Date: August 15, 2014
Tsukino's first mission with Nobuo turns ugly
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Sins of the Fathers - Sin of Rage"
Bar in small village not far from Konoha
It's early morning and it's raining, but that isn't about to stop a mission from happening. When things happen, things happen. As it were, a curious individual had managed to make their way to the Land of Fire. Someone with an obviously large Chakra pool, but with no markings as belonging to any particular village. It's been deemed odd enough that a team is to be sent to investigate! Which is not unusual, but it's a team of all Chuunin, which is a bit unusual for a mission about spying.
At the gates to the city Nobuo waits. He's to be the mission lead despite being the youngest of his fellows. It's not abnormal for that to be the case, but considering he's not worked with either of the two before, it could be rather interesting. A lantern rests beside his feet, and he watches and waits, trying to stay out of the rain.
Tsukino had her hair pulled back in a thick crimson braid, made even darker, closer to the color of blood, by the rain. She didn't especially /like/ the rain but she was used to water. And this was to be her first mission for Konoha since her arrival in a kind of exchange program. Not much else is openly known about the girl. Yet anyway. She wore her usual outfit, a black and grey combination of zippered top, shorts and leggings. She looked around as she approached the gates, slightly nervous about the mission but wanting to do her best. On her forehead is the Hitai-ate from her home, Uzushiogakure rather than Konoha.
Spotting Nobuo by the gates she walked up to him. Though she was a chuunin, and technicly older, she ahd no problems working under the Leaf shinobi before her. She offered a smile and a bob of the head. "Hello Nobuo-san."
"Ahh, Tsukino-san. Good to see you again," Nobuo says, smiling at her as she approaches. He leans away from where he was standing and steps aside to offer her some space out of the rain. A quick glance indicates someone else approaching, but they only hand him a slip of paper, which he reads quickly before slipping it away. "Looks like it's just us. Should be some simple reconaissance so we should be fine." He gives her a thumbs up, then looks at the clouds for a moment. Definitely not going to stop anytime soon.
"We're a bit away from the target, so we'll have to run. Hope you don't mind getting soaked." He shrugs, grabs his lantern, and heads through the gate. When he's through, a small glance is afforded to her to make sure she's following and ready, then he sets off at a run, moving swiftly down the forest path away from the village.
Tsukino stepped under the cover when he offered with a small smile. "And you." When the message was delivered that the third person would not be joining them Tsukino chewed on her lip a little. But then Nobuo did not seem worried. Just recon. No big deal. She nodded and tried to push her nerves down. "No, I don't mind getting wet." She stretched a bit as he explained they were a ways from thier target but nodded. She could run, no problem. She wasn't the best at taijutsu but she wasn't horrible either. So as he headed out of the gates she dropped into line with him and with a nod took off running right on his heels. "So what exactly are we concerned about? Is it possible the target is a part of that.. Silence group?" She did a pretty good job of keeping her tone easy but she was nervous about that group in particular.
"Unknown," Nobuo says as they move along. "There is no record of this individual within the village, but the Chakra presence is strong. Too strong for it not to be a trained shinobi." He turns down another path and they continue on. Running is not hard for him, but it sure is annoyingly boring. He would much rather sit at home and be lazy than run all over the Land of Fire. "The danger level is high, but at the same time he has presented himself as non-threat. We shall proceed with caution and watch from a distance." Their target is at one of the outlying villages, currently schmoozing it up in a sake bar, but not causing any trouble. It won't take them too long to find him if they maintain their pace.
Tsukino nodded silently as she heard Nobuo's answer. It was unknown if he was part of the Silence. It was possible, of course, and just because this person had not caused any trouble didn't meana nything. The Silence had said they would wait a time to give the villages a chance to comply, so the fact that this person was /not/ causing trouble could mean he was simply waiting for a strike. Tsukino sighed softly. She hoped she would not run into one of them anytime soon. If ever.
"I'm not the best spy but I can remove my hitai-ate and get close to him if you think that would help. I'm a seal user." She felt that he should know the basics about her abilities, after allit was hard to create a strategy when you didnt know what cards you held. To her credit she was keeping up just fine with him.
What she said could be extremely useful. It was best if you knew the abilities of your allies. "That would work, but I don't want you interacting with him. Just move near to him so you can keep a close watch and overhear anything he says." It was a pretty good plan considering he would be rather obvious if he was trying to sit near the guy and eaves drop. That just wouldn't work at all.
When they drew near to the village, he slowed down and eventually was just walking instead of running. "I will let you go ahead of me so he doesn't associate us with each other. I will enter after a time, but I will stick to the opposite side of the place from him. If anything goes wrong, get to me as quick as you can. I am most useful in places with light." Speaking of which, he douses his lantern and sets it behind a bush. "I'll get it later."
As he slowed to a walk and then paused Tsukino nodded a bit. She reached up and pulled her Hitai-ate off her head. She glanced at Nobuo and watched him hide his lantern and since she didn't want to be caught with her hitai-ate on her in the tavern, she wrapped it up and tucked it in with the lantern. "Get close but don't interact.. Alright." She wasn't trained as a spy after all, so perhaps he would figure her out right away anyway. She reached up and ruffled her hair a bit to make it look less groomed and nodded to him once. Then she headed off on her own. The village was small and simply laid out so the tavern wasn't hard to find. She stepped under the awning and wrung out her braid a bit before walking into the place. She spotted a man matching the description in the briefing and made her way up to the bar near where he was sitting. She took a seat and did her best to look like she'd been caught in the rain. When the tender came to her she asked for hot sake, reaching into her pocket for some coins.'
~The man in question was not overly large, wearing a long kimono, with a large sword at his waist. He sat in his seat in one of the booths. Across from him was an attractive young woman who was giggling to herself at something the man had said. When Tsukino entered, he looked up at her, taking note of her attractiveness, but he didn't let his gaze linger. He focused back on the girl before him. "So what's a pretty thing like you do around here, sugar? I'm sure you can tell me a lot about this land." It seemed casual conversation by someone unfamiliar with the territory. Nothing special. Yet.~
Nobuo stood on the outskirts of the village, waiting within the shadows of a building. He would allow ample time for her to settle in. If he moved in too quick, it could be suspicious. If he moved in too slow, Tsukino could wind up in danger. He bided his time, waiting patiently while he twiddled his thumbs because he wasn't very good at being patient. Eventually he started pacing back and forth, and then decided he couldn't take it anymore and so started his way into the village. He could make his way to the bar at a slow clip and then enter after giving her enough time to get settled. That would work.
Tsukino was aware of having caught the man's eye for a moment but then he returned his attention to the woman in the booth with him. He seemed to be asking her questions about the area. Interesting. But not a big deal in itself. The tender brought her the hot sake and she sipped at it as if warming abck up from the rain. The target wasn't the only one to notice her when she'd come in, though and she found a man suddenly beside her. She made certain to pay the bar tender before looking down at her cup intently. Hopefully the guy beside her would get the hint. Meanwhile, she pricked her ears to listen to the woman and the man speaking, also trying to be aware of the door for whenever Nobuo deemed it safe to enter.
~"Ahh, so this is where the leaf Shinobi reside then?" the man says in response to something from the girl. "That makes sense. I shall have to visit their village and see it for myself." He pauses to drink some of his sake. Tsukino would notice that the man was actually using jutsu at the moment. Something would seem off about him, the way he sat there. One might wonder if it's really him or not. He doesn't pay any further attention to Tsukino, or seem to. Besides she's got this other guy sitting next to her now. That one offers to buy her a drink and asks why such a pretty girl is in a sake bar alone.~
Nobuo walks slowly, nodding his head to a few people he passes. Some of them smile and nod in return, but the weather is dreary and most of those out now are already too drunk to recognize that a Leaf Chuunin is walking amongst them. He approaches the sake bar, and stands outside, listening briefly. There's no sound of anything wrong, so he stuffs his hands into his pockets and walks inside. A quick yawn and he heads over to an empty booth near the door, nodding to a serving girl that he could do with a good drink. He looks the part of a thoroughly drenched shinobi.
Tsukino heard the man say he was going to check out Konoha for himself. To cover any reaction hse sipped at her sake. Only for the guy beside her to start flirting. Tsukino was oblivious to it at first and simply smiled a bit and answered quietly that she was just passing through. "I got cold in the rain and thought a drink would be good." She shook her head and indicated the sake she'd already purchased. "I have a drink thank you, though." Another smile and she glanced away just in time to see Nobuo enter the bar. She turned her eyes back to the target briefly and then faced front. Something was.. odd about him… He must have been using a jutsu of some kind but she couldn't be certain what. Perhaps genjutsu, she thought. She looked for any indication of seals as well, then once more turned to her sake, pouring a second cup as she tried to think out what the man was doing.
~The man nods at what the girl across from him says. "I see. Very interesting indeed. Tell me, who is the Hokage these days? Is it someone powerful or did someone just inherit the role?" Now that was a more curious question, wasn't it? Of course, the man talking to the girl isn't real at all, but a Genjutsu that's been placed over the entire bar. Tsukino is able to see through it, while Nobuo just happens to notice that there's a genjutsu at work. For Tsukino, she will quickly realize that the source of the genjutsu is sitting right beside her. "Oh come now. Surely you'll let a handsome guy buy you a drink?" The man doesn't seem to notice Nobuo's presence, but is that really true?~
When his sake arrives, Nobuo quickly downs it. He probably shouldn't be drinking it at all, but he's sort of trained himself a little bit to counter act the drink. In response, he pulls a small vial of water from within his jacket and downs it. Needless to say, it at least warms him up. There is definitely something strange going on. He's able to recognize that their target is, in fact, a genjutsu. That said, he casually surveys the bar, trying to find the source of the Genjutsu while trying not to be so obvious about it. He tries to disguise it as cracking his neck.
Tsukino blinked a few times as it clicked that the man int he booth wasn't even real. And the source.. She turned to the man beside her offering her a drink and laughed lightly as if at herself. Her foot dropped a bit on the leg of the stool, wrapping around the leg like a nervous girl might, but Nobuo might notice her toes were pointing directly at the guy offering her a drink. It was a small hint but all she could think to manage in the situation.
She looked at the man beside her and seemed to hesitate, biting her lip a little then … seeming to come to a descision she finally nodded. "Alright, sure. Thank you." Blue eyes smiled up at him. "My name's Tsu, what's yours?"
~It is clear that the man beside her is the source of the jutsu, but is that even true? He might be the chakra source, but is he the one actually casting it? She isn't able to pick up on whether that's the case or not, but she does get an odd feeling that something is wrong. Nobuo noticed the toes, but he didn't really catch anything else. His eyes quickly focused on the man beside Tsukino rather than the genjutsu creature that was conversing with the girl. Beside Tsukino, another man appears, reaching to grab for her hair with quick action, attempting to catch her while she's too focused to understand the ploy.~
Nobuo isn't sure what to make of this. The guy was using genjutsu to get information from the girl, while he was hitting on Tsukino? Maybe they were reading this whole situation wrong. He focused on her, and noted her toes, and that's how he'd known that the man beside Tsukino was the right one. Or was it, as he started to wave for another drink, something felt wrong. And then there was another man right beside Tsukino and reaching for her. He started to move, lifting his hands up, but he knew he wouldn't be able to stop the man. Still, he made several signs and his shadow started to move, reaching out in an effort to grab the man attacking Tsukino.
Tsukino did notice the second man suddenly appearing beside her, and turned to glance at him as if just noticing he was there. When she looked abck to the first man offering her the drink she spotted the second man's hand snapping out at her. Shedid not fight back, though. There was a slight tense in her back, but she let the man get a grip on her hair as if she were any normal girl in a bar. She let out a little gasp and her hands went up to her hair, one hand on her braid, one ont he man's wrist and she made her eyes large as if afraid. "Wh..what are you doing?!" Her foot kicked out as if offbalance and ended up kicking over the stool she was on, which strategicly put her on her feet. She winced at the grip he had but she'd had worse. "You're hurting me.. Let go!"
~The clone, for that's what it was, pulled her head backwards. The snaking shadow that moved across the floor reached its target, and the clone disappeared with a loud pop. The first man she'd been talking to was the real one after all? Maybe. Maybe not. That one however, snapped its hand out towards her, intent on grabbing her around the neck and throwing her across the room, right at Nobuo. "Leaf shinobi… You're too obvious," he says, snarling just a bit. "I am Rage. Your lives are forfeit."~
Tsukino felt her head get yanked back and winced, but then she was released as Nobuo destroyed the clone. She didn't have much time to be thankful, though. She turned to the first man and saw his hand snapping at her. Without thinking hse pulled a tag from her belt and tried to throw up a barrier to protect herself, but his hand shattered the ill-formed chakra and she felt his hand close about her throat. She grit her teeth as he lifted her off the ground, his grip like steel. She opened her mouth to refute his accusation she was a leaf shinobi only to find herself being thrown straight at Nobuo. She threw a scroll behind her, hardening it with handseals and 'braced. Her left side slammed into the scroll, stopping her from hitting Nobuo at leaast. She winced at the pain, knowing she was going to be bruised, but then stepped forward, a tag in her hand and chakra flowing through it. She tried to land it on the man's chest and if it did hit hopefully it would encapsulate him in a solid formation of chakra and hold him in place… Either long enough for them to escape or long enough to incapacitate. She winced at the thought but the situation was going too fast to think on it
Oh fury. This just went to hell in a hand basket and they were only supposed to watch the guy. "Temper," is all Nobuo says as he stands and starts to focus some of his energy into a well of usable chakra. How the guy had known who Tsukino was he didn't know. Perhaps he was able to read a persons chakra potential? If that was the case, they were probably in trouble as soon as, or before, they arrived at the village. This was not a good situation for them at all, but he would make sure they got out of it alive. Tsukino was sent flying at him, but in his focus he was unable to defend himself, tensing in preparation for the hit. But she stopped herself with a scroll and he sighed in relief. "Tsukino-san, form up."
~Rage, as he claimed to be called, smirked as she slammed into her device, stopping her from slamming into the leaf shinobi behind her. Skillful, but she'd still been injured. He cracked his neck as she moved towards him, and then unleashed a burst of Chakra to force her away from him, but it wasn't strong enough to send her flying. It just kept the tag from landing on him. "You have no way to fight Rage!" In a flurry of motion, a blade was drawn and it sliced swiftly at Tsukino's middle before he darted past the girl, aiming to run Nobuo through with the blade. He was quick. Really quick.~
Tsukino felt the chakra surge enough to keep the tag off him and knew immediately that she was in trouble. She should never have attacked him. She should have waited. Waited for orders! But it was too late for that. She was half way through the basic technique to replace herself with one of the chairs nearby when his blade sliced through the chair and bit into her stomach. She let out a cry and stumbled backwards, a gloved hand pressing against the injury as Rage moved past her and after Nobuo. She caught herself with her othe rhand against a table and gathered her chakra, looking around for any other dangers that might have come to light.
The man slices at Tsukino, cutting her down the middle. "Tsukino-san!" Nobuo cries out, but he doesn't have time to help her as Rage comes after him next. Finger fly through the motions, and shadow envelopes him, warding off the attempt to impale him. A few more attempts at seals and his shadow stretches towards the nearby mans, trying to grasp him. He sincerely hopes for success, because it's time for them to leave before they get killed by this one. "Tsukino-san… run!"
~Rage just grins when his blade fails to slide into the obvious shinobi's guts. So, this one might be a little tougher than the little girl. Still, he's not good enough to catch Rage with his shadow, as the man dances away from each attempt, laughing. "Foolish shinobi. You are so weak compared to me." He lifts his blade from a distance, drawing chakra into him and flowing it into the blade, and then slashes at the two of them, chakra flying at each in an attempt to cut them open.~
Tsukino looked up as Nobuo managed to avoid the strike, thankfully. But this wasn't the time for relief. They were in trouble and she knew it. She wasn't positive about the Nara's capability but when Rage avoided all three of Nobuo's attacks she knew they would have to stun or stop him to get away. She hesitated as she got back to her feet. But then he laughed at them andcalled them foolish. Well, perhaps she had been foolish, but his saying that lit a flame in her chest and she flew through seals as she opened her hand, a tag floating in midair before expanding into a shield. It was strong enough this time and repelled the energy meant to cut her. She didn't let it stay there, though. The chakra shattered as she moved through it, her hands already forming the proper seals. A specific seal glowed on her palm and for just a moment hse looked intent on her attack, on harming Rage. She tried to simply toch him, tried to land that seal on him that would paralyze and drain him.
Nobuo grimaced as he failed to stop the guy. This guy was much too tough for them. They hadn't landed anything yet. They weren't hurting him, but he was hurting them. Mostly Tsukino, which angered the spleen out of the young Nara. He was going to have to beat himself up for this later. Again came an attack, one that looked especially powerful, but quick handsigns and he was covered in shadow again, protected. Tsukino managed to save herself as well. This was good. As she moved to attack, he attempted to use her actions, judging where his opponent would go if he dodged, and unleashed his shadow in an effort to catch the man.
~The chakra storm that emits from Rage as the girl draws near is strong enough to push her a few feet backwards. While Nobuo guessed correctly that he would use that defense, Rage was prepared and stepped out of the way of the attack, avoiding any harm altogether. "Such fools. You really should run," he says, laughing before he makes several signs. "Rage blade storm!" The blade leaps from his hand and begins spinning so violently it looks as if a tornado has touched down. It spins at Tsukino and then at Nobuo, aiming to slice them up viciously.~
Tsukino frowned as she missed landing that seal on Rage. It would have allowed them to escape. It would have even given them plenty of time to get away. But then he retaliated and she was shown just how pathetic her seals really were. As the sword flew at her, shattering her barrier and cutting into her she stumbled backwards several paces, falling against a table. She had let out a cry at the pain and needed several seconds to get her breath back as the blood dripped from her wounds. The girl took only two long breaths before she turned to look at thier opponent again. The man was too strong for her.. But she could try just one… more… time.
She launched herself at him, her eyes wilder than before, pushed past a point where she would normally have tried to surrender. Yes, she had taken most of the wounds but she also might hold the key to thier escape and she wasn't going to let Nobuo get hurt for her sake. Anything but that. Not again! She leapt forward as Rage looked at Nobuo hoping to take advantage of the opening, trying to ignore the pain and slam her palm against the man, looking to once more paralyze him, drain him.. Make way for thier escape. But she didn;t stop to see if it hit, she just kept running for the door as if the tap of her hand was accidental. She hoped to get to the door before he could attack again. She was the liability right now and she hated it.
Seals. Shadows. The blade was stopped. Nobuo's attacks may not be as quick as they should be, but his jutsu is strong. Strong enough to stop the attacks of Rage. Strong enough to save him, but not to save Tsukino. She was bleeding profusely. This was not good. And then she did something crazy. She stood up, and she moved again, aiming to rush the guy headlong once more. "Tsukino-chan! NO!" Maybe a little slip in what he called her there, but under the circumstances he wasn't paying much attention to that. Fear had gripped him.
But in that fear he found resolve, and speed. His chakra pool was waning. This needed to end now. If it didn't, well, Tsukino might die, and he would have to explain how he let that happen. How he'd lost a comrade. That wasn't acceptable. His jutsu's were slow. There was only one way to stop this. Kunai appeared in his hands, and he flung them at every light source in the room. As they flew, two smoke bombs joined them, flying at the man called Rage. They needed to get out. He had to save Tsukino.
~Rage just smiled as the girl was slashed up. So easy. The boy managed to avoid his attacks again, which was annoying, but oh well. He was still enjoying himself. Then the girl launched herself at him, and the boy threw a couple of smoke bombs in his direction while also blotting out the lights. Darkness, smoke, and then a seal. He was stunned. Both literally and mentally. She's finally actually gotten to him. And he couldn't move! No, how could that be! He seethed, but he could see nothing in the darkness!~
Tsukino felt her palm connect with Rage's arm jsut as Nobuo put out the lights — much to the bar's owner's dismay. Shouts were heard everywhere then as chaos broke out in the tavern and Tsukino pushed herself past her limits, running. She tapped Nobuo on the arm a she came near, so he could tell where she was and then shot out the door, into the mud and the rain and the morning light. She kept running, straight into the forest, to the place where they'd left the lantern and her hitai-ate. She was panting as she dropped behind the bush, pale but still alive, cut up, yes, in pain, but alive. She grabbed her hitai-ate and the lantern, before heading toward a tree. Unless stopped she would end up int he trees, ready to move in that way so as to avoid leaving footprints in the mud, moving on adrenaline
It worked. Somehow, it worked. Tsukino connected as the smoke bombs went off and the lights went out. Then she was moving. When she tapped his arm, he turned and ran behind her, following her out of the building and out of the village altogether. She grabbed their things and took to the trees. Though it would leave less impression, her blood loss could lead Rage right to them if he tried to follow. He caught up to her swiftly, and slipped his arms around her in midstride, lifting her and running onward at the same time. She was injured enough as it was. No sense in allowing her to injure herself further. In this he was determined and focused. He had failed her enough as it was. Instead of speaking, he focused on running swiftly through the trees, back towards Konoha.
Tsukino heard Nobuo behind her and then felt arms catch her up as he lifted her. She blushed. How embarassing was this? She had failed on her first mission for Konoha and to make it worse she was being carried back. But she kept her head down and simply held onto the items as Nobuo carried her, admittedly faster than she had been moving. She kept an eye out behind them to be sure no one was following. The rain made her blood less noticeable, and stung like a beast, but she simply bit her lip to keep quiet, glancing up at Nobuo as he carried her toward home. Finally about half way she spoke softly. "I'm sorry. Thank you…"
"No," Nobuo would say when she said she was sorry. He didn't look at her, focusing on his running. She needed medical attention and he was going to get her back there as quickly as he could. "I am sorry. I was the leader of this mission and I failed to protect you. For that, I apologize. It won't happen again." There's a quiet resolve on the young mans face. This has shaken him. The easy-going and fun-loving Nara was now angry at himself and at Rage. He carried her without complaint, and he didn't notice her blush. They drew nearer to the village. When they did, a couple of ANBU appeared and formed around them, seeing the injured shinobi. They would have nothing more to fear from Rage for the time being. He wasn't following them anyway.
Tsukino blinked as she heard Nobuo's tone and his words. She opened her mouth to disagree with him but saw the expression on his face. He was serious. He really did feel responsible and unfortunately that was a feelling she knew far too well herself. She lowered her eyes and bit her lip to keep silent again. When the ANBU formed around them, she had been looking down so she tensed up when she saw the motion around them, her hands comming up as if to defend. It took her a moment to realize who they were and then she blushed even more. "It's not your fault, Nobuo-san." She meant it too. She even reached her hand up to rest on his chest lightly. Then she turned her attention to the ANBU around them. They might not have successfully finished the mission but they were alive at least. Tsukino rested her hand across her stomach, putting pressure on the wound there in a vain effort to stop the pain.
Nobuo darted into the village, the Anbu falling back once they were safe. He moved to the rooftops, swiftly ascending and running from one to the next. The hospital rose in the distance. He ran with determination, and lept down before the building, darting within and catching the attention of the medical ninja within the anteroom almost immediately. They were swift, moving to take her from him. He was reluctant to let go, his responsibility for her not yet releasing itself. But eventually he did, with the promise that he could wait around to see that she was fine when they were through with her. It was enough, he supposed. He sat down, bobbing a leg in frustration, prepared to wait it out. Sometimes waiting was a war of its own.