Silent Stones


Michiko, Yori

Date: May 10, 2015


After exploring the snake body from an earlier mission, Michiko and Yori go to see how the body is doing with the environment. Then the two make their way to a village, though they get attacked on their journey…

"Silent Stones"

Land of Lightning

Mountain Peak [Land of Lightning]

The long, long climb from the plains below have come to an end, or a beginning, depending on which way the traveller is facing. The peak of this mountain is flat, with only two obvious exits. One, to the south, leads down the mountains, and to the distant plains far far below, difficult to see from this vantage point because of the other peaks blocking the view.
To the northeast lies the walls of Kumogakure, the large stone buttresses built into the mountain itself, somehow expertly molded to almost mesh with the crannies and crags already in place along the mountains.
To the northwest, a long and dangerous looking bridge leads to a plateau at a nearby mountain.


Michiko had called Yori out into the higher mountains. She didn't specify the reason, but she did say that he shouldn't pack lightly, just in case. The girl sighs lightly as she looks up at the sky, wondering if it will stay clear or if the puffy white clouds will turn menacing at some point. The note said for Yori to meet her at noon, so she arrived a bit early to try and make sure she didn't seem late.

Yori arrives a few minutes before noon, his normal mission pack on his back with enough supplies for at least a few days if necessary. He jogs up to where Michiko is, breathing a little heavily before he bows deeply to her. "Michiko-san." He says in way of greeting, offering her a small smile as he straightens.

Michiko offers a small smile in return. "Yori-san. Don't tire yourself out too much, please. If things go wrong, then the journey could be a long one, no?" The girl pauses, pointing outwards to the central expanse. "We're going to explore a bit and see what we can do about the snake corpse… It didn't disappear when we killed it, suggesting that it was either a companion it a member of the snakes but banished."

Yori bows again when she gives him instruction. Don't tire himself out. He'll try not to. "Hai, Michiko-san." He says quickly. "Gomen." Then as he listens to her telling /of/ the mission he makes sure the straps of his backpack are tightened so it won't shift around too much. He frowns a bit as he hears about the snake and just nods a little. He hadn't heard about that mission but, then, there was still one prisoner he was trying to find for the Raikage. "I'm ready Michiko-san."

Michiko nods and shifts in her spot, taking a moment to focus her chakra and send it through the ground. This helps her get both her bearings and scout a bit. "Let's go," she says before taking off, the girl setting a steady pace that would bring them to their destination in about two hours. … Mountains … As the pair travel, Michiko would occasionally point things out. "A few bears have taken a spot over that way. And then I think there might actually be a nest on that ledge."

Yori keeps pace with Michiko, moving quickly. Since he's actually taller he's got longer legs, even if he is in part of that awkward stage with them. As they go along and Michiko points out things she senses he looks in the direction indicated, trying to catch a hint of what might be there. But of course his eyes aren't as good as her ground senses. So he just takes her word for it and nods a little.

The journey is a long one since they have to go up and down the mountain trails that are offered, for safety reasons. Michiko takes the time to assess just how much Yori's been training, testing his stamina and speed in a sense. "So, Yori-san. What have you been up to for the past few weeks? Team Volcano isn't as active together as I would have hoped, though I suppose Naruto-san's ascension to Chuunin didn't help matters…." she considers.

Though Yori hasn't been training quite as much as he used to, he does still manage to keep in well enough shape. He might be a little tired looking after they travel for a time but it's nothing that's too horrible. The question does catch him a little off guard however. "Uh, I've not been on many missions Michiko-san. Mostly researching and helping with locating the last of the escaped prisoners. And it's okay, I know you are busy as well Michiko-san."

"I see… Hmm… I'm sorry I haven't been able to put you on more missions. I didn't want to distract you too much from your work. I was curious if you could return to the village, though, at some point. The one we helped a while ago with Hanami-san. They seem to want more lessons, though… I believe we discussed this once before, yes?"

"I see… Hmm… I'm sorry I haven't been able to put you on more missions. I didn't want to distract you too much from your work. I was curious if you could return to the village, though, at some point. The one we helped a while ago with Hanami-san. They seem to want more lessons, though… I believe we discussed this once before, yes?" Michiko glances back to the Saito to make sure he's holding up now that they're only halfway through their journey.

Yori just nods a little at Michiko's mention of more missions. "It's quite alright Michiko-san. I am better suited to research, it seems I'm more useful there." He states simply. At the mention of the village they'd visited he seems a little surprised. They hadn't really had much time to teach very much. He wasn't even sure how effective it had been. "I'm glad they felt they learned from the lesson. I…think it might be best to send someone more skilled for the next lesson, however." He seems a little worn down, not having had to move this much in at least a few weeks. But he's not complaining and he's not slowing down. He does still keep in shape after all. Heck part of the problem is just them legs!

Michiko hmms softly. "Well, I don't want to send any other shinobi. They know you, which helps. And I think your style of teaching was also good. As such, after this, we'll head back to that village and stay there for a day or two." Thus why she made him pack extra. "We're almost at the target, by the way. Just a bit further and we'll reach the tail of the snake," she says.

Yori chews his cheek as he listens to Michiko, seeming a bit concerned with it all a bit. Still…he's not going to disobey an order. "Hai." He says simply, though his voice is a bit softer than it has been. The young Saito says nothing further on that as go along, his eyes raising again when Michiko mentions the snakes…tail? "How big is this snake Michiko-san?"

Michiko continues along the path, eventually stopping at a small mound that reaches her knee. It is clear that it is a corpse upon closer inspection; one that has had very little picked from due to the poisonous nature of the body… "Well, if you've ever seen a summon… You might get an idea how large it likely was. A powerful summon, I mean…" She makes a handseal, sending waves of chakra through the ground to see how the earth has warped thanks to the body's fall.

The summons that Yori has seen haven't been anything overly large, though they have generally been spectacular in their own right. When Michiko stops he does as well, looking at the mound with a curious expression that doesn't exactly speak of unease with the corpse but more…wondering. He pulls out one of his notepads and scribbles a few things on it as he looks, taking notes for later should he need them. He doesn't say anything further for now since Michiko doesn't exactly ask and she seems to be focusing on something else as well.

Michiko glances at Yori curiously. "What can you tell me about this from pure observation, Yori-san? There is a lot to be seen here. More than meets the typical eye. And you seem to have a keen eye for details that many miss," she asks, moving further along the snake's body. As the two would move, it would become more and more obvious how large the snake was. It was about the width of a normal person's height (5'5") and it was extremely long, especially when uncoiled. It wouldn't be hard to imagine someone riding on its head, which is massive.

Yori examines the snake as they start walking, taking in it's circumference and making an estimate on it's length. Overall he's rather impressed. "Whoever summoned this creature would have to have extremely strong chakra in order to bring it here. I haven't heard of anyone having a summoning contract with snakes either, which means they'd then have to have a way to control it. A jutsu or incredible strength of will." Yori's tone is almost withdrawn in a way that shows he's lost in his own thoughts and simply speaking those thoughts aloud. "Due to lack of scavenging I would have to assume the snake's very skin is poisonous to some effect, as well as the meat underneath. The fact that it hasn't vanished like most summons do after simply taking enough damage leads me to believe the controlling person is still alive and for some reason wants the snake to remain."

Michiko nods lightly to the analysis. "Good. But summons do not automatically disappear if their comrade has fallen in battle. It only takes an initial burst of chakra to bring the summon here, and it is by their power that they wish to disappear." She pauses to bring a vial from her pouch and draws some of the snake's oils into it with chakra and a strange solution. "Currently, I'm guessing that the summon was working against its clan while working with the summoner. I can say with certainty that the summoner is dead. Her body was burned completely."

Yori frowns faintly as he looks over the snake, pencil hanging over his pad a moment before he scribble something else into it. "I've never heard of a summon remaining past the summoners death." He admits, but doesn't question Michiko on it. "My thought would've been that the person you killed was only a mask for whoever really summoned the creature." He looks over the snake, finally putting his note pad away for now. "Why would it have chosen to die here instead of returning to it's home where it might have gotten help?"

"It's a strange case… But as I said. I think that the summon wasn't working with its village." She pockets a vial and continues onwards, making her way along the body, which extends for about a half mile or so. "Mm… What else…" she murmurs softly, the girl considering the crater that the snake was in. … Dang Rise's strength.

"If that's the case and it chose to die here we need to find someone who knows enough about venom and toxin to know what effect it's having on the environment." Yori says. "I've already noted that and I'll have it in the report for the mission I submit. They'll need to work in conjunction with a number of people to find a way to safely dispose of the carcass with the most minimal effects on the surroundings."

"I think it was dead before it hit the ground. Rise-san did quite a number on it, no?" Michiko would comment, coming to the completely crushed skull of the snake. "I have samples of its venom, so it shouldn't be too difficult to analyze. That'll help in the reports. Until then, however, I may just make a sort of barrier to keep things away."

"Rise…san…?" Yori's tone is a shocked one, albeit very soft. He looks over the snake again, his eyes turning to it's head before he blanches slightly. His face is pale as he calculates how much force it would've taken to cause the damage done. That really is kind of unsettling, especially with how she seems to react to him in an almost offhanded manner. Yet another reason to not only avoid her as much as possible, but to show that he really is far from such strength himself, especially considering Rise herself is still just a Genin. He doesn't say anything more as Michiko seems to make a decision and is something that doesn't require his input. He'd already said his thoughts which was, perhaps, too much. Certainly Michiko had already known all of that for the cleanup. Which only leads him to question himself as to why he's there at all.

"Did you know, Yori-san? Rise-san used to be a Chuunin," Michiko comments idly as she examines the carcass left behind. She makes a seal, gathering chakra as she works on creating something that would block the snake from what exists. "I feel that Rise-san is at the level of a Kage. The only reason she's not a Chuunin is because of her social interactions with others." Then the girl looks to the Saito. "I think… You would make a good teacher. A good Chuunin. But you need to realize that you're worth more than you think, Yori-san. That's what I'm hoping to instill in you; hoping that you will someday realize that you're just as amazing as the other shinobi that you look up to." She shrugs, then, finishing a seal. "You're free to disbelieve, but that is my opinion."

That truly does seem to surprise the lanky youth and he looks from the snake to Michiko uncertainly. Rise had been a Chuunin but was now a Genin? That was even more unsettling. But then she was a bit…odd. Still was it enough to have earned her a demotion? He doesn't have all the facts so, in the end, he can't know for sure. When she starts talking about him his eyes lower to the ground uncertainly. "I believe you think too highly of me, Michiko-san." His tone is still soft and uncertain. "I am not strong enough to defeat many within the village as I have never won a spar. Even during missions that have had some combat involved I often require assistance." Of course part of that is because his particular style is more defensive. But then that's why he'd started adding lightning to it. That had just started during his last bad defeat where he didn't even get to attack. "I try to study and learn things then about leading and strategy, but I still feel that most others in the village are smarter than I am in these things. They could all come to the conclusions I could. Such as what I had to say about this snake. It was nothing that you didn't already know." He sounds…defeated. "I am uncertain why it is you required me to accompany you on this particular mission." He says finally, still uncertain.

"You don't have to win every battle with a fight. Completing missions is one way to achieve victory. You can accomplish a delivery mission and avoid all your fights, so long as the contents are safe. You can teach those who wish to be taught, and that is a complete mission. It's not all about fighting." Michiko peers briefly at Yori. "Your current style… You know, too, that it's defensive in nature. That doesn't help if you want to win. But you're learning Kenjutsu. Offensive styles, in general. That will help." Then she finishes the last of the seals, and walls of earth begin to form, rising up around the snake to form a barrier. "You are here because I want you to have more experience with things you don't know. That way next time you know better. You're of even further use. And it also helps me see just where your mind is sometimes." The girl watches the earth rise up and up around the snake's body as she speaks.

"I do many missions of that nature," Yori says, voice still soft. "Deliveries within the village. It is the type of missions I am best suited for I believe. Even the mission you once had me lead was not completely successful, as the bandits managed to make off with an item. The mission itself was a failure because of that." Obviously he's well versed in his own failures as he appears to go over them within himself fairly frequently. "I will teach those that request to be taught when it is approved, but in those instances there are those who are more knowledgeable who would likely be better suited and able to better teach others." That part is actually kind of true. Still, he just has no faith in himself because he has seen no reason to. He has had nothing but failures since his promotion to Genin.

"You need better missions. And you need more confidence in yourself, Yori-san. We've all experienced failure in a mission. I lost a merchant to Kiri-nin when we were supposed to protect him from harm all because I didn't want them to take an ally. I've lost a seed packet to Flexy Lex several times. I've failed in missions before. And I don't expect to win at every one. There's a reason failures happen, and not just because of our own failures." Michiko tsks softly at the memories of her own. "Shinobi need to learn, though… That we need to grow from the failures. We can't lose heart when we don't succeed. If we lost heart, then we never would have defeated The Silence. A failure in our guards lead to thirty seven prisoners escaping. The Raikage's failures… My own… They exist. We're successful now because we don't want those on our hands, yet we still have them. We lost good shinobi on missions. We lost Yuzuna-san because I underestimated the enemy I sent her after, and the team I sent should have included more people." She pauses to catch her breath and let that sink in.

Yori listens carefully as Michiko speaks though at first he doesn't look at her. His eyes are actually looking at the snake and the earthen wall that had been erected around it. Even as he listens he wonders if moving that earth would make the poisoning of the soil worse. His brain never truly seemed to stop. "I am not better than anyone at anything Michiko-san." He says finally. "I find that I am low to middle on ability, skill, and intelligence. There is always someone better for the job. Even my own clan does not pay me any attention due to how our ranking system works. All they see are my failures. It is hard to think of much else."

Michiko gives a faint sigh of relief when the wall is finished forming. Then she takes a moment to check on her chakra levels and personal condition before se speaks. "What I see in you are your successes. And I would like them to grow so that you feel you are accomplishing things. Not just in intelligence, which I have found you are supreme at, but in battle. I at least know you can handle yourself in battle long enough that you can stay alive. I think you'll become a great shinobi, Yori-san, but you need to believe that as well. Don't worry about how others view you. And focus on what you wish to achieve. Keep that goal firmly in your mind and keep reaching for it. Things don't happen overnight, but I see that you've been growing in more than just height." She gives the barrier she formed a small kick, and a metallic sound rings out after her kick leaves a bit of a dent in the earthen shell.

The Saito doesn't seem to know quite how to respond to all of that. It's not really something he's used to hearing, for starters. It's true he's highly intelligent for his age but what good does that offer in a world of shinobi and fighting? Still if Michiko sees something it's possible he himself might not, another bit of knowledge he has about how one reportedly never sees change in themselves. The kick and trailing sound of metal breaks him from his reverie some. A metallic interior would keep the toxin of decay from reaching the soil. Of course. "I…will try to be more useful, Michiko-san. I don't know that I will ever be good enough to achieve my wish of becoming Senshi, but I will do my best to help others."

"I'm your sensei, Yori-san. If I can assist in my teammates' dreams coming true, I'll do my best to get you there. So don't give up, okay, Yori-san?" Michiko looks to Yori, eyes serious. "I didn't think I would get to where I am now. I didn't intend to get here. I just wanted to serve Kumogakure to the best of my abilities. You have a goal to achieve. We're going to make it happen." She offers a fist for Yori, looking expectantly at him. Whether or not he actually returns the desired gesture, she would offer a small smile. "We're going, now. We've done what we can. Now we should head to the village we left not too long ago…"

Yori is still a bit hesitant with it all but Michiko's words seem to help bolster his spirits somewhat. He offers a faint smile before he reaches out his own fist in return and bumps it against Michiko's. "Hai, Michiko-san. I will do my best." He assures her before shifting to give the earth covered snake one last look before turning in the direction he knows the village to be in. "I'm ready." He replies simply, his tone still carrying with it a hint of uncertainty yet at the same time there's a bit more solidarity and feeling to it, a sense of doing his best despite his own misgivings. And seeing what happens.

Michiko shifts in her spot. "We won't rush. The village isn't expecting us so soon, but I thought it would be good for a surprise," Michiko says, taking off at the light pace for the time being so that they would make it to the desired village before sunset. At the moment, the sun was only partway down the sky, likely placing the time around 3:00pm. "So. What do you want to work on during our next training session, Yori-san? Anything in particular? I can assist you with anything chakra-related. I can find someone to help you with kenjutsu, though Hiei-san would be your best teacher. And if you want to work on a specific element, I can help with all but water." The options are there, at least.

Yori follows at the pace set by Michiko as he considers her words. "Raikage-dono has been busy and we haven't had time to train much the last few weeks." He sounds a little sad about that. Sure Hiei is a busy person but it would help his feeling of worthiness if there was a little more there. He might actually feel like he can do good. "I'm truly not sure what else I should be working on. I should probably try and figure out a new technique with my lightning element and my bracers, but I have not had…" he hesitates a moment before he finishes "the inclination to work on it."

Michiko considers what Yori said, thinking. "Well, then that says that. We'll be working with your lightning and channeling it through your bracers. You can try and hit me, too, if you like." The girl smiles a bit. "It'll be good practice to try and hit a moving target. And know that I am equivalent to Hiei-san in terms of my ninjutsu, so don't be frustrated if you can't hit me, Yori-san." The girl takes a moment to consider their location, frowning lightly. "Hmm… Do you see anything, Yori-san? Something… is not right…" she murmurs, sending another wave of chakra out to try and see what it was her usual senses picked up.

Yori nods a bit as Michiko talks over what he'd said. He has one attack set but he'd like to expand such things if he can. Of course, not being able to hit a target doesn't really help in seeing how such a thing will work but then he's fairly used to missing these days. When Michiko mentions something off he frowns faintly and looks around slowly. His eyes narrow as if that might somehow magically increase his vision, but such things are not something he's really worked on. Books aren't hard to find, after all, and that's where most of his time is spent these days. "I don't think so Michiko-san."

RPCOMBAT: Michiko defends against with a TREMOR-SENSE…38

Michiko shakes her head a bit… Still frowning. "Let's continue, then. But be ready for an attack just in case… I'm worried…" The girl focuses some more chakra despite the fact that she's already exhausted quite a bit of energy forming the wall earlier. "We're also going to stay at the same pace. No need to make whoever it is suspicious." The girl glances around again before taking off, continuing on her journey.

Yori really needs to work on paying better attention to things. Amongst many other things he needs to work on. He really is not the best at this type of thing. He frowns a bit but follows along with Michiko at the same pace, tugging on the straps of his small backpack to make sure it's secure against him and not bouncing around unnecessarily. He prepares himself as well, just in case, eyes shifting around occasionally as he tries to see if someone is perhaps nearby.

RPCOMBAT: Yori defends against with a PERCEPTION…24

Nothing is noticeable … at least at first glance. But a flash of black clothing reveals to Yori that someone is following them. Michiko is aware they exist, but it's difficult to pinpoint the location, especially while they're moving. The girl closes her eyes as she moves, trying to keep her senses open. Fortunately, their path was clear. "We've got thirty minutes until we reach the village at this pace. Ten if we hurry. Let's see if we can lay a small trap, Yori-san." The girl slows, then stops where she is, reaching into her pack to pull out some rations. Her previous words would have been quiet enough that only Yori would have heard, and now she says, "We'll take a break for now. Keep our strength up. This place seems safe." Then she settles down, keeping herself ready, but seemingly relaxed.

Yori certainly doesn't want to drag trouble along with them to the village who's very problem at this point involves defense. When Michiko stops Yori follows suit, pulling his backpack over his shoulder and reaching in to pull out some dry rations. Something small so it won't be too much of a loss should the figure he saw actually attack them. He says nothing for now as he doesn't look directly in the direction of their attacker, instead letting his peripheral vision assist him in keeping an eye on the person while he eats.

[NPC System]: Mysterious Person roll(s) Shadow Strike vs Yori from 15 to 35 and get(s) a 22. - Rolled by: Michiko
[NPC System]: Mysterious Person roll(s) Shadow Strike vs Michiko from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 40. - Rolled by: Michiko

RPCOMBAT: Michiko defends against with a EARTH-BARRIER…44
COMBAT: Michiko attacks target 1 with EARTH-WHIRLPOOL with a roll of: 34
COMBAT: Michiko attacks target 1 with EARTH-WHIRLPOOL with a roll of: 40

Michiko waits for a bit, then suddenly there's movement… Michiko doesn't waste much time in blocking the strike that comes from the shadows, and a barrier of earth forms to take the punch. A fist is indented in the earth, but gone as the person makes their way towards Yori. "The ground," Michiko warns Yori as it turns into mud that starts to swirl and suck in the person who's attacking them. Hopefully it works. She only did a few spots that the person was likely to step in, though, not wanting to create a huge whirlpool lest Yori be caught.

RPCOMBAT: Yori defends against with a BODY-FLICKER-TECHNIQUE…32

Yori is ready since they're kind of expecting the attack. When the strike comes towards him he flickers away, reappearing only a short distance away and standing once again. He picked the spot because of what Michiko had warned him and he waits to see if the figure is caught up, golden brown eyes watching carefully to see who it was that was trying to attack them on this open road.

[NPC System]: Mysterious Person roll(s) Body Flicker Technique from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 25. - Rolled by: Michiko
[NPC System]: Mysterious Person roll(s) Body Flicker Technique from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 24. - Rolled by: Michiko

The figure apparently didn't think they were ready, so its fist running into earth rather than a body… then nothing instead… It was disconcerting. So much so that its feet end up stuck in the mud that Michiko laid as a trap, and it struggles. Michiko's quick to move, sending the hood off the figure with a quick sweep of her arm. It reveals a teenage boy with brown hair that is a bit longer than most. His eyes are pale, as if he were blind, but not quite. It was clear by the way he glared at Michiko that he could see (or sense) quite clearly.
"I would like to know who you are. If you don't feel you can answer that, we can certainly find another way to get the answer from you," Michiko says calmly. He wore no headband, and his clothes were that of a typical Lightning traveler. Interesting… He was smart enough to cover his tracks. Not even a clan symbol, if he had one, was on his clothes. "I don't need to tell you anything," he says through gritted teeth, apparently mad that he was caught so easily.

Yori blinks when he sees that it's an older boy, though not by too many years. How strange. He steps forward to look the teen over curiously, Yori's much taller than average height for his age putting him near the other boy. "Excuse me, but why did you attack us? Did we do something to wrong you?" He asks softly, not sure if he should really be interrupting Michiko's interrogation but he's curious and he feels a little bad that their attacker is so young and apparently not very skilled.

The boy is only too happy to share why he is here. The boy points to Michiko, giving her a glare. "She's why I attacked you. She's a traitor to the clan and needs to either come back with me, or I'll kill her." It's said with a wicked grin, as if he thinks he truly is powerful enough to take her down. Michiko's size really does bely her abilities sometimes, though that might be a good thing right now. "It's pure luck that she managed to trap me, anyway." Then his gaze shifts from the Saito to Michiko. "There are only a few people that know about what happened. Your mom. Stepdad. And the Clan Head. Of course, myself as well, considering I'm his son." oh, so that's where the confidence is probably coming from…
Michiko's eyes narrow slightly at the statements. "Ah… I see… Well, I'm glad you started talking. Please, send these people a message saying that I am happy where I am. If they want to come after me, they shouldn't send someone who's so green behind the ears that he makes threats he can't follow through with."

Yori listens to the boys reasoning for his attack and he frowns deeply, something his generally neutral expression rarely does. When Michiko speaks herself he sees things as only spiraling downhill and his mind races as he tries to think how to keep it from going further. "Michiko-san, that's not very appropriate to say. He did come this far and was able to get close enough to attack. He may not be the best but he's not exactly green. However that doesn't excuse you," his eyes turn on the older boy, "from doing what you did. You don't attack someone you're trying to return with you. You're supposed to talk to them and ascertain whether they'll go back with you or not and go from there. You don't know anything about Michiko-san or what good she does for Kumogakure and the Land of Lightning. I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about, but I know that I won't stand by while you treat her badly." More big talk by someone who can't really hold up to it, but at least his other words had truth in it.

Michiko gives a soft sigh. "No, not completely. But if the Clan or the Village wants me to go back with them, sending you was probably not a good idea." With a few handseals, metal bindings keep the boy held where he is, keeping him secure for the time being. He raises an eyebrow at the metal. "You've learned the jutsu, it looks like. How to use it. Didn't think you would, especially with who your parents are. Then again… They like to say talent appears in the worst places." He just glances at Yori and gives a shake of his head. "You don't get it. She's either going back, or even worse things will come for her. We're persistent, and we're not going to let our own be wandering around."
"Let them come. If there are only a few who know of my existence, you're probably not acting with the support of the Tsuchikage. For now, you're coming with us so we can get this mess sorted out. I'll send a messenger hawk to the Kage to sort this out, and we'll see just what happens." Michiko looks to Yori for a moment. "Arigatou, Yori-san…" she murmurs before she moves in towards the stranger. With a few well-placed strikes, he turns into a limp noodle, and Michiko is able to carry him somehow. "We'll take turns with him… The village is twenty minutes from here with a decent pace. We can question him more later." And with that, she takes off with Yori.

Yori doesn't get a chance to craft a response of any sort or create any new questions for the teen as Michiko simplys puts him down for the time being. Yori's frown deepens slightly as he considers what was said and almost out of habit his notebook comes out, jotting something down before it goes away again. He remains silent as Michiko lifts the boy and follows after with a soft "Hai." He would offer to help carry the kid, since he's taller, but he'll let Michiko deal with it until they get to the village at the least.

The pair make their way to the village without further trouble, and the elder greets them with a smile and a bit of confusion. Michiko explains all that's happened, though, and they decide to put the mysterious kid in the jail. "As soon as he wakes up, we'll ask him more things, Yori-san," she instructs. "For now, let's rest and relax for a bit. The jutsu should wear off in a half hour."

Yori isn't one to (usually) argue when given instructions so when Michiko speaks he just nods again. As they go off to the village he bows to the elders once they see him and remains silent while Michiko does her explaining. With that done he follows after Michiko to do…whatever she wants him to do, more or less.

Well, whatever is done, it's probably boring for the pair. Michiko ends up just relaxing and sitting near the jail to keep an eye on their prisoner, and Yori, unless he really feels like staying, is allowed to wander and check out the state of the village. An hour later, he was to report back so they could start questioning Michiko's assailant.

After the teen is successfully jailed Yori seems only slightly relieved. He's still unsure about the situation as a whole with what it could possible imply not only for Michiko but the rest of the village as well. He would remain true to his words however; he wouldn't let Michiko go so easily. When he's given leave to wander he does so, taking a short time to explore the village and see what has or hasn't changed, including what kind of training they may have been doing in his absence.

Yori would find that the village was much like before. The only difference was that now, children would sometimes gather in small groups and hold practice sessions against a dummy made of straw. Some of them recognized Yori and tried to convince him to teach them more new things, the more forceful likely dragging him towards the dummy so he could do a demonstration.

The young Saito seems impressed that the parents had set up the attack dummies for the kids almost as much as he was impressed by the fact that they were practicing. And pretty decently from what he could see. While he went around he would look for an older kid, his age or a little older, that seemed to retain the training well. It would be good for them to have someone to model after. Someone he could perhaps train a little extra so that they could work with the other kids. When they asked him to teach Yori was…shocked. "Oh, well, I will later I promise, okay? I still have a few things to tend to first." He says, trying to be as polite as he can while he mind whirls around it all. Who knew they'd take to it all so well and want him to show them more?

There's a few older kids around, of course. One of them in particular seems to have good form, but he doesn't know much and always does the same attack sequence that Yori had taught them. Another older kid seems more innovative, but that makes his form suffer a little, since he doesn't do tricks too well or know how to execute them properly. The littler kids seem disappointed that Yori can't teach them now, but they get that he can be busy. He's a 'super cool ninja', after all!

Yori takes note of the two older kids, already formulating plans in his mind even as he pats one of the younger ones on the head and gives a smile. "Soon, I promise." He says again, trying to sound reassuring before he continues on his way through the village. He greets people if they near with a smile, nod, and a soft word but other than that he keeps to himself and just takes note of the setup around the village since their last visit. Once it's near time he makes his way back to Michiko, bowing as he nears once again.

The village, as noted earlier, doesn't seem to have changed much aside from some of the training dummies that have been set up. People are still going about their daily lives. Michiko is waiting just outside the jail so that the two can enter together. "Yori-san. Please pay attention. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask." She waits for a nod, then she holds the door open so they can walk in. The attacker is sitting upright in his cell, the boy's hands tied and in bags to prevent any jutsu.

Yori bows again as the door opens, following after Michiko and pulling out his notepad. Upon seeing the condition he's in he immediately takes some notes though for now he doesn't do much more than that. His eyes scan over the teen taking in every detail and trying to gauge his emotional state and what he might say or do. As for starting the questioning, well, he'll let Michiko get that going. He certainly doesn't want to overstep his bounds.

Michiko watches the stranger for a few moments before saying, "I assume you know who I am. So please, could you tell us who you are?" The boy eyes Michiko a bit, narrowing his eyes and staying quiet. It seems he's not willing to talk at the moment…

Yori says nothing at first as he simply watches the teen and waits for a response to Michiko's question. He frowns slightly when he realizes that the other boy is going to be making things difficult by not talking. That could be troublesome. "Why is it that you don't wish to speak to us? We aren't trying to hurt you, we only want to know why you came here and tried to attack Michiko-san." He says finally, voice soft.

"Isn't it obvious? I already told you more than you needed to hear," snaps the boy. Then he goes back to his silence… Michiko hmms quietly. "You're a member of the Murasame Clan. Likely someone connected to another who is important. Or someone related to my mother. Regardless, you and a few others know about me. That's all I know. And you all seem eager to get me back. Or rather… My abilities."

Yori shakes his head when the boy questions him. "No, it isn't obvious," He admits flatly with a faint frown. "You came here alone to try and kidnap someone who, even where you're from, you must know as a very strong shinobi based on her position. But instead of sending a full team to come retrieve her as would likely happen with any type of official mission, it's just one single person who can't be above Chuunin level. So I'm confused as to why you thought you could bring back Michiko-san by yourself unless that wasn't your true intention."

The boy snorts lightly. "I could take her… Most /secretaries/ aren't that smart." Of course… He probably hasn't heard of the latest promotion she got, indicating that he was likely on the road for some time. "We have our pride. And if you know anything about our clan, you would probably know even better what's going on." Michiko raises a brow. "Stories are stories… But I wonder how true they are… Yori-san, are there anymore questions you have? I think I've an idea of what's been happening, and confirming it will make our job easier…"

Yori sure is glad that Michiko knows what's going on with what the boy's said because it's really not provided any information. He considers for a moment as to what else he might ask the boy but, based on how things have gone so far, he doesn't expect to really get much of an answer. He shakes his head a bit to indicate he doesn't have anything else to ask and he puts his notepad away with a small shrug. So much for his smarts. He's rather in the dark as to what's going on that Michiko has figured out.

It's likely because Yori doesn't know much of the Murasame's culture that he's confused. She speaks, explaining the situation to Yori as much as she is to herself and the stranger. "I don't know of Iwa, but they have apparently just gotten out of a civil war. It is that chaos that allowed for my father to escape with me. But now that it's over, people are regrouping, slowly realizing that something isn't adding up. Only a few know, it seems… Likely my mother. The Clan Head. This kid. And my step-sister. And the gods know where she's disappeared to…" Michiko takes a breath. "How proud are the Murasame? They believe themselves to be the strongest. Those who are weak are frowned upon. It's likely that this boy picked up news that I was… Away… And decided to try and prove his worth by catching me. Though he failed…" She gives him a hard look. "Is that right? Or am I missing something?"
Michiko's words seem to strike a chord in the boy, whoever he is. He grits his teeth and looks ready to charge at Michiko, eyes glaring daggers. "You're not even part of the clan anymore! You should've died way back when. I'm just putting things right." So she's right… But there are even more threads to untangle, it seems…

Yori knew of the civil war and even of those that knew about Michiko to an extent, thanks to the sister that had arrived. Still it was quite a large leap in his mind. But then Michiko is who she is for a reason. "Why would Iwagakure allow this boy to travel alone anywhere, even if he didn't actually admit to where he'd be going? And why would he think he attack Kumogakure by himself. Is he really that unknowledgeable?" It was a foolhardy plan and would never have actually worked after all. On multiple levels.
Ketsumei has +finger'd you!

Michiko shakes her head lightly. "I'm not sure. If he could cooperate, it would be a bit easier to figure this all out. But if not… Well, I'll make sure he's returned home in one piece, and it will give me a reason to visit Iwagakure."
The kid seems fairly resolute in his decision to not speak, his mouth clamping shut so he doesn't give away anything else. Though they were kind of insulting him… "I'm not a boy! And I know things, of course! I'm not a fool!" he huffs, clenching his already-clenched fists that were in the bags. "I know exactly what I'm doing. Why's everyone gotta question me?"

Yori considers Michiko's words though he quickly decides he's against her going to Iwagakure, at least alone. But what could he do to stop her? She's the boss after all. When the teen speaks again Yori's eyes shift to him and he frowns again, albeit this time a little uncertainly. "You're not a boy? Are you a girl?" Yori asks sounding truly uncertain and not joking in any way as he looks the teen over carefully. Finally he decides to just let that one drop for now as he goes on to more important things. "The only reason we are questioning you is because you attacked us. We only want to know what is going on and why. But you won't even tell us your name. When you don't answer questions it just makes people ask again." He pauses for a moment before continuing, "If your clan is questioning you in some way then perhaps you should take a moment to think on why they would. Is it something you did or are they just being uncertain about you?"

The boy's face falls into an expression equivalent to -_- when Yori questions his gender. "NO, I'M NOT A GIRL!!" He fumes, daggers going from Michiko to Yori. "And I'm done talking! You're not getting anything else outta me!" With that, he shuts his mouth, turns around, and stares at the wall. He'd probably block his ears, too, but his hands are behind his back and tied…
Michiko sighs and shakes her head. "I reported this to Kumo… So we'll see what happens. In the meantime… We'll have to take a small trip to the Land of Earth. I'll let you know when to prepare for it, Yori-san. Until then, let's try to relax today, and we'll stay in this village for a day or two."

Yori seems sad that the boy wouldn't answer any questions or even talk with him further. He gives him a sad frown before he looks to Michiko and bows deeply. "Hai, Michiko-san," He says. He seems hesitant on something but he doesn't say anything for now. There will be a time for it later. He doesn't want Michiko to go to Iwagakure alone but at the same time he would want to make sure someone goes with her that can actually help protect her.

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