Date: May 10, 2016
Tatsuo's service is requested at a village with a big river related issue. Atsuro, Taizen and Kenta escort him there. Little does the group know that the mission is just an attempt to lure Tatsuo out for a good old fashion kidnapping.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Tail Hunters - Attempted Kidnapping"
Land of Fire
There was an emergency mission! An emergency mission with an odd request thrown in. The mission was from a village about an hour's ride away that was having water issues. Having heard of his help with other villages and water, the village itself has requested Tatsuo's presence! And it was such a rush that there wasn't really team to try and form a proper team. So what do they do when there's no time? They throw the Jounin Commander and the boys guardian into the mix to go with him. Tatsuo was at the gates and ready to go, though he looks like he might have just woken up. Well, it is early morning, before sunrise even. But emergencies are urgent! He yawns and part of his normally semi-spiky hair is flattened against his head, showing what side he was sleeping on…
Unlike sloppy young Tatsuo, Atsuro and Taizen arrive at the gate fully awake and groomed for the mission. Why is this mission so urgent, and what are these 'water issues'? Even the Jounin Commander doesn't get all the information sometimes. They'll just have to see what the situation is when they get there. The two of them walk up to Tatsuo and wave. "Morning," says Atsuro, "Everything ready to go? Is Kenta almost here?"
Yep and thankfully, Tatsuo's guardian is fully awake. Kenta tends to get out of bed to cook and exercise before the sun rises, so the timing of the mission doesn't bother him at all. In fact, his owlish eyes are completely clear and focused. "I'm right here," Kenta says from behind Atsuro and Taizen. "Ummm… I wish we had more time to prepare. No proper breakfast and I wasn't able to pack as well as I hoped. I guess my emergency mission kit will have to do. It has all equipment I need, barring specialized medical instruments." He pauses to reach back to pat the pack strapped to his shoulders. He reaches into a pocket to pull out a homemade protein bar, which he offers to Tatsuo. "Here. You'll need to keep your strength up. This mission relies mostly on your talents."
"Um, hai, thank you Kenta-sama," Tatsuo says as he takes the protein bar, though he doesn't eat it just yet. "I think we're ready to go. Um, if it's like the last village I went to then the river had been diverted and their crops almost died." But, well, he's not in charge with two Jounin here or anything so, while he thinks they're ready to go he, ya know, waits for one of them to give the word. Once they do he'd quickly be on his way.
Atsuro turns around. "Oh," he says, "Well, good morning to you too then." Should have known to look behind him. "You should eat something too," he says, "It's true that Tatsuo is the one they asked for, but there's no telling what this mission will bring when we know so little about it. We need you in tip-top shape. Maybe we can stop somewhere for food on the way there…" He turns to Tatsuo and nods. "Hopefully nothing more complicated than that. But let's get going." He heads for the gate, gesturing for the others to follow.
"I ate on the way here," Kenta announces. It's the truth too and there's a balled up piece of wax paper in a public trash can to prove it. "Umm… don't worry about me. I had plenty of sleep, so I'm feeling very alert. Besides, it's early in the day, so I haven't had any work to sap any of my energy yet." The young man's all too happy to let Atsuro take charge. There's no other possible leader when the Jounin Commander is on the mission too. He gestures for Tatsuo to follow after Atsuro and then falls behind his student, which leaves the last spot for Taizen. The first thing he learned as a medic is to take center position whenever possible, since that's usually the best protected spot.
Once Atsuro has them start moving Tatsuo unwraps the bar and eats it, not exactly inhaling it but definitely eating it quickly. Tatsuo would get them moving quicker as they went though, a little time to snck before they started running. He wanted to get there as soon as he could since he was pretty concerned about it all. There's been a lot of weird river things going on lately that he's had to deal with. Water diverted, water vanishing…always water.
Atsuro looks at Kenta for a moment. The younger man often ignores his own food needs, but he tends to try and dodge questions rather than outright lying. "Okay," he says, "As long as you've had enough." He continues out into the wilderness, while Taizen sits back and waits for Tatsuo and Kenta to get into position ahead of him. "Let's move, everyone," Atsuro says. Once they're at the forest, he leaps into the tree. "We'll continue through the forest for a while," he says, gesturing for the others to follow.
While there's two Inuzuka in the group already, Kenta still keeps his eyes open as they travel towards their destination. The young man's senses might not be as good as theirs, but that doesn't mean he should get lazy. This is especially true when Tatsuo is in the party. There are dangers specific to the times when a Jinchuuriki is outside the safety of the home village. Aside from that, there could be some things that he'd notice that the Inuzuka might not, specifically seal and tag related dangers.
Once they get moving it doesn't take long to reach the village itself. Dawn's light is just starting to show when the four make it to the village. It's fairl quiet thanks to the early hour, though there are a few people out tending to animals. The visible crops are already starting to wilt however thanks to the summer heat from the last few days and the lack of water. An elder approaches the group, limping with a cane. "Which one of you's the water user?"
Tatsuo was hanging back a little bit, taking in the village and all the various people and animals, ending with his eyes on the crops. When the old man asks, however, Tatsuo's attention quickly returns forward and he bows quickly. "Hai."
(Strange smells! Atsuro and Taizen would realize things don't smell right.)
As they reach the village, Atsuro and Taizen both slow slightly, sniffing the air. "There's a strange smell in the air…" The sniffing continues as they walk around the village. Finally, once Tatsuo has shown himself to the elder, Atsuro steps forward and introduces himself. "I'm Inuzuka Atsuro," he says, "This is my partner Taizen, Nara Tatsuo, and Akiyama Kenta. We came out as quickly as we could, but we don't know exactly what the nature of your problem is. What is it you need Tatsuo to do, exactly?"
Kenta sniffs the air slightly, but he doesn't seem anything too out of the ordinary. "Umm… dying plants?" he murmurs to the Jounin Commander softly. Kenta comes to a complete stop once they're approached by the elder, but steps forward when he's introduced. He also gives the elder a deep bow. "Umm… Konichiwa. Nice to meet you. Tatsuo is one of the best water ninjutsu specialists in Konoha. Once he's done fixing your river, you won't have to worry about a thing. I mean, not worry about anything related to the river."
The elder looks the Nara over with a critical eye before he nods, then turns and motions for Tatsuo to follow. "Come along boy, I'll show you where our problem is. You two and your dog can go get some breakfast at my house." The old man points to what is apparently his house where an old lady stands out front, watching the group.
Tatsuo blinks in surprise when the man turns and tells him to follow but he starts to do so anyways. After all, since this is the client even if he's a bit gruff the teen has to be on his best behaviour. He does glance to the others though when the man tells them to go get breakfast. He'll do what he's told to do of course, cause he's a good shinobi…
(The elder doesn't smell like an old person)
Atsuro glances to Kenta, but shakes his head. "Not quite," he says, It's something…" When they're speaking to the elder, he sniffs again. "Thanks," says Atsuro, "But we've actually all eaten. I think it would be best if Kenta and I were on hand. It sounds like the sort of jutsu you're asking for could be quite exhausting for him. And if he'll be dealing with large quantities of water, it could pose a risk to your village if we're not careful."
Kenta immediately shakes his head when the elder asks Tatsuo to follow and the rest of the team to go elsewhere. "Sorry, but we need to escort Tatsuo. I especially need to be there. As a medic, I must be on hand while to oversee his wellbeing." Among other reasons. He begins to step forward with the intention of falling in next to his student. "Umm… Atsuro-senpai is also right about other dangers involved. I don't think anything will go wrong, but it'd be bad if we're having breakfast and something happens to the river that might endanger the villagers. I would be needed without delay if that happens."
The elder turns back and squints at Atsuro and Kenta when they decline the food. "Well you see the area could be dangerous. We only have permission to bring the water user. Putting anyone else at risk would be improper. If you're not hungry that's fine but I'm afraid I must ask you to stay." He turns to start hobbling away again.
Tatsuo looks between the old man and Atsuro and Kenta, quite unsure of what he's supposed to do. Obviously they want to go along but the man is saying no so does he stay with them or…? He's quite torn, and it shows on his face.
"Who's giving permission?" Atsuro asks, "Are there other elders we can talk to? Tatsuo's jutsu are quite different from anything any other ninja can do, and they're very dangerous if they get out of control. If we can't be directly by his side, it's vital that we're at least in some kind of observation point with easy access to where Tatsuo will be. Elder, whatever's in that area, it can't possibly be more dangerous than the scenario I'm describing."
Kenta nods his head up and down with a grim look on his face. "Umm… yes, that's exactly why Atsuro-senpai, Taizen-senpai and I must at least be able to observe." He pauses for a second. "But as a medic-nin, I'm actually going to insist that we go with you guys. Even staying at an observation area would separate us from Tatsuo should anything go wrong. In addition, like I mentioned, we're there to mitigate exactly the type of danger mentioned. It doesn't really matter if you only have permission to take Tatsuo with you, because he's not going without us. If fixing the river is so important to you, you're going to have to go get permission for all of us. Tatsuo will wait right here with us while you do that," Kenta says in a firm voice. Hopefully, the Jounin Commander doesn't countermand him.
The elder paused and turned back again to look at the others. "Well fine, if you insist. But it's a ways upriver and you all are looking mighty tired. There's a nice comfortable bed inside my house for you. I promise we'll take care of your shinobi." And indeed they may be starting to feel suddenly tired as one of the people that have stopped to watch them must have started casting a genjutsu on them.
Tatsuo just fidgets in place for a few moments before he walks back over to Kenta, waiting with them for the moment. Of course if they give in and decide to go take a nap then he'll go by himself, but for the moment he'll do what he's been told by the seniors in the group!
(The tiring effect is sudden with that edge of genjutsu to it.)
Actually, Atsuro /is/ tired. But that can't be, can it? He was feeling fine just a minute ago. And despite the early morning, he's had plenty of sleep. He glances to Kenta and Tatsuo, then back to the elder. "Elder," he says, "We appreciate your concern for us, but we really are here to make sure the mission goes smoothly. After all, your request did say that this is an urgent task. We do appreciate your gestures, but I hope you're willing to save them for after we're done."
Kenta starts to shake his head again when bed rest is offered. He feels the sudden wave of fatigue that goes through him in the middle of that action. This instantly rouses his suspicions, since the young man never feels tired so quickly after such a short journey. It's -much- too early and -much- too little work to cause that. He quickly turns his attention inwards to diagnose the cause. There's no signs of poison, which is expected, since he hadn't eaten or drank anything he didn't make himself. No, the problem originates in his chakra network. Genjutsu. Kenta instantly disrupts the flow of chakra in his body long enough to break the genjutsu.
Kenta blinks slightly and yawns, but he also scans the area at the same time. It's impossible to tell who just did that. The young man forms a quick hand seal and reaches out to touch Atsuro. "Umm… Your energy levels -are- a bit lower than usual," he says with a bit of concern in his voice. In reality, anyone familiar with Yamanaka techniques would realize that the hand seal wasn't for diagnostic purposes, but to create a telepathic link. <"Someone's using genjutsu to make us feel tired.">
Indeed, Kenta also had to touch Atsuro because he's sending chakra into the Jounin Commander's body to dispel the genjutsu. He touches Taizen and Tatsuo in turn to do exact the same thing. "Umm… all of you too. Maybe we -all- need a rest, including Tatsuo. Can't have him working with such dangerous forces while he's not at full energy. I know it's urgent, but that makes sense, right Atsuro-senpai?"
"ENOUGH!" a voice calls loudly. It's…the old woman? She doesn't sound very old at all. "If they won't leave the Jinchuuriki alone then just kill them. I'm tired of these games." A number of *POOFS* show that the people who had been worn down villagers are actually shinobi. They don't have a hitai-ate, but their clothing and the way they prepare to fight shows that they are definitely ninja of some sort. The old woman's henge poofs and instead there's a woman in her thirty's standing there. She doesn't seem amused in the slightest as she turns and walks back into the house. The 'old man' turns out to be a man in his early twenties. "Should've just let him come alone. Now you have to die." As he finishes speaking a sword appears to slash skillfully towards Atsuro.
The others close in on the four, almost a dozen in total, and as they near they toss a number of kunai and ninja stars at Tatsuo and Kenta.
Tatsuo was…surprised. He really hadn't expected that. Kenta's warning was just a bit too late really. How had they been tricked so easily? These must actually be skilled shinobi. As the various thrown weapons come his way Tatsuo pulls water out of the air, letting the items smack into it and fall to the ground. He jumps back a little ways then, giving himself some space.
«"I thought that too,"» Atsuro sends back, «"They want to separate us from Tatsuo for some reason. Be on your—"» The warning is cut off when the old woman yells her orders. Atsuro, of course, has already received a sword from Taizen and brought it up to block the old man's blade. "Did you think that maybe the reason I was resisting is because your ruse sucked?" Atsuro asks. "I guess you deserve some credit for not letting us isolate and interrogate you." He flips his sword around to swing at the old man. "But only a little."
Taizen, meanwhile, has drawn a sword of his own and is now holding it, covering the group's rear, growling loudly. He's ready.
"None of you are getting him at all!" Kenta exclaims. He wraps himself in a skin tight seal barrier to deflect the few shuriken that manages to reach him. Then, the medic-nin steps forward to protect his student, planting himself directly in front of Tatsuo. "There's a lot of you, but you've made a big mistake! Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-sepai are worth an entire army!" A faint aura of distorted air begins to form around Kenta's body as he starts to draw chakra from the storage seal on his chest. This is accompanied by a chain of seal characters that reaches up his neck to his cheeks. Kenta pops a black pill into his mouth and immediately make a rapid series of hand seals. He leans forward to blow out a wave of sleeping mist to blanket the immediate area.
Metal clashes and sparks as the blades of Atsuro and the 'old man' strike together. He seems entirely unphased as he brings his sword to match Atsuro's once again. Whoever these people are, they aren't pushovers. "We were fine, you Leaf nin are always just so stubborn." He pushes against Atsuro's blade then, trying to get him even a small amount off balance before he quickly unleashes a torrent of strikes.
For a moment people seem confused at seeing a dog with a sword in it's mouth. Two exchange glances before they shrug and attack the dog, thinking it'll be an easy kill. One foolishly attacks with his fists while the other is at least smart enough to use a pair of kunai in his attack.
Two of those who were just a little too slow to move in time fall to Kenta's sleeping mist, hitting the ground hard and one of them starts snoring. Loudly. That doesn't stop the others however. One of those a distance away from Kenta goes through quick hand seals before putting his hand to his mouth and blowing out a volley of small fireballs at the medic.
As the others are attacked Tatsuo draws on some of Isobu's chakra, his eyes shifting to a dark red. Two shinobi come at him from behind, but unlike the others they don't seem to be trying to kill him but instead capture him. That works in Tatsuo's favor. Water deflects wooden boa's before he blasts one of them away with a punch of water.
Atsuro snorts as the two men pull apart again. "You think that was all just a fluke? You poor effort, you're going to get your shot kicked and you won't even know how it happened. Tai!" He holds out a hand and Taizen flips his head back to toss the sword he was biting earlier before quickly replacing it with another one from his vest. He lunges forward as soon as it's drawn, slicing at the poor fool who brought his fists to a sword fight and letting the momentum of one with the kunai keep him occupied before he whips around to slash at him from the rear.
Atsuro, swords now akimbo, unleashes a flurry of quick blows, striking at the other man with every kind of slash, chop, and thrust imagineable, keeping the attacks constant and unpredictable.
The small fireballs aimed at Kenta strikes the young man straight on, but the barrier of chakra that he'd wrapped himself with absorbs some of the force of the offensive jutsu and uses it to deflect the rest. Nevertheless, even if nothing gets through, it's not very pleasant a feeling to have small fireballs explode against oneself. Kenta steps back with a slight wince on his face before he starts to counterattack.
Wind against fire isn't very effective, but… Kenta forms a completely different series of hand seals than any he has done so far. This ends with the medic-nin looking through a small window created by the thumb and index fingers of both hands together. "Mind Body Disturbance!" Kenta send two invisible streams of chakra towards the fire ninjutsu user and the female genjutsu user from before, trying to hijack both their bodies to turn them against their comrades.
The swordsman appears to be quite skilled as he begins deflecting, blocking, and parrying Atsuro's blows. However he remains on the defensive, unable to find a moment to break into the offense and his face begins to show a tinge of concern at the flurry of blows. However nothing manages to sneak through just yet. Taizen has a little more luck, seeing as he practically slices through the poor fool who was going to punch the dog. The other man turns to block the return blow from the ninken and manages to get away with only a scratch. He lashes out quickly in return, thrusting towards Taizen now that he's passed.
The fire user was just about to send more of that fun fire towards Kenta when he was caught by the Yamanaka ability. The fire turns instead on the genjutsuist who doesn't even have a chance since they're fairly close to each other. She gets knocked back with a powerful fireball, leaving her a burning mess.
Tatsuo brings water back around to block the attacks aimed at him with the wooden boa's, dark red eyes flicking as they follow the two remaining men who seem to be trying to capture him. Some water blocks a blow, then quickly winds it's way down the boa and wraps the man up tightly. The other manages to get a good whack in on Tatsuo's shoulder at the same time but the boy doesn't even seem to notice as water forms up nearby and drives needles into the man in a rather large amount, leaving him stumbling backwards in shock.
"This isn't even the most I can do, you realize," Atsuro says even as he keeps up the flurry of sword strikes, varying each attack to prevent the man from ever seeing a pattern and getting his footing. The nature of the attacks change though as Atsuro suddenly brings his own blades together and attempts to lock them around the other man's sword like a pincer—and then hopefully cut right through it and disarm him.
Taizen turns out to be fairly capable of defending his own rear. The dog turns his head back to block with his sword, then kicks at the man much like a horse would—not an insignificant attack coming from a dog of that size.
Kenta glances over his shoulder to see how the rest of the group is doing. That's all he needs to confirm that the kidnapping group is pretty much floundering against the better trained Konoha shinobu. The medic-nin turns back to the fire ninjutsu users and closes with at a surprisingly quick jog for someone with his short legs. He releases the Yamanaka jutsu the moment that he reaches the other man. Unfortunately for the would-be kidnapper, that's only so that Kenta can reach out to touch him with a hand covered in medical chakra. Kenta had specifically molded the chakra to disable by overloading the nervous system and the body's pain receptors. "Like I said, big mistake."
The man is actually starting to sweat as he has trouble keeping up with Atsuro. He manages to, albeit barely, up until that last moment when Atsuro's blades close on his own. He stares stupidly in disbelief before the blade in his hand shatters under the power and superior steel. Well, with his weapon all but gone he does the only thing one can. He attempts to stab Atsuro with the two inch shard left attached to his hilt. The man who'd attacked Taizen finds little time to dwell on the next attack as he finds himself knocked backwards into a nearby house with the force of the kick. The shoddily built temporary building falls to pieces on top of the man himself.
The fire user didn't have a chance. The next thing he really knows his nerves were on fire, causing him to let out a piering scream of pain before dropping to the ground, unconscious. That much pain tends to give one a bit of an overload.
Tatsuo looks to the last man he has wrapped up and considers for a moment before he just walks forward and gives him a swift chop to the back of the neck, knocking him unconscious. He lets the water vanish and the man drops to the ground. He looks towards the house the apparent leader had gone into and starts towards it with a frown, intending to find out just what they'd been trying to do.
A two inch shard actually isn't much of a match for swords, not having anywhere near the reach. It's simple enough for Atsuro to dart back, then quickly lash his swords back at the other man, who now has very little to defend himself. Meanwhile, with the enemy buried in cheap building materials, Taizen moves back to the group to make sure nobody can flank them and waits for any opponents.
Kenta bends and slaps his hands to his unconscious opponent's hamstrings, using chakra scalpels to slice through the tendons just for good measure. When he sees Tatsuo strolling towards the collapsed house, he hurries to catch up. "Tatsuo, wait! Not on your own," he calls out as he slides to a stop next to the boy. "We'll approach together. Who knows if that man purposely got out of sight to prepare some nefarious jutsu." Just in case, Kenta starts to make some hand seals of his own. He's prepared to shield Tatsuo from anything that the leader might throw at them.
The poor guy didn't have a chance. As the blades slice through him he slides off into a few different pieces next to Atsuro. Yummy. There's no other movement now that these people have been dealt with. All that's left is the other house that Tatsuo and now Kenta approach. Tatsuo makes a hand seal and mist fills the house for a moment before he shakes his head. "He's gone." He says, kicking the door open to peek inside. There's nothing, not even a floor. Just four flimsy walls and a roof. "He ran away." At least they have a few left alive that they can question…right?
Atsuro looks around and sniffs the air a few times. "I guess that's that," he says finally, "We'll bind the survivors and take a look around for any clues that might indicate what these guys are doing." He glances to Tatsuo, "Although we know it involves you, and I think we can guess what they're after from that." He walks over to the man Taizen kicked, the dog himself following shortly behind in case backup is needed, and starts to tie him up with wire.
Kenta lowers his hands, aborting the sequence of hand seals that he had started making. "That's not a good sign. Usually, when one of them gets away, it means trouble for us in the future," the medic-nin says with a frown on his face. He turns in a slow circle to survey the enemy units that they've managed to capture. "Umm… I guess I can try to reach their minds and see what I can find. It's kind of a difficult jutsu though. How much I can get and how long it takes depends a lot of how well they can resist mental probing. Hopefully, they're not just hired goons that were given orders and nothing else…"
Tatsuo looks back to Atsuro and nods in understanding before letting the red fade from his eyes. "If they are after me that's not good," he agrees quietly with Atsuro. He looks to Kenta and then to Atsuro to let him make the decision on the mental probing. Although something like that should probably wait till they get them back to Konoha…right? Tatsuo goes to the man he'd knocked out and quickly binds his hands behind his back.
As Tatsuo thought, Atsuro orders, "We can do that, but let's get them back to the village first. We want to tie them up, investigate, then we can take care of them somewhere where we're less vulnerable. No telling if any that got away went to grab reinforcements." Once the man he's working on is fully bound, he drags him out into the open. "Tai and I are going to sniff around," he says, "Can you two use your sensing techniques from here and keep an eye on the prisoners?"
Kenta immediate nods his head at Atsuro. "I can do that." He glances sideways at Tatsuo. "Umm… we really better stick together too. On the way back as well, since there could be an ambush for us while we travel." The young man briefly closes his eyes, but only so that he can center himself. A moment later, his eyes pop back open and he forms a hand seal. Subtle pulses of medical chakra starts to emanate from his form. Kenta's brows furrow in concentration while he reads the returning echoes for suspicious biological signatures.
Tatsuo nods his agreement to Kenta before making a hand seal once again. Mist forms once more, leaving only their immediate area free and clear so that the others don't get lost in it. Yet with both of them checking there's nothing. Whoever the leader had been, they're gone now and out of sensing range. With that done and the kidnappers now well kidnapped in return the group returns to Konoha to seek out some information. And to try and figure out what exactly is going on…