Date: November 10, 2013
A village cries out for help from the Kumo ninja. Turns out that the Ox King has returned, and he's back to his old tricks again.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Return Of The Ox King"
Village in the lowlands of the Land of Lightning
It's been many moons since anyone has heard of the bandit calling himself the Ox King. The last time he was seen, he and his subordinates were taken down by a group of Kumo shinobi. Amani, Hanako, and Hiroyasu were successful in driving them out of a village that they had occupied. Since then, the bandit king hadn't been seen..until now.
A request comes across the desk of Katayama Hiroyasu. It is a cry for help from the people of a small village in the lowlands called Bonsai. Bonsai village is located near the mouth of a river and their problem is that they are constantly being hit by bandit raids. The village magistrate sent a messenger to Kumogakure with a plea for help. To send whatever aid they could. The messenger describes the leader of the bandits as being a large man with a full beard that wields two large double sided axes. He is usually accompanied by a woman in her early twenties and a younger boy around the age of thirteen or fourteen.
- It has been a pretty lax day in the office request wise, the usual disputes over food cart vendors, foreigners getting temporary writs.. Until the request came in the more than urgent fashion.. "Have we verified this one?" Hiroyasu shouts out into the hallway, lately people see a stray dog on a road and bandits are attacking.. The response comes back that it had, "Send out the missives to those not actively assigned. I'll be meeting them at the gate and going along on this one. Make sure that Yotsuki Nariko is assigned, we may need diplomatic support." he adds before grabbing his cloak and heading out to the stable to get his horse prepped and brought to the frontgate. All the while owls, hawks, crows whatever the particular bird of the day was is sent out to inform those chosen to meet for a debriefing at the frontgate and be prepared to deploy. -
Having received a notice from Hiro, our Yotsuki heroine known as Nariko arrived at the gate to the village. She had the usual necessities for the mission, and even had some snacks since it was about lunch time. As she walked up she was finishing up two kebabs, downing them as quick as she could before the left for the mission. "Hey Hiro. Got your message." She gives a friendly wave and smile as she toses the empty sticks into a trash can.
Walking up with hands binded by fingers behind a head fieled by green hair, Kana approaches the gates with a distant look glazing off into the clear blue sky. As the soft breeze floats down and flicks a feather by, Kana stops to peer at it, watching it flicker away for a moment only to float back. A hand grasps it and then slides it away even as Kana looks then to the gates of Kumogakure again. Noting Nariko arriving and Hiro already there, a hand goes up in a small wave even as a deck of cards is slid free and starts to be messed with, flicked back and forth in a shuffle, "Hey." Kana states, "So, we going out of town again, eh?"
- Hiro bows his head to the two as they arrive, "A small little village down in the lowlands has had a confirmed uptick in bandit activity. The description matches a possible wanted personality.. We are going to do two things; Assist the village in their time of need, and Identify the threat. I will be going along as I am the only one, not on assignment, who can possibly ID the personality.. so we will leave immediately. As always, I have had your personal horses prepared should you want them, if you don't have a personal steed; The stable has given you a well-trained and even-temper warhorse on loan.." he adds moving to hop on the back of his own horse.. "questions or comments, of the official nature?" he asks looking at them. -
Nariko looks at Kana and smiles. "Hey Kana, glad to see you again." She looks to the cards and then looks to Hiro. "Ready to head out when you are." Then he mentions Storm Shadow. "Please behave." She whines softly as she moves towards her horse. THe only question she had was a rhetorical one, did they really have to ride the horses.
"No questions here." A glance at Nariko with a nod before looking back to Hiro, Kana hmms, "Wait, are we going just to identify and that is it or are we to take this personality down should we identify them?" A glance at the horse offered and Kana looks it over before moving to it, "I don't mind riding in but I would like to know what I'm riding to is all. If this is just recon or are we actually going to be doing a lot of fighting?"
The journey to Bonsai village is not particularly difficult. Given the season the group does have to fight off swarms of mosquitoes and biting insects..especially when they get closer to the river. It's late evening by the time they make it to their destination and when they lay eyes on this place, they can tell that these people are in a bad way. The villagers are thin and look like they haven't had a good meal in weeks. The crops seem to be growing just fine, though there is a desperate feel to these people. A young woman of around eighteen meet the shinobi at the entrance to the village. She looks up at them with tears in the corner of her eyes and drops to her knees, head bowed. "Thank the gods that you've come. My name is Yaoi…I've been sent to take you to our magistrate."
- Hiro looks at Kana "Did I not just say, we are there to assist the village in their time of need.. and they need us to put an end to their bandit problem.. ~However~ If this bandit is who intel thinks it is, it won't be as easy as going in making a fancy spectacle of jutsu and them running off like they have seen ghosts. The last time this group attacked they were highly trained, well prepared and well adjusted to dealing with Shinobi.. What do you think we are, soothsayers who can predict the future? Will there be fighting? Maybe or Maybe not.. Will we end up getting there and they saw a face of the bandit in a bowl of burnt rice? Possible too.. Nothing is or will ever be so certain.. so either prepare to leave for whatever it is we have to do, or sit here and contemplate the what-ifs by yourself.." with that he pulls the reigns aiming his horse out of the gate before it bolts off in a cloud of dust to the their target.
"Thank you for meeting us, Please allow our diplomatic envoy; Yotsuki Nariko, to accompany you" he hops off his horse and hitches it to the post before following Nariko to the Magistrate. -
Nariko speeds off alongside Hiro and when they arrive at the village she notices the villagers, definitely feeling like helping them out. She slips off her horse and bows to Yaoi. "Pleasure and I hope we have arrived in time." She gives her a reassuring smile before tying Storm Shadow up to follow Yaoi to the magistrate.
"Hey, I just heard identify and wasn't sure if this was a recon mission or a true stopping them mission." Kana looks at the reigns of her horse, "Never hurts to be truly sure." The shinobi rides along silently at that point, not saying a word for the whole of the journey. Once they arrive, horses hitched up, Kana simply follows after Hiro and remains fully silent as they move along.
Meruin has disconnected.
Yaoi stands up slowly as if the act is painful and then bows low again. "Please, this way." As Yaoi leads the group through the heart of the village, the group is able to see that the village is actually prospering in the fact that they have food and wares, it just looks like no one is able to eat or use any of it. They are led to the only two story dwelling in this place and once they are inside, they meet face to face with a wrinkled old man in robes. He bows. "I'm Magistrate Kyoto. I thank you for coming so swiftly. It appears my friend from the lumberjack guild was correct when he said that Kumogakure is finally responding to us in a timely manner. I thank you for that. Can my daughter get you anything? Something to drink perhaps?" He motions the group to cushions on the floor surrounding a low table. He settles down onto one of them slowly himself. "Now, to get to why I've asked you here. Every night at dusk, we are invaded by bandits. They take our food and our wares. Sometimes they even take our women." He shakes his head slowly. "We've tried to fight back, but our young men were killed easily.."
- Hiroyasu follows quietly behind the Yotsuki, kneeling onto the cushion, and speaking for himself politely rebuffs the offer for drink. "No thank you, but your hospitality is most gracious" he says before bring his hands into a prayer steeple before listening and letting the diplomat deal with them diplomatically. -
Nariko takes a seat on one of the cushions, placing her hands in her lap. She bows her head politely to the old man and then shakes her head. "I am fine, but thank you for the offer." As she listens to the man speak about the bandits. A part of it tugs at her heart strings. "We tried to come as soon as we heard. The village of Kumogakure has been trying hard to reestablish relationships that have been affected by past events. It is unfair for a village such as yours to be treated in such a harsh way." She looks to her teammeats. "We will do our duty to help prevent these bandits from causing more harm to this village." She gives the old man a reassuring smile.
A glance at the man as he speaks of the reaction time and Kana hmms softly before simply staying standing, a bit back and away. For now, it is indeed Nariko's game as Kana peers at the wrinkled old man. A glance is then given to Nariko as she speaks. Kana only raises a hand to decline any food or drink.
Before Kyoto could continue with the shinobi, he is interrupted by a kid running in. "Elder, he has returned. And he's not alone." A worried look comes over the old man's face. "The Ox King has returned…please, you must help us." He looks at the boy. "Tell everyone to go inside and lock their doors. Tell them not to come out until the shinobi say it's safe." He stands up and calls people inside. He then leaves the shinobi alone to do what is best. He looks back at Nariko. "If you can save this village, then I will be your advocate for spreading the word of Kumogakure's change in policy. You have my word."
- Hiroyasu sits quietly waiting and listening letting the silver and golden plated words waft through the air from lips of the Kunoichi to the ears of the elders Magistrate. When the attack is on, he muses with the idea "Toujitakumi-san, Your field commander… Take Yotsuki-san and deal with the threat. I will doing my objective separately, Don't disappoint" he says turning to head out of the door, slowly fading with each step before making himself inconspicuous. (without a window) -
Nariko looks to the kid as he runs in. "We will do our very best." She looks to Hiro when he gives the instructions and nods to him. She looks to Kana and smiles. "Alright, what do you want me to do?" She stands up and looks to Kana, making her way to the door.
A hurrm and Kana looks at Hiroyasu while possible till…well, it becomes much harder to do so. Instead Kana turns swiftly to Nariko before looking forward, "Well, lets slip out quietly and see our enemy." A nod and then Kana starts out the way the boy came in though for now, the shinobi is trying to use stealth, "I need to know who and what I'm dealing with before we just rush in at it."
Walking down the street all casual-like is a very large man. He is broad of shoulder and long of limb. He is wearing breeches and no shirt and there are two double bladed axes attached to his hip. Flanking him are a boy of about twelve. A belt of daggers sheathed in a bandolier surround his torso, and finally there is a young woman who bears no weapons at all. The thing that stands out about her is the look of utter disdain on her face and her firey red shoulder length hair. The large man, whom one would assume to be the Ox King states loudly. "Bring the food or we will level this village. You have thirty seconds before I set these two loose." A half-smirk comes over his face as he reaches up a massive hand to stroke his beard.
- Hiroyasu now on a roof of a building, peering down into the sheet as only the light flicker of heat or an eyelash in your field of vision. Reaching out into the dark ether the glowing signature of the three is well read against the village backdrop. The results mix in this mind as contemplates his action while idly watching and detailing how the two genin act. -
Nariko looks to Kana and shrugs. "Okay." She moves out the door and slips into the shadows of a nearby alley. She looks out from her alley. She would grumble softly to herself. She clearly did not like this guy and the way he treated the villagers. She looks to Kana for further instructions.
Moving not so well to the shadows, Kana only sorta notices where Nariko goes, noting she is a far better stealther than Kana could ever be at this moment, Kana nods, "Get behind them. Attack from stealth. I'll get them focused on me." Kana nods and moves out and right into the open brazenly. Flicking up a bag of marbles from a hip pouch, Kana shakes a masked face from side to side slowly, "Really? You show up in someone else's village making demands. A terrible way for a guest to act." Kana tosses the marbles up, making a few gestures before catching them and then simply grabs the bottom of the bag and flings it outward, sending marbles out toward the man and woman alike, "Here! Eat a few of these!" And then the marbles start blowing up immediately.
Ox King waits patiently for the 30 seconds to be up, however he doesn't even get very far before Kana makes herself known and attacks with her explosive jutsu. The Kid and the Kunoichi both have to dodge the incoming marbles, but unlike the Kunoichi, the Kid isn't so lucky as he is caught up in the explosion. He is knocked backwards several feet and there are small cuts and bruises on him from the impact. He looks over at the Ox. "May I, Master?" The King simply inclines his head before turning towards Kana. "Well, what do we have here? A child using toys to fight with?" He begins to look around the area. "Hmm. I'm willing to bet that you're not alone, are you?" He looks over at the Kid. "Finish this quickly, before they have time to get reinforcements."
The Kid withdraws two kunai from the bandolier on his chest and his body before hurling both of them at Kana. "Die shinobi!"
- Hiroyasu is watching the event from his perch, it was unfolding about as he figured it would.. At least it was like behind the typical Yotsuki charge schedule for escalation. As it was unfolding he focuses his chakra before pulling out a litany of seals preparing to take on the one who has a previous vendetta. -
Nariko stays in the shadows as best she can, moving behind the boy and girl. She pulls out her goat head pez dispenser, popping a pill into her mouth. Once swallowed, her eyes go wide as the fuel runs through her. She smashes her fist against her palm, ready to fight. She then closes her eyes focusing on herself, preparing to go up against the two henchmen.
A simple movement has a clone taking the first kunai but it isn't enough to stop the second one from taking Kana in the shoulder as they are spinning away from the attack. The shinobi stumble steps and winces from the pain of it and then takes a moment to take the kunai out and push the natural energy flowing through all ninja's body into chakra. Silver eyes focus on the Kid, "Ok, we'll play the game. You use your kunai, I'll use my cards. We'll see who wins."
The Kid replies to Kana. "This may be a game to you, but this is a way of life to me." Fire encircles his arms before it flows into the next kunai that he holds in his hand. "Eat this." He then hurls it at Kana while running off to the side.
The Kunoichi and Ox King continue to stand side by side. The King almost looks bored as he watches the Kid and Kana fight each other. "No food for you if you can't kill that girl." He looks over at the Kunoichi and mutters out of the side of his mouth. "If he looses, kill whoever it was that trained him. I don't tolerate failure."
- Hiro had waited long enough before attacking the Ox-king he had hoped that the two Genin would have pulled his minions away before he could attack but as its said about best laid plans, they rarely go off as planned. Two seals break through the barrier hiding the Chuunin on his rooftop perch, the first being a lock down, and second a knock-out seal both of attempting to tire and confine the Ox-King not above using his subordinates as shields. -
Nariko watches on as Kana gets hit with on Kunai. She cracks her neck side to side. She focuses in on the boy and the female shinobi and attempts to make them think of a shiny flash in their eyes. Then she moves her arms up in front of her, lightning coiling around her arms as she points at the boy and the girl. Shots of lightning flow from her tips and towards the two.
The shinobi known as Kana that wears rather loose and neutral clothing and talks with a deepish voice behind a mask, is now that 'girl' who the kid has to kill. Kana seems a little annoyed at the Ox King at first but then a flaming kunai buries into the front of Kana and…Kana disappears in a flash of smoke. It's another clone and Kana has pulled out a pair of cards. Both now charged with explosive chakra and flicked idly at the Kid that has attempted to take Kana's life again.
The Ox King suddenly draws his axes and whirls them in his grasp, creating a gust if wind that blows away Hiroyasu's seals. How he saw the stealthed Chuunin was anyone's guess, but what people might not notice is that at the same time, he drops a couple of steps back, away from the Kunoichi and the Kid so that they would take the brunt of Nariko's genjutsu and lightning attack.
The Kid is stunned by the flash of pillar and is then hit by Nariko's lightning ninjutsu attack. But it would be Kana's explosive cards that would put the boy down. The Kid falls backwards, the front of his body smoking as he goes cross-eyed. His chest still rises and falls faintly, but it's quite obvious that he would not be getting back up. The Kunoichi curses herself for not seeing the attack come sooner and she is also struck my Nariko's lightning. For the moment, she can't seem to get her bearings while the whole gang is now exposed and the Ox King sees a familiar face in that of Katayama Hiroyasu. A small smile plays on his lips. "So. It's you." A pause. "I don't suppose we could negotiate a deal between us, eh, shinobi?"
- Hiroyasu leaps off the roof-perch landing on the ground and with a flick of his wrist a swirl of seals spin outwards at the Ox-King "Sure, I think you'll find the deal on the fine print on these negotiation contracts" he says charging at the ox-king knowing that the notorious bandit would rather run than fight, and rather throw anyone he finds useless in front of any challenge he deems unworthy. -
Nariko looks to Kana and smiles, excited Kana took down the boy. Now it's just the girl. She keeps her arms out for a moment, the lightning encircling her forearms. Another shot of lightning explodes towards the kunoichi. Before it even gets close to the girl Nariko was running behind it, keeping her fists charged. As she neared the girl she would throw two punches at her.
Kinda sticking to the original plan, Kana watches the boy go down with a nod and runs to behind the kunoichi as Nariko attacks from the front. Kana is trying to be the one attacking from behind now as they attack and throws two cards at the back of the Kunoichi and then just because of the way that Bowser Ox King talked, another card is aimed right at the Ox King.
The Kunoichi was in a bad spot. She had Nariko and Kana to contend with now and she still couldn't move. She cries out she is once again hit by lightning and then two more times by Nariko's taijutsu. Blood sprays from her lips as she feels her body go weak. Then she screams out in pain as she is hit in the back by exploding cards. Her eyes become lidded over as she falls over.
The Ox King looks over as the Kunoichi falls, then he looks over at the fallen Kid. He shakes his head slowly. "I take it that you're not one of the corrupt Shinobi that wouldn't mind their pockets being lined with ryo?" As the chakra hardened seals impact him, he simply smiles and when the exploding card hits him in the back, he turns to look at Kana. "I'll get to you in a moment." Lifting both axes he moves quickly for a man his size. He swings out at Nariko, Hiroyasu, and then Kana before hopping back and emitting a shrill whistle. "Fortunately for me, I am never without a backup plan." And true to his credit, he moves to head for the village exit.
- Hiroyasu brings up a wall of chakra which is caught by the axe and rendered useless as the axe slices completely through as well as into the man behind the shimmering wall cutting into his flesh sending a small shower of blood as it meets resistance from his chain mail weave.. Forming the seals, his amazingly beautiful clone made of stone appears and charges ahead trying to head off the ox-king while the original Hiroyasu charges behind him hurling a seal in attempt to slow down the fleeing bandit. -
Nariko tries to disappear quickly to escape the swinging axe, but unfortunately she goes down to the ground. The axe swipes down her right side, ripping her clothes a good bit. "Ugh!" Could be heard from her as she lies on the ground looking up at the guy as he tries to run. Her first reaction besides scream out in pain is to get a good look at him and attempt to make him think that metal chains wrap around his body, binding his arms to his side.
It seems only Kana was the lucky one in this case. The clone that gets smacked is only barely the clone that gets smacked. Kana only slipping down and away moments before and letting out a breath as Kana is now off to the side and throwing another card at the man though this is more of a desperate throw then anything as the shinobi moves to put range between the big man and a weak body, especially after seeing Nariko getting hurt like that.
Ox King saw that the end was in sight. He had already whistled for the rest of his guys to come in and back him up against these Shinobi when all of a sudden an earth clone of Hiroyasu rises up out of the ground and gut checks him. King was so surprised by this that before he could do anything else, that knock out seal struck him and weakened him to the point that he goes down to one knee. When Nariko assaults him mentally he falls forwards onto his face, his hands and legs press together as if he was bound by invisible bonds. To add insult to injury, Kana's explosive card smacks him dead in the center of the forehead, effectively knocking him out.
Unseen by the shinobi, a darkly cloaked figure stands at the entrance to the village. Upon seeing the King captured, he makes a hand motion similar to that performed by Kumo shinobi and then his body simply fades away. They had the King for now..but could they hold him indefinitely?
- Hiroyasu points to the earth clone which has his knee resting on the back of the Ox-Kings neck, "Toujitakumi. Go tie up the captive. He needs to answer for his many crimes so don't add anymore insult to injury.. We are agents of the land, not its executioners." before moving to Nariko who took in a single strike was could be called a deep wound. His glowing hands slowly sealing the wound and pulling out some bandages to cover it to prevent infection later. "You should be alright to travel, please check into the hospital for a full examination.. They don't really value field medic medicine very highly" he says to Nariko.. -
Nariko still laid on the ground, even rolled over when Hiro came close. "So this is what it's like to be cut up." She looks up to him and smiles, chuckling a little bit, wincing from the pain. "I will. It gives me reason to get a physical then." She sits up a bit, her wound being relieved of pain, but still sort of hurts. She looks to Kana and smiles. "Nice job out there today. Maybe as a celebratory thing to do we could go eat or shopping." She gets up and looks to Hiro, giving him a reassuring smile. "Thanks Hiro."
"After you are cleaned up." Kana nods to Nariko before turning and walking over to start tying up the big fellow known as the Ox King. Kana watches Hiro work on Nariko and then states, "You might want to use some of that medic work on that kid and that woman." Kana nods, "I'm pretty sure they got hurt and bad…and if we aren't executioners then they probably need it or they'll die."
- Hiroyasu continues to cut the bandage in a calm manner "I would, but they have fled the area under their own power.. Or they crawled into an alley and died.. cause they arent' where we left them, and I don't detect their signatures nearby." he pats Nariko on the shoulder before turning his own hand to himself tending to the barely there scratch compared to the one he just treated, the mesh of his koromo absorbing the most heinous part of the attack.. the wound is slow to heal but begins to knit itself before he wraps a small piece of bandage around it, to keep the dirt out. "Now please visit the hospital, Hiroyasu.. The doctors will need to check you out properly" he repeats what he said almost to Nariko to himself.. habit or was it that doctors might make the worst to report injuries. "You uh.. got a few Kunai wounds right?" how can one tell with such non-descript clothing and obscured face.. "Do you require medical assistance or are you alright to travel?" he asks before whistling with his two fingers and his horse slowly moves over to where he is, and the clone hefts the Ox-King over the back of the saddle and secures him before it crumbles into dust. -
Nariko looks to Kana and smiles. "It's just a flesh wound." She raises her arm and makes an expression of 'oh that hurts' and moves it back down. "Well, It looks like we took care of the village's problem. I am hopeful this will encourage other villages." She rises from the ground and sighs. "But I wish to let the magistrate know before we leave. It would be rude not to." She would walk over to the building to speak with the Magistrate. "Magistrate Kyoto, it is safe for your villagers to return to their normal activities. We have repelled the bandits and have captured one to take back to our village. Kumogakure wishes to extend its hand in friendship and assistance. We will send a team out to help rebuild and deal with other such issues." She would leave the building and return to her teammates outside.
A wince at the reminder of the wound and Kana looks at it, "I should be fine." A nod, "It isn't that deep or that big. It's just one wound." Kana nods with a smile in those silvery eyes, "Lets just head back." Kana then looks at Nariko and nods as well to Nariko before turning to walk back toward the horses to get them prepared to move while Nariko finishes up with the diplomat stuff.
- Hiro shrugs "Whatever suits you.." it wasn't uncommon really for people to deny healing for whatever reason, usually hubris. "Well, you should check into the hospital when we return and have it examined. Infection or even slow acting poison are possibilities which could lead to complications.. not to mention clots.. I will report it as I am required too." he adds before nodding to Nariko and giving her a thumbs up "Good job, Beariko. We have to change minds one at a time. Killing them all with Kindness" before hopping up into the saddle and looking around "Lets get back, I have a debriefing to write, and a prisoner to check in" he says before his horse fires off a bullet in a steadfast gallop back to the cloud draped village. -
The Plot Continues…