Date: October 20, 2012
Wherever there are earnest and devoted seekers of good, there will always be some wolves trying to take advantage of them.
"The Golden Voice"
Land of Wind countryside
A-rank: A traveling "holy man" has been gaining a large following while passing through the Land of Wind. His authenticity and motives are questionable, but either way his pilgrimage is problematic as more and more people abandon their homes, families, and jobs to follow him. His congregation relies on alms from the areas they pass through to feed themselves, and as their numbers and sense of entitlement grows, they are coming to resemble a marauding army. This crowd must be disbanded and sent back to their homes, hopefully without making Sunagakure out to be bad guys.
There's trouble brewing in the Land of Wind, of a particularly delicate variety. Hundreds of people, coming up on thousands even, have flocked together following the wandering holy man, Onsei. While a lot of people would call it commendable to seek spiritual edification and growth, when so many people leave their homes at once to commit themselves solely to such a purpose, it causes a bit of a strain on more earthly matters, like getting the crops planted back on the farm. c.c Even worse, all those legs walking across the countryside still have stomachs attached to them, and the places they go to are hit hard by the need. Some of the seekers have gotten really good at guilt-tripping the locals into making large 'contributions' to help feed the congregation, and reports of livestock and crops going missing in the crowd's wake indicate that some of them aren't even bothering to ask anymore. Somebody's got to put an end to this pilgrimage, but who can manage that without making themselves seem like the bad guys? c.c
Why, ninja of course, or at least that's what the politicos who assigned this mission told themselves. They haven't the foggiest idea how to do it, but that's exactly the sort of problem you throw ninja at, right? So now Chiyoko of the Sunagakure Jounin Council has been issued orders to disband the congregation and send them back home, preferably through some manner of diplomatic resolution. On the plus side, Land of Wind officials have promised to provide escorts and supplies for the people as they disperse homeward, so that shouldn't be any problem. The question is, how to convince them to leave Onsei?
Approaching the place where the congregation is currently encamped, Chiyoko should be able to hear Onsei preaching. "The will of Heaven must reign supreme in our hearts and minds! Only then can we find true joy, in this life or any other!" Well, the guy certainly does have a gift for speaking, his voice sounds like a golden bell. Y'know, if a golden bell actually sounded as sweet as you'd think. Onsei stands at the entrance to a central tent, calling out while a helper mutters prompts to him from a scroll. "All men must share with one another, and feed those who are in need! Let those with abundance bring it to the table of Heaven, that it may bless the children of righteousness!" After some more talk like this, Onsei retreats into his tent along with his helper. Hmm, looks like a chance to catch him relatively alone, if there's just some way of getting in there without attracting too much attention…
This situation requires a quite delicate touch and a wise mind to attune to those with a very spiritual mindset. That is likely why Chiyoko was sent on this mission, the Seeress of the Land of the Moon. It may be a farce, but people who do this kind of thing are more likely to believe it than most. Still, to keep herself from being noticed right off the bat, the Councilwoman has dressed down. She wears a simple blue kimono, her white hair worn straight down, looking as plain as she approaches. Pausing at the edge of the encampment, she waits for him to finish, keeping an eye from afar so that she can see where he goes. Once he steps away, she begins to mingle her way through the crowd, politely smiling and nodding at any who greet her.
As she approaches the edge of the crowd near Onsei's tent, Chiyoko spots something rather advantageous, the helper leaving the tent. She watches him for a few moments, studying his face, hair, build, attire, etc. before stepping behind a nearby construction and bringing her hands into a seal to use Henge discreetly to take on his form. There, she waits a few more moments before stepping out and casually making her way toward the tent, emulating the man's walk and mannerisms for the brief time it takes her to walk to the entrance of the tent. A brief glance is cast around to be sure the real helper isn't approaching before the transformed woman steps into the tent and starts to glance around for the main target of today's objective.
Onsei sits in meditative silence within the tent. On hearing the tent flaps opening, he opens an eye and looks. "Back so soon, Urufu-san? Heaven must have blessed your steps to find supplies so soon." He takes a sip from a plain wooden beaker of water and peers at a scroll in the dim light of an oil lamp, then looks at 'Urufu' for a moment before speaking in a bit of a rush. "I've been thinking, maybe the congregation is ready for more substantial teachings. I'm sure you're doing your best to select good passages, but I feel as though we've been over the basics a hundred times now. Sharing in the abundance given from Heaven, obeying the will of Heaven above all else…surely they're ready for some more practical lessons by now?" Onsei leans back a bit, his earnest expression turning a bit meek. "Of course, I realize you know more about human nature than I do…"
Chiyoko stands silently for a few moments as the man speaks, briefly glancing around the room every so often to study it for any sorts of trap doors or things of the like. By his speech, the man seems to have good intentions. Even so, the damage that has been dealt and what could come could be irreversible if this situation is not dispersed. At the last sentence, she looks back to him and gives a nod before her transformation fades away. "I am not your helper, but do not be alarmed. I am the Seeress Chiyoko, and I have come to deliver a warning and aid you in steering your path so that it does not lead to disaster," she says, her voice calm and fluid, not threatening in any many. She offers a formal bow, her hands clasping together as she bends. "I have seen what is to come. It is terrible, but I can help you prevent it so that your work may shine as a beacon to your followers and generations to come."
Onsei blinks, then rubs his eyes and looks again. "Dear Heavens, my eyesight must be going. How could I have mistaken you for Urufu-san?" o.o Onsei reaches over and grabs the water jug and another beaker, pouring a drink for his guest and gesturing to the mats near him. "Please, sit down. We do not have much in the way of material things, but what we have you are welcome to share. What is it that you must tell me?"
Chiyoko smiles slightly at the 'case of mistaken identity, saying, "That is quite alright. Perhaps you are simply tired." Upon being offered a seat, she makes her way over and sits formally with her legs underneath her beside him. "Thank you," she says with a light bow of her head before beginning to explain her 'vision' in a rather serious tone. "What I have seen is a world undone by your followers, not because they don't have good intentions, but because things become desperate. With this great a number of people leaving their homes and the numbers of them steadily increasing at such a rate, food and supplies are not only going to be a troubling necessity for your follows but also for the villages left in their wake. As a place is purged of most of its goods, and the numbers grow more, taking away from the people able to help rebuild those resources, it will only make the situation worse the next village and then the next. I'm certain you can see how this problem will only escalate the longer it goes on until your people even begin to turn on each other out of desperation over a morsel of bread." After a moment's pause, she smiles and says, "However, there are ways you can prevent this without giving up your pilgrimage."
Onsei furrows his brow throughout Chiyoko's explanation. When she finishes, he scratches his head. "Erm…I'm afraid I don't fully understand what you're talking about, no. I've never had a head for numbers or the like." n.n; Onsei smiles and lifts a finger. "Urufu-san is the one who handles supplies and such things. He knows so much more about people than I do, he's very good at negotiating. Perhaps you should speak to him about this." :)
Just then, the man in question does come back into the tent. His eyes take in the situation and he immediately scowls, then ducks back out and shouts. "Men! Onsei-sama is in danger, there's an assassin! Get her, quickly!" Several men dive into the tent with knives drawn. Onsei gives a laugh somewhere between amusement and panic. "Oh no, she's not an assassin, there's no need to — " But the first men to arrive don't have the look of faithful students looking to protect their master; they have the look of hardened thugs looking to preserve their meal ticket. >/ They assault Chiyoko with murderous intent. Meanwhile, a few other, more innocent-looking followers arrive, making the situation more complicated. They haven't joined the brawl yet, but they likely will if it lasts for more than a few seconds.
As the man speaks, Chiyoko blinks a few times, and it's beginning to become clear that this man is not the brains behind the operation nor the source of the problem. As the man who is now her primary suspect steps inside, she looks over her shoulder at him and lifts an eyebrow as the men dive into the tent after her. Just as they strike, she would seem to fade out lf existence. A moment later, she reappears standing by Onsei with a crystal ball floating between her hands. "I am the Seeress Chiyoko, oracle of Heaven's will. Those who would strike against me are blasphemers who would bring only ruin." With Onsei himself and some of his actual followers here, that should draw a pretty hard line.
Smart move. The apparent disappearance of Chiyoko stalls the charge of the thugs and creates a moment of hesitation in which the true believers can see that Onsei isn't in as much danger as they'd thought. Urufu grits his teeth, and decides to go with a last desperate gambit. "Kill them all!" he hisses to the thugs, gesturing at Onsei, Chiyoko, and the others in the tent. "We'll say it happened in the scuffle and start a crusade to avenge him! Those ones first, don't let them out of the tent!" Onsei gapes at Urufu as the thugs turn on the innocent followers. Suddenly he's on his feet with an angry roar. "NO!!! YOU SHALL NOT HURT THEM!!!" >O Onsei surges forward and tackles the nearest three thugs. What Urufu failed to realize is, despite Onsei's meek and childish nature, he's a trained monk, and quite willing to lay the smack down when innocents are threatened. That leaves about four other thugs and a rather stunned-looking Urufu for Chiyoko to deal with.
When Urufu's true nature comes out, Chiyoko's eyes narrow. So he IS the real culprit here. The Councilwoman blinks a few times as Onsei gets quite physical all of a sudden then quickly sends the Crystal Ball forward to slam it directly into Urufu's face as she unravels a scroll. With a puff of smoke, the rather large Guardian puppet appears between the thugs and the civilians. The clicking of mechanisms signals trouble just before a controlled stream of fire shoots forth at Urufu and the thugs while the Crystal Ball seems to begin to go back and forth between them like someone is going for extra points on a pinball machine, spikes coming out of it that are dipped in poison to help put the men down.
The scene as viewed by most of the congregation from outside the tent is something perplexing. The fabric billows and shakes, there are screams and shouts and smacks and the crackling of flames, and every so often the tent flaps flip open for a moment to reveal Onsei dragging a thug along in a headlock, or another thug running by with his shirt on fire, or Urufu trying to sneak out but being dragged back in by the collar. x.x When the dust settles, they're left with a pile of groaning thugs, one trussed-up con man, and a whole lot of people staring and wondering what's going on. o.o
Onsei looks out of the tent at the gawking crowd, short of breath from both the fighting and from the bewildering, troublesome situation he now finds himself in. He turns to Chiyoko. "Chiyoko-san, I…I don't know what to say to them," he stammers. "I'm only good at public speaking if I have someone guiding me along. Please, give me the words. They'll listen to me, just tell me what I have to say to fix everything."
As the dust settles from the rather chaotic scene, Chiyoko lets out a sigh then looks out at the crowd as well. The situation may be less than ideal, but this is the chance to fix everything and prevent further catastrophe. With a nod to Onsei, Chiyoko begins to say in a low voice. "Tell them that you appreciate their discipleship, but, for them to truly follow Heaven's will, they must do so in their own lives. Only by going home and living their lives with the teachings you have taught them can they be a light unto others and show them the way. You will keep a handful with you to deliver your messages to the rest, but a group so large is too heavy a burden on the towns you visit for the message to reach them."
Onsei nods and turns to address the crowd with his golden voice, telling them the things Chiyoko instructed him to. Most of them are frankly relieved to be told to go home; despite loving to hear Onsei's voice, many of them are homesick and tired from the journey. Having it authoritatively stated that going back to their families and sharing what they've learned is part of their continuing metaphorical journey makes everything just peachy for them. n.n It's also a huge relief when the information is spread about Land of Wind soldiers coming to provide supplies and guidance on the way back. The majority of Onsei's congregation parts ways on that day, with a small group of disciples continuing to walk the lands with him (and distributing to poor folk the ill-gotten gains Urufu and his ilk had been sneakily collecting). Urufu and his band are tried and found guilty in the swift-deciding courts of this world. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!