." Berii decided to take a risk, she didn't know what attack was coming but, she wanted to hit the head honcho while he was weaving his hand signs. The giant shuriken is tugged out of the tree and she launches forward. Though she read the situation wrong, as soon as she lands in the water it pulls away from under her feet and forms into a wave masking the second. She flickers through the first wave only to be caught up in the second, sending her tumbling back. Suffice to say, Berii was a bit annoyed.

Spitting out a bit of water, her weapon was discarded a good distance away from her and she looks around for it only to find another assault before she could even really catch her breath. Still on the floor her only reaction was to quickly summon another weapon, another fuuma shuriken three feet in diameter. Not the ideal defensive weapon but she managed to parry two of the incoming slashes until she was overtaken, the last blow only slightly deflected as it cuts across her arm.

A quick flick of her free arm causes the previously knocked away shuriken to come soaring towards the man as she starts to run full speed around him.(She wouldn't want to get stabbed in the face by her own weapon would she?) While that's happening she summons a midsize shuriken flinging this and the second fuuma shuriken wide, the projectiles curving through the air wildly, once again her attacks decieving as they appear wild at first and then, her hands start to move around.

With a grin, this would be the point that the wires attached to all the shuriken would come into play pulling in the target, intending to drag him to a tree and lock him in place.

The Shinobi easily managed to slip away from the attack, merely motioning his body to the side while the clone attempted to attack him, still he just smirked from behind his mask, even more so at Atsuro who seemed to be taking things much more seriously this time. Nevertheless a sphere of water began to forge around Atsuro's body, attempting to draw him into the bubbling suffociating sphere while pulling him back down into the water, attempting to crush him once again under the weight of water, this time the focus was on Atsuro rather than anyone else. "I will make sure you eat those words!"

The minion on the other hand wasn't doing so well, even with the beefing muscles swelling from the pill he had eaten, he still wasn't fast enough to move away from the attacks. Badly bleeding and worn, after being pinned by the jutsu he had managed to break free with sheer will power, flexing his muscles and breaking loosing the wires about his body, though… For now he wasn't able to make any further attacks…

Although Ryo was able to evade the wave of water, he ends up slashed by the lesser of the two Shinobi. "Ok, we will play with a blade then." Now the boy draws the blade at his side and goes after the lesser shinobi. He makes two slashes at the man. Both are slashes aimed for portions of the body that would inflict pain over doing actual damage. He was hoping that by taking out one of them, the group could contain the other a bit easier. Not that they seemed to be having too much trouble.

Now that the Umumaki is safe, Taiki is much more free to act. "Okay… You've seen too much now anyway, so it is time for me to pull out all the stops. Get ready slimeball, for now you'll see why you people fear me so damned much." Taiki nods to Shinobu and LEAPS. Nozomi continues to guard the Uzumaki while Taiki starts twisting in mid air. But the difference between a standard tsuga and this becomes evident as tendrils of lightning turn around the twister, forming a drill bit in front of it, along with a high-pitched squealing sound coming from the arching electricity. The lighting twister slams into the leader's location, quickly followed by Shinobu who has lightning spikes extending his claws as the monstrous-sized dog goes for a leaping rake. The duo is now very, very, aggressive as the smell of ozone absolutely fills the air.

The massive AtsuroTaizen might be bulky, but it ain't slow. They leap away from the sphere before it can enclose them, then evade the waves once again. For all his effort, the water-user has only incurred the hellhound's wrath. Seeing that the other members of his team have more or less divided their attacks between the two enemies, they follow suit, first dashing for the water-user and snapping at him with the massive teeth of both heads, then charging over to the other man and doing the same.

Its was only now that she picked up on the fact that there was a giant two headed dog in the background. After getting tossed around by water and cut it was hard to not focus on the person trying to stab her. "Neh?!" It didn't matter, this thing had to be finished. But, the moment of laxness got to her the wounds setting in slows her momentum a bit.

Taking advantage of Ryo's assault, all she can do is back him up. Two shuriken are thrown from her position, curving through the air wildly but, in the end they will manage to zoom around Ryo and head for the goon while she catches her breath.

The Leader of the attacking pair smirks as Taiki comes in. This is what he was waiting for. Instead of trying to dodge, he slashes at Taiki once, twice, three times, cutting deeply. But he has lost focus of Shinobu, who's lightning claws discharge into the water tendrils, electrocuting him. This further opens him up to Atsuro's attack, mutilating him further. Finally the man looks over to his minion, only to the transformed young man literally torn to pieces by Atsuro's, Berii's and Ryo's attacks. As the minion falls down, his life leaving his eyes as he looses the transformation, the Leader decides to cut and run. A great wave of water rises up to surround him, and when it falls, he is gone…

The fight ended right on time for Taiki, as he slams into a tree with his back, then slides down it. The younger chuunin looks worn out as he and his ninken loose their transformations. He starts to try to stand, only for Shinobu to catch him as he pitches forward. 'Bandage him, and I'll carry him,' the dog barks to Atsuro. Taiki is wounded, but most seem healable with rest.

With the threat gone, the dog closes all four of its eyes, then disappears in a puff of smoke, replaced by Atsuro and Taizen. Both are panting heavily, but they're uninjured. Atsuro takes a look around at the group. Some damage sustained by everyone, but it doesn't look like anything life-threatening, or even truly debilitating. "Everyone all right?" he asks, walking over to Taiki. "You too, Uzumaki-sama?" he calls over to where he last saw Tenken.

He kneels down beside Taiki and pulls some bandages and disinfectant out of his equipment pouch. "Making me patch you up when I don't know the first thing about medicine," he scoffs as he starts to patch Taiki up, "You're a real piece of work, Taiki." Teasing finished, he begins to talk more seriously. "We should find a parallel road," he suggests, "If that guy's smart, he'll go off and hide in the countryside somewhere, but since he's an idiot, we can assume he'll be reporting back to his superiors. With our location." Once Taiki's finished, he gets to his feet, gesturing for Shinobu to help Taiki out. Catching Taizen's eye, they carefully begin to carefully examine the surroundings, just to make sure there aren't any nasty surprises for the group before they can get back on their feet again.

Berii turns away as the final blows are struck on the minion, glad to see that the fight had ended on both ends. With a sigh of relief her Sharingan fades along with adrenaline, where the pain truly sets in. The cut on her arm burning and a sharp pain in her side when she decides to take her first step isn't a good sign, a rib may of been fractured.

The question on if she were alright just gets a simple, "Bweh…" In response.

There were more pressing matters anyway, were there more? Was that guy trying to pull some surprise attack? A lazy Sharinganless pair of eyes sweep the area but, she was confident one of the boys would pick up on anything coming their way like they did earlier.
World Notice: You have recovered 202 health by resting.

"I'm fine," Tenken says as he watches the assembled team. "One thing can be said about you shinobi and kunoichi from Konoha, your damned tough to beat in battle." He then walks over and helps Atsuro with the bandages. He does know medicine after all. Once he is sure the bandages are well cast he adds, "And a couple of days in the hospital for you young man. You'll need it." He then helps Shinobu get Taiki situated while Nozomi helps scout.

"Heh. Not like I planned this or anything," Taiki mumbles to Atsuro's gibe. Once in place, he wraps his arms around the dog's neck and adds, "As long as you keep me up to date about my dad, I have no problem with that." the area is clear, save the body and whatever anyone wants to do with it. A different road is found, and the group manages to return to Konoha safely, avoiding further traps down the road.

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