Date: January 28, 2013
Three shinobi are sent to protect a high priced shop from burglary.
"Return from Retirement"
A shop in the Mist Village
Someone in the Hidden Mist Village was getting brave. A number of shops had reported being robbed. Each one not only showing a similar pattern of entry but a pattern of escalation in value and risk of being caught. It was only a matter of time before someone got actual shinobi involved. On the other side the thief was still moving up in the world.
Figuring that their shop was next, a local merchant that dealt primarily in gem stones sent in a request to the village. If his merchandise was stolen, he'd have to shut down his shop and risk losing his life's work.
Being one of three shinobi sent to guard the shop, Tsiro more or less sighed. This was not his ideal form of work. He'd much rather be out tracking and killing criminals instead of gambling on an ambush spot. Plus he had not even met his partners for the mission before. He had no idea what they were capable of. The guy was at least a Chuunin so he had some skills. The Genin girl might not have as much. It would likely be enough for the mission though. On the other hand there was a slight bit of excitement, not knowing a lot about the criminal they were trying to capture. Was he a rogue shinobi from somewhere else? Was he a talented kid? There were a few gaps that Tsiro was unsure of.
The young Kaguya turns to his partners. "The target tends to enter places from the back door. Easier night access without too many people able to see. He is pretty quick. He does not tend to stay longer than half an hour max. So I assume he is the timid type. He might run at the first sign of trouble."
Kaoru was dressed in her regular attire - black cloth mask and hood hiding most of her face and head, with a strong, canvased black cloak wrapped around the rest of her body. She leans against a wall near the back of the shop, her eyes closed. If it weren't for the fact that she was standing, she could almost be asleep. She listens to Tsiro's explanation of the situation, and a tiny nod is the only evidence that she's heard the Chuunin speak. Of course, those who don't know Kaoru probably won't realise that she's actually wide awake and using her sixth sense to scout the area outside the shop, waiting for any sign of a person approaching the back door. With two stronger shinobi in the room, she didn't want to put herself at a disadvantage by being surprised if the thief approached.
Ichihoshi nods in acknowledgement of Tsiro's words. "I will do my best to be unseen," he says quietly, stepping out of the shaft of light and deeper into the shadows. His dark garb and slow, deliberate movements make him blend easily with the darker corners of the room. "I am assuming we wish the thief alive?" He rests a hand lightly on the hilt of his katana.
"The mission says alive. However if he is a rogue shinobi, he might be better off dead." Though Tsiro would not verbally state it, if it was a kid, he might be forced into the shinobi life by the village. Not that it was a bad life, but a kid could be of use to them. A rogue however already made their choice and unless they had information, they were of no use to the village. Tsiro himself stands up and moves to sit behind the counter of the shop. "Try to keep voices to a minimum. If our criminal appears, it will be some time in the next four hours." Tsiro then closes his eyes and leans back against the counter.
Believing that the nearby area is clear of lifesigns, except for the shinobi in the room, Kaoru opens her eyes for a moment and looks at the two shinobi accompanying her on the mission. She seems to study them closely, hints of a smile forming behind the mask across her mouth. It isn't long before she closes her eyes again though, sweeping the area with her chakra sense, and this time covering the area in front of the shop as well. 'No surprises,' she thinks to herself, trying to find every possible hiding spot a thief might try to use.
Ichihoshi waits… and waits. Motionless, he could be a part of the wall, or the table. The discipline of his school shows as time passes. Not even his chest seems to rise as he focuses simply on being ready, on being unseen. His eyes are the only things that move as he takes into account the counters and shelves in the room, his mind planning for what he will do if and when the thief arrives.
For the next two hours people would pass by the front and the back of the shop coming from the local pub. None of them actually stopped though. During the third hour a man stops near the back door. He's easily a few feet away. Then after a moment, he moves to the door and the sound of the handle jiggling can be heard. Someone is trying to pick the lock.
Even before the rattling at the door begins Kaoru senses the approach of the thief, and when he stops near the door she quickly moves back out of immediate visual range from the door, ducking behind a counter. As she squats she begins forming handseals, readying her chakra to strike out at the thief if he offers the ninja troop resistance. The girl then quickly signals the other ninjas nearby, pointing toward the door and then making her handsigns again, trying to convey the message that the man outside the door is a ninja.
Tsiro remains hidden as he hears Kaoru move. He looks up in time to see her motion that the man outside is a shinobi. Soon a piece of bone extends from his hand as he prepares to take down the shinobi. He glances towards Ichihoshi and then back towards Kaoru. He then hears the handle start to jiggle. Now he was starting to anticipate the next few moments. This night was no longer seeming to be so bad.
Ichihoshi's eyes shift once more to the door, and his hand descends to his belt. Curiosity was piqueing as the handle jiggled, though obviously the thief was new to the game, or the door would have already swung wide.
Suddenly the handle stops jiggling. It is like the burglar spotted movement in the shop. Either way something seemed to spook the burglar and he takes off running down the alley. He seems to be looking for somewhere to hide where they will not catch him. Where could he have gone?
Tsiro hears the handle stop jiggling. He then waits a moment before standing up. "We need to get after him! Quickly!" Tsiro orders as he makes for the back door. He is quick to unlock it. "Ichihoshi, lead the way. Kaoru, you back him up!" he barks another order. After the two are out, he closes and locks the door to ensure the criminal does not double back while they are chasing after him.
Kaoru realises that she's given them away, some small noise alerting the ninja to their presence. She leaps up and slides over the counter she was hiding behind, quickly following behind Ichihoshi and tracking the enemy with her chakra sense. "He's not getting away," she says as she gives chase, he feet skidding on the dirt as she turns a corner. A moment later though it appears that the enemy has disappeared, and Kaoru stretches out her senses again, trying unsuccessfully to locate the miscreant.
Ichihoshi is already springing to action as Tsiro opens the door. Leaping over the counter with ease, Ichihoshi clears the distance between his hiding place and the door within a blink. His eyes stare about as he seeks the running shinobi, and his eyes move towards the ground as he attempts to follow the trail.
Both Ichihoshi and Kaoru follow the shinobi burglar to a dead end alley. Ichihoshi would be the first to notice a piece of dirt fall off one of the walls in the alley. The thief was above using the tree walking jutsu to try and scale the building and escape. From the view, it looks like it is an older man. He seems to be walking up the side of the building with some ease.
Tsiro follows behind the other two shinobi to the alley. He does not make a move though. He was waiting to see what the two shinobi infront of him could do. His eyes scan towards each of them. Would they work as a team, or would one be the hero and the other left in the dust. "Go get him." he states as if encouraging both shinobi.
Kaoru looks up to see the thief scaling the building, and grimaces. She hadn't mastered the Tree Walking technique yet, and if the old man managed to make it all the way up the side of the building she wouldn't be able to follow. "I'll try to slow him down," she says, already forming handseals, "You get ahead of him and cut him off. Then we can focus on bringing him in alive." The young girl then reaches back and whips a hand toward the escaping criminal, a whip of lightning streaking forth from her outstretched hand toward his legs as Kaoru tries to stop him from reaching the top of the building. Kaoru repeats the action, hoping she might dislodge him from the wall and bring him back down to the ground.
Ichihoshi watches as the shinobi moves upwards, and nods in response to Kaoru. He crouches low, and with a burst of chakra to his legs, launches himself skyward, gaining distance on the shinobi. As he begins to reach the apex of his jump, he pulls a kunai from his belt and jam's it into the wall. Using his remaining momentum, he swings his feet against the vertical surface, and then springs after the shinobi. "If you surrender now, I will spare you," he states as he comes closer, flicking his katana out of it's sheath and towards the ankles of the fleeing thief, aiming for the broad calf muscles in order to disable.
The whip connects with the old man causing him quite a bit of pain. As he cries out, he begins to fall from the wall. The katana strike hits the man, but a little higher than intended. It lands in the thigh. As he hits the ground there is a loud groan. Moments later he puts his hands up. "Alright, you two got me. I surrender, no more." It is clear the man is way past his prime. He's easily seventy years of age. The fall itself probably broke his hip if not more.
Tsiro watches the two work. While the Genin did not know the tree walking jutsu, she was able to improvise. That was pretty impressive. At least she had a jutsu in her arsenal that she could rely on. As for Ichihoshi, Tsiro was unsure if the Chuunin did not know the Tree Walking jutsu or if he just chose not to use it. It was likely to be the former.
As the man falls from the wall, Tsiro moves forward. "Good job. You guys caught a relic." Tsiro assumed the man was probably a shinobi at one point. Maybe he went MIA in a war or he was possibly a rogue. Either way he had found some form of retirement, but now that was over. "We need to get him to the jail. They will want to know what he does with his merchandise. Maybe even see if there is a chain or something to export them."
Kaoru stands menacingly over the old man, shaking her head in pity. Even great shinobi can become pathetic wretches, and there was no evidence this man had ever been great. "Get up," she says calmly, trying to keep the spite from her voice and flicking her head toward the entrance to the alley, directing the prisoner to start walking. She doesn't bother trying to cover the escape route since Tsiro is already there, and she doubts the Chuunin would be overcome by such a weak old man. She glances back to Ichihoshi, making sure the boy is coming as well, then looks back to the prisoner, making sure that he doesn't try anything funny.
Ichihoshi skids to a halt on the wall, his eyes narrowed. His blade had missed its target, and his sensei would be displeased. Ichihoshi would slide his katana away, and then drop from the wall, landing lightly in a crouch. "If he is injured, then we are responsible," he states idley, pulling a short length of rope from one of his beltpouches, and binds the old man's hands and feet. "Do not attempt to escape, Grandfather-san. I am sure the authorities will be easy on you if you cooperate." With that, he will heft the bound shinobi over his shoulder and begin heading towards the jail.
The old man looks at Kaoru for a moment. He offers her a smile even though he was almost certain of her contempt. He was about to get up when he is bound and tied up. "You got me. I am not attempting to escape." he states. These people were so much younger than him. They had so much to learn about the life they had chosen. He had learned to remain quiet. He slipped up and got busted.
Tsiro nods at Ishihoshi. "You two did a very good job. I think you would be wise to seek each other out in the future for more learning. If there is anything you wish to learn, you can always call on me. But we really need to get going." As for Ichihoshi's words about the authorities being easy on the old man… Very few people go into hiding for no reason. Maybe they would feel bad for the man but chances were not good that he'd get special treatment.