Date: August 9, 2014
While out relaxing, Michiko and Jukai are forced to defend themselves against a hungry mountain lion. Soon after they are met with a hostage situation.
"The Unluckiest Pair!"
Plateau Outside Kumogakure
It is evening, cloudy, and apparently wonderful weather for a walk. At least that is what went through Michiko's mind when she set off for the plateau that was close to the village. Since she has had multiple trips to the hospital recently, she has a medic tagging along with her. A simple nurse who seems to be complaining to the genin. "Iwata-san, you shouldn't be out here. You might get attacked and further injured!" The girl gives her head a shake. "I'll be fine, but thank you for the concern. And if we run into anything, you can go and get help." Michiko offers the nurse a smile, though is met with a frown. "Just a few more minutes, then?" the genin pleads, wanting to spend a bit of time outside and away from the hospital smell that clings to her clothes.
Evening is a good time to sit and watch people, or to study the local flora and fauna. It is for this reason that Jukai has left the village and wandered a little ways away to find somewhere to relax. Not that he doesn't like the hustle and bustle, but now that he's figured out a good place for Chou-san to set up her shop where he can keep her from getting overrun by all of the guys that want her but can't have her. Now he can focus more on writing rather than hunting. That's much more relaxing. So he sits on a rock, his book out, writing away, partially oblivious to his surroundings.
"Fine, Iwata-san. Just a few more minutes, and then we have to head back to the village," says the nurse with a resigned sigh. Michiko smiles a bit wider and nods. "Of course! Thank you very much!" she gives the nurse a small bow of her head before she notices two presences that… well, one of them was a tad worrying… The other she semi-recognizes. "Yasujiro-san?" she calls out, quickening her pace so that she is now in sight of the older man. "How are you?" she asks. The nurse behind her has to hurry to catch up, giving Michiko a quiet glare as she recovers from the sudden bout of exercise.
Jukai looks up from his writing when he hears his name called. Looking around, he spots Michiko and someone he doesn't know moving in his direction. The one trailing behind Michiko looks a bit exasperated at being left behind. He lofts a brow at that. "Michiko-san," he says when she's close enough he doesn't have to speak overly loud to be heard. "What brings you out and about this way? With a tail, no less. Did you manage to get yourself in trouble and have to be assigned a baby sitter? That doesn't seem like you." He's ribbing her, but he does so by being super serious with his questions.
Michiko smiles a bit to Jukai, giving him a slight bow in greeting. Then she turns to the nurse, telling her something in a low voice. The nurse's face pales a bit, and she looks about to protest. But she nods and turns to head back to the village, moving at about the same speed as she was earlier. Michiko's attention goes back to Jukai as she idly says, "Oh, the doctors were concerned that I would hurt myself walking around town, so they had someone follow me. Nothing too major." She blinks a bit, glancing over to a spot where boulders easily block one's view. "Do you hear anything from over there?"
"So you're running about against the wishes of the medical ninja? That's both bold and stupid at the same time. Does no good if you don't heal up. You'll just be back in their care," Jukai said, shaking his head. There was always someone like her. They just didn't listen to the medical ninjas! Not that he listened to them of course. He only listened to himself and Chou. They were the only two people in the world he would allow to have authority in his life. She mentioned something about hearing something and he nodded his head. "Yeah, we aren't alone, I think." He slides his book within his jacket and the writing utensil disappears as well. "I don't feel a chakra signature."
Michiko frowns lightly, focusing a bit of chakra just in case. "The mountains are rather known for the various beasts… Keep an eye out…" she says. The girl looks tempted to send a bit of fire at the boulder, but that would be unwise… Not knowing the enemy makes her cautious. "And no, I'm not running around against their wishes. I've been allowed to walk around. They just want to make sure that I'm not getting into any spars or fights. Though if the thing over there proves unfriendly…" She glances in the direction of the growling noises.
Jukai shrugs his shoulders. "You should have stayed in the village then, shouldn't you?" He's being rather tough on her, he knows, but that's life and deep down he doesn't care anyway. Regardless, the news about there being beasts about makes him curious. He reaches for his cane and stands up off the boulder so that, in the even of there actually being something about, he is capable and ready to move away from any danger. "Seems that when you and I meet there's almost always something afoot. It's almost like trouble follows one or both of us around."
Quite suddenly, a mountain lion leaps over the boulders. It looks very hungry, the winter taking its toll on the beast. Its coat is the only thing giving it some semblance of weight. It looks vicious, too. The mountain lion swipes its paw, claws extended, at both shinobi with a loud growl.
Michiko jumps back, letting the paw swipe hit simple earth. She doesn't want to hurt the beast, so instead of her usual fire jutsu, mud bullets spew out at the mountain. "Well, I probably should have. But I enjoy looking up at the stars /away/ from the village. It's very nice and relaxing, is what I have found. And as for trouble… I think it's you. I never had this many encounters by myself, at least."
Jukai disappears in a cloud of smoke and a puff of air which makes a rather sharply strange noise! He'd only been a clone. The real Jukai was standing a little ways away from where the clone had been nailed. "Possibly so," he says in response to her. "It seems to follow me sometimes. Started when I was a youngster and then just kept on going. Sometimes, anyway. It's been worse here." He shrugged and drew Chakra around his fist before swinging it at the lion. At least he was just trying to use it bluntly? Either way, whether he's aiming to kill the lion or just hurt it he doesn't even know. He's just acting.
The mountain lion lets out a sound that is a combination of a growl and a squeal as mud bullets pelt its already weak body. It's distracted enough that Jukai's punch hits it as well, the lion scrabbling to its feet. Thankfully for it, the punch had knocked it out of the way of any incoming attacks. It's too hungry to care about its injuries, though, leaping toward Jukai with its claws outstretched. Michiko has a kick aimed toward her, though it may be unintention from the lion…
The genin didn't think the kick was aimed at her, either. It means that she's late in reacting to the paw that catches the side of her head. It doesn't do much more than hurt since the whole action was unwitting. She makes a few more hand seals so that even more bullets of mud are sent the lion's way. They're fast and rather heavy, so the damage will likely be rather high for the lion.
This time he wasn't so lucky with his defense. Jukai's signs aren't quite fast enough (darn cane getting in the way), and the lion smacks right into him, knocking him onto his backside and clawing him up a good bit. He grumbles at this. Getting injured always seems to make him grumpy. "This place is such a pain," he says as he forms chakra around his foot and starts kicking at the lion, trying to get it away from him so he can grab his cane and stand upright again. Persistent creature it is.
The lion gets hit by those mud bullets again. It's about to turn away, but then the kick from Jukai makes that a reality. The lion finds itself sailing over the boulders, its head getting knocked against a boulder. With a small whimper, it makes its way back to whatever cavern it came from.
Michiko sighs, peering at her head. It seems like it really only needs an ice pack, at least, so there's that. She gets one from her pouch, placing it on her head with a slight grimace. "Sorry, Yasujiro-san. That was an interesting run-in, though…" She blinks a bit. "Do you need any help at the moment? Bandages or a hand to help you up?" she offers.
Jukai grumbles to himself when the lion slinks away. He can't even get a moments peace from the fauna around the place! Sitting up, he dusts himself off a bit, and then looks down at the claw marks on his chest. "I'm going to need a new shirt," he says before he looks up at Michiko, she seems to be a bit busy holding an ice pack to her head. "Some bandages would be good to help stop the bleeding. I don't think the claw marks are overly deep, they're just painful. And bleeding. Mostly painful."
Michiko nods a bit, going over to Jukai and giving him a few bandages for the scratches. "I'm sorry you seem to keep having troubles here. The mountain lion must have been desperate to go after us, though…" She looks almost sorry for the creature. Anyw-" She cuts off as a familiar looking bandit comes from the path, his knife held to the nurse that she had sent away not long ago.
"Hah! I found you two! The boss'll be happy with me! Now, you, cripple. Gimme your valuables. And the girl too. All of them, or this here girly is gonna get her throat slit." The nurse looks absolutely terrified at the moment. The bandit is one that Jukai might recognize from his first encounter with Michiko. He was one of the grunts that got away.
"It was quite thin," Jukai agrees as she sets to bandaging him up. When she's done, he starts to stand, only to hear an unfamiliar voice. Looking about, he spots one of the bandits from the other day. He's got a knife held to the throat of the nurse that Michiko had sent back to the village only a little bit before. He lofts his brow at this, settling his cane as he looks the man over. This time seemed even more desperate than the last time. He was using a neutral party as a bartering chip.
Jukai just shook his head at the man. "You're really desperate if you're coming after us," he says. He straightens a little bit and cracks his neck. He doesn't care about the woman, but he's noticed Michiko was a bit suspicious of him before, and less so when he helped someone she knew. Shaking his head, and grumbling, he fit his hand with a giant chakra glove, and then swung it across the distance, procting a finger towards the mans shoulder, hoping to deaden it so he can't slit the womans throat.
The bandit can't move very well with a hostage. As much as he tries to dodge, he ends up getting struck in the shoulder, causing him to drop the knife. His other hand, though, is unaffected by the blow, which means he can take a Kunai from his arsenal and slash at Jukai, using the same weapon as a projectile against Michiko.
Michiko finds that the wall she made was insufficient against the Kunai. Was there something special about it, or was the wall she made really just that weak? The scratch to her arm is disregarded, though, the girl quickly counteracting with three rather vicious firebolts. She looks relieved that the nurse is alright, being even more careful in the fire shots so that she doesn't hit the bystander. Jukai's punch helped, though, allowing the nurse to hightail it out of the area. No more hostage, no more holding back!
The attack aimed at Jukai in a vicious slash manages only to interact with a boulder instead, as Jukai appears behind the man, opposite the flaming balls of death, but out of their line of fire just to be safe. Hey, he doesn't know if she's got truly good aim or not. That and maybe this guy was hiding some form of jutsu and was going to beat them with it. He didn't know. Leaning on his cane, he forms the chakra again around his fist, but this time aims to slam the fist into the bandits head repeatedly. Clearly he doesn't like this guy and wants him down for the count.
Jukai's punches are super effective. The bandit is able to block the attack the first time, but the follow-up attacks were too much. It is through sheer luck that he's able to avoid all but one of Michiko's firebolts, the collapse to the ground in an attempt to defend himself allowing the fire to sail over his head. With a snarl of frustration, the bandit gets up quickly, intent on knocking back Jukai so he can escape. More Kunai are sent in Michiko's direction.
Michiko finally has her defenses working properly, it seems, as the Kunai thrown at her embed themselves into a wall of earth. She eyes them, noting that the throw was rather strong for a mere bandit. Maybe desperation had a hand in that? With a light shrug, Michiko would form a few quick familiar handseals, sending three more bolts of fire at the bandit as he attempted to flee. "I wish they would leave us alone…" she mutters. "This is going to make the doctors mad again…"
The clone that had been standing in front of the fleeing bandit only a moment earlier fades into a cloud of nothingness as the man tries to barrel him over. Instead, he's left with nothing but air, and several hot fireballs on his tail. Jukai is off to the side of where the clone had been, watching. He honestly is curious about this whole mess and doesn't feel up to trying to kill the guy because of his curiosity. "I get the feeling there's more to this than simple banditry," he says, watching the fireballs as they fly along.
Michiko watches the bandit get his tail burnt (not literally!) and gives a sigh. The nurse comes out of her hiding spot and looks around with rather wide eyes. Then her eyes alight on Michiko and she does the one thing she thinks is a good idea. "Iwata-san, you really should have gone back when I suggested. If we had, then that whole mess wouldn't have happened and you would have less injuries to worry about!" With a grumble, the nurse pulls out her healing kit, patching up Michiko first. Then a glance over to Jukai. "You too, sir. Please come over here so I may treat your wounds."
The genin looks a tad exasperated as the nurse suddenly decides to lecture her of all things, but it's a nice change of pace from fighting. "I know," she says in an attempt to placate the nurse. "Yasujiro-san, what makes you say that? I mean, it's odd that he tried to attack us himself… And he already knew our capabilities… But other than that, it doesn't seem too bothersome. We just have to catch that trio, yes?"
"They lost before, so why would a single one be seeking to try and attack us again?" Jukai asks as he stares at the nurse with disdain. He doesn't like being babied of all things. The fact that this nurse was intent on ordering him about did nothing but make him even more grumpier than he had been before. He looked down at himself and then shook his head in the nurse's direction, not moving towards her.
Instead of doing anything else, he simply leans on his cane and watches as the woman patches Michiko up. "Usually bandits react to losing by looking elsewhere for money, not at the people that beat them up. At least not in small numbers. Perhaps if he'd come with a host of friends I'd agree that it was nothing more than seeking vengeance. This reeks of some plot, though."
Well, regardless, the nurse would go over and heal Jukai up anyway. "For helping to save me. My payment to you," she says, noticing the older man's gruffness. Upon closer inspection, the nurse was really only in her mid-teens… Michiko lets herself be treated, the nurse's expertise welcome. "Oh, you think? Well, I suppose that's true, yes… I'll be sure to let Hiei-san know about this turn of events. Maybe a patrol can be sent out to get rid of them… If I had to guess, he might have just been acting as a scout. Seeing our abilities a bit better and testing us. I don't like it, but that possibility is always there…" Michiko tsks lightly. "Anyway, I should be going back to the village, shouldn't I?" The nurse nods, starting to shoo the genin in the direction of the village. Michiko doesn't put up that much of a fight, really. "I will see you again, Yasujiro-san!" she calls back over her shoulder.
Of course he grumbled like crazy when she came over to heal him. Jukai wasn't a fan of hospitals, and he wasn't a fan of getting injured and put into them. Dealing with medical types like this one only made things worse. Still, he didn't swat her away since she was trying to help him, rather than hurt him. "Better take care of them before they get bigger ideas, if they don't have them already. I've seen their kind before. If they're left unchecked it will just get worse." He shrugs and watches as she and the nurse start to head off. He doesn't move, just leaning on his cane as they go.