Date: January 19, 2016
Yamanaka Rei agrees to accompany Asami on her journey to find the brother that the latter hasn't seen in over a year. However, bandits have other ideas.
"The Scenic Route"
Land of Fire
It's been a day or two since Asami and Rei left Kadomai. They've had a bit more time to talk and get to know each other better, without random drunk patrons listening in (or oggling them). There may have been some flirting as well, but so far it's been light banter for the most part. The path that Asami is taking leads towards colder climates, and particularly, the samurai nation known as the Land of Iron. She doesn't necessarily expect Rei to go with her all the way there, but some company along the way is nice. She's spent most of her life in the company of her family, rather than alone. Having to go off alone in search of her brother was something of a radical change.
At first, she liked having the privacy, the time to have her own thoughts and do things her own way.
But it didn't take that long before she started feeling lonely. But it's all okay now, because Rei is with her! Right now, the two of them are travelling through the woods, still within the Land of Fire due to the slower pace being set. Asami remembers that Rei said she travels a bit slowly, so she isn't trying to push her. At night falls, she's thinking of suggesting that they set up camp for the night or look for a place to stay otherwise. Though she doesn't know of any inns nearby…
Rei is a bit of a slow walker due to her physical impairment, but she tries not to slow Asami too much, though stretching out the time when she's around such pleasant company doesn't seem like a bad idea. When night comes, she's a bit tired and would be happy to find somewhere to bed down for the evening.
"It's getting late… but I don't think there's anywhere nearby to rent around here," she states as she looks around at the woods around them. "I'm sorry if I'm a burden… I could help setup a tent and make a campfire if you like maybe?"
"Oh, psh! Not a burden at all!" Asami reassures. "I was just thinking of suggesting the very same thing. Besides, with how much rushing and sneaking about I've been doing all the time, it's nice to get to just travel and enjoy the journey." The pony-tailed kunoichi smiles brightly at Rei. Right before suddenly getting a bit more of a serious look and turning to face forward with a 'hn.'
Whether Rei detects it or not, they are apparently surrounded. A couple dozen individuals in the woods around them. Asami releases the catch on one of the suspender-like straps holding her huge Fuma Shuriken onto her back with her thumb.
"We have company. I'll have to take care of them before we can settle down. I'm sorry."
"Glad I can be of help of some kind then," Rei says, chuckling a bit. When the other woman notes that they are surrounded, the Yamanaka woman frowns slightly and says, "I suppose we couldn't have a completely smooth journey." She drops her things as well and steps a bit closer to Asami. "I can be of more help when one of them rears their head… but don't let me fall too hard when I fall, hmm?"
Asami looks a bit confused for a moment. Blink-blinking. Fall? She doesn't understand but she says, "Don't worry. I won't let you get hurt." She isn't necessarily 100 percent confident she can do that, but these don't feel like ninja. She's trying to sense them out right now. Some of them might have ninja training, but they're all fairly weak compared to them.
Eventually, realizing they've been spotted, a bunch of brigands start coming out of the woods and blocking the road ahead and behind them. They're armned in various ways and don't seem to belong to any particular Village based on their attire. "Oi, oi! What do we have here! Two women traveling alo—" one of them starts.
Asami says, "My apologies, but if we could skip the cliched dialogue and get to the part where I kill you all, that would be appreciated. You're delaying dinner."
The bandits pause a moment and then many of them just start laughing, apparently thinking it a bluff. Their leader seems less amused, a vein ticking in his forehead as he says, "Come on now! You're out numbered, ladies! You don't really think that—"
Asami undoes the other strap and whips her shuriken off her back, swinging it around forcefully enough to produce a blast of wind that blows in every direction. It's not strong enough to be an attack, or do harm, but the fact she did that purely with physical force says something about her strength.
Things are quiet again, as Asami stands ready and says, "This dialogue, too, is cliched. We'll begin now."
As the men pop out so easily, Rei smirks their way and glances toward Asami. While the bandits start to spout cliches, she leans back against the other woman a bit then brings her hands up together and points them directly at the leader. With a focus of her chakra, she goes to take over his body, causing her own to slump down and slide down Asami's back to hit the ground.
If successful, upon taking over the man's body, she uses it to grab his blade and begin to strike at his own men to try and kill them by his own hand. Perhaps this is why she drinks so much if this is the way she fights, using such dark methods.
Asami would have been more startled by Rei's collapse than her methods, if she hadn't had prior warning. As it is, she tries to support Rei as much as possible on the latter's way down, and does show a moment of surprise before she pieces together this must be some sort of control. She assumes Genjutsu, though she doesn't know of any Genjutsu that makes the jutsu caster collapse when it's used.
In the frenzy of confusion as the bandits are suddenly being attacked by their leader, and thrown into disarray, taking losses right away, Asami throws her shuriken seemingly righ at the man that Rei is controlling! The huge shuriken goes spinnning forward, on a direct course to bisect the man! But then it suddenly takes a sharp turn and swings all the way around in a circle as Asami uses wire to manipulate the blade's trajectory. She ducks down, spinning the shuriken over her head, and causing it to slash right through not only all the bandits around them but also a number of trees.
The ones trained as ninja do a better job of defending themselves, but even they are hurled back as they try to block the weapon. Only one manages to actually leap up into the trees to avoid the attack completely.
As the shuriken comes all the way around again, Asami tugs on it, retracting the wires to draw her shuriken back to her and keep it from cutting the leader in half.
Ordinarily, if she were to attack someone being controlled with Genjutsu, it would have no impact on Rei. But given that Rei's response when using the Genjutsu is different, she decides she'd rather not take chances. Further, as long as the leader is being controlled, he is essentially a temporary ally.
Which just leaves… Three enemies left. One up in the trees, two more scrambling to their feet or tryin to pull themselves out of bushes…
And a ring of red all the way around the two kunoichi, with several bodies piled up around the leader that Rei took care of before Asami could even act.
The Fuma ninja looks over at the remaining ninja and asks in a very cold tone, "Are you sure you want to keep this up?"
The ninja take only a few moments to evaluate their options, before deciding they do not want any part of these two crazy ladies. Bush guy calls out, "W-wait for me!" as he finally pulls himself free of the thorny branches and goes leaping after the other two. Leaving just the leader, Asami, and Rei.
With the bandits all taken care of save the leader, things are looking up pretty quickly. Under Rei's control, the leader quickly takes his valuable belongings, being his money and his weapons, and tosses them over to the women. He then takes a strand of rope from his pouch and ties himself to a tree before his body finally falls limp for a second before he's able to wake up on his own.
Once that guy is given control of his body back, Rei's eyes open, and she pushes herself back up off the ground. "Neat, huh? Lets me take care of situations without having to actually get in the middle of combat myself, at least as long as I leave my body with someone trustworthy.." She then smirks over at the leader, asking, "What should we do with him?"
Asami definitely nods appreciatively in regard to Rei's jutsu. "Very impressive. I can see all kinds of uses for it, even not knowing how it works exactly." Wiping her shuriken down with the clothing of one of the fallen bandits while she speaks, she eventually straps the oversized weapon back into place while considering Rei's question. What to do with him?
Well, obviously they should kill him. She would like to chase down the trio who fled as well and finish them off. The fewer people who know about them the better. Less trouble down the road. She can imagine it now. Someone talking about them somewhere, some other jerk making the connection in regard to Rei's jutsu, and the decision to ambush them. Possibly by someone more powerful and intelligent than this lot.
But if they were going to chase those three down, Asami should have taken off immediately after them. Tracking them at this point would be time-consuming, and she isn't sure that Rei can move fast enough for that. Sigh. The other option is to get as far away from here as possible as quickly as possible, and avoid leaving anything to track themn with. The problem of Rei's mobility remains, but there's a simpler solution when she's just moving the two of them, not pursuing anyone.
"Let's gather up everything we can carry, Rei-chan. We're going to have to move a bit quickly to put some distance between us and this place." Then she draws a wakizashi from a sheath at the small of her back one-handed as she approaches the tied up man. And then she proceeds to ram her blade through his eye ball and up into his brain even as he starts pleading for his life.
"Sorry. Can't leave any witnesses for what direction we're going," she apologizes after the fact.
Waiting patiently while Asami ponders what to do, Rei smiles a bit ominously at the bandit leader. She might enjoy this sort of activity a little TOO much. It's a possibility she drinks so heavily so that her darker side doesn't show through all the time.
When the order is given, the Yamanaka woman nods and gathers her things up quickly while Asami disposes of their last problem for the moment. Once she's got everything, she looks up to see the man's last moment then peers over at Asami. "So how are we going to move quickly exactly?" she asks. "It can't exactly just shrug off my infirmity, so are you planning on carrying me on your back or something?"
Asami cleans off her blade of blood and brains and returns it to its sheath as she turns around and approaches Rei with a smile. "Yes, actually. With your permission?" she asks. If she receives it, she scoops Rei up in her arms, with all their stuff (including the newly-obtained loot) stowed away in packs and satchels, and then leaps up into the tree tops, taking off at high speed in a series of bounds that have her and Rei sailing through the air for a dozen or more seconds at a time.
The air whooshes past them, whistling in Asami's ears, as she keeps a gentle but firm hold on the other woman. So much for a quiet, scenic journey. At least they'll get to their destination a bit faster, and maybe avoid any further trouble. And hopefully they'll still get to extend the time they stay together. Asami glances down at Rei, taking her in with a cerulean gaze, smiles, and then looks ahead.
Yes, things really aren't that bad.
"Of course," Rei replies with a nod, adjusting her body to be a bit easier to scop up and hold when the other woman grabs her. It's a bit more romantic than being on her back, perhaps, but they do need to get away in a hurry according to Asami, so she'll heed that warning. "My, you're rather strong," she comments as they move along, her eyes lidding slightly as they move in response to the wind upon them. "Maybe you can help me with physical training some time to try and get back into a more mobile state."
Asami sounds mock-aghast as she replies, "What? And give you a reason to spend less time in my arms? I would never!" But she's smiling. Eventually, she does nod and say, "I don't have much experience as a trainer, except with training alongside my little brother… But I'll do everything I can to aid you." Jump! Another sailing leap! "You said that people might come after you due to your jutsu, so I'd like to avoid any further incidents by removing ourselves from where they could easily track us down. I am guessing your technique is rather distinctive or recognizable?"
"I suppose that's a point," Rei says with a chuckle. "Any help you can provide would be appreciated…. And, yes, my jutsu is rather unique. Most people can't recognize it from the scene of an accidental unless they really know what they're looking for, but I do prefer to be safe. Your concern is touching… and well-appreciated." With that, if allowed, she'd make her weight a little less by moving her arms around Asami and turning a bit to allow herself to be more easily held. "I really should think of a way to reward you for your diligence.