Date: August 19, 2014
The second battle against the Sins
"Sins of the Fathers - Sin of Gluttony"
A village not far from Konohagakure
It's been several days since the encounter with Rage. In fact, it's been long enough that everyone involved is fully healed. The report has been filed, and other shinobi have been dispatched to, hopefully, deal with the situation. It's a good thing, too, because Nobuo was pretty sure that, even though he was adept at not getting hit by the guy, he wouldn't be able to take Rage down anytime soon. It was going to take a lot more practice before that happened. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that.
Another mission came across Nobuo's desk. This one seemed much less proned to danger. A different village was having trouble with food shortages. Strictly speaking, someone, or something, was raiding their stores of food, and it was causing undo hardship to the villagers. He was asigned to see what was going on and resolve the issue, and Tsukino was assigned to join him. He was alright with that. At least this mission would be easier. So, he waits for her at the gate again, watching people go in and out, offering waves and smiles every so often.
Tsukino wasn't the best shinobi in Uzushiogakure. Hell, her brother or father or grandfather or mother or any of her sisters weren't either, but she did take missions seriously. Daisuke had told her she could take what amounted to a desk job if she really wanted to so she didn't have to harm anyone. But she did not want anymore extra-special treatment than she was destined to recieve as it was. So whenever someone asked her about a mission she accepted without looking at the specs.
Today Tsukino's hair is loose and the faint breeze fluttered it around behind her. What appeared to be an almost blood toned hair in regular lighting was bright and pulti-hued in the sun. If one looked close enough they would see deep red yes but also copper and something approaching orange on one side of her hair. She was carrying a bag or purse that hung across from one shoulder to the other hip as well and when she spotted Nobuo she smiled and hurried the last few steps.
"Hello again Nobuo-san." She was honestly glad to see him too. She was beginning to feel they were going to be good friends. He'd even put up with her that day at the river. "So.. we're after a thief?" Yes she had read the briefing, no she hadn't paid full attention.
Nobuo smiled when he saw her. A bright smile that livened him up more than just smiling at random passers by did. Lifting a hand in greeting, he waited until she drew near to speak. "Hello, Tsukino-san. Seems that way, yes. Human or animal who knows, but someone's stealing the food!" He looks around, half expecting some Akimichi or other to pop up and say it wasn't him or her, but there wasn't anyone. Ikari probably would have, and then giggled afterward. The little sprite was a regular ball of fun. Quite literally.
"Shall we then? Seems like a much easier mission than last time, and this village is nowhere near where we dealt with Rage so we should be fine," he says as he turns and starts walking out of the village. "Though, it's a bit further away this time. Granted we have more time to get there, too. Whoever, or whatever, is stealing the food seems to be doing it at night. Could be a raccoon or something simple like that." He shrugs. "You ready to run?"
Tsukino didn't quite get the Akimichi thought, she hadn't been in town that long yet but it would only be a matter of time before she started to catch onto the nuances of Leaf humor. She listened to what he said and nodded. "Human or animal… hmmm…" She honestly hoped it was an animal. And then she hoped it was something stupid like the people left the door open. But this was a shinobi mission and they were two Chuunin, she didn't hold her hopes very high.
Nobuo's mention of Rage made her expression more serious. She had thought about that mission many times since it had happened and she still couldn't help feeling she'd failed somehow.But she nodded after a moment. She didn't appear to be worried about running into Rage again. Despite the whole 'princess' thing and having already taken a beating from the guy, she looked relatively prepared. "No use worrying about something like that. If he shows up again we'll know not to engage." She stepped up and shifted the messenger style bag so it fell just behind her hip and nodded, ready to run the second he took off.
"I don't think we need worry about it. People were dispatched to deal with him," Nobuo says with a nod. He stretches his legs by starting with a jog that slowly picks up speed. It isn't long before he's running swiftly down the road, zipping past strangers and villagers and everyone in between. Running, even though it's such a pain, is kind of fun when you can run fast enough that you blaze right past people. Either way, he won't complain about it much, even though it's a pain.
"How did the rest of the training go the other day? Sorry I had to cut out. I had to go sit in some boring meeting," he says as he glances over to her, watching her run briefly. She really did have a beautiful figure. How could he not want to watch her? He had to look back though. Running into something would hurt. "When I'm head of the Nara clan I'm going to do away with boring, pointless meetings."
Tsukino kept up to him well enough. The slow progression of the pace had helped too. The people they passed chuckled and shook thier heaads, silly shinobi, always in a rush. But when he looked over to watch her, because of thier speed and the wind, he would also see her long hair trainling behind her in the wind. She glanced over at him when he asked about the other day. "Oh it didn't last long. I caught a shuriken on the arm. My kekkai didn't hold as long as it should have. I have to work on that. But then Akiyama-san used this black fog attack and Ikari-chan ran off screaming about a fire. So Akiyama-san ahd to go after her." She laughed. Then with a quick step and a leap she soared for just a few seconds over a small dip in the road. And for those few seconds she felt the rush of flying. Her feet touched down again, her blue eyes glittering like sapphires in the sun.
"You know, meetings are useful, you just need to get rid of the 'boring' part."
"I knew that mission she went on did something to her," Nobuo says, frowning just a little. Of course he was talking about Ikari yelling about fire in a smokey environment. What'd she'd said about the train getting set on fire by the blasted Uchiha made him still want to beat that guy silly for endangering her like that. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and focused on where he was going on. "That's why I said boring meetings. Some meetings are good. Like the random ones by streams." He's slightly teasing about their meeting the other day near the windmills. There's a bit of a grin on his face about it. "But yeah, the boring ones are going bye bye quick when I'm clan head." He sagenods and darts down the left fork in the path their on. "Never been to this village before. It's quite a ways out there. Everyone said they're nice folk, though, so we should definitely wrap this up quick."
Tsukino blinked and looked over in a concerned manner when he spoke of Ikari. Now that she thought of it, the girl /had/ said soemthing about a fire and .. well she'd chalked a lot of it up to it comming from a 5 year old. But if the mission was really that serious and all that really did happen, she could easily see the girl having some kind of trauma from it. "I think…" She sighed and shook her head deciding this was not the time or place to get into such a discussion about what Ikari should be doing as a child and not as a shinobi, student or not. And thankfully Nobuo moved on to the discussion about meetings. She caught the reference tot eh 'meeting' at the river and chuckled. She wondered what he would do as the head of his clan. What direction would he take it? "I haven't met anyone yet that wasn't nice here." Meaning the Land of Fire. Mostly Konoha of course.
Nobuo nodded at what she said. "I'm not surprised. Most people here are extremely friendly. Hard to make people dislike you. We're also extremely loyal. We'll never sell out a comrade," he says, offering her a thumbs up as he dodges around a cart that was heading down the road the opposite direction of them. They were getting closer and closer, but still a little bit to go before they got there. He had said it was further away than their last mission had been. He still didn't know how Rage had managed to get so close to Konoha before giving himself away. Scary thoughts. "Remind me to ask you sometime about your home. I don't know much about it but I'd like to."
Tsukino smiled lightly when he said most people here were friendly and very loyal. She laughed lightly when he said they would never betray a comrade. "I hope I can live up to that kind of expectation." She looked ahead of them, gratful for the cart that temporarily separated them. Something about the idea of betrayal or failiure had made her run more normally, less of that free-living enjoyment from before. His interest in her home made her force a smile. "There's a lot of forests but with different trees and lots of water formations." Again she was talking about he Land of Whirlpools rather than her specific residence or even Uzushio specificly. But she kept running, her eyes scanning the road ahead of them. With so many trees and a path like this one where you couldn't see more than 300 yards ahead of you it would be pretty simple to stage an ambush.
No ambush here, though. Fortunately for them. Nobuo noted that something seemed to be off about her at the mention of her home and betrayal. She seemed to lose a little bit of her soft edge, if that was a good way of describing it. That was something that could be discussed at a later time, though, not while they were on a mission. He slowed up when the town suddenly appeared before them. Apparantly the place was within the forest itself. That was probably why animals could so easily get into the food stores if that was indeed the case. He slid to a halt and looked over at her. "Well, we're here. Let's go see if we can find the food storage facilities and start from there. If we're lucky we won't even have to bother the townsfolk."
Tsukino skidded to a stop beside him when they came to the village It had suprised her, comming right after a turn in the path. She blinked at Nobuo, though when he said perhaps they wouldn't have to bother the townsfolk. She had thoght they would at least deal with the people who had been stolen from. Ah well. She nodded, agreeing to follow his lead. "So we should look for animal prints and maybe look at the door of the storage facility." She was mostly talking to herself but she spoke aloud anyway, looking around for said storehouse.
"The whole building. Animals don't usually use the door, but if someone's leaving it open we'll definitely be able to tell," Nobuo says as he starts walking along with her. He holds his hands clasped behind his back and glances this way and that, nodding to people if they happen to look at the two Leaf Shinobi. Most don't bother them though. Not like it's uncommon to see shinobi in the Land of Fire, after all. It's a nice day, too. Makes up for spending it on a mission. "Least we were given a nice day for this. Quiet and beautiful. The sunlight will make it easier to track if we need to." He's watching the buildings, looking for the right one, but it's a decent sized village and the storage is probably at the center.
Tsukino nodded her head as they walked. her bag was shifted again so it hung more to her side once more as she moved. She nodded her head to the odd passersby, smiling at a child at one point. But she was looking around for a storage facility. It occured to her that the people she waas smiling at could easily be part of whatever this was, a case of theft, a bad inventory, a misunderstanding of who was to take what where… It could be a lot of things. "Who asked us to come here, Nobuo-san? A citizen or an elder…?"
Nobuo pulls out the mission brief as they walk and skims it over. "Village elder. Not the one in charge of the stores, either. Though it says here he doesn't suspect the one who is." He shrugs and stuffs the info back into the pocket where it came from. Spotting a big building that says storage and food on it he stops and waves to her. "And we're here," he says as he looks at the building. It's easily one of the largest around. Understandably so given the circumstances. "Let's start with the front, and work our way through the inside and then out any other entrance before we search the rest of the exterior." He moves towards the door and opens it. "Lot of trust here to leave the place unlocked."
Tsukino listened when nobuo told her who had asked for the mission. She nodded slowly, automaticaly thinking in a political vein. Multiple elders could mean internal strife, though the report stated that the requesting elder did not suspect the elder in charge of food and storage. She was still thinking on this when they reached the front of the building. The first thing Tsukino did was to stand in front of the door and look out. "This is too public. There has to be a more private door or anyonw would stumble on whoever or whatever had been inside. Was the door shut or open when they found the missing things?" She asked as she turned to check for damage to the closing mechanism on the door and the door itself. Then, assuming nothing overt was found, she would try to go inside.
"All the doors were shut, but there are windows higher up as well. They were shut too," Nobuo says as she moves to go inside. He follows after her, shutting the door behind them just in case. A quick glance is given to their surroundings. The room is literally just a giant room filled with stuff. Bags and bags of rice and other grains are stored everywhere around them. There's bags of beans and everything in between. Needless to say, the place still has a lot in it. "They must keep meticulous records in order to know something is missing." He jumps up onto the wall and starts climbing up so he can get a view from above. "There's only one other door. It leads out the back. Four windows. See if you can find anything down there while I check them."
"You got it." She wasn't experienced in how villages stored thier food stuffs, but she /was/ familiar with how her family's foodstuffs were stored and they provided for several families under them as well. From the first look they kept things in a similar order, though this room was long and her family kept theirs in two separate round sheds. She bent down to check under the tables and came upon…. Were those candy wrappers? She knelt down and reached until she could grab one of the papers, examining it closely. Yes that was certainly a candy wrapper.
Getting down on both knees she looked even closer, spotting the little crumbs of chocolate. Her hair drug ont he dust and she stood up, shaking it out lightly and twirling it into a long rope as she followed the crumbs. "Nobuo-san.. there's a trail of candy under here.. And out the back door." She stood up and looked at him with a furrowed brow though. "But .. what would a child take grains and beans for? Especially if they had chocolate and candies already? I can imagine a kid hiding in here…" She looked even more disturbed then. "What if a child witnessed it?"
Nobuo is busy checking the windows when she speaks. He thinks for only a moment before responding. "Just because there are candy wrappers doesn't mean a child was involved," he says as he checks the last window. "Lots of people like candy." He jumps down and lands beside her, crouching down to look at the bits of chocolate on the floor. They definitely lead to the back door. "The windows were all locked tight. No one tampered with them." He shrugs and points to the back door. "Let's follow the trail." He starts walking, and opens the back door, smiling as he holds it for her. "Following a candy trail sounds rather strange. This could turn out to be really weird."
Tsukino tilted her head a bit but nodded in agreement. Candy did not automatically equate child. "But it would be more likely that a child would be hiding under there eating candy." Just an observation. She tucked the wrapper into a pocket of her bag and peeked under the stands again seeing the crumbs of chocolate. Standing up she dusted off her knees and nodded. "It is kind of odd yes." Why would someone have to hide to eat candy and then be messy enough to leave crumbs? "We need to inform the elder of it so they can clean it up or they'll attract rats." She smiled and bowed her head in thanks as the door was held for her. Once it was closed again she turned to inspect he door, making sure it wasn't damaged. Thenshe would turn and look around them, following Nobuo's lead again. "So what are your thoughts if not a kid?"
"Someone is very hungry and doesn't have the money to feed themselves is my first thought," Nobuo says as they follow the trail. It's leading them towards the edge of the village, and doesn't get anywhere near any of the buildings. How strange. "Could be a bandit that likes chocolate? We'll just have to take it easy and see where it leads us." He makes sure to keep a little bit ahead of her at this point. Yes, he was going out of his way to try and shield her just a bit. In this case he was doing it by making himself the first possible target should trouble arise. "We can let the elder know on the way back. They'll want to know our findings anyway."
Tsukino frowned at the thought that someone might be hungry and not have the money to pay for food. She gripped the strap of that satchel again and adjusted it like it was important. She did not like the idea that a person couldn't pay for food. It was actually quite depressing for her. She noticed that Nobuo was keeping ahead of her as they moved deeper into the forest. She recognised the action as one a bodyguard might take and sighed softly. He was still upset about getting her hurt…
She didn't have long to think on this, however, as she spotted something leading into the woods. She took a few steps and tapped Nobuo on the shoulder, not wanting to make a lot of noise. "Nobuo-san look." She pointed the footprints out. "Definitely not a child… But maybe not the thief either.. What do you think?"
Nobuo stops to look at the imprints, crouching down to inspect them. Definitely not a child. The prints were made by someone larger than the two of them combined, it would seem. Probably not the case, but it was definitely someone with big feet and a lot of mass. The imprints are still soft, the vegetation still flattened. "These aren't very old," he says as he looks off into the forest around them. The prints go the same direction as the chocolate trail. "Let's follow them and see where they take us. Though, I suggest we maintain silence for now. Just in case." He stands again and looks around them. The forest wasn't the best place for him, but at least the trees here weren't too thick. He starts walking once more, following the footprints into the wood.
Tsukino bent down, hands resting on her knees as she watched him inspect the prints. She herself had little experience with such. There was little reason for her to learn how to hunt for example, because she had other duties. She could shoot a bow but she couldn't track. So she looked impressed when Nobuo declared the prints to be relatively fresh. She glanced at the forest and then back to the trail. She simply nodded to his suggestion that they remain silent at this stage. She agreed and it made a lot of sense.
~As the two walked into the wood, the prints would continue onward. It wouldn't be long before the smell of smoke would great them, and the sounds of someone singing jovially would accompany it. From the sounds of it, it was a rather large man with a very deep voice that was singing to himself. The man in question was big enough around the middle that about five Nobuo's could probably fit inside of him! And there's a definite chocolate face going on. Seriously, it's everywhere. The man is oblivious to the shinobi at the moment.~
Nobuo walks along, watching the prints as they move. When he smells smoke and hears singing he stops and looks at Tsukino. Well, at least they were on the right track for the prints. He approaches the source of the sound and smoke slowly, crouching down behind a bush to peer out at the small clearing where the large man sits singing to himself. He blinks at the mans chocolate covered face and makes a funny grossed out face in Tsukino's direction. Seriously, this guy was something else. He holds up one finger, points to himself, and then points to the man, signalling he will approach. Then he points to her and makes a circular motion, indicating he wants her to circle around the small clearing.
When he's sure she's understood the plan, he stands and shoves his hands into his pockets before walking out into the clearing as if he was just out for a stroll. He pauses and looks at the man curiously. "You've got a little something on your face there," he says. "Saving it for later?"
Tsukino smelled the fire before she heard the singing and instantly her head came up, alert. At the same time Nobuo noticed and they paused in unison. She crouched beside him as they looked out at the man sitting there with his chocolate-covered face. Tsukino looked wide-eyed and kind of grossed out by him. She covered her mouth just in time to keep silent when Nobuo made his funny face at her. She gave him a dark expression.. well she tried to, it came off as lightly scolding, but when he started using hand signals to give orders she sobered up quickly and nodded. Heading out the moment he set off as well, circling around behind the man as Nobuo simply walked right in and spoke to him.
~"Well hello there, young grasshopper!" the large man says with a jovial chuckle. At the mention of something on his face, he wipes a hand at it and then licks it clean. "Ahh! I wondered where that had gotten to!" A loud belch erupts from him as he pulls out another candy bar, unwraps it, and wolfs it down. Near him, actually he's sitting on them, are several sacks of beans that very clearly came from the stores in the village. "Have you come to tell me what a naughty boy I've been? If so, I should warn you, I'm very hungry!"~
Nobuo was even more grossed out now. His right eye started to twitch a bit when the man wiped the chocolate off only to lick his fingers. That was pretty disturbing. He spotted the bags the man was sitting on, though, and frowned. "It seems you are the one who's been taking food from the villages grain storage. It doesn't look like you need it, either. I was hoping this would be easy. Now it's turning out to be a pain," he says with a sigh. "I have to ask you to come back to the village with me, though. You need to return those goods and tell the elder you'll pay them back for taking their things."
The man's attention seemingly on Nobuo, Tsukino kept creeping to the side trying to gain a good vantage in case the man decided to argue with Nobuo, which, honestly, she expected there to be trouble. Thieves didn't usually go along with thier discoverers. She placed her feet carefully, watching for the random sticks and small bushes that made up the undergrowth around her while still trying to keep out of sight. When the thief wiped the chocolate off his face and licked his fingers she couldn't help making a disgusted expression. She managed to get behind the man as Nobuo was telling him he had to return to the village to return the stolen goods and crouched. That wasn't going to go over well, she was certain…
~The man laughs and shakes his head. "I think I'll pass on that. Glut takes what Glut wants," he says as he hoists his considerable girth up and looks at the young shinobi in front of him. "Did you really come out here all alone? I figured after Rage had a run in with a few of you it would make you only come out in force. Perhaps there are others nearby?" He glances around a moment and then shrugs. "Well, no matter. I'll dispose of you before I eat!" A huge gasp of air was sucked in and then exploded out with a whoosh, sending itself right at Nobuo!~
Well, that changed things. Nobuo winced at the mention of Rage, and the name of the man. So this was worse than it had seemed. They'd found someone who was a compatriot of the man they'd fought before. What luck they had! When the man stood, Nobuo didn't move except to draw his hands out of his pockets. When the man sucked in air, Nobuo formed several hand signs, and became clouded in a shield of shadow. The breath did nothing to him. "Why do people like you always take the hard way?" he asks as he takes a moment to focus his chakra.
Tsukino kept still as the man declared his name was Glut and that he took what he wanted. Then he mentioned Rage and she paused. This told her that there were more than just the two of them. How many was impossible to tell, butwhoever they were, they were confident in themselves and each other and that was not a great sign for the good guys. Considering Glut's size, Tsukino decided it might serve her to be higher than he was. So she moved, half climbing hlf walking up into a tree which put her at about 2 or 3 feet above Glut's head. She formed a seal and focused her chakra, preparing to use her seals to paralyze the guy. Unfortunately, on the way up, her free flowing hair had caught on a lower bush and snapped one of the small branches as she moved.
~"Aha!" Glut calls as he points to the very spot where Tsukino is! "I knew you weren't alone. Still only two. How disappointing." He rubs his tummy once or twice and then eyes the boy in front of him. Toxic breath was no good? Well, try something else. A few signs and he unleashes a genjutsu on the boy which will make him see his heart being ripped out and eaten, stunning him if its successful. If not, well, oh well. Then he looks at the girl in the tree. "Hiding in trees is a dangerous thing. If you fall down and bump your head I'm not going to kiss it better." He lifts his leg and slams it down like a sumo wrestler, sending a shockwave of eart towards the tree to hopefully rattle her out of it.~
Nobuo recognizes what's happening as soon as it begins. His hands fly through the signs as he tries to repule the move before it hits him! It's no use though, he's suddenly caught. His eyes go wide as Glut strides towards him and slams his fist into Nobuo's chest. The hand slides in, between ribs and grips his heart, squeasing it before he pulls it out, leaving a gaping hole in his chest. The real Nobuo falls to his knees, grabbing at his chest in shock as he watches the man start eating his still beating heart right before his eyes. Of course it isn't real, but he's caught in it, and it's eating him up.
Tsukino couldn't see whatever it was that the fat man had done to Nobuo but it was clear it was some kind of genjutsu. Not good not good! She narrowed her eyes at the man when he pointed her out in the tree. She needed to work on that stealth of hers..or maybe just tie her hair up when on missions. His stomp sent a shockwave through the ground and shook the tree she was in enough that she knew she was going to fall out. Rather than fall all the way to the ground, though, out came her scroll, unfurling about half way down. It was on that that she landed and then rolled off. Constantly in motion, she was already flashing through hand seals as she moved, gathering a seal in the palm of one hand as she ran past, trying to slap the large man with the seal and darting away. Then when she reached Nobuo on his knees she bit her lip hard and with a look of pain on her face.. slapped him as hard as she could.
~Glut laughed as she fell out of the tree. Then he watched as she ran towards him, and he focused his chakra to try and bounce her away from him with his gut, but it didn't work and the seal landed. Suddenly he found himself feeling a bit weak in the knees and he had to sit down upon the pile of goods again. "Now that's just not fun. Doesn't taste good either," he says as he watches the girl slap the boy. These two were troublesome. He tried to lift himself up, but he couldn't. Instead, he settled for trying to remove the seal for the moment.~
Slap! Nobuo's head spun a little bit and he yelped as the genjutsu was broken. "Ow," he says, rubbing his cheek and standing quickly. "Thanks, Tsukino-san," he says before he looks over at the big fellow now sitting on the pile of stolen goods again. "Got him with a seal? Very good." He nods in approval and then motions for her to get ready. "Let's try and capture this one. He might be able to tell us more about Rage." He makes several signs and his shadow reaches out towards the man, intent on grabbing him. More signs, regardless of success, will send a spike up towards the mans gluttonous gut. "Try and take him down now, Tsukino-san!"
Relief flooded Tsukino's system as she felt her palm land soundly on the man. Once she'd slapped Nobuo, her palm stinging even through her glove, she looked over to be certain she'd nailed the man with the paralasis. Seeing him sitting there on the stolen goods. She frowned at the comment but then turned quickly to Nobuo as he came out of the genjutsu he'd been under. She managed to keep her head, though and helped him up before she watched him start with his shadows. She nodded and turned, chewing on her lip. She drew a seal from one pocket and a tiny scroll from another and launched herself at him, trying to slap the stunning seal on his forehead before darting around behind him. Now, she carried a lot of things in scrolls, rope being one of them. She snapped the rope out and put the scroll into her mouth, hating to touch the man but even as he was held immobile she would bind his hands behind his back with the rope in anintricate and very tight knot. She made a face as she got half melted chocolate on her fingers. She was working on adrenaline at the moment… Honestly she wondered if they could physically handle the man all the way back to the village…
~"Hey, let me go!" the man says, squirming around as he gets caught, but then stops when he realizes it's no use. He didn't have the stamina to keep fighting anyway. Being of great girth had the downside of making you tire easily, and Nobuo had just drained a good deal of stamina from him as it was. This was not a good day for one of the Seven Deadly's. Rage would kick his butt if he managed to get out of this one some time down the road. If not, Sloth would sick Pride on him and that would be even worse!~
Once the man was under Nobuo's control, there was nothing left for him to do. The shadow stabbed him in the gut, draining some of his strength away along the way. While he's got the man held, Tsukino nabs him with a capture barrier, and then ties him up. Nobuo doesn't move so that he doesn't lose control of the man, just in case he somehow regained himself. "You're not going anywhere except to answer for your crimes, and then to the hands of the interrogators in Konoha," Nobuo says before he releases his jutsu with the man tied up. That was much better. He walks over to put his hand on Tsukino's shoulder before giving it a squeeze. "Well, now we can get some real information on Rage from one of his friends. Nice timing with things there, Tsukino-san. This plan worked much better."
Tsukino stepped back as Glut tried to struggle. Her bit of relief at taking him alive and without any serious wounds from the Uzumaki was short-lived when Nobuo mentioned the interrogators in Konoha. She had to take a breath and let it out slowly. She'd heard that Konoha's interrogations were more humane than anywhere else and she clung to that thought. The hand to her shoulder made her jump, though and she turned tolook at Nobuo, her eyes landing on the bright red mark on his cheek. For a second she looked pale and then simply looked away. "I'm sorry Nobuo-san…" She was less upbeat the entire trip to secure Glut, her seals pout and ready should he try to escape.
Nobuo frowns at her. "What's wrong?" he asks. Glut is groaning to himself so he doesn't pay much mind to the man, what with the barrier and the rope around him. He's not going anywhere. Sure enough it's not long before he's snoring loudly. How annoying. Still, something was bothering the Princess. He lifted his hand up to touch her cheek, trying to turn her back towards him so that she would see the expression of concern on his face, and so he could try and get an answer out of her. "Don't worry about him. He's out cold. What's wrong?"
Tsukino's expression took a momentary vacation into sweatdrop territory as Glut began to actually snore while bound. Was this creep for real? If the rest were like him… Nnnnno that would be too much to ask for. The hand to herr face made her blink and turn her head as desired. Her eyes went to his cheek againa nd she looked down instead. "I'm sorry I struck you. I.. I didn't know what to do. I'm not very good with genjutsu…" She hesitated and looked up at him worriedly, and not just for the mark on his cheek. "What happened?"
Nobuo smiled at what she said, shaking his head. "Don't be sorry. You saved me from being stuck in his genjutsu." He brushes his hand lightly against her cheek as he looks at her. When she asked what happened he did actually wince a bit. That was something he definitely didn't want to live over again. "He ripped my heart out and ate it." His other hand involuntarily lifts up to rub at his chest, just above his heart. There was something about seeing that happen that left a terrible stain on the mind. He would never think about his heart the same way again. "I'm fine. I swear it. Thank you for saving me."
Tsukino blinked at his smile, it seemed to herr a most inappropriate time to smile. She flushed as he brushed a hand over her cheek. He liked to do that. His wince made her imagine horrible terrible things hse'd heard the Uchiha did on thier bad days so it was actually a good thing he went on to explain what the genjutsu had showed him. His hand was met by her own as she rested her palm over where his heart lay and she looked even more upset for a short time. Her hand went up to rest against that mark on his face again, though. It was a simple act but the sadness and empathy in her eyes was unmistakable. She was mature enough to understand that she had done the right thing but still felt badly for the pain inflicted. She was more upset over the slap to Nobuo's face than she had been about taking a sword to the gut.
When she rested her hand over his, and put her other hand upon his cheek, Nobuo found himself suddenly at a loss for words. Things suddenly felt strange to him. For long moments he stood there looking at her. Just looking. Her sadness, the way she looked at him with downtrodden eyes bugged him. He felt bad that she felt bad for him. Why was that? Why did he always feel bad when things happened to her? He understood it, but he didn't understand it, and that bugged him more than anything. But all he could do was lean towards her, and move to kiss her lightly on her cheek, right at the corner of her mouth. He wasn't ready to go for the full thing yet, but he felt like he needed to do something, and this was the first thing that came to mind.
Tsukino seemed unaware of the kind of tension that developed from Nobuo. She could see something bothered him but couldn't place what it was. But when he leaned forward and kissed her cheek she froze, blushing darkly. She bit her lip and pulled her hands back, finally realizing just how that touch could have been taken. Oh Sage, she thought, now what? "I.. I .. N.Nobuo-san…" She backed up a little and fidgeted, taking a breath she shook her head, glancing at Glut warily. "We can't talk about this right now…" She hesitated, glancing around them then saying, "I…. It's not official and it's not being forced but my grandfather and Tobiramako-sama are trying to set me up with The Hokage." She hesitated. "I.. I'm not just going to let them arrange a marraige or soemthing but.. I.. I feel it would be dishonest to.. Not .. mention it…" She chewed on her lip again, she hated even talking about it but she didn't want to hurt Nobuo in any way….
Nobuo blinked at this revelation, but allowed her to pull away. This did complicate things. If he was sidling up on the Hokage's girl, he could very well get crushed in a half heartbeat. Or else he could be assigned to the worst task in the village or something. Oh well. Sometimes it can be worth it. "If it's not a done deal then it doesn't bother me. I think people should make their own decisions on such things. Unless you tell me to stop, then I won't." He shrugs and taps her lightly on the chin with his finger before he motions to the sleeping Glut. "Well, let's start dragging him. It's going to take forever to get back to Konoha now."