Date: June 24, 2014
Michiko gathers Sado and Ryouji to defend a group of merchants and their caravan of goods.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Team Katonari! Set fire to the lightning!"
Forest in the Land of Lightning
Early in the morning, or late at night, a message was passed along to the offices of the Raikage. It was a tip off on some thieves, apparently, who were plotting to abduct a major shipping of supplies that were meant for Kumo. With Hiei busy on his wedding stuff and many of the other usual leading Chuunin/Jounin busy with their own things, it was up to the Genin to put a halt to this. Word was sent out to Michiko, Sado, and Ryouji to find the cart making its way to the village and protect it from the thieves.
The time currently being dawn, Michiko is already up and by the meeting spot which is the front gates. She is waiting for Sado and Ryouji before taking off, the instructions of the mission in one hand while a book is in the other.
"Still reading the riveting tale of Earth Dome?" comes a voice from the other side of the gates as Sado makes his way up the path towards the village gates, living outside the village and all. "Yotsuki Sado, reporting for duty!" he says with a salute, leaning up against the nearby gate as they wait for the final member of the team. He stifles a yawn, trying to not pretend he wasn't sleepy from some extra training the night before.
For the past several days, Ryouji has been off active duty due to an illness. The flu, and a nasty flu from what the clan said. He's been isolated, with only close family members to care and watch over him. But today he's made at least a partial recovery and was granted active duty again. He walks out of the gates, fully loaded for missions as he says, "Reizei Ryouji, ready to go." He pulls off a small flask and pops the stopper off. He takes a swig and replaces the stopper before hooking it back on his belt. "Ok, now I'm ready to go."
Michiko shakes her head to Sado. "No, today I'm reading about the mysteries of life," she replies with a bit of a happy sigh to her voice. Then it goes back to normal as she says, "I'm just reading a nice fantasy book. Fire breathing dragons are fun to read about on occasion." She grins slightly at the sleepy Sado. "Right, I assume you got all the information as I did. Ryouji-kun as well." She says his name right as he walks in, giving the Reizei a slight bow of her head. "Good morning, Ryouji-kun. It's nice to see you back in the fold. We all know we're supposed to protect this cart, then? Good. Questions while we travel, I want to make sure there's little opportunity for thieves to take our stuff."
It doesn't take long for the genin to find the cart, either. It's a simple matter of following the road. The problem will be when they encounter the forest that's on the journey, since that's where the attack is supposed to happen. It also happens to be the rendezvous spot for the genin and merchants.
"That sounds like a book people would kill for." Sado says about the 'mysteries of life' comment, though after she explains it has dragons he simply nods his head. "We have our own fire-breathing dragon, we don't need fantasy ones." he says with a cheery tone of voice towards Michiko. It was then that the plague victim Ryouji comes in, "Ryouji, you are back… Are you 100 percent?" he asks, taking a step to the side, definitely not wanting to get sick as medicine prices were ridiculous. "If so then welcome back."
Sado has no questions along the road, as the mission seemed like a simple bodyguard/smash em up mission, similar to the one he and Michiko went on with Hiroyasu and were impeded by Flexy Lex. He looked forward to smashing some bandits and thieves up after the less than stellar results of his last spar. For now he follows the group.
Ryouji lifts a hand in greeting, "Hey. Thanks. I'm well enough. Why Sado? Worried about me?" He grins at Sado and Michiko, "I'm fine, but I don't think you want to know what I went through." He gives a sigh and travels along with the other two. He reaches the rendezvous spot with them and spots the cart as well. He says, "So, simple escort, shouldn't be too hard to do." He follows along with the cart once the group gets going. No time to waste it seems.
With no questions, Michiko is pretty silent along the way. Her book has gone into its pouch, much to her disappointment, and she travels until they reach the merchants. The lead one introduces himself and thanks the kumo nin for escorting them, extremely grateful for the help. "The bandits probably won't attack when we just enter the forests," he says, "It's the middle we need to worry about. We've heard about these guys before. They like to set traps and then get the goods. We thought it'd be best to call for help before it happened."
Michiko nods to the lead merchant. "Thank you for the information. My teammates are Yotsuki Sado and Reizei Ryouji. My name is Iwata Michiko." To her teammates, "Sado-kun, Ryouji-kun, I hope you two got that. Be on the lookout." Her attention goes back to the merchant. "We'll scout ahead a little bit."
"No, I just don't want to catch whatever you had." Sado says, keeping on the other side of Michiko during the trip. As the merchant and Michiko exchange pleasantries, Sado listens from his resting spot, picking up that they would be searching for and trying to disarm traps. "For traps, got it." Sado says as he nods his head to Michiko, waiting for everyone to be ready while focusing a bit of his stamina just in case. Once everyone was ready, he would go ahead to scout out the path.
Ryouji says, "No, you won't get anything. I wouldn't have been let go by the medic corps if I was still infectious." He focuses his chakra as well, following Sado's lead in that. "We'll continue on, keeping three sets of eyes out for traps or ambushes. We shouldn't split up to find any traps ahead. It'd be just our luck there'd be no traps and reduce our forces when the bandits come calling." He keeps his eyes open for anything odd ahead though, he's not about to be caught with his pants down, so to speak.
Like the merchant said, no traps or thrives are encounters a third of the way into the forest. Certainly, the team didn't encounter any on the way to meet the cart. Around the 1/3-way point, things seem to get a bit darker. Sensitive eyes might notice a twig there is broken or a branch is scarred…
Michiko reaches out with her senses, trying to detect enemy presence. She signals silently to the two behind her to keep their guard up for traps. "I feel a few people off to our sides… Careful everyone…" Of course, that is when she trips a wire and several Kunai spring out to attack her!
Sado tries keeping an eye out on the path, but as it gets darker it gets more difficult. He moves along at a cautious pace but still manages to spring a trap of senbon needs, getting struck by a few of them when he tries to move out of the way. "Ow, blaze these traps are everywhere." he says as he hears Michiko springing another, unsure of who to hit at this point. He keeps his guard up and continues to look.
Ryouji holds up a hand as he notices something. He points up in the trees ahead, "Some trap is up there, watch the trip wire!" Or string, but since the bandits might be attacking, it makes little difference. He does not see bandits attacking just yet, but readies himself none the less. He says, "Shouldn't we stop? We're just going to bumble into more traps this way, assuming the bandits are not going to rush us any second. You ok Sado, Michiko?"
Michiko gets caught unawares, ending up with quite a few nasty cuts from the Kunai. "Alright, lets break off the trail. Sado-kun, Ryouji-kun, still be careful of traps. I can tell that there are a pair of bandits to the left of us, but nothing more than that. I don't sense anything to the right, which is fortunate…" She looks around a bit, heading off towards the left and hunting for signs of the bandits.
A few voices ring out from the woods. "Lookit that, Yoshi. Some young-looking ninja they sent out. They think just cuz we're not Shinobi they can send a bunch of /kids/ after us?!" A different voice calls out, "Bah, stupid villages. Think not being a ninja is the worst, or somethin'. Gotta love it, Bro!" Two men, one kind of scrawny while the other could compete with Hiei for muscles, appear just as Michiko makes her way off the path.
Sado walks ahead and suddenly falls into a grass covered hole trap, hanging on the edge of the pit with one arm. He swings his leg around, taking a few times, but managing to get his leg up to lift himself up out of the trap, getting sick of all these things and ready to punch someone in the face. Luckily two voices call out, heralding the arrival of two men. "Gonna assume those traps are yours." he says with an edge in his voice. He cracks his knuckles one at a time, preparing.
Ryouji nods and says, "Michiko, you should stay behind Sado and I. Take care of those wounds while we kill these two." He slaps his hands together and begins charging his chakra, "I've so wanted to do this for a while." Blue chakra begins flowing around his hands as he brings them out stretched. The charka beams fly outward, each pointed towards imaginary points between the two bandits. He pushes just slightly, sending a pulse of chakra outward in each beam. Spikes sprout from each shaft, effectively turning the area into a killing zone between and around the two beams. To top it off, several strands of hair snake outward and follow their own paths towards the two bandits.
"Heheheh! That's right!" The scrawny man says, beaming with pride as the Shinobi keep on falling for them. Literally, in Sado's case. "I hope you enjoyed my specialty pitfall~" he says with a cackle. "Oi," interrupts the larger man. "Yoshi, keep that down. Let's take these genin out so we can rob that cart quick!" He tsks at his partner. "Sure sure, Bro! Whatever you- WHOA!" Yoshi leaps back as Ryouji ends up attacking him, scrambling to keep his spot. The hair totally gets him, though thanks to falling off his spot, only one of the lances get him. Bro is less fortunate, trying to cut Ryouji's hair and avoid the attacks. The failure is unreal…
"ARGH, freaking Shinobi! We'll show you!" The big one yells, taking his sword and slashing at Ryouji in a wide sweeping arc. The other tries to take advantage of the already-wounded Michiko, sending a few senbon her way.
As Ryouji attacks while Sado was distracting the two goons with his anger over the traps, Sado figures it is a good time to join the battle. He races forward, shoulder down, going for Mr. Muscles with a powerful shoulder check, following it up with two strong, lightning infused, strikes to his abdomen. "This is how much I hated the traps!"
Michiko tsks unhappily, finding these bandits just as annoying as Flexy Lex. "Yeah right… I'm not going to drop out thanks to this pair…" Senbon come flying at her just as she finishes inspecting her wounds, and the girl disappears in a poof of smoke while the senbon hit a log. Michiko makes a few handseals and sends two firebolts at the one known as Yoshi. "Underestimating us because we're genin is a sure way to lose…"
Ryouji breathes heavly after that display. He waves a hand, "Common then…" letting the guy with the sweeping blade come at him. He even surprises himself when he slides right by the blade strikes without even being touched. He grips both swords at his hip and disappears. He reappears a second later behind the skinny one, Yoshi, sliding both blades back into their sayas. "…best give up while you can. You're out classed by kids."
Yoshi scrambles away from the heat, not expecting the Kunoichi to do that. He gets burned on his arm and leg, but nothing immobilizing. With a grit of his teeth, more senbon appear in each hand and he flings them at Michiko. "Hey hey, girl, don't out up a fight. You'll ruin yourself!" Uhh… what…? The big guy is extremely unlucky, the shoulder check knocking him off balance and the follow-up strike going straight into him. He grabs Sado's wrist and flings the kid away, hopefully at Ryouji, who slice-n'-dices the poor dude. "That's not nice to do! Yoshi, quick rid that girl and help me out over here!"
The earth rises to defend Michiko from the senbon, though a few manage to hit their mark. The girl winces, pulling a few out quickly so they don't interfere with her making handseals. Quickly, she launches three more firebolts at Yoshi, feeling insulted by his words. "It's guys like you who make the world a horrible place…"
Sado studies the body movement of the big man and, as he reaches out to grab him, is able to quickly pull away his arm and move back out of the reach of the man attempting to fling him. "Well, that worked better than the spar." he says to himself, able to see and react preemptively against his opponent this time. He pushes off with more purpose after successfully using his new move, feeling good enough to just straight up fist fight the guy, tossing three punches out towards the much larger man.
Ryouji shakes his head, "You're not getting away. You have to pay for your crimes." He gives a burst of speed against Bro and after Sado has his way with him, Ryouji steps up. He disappears in a flash of speed. The only trace of movement is from the brush and grass around Bro as Ryouji pulls off a Reizei flash strike combo, three lines of breezes crossing the center where Bro is. Ryouji reappears in the spot he started. He slides the single sword he was using back into its sheath and hopes it was enough to end his guy.
Yoshi gets away again, but two firebolts end up hitting the guy. His skinny figure is wreathed in fire for a moment before he comes out looking almost burnt to a crisp. "Bro, I think we better split! These genin are like… Tough. Even da girl!" He glares at Michiko, throwing a bomb in her direction and some Kunai this time. Bro tsks, unhappy. "Dude, uncool dodging my attack like that!" even as he tries to avoid the ones from the genin with varying success. He gets hit a few times, but doesn't go down. "Don't worry, Yoshi! I can beat these punk kids!" He swings a punch at Sado, putting all his strength behind it.
Michiko grumbles as the skinny guy isn't going down. He has a lot of stamina for being so skinny. The smoke bomb and Kunai all are defended against with a handy earth barrier. She launches yet another firebolt at him, and then a larger flame bullet aims its way at both him and Bro. "Go down already, you… Bandit…" She growls in annoyance.
Sado notices that the big man still has life within him, tsking at Ryouji after his speedy draws. "Lets try some real speed!" he says as he literally vanishes from the spot, kicking up a few loose leaves from the ground. He appears on the other side of the man, having struck not once but twice with lightning quick blows within that moment. Sado turns to face the man to see the results of his high speed assault.
Ryouji whistles, "Guess that's not bad. You hit both times. Your foot placement could use some work though. Here, try this." They're judging their own techniques on this guy? That's…morbid. Still, it's Ryouji's turn. He flashes forward, pulling the hilt of one of his swords out, aiming for the chin. Hit or not, he spins in place. Dust, dirt, and grass goes scattering as he pulls both swords out, slicing and cutting in a stationary flash strike but spinning just as fast as if he was moving. It's not quite a gentle fist, but maybe even cooler.
Yoshi ends up grilled to a crisp. He's alive, as shown from the rise and fall of his breast, but only barely. How nice, someone to question later. Bro seems to still be standing a guest those hits from Sado, wobbling in his spot. The dodges he tried to make against the genin were in vain as they both were way faster than he was. The final attacks from Ryouji are his demise, and he goes down like a sack of rocks.
Michiko ties up the bandit known as Yoshi, handling him unkindly as she drags him to the main path. "Alright, tell us about the traps you set and we'll make sure you don't die like Bro over there," she says in a … much too sweet tone of voice. It is scary sweet.
Yoshi gets a bit of a look on his face, one of terror, and in his state, he can only manage to whisper that there is one more trap around the area before passing out.
Sado watches the man fall to Ryouji's blades, which couldn't have worked out better for him, as Sado does not like, nor wishes to, kill any of the bandits and thieves on his missions. The genin really wanted his first kill to be a no question must kill against another ninja or someone just as dangerous, someone he could explain to himself that it was necessary to end the life of.
sado walks over to Michiko and Yoshi and raises an eyebrow. "What was that about another trap?" he asks Michiko, looking around the area but nothing popping out at him immediately. His eyes pause on the undergrowth off near the path ahead, but besides seeming a bit off, it doesn't flag just yet.
Ryouji has killed bandits, pirates, and the like for a while. He's stormed pirate ships and faced waves of them trying to invade the docks and beaches. He also wants to face another ninja in some do or die struggle to the death or the very beaten up. But a full test of his skills has yet to appear, so he takes the death of this one like all the others. He wipes his blades with a flick of his wrists and sets the blades home. He walks over and says, "More traps?" He walks over to a fallin log and picks it up. "I see something. I guess there's only one safe way to find out." He hurls the arm sized branch across the way and it hits a pitfall trap where he thought it was.
The pit reveals itself to Ryouji's log, proving to be a meter or two deep. Something a certain cart should avoid. Michiko hefts the scrawny man up and sighs, dragging him to sit up against a tree. "Sado-kun, we'll be taking this guy in for questioning. Ryouji-kun, good job finding the pitfall. We'll wait here for the merchants and ride back home with them. In the meantime…" She forms a seal for earth barrier and the ground closes up on itself. No more pitfall!
"Nice work, Ryouji. I knew that undergrowth looked suspicious." Sado says as the pitfall reveals itself. Sado couldn't have Michiko do the heavy lifting of Yoshi, so as the kunoichi closed up the hole, Sado takes care of carrying Yoshi, at least to the cart where they could dump him or smack him awake and into walking. "Shall we head back to the cart, then?" he suggests, looking to Ryouji and Michiko.
Ryouji nods to both, "Thanks, it didn't look right for me too. I'm with Michiko. Load him up and take him back." He shakes his head at the bandit, "They never do learn. More than likely he's not connected to any group. Not flashy enough. But, you never know. Best not to take chances."