Date: April 9th, 2010
"Sakura the Assassin"
Kirigakure and beyond
Sakura was assigned an assassination mission only to have the Mizukage order her to take a team. She'd gone to handpick several hunter nin, but found that many peoplemore than manywere already out on missions, stretched tight with the Wave Country scenario. When it was suggested she take Genin, to familiarize herself with those beyond the elite, Sakura had seen some sense in that. If nothing else she could singlehandedly carry out the mission…messily. And this mission called for discreetness.
So Sakura had selected a few aspiring Genin and told them to be at the docks by dawn. They were going deep into foreign territory on a stealth mission and they should equip for such. It'd be easy to spot Sakura. This early in the morning there's only plainly dressed fisherman going about their work, whereas Sakura is leaning against a pole dressed all in red and toting two swords criss crossed on her back. She'd gotten to the spot half an hour early, and assumed the same position with her negligent leaning against the wall, arms folded, and dew beading her hair. Time is of the essence, and she had said she'd brief them as they went.'
Meruin could be seen striding his way towards the docks, carrying nothing with him but the tight-fitting silken clothes on his back. He was early as well, about 20 minutes before he was drafted to be here. The Okumo moved through the light mists with easy steps, cool eyes staring at Sakura as he approached, taking her in. She was one he hadn't had much dealing with. Two spiders stared at her, also, from atop their perch on the seven-year old's shoulders. "Reporting."
Gin had gotten the call, and in turn had requested a few of the Genin he himself had chosen for his own team to join in on it if they weren't busy. Of course, he didn't expect certain people to show up for such a mission- since, with a Swordsman spearheading it who knew what they'd be up against! The boy's smile neverl eft his lips as he headed out.
Wearing a wide straw-hat and plainclothes over his typical dark-blue outfit that he wore for night-time infiltration missions. The boy for the most part looks like a young fisherman making his way to the docks. Arriving at the designated time the boy smiles as his eyes move over the area while he looks for Sakura and anyone else who might've beaten him there.
The boy smiles as he walks not up to Sakura, but slightly past her and leans against the pole. "Good morning…" He says simple as he reaches up to flick his large wide-brim straw hat back in order to glace up at the woman, his lips parted in a wide smile. "…Sakura-dono." His words are, of course, very quite whispered as he goes about the duty of opening the small bag it brought with him and pulls out a fishing pole. Clicking it together, the boy goes through the motions of casting out while he talks. "So… where to next?"
What exactly was Sekisetsu aspiring to be anyway? With the discipline she seemed to have, probably not much. I mean she was insubordinate or anything. She wasn't quite that lazy either. Her attitudes just seemed so unaimed. It was as if the girl had been an unpointed sword. She didn't have any direction. She was smart, and cunning, and learned to deal with her flaws well. But what was she going to do in cases where she needed a complete focus, if she had none.
Being told to go on a mission seemed like the worst thing that could ever have happened to her. She was not ready for what was instore, mentally anyway. He dress was plain as usual, well geared but able to move. Her only problem seemed to be her lack of agility. The girl was clumsy for no reason, something that would probably end her if she didn't come correct. But she was still young, and hopefully, that wouldn't go against her either. But she was from Kiri. She would have been along for the ride, looking up only when the scenery changed, and when she would arrive to the destination, her mind would remain aloof..
Sakura watches as each shinobi comes, but she would say very little. Once they're all there though she'd straighten up and say, "I'm Tachiro Sakura your team leader. The first thing I'll say is I don't tolerate disobedience. If I give an order, I expect it to be followed. Neither do I tolerate idiocy. You have brains…use them. The mission we're going on is simple. Right now, despite our caliber, the Land of Lightning has the larger army. They plan to open trade with the Land of Rice to bolster their forces, which we can't allow given the current tension between us. So we'll go and assassinate the diplomat. The essence is we do it quickly and, since it shall be in the Rice Country, without property damage. Then we'll leave and another follow up mission by another country will occur in which /we/ are the first to approach the Land of Rice." She smirks. "Our intelligence tells us if we leave now we'll converge on them if we head due towards the border. If you have any questions, ask as we move." And then she'd give a negligent 'follow me' gesture and set out in a northeasterly direction.
What questions were there to ask? Meruin knew who was in charge, knew what they wanted, and he knew how to complete those orders. Anything else he needed to know would be questions that came up during the mission itself and they will be dealt with, then. At least, that's how it seemed when he immediately started following Sakura. It was a second later when he asked, "Does the diplomat have an escort or combat training of any kind?"
The Chuunin lets out al oose chuckle before discarding the fishing pole and swithcing the haori around in order to better cover himself up. Turning Gin nods, "This should be interesting." The smiling boy says as he walks behind Sakura, moving quick enough to keep up with her. Eyes move to Meruin for a moment as they all start moving, the boy pretty happy that the Genin had decided to come along after all.
Looking over at Sekisetsu he finds himself actively wondering just why this young girl decided to go on a stealth mission. Tilting his head to the side, he wonders for just a split second more before looking forward again- the disguised ninja not even wearing his forehead protector at the moment, something he was known to do when a mission required a bit of Stealth. For the most part, he says nothing- though he is smiling all the while.
Looking to the woman as she spoke, tired seeming eyes seemed to squint at the women as if she irradiated off some bright light. Maybe it was the red. The lady did sort of remind her of a stop sign with swords… Maybe it /was/ the red!! Anyway, with all the talk of diplomats and open trade and blargh, Seki only could tell that this was a "sneaky" mission, and they had to kill the best dressed guy.
This would all seemed simple, if only for the fact that she was doing the worst in Beginners Stealth Tactics. These were the moments, however, where the girl had to be inventive. But one thing still aluded her. Why in the world this woman seemed to shine so brightly, even when it was dark outside? Damn red…. Reminded her of this one time, she almost fell into a vat a cayenne pepper at the Owashu Spices fair. Would have stung if hadn't been for that small kid with the freckles… Wonder what happened to him? He sure was short. Like the Okumo kid she stood next too now.
"He had a heavy escort up to the borders of his country, but detached from many of them once he reached the Land of Rice," Sakura says as they eat through the distance in a way only a shinobi could. They had many miles to go. Over the miles Sakura would adjust her speed to be able to accomodate her teammates. She was impatient to reach the pass that would hem the diplomat in, even though they should reach the area hours ahead of time. As she went she'd describe the physical appearance of the diplomat, as picked up by their spies. "He has dark skin and gray hair that's pulled back into a ponytail. He'll be an aged but powerfully built man." A good long life it would seem, with a fitting death. What more could a person ask for? After that they'd go in the same way, Sakura occassionally taking out a compass to check the direction, though she hardly needs it. Within half a day they'd be there, by two cliffs hemming in a wide path.
"We should have a few hours before the diplomat arrives," Sakura says. "He'll have some supplies, perhaps money, and so at least some caravan guards, probably mercenaries, most likely shinobi. We'll kill them all /unless/ something unexpected happens and some of them are Rice people. This is their symbol." She'd draw it in the dirt. "We'll ambush them. After our hidden attack we'll divide and conquer. Sekisetsu-san, I want you to hold back and make sure none of them try to run. Meruin-san and Gin-san, you'll engage them and watch each other's backs. If the crowd control is manageable, I want you, Gin-san, to concentrate on those in charge. Leaders. The diplomat. Cut off the head. This strategy may fall apart depending on the situation so listen to me, but think on your feet. If it's a decision between keeping your head and waiting for my order…" She smiles coldly. "Keep your head. Now Sekisetsu-san, keep a lookout from those bushes down the past. Gin-san, keep an eye in this radius. Meruin-san, head over there up those trees and watch from above.
The seven year old had taken in all of the mission specifications with an odd look, one that felt attentive even though the gaze was vague. Afetrwards, he gave a nod, "Yes, Mistress." Meruin sent Gin a look from cool, placid eyes — a blank stare — before he turned on his heel and jogged over to the tree Sakura had indicated, moving to get himself settled and ready. From the branches, unnoticed wisps of webbing began to hang.
Gin nods, his smile widening as he licks his lips in anticipation of the events to unfold. Probably one of the few to actually keep up with Sakura- the boy was known for his speed -and as they wait for Sakura's briefing, the boy doesn't even look like he broke a sweat. Smiling, he nods. Especially when its mentioned that he is to be the one to take out the leaders. "Good. I've been dying to slaughter someone interesting…" He says as he runs his tongue over his lips again, looking out toward the direction he was told to watch. The boy fall's quiet, his outfit aiding in blending into the surroundigns slightly while his keen eyes look out over the pass. Waiting to see their target.
Hey!! How come the boys get the best jobs? Ugh!!! "Hai…Red-taicho.", would be said plainly, with a small hint of disgust at getting the boring job, but not enough to be quickly done in. She would run over to the bushes, and duck behind hoping they hadn't been poison ivy. She would peer inbetween the leaves, and look to the past where she had been ordered to guard. Hopefully this seal technique she was learning would do her good, the tags she prepared being readied in her hand like a deck of cards.
Would she have to spend hours in this spot, was the only thought that encompassed this small girl. She knew well that preparation was good for ninja, and blahdy blah blarginstein, but the edginess of youth was a strange thing. For now she would be at battle to keep both her thoughts at bay, and her eyes on alert. This would probably get her hung if she didn't pay attention. But was a hanging better than dying in battle? Probably depended on which one was actually quicker.
Sakura would leave. She'd be back in a couple minutes, having decided where the most likely places one would run were. It didn't hurt to be prepared for every single person to try and flee. Mercenaries, if such were his escort, were far from loyal. And this was a diplomatic party, not one that would want to stand in combat. It's what she would do if she were them—run in different directions and hope you weren't the one followed. Of course, it'd be much more fun if they simply stood and fought. Now she takes up a position on one of the canyon walls, sitting on one of the uppermost ledges and looking down for any signs of the approaching party. In truth, only one would come…not the diplomat, but a scout. Clearly they saw the dangers of the passage.
Sakura would spot them first, but rather than look at the travellers, she'd glance down at her teammates and their various reactions.
Meruin from his vantage point would see the scouts, but only faintly the party of travellers.
Gin would spot not only the scout, but all the travellers: the diplomat leading a horse and cart, and six mercenary guards; fortunately none are Rice Country shinobi, and have very much the look of Lightning mercenaries with their dark skin and pale hair.
Sekisetsu would see the scout before he pulls back.
When the scout goes back to signal the all clear (a sad mistake) Sakura would tilt her metal forehead protector to signal her team. To Meruin she'd beckon him forward to the entrance where he could lay his traps. To Gin, she'd make a circling motion to go around and flank the passage ways and come up from behind. For his speed that'd be most fitting. To Sekisetsu she'd signal him to stay in cover. It'd only take a couple minutes for all the escort to be completely in the passageway then Sakura would fling down a kunai that'd take the lead mercenary straight in the neck. It'd take the others a moment to realize what would happen, then there'd be shouts of alarm. They'd form a defensive ring, looking towards the other end, but the youngest.. and the scout.. would make a mad dash backwards.
Meruin slowly tilted his head as the oncoming people finally came into view. He stared with a blank gaze, taking note of the scout and what he could make out as the band of travelers. Before anything else could be discerned of them, however, he was flagged down and to the entrance to set up traps for them. Something he'd been brought up with; it was nice to put it into use.
10 seconds later, he crouched at the entrance of the cliff-bordered pathway, the whole of his body hidden in spider silk that stretched between him and the tree he'd been keeping watch from. There was only time for minor traps based on surprise; nothing that would allow for a zero percent margin of error. So, it was soon that all the the threads that had seemed to thick later on seemed to have vanished and the seven-ear old was instead sitting, anchored high up on one of the cliff walls.
Meruin was here when a kunai found the lead mercenary's neck, and the alarm was sounded and the defensive ring made. He arched a brow as the scout and company made a dash for it and took a little bit to undo his anchorings to the wall. Afters, pushed off of it to roll onto the ground a mere 20 feet in front of the fleeing people. The boy rose to his feet in a supple motion, head tilted as though his neck were broken, a broad smile on his face. He looked at the two with an empty gaze before laughter bubbled form his lips, high from the pitch of youth and lacking sanity. Spiders burst from his body and moved to cover the wall, his form, and the floor just before and behind him. He had deduced that the mixture of surprise, the sight of a killed man, and the danger of the situation would inspire enough fear to have the two stop and incapacitate themselves with fear. Who, afterall, would like to wade past an insane child who'd just managed to jump from the cliff wall and then wade through an ebony sea of chittering spiders? Then again, he had never been the best at judging the human mind and its reactions. Not nearly enough experience…
Gin smiled when he saw the group, his eyes easilly taking everything into perspective as his pupil's dialate lightly. The boy's grin widened when he got the word to strike, having been waiting patiently. Moving effortlessly and with a speed and grace dominating each step the boy ran around the edge of the basin and before-long found himself at the exposed flank of the Diplomat and his party. Time to have some fun.
His straw hat pulled down over his face to keep it hidden from view, the boys silent footsteps took him quickly behind the groupd as he ran at them from behind- using his short height as an advantage for keeping out of view. Ducking between a pair of rear guard the boy twists and turns- discarding the hat so that all they see is a young blonde boy with a dark-blue almost black facial wrap. Getting close to the man theres a shink as the hidden blade is unsheathed, the boy slipping the Wakizashi off his back as he gets in nice and close.
Nearing his target, he aims to plunge the blade deep into the mans back through his left kidney and up into his lung so that he dies a very painful death without the ability to scream. Once inside his body cavity, the boy's sharpened steel edge would then be twisted before being violently torn out the side of his body. Gin twists with his attack in order to avoid the spray as he smiles. "Freedom for the Land of Rice!" He announces as he wipes the blood off of his tool and smiles, a shadow crossing his features.
Looking up suddenly his hands make a quick snapping motion as a pair of Kunai are tossed at the two men closest to him, using the shock of a little boy striking so fast and with little remorse to his advtange. The blades- aimed for their throats -would split the air with the violet speed the boy was known for before one hand goes to his back, resting presumeably upon the handle of his wakizashi, and the other rests close to the ground. The boy's lips are spread in a wide smile as his pupils remain dialated- who knew what was going through his head at this very moment.
"Do dee doooo~…Heheh..a moth!!", would be whispered in the bush, as Sekisetsu would find herself easily distracted, just moments before the scout would be noticed. The girl would then fumble to her seals, before the scout would soon turn back. Whew….talking about close calls. Almost caught with her pants down like an inmate in Rikers… She would sigh of relief, just moments before the signal would be given by the shiny hitai-ite of the Red-Taicho would be flickered. Looks like what this girl thought was bad was not indeed the worst -_-;…
Then this is where it would happen. In that bush, that girls demeanor would change. She would actually seem to focus alittle, though this time, her player would doubt if she would be ready for the task at hand. One could hope, as this young girl would have her eyes peeled for sight of any of the "stragglers", she had been ordered to take out. Lets hope the "stragglers" don't end up taking her out. As if there would be any, any way… Thanks to "small fries" traps…it seemed that the girl would probably have less to do. Poor guys might not seem to have a chance against Meruin if those traps go in anyway like she thought they would
Meanwhile, the student would slap her own forehead at the scream of the chuunin. "The land of Rice? Oh…wow…", would be said as she would almost smirk at what the young man had been doing. Meanwhile, her own place would be kept in the fashion it had been, keeping prepared just incase things took a turn for the worst,….meaning that she would have to work.
Sakura stares as Meruin makes his trap. That's cool…and gross. What is it about shinobi and bugs? Besides bugs people had dogs and cats for companions. Then it just went into the insect/arachnid kingdom. Spiders, bees, those tiny little things the Aburame used…what next? Killer flies? As Sakura is musing about this her team is busy dispatchingor trying to dispatchthe escort. One of the shinobi brushes against the unseen webbing, but only lightly, and manages to quickly jerk free. The other isn't so lucky. Casting about, scanning for threats, he backs right into the poisoned webs and would lose his balance, being seared by the poison with a yelp of pain. It's only to cause him to stumble right back into the webbing and find himself firmly glued into place. However, the second mercenary would follow the trajectory of the attacks and aim a few shuriken at Meruin, one of which would actually hit at his vantage point if Meruin weren't to dodge.
Gin would wreak havoc on the people and his first blow would be at the diplomat. Whether the diplomat was powerful or not would never be known as he gets a few feet of steel straight through his kidney and stiffens before collapsing, choking on his own blood. The second would be wounded but spin away and make a run for it—straight at Sekisetsu. However Gin's third attack would meet a blade as the other mercenary seems quite capable. Of the six guards, two are dead, one trapped, one wounded and fleeing, and two unharmed. They both split up to engage Meruin and Gin respectively, the first maneuvering out of the canyon to face Meruin better for more projectiles, and the one on Gin slashing at his head with his blade. It's then that Sakura would signal from above to Sekisetsu right at the fleeing man.
As the attack comes it him, its almost like everything moves in slow motion. The sword seems to cut straight through the boys head, but when the merc would look down Gin would be right at his body with his wakizashi plunged into his chest- and hopefully piercing his heart as well. The smile would never leave the boys lips as he captilizes on this temporary Human shield and uses him by flexing his legs and pushing up; the blade sinking deeper in before he pulls it out.
The body would've been aimed at throwing off anyone behind him while the boy shoots for slicing one of the mercenaries making attempting to get his flank right at the Hamstring. Gin's strikes were vicious and visceral, but there was an intelligence behind each and every one of his carefully calculated moves. But cutting the hamstring in such a wide arc, the boy stood a chance of severing the merc's Femoral Artery as well- this would cause the mercenary to die a very horrible death.
Twisting his body, the boys plain clothes russeling as he goes his hand would re-emerge from within the sleeve of his tunic with a kunai in grip. Reaching the apex, he unleashes the Kunai at another target, this time aiming for the armpit of a swordwielder- knowing once again that a sharp object hitting that around could kill a man almost instantly. The boy's smile widened slightly as he switched his hold on the shortsword, holding it with the blade facing the ground as he looked at his opponents. "Come. Fight me like men. I'm a child for crying out loud." He taunts, just loud enough for the men he was attacking- and hopefully butchering -to hear. "What would your Daimyo think?"
It seemed the tide of this assault had been coming to an end. Sekisetsu hoped and prayed that she would get through this mission without doing a thing. This was what she prayed. But with the chaos that had been preceding, it looked impossible as the wounded and scared of the escorts would come a limping her way, hoping to get a "Get out of Death: Free", card. I guess it was a smart thing on his part. With the likes of Meruin and Gin, happening to want to just maim and hurt everything that had been in sight.
All the while she would have been wondering where the blades of Red Taicho were, having not seen her do much beyond the scouting, and waving of that shiny Hitai Ite of hers to let the workers do it all. Man…talking about a bad case. Well, one thing she did learn at the academy, was when in doubt…act. And with the signal coming that someone was on the way, Sekisetsu would have no choice but to. Taking out a scroll, the girl would handseal, and from within would come out 3 shuriken, all being aimed at the straggler, to try and stop him before he could see her.
Gin's opponent wouldn't be taken down in one blow. But he'd be taken down in three it would seem. The first two slashes are deep but not critical but, missing a beat, the man would lunge a bit too far and slide straight into the blade with a gasp. Gin would be left standing over pools of path and butchered men in the canyon. The fleeing man would run right into Sekisetsu and be slashed, dodging the first two, but being stabbed critically by the next two. That's what you get when you're running heedlessly. He collapses, but he's alive on the ground. Barely. As for the man concentrating on Meruin, Sakura appears right behind him and with a single slash would decapitate him. She'd sigh lightly. This was a slaughter. And now one would be left, pulling free of the dissolving webs. Seeing the carnage around him he'd drop to his knees. "Mercy," he says. "I yield!" He casts his blade far away and raises his hands in surrender. Sakura looks at him in mild surprise. And she'd say to her team, "What would you make of this?" She'd actually turn away from him and start walking back into the passageway towards the cart.
Meruin stood in front of the decapitated corpse, sparing it only a glance as the spiders that'd covered wall and floor quickly made their way back to Meruin and vanished. Without the cover of spiders, all that was left beneath was the sight of a naked boy. This probalem was soon fixed, however. The seven year old whiped blood from his cheek as silk crept from his pores, wrapping around his body and limbs in the same clothing he'd had before. "Kill him… If we're going to go back, we do not want them suspecting it was us who'd done the deed."
Gin smiles as he stands in the midst of all the men he had just butchered, the boy bending over to wipe the blood from the blade of his Wakizashi before slipping it back into the sheath at the small of his back. He smiles before he takes a Kunai from a hidden holster in his sleeve and makes a marking on the diplomats forehead. "That should cause some distress…" he states as he walks toward the group, the marking being something that would sound alot like some sort of Resistance group. As he goes, he lifts the straw hat back onto his head and all his weapons disappear back into holsters.
Approaching the group again the Chuunin shrugs, noting for the first time since the fight began a bit of blood on his forehead. He offers a hrrm, before bowering a piece of cloth from a dead body to wipe it off. Surprisingly, its the only blood on his body. His eyes fall on the captured man before he waves over Sekisetsu. "If he is to die, allow the young one to finish him off." He states plainly as his smile grows a little wider, "Its a good test…"
Sakura gives a helpless shrug and rueful smile to the man. It seems he was voted off the island. He has time to open his mouth for another plea before Sekisetsu would slit it open. For the first time on this mission, Sakura looks mildly impressed. Not all students would take a life without hesitation. Perhaps bringing her along on this mission had been a pretty good idea after all. Every one of them in jutsu and mind seemed well suited to this particular assignment. And now there are only bodies. Sakura would bend down and lift up the body of a rather large bodyguard as easy as if he were a pillow. She'd carry him over to the abandoned cart in the pass and toss it in. Get these bodies in, she says, so we can hide them. She has just the place. Once all the bodies were gathered she'd mount the horses and spur them back towards Kirigakure. (We can't stay here any longer than we must.)
As she rides she'd say, Job well done, team. Maybe I'll treat you to something later. She hums as she goes, quite unperturbed and almost cheerful despite the bodies in the back. Where to put these…