Date: September 19, 2014
Michiko, Ryouji, and Imite take cover from an incoming storm, and the trio happen across a nest of bandits from the Silence!
"Shelter from the Rain, Shelter of the Bandits"
Mountain River Trail [Land of Lightning]
The trail here is an old and dried up riverbed. The path was rerouted northwards, into the gorge that forms the Raiun falls, leaving behind a nearly smooth, and very wide trail down the mountains towards the water below. It is strewn with rocks, but most have been smoothed by the raging river that used to ravage the path, and it makes for easy walking.
To the north lays the bridge crossing the gorge, the gorge which contains the routed waters of the river. Further south, the riverbed continues downwards, almost straight down the mountain side, towards the base of the mountain far, far below.
It was a nice day out. So much so that many people, specifically Michiko and Ryouji, decided to wander around outside the village for either training, exploring, or just plain old relaxing. The weather, however, can be extremely deceiving at times. Without warning, dark clouds covered the skies and rain began to pour down over this particular area of the land of lightning. The mountain trail, thankfully, has various nooks and crannies that are perfect for people to take shelter under. Michiko and Ryouji take shelter in one of the caves.
Ryouji runs into the cave with Michiko, his outfit drenched already in the short time it started raining. He leans against one wall and wrings out a length of hair. "Well, this is the highlight of the day, Michiko-chan." he says sounding more than a little annoyed. "I guess we'll have to just wait the storm out." he suggests, looking out of the cave entrance trying to judge how bad the storm will get.
It was at times like this that Imite was particularly glad that she had packed a cloak for poor weather! She had been out training when the storm blew in, soaking her and her cheap yukata through before she managed to get her cloak on… and now she was running through the storm, attempting to get out of the rain… but it looked like the village was going to be too far, and the rain was only increasing in intensity!
And so Imite ducks into a nearby cave — The same one that Michiko and Ryouji had ducked into to weather the storm.
She had taken a form that she was becoming fairly familiar… a red-haired young woman… It had become her go-to bodyshape to keep herself easily recognized — an issue that the Gansaku regularly faced in their own villages, that she had decided was not as useful as they had initially thought.
"Well, that was unexpected…" Michiko comments idly, squeezing some of the water out of her clothes and hair. She looks around the cave and notices Imite run in, fortunately recognizing the Gansaku… "Ah, good day, Imite-san. I hope you're doing well despite the weather?," she asks, offering a slight bow in greeting. "I imagine you decided to come in here because of the storm." In fact, it really couldn't be called a storm anymore… The weather outside the shelter was more like a tornado of sorts.
Anyone who bothered to look around the cave a bit more would notice it actually extended quite a ways into the mountain-side. It's a bit hard to detect, but there seems to be a flicker of light in the depths as well. Are there already people here?
Ryouji watches Imite enter the cave, narrowing his eyes for a moment before relaxing since Michiko recognizes her. "Hi…" he greets, then hurms to himself at the storm. "I hope the village is ok." he says, then looks farther into the cave at the flickering light. "Did you see anyone else come in while we were running here, Michiko-chan?"
Imite wrings the water from her cloak as she glances up at Michiko, "Ah… Michiko-san…" She offers a small smile, then looks back out at the storm turned typhoon. "… Er, well that was the plan. Glad I got in when I did, it looks like it's not going to let up anytime soon." She frowns, then heaves a sigh before turning back to Michiko… and then Ryouji… she doesn't recognize him — "Er… Hi!" She gives another smile, though doesn't attempt to continue their conversation.
The light toward the back of the cage catches her attention after a few moments. "Ah… looks like some other people were already in here… I wonder if they know about the storm… Think we should let them know?"
"They should be fine. The houses are strong enough to withstand this. And anyone whose house disappears will be able to take shelter with someone else nearby," Michiko says to hopefully alleviate Ryouji's worry. Remembering her manners, she says, "Imite-san, this is my friend, Reizei Ryouji. Ryouji-kun, this is Gansaku Imite." Introductions over with, she turns her attention to the cave. "Well… I don't think I saw anyone here… But we should probably go and check on them, right?" She reaches out with her senses, using the earth as a medium, and says, "I can sense three people back there. They don't seem to be trapped, at least."
Ryouji gives a bow, "I would ask how your day is going, Imite-san, but I guess it's not going well considering." He gestures to the storm raging outside. "We should probably tell them about the storm, that's a good idea." he agrees, but perks his head up as if listening to something, he holds up a finger to pause and frowns. "Did you two hear that? The cave is echoing, but I think I heard something about attack shinobi, the silence and boss-brothers." He quirks an eyebrow, "Let's sneak up and see if we can catch them by surprise."
Imite nods a bit, glancing back at Ryouji and giving a small nod as if to acknowledge that she'd remember his name — or try to. She starts to move towards the rear of the cave, but stops at the last second as he mentions hearing something… she strains her ears to try and hear it but she can't hear anything. She lowers her voice to a whisper, "Alright, fine… You lead the way… If I can get a good look at one of them, I might be able to cause some confusion if they're bad guys…"
Down below the trio, there are three men. The space they're in is rather spacious. If they wanted, they could probably live down here. Bring down a few beds, a couch… It'd be cozy! The goons are so preoccupied with their conversation that they have yet to notice the shinobi that are only a few yards away. Indeed, they seems to be talking about the Silence… "Those brothers are crazy, attacking the Great Shinobi villages like that," says one. "But they're actually succeeding in their plan!" says another. They seem to be arguing. The shorter one then continues on with, "We joined them because they said the world would be a better place after all this, didn't we?" That's when the guy in the corner suddenly raises a hand. "Shut up, you two… I think we have company…"
Ryouji, Imite, and Michiko were only a few feet away by the time the goons noticed them, but it might have been too little too late. The rogues scramble a bit to grab their weapons, which are close at hand. The shorter one has a sword, which he starts to use against the three. The one arguing with him uses a bow, which he uses to send arrows at the trio. And the one who seems to be the leader of the ragtag team starts to wield his chakra, flames erupting from his fist.
Michiko creeps along the passageway behind Ryouji and Imite both. Then she hears the leader notice her and her friends and immediately makes a hand seal to defend herself. The arrows making their way through the cracks only hit a clone, which disappears in a puff of smoke. "I can't use fire in here, can I…" she sighs, bringing out some kunai and throwing them at her attackers.
Ryouji says, "Get 'em!" as he rushes forward drawing his swords in each hand. He sees the guy with the arrows take aim and he angles himself to run up the wall avoiding the guy with the sword slicing right behind him. He swings his swords around, knocking the arrows away or into splinters as they splash against his weaving sword defense. All the while he runs up higher on the wall, then launches himself at the guy with the bow and arrow. He flips over, aiming his feet for a double flying kick, and brings a leg around to do a round house with the left over momentium before planting his feet. He brings his swords wide and screams, shoving his head square at the guy's stomach for a headbutt. "COMMON! This'll teach you to join the silence!"
Imite slinks silently — only to have any hopes of a sneak attack on her enemies crushed by the sudden realization that they've been seen. She quickly draws her sword, but too late, failing to block either the sword, or the arrow, and recieving a long gash across her shoulder for her efforts. "EEP!" She stumbles back, wincing… She really wasn't built for combat… Hopefully the others would pick up her slack… But for now, she could at least try to fight back.
She brings her sword back as she faces the swordsman, then rushes forward, mimicking the movements he used against her to slash once, then reversing the motion to aim at his belly before finally performing a quick slash at his shoulder and jumping back to put some distance between them again.
Michiko's flurry of kunai isn't horribly damaging, but the goons all get quite a number of cuts from it. Enough that they've got a few drops of blood on the floor. Ryouji surprises the swordsman, the speed enough to make the goon pause in his movements. "Was that a ghost?" he asks stupidly before realizing that it was his target that just zoomed past him. "Wait… Ahh!!" There's an Imite suddenly there! The goon lifts his sword, managing to block the initial attack. But the following moves are his own, aren't they? A look of confusion crosses his face before he realizes there are cuts on his body that weren't there before… Mad, he just wildly swings his fist at the Gansaku, not caring about accuracy. Only power.
The one with the bow finds himself holding two ends of splintered wood. He blinks as his only weapon is destroyed, leaving him very defenseless. So surprised is he that he ends up getting kicked in the head, which is extremely painful. It also leads to his body twisting enough that he avoids the headbutt to his stomach. Regardless of the fact he avoided that last attack, he's still quite stunned and very vulnerable.
The one with the flaming fists sees Michiko and immediately starts to make hand seals. Seems he has some ninja skills as well! The hand seals end with the Tiger sign, and several small fiery bullets make their way towards Michiko.
Michiko sees a move that is actually somewhat familiar to her. Sadly, the barrage of bullets is stronger than she expected it to be, most of them easily breaking through the barrier of earth that she created. She winces a bit as flames bite through her clothes and give her some nasty burns. Thankfully she has burn cream in her pouch! The girl, still not wanting to use fire in an enclosed space, makes hand seals so that bullets of mud shoot at the Goon leader.
Ryouji takes the advantage and slides his swords home. He calls out, "Michiko-chan, barrage!" He makes a hand sign as he gathers chakra making the floor around him swirl. Chakra begins to collect around his hands, then shrinks to his palms before he thrusts them outward. Spears of chakra lance out in a wide arc in front of him as his hair suddenly fires out in all directions as well. He blows out a breath and says, "That's how it's done…"
Imite tosses her sword into the air and makes a few quick handmotions, mimicking the seals made by Michiko — and creating a barrier of earth that rises, blocks the incoming fist, and then falls back to the ground and disappears all over again — or at least that's what it looks like. In reality, Imite had already set about to circling behind the swordsman, swinging her sword at his sword arm, before kicking at the back of his knees and delivering another sword blow, aimed at his back. "Just… Stay… DOWN!"
The archer ducks, dodges, and weaves out of Ryouji's attacks, still somewhat agile despite his wounds. He's lucky, apparently! The guy then sees what he can do about attacking, charging full-out at the Reizei as fast as he can. He even lowers his head for a headbutt straight to the stomach, which will only mean more pain for Ryouji if he doesn't avoid it.
The swordsman facing Imite didn't expect those lances of chakra to come at him. It was weird to be facing an opponent and then get stabbed in the back. It didn't hit anything important, but it was very painful… Then he's back to facing his original opponent, too? Not cool! He blocks the initial sword with his own, but the sweeping kick hits the back of his legs and makes him go down, allowing for Imite to sink her sword into his back. With that hit, he's dead.
The leader seems to be having a great deal of fun toying with Michiko. He just avoids all those attacks from Ryouji, though a few mud bullets (one) strike him. A grunt from the guy and he makes another seal with his hands, sending more fire in Michiko's direction. It's another familiar move, of course. A small fireball engulfs the general area Michiko is in!
"Honestly, you're going to make us suffocate if you continue like that," Michiko mutters under her breath, allowing a simple clone to take the heat from the fireballs. Able to avoid those, she gets closer to the Leader and, after exploding the earth below his feet, attacks him with another round of mud bullets. These ones, at such a close range, will hopefully end him and his bad choices.
The Reizei focuses a bit of a speed and flickers to another spot around the archer avoiding the headbutt. He tisks, "Such a bad idea. Best you give up, ok? No? It's your funeral." He disappears again, only to reappear at another angle to the guy, sword out. "Flash…" and disappears again, this time a trail where he went is visible, passing past the guy from the left to the right, reappearing on the oppisite side. "…strike…" and he disappears again, moving faster than most eyes can track it. He reappears in front of the archer and slides his sword back into its saya, "…combo!"
Imite tears her sword back out of her target before turning towards Michiko… and her fire-spewing opponent. She frowns a little, then rushes the Ninjutsu user, swinging her blade in a wide arc to try and cut the man from shoulder to hip… Not a very powerful blow, nor was it intended to be deep… but hopefully it'd prove to be a distraction and let Michiko get in a good blow or two!
Paralyzing is one word to describe the initial attack the archer takes from the Reizei. He's unable to move, even if it was only the hilt that struck him. With that, he ends up getting cut, the wounds very deep on his body. He's not quite dead yet, but the amount of blood coming from the cuts on his person is enough that he'll likely bleed out before he can take another breath.
Michiko's dirt bomb doesn't hit, but it's enough of a distraction that the leader gets hit badly by the two muddy bullets. He winces, though still isn't down. The damage isn't that severe yet… Imite's sword only scratches the armor he's wearing. "Haha… Such cocky shinobi nowadays," he says. "The guys you beat are so weak, they could barely swat a fly on their own power. I'll show you what a real shinobi can do!" With that, he makes a hand seal and sends a very large flaming bullet at the trio.
Michiko tasks lightly. "We're confident in our abilities for a reason," she says to the leader, giving her head a light shake. Then the flaming bullet comes, and she makes a quick hand seal. The flame going towards her is parted by a barrier of earth and passes over the Iwata harmlessly. A faint sigh of relief from the girl, as she was worried it wouldn't make it up in time. Then she attacks, the barrier of earth crumbling into muddy bullets that fly at the Bandit.
Ryouji lets his hair down and tries to party. But he's not that much of a partyer and the flames fly around his hair shield set in front of him. He gets burnt along the arms and howls. He flails his arms, putting out the small smoldering fires and says, "That's it? Unimpressive!" He closes the distance and brings white lotus out, aiming the hilt into the leader's gut. He takes a standard drawing stance and pulls out his other sword, only much faster followed by a blue streak. It's done with great speed and precision in the attack that only a reizei could do.
The bullet aimed at Imite is slow enough that she simply dodges around it, "It's three on one now. So if you're going to show us what a real shinobi can do, you should probably get to it already. So far, you haven't shown me anything special!" And then she lunges forward, aiming the pommel of her sword at the man's head. She doens't stop though… instead, she has every intention of bowling him over with her forward momentum!
Admittedly, that was his strongest attack… So the bandit leader didn't have much else up his sleeve than amazingly horrible avoidance tactics. With fire, he manages to avoid all but one of Michiko's attacks. But it makes him land right in front of Ryouji's sword-attacks, resulting in him going down heavily wounded. Panting, he struggles to get up, only to get knocked down and out by Imite. Unconscious, he just ends up sprawled on the ground face-first.
Michiko looks a bit worn out by the end of the battle. Also a bit grim. "Well… I'm glad we beat these goons, but the fact that they were here doesn't make me very happy… We should report this to someone as soon as possible… And this guy seems alive, so we can take him in for questioning." Then to Imite, she offers a slight bow. "Thank you for helping us take out these men, Imite-san. Do either of you need bandages?" she wonders.
With a double rasping of metal, Ryouji sheathes his blades back home and says, "No, I just got a bit singed is all. I'll be fine after some water splashed on these." he says, holding up his arms. He looks down at the leader, "Not so tough now, are you?" Then back up at the pair, "Good work, both of you." He begins tying up the leader with hair that twists up in a tight white fiberous rope.
Imite nods a little, "I could use some… I got hit pretty good in the shoulder when everything broke out." She admits, looking at her shoulder, which was still sporting a nasty looking cut… though she didn't feel it so much anymore, and it seemed to have stopped bleeding. "…I guess you guys will have to take him back." She looks across the cave floor to the swordsman she had killed before stepping over and picking up his sword. "Hmm.. I'll take this~ Call it a trophy." She nods to herself, then looks back at Ryouji and Michiko, "If you learn anything… like this guys name… Let me know. I might be able to do something else to help too as long as I have a little inside information about The Silence." she grins a little, "Y'know… assuming your village lets you."