Date: December 23, 2013
A chance encounter in the Land of Grass that may yield more than what any of those involved realized. Until then, they only have the present concerns of dealing with 'disorderly conduct in public' to deal with amongst a few other things.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
Grassy Plains [Land of Grass]
Here a beaten up dirt trail leads through a vast plains of grass. The grass itself stands up close to three feet tall. It looks to be very healthy and green to show signs of rain not being so sparse. Even little rodents can be seen running back and forth across the trail. Off to the side a water canal can be seen snaking its way from the rocky mountains down to the plains. Every now and then a few deer, and other wild game can be seen coming here to take in some water.
There are several things that can occur for a man with a troubling past when he is left to his own devices. Normally under constant watch and guard by an individual that cares about his well being but no longer under heavy supervision, the need to try and fight off one of the many vices that follows him around, is now gone. It was a deadly risk doing such, but after weighing the pros and cons of his choices, he went with his what simply felt right.
Moving through the tall grasses, not even bothering with the dirt trail, Eremi moved about without a clear destination in mind. It appeared as if the boy was dancing on this cloudy, mid-afternoon day stumbling one direction only to spin about and go back where he came. In one hand was a gourd that was constantly swayed about, the contents slightly spilling out with each weaving motion and from time, brought to his mouth. There could have been several people moving about the area, but all of it was ignored by Eremi lost within his drunken stupor.
Back in Konoha, Akane had gone to see the medics and specialists and was informed that the herb that might aid her 'condition' might be found in the Land of Grass. And so, she had packed a travel pack and headed out, making very slow progress as she made her way to where she hoped she would find the obscure strain of grass she needed.
So as Eremi makes a bit of a ruckus, Akane freezes in place where she is, obscured by the tall grasses around her. Her head remains down, but her body is tense and ready if she needed to act quickly. Eremi passes her once within a few yards of the crouched kunoichi and she slowly, carefully slides her twin blades from their sheaths, one held in a reverse grip the other in a normal way as she listens. It might be possible for a trained ear to hear a click as she drew her weapons.
Eremi then passes her a second time, much closer and she tenses up, on one knee, blades up and ready, she was nervous and acting out on it, though she would not attack Eremi, she waits for him to get some feet away before she slowly stands up, blades at the ready. Her long crimson mane falls down her back in a tight weave, ending in it's braided state around her lower back, She's wearing her usual attire plus wrappings from her waist up. A scar mars her otherwise blemishless face. But her eyes, green as jade, seem glazed and unfocused. She tracks Eremi's movements well, but she never actually looks at him directly.
As much as it might've been more preferable for the dynamic duo to stay together, Rise was far too concerned about what lay ahead to travel alongside Kynshin. This ate away her every step of the way even moreso than her belated concern for her teacher and 'friend'. Even so, she pressed on and pressed on hard across the lands. No matter how hard she pushed her self she could not escape her own thoughts once the adrenaline died down when the time for rest arose. Nevertheless, the girl had to keep trying…
Within a few days the girl finally arrives upon the grassy plains that made up much of the land where she last saw Eremi, alone and exhausted. The latter is quickly forgotten when a chance shift in the wind brings to her a startling and wretched scent. Masked beneath it all is the unmistakable scent of Eremi. Things were just as bad as she had feared. No, it was even worse. For while it would have been one thing to have picked up on his 'trail' in Kusagakure, to find it out on the grassy plains and, for all intents and purposes, dangerously close to the Land of Fire sent of alarm bells like no other. As a result, relief quickly gave away to anger the instant she spotted another trailing behind Akane. She didn't think, only acted by rushing at Akane from in front of the duo.
A step this way and a fumble that way, Eremi would stop with his back toward Akane and only pausing in his movements to take a swig from his gourd. The contents would flow heavily out, filling his mouth, overflowing and even spilling out, dribbling down his chin. As he swallowed, he'd pull the gourd away and wipe his mouth before spinning about and finally spotting the crimson haired woman not too far away.
"Hey!" Eremi would shout in protest as he quickly stumbled toward the woman as if to attack only to come up shortHis forward balance shifting and suddenly the teen would fall backwards into the tall grass, landing with a thud and apparently falling asleep.
AkaneHad meant only to ascertain the threat to herself, though she was a tad on the defensive side to start with. Her senses were strained to hear every sound possible, to feel the breeze to catch the scents on the air…. Eremi coming closer to her made her step back, widening her stance a few inches but when he simply falls over she blinks several times in suprise, lowering her blades several inches as she tries to figure out what's exactly happening here.
She hears the footsteps from rise and she moves to dodge, but her reflexes are off and so Rise manages a solid hit, throwing Akane to the ground with a hard enough impact to dislodge both her weapons from her hands. The twin blades skid away from her. She immediately starts reaching for the daggers about her waist and on her legs. Through all of this she keeps her head down slightly and her eyes remain unfocused.
The yell and Eremi falling backwards after getting too close to Akane is the final straw! She tackled Akane without much being left in reserve to keep from actually harming Akane. As soon as Akane is down, Rise wasted no time in scrambling up and try and straddling Akane at the waist, clamping down on Akane's wrist as soon as she was in a more favorable position. "Don't. Move." Low and harsh are the words spoken from Rise if she is successful. Although if unsuccessful, well, that largely dependent on factors largely outside of control. One thing is for certain however, or would be if things escalate into a genuine struggle. Rise would not give ground easily to anyone or thing.
Nestled upon the soft grass, Eremi slept or did he? He was snoring as if he was, eyes were closed and completely oblivious to his surroundings like someone that was sleeping and even as the two girls wrestled upon the ground, it went unnoticed. Regardless of what he was, Eremi was now standing. Suddenly having risen to his feet as if pulled by an imaginary force, he peered down at at the girls that were before him. Unsure what was going on, he took a swig of his gourd before commenting, "What…" Licking his lips as he took a step forward and rested a hand upon Rise's shoulder or perhaps her head and rubbing down her face, Eremi wasn't sure and all of that was assuming Akane wasn't strong enough to push Rise off or break free, maybe even stab Rise in the leg if need be. "Rise, why did you just attack my new friend?"
Akane landed more on her hip than her back so when Rise moves to straddle her it's a bit awkward until Rise gets a good hold on the teen's wrists and pins them to the ground. Akane had managed to get one of her blades in her hand before she was stopped, though and her eyes flared in determination. The clouded orbs manage to focus on Rise's face so close to her and could just /feel/ the deadly intent roll from the girl atop her. Akane is about to try and flick her poisoned blade against Rise's wrist when the girl talks,orders her not to move. Akane narrows her eyes a bit but pauses. Unless Akane was seriously mistaken, Rise had no weapons out….
Then Eremi was suddenly there again and Akane blinks, her green eyes shifted toward his voice then onto his face but it was his words that surprised her…… They were friends? Alright, she thinks, if that one doesnt want to kill me…. *she keeps hold of the small poisoned blade in her hand just in case….So she stills, following the timbre of the girl's tone that tells her of a choice rather than an out and out threat. She allows the restraint without struggle for the time being.
Rise bared her teeth, revealing them to be filed down into triangles like a shark. The effect of such a sight would be loss on the blind or semi-blind woman beneath her but not for very long. She intended to make a point on two fronts. The first by increasing the pressure on Akane's wrist to the point that they'd almost snap. It may earn her a nick from those deadly blades in the process, but even the potential of being poison would not phase the girl. At least… not by much once the effects kicked in. The second point, those very same fangs being set upon Akane's throat with just enough pressure to get the intent behind them a cross. She could rip out throats just as easily as she could snap bone if pressed.
HOWEVER, while the first point is certainly made to a degree, Eremi removed any chances of the latter happening by putting his hand on her shoulder. Instinct demanded she bite him on reflex, though, this is reigned in and replaced by a guttural growl being released. "Shut your drunken tooth up, Er—Arata!" She exclaimed heatedly without turning her attention away from Akane. "Or do I have to make sure both of you stay quiet for awhile while I try and get this mess cleared up?" A threat as much as it was a statement over being an actual question. And one she intended to follow through with if push came to shove, though, there were doubts in the back of her mind about being able to handle even a drunken Eremi in conjunction with the unknown. Until she got nods of agreement or some other form of confirmation, the girl stays poised and as ready as her current position would allow.
"Drunk? Now I ain't…Why would you say such a thing." Eremi glared at Rise for making such an accusation while bringing up a hand to wave away such silly thoughts. However, the hand he brought up was also the one that held the gourd and in surprise he'd look at it. "Who put that there?!!" Bring it up to eye level and looking inside, "It's empty?!" Tipping the gourd upside down, showing that there was nothing inside. "I couldn't…" Stumbling back a bit, the hand that rested upon Rise's shoulder sleeping free. "How could I be drunk if the gourd is empty? Huh?!" A hiccup would escape, "Huh?!" Another hiccup followed quickly after and knocking him off his balance enough to go careening into Rise, but at least trying to use his free hand to push against her instead of the full force of his body. "Why are you attacking me?!"
Akane had been restrained, it was true, voluntarily letting Rise have the upper hand. She had hoped the other female would realize she was submitting to a degree and back away. It seemed that was out of the question. Akane may not be able to see much, but she wasn't stupid, so she had tried playing along. But as Rise tightens her grip on Akane's wrists, the red head suddenly hisses and flinches away, gritting her teeth as pain shoots up her arms from hidden wounds. The blade in her hand clatters quietly to the ground. She lifts her head in reaction to the pain, exposing her throat fully to Rise in the process and when Rise backs her head away enough to speak, she might spot the thin lines encircling her pale throat, healing cuts from shinobi filament wire. If any were attuned to smells they might catch a whiff of fresh let blood. Akane, keeping her head where it is, tries — rather unsuccessfully — to look at Eremi. The boy's antics made her just stare straight ahead, as if contemplating the absurdity of this situation…..
Eremi's words all but fall on death ears when it came to Rise. She was still trying to make sense of it all; including herself. This… wasn't like her at all. Or at least, so she thought. Then there's the scent of fresh blood wafting from Akane. She didn't bite down that deeply… did she? No. Even while consumed by the berserke she held enough sense of self to separate what had been done and not. Albeit only to a certain point. Then she sees the marks at Akane's neck. This in concert with the hiss is no where near enough to get her to relax her grip on oddly submissive girl, a fact she belatedly realized now, but it is enough to get her to start second guessing herself.
Once again, Eremi interjects in his own peculiar fashion; forcing Rise to act on reflex. A hand is released from Akane's wrist and used to try and hold Eremi by the chin. Awkward positioning aside, the increased weight on Akane's probably the only thing that may keep the girl from taking advantage of the opening, or spur her into action. "Cut it, Arata! Get of — Watch those hands!" She yells, hoping and praying now the missing-nin's hands did not find handholds that weren't her head or shoulder. Otherwise the violence may very well be brought on! (re)
"Buuuuurrrp!~" Was all Eremi let out as Rise manages to catch his falling momentum by his chin. Though he was stopped from falling completely forward, his free hand still extended out against Rise with the thought of himself still falling and needing to prevent himself from doing such by pushing against her. "Why are you….hiccup…on my new friend." Eremi's hand would suddenly find something on Rise to grab hold of and at that moment he tumbled away from the two, possibly taking Rise with him or what ever he had clenched within his fist.
Akane's suprise is evident as the two topple over the oddly positioned girl and her wrists are released as Rise and the drunken boy have thier little scene. Akane does take advantage of the tussle, however, by sliding quickly out from under Rise entirely and back a few feet until the two are just within her field of vision — perhaps a yard or so away, panting.
So focused was she on keeping Eremi's hands from her chest (once it became clear he wouldn't somehow remove himself) that she couldn't guard against the purchase he found in her hood. He collapses, strangling the girl in the process. It is Akane sliding away that truly ends ensures her giving in complete and falling back, hard. Dazed and Angry, the dark-haired girl just lays there…
Eremi tugging while falling backwards and Rise coming with would send him completely on his butt, rolling away only to pop up to his feet and looking about until his eyes stopped on Akane, "Did you…" Pausing to take in a deep breath and get some sense of his surroundings while some of the effects of the sake was barely yet slowly fading away. "Are you ok? You haven't said a word the entire time you've been out here. Not stop or help or I'll cut you." Focusing on the girl, her eyes remind him of a member of the Hyuga clan. The thought of such making him believe she is possibly from Konoha and out to hunt him down. Luckily he had already changed his attire and hair making it a little more difficult to pick him out in a crowd.
Akane blinks at the words Eremi speaks to her. It had been rather odd for her, a street rat from Fuuma Alley, to stay quiet during a struggle. She looks in Eremi's general direction and sits up , looking down at her wrists and pulling the bracer up a bit, wincing from the re-open wound. "Che. Jigit…" She sighs and with an odd glance toward the other two she hovers one hand over the wrist and glowing chakra starts closing the wound. Meanwhile, she sighs, if either of them could sense her chakra they would see it's still rather low. There seemed to be a tentative unspoken truce at the moment. "If you were my enemy I would not beg and if you were a friend you would not harm me. I…..Cannot properly defend myself right now. So if you wish to kill me, I have no defense." She speaks this to both of them, but is more expressive for Eremi's sake. "I am Fujikujo Akane, Konoha Chuunin and I am merely searching for Meitred Root, I was told it grew around here." Her tone is smooth, collected, it is obvious she means every word. She had been resoled to accept death at the hands of an enemy silently due to being 'weakened'.
Half of it or maybe a little more than that. That is about as much Rise gleaned before the disorientation from the fall eases up enough for her to make sense of the world and what not. At the risko of a resurgance of that very same dizziness, Rise curled up, and then sprung onto her feet at a crouch. She rises from there and sways a little at first before shaking off the last of the disorientation. A timely thing that was too because she might've attacked or glared at Akane otherwise. Instead, she merely grew tense for a second while trying her sharpest not to look at Eremi.
"… So long as yer ain't trying to be sneaky around us or causing trouble it'll be all good." She says evenly as she straightened out and closed her eyes with a nod. Then opened an eye part-way to peer at Eremi from the corner of it. "Meitred Root…" She murmured, wondering why that word stuck out. It sounded vaguely… familiar. Thus far, the only thing that came to mind was that it may have been apart of that other list of wild things her foster father tried to ingrain into that thick skull of hers. Back when she used to be even less kind to strangers…
Eremi would catch sight of Rise coming to her feet, stumbling some and appearing somewhat disoriented, "Uh, Ri…" Wait, did Rise have a secret name and he almost just gave it away to Akane? All these secrets were too much to remember. "Have you been drinking? You should be more solid with your stance…" Leaving that to hang in the air as his attention returned to Akane, "Well, Akane. It's a pleasure to meet you." He hasn't decided whether or not to actually introduce himself as Arata even if Rise had already called him by such. If some day he were to consider the girl an ally, he'd hate to start lying to her. However, considering she was a member of Konoha…"Well, even though what you say is…noble? That friend part isn't entirely true." Strapping the empty gourd behind him before using the same hand to wave at Rise, "She could be your best friend and have no qualm with hurting you…trust me." Glancing at Rise cautiously, making sure she wasn't going to catch him off guard with a kick or punch, "Anyways, I've never heard of this root, but I don't mind helping you find it…What's it look like?"
Akane accepts Rise's words with a nod, an accord had been struck it seems. So Akane fixes her bracers and carefully stands up, searching from memory and her feet for her blades. She kicks one with her foot and bends to pick up the short sword, wiping it off on her pantsleg before sheathing it easily. "It's a medicinal herb unavailable in konoha. I had hoped…" She shakes her head and frowns at herself, stumbling forward a few paces before she runs into her second blade. She gave up on the poisoned dagger she'd dropped, there was little chance of finding such a small blade with such limited vision. "If you haven't noticed…" She waves her hand over her face a few times sarcastically. "I can barely see. The Meitred Root is supposed to help realign or restore damage to the eyes as well as help realign the chakra networks in the body… or something like that." She waves a hand dismissing this second part. To Eremi Akane nods a bit, her dull eyes flicking toward Rise warily…. then decides to just try to be nice for once. She pulls a piece of paper from a pouch on her belt and hands it to Eremi. it contains a drawing of a plant similar to purple pampas grass in appearance. "That's it. i need the roots."
Medicinal, huh? Now, wait, because then that would mean — and just like that, the line of thought is completely wrecked by Eremi's comment about balance. While normally the girl's immediate reaction would've been to growl, tense up, grit her teeth, or a combination of the last few things plus a strike being thrown into the mix, Rise resists it all and stays neutral. No feints or smirks were made as well, even when he blatantly gave away her hostile side even around friends. Not that Akane needed anymore proof of that.
When she finally does strike, it is only after everyone has said their piece and a piece of paper detailing the plants appearance. She made to look all innocently and such, then kick him behind the legs with the intent to knock him off balance.
"Uh, not to be rude and I'm sure you're a very capable shinobi, but is it entirely safe to be…You know…" Eremi would glance to Rise for support, but getting none from the girl who had chosen to go silent for whatever reason returned his attention back to Akane. "I mean…" Rubbing at the back of his head, "As a shinobi you're always forced into life threatening situations by your village without them caring one way or another if you survive, just so long as you complete the mission…That can't be a life to strive for." He'd frown, probably sounding a little condescending toward the girl when she could easily be capable of taking care of her own.
The picture would be shown and Eremi would grasp it in his hands, studying the image before handing it back to the girl, "Can't you just buy this at the village? It's not too far from here and I'm sure if the plant is rare enough someone gathers it and has it for sale." He'd shrug, "I could show…" Suddenly kicked behind the legs, Eremi found himself unable to finish what he had to say as he was falling toward the ground, slightly cushioned by the thick and tall grass, but inevitably face planting. :|
Akane watches as Rise seems to calm down, remaining quiet and watchful… and then seemingly out of nowhere… the girl kicked her friend!. Akane can't help it. Though her vision was operating as if she was looking through thick cloth, she caught the precise aim and can't help but chuckle. These two were obviously comrades if not outright friends and it was nice to know that there were still these kinds of pure relationship ties still out there. She folds her arms across her chest and shakes her head. "You mean isn't it dangerous to boldly tell you I'm blind , alone and what village I'm from? Well that's why I was avoiding the village but I've been searching for 2 days for this stupid plant and with my eyes i can't see enough to search properly." And then she lets her hands fall, one hand on one of the sword hilts the other on her hip. "Besides, lets say you were my enemy, say you took me alive….You would gain nothing. I know no secrets…. I carry no worth for ransom. What ties I had to the Uchiha have been severed just as cleanly as they severed my sight. Now I either fix it and live or die." Still her tone of voice is simple, matter-of-fact, as though these kinds of things could not phase her. She gives off a sense that one would think that even under pain of torture, she would not relent anything she did happen to know. She moves forward and offers a hand-up to Eremi.
Rise snickered as well, though at least some half-hearted attempt at disguising by muffling it behind a hand is made. What could she say except Eremi deserved no less? Probably not, but at least Akane didn't seem to mad or suprised about it. That sense of budding friendship, or what felt like it to Rise in anycase, becomes subdued when the Uchiha are mentioned. She opened her mouth to speak, pauses for a moment, and then closed her mouth without a word being uttered. She had meant to make an idle threat — a joke to be more specific; but, the girl's tone of voice drained her of any will to.
"…. *sighs* Well? Whad'ya say to taking Arata-kun up on his offer, Akane-san?" She asks calmly without ever making a move to assist Eremi back to his feet.
Lying on the ground, Eremi remained there for a while, unmoving and silent. Remaining that way until Akane had finished speaking. Afterwards he'd shift his weight on one arm and as he started to pick himself up, see the offered hand and take it without hesitation until he was on his feet. "Thank you." He didn't bother dusting himself off as his clothes were already pretty dingy as it was, "That too, isn't entirely true. An enemy could kidnap you regardless of what secrets you hold or the cost of your life simply because they're…twisted and evil." He'd start stroking his chin at the comment about the Uchiha, curious as to the story behind that, but save it for later if possible. "And I must say you're wrong about not being worth anything as well.." Smiling before turning about and starting the journey back to the village, "So long as you have friends and people that care about you, you're always worth something. To them at least and they'd fight tooth and nail to get you back…I know I would if one of my friends were in danger."
Akane can hear the slight relaxation in Rise's tone of voice and offers a small smile before turning back to get a closer look at Eremi as she helps him to his feet. Still she can barely make out his unique features and it frustrates her. "Indeed, I would be most grateful for assistance." She allows him to stand and listens to his words, about being worth something to your friends and she turns away, her expression hardening. The color of her face darkens as if with anger, though she's directing it internally at the moment, not at Rise or Eremi. The expression stays for several heartbeats before she takes a deep breath and her entire visage dissolves back into an amicable one. "Your friends…" She sends a half focused glance toward Rise's general direction. "Are fortunate indeed." She then motions for them to lead the way.
Rise watched the two and remain silent, absorbing it all like a sponge that isn't already filled for once. Instead of nodding firmly in agreement as she would have normally done in regards to Eremi's last statement, Rise eyes grew half-lidded and distant briefly, and then focused upon Akane as if to gauge her reaction. The look on Akane's face is…. she's seen it before, though those moments were always related to a reflective current. She loses herself to the memories that flickered to the forefront. Thus, by the time she is free Eremi has probably made it a few steps before realizing that she and Akane had not move, if not just Rise. Melancholy, worry, loss, and uncertainty flitted across her visage within a few short hearbeats.
It wasn't much or something she just felt was right. Truth be told, Rise had no idea what prompted her to walk up to Akane and hug the girl with nearly just short of her typical bone crushing force. She simply did so and held her up in her arms for a moment or two before putting her down. Without offering a chance for their eyes to meet, Rise did an about face and followed after Eremi now. If there are any questions thrown at her regarding what just happened at all, Rise would remain silent and unwilling to face either of them until the hint was heeded.