Date: January 27, 2015
Michiko and Yori are told to explore the source of disruption in the mountains. Apparently a hunter has gone a bit too far…
"The Shadow Man - Who is Hachiro?"
Land of Lightning
Michiko's making sure that Yori is evaluated in all aspects so early in his training. It's not that she has something against him, but she is aiming to see how flexible the boy can be. Michiko sent him a hawk so that he would meet her near the lake. The details on the note were as such: something is haunting the mountains once more, now that spring has awakened. They were to investigate and report back to Kumogakure. If they found anything or anyone suspicious, it would be up to Michiko to give the order to kill/capture. The Iwata can be found leaning against a tree in wait for the Saito, the girl offering him a sheet of paper. "Sign this and return it to me if you truly want to be a part of my team, Yori-san. By the end of the week, preferably. We'll be going once you put it away. You understand the mission, yes?"
Yori received the hawk and quickly packed up his small backpack with items he might need for a mission, making sure to bring flint and some extra rope just in case Michiko checks his bag. Better to have it than not! When he arrives at the lake the boy went right up to Michiko and bowed deeply and formally. When she hands him the paper he looks at is with a little smile before nodding, "Thanks ma'am. I'll be sure to get it back to you right away." He slides the pack off his back and puts the paper safely inside before repositioning it. At the question he nods, "Yes ma'am. It seems a bit odd though. Do you have any idea what we might find up there ma'am?"
Michiko shrugs lightly, pushing off the tree so they can set off once Yori's ready. "Mmm… I've no idea. The reports complained of traps that could endanger travelers, so it could be a hunter. They've also commented on wild animals appearing more and more often. I'm willing to bet it's a wayward hunter, but I'm not sure… Of course, we might just run into a lot of wilderness that's been disturbed and this 'hunter' could be a figment of everyone's imagination." The girl smiles just a bit. "So then… Keep your senses open. We won't see anything until we hit the actual trail, but expect an attack from anywhere."
"Traps?" That doesn't sound good at all and Yori gets a grim look of determination on his face before giving a quick nod. Whether or not the hunter is real the thought of something that couold endanger travelers or wildlife was not a pleasant thought. "Yes ma'am, I'll keep a close eye out." He says and once they begin moving he does so. Before they even leave the lake area he's already scanning from side to side carefully, taking in everything and making sure that nothing seems out of place. Have to start somewhere.
Michiko nods a bit. "And please, call me Michiko-san, Yori-san…" she adds, still not used to being called 'ma'am' of all things. The pair will find themselves traveling along the road at a slower pace than any normal shinobi would go. Something more akin to say a tourist or someone who was injured and had bad knees. It was partly to make sure they didn't trigger traps, partly to keep an eye on /everything/, and partly because Michiko was focusing on a lot of things at once. Eventually, though, Michiko would tell Yori to go explore along a path while she looked at something else that had caught her attention via her tremor sense.
As Yori walks down the trail, he would eventually stumble across a trip wire. If he isn't fast enough with those reflexes, he would /definitely/ get hit in the face with a giant log, resulting in a broken nose. However, if he was able to avoid tripping completely, he'd just get a slight knock. Either way, it'd be painful…
"Ah, uh yes Michiko-san." It sounds so weird to him to say that, since she was not only the Raikage's aide but also soon to be his team leader. Yori keeps his eyes out and around while they go and he tries to watch for any traps as they get closer to their location. He doesn't mind so the speed so much really as it gives him time to really kind of focus on stuff around them. When Michiko sends him off on his own the boy nods before hitching his backpack up, hooking his thumbs beneath the straps before going off on the trail. As he wanders he continues to watch, hoping to catch sight of whoever is supposed to be up here as well as A TRAP! He sees the tripwire in time to not faceplant but somehow he must've moved something enough for a giant log to shake loose. Without thinking he quickly leans to the side so the log goes by, then steps away to avoid it on the back swing. "Be careful Michiko-san! I found a trap here." And the log keeps a swinin' while he crouches down to look at the tripwire. If only he knew more about traps…
Michiko nods a bit at the news, intending to make her way back to Yori. What she had found was a single footprint made by a heavier person, clearly an adult, likely with a pack. But nothing else, indicating it might have been a false trail. As she makes her way over, she's suddenly attacked by the man who is known as The Glass Master. "Hachiro-san?!" she exclaims. The man spins around, surprised, then seems to make up his mind and attacks Michiko, attempting to kick her and knock her off balance before sending a two punches towards her mid-section. They all fall through a clone, though, and she watches from the side, building up chakra. "What are you doing?" she asks the man, frowning. The Hachiro she knew wasn't aggressive.
Yori's trap-triggering likely was the cause of Hachiro's arrival. Another of him appears, in fact, the man attempting to 'karate chop' Yori in the neck to knock him unconscious. Of course, it's got to be an accurate hit, otherwise it'll just cause some momentary pain. But wait, there are /two/ Glass Masters??
Yori was continuing to study the trap, following along it with his eyes when the hair of the back of his neck stood up. He turns just in time to bring his arm up to block the chop, then the next attack. The third gets through however with his low vantage point and being so much smaller. A punch to the face, could've been worse. The boy quickly jumps to his feet, bringing a fist up towards the mans chin before closing the vambrace around his other fist and swinging it around towards the chest.
The Glass Master had no trouble blocking Yori's attacks, it seemed, effortlessly knocking aside the attacks. Michiko seemed to be having better luck, dirt pelting at the man she was fighting. He didn't seem inclined to speaking, though, choosing instead to … run?! "Hey, wait!" Michiko calls out, the man disappearing rather quickly. Of course, the one facing off against Hige is still there. He strikes out with a single Palm, aiming to strike Yori's midsection and sap a bit of his energy with a chakra-infused hit. And after that strike, he disappears in a poof of smoke. Shadow Clone… "Yori-san, once you're recovered, we'll continue with our patrol… I know where he went, and I don't think we should head that way until we take care of the traps in this area," she says, making her way over to the Saito carefully.
Yori grits his teeth as he brings both arms up to block the attack, the power of it causing him to slide back a little. When it disappears he blinks, lowering his arms to look around slowly. Shadow clone, really? "Are you alright Michiko-san?" He calls out after it's all done. Of course he was the one that got hit but it was rather minor. But he's supposed to be a protector…didn't do a very good job this time! "Who was that?"
"…" Michiko frowns a bit as she considers. "He's a merchant known as The Glass Master. Usually he's quite friendly. Our Shinobi have helped him a lot as he traveled between Konoha and Kumo, making stops along the way. I'm not sure why he's attacking us now, but I intend to find out." The girl makes her way around the area as she looks for traps to trigger, though she finds none. Maybe she's too lucky… Of course, when she wants to trigger a trap, nothing happens. "I don't think I've taken part in missions with him personally, but a few of my team has. Overall, they enjoy his and his son's company. Which is another odd thing. I didn't see anyone that could have been his son, known as Jon…"
Yori grimaces as Michiko explains who the man is and in the end he can only nod. "I see." He says softly before he starts wandering around again himself, eyes scanning the ground and area ahead for any signs of more traps. Better safe than sorry right? Don't want someone else getting smacked around by something that shouldn't be there. Which brings up another question, "Why do you think he set up these traps?"
Michiko continues along the path, moving forward as she finds little to no traps in the nearby area. She's steadily making her way towards where she saw Hachiro fleeing. "The traps? Likely to alert him of who might be coming. You saw how fast he was when he got there, right? Obviously he was there to scope out who he might be dealing with. The one I was facing could have been fake as well. I didn't attack it." Michiko takes a moment to extend her senses through the ground to check their direction. "Yori-san, do you see anything in particular?"
Yori hmms softly as Michiko explains why he likely has the traps. Makes sense. Seems weird that a merchant would be so skilled…the boy blinks as he catches sight of something gleaming higher up and he raises his eyes. "Michiko-san, be careful." It might be too high for her to trigger it but one wrong move could hit it. He points at the wire, then frowns and looks around elsewhere. Why is it so high? To catch people jumping? Or was it a distraction…
Michiko peers upward, noticing the wire is about a foot over her head. It was enough for Yori to easily notice, and a bit too high for Michiko to see. Not that she had to worry about it… "Good eyes, Yori-san," she says, taking a Kunai out. "Let's see how this one works? Just be on high alert for something to go… awry." As soon as Yori seems ready, Michiko's Kunai would slice through the wire.
Yori smiles a bit when she compliments him and he ducks his head slightly. When she tells him to be ready he nods and bends his knees slightly so he's ready to move should something happen. He starts to tell Michiko to be careful but then realizes how stupid that would be…of course sh'e sgoing to be careful.
When the Kunai slices through the wire, there's a moment of nothing. Then another log comes hurtling out of nowhere, and it's aimed at Michiko! She's able to avoid it, fortunately, the log hitting a branch she was able to snap, but the next swing will likely hit Yori if he's not careful. Once the perilous trap is out of the way, Michiko looks to make sure Yori's still able to continue on before Hmm-ing softly. They were almost done springing the traps, at least. There could only be so many in the small forested area. Now the problem was if Hachiro would come out to greet them…
When the trap springs Yori quickly looks towards the sound and starts to move towards Michiko but…she's gone, replaced by a branch. Which means now he's just in it's path. The log knocks him off his feet and he lands on his rump with a soft 'oof' before picking himself back up, frowning. "I'm okay." He tells Michiko when she looks to him. "Sorry." For getting hit, of course.
Michiko shakes her head lightly, seeming about to reply when Hachiro appears again. Two of him, like before. Michiko frowns, taking a moment to explode the ground and buy her and Yori time. The tactic works, thankfully, and Michiko turns to the Saito. "They might be clones, but I'm not sure. Take one out and I'll try to trap the other." Then she nudges him into action towards the one who got caught most by her explosion.
This guy is relentless! Yori brings his hands up to the ready when the man appears again but Michiko reacts fast enough to distract them. When Michiko tells him to attack he nods quickly and moves towards the one without hesitation, pulling out a kunai to throw at the one before bringing his armored fist around towards his jaw. He's getting kind of sick of this punk trying to attack them. He tries to keep an eye on Michiko too so he can help her on the off chance she needs him. Not likely, but still.
The man that Yori attacked blocks the Kunai, but apparently isn't a stable enough clone to take the second as well. Michiko is able to capture the person she was facing off against, using metal bindings that wrap around her opponent much like a name. Okay, they caught him. Now to see if he's 'real' or not. A quick squeeze of the bindings show that it's simply another clone… Dang it. "… That's all the traps here, Yori-san. I'm not sure why he's attacking, but we can probably get back to the village after a last sweep for traps."
"Should we really leave him out here ma'-…Michiko-san?" Yori asks as he looks after where the clone poofed away from in front of him. He turns back to Michiko with a frown, "Won't he set more traps?" He doesn't liket he idea of the man possibly being able to harm other people but…he's a defender, so he doesn't like the idea of anyone getting hurt really.
Michiko sighs. "I'd like to have kept him, but clones are tricky things…" she comments with a frown. "Anyway, let's go back. I'm going to ask the other villages if they encountered Hachiro-san ever and see if they have information.”
Yori is disappointed they couldn't catch him and it shows. "Sorry," he says softly, figuring it's likely his fault they couldn't get him, being the newbie and all. He hitches the backup up again before he nods to her about going back to the village. "I'll follow you Michiko-san."
Michiko nods lightly. Then she does one quick scan around the area before turning and heading back to the village. "Yori-san, don't look too down. We finished the mission we were assigned well enough: investigate matters. We found out who was making the traps. While I'm not sure if he'll stop, at least we've triggered them all. And we know what we're dealing with."
Yori nods briskly and forces a smile, "I'm glad we finished Michiko-san, just wish we could've stopped him before he does something else. Do you think the village will let me me come out on the next mission and maybe we can try and capture him?" He sounds overly hopeful.
… Michiko doesn't really want to answer that question. If the man is using shadow clones to that extent, he has to be skilled, right? Michiko just nods lightly, though. "If you get stronger by the time a party is formed, then perhaps. This whole thing feels like a sort of goose chase, though…" The Iwata seems thoughtful, as if trying to predict how this all will pan out.
Stronger. Right. Yori nods again, "Yes ma'am, I will. I'll train when we get back all day so I can be strong enough to help. I want to protect everybody and keep the Village safe however I can!" It all goes with guarding the Raikage…but you know the whole village.