Date: July 14, 2010
Hiroshi leads the group to the Land of Rice on orders to protect it. From what they will discover.
"Samurai in the Land of Rice - Part 3"
Miati Forest - Land of Rice Paddies [Fuuma Alley]
Land of Rice Paddies [Fuuma Alley]
The Land of Rice is, not surprisingly, made up primarily of a rambling collection of rice paddies, each attended by multiple farmers. The farmers spend most of their days performing this work in shallow pools of water, collecting the grains of rice that are both food and livelihood. The various "tiers" of paddies canvass the sloping hills, but there also are narrow dirt roads that wind their way through, to allow travel both by farmers and by others, such as traders, without risking damage to the rice stalks.
One road in particular, broader than the others, cuts a path at an angle through the paddies, heading towards the dark outline of a city proper. Fuuma Alley is not too far off, perhaps a couple hours of walking, but it is distant enough that the thick black smoke and occasional flickers of fire do not seem to taint the air as much as they do in the city itself. At sunset the silhouette of the city makes it appear to be some sort of titanic, demon centipede, with spikes that spew hellfire and ash into the atmosphere protruding from its back.
Natsuki, sat quietly, listening to the chuunin converse their plan for a few moments. She knew it would be a matter of minutes though before the village would be under attack. "Just what are they after?" she asked aloud mostly to herself, lost in her thoughts; preparing mentally for the fight that would come and awaiting her orders.
Outside the village, it would appear that the Samurai were now moving a little quicker towards the village, their horses traveling at a gallop over the rice paddy terrain in double columns. As the Samurai approached the gates, the two at the head of the column drew their swords, the master crafted katana slicing effortlessly through the guards before a group of foot soldiers ran up the middle of the column with a battering ram. It took only two or three thrusts of the heavy wooden trunk before the gate started to cave. The horsemen easily jumped the damage gate as the foot soldiers scurried to clear it a little more with their hands.
"To be honest this is the first time I have ever known even rouge samurai to cause such a spur, and to be honest they must have a reason, I don't money is it, this place doesn't have much, unless there is something of value here for them, but if so I am sure the village would have least lead on about it." he would say turning his pale eyes to peer curiously at his cousin. "We have Natsuki, myself, and you as another Hyuuga, but we are dealing with samurai, and may end up overstepping our mandate here."
Mean while outside of the inn, the raid has begun, lead via horseback the samurai have now made there move into infiltrating the village. The sound of the horses would catch the Hyuuga teens attention as his gaze shifts from his cousin towards a nearby window, standing to his feet now he would approach it, sighing lightly. "Looks like it has begun." turning to face the group now, Hiroshi would clear his throat, "We are dealing with samurai, ruthless, powerful, and quick. IF taking one in for questioning is an option it must be considered, but in a life or death situation the samurai go down."
With crossed arms, Yuzuna lifts a thin brow as she turns to return her cousin's glance, pondering quietly for only a brief moment. "We may need to send a homing bird to the village, with this many samurai." she murmurs lightly. The sounds outside the window grow, earning her attention at the Hyuuga kunoichi glances to the window, her expression becoming that of stone. Breathing out slowly, she looks back to the group before lowering her chin in a single nod of agreement. While it may be difficult to capture only one samurai, it was even more so to keep oneself alive.
Outside in the village, the Samurai and footsoldiers ride through. Guards flock to try to drive them back, however they are simply cut down by the trained soldier's katana and are trampled by their horses. Women and children cry and take cover, though the march of samurai indicate one thing, they are not here to hurt the villagers if they can avoid it. The eyes of the standard bearer, mounted on his steed are fixed on the temple at the top of the hill.
Realizing this Natsuki spoke up, "Money isn't it. However, the relics contained in temples can be priceless. Perhaps, we should try to push back the guards for the samurai, then stop them between the village and the temple. At least, that way, we'll be preventing at least, maybe some injuries to the guards and won't have to worry about the civilians getting in the crossfire."
Hiroshi peers among the samurai sighing lightly as they start their raid. "Damn them, and with this many, I just don't no if we can honestly take them all, a homing bird may be best." would be said, as he brings his hands up to form the tiger seal, gathering a set amount of chakra. As he turns to face his squad, "Thats as good as plan as any, Yuzuna, Natsuki, work on warning the villagers and guards to stay out of the way, I am going to go on up ahead and attempt to make it to the shrine before them, perhaps I can at least delay their invasion for a moment, in time enough for the priest to move to the side, or at least find out what they are after." would be said the teen lifting up the window as the cool night breeze blows in. "Warn everyone within sight, and them make it towards the shrine, but keep to the shadows, do not engage unless you see I am engaged, if we can I would like to avoid a full head fight since they are not harming anyone, and we can learn more about what the are after." and with that the teen leaps from the window, and vanishes into the direction of the temple.
Looking between Natsuki and Hiroshi silently as each talk in turn, a mild frown begins to form between her brows, watching as her cousin then opens the window and leaps through it. Sighing lightly, she only lifts her right hand, rubbing at the bridge of her nose for only a moment as she murmurs to herself, "Honestly…" And just as quickly as Hiroshi had disappeared, Yuzuna slips through the window and leaps through the shadows of the night, landing with bent legs as she dashes through the worn stone streets. When she comes across citizens, she gives them warnings and tells them to stay in their homes, only to disappear a moment after.
Natsuki sighed inwardly, as if people needed to be told to keep away. As if guards would listen to not intervene. As Natsuki moved in the shadows as ordered, one of the many guards moved to face the samurai. The blade of the katana glinting off the moonlight. Natsuki pulled out her staff and leaps towards the blade, bringing her staff down on the back of the blade, pushing it off target and into the ground. At that time, one of the village captains appeared, riding through the horse, "Guards, stand down! Stand down everyone." He shouts as he makes his way. "Do not attack the Samurai." He then wheeled his horse to look towards the Samurai general. "Kiochi dono. Please, sheathe your weapons. We will give you the information you seek." The captain said firmly.
The general looked coldly at the captain. "Its about time." He muttered before giving the men behind him the signal to sheathe their weapons. The sound of the metal sliding into their scabbards pinged like drops of rain on metal roofs. The group of samurai then continued to move towards the temple. Once beyond the inner walls of the village that separated it from the temple, the temple surrounded by an open grassy area dotted with small buildings to shelter animals that used the land as pasture. The foot soldiers spread out, their hands on their blades, wary of a possible coming attack. Natsuki herself, having disappeared back into the shadows, her bow replaced to a holster as she scurried through the area, a few meters behind the fanned out patrol of foot soldiers, the mounted units stopped to ensure safety of the terrain, in case this was an ambush.
Hiroshi would have moved at top speed, but did not get his chance to meet the priest, instead the samurai beat him to it, what do they have planned he would ask himself, as he rest on the side wall shrouded in darkness. Hiroshi's breathing would be steady and undisturbed as he was able to ease drop on the conversation of the group. what could have brought them here in such a hurry, the teen Hyuuga would pause sighing lightly, as he closes his eyes for only a minute, "Byakugan" he would mouth, as his eyes reopen now crystalline as his bulging veins begin to extend from ear to eye, the teen Hyuuga would take a moment to examine each of the samurai, as his eyes slowly drift towards the general and then to the captain, whats going on?
The citizens become few and far between, before Yuzuna begins to meet none at all. With little else to go by as she speeds and searches though the remaining streets, she narrows her pale lavender eyes as she concentrates her chakra at an area right behind her eyes, not a moment after the kekkei genkai of their clan activates. Her gaze becomes keener, more intense as the smooth skin along the corners of her eyes suddenly bulge with pulsing veins that spiderweb towards her temples. In midleap, Yuzuna shifts her weight as she leans her right leg in front of her body, causing her body to come to an eventual skid through an shadowed alleyway, pressing her back against the wall behind her as her eyes scan the immediate area.
As the footsoldiers swept the area, several priest from the shrine stepped out of the structure and began walking down the path. About half way through the tall grass, there was a platform just a few feet off the ground, higher than the tall grasses of the pasture area. The priest stood there and waited for the samurai. The General, spotting the priests rode his horse to the platform, followed by two of his assistance. The general stepped onto the platform from his horse, his face a little angry that it had taken this long to get to this point. "So, did you bring the cup?" he asked firmly.
The priest looked a little nervous from the tone of the general, looking over to the Village captain for a moment. Then one stepped forward, "It's not here mi'lord." He said, the voice very shakey. The general walked towards him, "Then where is it?" Silence hung in the air, it was apparent that the monks wouldn't answer this question. The general, losing more of his patience stroked his chin, his eyes looking over to the temple. He lifted his hand, the foot soldiers ran towards the temple with 2 mounted samurai while the rest of the samurai approached the platform. "Let's see, what will it take you to talk? Burning your precious shrine? Killing your fellow priest? Or destroying the village below?"
Hiroshi would simply grit his teeth as the threat was made, practically sweating bullets now he would sigh, performing a quick hand seal, "Henge no jutsu!" he would say, but it would come out terribly wrong. INstead of appearing as an elderly, long bearded priest, the teen Hyuuga would transform into a rather overweight priest, with large overlapping rolls, a short stubby bearded not worth mentioning, in long thick over flowing robes. I look like an idiot, he would think to himself, but this would not stop the teen from moving out. He would be garbed in the same priestly robes as the the others. He would practically tip toe out, attempting to hide himself among the grass as he peers out at the leader of the samurai. Hiroshi would take a mmoment to peer around the area, finding Yuzuna and Natusuki not to far off, he made need them after all, this does not seem like proper diplomatic negotiations will work at all.
It isn't difficult to see her cousin's chakra only a bit off from where she is, her concentration seperated between the Captain and General, then Hiroshi. It is only when she sees him use a jutsu does she focus more of her attention on him, pressing her lips lightly together. With a mild frown, Yuzuna sighs lightly as she lifts her right hand, sealing smoothly as she mouths the words. Following his lead, smooth poofs and thins around her, only for the young Hyuuga kunoichi to be replaced by an elderly priest with many wrinkles, enough that his eyes almost disappear beneath his puffy brows. Yuzuna presses himself against the wall still as he inches himself out, keeping himself to the shadows to follow after Hiroshi and into the grass as well. When she inches closer, he seems to wheeze, huffing thinly.
The elderly priest sighed, and shook his head. "No violence is necessary. The item is not here. You can kill every one of us and everyone in the village, but none of us will talk. Feel free to search. Feel free to research our histories and try to find where it is. However, the cup is not here." The man said, calmly. The general groaned and turned away. "I figured as much. However, I will take you up on your offers." He said, before looking up, "Soldiers, break down the camp and move it here. We're staying for a while." He said, with a somewhat smug grin on his face.
The footsoldiers responded as ordered, and Natsuki snuck her way towards Hiroshi. "Lets stay a few days and speak with the priests. We'll all need to be in the guise of orphan students, but we should be able to investigate the situation further ourselves. I will speak with the Head Priest. My background in the monastary will work well for us here."
Hiroshi would become more aware of his cousins movements as she executes her jutsu, the flow of chakra shifting a moment before it steadies, Hiroshi could only sigh shaking his head wondering why his disguise was such a failure. But it would seem no one has truly noticed it. As the priest gave his word, the item the Samurai wished was not here, the offer to search and destroy would cause Hiroshi to go wide eyed, waiting, but anxious incase the samurai made one wrong move. BUt it would turn out all went well, all was quiet for a moment, before the general went with the opposite hand. Hiroshi would sigh in relief as the Samurai agree to a simple search. As Natsuki moved towards the two, Hiroshi would simply nod, muttering under his breath, "They will be here awhile, we should inform the kage before making any reckless moves, but if you can speak with the priest, go for it." would be said.