Date: January 26, 2015
Eremi assigned to a team with Atsuro and Kenta, has been tasked with tracking down kidnapped Konoha shinobi and bringing them home safely and leaves a parting gift as a sign of what happens when you mess with Konoha.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Smoke extinguished with Fire"
Southwest Land of Fire, village of Moyagakure
Your log goes here. It wasn't long after being cleared of his probationary status that Eremi was quick to pester the Hokage for more responsibilities that would allow the former missing-nin of Konohagakure to show just where his loyalties lie. The task given to prove such however, was not going to be an easy one and because of such came with stipulations. As such, Eremi would not be doing this assignment on his own, nor is he allowed to pick those that will help him. They had already been chosen; Atsuro and Kenta.
Both were exceptionally skilled in their own rights, one the right hand man of the Hokage and the other constantly proving themselves as an irreplaceable asset to Konohagakure. It is because of this that they were to 'escort' Eremi on this mission. The details of such being relayed to both days prior. Allowing both ample time to prepare for not only a long journey, but the difficult path that awaited them.
The mission was to find Moyagakure. A village whose location is currently unknown, but suspected to be hidden some where toward the South east within the Land of Fire. It is there where information has led Konohagakure officials to believe that either the village as a whole or shinobi acting on their own have managed to capture a team of Leaf Shinobi. A Chuunin and two Genin. One of the Genin had managed to escape briefly and relayed the details of the assailants upon thier return. The most identify mark was the hitai-ite. A squiggly, wavy line that signifies haze or smoke.
The objective was to return the Leaf Shinobi at all costs, how this was to be accomplished was left in the hands of Eremi.
After gathering what was needed, Eremi approached the gates where the trio were to meet before heading off. His normal attire had been replaced with that of all black clothing; pants, boots, shirt and fingerless gloves made up his outfit covered by a long cloak to help protect against the elements. The only articles with color was his own hitai-ate strapped to his head and a silver necklace with a crescent moon dangling over his chest. Even the shackles that had been a symbol of his return to Konohagakure had been removed. Infiltration and espionage was the key in this assignment. Large and clunky items would not be taken along.
Moving toward the gates, his feet would crunch against the thin layer of snow that had fallen the night before and was now starting to slowly melt with the rise of the morning sun. Soft, emerald eyes would look about the area briefly in curiousity if he was the first to arrive. He would not be surprised to find Atsuro or Kenta waiting for him, having already prepared and ready to head off.
"Wow." Atsuro and Taizen drop down from the top of a nearby building. This being an stealth mission, Atsuro is also wearing dark clothes: a black tactical turtleneck and dark grey pants. Taizen is already black, so he has nothing to worry about. "Your very first mission as a tokubetsu," Atsuro continues, "I think." He looks Eremi up and down, "You seem to be taking it pretty seriously, in any case. "Hello, Eremi," says Taizen. Atsuro folds his arms and leans against a nearby wall. "So, I get the basic idea of the mission. But how do you plan to do it?"
Kenta's usually the first one to arrive at a location, but that's not the case today. His short form is seeing jogging towards the gate about a second after the group started to gather there. The young medic-nin had never been on an infiltration and retrieval mission, so he tried to make extra preparations for it. He's dressed like he normally does for the most part; altered Chuunin vest, thermal pants and shirt, a backpack, waist pouches and a medical pouch at the small of his back. Unlike the other three, his profession makes carrying some clunkier items mandatory. On the other hand, Kenta's clothing has some difference compared to what he normally wears. The scarf that he's wearing around his neck is of thicker, sturdier wool than his kitten print. It's two toned, woven to be black on one side and white on the other. He also has a warm winter cloak on, also black on one side and white on the other. Snow or night, he's ready to blend in. "I hope that I'm not late!" Kenta calls out as he approaches.
Catching sight of Atsuro and Taizen, Eremi would offer a nod, but ignore the comments made. The greeting however would receive one in return. "Good morning." His exhale of breath would be seen against the cold air. "Let's wait for Kenta to arrive before discussing business." A statement made only moments before the medic appears. "As long as you are here, then that's all that matter." A look given to the other, an inspection of sorts of what Kenta had to bring. More than enough supplies, but luck typically favors the prepared.
"So to answer Atsuro's question, I plan on relying on each of our individual talents and specialties in accomplishing this mission. The first part relies on actually finding the village and for that we'll be using you, Atsuro, as well as Taizen. Your tracking skills are matched by few others within the village. Once we get to the village, well, that depends on what happens once we are there. So many different paths will appear before us it is hard to say what I will do right now at this moment."
A look would be given between the two to see how they respond to his reply. "If there are no other questions though, we should be heading off to use as much of the days light as we can before setting up camp."
"Ooh, Kenta," Atsuro says, fanning himself, "Oh my. I've never seen you like this before." He glances over to Eremi. "Oh," he adds, "You look good too. The black is very slimming." He grins, then he and Taizen settle down to listen to what Eremi has to say about the mission. He nods slightly as Eremi mentions him and Taizen. "I don't really have any problems, exactly, but I'm wondering what, exactly, we're supposed to do to find the village. I mean, Tai and I can smell it, but we need something to smell for, and we need to know roughly where we should be smelling. Do you have an article of clothing from the captured ninja or something?"
Kenta skids to a stop and bows to everyone else at the gate. "I was worried that I was late for sure. What a relief!" he says and blows out a misty breath. Atsuro's comments make him blink in puzzlement a few times. "Ummm… I hope that doesn't mean that my clothing's inappropriate. I don't really know what to wear on this type of mission…" The young medic-nin self-consciously tugs at the edge of his cloak and reaches up to rub at the back of his neck. Then, he sucks in a deep breath and blows it out again in another puff of fog. "I guess that I'm going to be medical support in case the captured individuals are injured? I'm ready for duty whenever we need to head out."
Eremi shook his head, "No, no article of clothing, but Moyagakure is supposedly the village hidden in smoke. Often called Kemurigakure. Hopefully that has to do with their abilities or the village itself. If you smell a strong smell of smoke, chakra or old, lingering smoke. We may be close." He'd shrug, "Other than that, we've got nothing to go on. There's no dead line on when we have to accomplish this task, but just reaching the south eastern edge of the Land of Fire is a couple days and if we spend a few days searching that's almost a week right there. If we don't come upon any trails we'll have to consider the mission a failure. I'd rather it not come to that, but wasting time isn't helping anyone either." Glancing toward, Kenta, Eremi would give a slight nod, "Chances are high they are injured, so while we may need you to perform other duties…Yes, your main objective will be to supply aid to the captured Leaf Shinobi.
"No," Atsuro says to Kenta, "Just the opposite." He shakes his head. "Nevermind. Don't worry about it." He looks back to Eremi. That's a plan, but it's not a very detailed one. Darn normies, thinking all smoke smells the same. "We'll see what we can do," Atsuro says, "I suppose it isn't like it's forest fire season or anything. Otherwise I'd tell you to try again." He nods. "Anyway, that kind of searching is pretty time consuming. I'd recommend that we get a move on real quick. We're ready to go if you guys are."
Kenta nods his head in understanding. "I'll do my best, whatever needs to be done," he states somberly. The young medic-nin shrugs to settle the pack more comfortably on his shoulder and lifts the hood of his cloak to cover his head. Since he's wearing the white side out now, it makes him look distinctly white and ghostly. "I didn't pack much food, but there's enough energy bars and traveling rations in my pack to last us for the entire trip. Ummm… at least if we don't overeat." Kenta falls in next to Taizen as he waits for the group to head out.
Eremi would squint his eyes at Atsuro as the Inuzuka suggests heading out. Something Eremi had been trying to do since the team had formed. "Yes…Well, let's head out. We shouldn't expect an ambush so there's no need to take up any kind of formation. At least not until miles within the south eastern tip." Shifting about, facing the direction the group would be going. "As for how to find the village, if either of you have a better idea please do not hesitate in sharing. The success of this mission can potentially save three Konoha shinobi lives."
"We'll be careful how much we eat," Taizen promises. "And we have some rations too," Atsuro adds, "Just not the special mednin-formulated kind." Atsuro gives Eremi a little grin in return to that look, then he and Taizen start to form up and follow after Eremi. "Not exactly," says Atsuro, "I didn't say it was a /bad/ plan. Just that it could take a while. If you knew exactly where the team was when they got captured, it could help us out — we might even catch their scent and just follow it right to the village." He shrugs. "Anyway, you're in charge — you know more of the details than we do."
"I'm not very experienced as a scout," Kenta says in an apologetic voice. He spreads his hands to the side and shrugs his shoulders slightly. The young medic-nin drops his arms almost immediately to allow his cloak to cover him fully again. It's wickedly chilly with air getting through the gaps. "Ummm… I can take over a bird and search from the air every so often. That might help, but only if the village is above ground or visible in some other way. Otherwise, I'm not going to be any use for any scouting tasks at all. I'll just follow your leads."
With the group finally ready to head out on a mission that offered very little information, Eremi took off from the village gates and lead them toward the south eastern tip of the Land of Fire. At first the rate of travel would be slow as they moved through the forests. The snow covered ground and trees hindering movement as a misstep, while not deadly, could potentially be costly. Though as time passed and the sun continued to rise on the clear, winter day, the previously frozen snow had started to melt.
As the snow turned to slush and began to dissipate completely, the pace would quicken. A jog at best so even the medic would find little difficulty in moving with the many supplies brought along. Eventually, the light of the sun would start to fade and Eremi would find a point to stop so the group could rest and set up camp for the night.
When the new day came the group would once again head out and any questions or concerns would be discussed on the way. The traveling would be the same as the previous day with as much ground covered as the light of the day would allow. When the light of the second day started to disappear, Eremi would pause to turn to the others.
"We are now within a couple miles of where Moyagakure is eluded to be. We can either start tracking at night or set up camp and wait for the new day. Unfortunately though, from here on out things will be slightly different. We can't expect not to be ambushed so close to what may be enemy territory."
Even in the low-risk territory, Atsuro and Taizen are continually smelling the area around the group, just in case there's an ambush. Even if there aren't Smoke nin in the area, there's still the possibility of missing-nin or common bandits lurking about. As far as travelling goes, the two of them are more or less indefatigable, and they make no complaint as they continue on through good ground or bad. When Eremi stops to offer the choice, Atsuro thinks for a moment. "Well, it depends," he says after a few seconds, "How do we plan to approach the village once we've found it? If we're going to kick the gates in and beat our way to the captured ninja, then we should go in the day to avoid any ambushes or traps. If we're planning to sneak in, we should go at night — easier to slip by patrols and all that." He shrugs, "That's my assessment anyway."
The increased warmth means that Kenta had taken off his cloak sometime during the traveling. It's bundled up neatly in his backpack, where it takes up the space once held by some traveling rations that the group had already eaten. He adjusts the straps of his backpack again and nods at Eremi when he hears the mission leader's assessment. "We still need to find the place first, Atsuro-senpai," Kenta points out. "It's going to be harder to track at night and we might walk into sentries that could be noticed in better lighting. Maybe it'll be a good idea to get some rest first. That way, we'll be less likely to make mistakes. Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai aren't as hampered by the darkness, but the rest of us are. Ummm… If you do have to scout in the dark, maybe I can find an owl or something. They can see in the dark… But once we find the place, we'll have a better idea how to approach it."
"Well, that's the thing. We don't know if the village is behind this or just a few shinobi. If we could find some patrols to interrogate, we could learn a bit more, but otherwise, we're going in dark. At night or during the day…" Eremi bit at his lower lip while he tried to think of the best possible solution to this. The problem was whatever he decided on could be the right one or the wrong one. The challenges of leadership.
"To reiterate, if we were to track during the night we run the risk of being ambushed in enemy territory. Atsuro and Taizen could potentially locate them before we're surprised, however…" Glancing toward Kenta, "We could also just rest for the night and start fresh in the morning. With day light the chance of all of us being surprised lessens. Find a patrol or happen upon the village itself…"
Turning about, he'd peer off into the distance. "Then there's always just finding an owl, catching it and letting Kenta take it over. How easy is that during the winter?" He'd shrug, not honestly knowing the answer. "To be honest, I want to go in to the village without raising any alarms. If word spreads Konoha shinobi are muddling about, they can kill the prisoners."
"I suppose that's true," says Atsuro, "I /do/ live in a sort of heightened reality. If we don't think we can move safely at night, then that leaves only the day." He shrugs, "Simple as that, really." He looks over to Eremi. "Finding a patrol is a good idea," he says, "Potentially, we can figure out the location of the village and who might have out ninja. And we could steal their forehead protectors." He glances to Kenta. "That's a good idea," he says, "Go up high to see if you can spot anyone, then we'll go there and Tai and I can see about finding their scent and following them?"
"There are winter owls, but finding any birds in this season is going to be harder. At least it's warmer in this part of the country than up north, so we'll have a better chance. Ummm… I guess it -will- take extra effort though, but the advantage can be pretty big too," Kenta says, going through his thoughts aloud. The young medic-nin glances towards Eremi. "Hokage-sama put you in charge of this mission, Eremi-san. It's really your call. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. My preference is to rest first, but I'm the least experienced member of this team, so I think my voice should have the least weight too."
Eremi took in what the pair had to offer and went over it all in his head. Choices…He hated them. A clear cut path is what he liked, but when you're leading a team it's not one of the options you get. "Well, Kenta says we should rest. So that's what we'll do." Turning back around to face them both. "Despite Kenta's doubts about himself, a team is only as strong as its weakest link. So rest we shall and in the morning we'll start the search for the village, a patrol or even a bird…"
Atsuro nods in agreement with Kenta. "You're the leader, dude. We can give you our opinions, but the deciding is up to you. I mean, /technically/, I could force you to make a particular decision…" He pauses and his expression becomes exaggeratedly thoughtful, "…but I won't. Besides, it's not like I'm going to complain about an opportunity to rest. And it gives you more time to think about exactly how to approach Moyagakure, if you think you need it. And who knows how much rest we'll get once we're actually infiltrating. Not like we'll be able to take a nap when we're inside an enemy hidden village." He pauses and looks around, "So, we're stopping right here then?"
Kenta nods his head seriously. "Those are all good points, Atsuro-senpai and Eremi-san." He reaches backwards to give his backpack a gentle pat. "I think it's time for me to break out the super nutritious rations. If we're going to be working hard tomorrow, we better eat something that'll give just a lot of energy." The young man turns to give Atsuro a smile. "I made a batch of those extra special protein bars that I was going to show you how to make. This is the perfect time to bring them out."
Atsuro's comments would elicit another glare from Eremi. "Make you go wander off into the woods…" Harumph. Crossing his arms, "Tomorrow does have the possibilities of being an incredibly busy day, assuming every thing works out." Shrugging his shoulders, he'd shift over toward Kenta, "Whatever you got, I'd love something to eat. I just have some jerky and regular rations. Nothing as exciting as what you made I'm sure." Waiting for something offered up, Eremi would begin to set up a spot to sleep. "Yeah, we'll stop here. If we're found out, then… Maybe that'll be a good thing. They found us and we didn't have to find them. At least by sleeping we'll seem non-threatening."
"We never did get around to that, did we?" Atsuro asks, returning Kenta's smile, "Well, I guess this way I'll get a preview." Taizen asks, "Are they okay for me to eat too?" Atsuro removes his backpack, then sits down on a log and starts pulling out various camping supplies. He shoots a grin over to Eremi. "I'm just saying. Not like I'd actually take control of the mission away from you." He starts unfolding a bedroll. "We're not gonna take watches, then?" he asks, "How should we do this? Fire, no fire? Tents?" He takes a long pause, then asks dramatically, "No tents!?"
Kenta removes his backpack and medical pouch, which he sets against the trunk of a tree. He sits down next to them and start to carefully unpack the backpack. About midway down are the traveling rations that he's looking for, wrapped in protective layers of waxed paper. He removes it to pass out individual bars to each of the others, including Taizen. The bars themselves are a tightly compact mixture of pounded grains, honey, dried berries, ground jerky, rendered rich suet and herbs for flavoring. "Don't worry, Taizen-senpai. There's nothing in there that'll cause problems to a ninken. It's all natural ingredients and herbs that's non-poisonous to anyone."
Maybe if the option to pick his team mates had come up, Atsuro would have been left behind…"Uh… :| " Shaking his head at Atsuro's behavior. This must be the difference between the Inuzuka running a mission and being a part of it. "Thanks, Kenta." Taking the offered bar before biting a piece off. "I don't think we need a watch, and a fire is only necessary if you want to draw attention. Which I don't have a problem with. As for tents, they're fine. I just have a bedroll though." Shrugging as he reached behind his cloak to retrieve the bedroll and press it out onto the ground.
"Thank you," says Taizen. Atsuro takes bars for Taizen and himself, then unwraps one for Taizen and puts it on the ground. "Smells tasty," he says. Then he takes his own and gets into his bedroll. "It is very good, Kenta," says Taizen after crunching on a mouthful. Atsuro glances over to Eremi. "I'm just kidding," Atsuro tells Eremi, "C'mon, it's me. I'm actually not really clear why Daisuke wanted me to be here. But I doubt it's as bad as you seem to be thinking. There wasn't a single word about me actually taking the mission away from you." He opens his bar and takes a bite, "Mmm. Good, Kenta. I don't need a fire, but I can light one if you guys want it. Daisuke wants me practicing fire jutsu anyway."
"I'd like to avoid the fire now that we're so close to our destination. Who knows how closely those criminals scout the place. I'll be warm enough in my bedroll, if I can sleep next to Taizen-senpai." Kenta glances towards the ninken in question. "Maybe I, please?" he asks. While the young medic-nin speaks, he unwraps one of the bars for himself. He takes a big bite and nods his head in satisfaction. "These taste much better than my first batch from years ago. I've been improving them repeatedly to get them exactly how I want them. Ummm.. maybe not exactly, but close. It's still a work in progress."
Eremi sighed as he sat down upon the bedroll. "You're already a Jounin, Atsuro and while I have the experience and skills to be one as well, Daisuke is still testing me out in the field. So these missions are important to me in more than one way and while I could easily dictate the choices each of us will make, what we do from the beginning to the end, I'd rather take all of your input and use it to better improve the success of the mission." He'd take another bite of the bar, chewing it for a bit, "I just…the feeling of being judged since coming back to the village, shackled and told what to do…It's hard to get used to. I know my limits and my abilities and what I can do to best help and yet I'm being forced to keep jumping through hoops."
Taizen wags his tail. "I do not mind, Kenta," he says, "If you need me to keep warm, I am happy to help. You have already been very nice by giving us these protein bars." Atsuro lies back and continues eating his own bar. "They were pretty good to start with," he says, "Just for the record. These ones are better, though, you're right." He looks over to Eremi. "I'm only teasing," he says, "You've done a fine job so far. And there's no need to be doubting yourself — tokubetsu is higher than the average ninja gets, and Daisuke thought you were worthy of it after a small waiting period. Pretty big vote of confidence." He finishes his protein bar and rolls onto his back to listen to the conversation a little before he goes to sleep.
Kenta must have been pretty hungry, since he already finished the bar that he was eating. He leaves one more for each person laid out in their wrappings on the ground in case anyone else need seconds, but the first seems to be enough for him already. The young man busies himself with shaking out his bedroll, which is made of relatively lightweight material that's still reasonably warm. The fact that he can lie next to Taizen will keep him from freezing anyway. He pats out the material and sits down on it with his shoulder up against the ninken. "Atsuro-senpai is right, Eremi-san. It's very rare for a shinobi to reach the rank of a Tokubetsu Jounin. Some of us will never reach that high, so you've already been greatly honored and recognized."
The conversation the team was having slowly dwindled until completely fading as the group would one by one drift off into slumber or silently keep to themselves. The hours passed and while the cold air remained the same, the weather held out, allowing no new snow to cover the land. Something that would be a refreshing sight for the group in the morning as the sun rose off in the distance. The light that followed piercing through the trees the best it could and reflecting off the still snow covered ground from days before, offering minimal visibility.
As light reached his closed lids, Eremi would shift in his sack before rolling over and sitting up. He'd peer about the area, adjusting to the mornings light as he tried to catch sight of Atsuro, Taizen and Kenta. Their presence would confirm that the group was able to get a full nights rest without being disturbed by possible patrols from the village of Moyagakure. In case the others weren't awake yet, Eremi would take what brief time he had to stand up and stretch, getting his baring for a few moments before it would be time to start searching for the village of mists/smoke.
Kenta had a restful night, so he found it very easy to wake by the time that the sun's first light reaches the ground. He already had his sleeping bag rolled up into a compact cylinder when Eremi always wakes. The young man leans against Taizen's warm side while he munches on one of those protein bars that he brought along. Several more sit on dry rock nearby, where each member of the team can easily spot it when they wake. Hot breakfast would be nice, but there's little time to start a fire and do some cooking. A quick meal is the best way to go about breaking fast when time is of the essence. They have to find those prisoners soon, or there could be lives lost.
As for Atsuro, he tries to stay asleep and in his warm, comfortable bedroll for as long as he can. Finally, at the exact second he can no longer justify sleeping in any longer, he shifts. Some red hair pops out of one end of the big, cigar-shaped sack on the ground and Atsuro slowly crawls out. He smooths his clothes and hair with his hands and, now looking just perfect, starts to roll up the bedroll and stuffs it in his pack. Once that's taken care of, he says, "Morning," and grabs some rations for his pack. First, he unwraps some for Taizen and puts them in front of the dog, then he starts eating his own.
"Morning." Eremi would offer to the others as he shifted over toward one of the protein bars resting on a rock, snatching it up and taking a bite. Between chews, "Everyone sleep well? Might be our last restful night until heading back to Konoha." A quick glance would be given toward the others, making sure they were ready for what the day would bring before he'd turn toward the south east and stare off in the distance. Finishing off the protein bar, he'd lick at his lips satisfied yet still craving more. "Alright, if there are no objections, let's head out and see what we can find."
Kenta nods his head curtly. "I don't want anything to happen to the prisoners. We should hurry," he says in a very soft voice. The medic-nin finishes his protein bar and folds up the wrapping paper into a small square, which he sticks back into his pack. He's not the littering type. Then, he gets up to gather the remaining protein bars that haven't been eaten yet. Kenta glances up at the trees around them. "I didn't see many birds out today. The ones that I saw are very small ones, so they're not ideal for flying long amounts of time. Ummm… I think that we might have to rely on Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai's super senses."
Atsuro quickly finishes his rations and gets to his feet. "No objections here," he says, grabbing his pack. Taizen also finishes his rations. "I am ready to go too," he says, standing up. Atsuro quickly grabs up the remains of their rations and sticks them in his pack. He glances over to Kenta. "Well, that makes it a little harder," he says, "But if there's something to smell, we'll smell it." He looks over to Eremi. "But how do you wanna do this? Are we just going to keep wandering around until we smell smoke or a patrol? I mean, we're good, but it would be nice to have something to go on."
Even as the others started talking, Eremi started walking. What ever questions that were asked could be answered or brushed aside as they began their mission once again. "It's all we have to work on at the moment. Random wandering with the hopes of crossing paths with a possible patrol or the off chance of Atsuro and Taizen picking up a scent with their 'super senses'." A shrug would be given in a somewhat nonchalant manner. "We are part of a team though, any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Otherwise I'm just out here by myself, leading the way blindly."
Kenta slings his belongings over his shoulders and trots to catch up to Eremi. He glances up at the sky to scan for more birds. It'll be so much easier if this is the summer season. There's usually some birds of prey around during the winter also, but it's still not as easy to find any as it would be in warmer times. "Ummm… I guess that it's really all up to you, Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai." No pressure. "Too bad Hokage-sama didn't assign any Aburame to this mission. Their bugs can spread out really far. Ummm… but I don't know how well kikaichu can handle this cold either. Most insects die or hibernation when temperatures drop below a specific level."
Atsuro and Taizen form up behind Eremi. "I dunno," says Atsuro, "I mean, our senses will do the trick, if we end up in the right place. But we're sorta rolling the dice here. All up to us indeed!" He shrugs, "The only other thing I can think of would be to cause some kind of disturbance and see if anyone comes to investigate. Then we could follow their scent back to wherever they came from." He and Taizen continue walking through the woods, sniffing, watching, and listening for anything that might be useful to their search.
Kenta's continual search of the sky would reveal little more than random flocks of small birds flying from the south east. Their tiny wings beating furiously as they travel about the sky with no obvious destination in which they may be headed. Atsuro and Taizen's heightened senses could only extend so far and with the snow covered ground concealing previous scents that would normally be easily detectable to the Inuzuka pair, instead they are offered little in what might be a possible lead. A lingering smell to the south that extends towards the west and east.
"Making a disturbance actually sounds like a decent idea, but we always run the risk of drawing more unwanted attention then we are capable of dealing with." Humming quietly, Eremi had little else to say. The silence only kept at bay by the continual crunch of the snow bneath the groups feet. "I don't know if Aburame like the cold either. Not sure of anyone in Konohagakure like the cold. Not the most inviting of seasons."
Kenta lowers his gaze from the sky and rubs at his forehead. "Still no big birds in sight. Maybe we'll see one later." The young medic-nin sighs and his breath puffs out in a misty plume. He steps over a fallen branch that's half buried in snow as he continues to follow Eremi. His gaze shifts towards Atsuro and Taizen. "Do you sense anything so far?" Kenta asks in a hopeful voice. He doesn't hate the cold as much as many people do, but he doesn't want to linger longer in it than necessary.
Even as he answers Eremi's concern, Atsuro continues to look around. "I was thinking more like we'd draw them in, then sneak around them to get to their trail, then head back where they came from before they even finished dealing with whatever. I admit, that's kinda an iffy way of doing it. Especially when we have four people we need to maneuver." He lifts his head up and sniffs the air loudly a couple of times.
"Actually," he says to Kenta. Then he trails off. "Do you smell that, Tai?" The dog sniffs too, then answers, "To the south." Atsuro nods, "Not really over
Unfortunately, even as Kenta notices the birds 'migration' chooses to think nothing of it. Thankfully, the scent the Inuzuka pick up does not go ignored. "Could be something." Eremi would offer, "To the south going east and west? Might be a trail or at least…something." Considering it was all they had to go on, Eremi didn't hesitate in slightly shifting his course. Going from a direct southeast approach to one that would lead them more south. What the scent going to the west meant was unknown, but the village had to be what was to the east. "Feel free to lead the way or let me know if we're veering off from what you detected. Once we find it, we'll start moving east and see what comes out of it."
"I knew that you'd be able to do it, Atsuro-senpai," Kenta says with absolute faith in his voice. He smiles broadly at Atsuro. "We'll find that village quickly now that you have the trail." The young medic-nin's motions grow more energetic as his eagerness to perform the rescue waxes. They've had some hits and misses in missions recently, but the people that they're going to rescue this time will be fine. Kenta holds on firmly to that thought to keep less pleasant ones from worming their way in.
"It could be a trail," Atsuro agrees. He and Taizen turn and start heading the team southwards. "I hope so," Atsuro says, turning and nodding to Kenta. "And I hope east is the right direction. We'll probably be able to tell what direction they're /going/ when we reach the trail, but we probably won't know if they're heading to the village or away from it… or even if they're from the village at all." He and Taizen step through the snow purposefully, continuing to pay attention to the scents — they need to be on watch for ambushes as well, now that they might be getting closer to the enemy.
As the team moved south, it would be an hour if not longer before the scent intensified enough that those without 'super senses' could smell the lingering odor as well. The rest of the area was rather bland in their fragrances compared to the smoky, wood burning smell. Quite possibly the reason the Inuzuka's were able to pick up the smell at such a distance. "Whew, that's pungent." Eremi comments as he glances about, the area nothing but deciduous trees and snow. "I guess we go east from here. Eyes and ears and…noses open. Should be on the right track from here."
Kenta wrinkles his nose after sniffing deeply a few times. "Ugh! It must be a very big fire that caused that." Worry creeps into the medic-nin's voice. There could be more innocuous reasons, but a big fire could mean that either a large battle occurred or something's burning down. Neither of those thoughts are exceptionally reassuring, especially when the team is on a search and rescue mission. The medic-nin keeps watch with a wary gaze, hoping to spot anything odd before it comes back to bite them in the barbecue.
"I noticed," says Atsuro drily. Lucky normal-nosed people! Taizen, as is his way, doesn't show any sign of being disturbed, but the powerful smell has brought an obvious frown to Atsuro's face. They start to follow the trail of smoke eastwards, paying attention to the other aspects of their surroundings as well. "Is it a fire?" Atsuro asks, "Or is this the smoke that the Village Hidden in the Smoke is hidden in? Maybe they just keep a fire going all the time or something."
As they continue eastward, the overwhelming smell increases until the image of a village rises up in the distance. The silhouette from this range was neither awe-inspiring nor intimidating and as it came closer into view, the first impressions were sure to remain. Many of the buildings that still stood were only doing so through the strength of a single nail. Other buildings were either completely collapsed or abandoned. Despite their conditions, all of them looked as if they had been burned at one point. A charred texture over the wood and bricks that make up the building, while smoke gingerly floats into the sky before coalescing into one mass.
Before going any further, Eremi would stop the group, "This must be the village. This must be Moyagakure. Not much of a great village, more like a place for thugs. They must have been trying to show their worth, abilities and prowess by capturing some low ranking Konoha shinobi…A lot of options are before us. We can wait until night and go in under the cover of darkness, go in now and hope to avoid detection as we sneak about the village, walk in the village and just start kicking mesquite and taking names OR…we could stroll into the village like we belong. Any thoughts?"
Kenta blinks when he first sees the hidden village that's their target. The damage looks bad, but it doesn't look recent. The tight knot that's been building up inside of him eases. This means that the captured Leaf shinobi might not have been burned in a bonfire for entertainment or anything sinister like that. When asked for opinions, Kenta answers in a quiet whisper. "It's too risky to enter the village now. I think that we should use the cover of night to investigate. Many of the people will be asleep, so we won't be detected as easily. The darkness will also help. If we try to enter now, we're probably going to be spotted very quickly and then we might have to fight a lot of people at once."
Atsuro and Taizen stop as the village and its apparent squalor come into sight. "What a dump," says Atsuro, "I guess that explains the smoke. Here I was thinking they'd done something special to get that effect. But they did it the old fashioned way… apparently. So do they have some way of keeping the smoke around then?" He sniffs the air again, attempting to find some indication of people here, in amongst the smoke. "Anyway. I agree with Kenta. The situation favours us if we go in at night — we're a smaller group, so it'll be easy for us to stay out of site and hide than it will be for them to track us down in the dark." He gestures to himself then Taizen, "Plus, we'll probably be better at detecting them than they will be us."
Eremi nodded in agreement. "Night time it is. We'll move off this 'path' to avoid detection, set up a little camping spot and wait until the sun sets. Gonna be a few more hours though, fortunately it's at least the winter. Shorter days, less of a wait." Considering they were already all in agreement, Eremi didn't wait before moving away and finding a bit of a secluded spot surrounded by a thickness of tress that even though they had lost their foliage, still offered some cover. "I have to say, once we're inside the village, there's a chance we may get split up. Atsuro, Taizen and Kenta, the main goal of this mission is the rescue and retrieval of the Konoha Shinobi. Assuming they're still alive that is, but above all else, we bring them back home. Under no circumstances though, should you three deviate from this."
Kenta nods somberly, although his expression shows that Eremi didn't even need to bother giving that clarification. The young medic-nin is pressed up against one of the tree's trunks, so that less of his body is sticking out for people to see. He had also switched his cloak so that the darker side is pointing out. The white blends with snow while they're traveling, but does poorly when placed in direction contrast with bark. "Understood," he murmurs softly.
While he'd rather not simply be waitin around right outside a possibly hostile village, Atsuro is at least glad that they've found an acceptable hiding spot. He waves Taizen into the more secluded spot, then moves in behind him. The Inuzuka duo crouches down near the base of a larger tree and look out towards the village, careful to keep low and not move too much. "Got it," says Atsuro, "We should probably try to avoid getting split up altogether, though. It's us against a whole village — not like we have the advantage of numbers when we're /together/. Splitting up just makes it worse."
As the team settled in, the hours would slowly pass by. The sun was quickly starting its journey across the sky before slipping down behind the horizon with the temperature would follow after. The cold in the air worsening to a sharpening bite as slight gusts blow through the region. Darkness taking over, the only source of light would be the reflection of the stars and the crescent moon shining about the area giving a cool, white glow.
"It's time." Eremi motioned to the others as he looked off toward Moyagakure. The village was asleep, but aglow with several torches placed about the buildings. "We'll go in cautiously, but quickly. If spotted we'll capture and question, we only need one person to answer questions, so anyone else will be put down before alarms can be raised. Remember, two Genin and one Chuunin is who we must find."
Kenta gets to his feet and sucks in a deep breath. Mist plumes from his lips when he blows it out again. "I really hope that we don't run into more than one people. If it's an exceptionally large group, it'll be hard for us to knock everyone out before they manage to shout." The young medic-nin withdraws a tag from one of his pockets. He concentrates and the seals in the tag begins to glow softly. "Ummm… I'm not as good at sneaking as the rest of you, so I'm going to use a jutsu to make myself unseen. Don't worry if you don't sense me nearby without effort. I'm going to stick to everyone as best as I can." He bleeds a little more chakra into the tag and suddenly vanishes.
"Two genin, one chuunin," Atsuro repeats, "Hopefully they're being kept together. We've got a big enough job ahead of us if it's just /one/ location we need to find." He and Taizen stand up and get ready to move out." He looks over to Kenta… or at least the spot where Kenta used to be. "We can still smell you," he says, "So it should be okay. Just try and stick fairly close to us, and I think we'll manage." Once they start moving towards Moyagakure, Atsuro crouches down, and he and Taizen both move similarly in a quick but silent stalking crawl.
"Let's do this then." The last words spoken before Eremi took off into the night towards the smoky village. Typically he'd use speed to hide his approach, but knowing Kenta might not be able to keep up, decided to keep to the shadows. Ironically enough, Eremi wasn't actually sure where Kenta was. Atsuro says him and Taizen know, so he'll take their word…or nose for it.
Reaching the village, there was no gate that protected its borders. The village itself was more of a collection of shoddily built houses grouped together some time after the war and the founding of the Great Shinobi Villages. How it still existed was anyone's guess, especially within the Land of Fire. A place like this you'd expect in the Land of Water or Wind.
Before actually stepping foot inside the village, Eremi came to another stop. "Our best course of action would be to take to the roofs and track down some straggling individuals without being noticed." It wasn't a suggestion or open to questioning, it was the next step the group would be taking with Eremi leading the way by running toward the nearest house, up the walls and to the roof.
"Understood," Kenta whispers from somewhere behind Eremi and to the right. He probably shouldn't have pitched his voice low, since the cloaking barrier around him muffles the sound already as it leaves his lips. It would have been impossible to hear him, except for the fact that there's very little background noise to distract the others from his words. Kenta also nods unnecessarily, since no one would notice that either with light being diffused from his form. "I'm right behind you as promised. I also have tags in my hand in case we run into trouble and I already swallowed one of my sleeping pills."
Atsuro and Taizen move swiftly and stealthily behind Eremi, still smelling around them for any sign of a problem — and to make sure that Kenta is still nearby. Eremi's stop in front of the village gives them a brief chance to take a closer look at the village and its buildings, but once Eremi has given his instructions, Atsuro nods. "Got it," he says, "We'll smell around and see if we can find someone on their own." They hop up to the roof of the building and continue following Eremi.
Now inside the village, atop the roofs of the houses at a better vantage point, it was clear to see much of the village…sort of. The streets, much like the sky, was filled with smoke, blanketing the area in a thick haze. This making detection somewhat difficult for not only normal individuals like Eremi as he peered about the area while jumping from roof to roof, but others with 'super senses' like Atsuro and Taizen. The harsh, smoky smell making it almost impossible to pick up scents within the smoke.
Kenta stays keeps up with the rest of the team as they traverse the roof. His eyes probably aren't as good as the others, so he watches how their moving and mimics the motions. The last thing he needs is to fall off a building and break a bone. Or worse, cause all kinds of loud banging. His cloaking seal will muffle that type of noise, but not perfectly. As his eyes adjust better to the lighting within the burned out village, Kenta spares some of his attention to focusing his chakra. He occasionally sends out subtle bursts of it in an effort to detect enemy shinobi in the only way that he knows how.
Nothing but smoke, but Atsuro and Taizen know that there have to be people around here somewhere. It's just a matter of finding the scents lost in the smoke. After all, it isn't like they're going to simply see someone through the haze, particularly at night. They focus again, this time putting in more effort and chakra, raising the acuity of their senses a few more degrees. They continue to search for someone else's scent as they move stealthily through the village.
The echolocation used by Kenta would reveal much through the haze that would typically obscure other types of senses. All around them were several chakra signatures, many of them dormant. Not surprising considering the hour of night. A few houses away, a pair of slightly more active chakra could be detected, slowly moving further away down one of the many smoke filled streets. Their scent musky, yet still noticeable to the noses of the Inuzuka. It was their only lead, one that Eremi was unaware of as he continued jumping from roof to roof, away from the possible Moya shinobi the others in the team had detected.
Kenta furrows his brows in concentration as he tries to listen for the returning echoes of his chakra while he continues to move along the rooftops. His expression clears when he finally detects something that could be useful. "Eremi, there are two people moving down the next street to the right," he tells the team's leader for this mission. Once again, the cloaking barrier muffles the volume of Kenta's voice, but doesn't completely prevent it from being inaudible when it only has to reach such a short distance to find an accepting ear. "I don't sense anyone else around them either. Most of the people in the village are asleep."
"I think we should check those two out then," Atsuro says quietly, "We're having a lot of trouble smelling much in all this ribbed smoke." If they have to, he and Taizen can kick their senses up yet another notch, but if Kenta has a lead already, then there's not much point in doing that for now. Better to just keep it at the present level to keep track of the other team members and avoid being surprised, and boost their abilities if they really need to. "There's nobody really close by, aside from us," he adds.
Hearing the others, Eremi spun about. He hadn't detected anything, but that was just his misfortune. If Atsuro and Kenta say there's some movement below, he'll take their word for it. "By all means, one of you lead the way then. Between here and there they can move and since I'm not sure of their exact location, me trying to lead the way could be dangerous. We already discussed what we'll do, take charge and I'll follow. You drop from above and onto them, I'll do the same."
Kenta nods, but he doesn't jump ahead. He's the medic after all, so it's up to Atsuro and Taizen to lead the way. Kenta himself will stay at the rear of the group and cut off the their target's escape if necessary. The young man still have a tag clenched in one hand and potent poison stored in his stomach, ready for use.
The enemy was hard to detect in all this smoke, whether by sight or by smell. Rather than attempt to attack or rapidly approach from here, Atsuro and Taizen move stealthy from rooftop to rooftop, down the street until they can properly see the two enemies patrolling in the street. Then they jump down, landing quietly in the street before blurring over to one of the enemies and attempting to take him down quickly with a flurry of slashes and bites.
With Atsuro leading the way, Eremi would quickly follow behind. The Inuzuka pair drop to the street and strike the first person that comes within sight. Not expecting to be ambushed, the individual is easily overwhelmed before dropping unconscious from the flury of slashes and bites. The remaining person takes a moment to gather themself in all the confusion before beginning to flash through hand seals in an attempt to regain the upper hand.
Seal after seal would be made, but before the jutsu is finish, a lone foot sailed through the thick, smoky haze careening into the face of the Moyagakure shinobi and knocking the goggles that covered their eyes clean off. The shinobi stumbled backwards until falling to the ground. The man was down, but still conscious. The dynamic entry attack used by Eremi was one capable of surprising the opponent, but not capable of dealing a significant amount of damage.
Kenta lands on the street moments after Eremi does. Smoke and darkness aside, he notices the fact that the second enemy shinobi's still moving after getting kicked in the face. The young medic-nin flashes through a few seals and leans down until his face is only a foot away from the prone man. The cloaking barrier around him fades away, leaving him suddenly visible, when he finishes molding the last of his chakra and purses his lips as he's about to bestow a kiss. Instead, he blows a little puff of wispy white sleeping mist that breaks apart directly against his targets nose and mouth.
Once their target has fallen, Atsuro quickly checks to make sure he's truly unconscious. Taizen then stands guard right by him, just to make sure he doesn't wake up and cause trouble while Atsuro walks around to the other side of the man Eremi and Kenta just took down, just to make sure that that guy doesn't have any chance of escape either. "We need to take them somewhere out of the way," Atsuro suggests, "We don't want an alarm. And we need somewhere to interrogate him."
The downed shinobi shifted in his position preparing to get up. He'd lean forward only to suddenly find himself face to face with Kenta. "Whoa, bro!" The thought of being kissed jarring the man backwards, but what followed instead of soft, pink lips was a gaseous cloud that once mixed with the normal haze of the village, made it nearly impossible to evade. The Moyagakure shinobi took an unintended breath and in moments collapsed, unconscious.
A sigh would escape Eremi's mouth as his head gently dropped from a mild frustration as to what just happened before him. What he had planned would happen upon coming across an individual to question, went a completely different route and prolonged the inevitable. "Alright." Grabbing the sleeping man before him, Eremi forcefully tosses him onto his shoulder. "Grab the other one and we'll take them up to the roof and tie them up." He didn't wait for a reply as he was already on the move to the nearest roof to wait for the others to accompany him.
Obviously Kenta isn't the one getting asked to carry the other man. That'd just be absurd. Why have the scrawniest member of the team do the heavy lifting when there's a much buffer Atsuro and Taizen around. Kenta pretty assumes that he's free of the duty, so he runs up the wall to follow Eremi onto the roof. When he gets there, the medic-nin removes several rolls of gauze from his medical pouch and uses it as binding material to tie up the first of their victims. Kenta also stuffs a wad of gauze into the guy's mouth, so that he can't yell when he wakes up. Better to make sure the guy understand that bad things will happen before giving free rein to talk.
Satisfied that nobody's going to be escaping for the time being, Atsuro jogs back over to the guy he and Taizen knocked out. He hoists the unconscious man up over his shoulder and jumps back up to the nearby roof, with Taizen jumping up soon after. Atsuro puts the man down and stands back until Kenta has the two of them tied up. "How long does that sleeping gas last?" Atsuro asks Kenta, "Or do you have some way of waking him up, or anything like that?" He glances around, even knowing that he won't see much because of the smoke. "The sooner we can get going, the better."
Eremi was pretty curious himself how long the sleeping gas would last for the longer they took dealing with simply trying to question the man, the further away from keeping their fellow Konohanites alive became. "We don't have time to find out." Holding the sleeping shinobi out before him, Eremi started slapping the individual, jostling them awake. At first there was merely grunts and groans that followed with each smack, but eventually the shinobi snapped awake and tried to fight against his restraints. Wide eyes showed a terrified expression and if it weren't for the gauze in his mouth, he may have screamed his lungs out.
"Ummm… it's easy. Just need to provide sufficient stimulus to wake up someone that's been gassed. Here…" Kenta kneels and removes a small canteen from his waist. He starts to unscrew the canteen, but Eremi's already going ahead with the much more violent method of bringing the gassed shinobi out of a beauty sleep. "Ummm… I guess we won't need this…" he mumbles and quickly averts his eyes. Kenta replaces his canteen at his hip. Then, he stands up and edges himself slightly behind Atsuro.
Atsuro steps back and lets Kenta… er, Eremi do his thing. He folds his arms once the man wakes up and starts trying to scream. "Well, there we go," says Atsuro, "Relax, buddy. We're not going to hurt you. We just need you to answer a few questions for us." Now that they won't need to worry about crowding Eremi and Kenta, he and Taizen step forward to watch the man more closely during the interrogation. For now, though, they leave the question asking to the others, instead choosing to keep their noises ready and make sure nobody surprises them.
With the man now awake, Eremi gave a brief but sudden shake to get the man within his grasp to pay attention. "What my friend says is only half true. If you don't answer our questions, we will hurt you. Severly. Do you understand?" The bound and gagged man was still, possibly from shock, though in time gave a slow nod in cooperation. Eremi was hesitant at first, but reached for the gauze stuffed in the shinobi's mouth. "You or your partners or maybe just someone you know, they kidnapped some friends of ours. Three Konoha shinobi; two genin and one chuunin. We want them back and you better hope they're alive." The Moyagakurian swallowed hard, not wanting to answer, but also not wanting to be hurt finally divulged something of what he knew. "I…hrm…The two genin are just north of here being held and restrained within what looks like an abandoned building from the outside. On the inside, it's a makeshift prison. The chuunin is just east of here. The building looks like any of the others, but there are guards protecting it. You wont' get in."
Kenta glances at his companions with a hint of worry in his expression. "Two locations. That means that we might have to split up after all. It'll take too long to perform two rescues, one after the other. That also increases the chances that things will get messy due to a slip up…" He chews on his bottom lip for a second before he steps closer to the prisoner. "Umm… you didn't mention anyone guarding the two Genin. Does that mean there are none or are you leaving something out on purpose. That second one -really- won't be a good idea. Someone can die…" Kenta makes his voice as bland as possible. He really means that he's worried one of the Leaf shinobi will die, but let the prisoner come to different conclusions. "How about traps? And how many guards surround the Chuunin? How many entrances are there."
The prisoner couldn't help himself as a chuckle escaped his mouth from the onslaught of questions that were starting to barrage him all at once. "Maybe. Depends. I don't know. A few. Horrible, I'm sure. If they didn't answer their questions like I'm answering yours. And…I doubt it." Answers to all the questions asked to him in order. "Listen, we're trying to become a great village ourselves and figured what better way than capture a couple of Konoha shinobi and learn whatever secrets they have to help improve our own village. You can't blame us right? We're desperate." A shrug would be offered through his restraints.
The prisoner couldn't help himself as a chuckle escaped his mouth from the onslaught of questions that were starting to barrage him all at once. "Maybe. Depends. I don't know. A few. Horrible, I'm sure. If they didn't answer their questions like I'm answering yours. And…I doubt it." Answers to all the questions asked to him in order. "Listen, we're trying to become a great village ourselves and figured what better way than capture a couple of Konoha shinobi and learn whatever secrets they have to help improve our own village. You can't blame us right? We deserve respect too." A shrug offered through his restraints.
Having heard enough, Eremi delivers a quick punch to the mans temple, knocking him unconscious before tossing him near his buddy. "I expected we'd have to split up once getting here…I'll go after the chuunin. On my own. Atsuro and Taizen should stick with Kenta and make sure he makes it to the two genin able to heal them if they need it and get them out of here. If things get dangerous, cause a commotion and I'll know things have gotten too serious to try and go in undetected. If that's the case, we go all out, otherwise…We stay out of sight for as long as possible and take the enemy down quickly. Get what we came for and we'll meet up just outside the village where we waited just before going into Moyagakure."
Kenta winces slightly when the prisoner's knocked out again. He bends to retie the gag, so that no alarm can be raised if the prisoner wakes up while the Leaf shinobi are still working on the rescue. "Ummm… Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai are the strongest. Shouldn't they go after the more dangerous target? But I guess we do need two people to carry two Genin…" It's a difficult decision. Maybe Eremi's right about how they should split up.
Kenta straightens back to his feet. "Signaling won't be a big problem if the places are within a mile of each other," he says as he reaches up to tap his forehead. "I can still only work with one person, but it's the most reliable way of doing things." Then, he makes a few hand seals and stares at Eremi. <"We'll communicate this way"> he sends telepathically to the mission leader.
Atsuro snorts. "What, you think we require all our ninja to take Hidden Village Administration 101 or something? A couple of genin and a chuunin prrrooobably don't have the secrets you're looking for." Atsuro glances to Kenta, then to Eremi. "That's technically true. But then, it'll be handy to have both Tai and me to carry the genin." He's not clear on the logic of having three people on one team and one on the other, but Eremi must have his reasons. "That should do for communication," he says, nodding. "And I suppose one person is less likely to be noticed infiltrating a building." He looks northwards. "Well," he says, "Anything else, Eremi, or should we get a move on?"
<Uhh…> Eremi looked at Kenta for a few moments, "Let's keep that to a minimum…" Eyes lingered on the Yamanaka briefly before shifting to Atsuro, knowing the Jounin wasn't happy with the situation. "Hopefully I won't be noticed, but if I am…" Turning away from Atsuro, looking eastward. "No, we should all know what to do at this point. Unless there are no objections, nothing else is holding us here. Just be careful and don't do anything recklessly." Times like this Eremi wished he was a better motivational speaker, but he was the hired muscle and it was all he knew. A nod would be given to the two before Eremi leaped into the smoky night sky and disappeared to the east.
Kenta watches Eremi leave with furrowed brows. He turns back to the rest of his companions. "After you, Atsuro-senpai. I'm going to cloak myself again, since I can't move as stealthily as you can. I'll tell you and Taizen-senpai if Eremi communicates anything to me. Umm… probably Taizen-senpai first, since it's easier for me to reach his air, in case I have to whisper." With that, Kenta pulls out another of those special tags of his, activates it and turns himself almost completely invisible again.
Into the darkness the group went, traveling silently along the roofs. Atsuro, Taizen and Kenta heading north to rescue the two Genin while Eremi was moving east after the Chuunin. The journey wasn't long. Just a few blocks, twists and turns that separate the locations between where the Moyagakure shinobi were tied up to where the Konoha shinobi are waiting to be rescued.
The abandoned building that awaited the Inuzuka and the medic was exactly like that, at least on the outside. No one stood guard outside and no lights shown from the inside. It was enough to make a person second guess whether the interrogated shinobi was telling the truth or simply giving any answers that would end the barrage of questions.
The building was three stories tall though the top floor was missing. At the front was a wooden door hanging from one hinge and 'blocking' the entrance. Several windows line the building, but are all boarded up. The entire building looked as if it could fall at any moment.
For Eremi, upon reaching the building, two guards were stationed outside. Each wearing a pair of goggles as they peered off into the smoky, haze. The building was nothing special, a single story and completely intact. The only way in and out appeared to be the front door as no windows were available. No other options, Eremi wasted no time in dropping down on the unsuspected guards, landing between them. There was a moment of shock that Eremi took advantage of by starting things off with a powerful back kick that kicked up enough speed and power, the smoke merged into a single point and created a miniature twister that spun about wildly to smash into the Moyagakure guards.
As soon as Kenta lands on a roof opposite of the "abandoned" warehouse, he sends a quick message to Eremi. <"We arrived without incident. Will let you know if we run into any trouble."> It looks like the only reasonably easy way to enter is by going through the front door. It'll be the perfect place for a trap. Atsuro and Taizen would probably have an easier time making sure that the Genin are really inside with their super noses. Kenta jumps to the ground and edges his invisible form towards the warehouse. He sweeps his gaze all around, trying to check for traps hidden by the darkness of night.
Atsuro turns and nods to Kenta. Then he and Taizen jump down from the roof and approach the door, still stalking along stealthily like they did before, until they're at the door. Atsuro takes a moment to listen for anything or anyone inside, then gestures for Taizen to step back. Once the dog is a safer distance, he steps forward and smells for anything out of place before reaching for the door's knob and carefully opening it.
The whirlwind created from the kick catches one of the guards, spins them around and smashes them into the ground. The other guard suddenly disperses into smoke, the whirlwind spreading about the smoke, but doing nothing to the guard as it suddenly reforms and throws together several hand seals. Plumes of smoke start to form from the remaining guards body as it travels toward Eremi. Knowing gaseous vapors can be dangerous after being around Kenta enough, Eremi is quick to leap backwards into a series of flips to avoid being caught in the strange technique. Eremi gave it a couple moments before jumping back into the fray and striking with several series of kicks and punches.
Kenta doesn't see any traps when he inspects the entrance. It doesn't mean there -aren't- any or that the inside is free of traps too, but it's a good start for his group. He slips into the building when Atsuro opens the door. As he checks out the inside of the building, the medic-nin takes out another of those little black pills that's required for him to create the sleeping mist that knocked out the shinobi earlier. He swallows it quickly before he sends out a pulse of medical chakra to try to detect where inside the two Genin are.
Atsuro grabs the door and it opens, as he does so, an audible creak echoes through the abandoned house. The sound enough to alert anyone inside that someone is coming or that the house is shifting under its own weight, capable of collapsing at any moment. The latter possibly being the case as no guards come to check out the noise. Which there may be as the chakra pulse Kenta sends out bounces off the walls until finding a pair of diminishing chakra signatures as well as a pair of passive chakra not far from the others.
The punches and kicks of Eremi meet smoke as the Moyagakurian shifts with the surrounding haze until becoming solid with two hands that reach out to grasp around Eremi's throat. Which manage to do so only briefly before Eremi vanishes, ducking down in a coiling twist, tightening his body into itself before springing upward with an uppercut to send the man flying.
Kenta stiffens at what he senses with his medical jutsu. The two creatures with diminishing chakra and biological signs must be the Genin that they're after. That leaves the remaining two some kind of guard. He quickly reaches out to give Atsuro a tap to alert the Jounin that he has something to say. Then, the invisible Kenta stands on tip toes to whisper the locations of their targets and the possible guards to Atsuro. "Over that way," he whispers and accompanies the words with a gentle tug at Atsuro's sleeve. "The Genin are definitely hurt. We have to hurry."
Atsuro turns and nods to Kenta. "Okay," he says, "let's move… hopefully we get better before this building comes down around us." He looks over to Taizen and they exchange a nod, then they start to move more quickly through the house. They're still on the alert for any enemies, but if nobody came to check out the door, maybe there's nobody here who really cares. The priority now is getting to the genin quickly so that Kenta can heal them and then they can get out of here. Maybe not in that order.
Slowly stalking through the halls of the 'abandoned' building, the Inuzuka and the Medic would peer into each of the rooms they pass in hopes of coming upon the two possibly injured Genin. Taking into consideration the condition of the building, only so many rooms could be checked before moving on. Eventually the group tasked with saving the two Genin would come to a closed door at the end of a hallway. From the outside, it looked like any other door and through further examination, did not appear as if any traps were put in place to prevent entrance. Unlike the rest of the building, the door was in newer condition. On the otherside of the door…A rather large addition to the building where two guards sat watching over the two genin behind iron bars. The Genin were unconscious or perhaps just sleeping, but the wounds they've accrued since being caught were signs of their condition.
The Moyagakure Shinobi that Eremi was facing didn't have the speed or reflexes to avoid the uppercut and went soaring high into the air. What waited for him as he descened downward was nothing but the hard ground. The man would land on his back before hitting his head on the ground and losing consciousness. Eremi looked between the two guards briefly before racing into the building. The commotion he had caused was sure to give alert to the others that waited within, so trying to remain covert was pointless. He could only hope that the Chuunin wouldn't be killed as a result of his actions.
Kenta stops again when the small team of three reaches the door. The invisible Chuunin leans close to Atsuro again and speaks in a lowered voice that turns into a barely audible whisper as the sound filters through the cloaking barrier. "This is the only door that looks new and the biosignatures were from this direction. I think that our targets are through here. How should be proceed, Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai?" The young man gives the door a frown that can't be seen by anyone else. "Maybe one of you can open the door a little. I'm cloaked, so I'll sneak inside first. Then, I can find a good spot and try to put everyone to sleep."
Atsuro can't help but grin a little. Just two guards? Protected by the bars, sure, but he was expecting more. He glances back to Kenta and nods. "Go ahead," he whispers back, "Once you've dealt with them, let me know when the coast is clear — I think I can deal with those bars. Then it should just be a matter of getting the kids and getting outta here." Once he's gotten confirmation from Kenta, he reaches forward and nudges the door open slowly, until it's enough ajar that Kenta can slip through.
The door slowly opens and even without much of a sound being made it is enough to get the two guards to perk up and peer over through their tinted goggles. "Who's there?" One asks while the other starts to move towards the door cautiously to check out what might have opened it.
As Eremi moved through the building, he's greeted by another man that came to check out the disturbance out front. Spotting one another, the Moya Shinobi quickly extends his hands and two plumes of thick smoke shoot out toward Eremi. The hallway was small and made avoiding difficult, but not impossible. Eremi would drop down to the ground, hugging the floor closely before finding an opening and leaping at the guard with a series of kicks.
The good thing is that Kenta is smaller than Atsuro and can fit into tighter spaces. The bad thing is that he's carrying a backpack and other things. This means that the door still has to open to a pretty wide degree for him to slip through. The young medic-nin hurries inside as soon as he's able to, knowing that the guards will investigate. It happens exactly as he thought it would. He jogs across the floor, his cloaking barrier muffling both visuals and sound, until he reaches a spot where he'd be able to hit both of the guards at once. Them, Kenta dissolves the pill inside his stomach and blasts the sleep-inducing poison from his mouth as a wide bank of mist.
The gaseous mist expelled by Kenta would start to fill the room and the guard nearest the door would unexpectedly drop. The remaining guard would flash through hand seals in desperation to avoid the same fate. Final seal made, his hands would extend and smoke would fill the room in counter, clinging to the sleeping gas and forcing it to rise to the ceiling. The Moyagakure Shinobi peers about the room and sees Kenta appear out of thin air. He'd move forward to attack only to have to avoid a giant dog and their companion. "Konoha Shinobi? Good, just more to add to the collection." Hands would flash through seals once again and the mans body would explode into smoke before spiralling into a violent whirlwind that race about the room.
The guard confronting Eremi would fade in and out, avoiding the series of kicks before retaliating with massive smoke hands that reach out to grasp Eremi by his throat, only to find nothing but air as Eremi suddenly vanishes through sheer speed out of harms way before racing forward once again with a continued succession of kicks. Aimed high then low in hopes of catching the man off guard and unable to defend properly.
A suddenly visible Kenta hangs back when the door to the Genin's prison room suddenly bang further open and two Jounin fling themselves at the remaining guard. "Uh oh…" Kenta utters when the final guards explodes into a whirlwind of smoke. "Watch out!" he calls out to the other Leaf shinobi, a moment before he's thrown across the floor by the attack. Kenta slides until he hits the wall. Then, gritting his teeth in pain, he surges back to his feet. He waits until the exact moment when the guard begins to solidify again. At that exact moment, Kenta takes several racing strides forward, placing him about three feet away, and performs two consecutive palm thrusts in rapid successful. They don't make direct contact, but double blasts of nerve scrambling chakra ripples through the air towards the guard.
"You were just lucky," Atsuro tells the guard, rolling his eyes, "Don't get cocky." As if just to prove it, he and Taizen both nimbly dodge his smoke-form attacks, easily dancing out out his way on all fours. Atsuro brings himself upright again and gets into a kenjutsu stance, while Taizen pulls a sword of his own out from his vest. They split up, Atsuro going to the left while Taizen goes to the right, then converge on the enemy ninja to attack from either flank.
As the whirlwind begins to solidify once again into a person, the man barely has time before being forced on the defensive. His body shifting in and out to avoid the first concussive blast only to be hit by the other. The foreign chakra filling his body and paralyzing his nerves long enough for Atsuro and Taizen to follow through with a series of sword strikes that cut the man up until he drops to the ground in a bloody mess.
Eremi's several kicks are hard to keep up with, giving way through the guards defenses as they hit into the mans body and knock the guard through a wall. In response the building shakes slightly. <Running out of time over here… Things better on your end?> Eremi questions to Kenta, assuming the telepathic link was still up as he moves through the rest of the building.
He'd come to a door and without stopping, kick his way through, knocking the door off the hinges. Inside the room would be the Chuunin, barely alive and clinging to life while strapped to a chair. Standing over him is a single guard with a blade in his hand. "You're too late." The man would say while raising the blade high above his head to bring down into the Chuunin. "No!" Eremi shouts as he desperately tries to make up the distance between himself and the blade.
Kenta's head snaps up when he hears Eremi's voice in his head. He barely remembered that the link's still up. <"We just took down the guards here. The Genin are hurt, so I need to heal them before we move them. Do you need backup? I'll come as soon as Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai can carry these two out."> Knowing that time is of the essence, Kenta hurries to look through the guard's belongings for a key. He rushes to unlock the Genin's barred cell, so that he can enter and start healing them. His own injuries aren't life threatening and they can wait. "Atsuro-senpai. Taizen-senpai. Please get ready to carry them out as soon as I'm done. Eremi might need backup."
Atsuro rears back, preparing another strike, but stops once it's clear the enemy is down for good. "Okay," he says, "Now I'll just cut the — " Click! He looks over to see that Kenta has already got the cell open. "Oh," he says, "Well, sure." He and Taizen sheath their swords, then walk over to the cell to grab the two genin. "Backup?" he asks, slinging one over his shoulder and putting one on Taizen's back, "What's the problem? If he needs help, it's going to be hard to keep these kids safe."
Almost instantly, Eremi leaps between the blade and the chuunin with a flurry of punches and kicks to overwhelm the guard. One strike knocks the blade away sending it flying through the air and sticking into the wall. The remaining strikes are feints to draw the mans defenses away for the final blow that knocks him backward, but not out. <No, get to the meet up spot. No detours. I'll be there soon.> Nothing else was transmitted to Kenta, as Eremi's focus shifted to the guard before him that was already working through hand seals and focusing their chakra. Whatever the shinobi was working on had to be a big one as the building started shaking again while the smoke that lingered outside, started to seep through the walls and into the room. Not wanting to risk his own life and that of the Chuunin before him, Eremi lifted his hands up before him as he started to move through the chakra gates. Each one after the initial changing his outward appearance only slightly. Red skin, pulsing veins and overflowing chakra. His abilities intensified and at this point it would be hard for any one to stand up against him. Though instead of using this moment to fight the Moyagakure Shinobi, Eremi runs toward the Chuunin in the chair, grabs the entire thing and begins to run outside.
"I'll go if he needs help, Atsuro-senpai. I'm not strong enough to carry these two. That takes you and Taizen-senpai, leaving me the only one that's free." Kenta kneels next to the still forms inside the cell with his hands outstretched as he concentrates on pouring healing chakra into their bodies. Sweat beads on his forehead, but he eventually pulls back. "They're going to need to spend time in the hospital when we get them back, but they're stable for now." Suddenly, the young man cocks his head and tilts a ear upwards. "Ummm… nevermind about sending backup. Eremi's heading to the meet up point -now-. He wants us to go there straight away. We have to hurry." Kenta pops to his feet.
"Okay," says Atsuro, "Let's go then. If we take the same route back out of the village, we'll probably be all right." He starts to head for the door, Taizen and the other genin following shortly, "But be ready for enemies, and try to keep out of sight." His instructions given, he starts moving through the building as quickly as he can, given that he's carrying a genin and he needs to avoid getting too far ahead of Kenta or Taizen. Time to get out of this lame, smoky village.
The smoke was coming into the building from all sides. Thick and heavy. As it reached out to touch Eremi he could feel it sapping away his strength and he had to fight hard to break through its clinging effect. Something that was becoming increasingly difficult as the smoke continued to fill the cooridor. If not for the Chakra Gates, Eremi would have been trapped. A final push and Eremi breaks through the smoke blocking the front door and continues out of the village taking the quickest route possible.
Kenta races across the rooftops after Atsuro and Taizen. Even with their burden, they're faster than him. On the other hand, he's the only one with his arms free, so the medic-nin watches their surroundings with extra alertness. He might have to provide first defense to the entire group if they get ambushed. <"We're out with the Genin and on our way. We'll reach the meet up point in a few minutes"> he sends out to Eremi through their telepathic connection.
As they already know what's up ahead, Atsuro and Taizen aren't having much trouble travelling back out of the village, jumping from known rooftop to known rooftop. Even with the genin and keeping at Kenta's pace, it's not hard to move as fast and silent as they need to. Pretty soon, they're at the edge of the village. Atsuro jumps down from the roof, followed shortly by Taizen. "Almost there," Atsuro says to Kenta as they start heading for the little forest area they hid in before, "Is Eremi on his way?"
<Good> Eremi replied to Kenta's update on their whereabouts. He wouldn't be too far behind, but had one thing left to do before meeting up with the others. Once reaching the outside of the village he pauses and sets the Chuunin down before turning about and taking a few steps back toward the village. A deep breath would be taken and his arms would once again raise before him. Focusing on the gates he'd start to open the remainders until reaching Gate of Wonder. The chakra that began to eminate from his form melted the snow beneath his feet and send the rest blowing about in flurries. "This…is from Konoha." Eremi muttered as he extended a hand outwards, palm facing out. His other hand would form into a fist then smack into the other hand. The resultant movement causing a large build up of air pressure behind him that would race forward the moment Eremi joined his hands into a unique seal and forcibly extended his hands. What followed was the form of a giant tiger shaped impression into the initially built up air pressure. As it moves, the air condenses into a single point before exploding. The destructive force engulfing the village, destroying several weakened structures and blasting the smoke that normally conceals the village in all directions.
"Yes, I think he's…" Kenta's cut off when a concussive blast smashes into the buildings behind him. The edge of the blast clips him slightly just as he's jumping off the last roof to reach the ground outside the village. It's nothing seriously, only a light shove from changing air pressure, but it knocks Kenta off balance, so that he flies through the air flailing his arms instead of in a graceful jump. The medic-nin hits the ground with a roll and comes up panting. Thank goodness for training… and no ice or freezing water. He doesn't need to get another serious concussion with Atsuro and Taizen present, especially on a dangerous mission. "What was that? Did someone just try to attack us? It was like hundreds of explosive tags going on at once," Kenta says as he whirls around to stare at the damaged village.
Atsuro and Taizen both stagger backwards from the force of the air, hair and clothes flapping in the wind wildly, then left in disarray. Whatever swear word Atsuro calls out is drowned out by the rushing air. Atsuro turns, slowly so that the genin he's holding isn't harmed any further, to see if Kenta's okay. He sighs in relief. "It was more like an attack on the village…" he notes, "Did Eremi do it? Hardly seems necessary, if he was already on his way out…"
The attack sent, the village in ruins, Eremi would relax from his stance with shallowed breaths. If there were survivors, it'd be years if not generations before those of Moyagakure would attempt an attack on Konoha again (spoiler :D). Turning about, Eremi took a few moments to free the chuunin from the chair, lift them on to his shoulder and head toward the meeting point. It takes Eremi a while, longer than it would if he didn't exhaust much of his strength in the final attack, but eventually he makes it there. "Here." Gently dropping the chuunin before Kenta, "He needs to be healed now if he's to make it back to Konoha alive." A look would be given between those gathered. "Other than that, mission accomplished."