Date: Unknown (log received September 5)
Eremi has become a missing nin! He's run away from Konoha, but hasn't gone far, when Ayame and Zero find him on the outskirts of the village. After a brief attempt to get Eremi to return peacefully, Ayame uses more forceful tactics in an attempt to apprehend and bring him back with her.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Missing Leaf: Hunt For Eremi"
Just outside Konohagakure
When a Shinobi goes missing, there is always a cause for concern. Be it because they were kidnapped, killed or simply went missing, the secrets each shinobi know, regardless if they're a student or clan elder, are too valuable to let slip into enemy hands. Any shift in balance, change in control is sometimes all it takes to have trouble knocking at your front door. This is why the moment it was realized a chuunin from the Satonezu clan, up and coming Taijutsuist and user of the Eight Chakra Gates had been absent for some time, that measures were quickly taken to see just exactly why this is the case.
Now with the Chuunin Exams taking progress in Konoha, this made things difficult.
Most available Shinobi were already too busy guarding the village during the process to be able to leave their post. The most that could be spared were small groups of Genin or Chuunin at best. Sent out with orders to gather reconnaissance, see what happened to Eremi and hope that he wasn't in fact kidnapped during the exams, showing a weakness in Konoha's borders, but instead has simply not checked in for what ever reason the boy might have.
Those that could be spared, luckily enough wouldn't have to look too far to find Eremi. Though he had in fact 'ran away', the boy still considers The Land of Fire his home and has no intention of leaving it. At least not indefinitely. So for now he'd stay on the outskirts of the village, living in the forests, setting up camp when he was tired, but never hanging around for too long. Always on the move as if he might find an answer to what he should do next on the go.
For now, as the sun was beginning to set, leaving only a few hours of light left in the day. Eremi had found a spot to rest for the night. Currently sitting on a downed tree that had died some time ago, with his backpack resting up against it and some branches bundled together as if it might be used for a fire later. These were all signs of someone that didn't care if they were found. Traps weren't even set up to ward off or warn of potential threats. No, Eremi just simply didn't care about things anymore.
Ayame had been one of those recruited to search for Eremi, one of the shinobi she had fought alongside earlier in the month, someone that she actually knew well enough to find them should she need to, using both her unique talents and the help of other shinobi.
She hadn't needed to search for long to find him though, resting much closer to home than she had suspected… and without any clear guards, or even booby traps to tell her before she had arrived exactly why he might have vanished all of a sudden. She stepped through the trees silently, not even so much as rustling leaves or grass as she moved toward Eremi.
"…There you are." She announced her presence… so far having no reason to assume that Eremi was any sort of threat. And he wasn't. Not to her anyway. "People in the village are looking for you, Eremi-san. You should come back with me now, before someone has a heart attack thinking you've been kidnapped…" She stayed on the edge of the wooded area, in the shadows, staring toward Eremi, and watching for any movements from the boy, just in case something unexpected happened.
Even though this mission was one that was sent down to lower ranknig shinobi due to the exams, it gave one of the initiates a chance to do their job without a handler. It was certain that he would be evaluated when ever he was put in to situations where he dawned the uniform and the very minor authority of his position as an ANBU Initiate.
He was given a dossier of the target, mostly general information that would help him track Eremi down. However, he also would note that some things were black listed from the files. This obviously meant that some information was beyond his lack of pay grade, which made him wonder if he was in fact chasing down a superior or something… worse.
Regardless, he set out, and would find the chase to be… well.. anti climatic. Eremi was not even attempting to hide himself, even as he made his way away from the village proper and remained away. The initate noticed that he had company as well, someone he was a little familiar with, the witch, it seemed. So, he would begin to allow his gaze to slipt hem both a genjutsu that simply made everything appear as it already appeared, sans the Initiate's own existence.
Sitting there silently, staring off while lost in thoughts, Eremi was somewhat startled when a voice nearby calls out to him. Not that he wasn't expecting to be found, no, he expected that. Otherwise he'd have at least tried to cover his tracks. The startling part was that the voice was able to get so close to him without him noticing first or at least suspecting someone was out there. It wasn't cause for concern, just simply interesting that it was able to happen.
"No." Eremi replied while still facing forward, not even bothering with turning around to face the individual. Though the voice sounded familiar enough, there was no need to move. "I'm not going back, especially now that you've found me. You can tell them I wasn't kidnapped and every thing should be fine." The boy paused for a moment, taking in his surroundings then inhaled deeply while slowly bringing his hands in front of him to interlock the fingers and crack the knuckles. A quick sleight of hands used just before the process to focus his chakra toward the deja vu that caught his senses.
Ayame doesn't move. She's still… Though her cloud of chakra suddenly begins moving around her, invisible to anyone without the ability to see chakra. "Let me rephrase that. You will be coming back to the village, and you will be explaining your disappearance to those in charge. It is not a request, and while you may technically be my superior, I do not believe, under the circumstances, there will be many who mind if I force you to comply." She doesn't move from her spot.. but she didn't really need to in order to hurt Eremi in the event that he still refused to comply with her demands. "This is your one and only warning… Attempts to run will be seen as hostile action, and I will react appropriately. Is that understood, Eremi-san? I do not want to hurt you, but at the same time, simply walking away would not be in either my best interest, or the best interest of the village that I've offered to serve. Please understand and make this easier on everyone involved… come back to the village."
Well, it seemed that he was able to get as much information as he was going to get. Eremi didn't want to return, though the initiate did not know why as of yet, and Ayame had already given Eremi an ultimatum. So now… all he had left to do was see about this capture. But for the time being, he would remain hidden, or so he thinks, as he gathers chakra incase this becames a battle in the end.
"That's quite the request…" Eremi then quickly shook his head, "Threat, I mean. That was clearly a threat and with only one warning too." The boy sighed as he had no intention of fighting anyone from Konoha, especially if he could avoid it. "While I admire your spunk, courageousness and loyalty to the village…" He slowly bent over to grab the handle of his backpack before becoming a blur as he moved from where he was sitting toward the opposite end of his campsite, now facing Ayame. His forehead protector still strapped to his forehead, but with a scratch carved through the symbol of the village.
"Unfortunately the answer is still no. I love being a shinobi, but I simply don't enjoy being one for Konoha anymore and were I to return I'm sure every thing I've worked hard for on my own, and I do mean on my own, would be stripped away from me. That's not to say I haven't made best friends along the way. Struggled, grew and bonded with them. It's just what I've accomplished is mine and mine alone. Konoha won't be taking that from me and neither will you." The boy shook his head as he turned around and started to walk away.
It was as Eremi began to turn away that a small blue flame suddenly ignited in the air behind Eremi… And it would be when he turned around and started to leave that the flame suddenly became a bright flash of light, accompanied with a loud, ear-shattering bang, followed by another that faded into existence just behind Eremi's head in case he managed to turn away from the first. With any luck, it would end up stunning Eremi long enough for Ayame to take hold of the boy and forcibly drag him back to the village without hurting him. She really DIDN'T want to have to hurt him.
"Wrong answer, Eremi-san… There are much more peaceful ways to go about this. You should take the opportunity and use those means before you leave it all behind."
The initiate would make his move then, though not attacking as of yet, he'd simply move to a position where he would block Eremi from moving any further. Silently, he gazed upon him with the Sharingan, seeing if Ayame would succeed or if he'd have to intervine himself. In either case, he was prepared, but he was not going to make this overly difficult if it didn't have to be. To that end, they would all just have to see how things turn out.
It was the familiar blue glow that instantly caught his peripheral warning him of the dangers ahead were he not to act fast. Had he not already encountered this skill during his fight with Meruin and seen the damage it can cause, he wouldn't have thought anything of it. However, this was not the case. Without thought, Eremi raced from his spot, flickering out of range of the blast not once, but twice only to appear next to Ayame.
"That was close. Too close. I get that you're serious, and I understand you want to make your village proud. Prove yourself useful even. I've been there." Pausing for a moment, he'd eye the girl, making sure she was listening, "This however, isn't your opportunity. Go back to the village, tell them you've found me, but I got away or simply say you didn't see any thing at all. Live another die, grow stronger, make friends."
Turning around once again, he'd start to walk a different direction than before, "But what ever you do. Do not continue to pester me with trivial matters, because you will stem me off, and I won't be responsible for what happens after that."
Ayame stepped closer, out of the trees, "…It's not about making Konoha proud, or proving myself. I'll prove myself soon enough, with or without you." She gestured vaguely, with a whispered, incoherent word, and the earth rumbled slightly… Soon, two large rocks, easily right around a hundred pounds each tore themselves from the ground, and flew directly at Eremi seemingly of their own accord.
"This is about getting you to come back with me. You don't want to become a traitor to Konoha… living as a missing nin is as bad as not living at all. There are better ways, if you want to leave. Easier ways. Ways that wont involve someone like me, or worse coming to kill you."
She stared for a few more moments. "…Wont be responsible? I think you'll find you're wrong, Eremi-san… You WILL be held responsible for what happens to me. That's just part of what happens if you go missing."
Shaking his head just slightly, it was time to act. No more observations, no more games. Eremi was to be captured and taken back to Konoha where he would be punished for abandoning the village and simply not at all attempting to sever his ties properly. In a way, it went against the initiate's own thoughts on the matter given his most recent history, however, that would not be something for him to concern himself about right now. His sharingan would blaze crimson for a moment before he'd suddenly appear on the other side of Eremi, sword drawn and perhaps having cut in to him as he seemed to be several yards away, reseathing his blade. His hand formed a seal, causing Eremi to have the impulse to fall to his knees if he was not sharp enough to catch it in time.
This girl has quite the mouth on her, one that to Eremi, has never felt the consequences of not knowing when to back down. Would he be the one to show Ayame the error in her ways? It was doubtful. Though he still planned on getting away when this was all said and done. For now he was still on his toes, busy avoiding the massive boulders flying his way. The first was easier said than done, but he under estimated the second, assuming he was trying too hard so brought it back a little bit and that was his downfall.
As he attempted to side step the boulder, it managed to clip his shoulder forcing the backpack to fall to the ground and land with a thud. He was now photosynthesized, but did his best to calm himself while trying to pick up his backpack once again. Before he could though, he was still on the defensive as the second individual he knew was out there finally showed and came at him with a blade. Not wanting to risk what happened earlier Eremi stepped his game back up and moved out of distance, but it was to no avail as he was hit by an invisible force that dropped him to his knees and prevented him from moving.
Ayame stared down at Eremi, raising a brow as she watched him fall to his knees… It wasn't her who did it this time. That's when she notices Zero… It must have been him. She sighs and turns her attention back to Eremi a second later…
Then the branches of the trees overhead began to shake, leaves falling on the ground with each harsh rustling noise. It wouldn't have taken Eremi long to discover the reason behind the rustling. There were bodies. Limp bodies, with their wrists and ankles tied with rope, were hanging by their necks from the trees, necks elongated gruesomely, and eyes wide open and dead. A figure above was dropping them from the treetops, it's face concealed by a dark shadow from the hood that covered it's head. Soon, the bodies were no longer falling in front of Eremi though, and suddenly he would see, and FEEL the rope of another noose dropping around his neck, tightening, and drawing him up into the trees with the rest of the bodies, living or not!
That's when the other bodies turned toward Eremi, their dead eyes suddenly focusing on him, and their formerly limp figures squirming on the end of their ropes, as if trying to break free. Failing however, they shift gears, swining on their ropes, their mouths going wide, revealing blackened, jagged teeth in their mouths as they came closer, and began to try to latch onto whatever they could with their filthy mouths, spreading whatever diseases their once dead bodies might have carried!
Zero did not want to cause any harm to Eremi simply for choosing a different path, well… not much. His attack was meant to harm him, but only as a warning in the end. Unfortunately, that did mean that he'd have to wear him out, and that meant that he was going to have to focus on his mind and body more than his wounds. This was simply not an ordinary confrontation.
Eremi would suddenly feel the presence of someone or something that was simply overwhelmingly powerful. Just being near them seemed to crush his form and cause his chakra to dissipate and diminish. As Zero walked closer, it was more and more obvious that it was him. The silent initiate seemed to be absolutely overflowing with power in just about every form imaginable as he approached Eremi as a target.
Stuck on his knees, this was a move Eremi knew all to well, but it never mattered. His Genjutsu defenses were never where they should be. He could blame his namesake for it, but in the end, it was his own fault for sacrificing his other jutsu's to purely rely on Taijutsu, feeling that would be more than enough. It was a silly thought, considering some of his best friends were Genjutsu experts and made sure to hold that over him at every chance. Using his weakness against him and not giving what he thought was a fair fight. Though, they were just using what they had.
These thoughts were all he had while unable to move, but it didn't take long before visions filled his minds, making the boy see and hear things that weren't actually their. The rustling of branches is what caught his attention first and as he looked up, he realized he was finally able to move, but it did him no good. He was too late. For as each body fell from aboves, hanging from ropes, Eremi felt the same thing grab for his neck. Desperately he'd fight against it, scratching at the constraints. Unable to breath he was sure he was going to pass out just as the dead bodies that hung near him started to twitch and writhe. Reaching out with what ever they could.
It was at that moment Eremi felt a brief glimpse of clarity and chance for release. Focusing his chakra he freed himself from the shackles of Genjutsu to finally see clearly that he hadn't moved from his kneeled position. The sensation however didn't last long as another force started to take hold. This one similar to the one that had dropped him to his knees, but even greater. As if the gravity all around him had increased and there was nothing he could do, but it wasn't the force of Earth that held him down. It was the other individual that he had no idea who they are. Instinctively he'd bite his lip, hoping to draw blood and break him from yet another Genjutsu. This time it didn't help. He was already captured and pressed hard against the grounds as he struggled to even move. He wasn't stunned and at least and he knew it. He was just taxing his own body, exerting unnecessary energy on these false sensations that filled his minds and it only fueled the anger.
Eremi shouted while at the same time chakra began to pour out his body. Little at first, but it gradually increased. The ground beneath him began to compress as if an actual force was coming out of the boy. "I said ENOUGH!" He rose to his feet as if he was at full power and more once again. His hands would cross against his face in an X fashion, while he assumed a squating position. The chakra continued to pour and it was starting to show on Eremi's body. The skin would turn red and the veins throughout began to bulge to the surface as if they could burst. To those that recognized this, it was clear he was opening each of the gates and when he would stop was anyone's guess. The only clear sign of how far he had pushed open the gates was the flow of chakra coupled with the force exerted from his own body that was causing the ground around him to crack and the loose rubble and debris to catch air only to quickly crumble into nothing.
Ayame had never seen the openning of the chakra gates before… but she knew that Eremi was changing… trying to bulk up, in order to better fight against both herself and Zero. "It wont be enough until you come back…" Is all that she says, shaking her head slowly and starting to work again with her Genjutsu.
The sky grew dark, as clouds rapidly rushed through the sky, covering up the moon and then passing, revealing that the moon had suddenly changed color… it was now a bright, bloody red. Under the light of the red moon, the trees began to move, slowly at first, with a groaning sound, but then more rapidly as the bark broke away from their trunks, and the trunks began to writhe, snapping themselves open to reveal vaguely human faces… two eyes and a mouth of huge, sharp splinters. They groaned more as tree roots tore free from the soil, and branches began to reach out for Eremi, attempting to grab him, and pull him in several directions, towards their open mouths.
From beneath the trees sprang up insects… hundreds of them… Thousands of them, each black, with beady little red eyes, swarming up the boy's legs and biting quickly, attempting to strip the flesh from his bones even as the trees tried to tear his limbs from his body. They continued to swarm, up his sides, into his clothes, biting mercilessly, and even trying to burrow into his ears and mouth to get at the tender flesh inside his skull.
It seemed that Ayame was using her genjutsu advantage against the taijutsuist as well. She either also didn't want to see him truly harmed, ro happened to be a genjutsu expert. Zero on the other hand, was simply using the least lethal skills he had for this task and thus was working in concert with Ayame. He did not know what Ayame's genjutsu entailed, but he would start to work on the more subtle route of things, causing Eremi's body to feel even more strain and fatigue from usage of the gates, as well as the genjutsu that was wearing at him seeming to intensify just a bit. So far, they had supressed his power, but it was hard to say for how long this would be the case.
With as many gates open as Eremi was able to manage, he was finally ready to retaliate. Though how he would actually go about this was unknown considering after all this time he was still on the defensive, doing whatever he could to protect his mind and senses, but with so little training in doing so he was at the whim of the genjutsuists. Each ability shifting his perception of the area around him, causing him to panic when there was no need and exhaust himself for no reason. If it wasn't for the gates coursing through every fiber of his body, he would have already dropped to the ground completely passed out and defeated.
Eremi did have the gates however to give him the boost he needed so after all was said and done, he was still standing there as if he had more than enough energy to continue on. The fact of the matter however, was he did not. Despite what he wanted to continue doing, the gates were destroying his body faster with each genjutsu that managed to drain away his stamina faster than normal. It was tearing away at his muscles physically while the Genjutsuists barely even lifted a finger at him. It was frustrating to say the least, but it made him realize that at this point in the game, he could no longer ignore his weaknesses. Eremi would need to fix this and fast if he wanted to survive out in the forest of the Land of Fire with Konoha shinobi continually hunting him.
First though, he had to escape these two, which shouldn't be too hard. Regardless of how much his body was deteriorating, the gates still made him faster than most and being a Satonezu sure helped. Leaning forward, he'd shift his feet then be off. Running ahead, breaking the ground in large chunks as he moved forward and blowing out debris and dust all around him. He was sure to grab his backpack as he went, but he never stopped running. Obviously he was leaving an easily trackable trail as he moved, but he was simply building up momentum so he could leap toward a high branch, push off it with both feet and explode it into splinters as he reached the open air and continued moving forward at an increased velocity. Were the other two to follow, it could be trouble for Eremi as he had nothing left to give, but he would take solace in the fact, that he never lifted a finger against them.
Ayame does not pursue Eremi, she just watches his obvious trail. "…He's not even trying to conceal his tracks. It's like he wants to get caught." She sighs and shakes her head, "I say we let him go for now. He's too fast for us to keep up to him, and it's not like we can't find him later…" She turns around again. "I'm going home…" And then she heads back toward the village to give her report.
Zero could go after him, fast or slow. He could snare him. He could lock up his mind and body. He could exhaust him and make him come crashing down. He had many options, but instead, as he didn't actually attack him… Zero would just have to accept the defeat. It may ruin his chances for finishing his ANBU training, but… he didn't feel right dragging him back like this. Smoke bombs would be dropped and the ANBU Initiate would vanish within the cover.