Date: March 30, 2014
Hiei and Michiko are hired to help Shuuren retrieve a captured vessel from pirates.
"The Coalition Cleansing - Futile Vengeance"
Somewhere on the ocean
This network of pirates is pretty fast and apparently good on getting information. While much wouldn't be available, someone apparently found out the ships used to trap the last batch belonged to Nagamura Shuuren. That was enough to trigger specific campaign. Outside the normal range of the waters these pirates sail in, a luxury cruiser has been hemmed in and overtaken by a pair of pirate ships.
Aboard a stealth ship, the Tea Daimyo himself stands at the helm guiding the boat toward where the cruiser was stopped in its path. Blueprints of the ship were provided to the team hired from Kumogakure, simple instructions given. "There are hostages aboard this ship… including a ship captain who'll be doing some explaining why he continued on with this voyage when instructions were to halt unnecessary trips. Keep their survival in mind with your actions. Are there any questions?"
It was a good thing for Hiei that he had taken his medicine before boarding Shuuren's craft. Otherwise he'd be bent over the side and looking green around the gills. However, there was still a trace amount of green to his skin as he looks over at Shuuren. "How many hostages? And do you want any of them for questioning?" He crosses his arms over his armored chest. "I recommend you keep your men back, Shuuren-sama. Just in case."
Michiko seems to be doing fine on the boat, despite being a ninja who works primarily with fire jutsu. She listens curiously to the instructions given, waiting for Hiei to ask his own questions. "What do we know about the enemy?" she wonders, double checking her supplies and making sure she has everything she might need.
"I've only brought along some crew members to man the ship. My soldiers are behind at the capital," Shuuren points out to Hiei with a glance. "This is not the only war I'm fighting right now if you remember… We mainly just want the captain, whoever organized this. Try to only stun him. I need him physically capable for the… interrogation. The rest can die. Just don't burn down my ship and mind the hostages." Glancing to Michiko then, he says, "They're bandits. Some at least have decent Taijutsu skills. Some do not. There was only one that was a real threat on the last mission I was on outside their sheer numbers."
Hiei smiles at Shuuren. "Don't worry so much, Shuuren-sama. Michiko and I can handle this." He knew the Tea Daimyo was still doing battle against the Yakuza that still threaten his lands. Which is why his and Michiko's services were needed to deal with this situation. "We'll take one ship at a time, Michiko. Let's go." Withdrawing a kunai with ninja thread tied onto the end of it, he hurls it at one of the ships and then motions for Michiko to hold onto him. Once she does, he leaps off the ship to swing towards one of the enemy vessels.
Michiko nods to Shuuren, giving him a small smile as well before her attention turns to Hiei. "Alright, Hiei-san." She takes a hold of his arm, probably in a death grip once he leaps off the ship. Water she can handle. Soaring through the air, not so much. As soon as Hiei lands, Michiko lets out a quiet relieved sigh, pulling a Kunai from her pouch in case anyone tried to attack once the pair landed.
Among the hostages on the pleasure liner was a boy of 13 with long raven hair and eyes covered by dark goggles. As the passengers had been herded into the large banquet hall several of the women had manhandled him along, intent on protectinghim most likely. He looked like a child but bore the symbol for the Miura Merchants from the Land of Grass on his tunic. Otherwise there was nothing significant about him. He had gone with the flow and allowed the flustered elites to satisfy thier protective instincts. He had no intention of fighting the pirates at this point anyway. They were too many and he was out numbered.
"I'll leave most of the rabble to you then," Shuuren says with a simple nod to Hiei. "But I will come along to grab the captain in charge of these pirates." Once the others have moved onto the vessel, he flips a lever that drops an anchor to keep the ship where it is. That done, he walks over to the cabin calmly, walking back out with a pearl white cane with a golden lion's head on the handle.
On the vessels, as the shinobi arrive, an alarm is called out. In a hurry, arrows begin to fly toward them along with throwing knives, along with men charging them with blades drawn. The fight is on.
The moment Hiei and Michiko hit the deck, the fun starts. A dagger comes flying out and impales Hiei in the shoulder joint. He reaches up to yank it out and then grins. "Michiko, stand fast." He forms a handseal and then points two fingers towards the group of pirates. The fingers begin to charge with lightning. "Lightning Release: Lightning Arc!" He then darts forwards, spinning in the air as he kicks out towards one pirate and then extends his arm, attempting to knock another one out.
Michiko, sadly, was extremely startled to hear a blaring alarm. She further got distracted by Hiei getting injured just as they land. Ouch… With two rather big distractions, any attempt to perform a hand seal is just too slow and Michiko ends up getting wounded by several sharp objects (daggers, knives, etc). She winces as they all cut into her, but ducks slightly out of the way, throwing a kunai that was already in her hand at the enemy to provide a distraction while she performed a few hand seals to launch a fire ball at them.
While some of them are competent, the soldiers aren't much against a trained shinobi. After Michiko gets railed, those who're more competent seem to be focusing on Hiei while the lower ranks come after the girl. Of course, this split may've been somewhat unwise as the shinobi start tearing through them. Of course, this is met with yet more arrows as more men begin to pour onto the decks. From the deck of the cruiser, a shout is heard as one of the pirates brings out a woman with a knife held to her throat. "Back off, or we kill them all!" he shouts just before his eyes go wide.
The pirate looks as if he may've just had a stroke along the side of his skull caving in as he falls to the deck floor. In his place, Shuuren stands with the end of his cane where the man's head was before. "I suggest you all consider your allegiance very carefully," his voice rings out clearly but calmly. "Any man who kills a hostage will endure a fate much worse than death."
Hiei rocks from side to side easily dodging the arrows and knives. One arrow seems to hit him, but instead it goes right through him. Hiei had waited until the last minute to move and they hit his afterimage instead. Hiei continues walking forwards, only now one might notice that he's coming from a different direction. "He deals in fates worse than death. I just deal in death." He stares at a pirate and forms a series of handseals. He kneels down, slamming his fist against the floor with a growl. His fist and forearm catch on fire. "Fire Style: Falcon Punch." He leaps into the air before shooting his fist forwards, the sight of a firebird flares out just before impact. "Let the hostages go, and I won't sink your ships with you still on them. You get one chance because I am NOT in a good mood right now."
Michiko is a bit more successful avoiding the next wave of attacks. Some of the nearby equipment suddenly gets spiked to the brim by the various knives and arrows that were aimed at the genin. Michiko then dashes towards the group in a reckless maneuver, getting injured in the process and resulting in her going *poof*. The actual Michiko has completed her seals and sends another firebolt toward the enemy since it was so effective the first time around.
Meanwhile, on the liner… Shigeru had watched one of the pirates take a hostage from the banquet hall, a woman, and folded his arms. She'd been the first and on the other side of the room from the boy. Of course this upset the women 'protecting' him and other children greatly. Shigeru reached over and laid a hand on Anna-san's arm then smiled at her. "It'll be alright." His voice carried and that made one of the pirates around them irritated… Shigeru watched the man closely as he came over to play it tough will the kids and women.
"Don't bet on it kid. We're gonna show that Nagamura who's really in charge of this place!"
Shigeru looked bored, but Anna-san put an arm across in front of the boy and glared at the pirate. "Leave the children alone!"
"Sure, how about we pick on you instead?"
Shigeru duked behind Anna-san and was out of the pirate's view for only a moment but then he stepped around in front of her again and looked up at the man. "A kid's a better hostage than an adult. Let her be and take me."
With a nod, the pirate would grab Shigeru and drag him out onto the deck. All seems to be in motion with the Kumo nin wreaking hacov on the enemy as the door flings open for the man to drag the boy out to Shuuren until a voice booms from the other ship that's untouched as of yet. "Bring it on, suit! How's this? We'll spare your precious guests until the fight's over, but, when we win, you pay the ransom double!"
Casting a look over at the captain, Shuuren smirks slightly. Not too bright for the man to reveal himself so readily. Now the shinobi know who they can kill. "You've got a deal." As more men pour onto the deck of all the ships, the arrows and knives begin to rain even more than before, now even aimed at Shuuren himself. In the flurry, however, he makes brisk steps that make dodging these things look rather simple. Then, in a flicker that's almost untraceable, man after man begins to fly from the cruiser in a heaping mess.
Hiei steps to the side to dodge some arrows and then launches into a horizontal corkscrew flip to dodge another volley. After he lands, he rolls forwards, arrows sticking into the deck of the ship in his wake. He pops back up to his feet as he forms a set of handseals. "Release: Lightning Aura!" A lightning infused aura surrounds his body and is then channeled through the armor he wears, casuing it to take on a faint blue glow. "Wrong Answer." He reaches back to draw both swords and then slams the hilts into each other and twists. There is an audible click as Hiei now wields a sword staff. He twirls it around his body. "I'm going to enjoy gutting each and every one of you." Then his body vanishes as he attacks at high speed.
Michiko just keeps grabbing random objects and chucking them in the general direction of where these arrows/knives are flying towards (namely, her). At one point she grabbed a flag of sorts (for emergencies?), and the arrows just tore through it and injured the genin. She frowns at the wound, pulling out some Kunai and a shuriken to attack the enemy.
The boy seems to go along easily, silent and submissive. He seems to watch the battle…. Other eyes watch the scene as well, from just behind the pirate that has the boy. Taking note of how many pirates are around the immediate area….. Six by the look of things. The owner of the second set of eyes shrunk back into the shadows and waited….
With the game suddenly stepping up, the number of attacks going off at once becomes rather insane…. Someone's really gonna get a butt-kicking for all the holes these arrows are putting in this really expensive ship. With Hiei stepping it up, Shuuren decides he might as well do so. While it may not be visible since it's a swift motion, he quickly swallows a golden pill retrieved from his coat, and the amount of chakra flowing through him suddenly increases massively. Just as he moves agilely away from incoming attacks, he suddenly feels a much stronger chakra coming his way. The first attack is dodged before Shuuren feels a bladed set of knuckles strike him in the shoulder then steps around the next… The fabric on the shoulder of his suit is actually torn, causing the Daimyo to cast a glance at it then smirk slightly before looking back at the captain. "You really picked me to come after first?… You must really want to die." This begins to bit of a game of tit for tat between them as Shuuren strikes at him with his cane. Meanwhile, as the other shinobi clean house, the numbers are still ahead of them as more shinobi swing over from the last ship onto both the cruiser and the one Hiei and Michiko are attacking, bringing more and more fire their way, including toward Shigeru.
For the casual observer, it looks like Hiei is teleporting from place to place as he moves around the ship. With his speed dramatically increased, the Kumo Chuunin easily avoids the attacks from the pirates. Appearing in a group of them, he grins and tosses his sword staff at one of them. "Hold this for me." He then extends both arms outwards, delivering lightning infused open palm strikes on either side of him. Then he kicks the staff out of the guy's hands before catching it and spinning twice, hitting him almost simultaneously with both blades. "Shuuren-sama. These guys are no fun. Let's finish this so we can take these people home." He looks over his shoulder. "Michiko! How are you holding up, kiddo?"
Michiko dodges the next round of sharp objects heading her way, the dull sound of arrow against wood is quite nice to hear. "I'm fine, Hiei-san. Just a few scratches here and there," she reports as a fireball is aimed at the enemy again. These silly bandits should just give up, thought Michiko.
As the arrows came at them, Shigeru seemed to be struck by an arrow… for a split second. Then where he had been standing, under the pirate's control, there is suddenly nothing but a puff of smoke and air. The two subsequent arrows struck the stunned pirate….. The boy had been a clone! Other arrows pinged off the wall where Shigeru had been hiding, shielding him from the other arrows pelting the ship. Then from seemingly nowhere came a fireball, aimed straight at the pirate's back. Shigeru — the real one — had been there the whole time, watching and waiting, but now that the clone had been destroyed, he took the moment of suprise to attack…. "Goukakyuu no Jutsu."
"May as well," Shuuren says, smirking a bit as he and the pirate continue to go back and forth. After a swift strike to the sternum, the Daimyo places a pair of fingers on the man's throat, causing him to collapse to his knees. Without any mercy, Shuuren grabs him up by his collar and flings him into the shadows of the cabin of the ship. A pair of white eyes flash in the shadow before the man suddenly vanishes in a puff of smoke, a feeling of pure darkness there for just a second as this happens. That done, he calls out, "Anyone left dies." With that, he begins to move in a blur with intent to get rid of every single pirate on his ship.
Hiei watches Shuuren for a moment, watches what he does with the pirate captain. It took four Kumo nin to take down the Captain they have in lockup right now. Shuuren is a monster, no doubt about that. It only makes Hiei smile. "Music to my ears." And then he begins a deadly dance with what's left of the pirates. No movement is wasted, each strike is designed to kill or maim. They /were/ given the opportunity to walk away with their lives, but they made the wrong choice. "Michiko, go check on the hostages." He waits until the genin is on her way before he fully lets the monster out to play. She didn't need to see this. Hiei beings eviscerating pirates left and right. With a mixture of fire, lightning, and his sword staff, he lays waste to any and all that cross his path. By the time it's over there was blood splattered all over his white outfit..and none of it was his.
Having set two of the surrounding pirates alight with his fireball, Shigeru had then disappeared down the hall and returned to the banquet hall. Luckily most of the pirates had disappeared by then, but as he entered he saw one grabbing Anna-san by the arm and Shigeru ran up behind him, a blade drawn from within his sleeve. The boy leapt forward, slamming the blade directly into the base of the man's skull, a grim set to his jaw. The pirate let go of Anna-san and simply dropped, Shigeru's blade still in his cerebral cortex. "Are you alright?"
With their leader taken out of commission, the remaining pirates rather quickly begin to lose morale. It doesn't take long for the shinobi to rid the boats of the rest of them, leaving them to a watery grave among their shattered ships. "Good work. Back to the ship, and you'll be escorted home. Your payment's already on its way to Ogo's office," Shuuren calls out to Hiei and Michiko before looking to Shigeru and eyeing him carefully. "Now you I haven't seen before, but you do have the skills and potential of a shinobi… Who are you?"
Fade to black.