Date: September 16, 2014
The team of Kumogakure nin come to the rescue of a village besieged by raiders.
"Rescue and Raid"
The disturbance caused by The Silence set off a rash of crimes. The countryside yakuza and other criminal element have been emboldened, so that murders and robbery are more common than ever. Kumogakure needs to look to their defenses, and sending too many shinobi away to deal with it could leave them vulnerable to another attack by The Silence. So a smaller but stronger team as opposed to a huge country-wide force was sent out to track down and target the raiders in the western foothills.
Rise, Hiei, Michiko, and Kasuya have finally managed to locate a large band of raiders who are converging on Chuho Village. It's taken half a day of fast traveling and discreet movement, but now they stand on a rise overlooking the village. Just a few miles away the main bulk of the raiders are heading for Chuho, but the scouts are already amongst the weak villagers, ransacking freely.
Kasuya looks at it with complete calm. If concern for the villagers motivates her on this mission, she doesn't show it. She says, "We need two forces. One force will stop the main force of raiders before they reach the village. The other will deal with the raiders already inside the villages, and protect the villagers from further attack. If you're not confident in keeping your attacks under control around the villagers, I'd suggest following me to them. In fact, as a close quarters fighter you go to the village, Hiei-kun." Then Kasuya makes off towards the raiders in the open foothills at speed, preparing herself as she does so.
Hiei had been itching for something to do, so when he was selected to be part of the small force, he jumped at the chance. Standing with the rest of the small team, he nods over at Kasuya. "Got it." While proficient with both lightning and fire jutsu, Hiei's go-to technique was close quarters combat, so what Kasuya told him made perfect sense. He exhales slowly as lightning lances off his skin as he prepares his body for combat. Once he's finished with that, he leaps down and makes a beeline into the village itself. He is concerned for the safety of the villagers, and hopefully once the fighting starts they'd have good mind to get out of the hot spot.
Thanks to the latest battle against a ghost, Michiko was taking it easy the past few days. But now she was back to full strength, and apparently that means a mission. She's more than happy to go on a mission with Hiei, Kasuya, and Rise, having not worked with them in what felt like a long time. At least the former two she hasn't! The girl is able to keep up while traveling and takes a second to listen to Kasuya's instructions. Simple enough. She nods her head slightly to show she understands what she's doing. "I think I should go with Kasuya-san, then," she murmurs mostly to herself, taking off after the Kunoichi as she focuses some of her chakra.
Rise's mind may have mostly been elsewhere, but her body still knew how to act on its own to keep up with the others. Once they are there and orders are being handed out however, the girl perks up a little. Unfortunately, her timing is off, to say the least. "Well, I guess I'll just follow Hiei-san then," She mutters darkly to herself before taking off after the jounin. Unlike the illustrious clan head, Rise chose to build up her chakra in flight. Something about movement just made it course through her body easier…
Her genjutsu is even better at close quarters combat. But Hiei would probably inspire more confidence amongst the villagers. The sight of a woman standing around staring at people isn't exactly reassuring. And since her second specialty is spraying lightning everywhere, she's not suited for the village full of small wooden houses.
She nods to Michiko's choice. No surprise there. As they leave the other two and approach the raiders, Kasuya unties the shinobi forehead protector from around her arm, and ties it around her forehead. It's half hidden by her long bangs, but the symbol of Kumogakure is still visible.
"However you deal with them is up to you," Kasuya tells Michiko. "But I don't want any of them awake or able to walk, by the time the cleanup crew gets here. And don't let any of them get away, whether they're trying to get past you or run away. Even if you have to hit them in the back." Which really is the best time to hit them.
The bandits weren't unprepared for attack, as Rise and Hiei would learn. As soon as they reached the village an ambush of raiders would drop down from an overhang. Well, one would, aiming to carve Rise up with a sabre. The other stays atop the twenty foot overhang, raining down lightning on Hiei from a distance.
Kasuya and Michiko would approach openly, so they aren't ambushed but at the same time don't have the element of surprise. And before they can even get in range for their ninjutsu, arrows are speeding at them from an impressive range. Many miss, but others would find their mark.
Hiei is a bit surprised at the ambush, so much so that his first attempt to dodge the lightning fails and he receives a shock to his system. This forces him to get his body into gear as he dodges the rest of the attacks with a mixture of heightened speed and a dazzling display of acrobatic prowess. However, he doesn't stop his body from moving. Picking up speed, he forces his body to accelerate just as he flings his arm out to the side, attempting to knock the guy's block off.
Michiko follows after Kasuya, a bit wary of attacks. Then the arrows come flying down and she's unable to avoid getting hit by several before an earthen dome surrounds her. She winces a bit from the cuts the arrows made on her, quickly forming seals to counterattack. "Got it, Kasuya-san. I'll be sure to take them all down, then," she replies, sending three firebolts in the direction the arrows are coming from.
Rise doesn't exercise as much effort as she could to avoid the Sabre man's attack. Her body was far too stiff and clunky for that. Even so, she managed to guide his strike arm, side-step, and even outright knock the blade aside all together as they danced. Without missing a beat, she tries to sweep him off his legs next before following-up with a more devastating punch to the gut to keep him down.
The bandit's don't respond so well. Before the lightning ninjutsuist can react Hiei is there smashing in his face. He escapes by falling off the overhang onto the ground, but manages to land feet first. Blood is streaming from his nose and he's wobbling, but that doesn't keep him from sending one last burst of lightning at Hiei and then shouting, "Intruders! Intruders!" towards the village. Rise's attacker tries to respond, but his legs are swept from under him, and he's hit so hard in the gut there's an audible crack. He screams then goes still.
But reinforcements are quick in coming. Two men, one firing a huge burst of electricity at both Rise and Hiei. The other bandit stands behind…with a hostage. He has a terrified villager with a knife to her throat. "One more step and I slice this woman's throat! Put down your weapons and get on your knees right now!"
Michiko's long ranged response actually finds it mark, and then they're over the rise facing the raiders, who are looking at their downed archer in surprise. Five of them left, one sporting a bad lightning burn on his shoulder. "They're just two women," a man who seems to be the leader points out. "Get them!" Suddenly swords are flying from all sides towards them.
Hiei watches as the bloody man hits the ground and then as he's joined by even more friends. He takes a moment to glance over at Rise to see how she was doing before the hostage situation garners his attention. Drop his weapons? He'd been using his fists up until now. Hiei's reply to the man was, "Release: Lightning Aura." When shot lightning at him again, he backflips out of the way and then performs a horizontal flip to avoid the other blast. He shakes his head slowly. "Using lightning on someone who's used it since childhood is a stupid move. So is taking a hostage." As the aura around his body intensifies, he takes a single step forwards before his body disappears and blurs. His movement ends with him standing behind the man with the knife to the woman's throat. Hiei drew his weapon and then struck the first man that he lariated earlier, then he moved behind the man holding the hostage and struck him three times with his katana. All during the blink of an eye. "Idiots."
Well, the five guys clustered down below are all together in relatively close range of each other. This makes things easier, yes? Michiko makes a few seals with her hands, then launches a very large flaming bullet at the five bandits. Hopefully that will send them into a large enough scramble that they won't pay attention to their feet. Michiko makes another hand seal, then, and the ground below the bandits begins to move slowly, almost imperceptibly. The result? An earthen whirlpool that will suck them into the ground and likely make them easy pickings, should they get stuck.
She fought with herself to keep the urge down, but containment proved impossible. The demented smile is only given a brief moment to play upon her lips before the most idiotic words to reach her ears passes through them. Rise did not even know where to begin, and fortunately did not have long to ponder before being forced into action. A well-placed leap puts her well above the blast range and then some. She catches only a glimpse of Hiei's transformation before her attention naturally shifted elsewhere for the landing. Knowing Hiei as well as she did, Rise doesn't waste time wondering if he took out all the nearby raiders or not as soon as she lands. She takes off instead, seeking out any nearby villagers in trouble, though the first Raider she sees will earn himself knuckle sandwich.
The raider seems stunned when Hiei deals with his comrade in one devastating blow. But he makes good on his promise to slice the woman's throat…almost. Before his blade can press down, he's being slashed from behind, falling bonelessly from the cuts. The woman screams, and puts a hand to her neck, drawing it away to see if there's any blood. Not a cut. She takes one look at Hiei and runs screaming for the hills with no word of thanks. In fact, she seems even more terrified of him.
Rise would find a scene of horror. The raiders have ransacked the buildings and put a torch to many of them. But in the town square they've made sport of the villagers, tying a few to posts and from the knives and arrows embedded in the tied villagers, used them earlier for target practice. For fun. There're a few raiders left, and they look surprised to see Rise has slipped past the ambush.
An archer on a rooftop fires point blank at Rise. The other one in the square raises a spear and charges at her to impale her. The archer laughs. "If you lie down nice woman, we'll spare you. Even show you a good time." As if timed, in a house nearby comes a woman's scream and plea for help.
Michiko and Kasuya are felling the men left and right. With so much free room to work with, these particular group of bandits are at a disadvantage with taijutsu as they crowd one another and provide a dense, tight crowd. In fact, only one remains. He'd appeared suddenly—stealth. He looks around at his fellows in disgust. "Pathetic," he says. "Beaten by two village dogs. You'll get yours soon." And then wind surges around him, expanding outwards chaotically, without control, in all directions including at Michiko and Kasuya.
Hiei flicks blood from his katana before he sheathes it. He watches the woman look at him and then run screaming. He doesn't seem all that fazed by it. It must happen to him often. His attention is drawn to sounds coming from a nearby house. Sounds that he recognizes as being…wrong. He runs into the house searching the rooms until he finds the woman in distress. A snarl comes from the Kumogakure Jounin's throat as he strikes the men without anything resembling mercy. A lightning infused knee towards one and another lightning infused strike towards the other.
Michiko is able to avoid the gusting winds against her! Fortunately the spot where she dances off to experiences very little of that wind, and she's able to easily retaliate. The girl makes a seal, causing the earth below the attacker to explode and likely blind him. Then she makes another seal, and that same flaming bullet from before is fired at him. Perhaps it's less intense than the first round, but she also didn't need to send fire at four other guys to do it!
People before possession. If there's one thing her father could be proud of her for remember, it is the fact she kept that in mind as she passed the burning buildings. Granted, the growing bloodlust did help her stay focus. At least that was the case before she caught sight of the bound villagers ahead. She starts to pick up the pace, only to be forced to retreat a step and twist her body to avoid the arrows, then further still as the second raider came in with the spear.
If the archer had been quieter, there may have been mercy… If she had not heard the screams and pleas, the inkling of doubt might have sprouted. Instead, everything turned red in her vision. Rise smashes aside the spear as her other hand dug out a black pill and popped it down her throat. She chokes at first, but doesn't allow the 'minor' inconvenience to keep her from forming the seals necessary to turn a vision of her into one of absolute despair. Merciless, she grabs the spear man afterwards and tosses him 'through' where she heard the screams from.
Hiei comes into a domestic setting that's turned to a scene of horror. It's apparent what's happened at a glance. A middle aged father sprawls on the floor in a pool of his own blood. He's dressed in village garb, and is the same age as the mother still standing, who has her younger daughter who's unconscious behind her. There's skin and blood under her fingernails, and nail marks on the attacker's face.
"Just kill her," the man with the claw marks says, as his uninjured comrade stalks closer. "The daughter is prettier anyway, and—" That's when they notice Hiei charging in, no questions asked. He knocks one raider out instantly, but the other dodges out of the way. The mother takes one terrified glance at the two remaining men, and flings herself down on her daughter to protect her.
"Hey a little help!" the raider shouts out to his comrades in the town square…who are busy dealing with Rise. Reinforcements won't be coming to Hiei. But they will be coming to Rise's attackers. She'd feel an overwhelming presence drawing near, who doesn't even try to hide it. In the meantime, the archer kneels under the submission illusion. The spearman manages to shake it free, but that doesn't stop the powerful attack from connecting. He falls down hard, out cold while the archer struggles to break free of the genjutsu.
Under the double pressure, the powerful raider is struggling. He's bludgeoned with the earth, and then forced to his knees. Kasuya gathers a massive amount of lightning to rain down on the raider, frying him on the spot. Then she goes over and stomps, shattering bones. Not with fiery passion but with precise, calculated coldness. Her geta sandal is dipped in blood as she says, "Let's go help our friends," and sets off.
Hiei uses a combination of speed and agility to dodge the first two attacks from the raider. He glances over at the mother and daughter and briefly takes his eyes off his opponent for just a moment. That would prove to be unwise as he receives a slash across the chest for his trouble. Hiei frowns as he looks down at his chest. "That was my second favorite shirt." He states plainly before curling his fingers into a fist and striking hard and fast towards the man's chin with a lightning infused uppercut.
Michiko nods, moving to follow after Kasuya. She glances back to make sure no one is following them before focusing on the road ahead. The Iwata considers her current chakra levels and decides to focus a little bit more, just in case the battle goes south. In all likelihood, however, her teammates are fine and she's just being too cautious. "That was easier than I thought," she idly says, mostly to herself though Kasuya would likely be able to hear.
"Not enough," She says breathily as she straightened out once more. Rage-filled eyes cut towards the archer kneeling nearby. All it takes to spur her on is thought; the reminder of his earlier taunts. Once she reaches him, Rise starts off no more merciful to him than she was his fellow raider. She strangles him until she felt the new presence; a genuine threat to her. Thoughtlessly, she lets go only long enough to reposition her hands and snap the man's neck before refocusing back on the presence. She lingers only long enough for a quick glance to see if any of the bound villagers were alive or might make it. After that however, Rise allows instincts and rage to drive her towards the presence..
Hiei's last attacker is knocked senseless. The woman just stands and stares at the attackers and then up at Hiei. And she says in a torn, grief filled voice, "My husband…You shinobi, you should've come sooner! Where were you?" She throws herself across her husband's corpse and breaks down weeping. No word of thanks.
The last raider is felled by Rise's attack, but it's too late for her to flee. A man has arrived, and it's obvious which clan he's from. The garb, the metal gauntlets…he's Yamayuki, the Sound Clan. He looks around with a smirk. "So you can only beat weaklings. I was there, you know. During that match when The Silence attacked. Kumogakure's days are numbered. Not that you'll be there to see its end." He raises his hands and a massive wave of rippling sound tears over the ground, knocking bricks and wood aside as if they're fluff, and aimed to slam into Rise.
Kasuya and Michiko arrive a minute later. She takes one look at him and says, "Michiko, withdraw from here. Go look if you can find any villagers or Hiei-kun in need of help." And then she'd aim lightning down at the final raider.
Hiei looks at the woman with an impassive gaze before commenting. "We could have not come at all and your daughter would be dead too. Be thankful for what you still have. For what it's worth, you have my condolences." And that's about all of the compassion that he can bring up at the moment. He was still in 'fight' mode. Which meant that most of his emotions save rage were being compartmentalized. As he steps back outside he watches as Rise is attacked and blue colored lightning begins to swirl around his body, causing his muscles to expand to twice their normal size. "Many have made that claim, yet none have succeeded. I would heed your own advice." Hiei moves with enhanced speed and attempts to drive his fist into the raider's chest. At the point of impact he sends lightning through his fist, attempting to sap his energy as well as temporarily short out his nervous system. He then turns his back on him, his gaze moving to Rise. "Finish it." He reaches back to slowly draw his katana from his back, already planning his next move should this guy not go down.
Michiko nods to Kasuya, slipping off to the side so she can try and find… well, something interesting. Before leaving, however, she makes a hand seal and focuses quite a bit of chakra to form a clone. It rises out of the earth, but it's super hot for some reason, and a bit of shininess can be seen beneath the muddy exterior. A clone made of metal? She can tell how strong that guy facing off against Rise is, and she'd rather not be on the receiving end of an attack of his. So she makes sure she's out of sight before the clone charges towards the big bad boss.
There's no growling, glaring, or sass in return; only the same rage-filled eyes she leveled upon the rest. Even she desired to speak, the Yamayuki made certain she had no time for it with his attack. She tumbles aside to avoid the first wave, but the second clips her during an ill-advised attempt at getting airborne. Whatever pain she was supposed to feel doesn't pierce the haze. If anything, as soon as she recovers from the blast, she seems only more embolden than before. With an outcry, she breaks through gate after chakra gate for power, and nearly deafens herself in the process. There's only a moment’s pause afterwards — an acknowledgement and warning for Hiei — before Rise literally kicks up a dragon of wind and sends it hurtling for both.
The raider isn't doing so hot. Or he is, in a very literal way. Fried, crushed, zapped, and pummeled into the ground. Under the massive barrage of all four Kumogakure shinobi he doesn't even have an instant where he struggles to remain conscious. He's beaten and as dead as a person can be.
Kasuya goes over to his remains. Her lips are pressed in a thin line, as she closes her eyes, trying to detect any other hostiles. The Jounin nods. She says, "The mission is complete, but it'll take half a day for backup to come. Until then, we'll stay here and help out. All of you spread the word amongst the villagers it's safe now, and they can come and attend to their dead. After that, Rise-chan and Michiko-chan apply first aid to those who need it till the backup arrives. Hiei-kun, find a good vantage point and ward off any further assaults. Good work, everyone." She nods, and then goes off herself to attend to a few things.
Hiei's afterimage was the only thing that got caught by Rise's attack. He's currently standing behind Kasuya and simply nods when she gives him the order to keep a lookout. After that, his body disappears within a strong gust of wind as he goes to make sure the perimeter is safe.