Date: August 26, 2014
Jukai and Chou get ambushed, but Jukai is left behind. He grabs Michiko, and the pair head off to face the bandits and save Chou!
"The Unluckiest Pair: Kidnapped Comrade!"
Mountain Cave Outside of Kumogakure
While Jukai and Chou were out of the village trying to relax, there were a few bandits in the viscidity. They recognized Chou, who was a relatively famous artist, and thought it would be a good idea to catch her and make her do … well, art for them. Then they could sell it at a high price, hahah! That's the plan, at least. So when the pair sat down for a break, the bandits were able to sneak up behind both of them and knock the two out, taking Chou captive and leaving Jukai behind.
When Jukai woke up, he would notice that Chou was missing, but the tracks to wherever the bandits had dragged his friend are easy to spot. It's like they weren't even trying to disguise where they were taking her. So Jukai would make his way back to the village, upon which Shinobi were dispatched to immediately chase after the guests of Kumogakure. Chosen were Iwata Michiko and Reizei Ryouji, since they were both at the level of Chuunin despite their official rank. Jukai would lead them through the forest.
Michiko requested horses to travel so that Jukai wouldn't have to walk too much, and it would make the journey go by much faster. It was, in a sense, a rescue mission. "Yasujiro-san, point us to where you were knocked out, please," she says once meeting up with him at the front gates (which were the designated meeting place). Three horses are with her, the girl standing next to a smaller one that was meant for her use.
"We were at the falls," Jukai says as he tries to stay upright on his beast of a ride. Seriously, he's never ridden a horse before and he looks totally awkward about it. That and it's hard to figure out exactly how to carry his cane while riding the horse. He eventually gives up and tucks it under his arm. "I took her out so she could see the rainbows. She likes them." He sounds irrevocably sad, but at the same time there is a great amount of anger lurking beneath what he says. He will rip them that took her apart if he catches them. "We should make haste, lest they get too far away." He taps the horse with his good foot and it starts a moving. Well, at least that's some form of progress, right? He doesn't glance back to the two Kumo shinobi. They will follow, he knows. Michiko has a strong distaste for bandits after their recent run ins, he's sure.
Ryouji travels along on horseback, next to Michiko and across from Jukai. He says, "Do not worry, we will get her back." He cracks his reins and his horse takes off galloping after Jukai and keeping his own pace.
Chou blinks as she comes to and glances around to try and regain some of her bearings. "Jukai-kun?…Are you ok?" She pauses to wait for an answer and exhales quietly when she doesn't notice him anywhere in sight either. She reaches up to try to rub at a knot on her head, "This is…bothersome…I should've been more aware…" She trails off and speaks up, so that someone could hear her, "Hello? I'd like to know why I'm here…Some water may be nice as well…" While she waits on an answer, she starts to turn her eyes to look about the room more carefully. Even the most underestimated items could be used to a prisoners advantage if they were careful about it.
Chou would find that her hands were bound behind her, by the way, but nothing else restricted her movements. A woman who looked armed to the teeth with swords stepped in front of her. She gives Chou a smile, though perhaps it was a bit scary? "Welcome back to the land of consciousness~. We were hoping that, perhaps, you could do some art for us for a little while?" she wonders. Behind her are two guards, both wielding spears. On all of the bandit's sides are headbands with a line through them…
Michiko continues to make her way to the place Jukai described, reaching it rather quickly thanks to the horses. She looks around, trying to find any signs of a trail or something similar. She notices some of the crushed leaves off to the side and follows that path, Jukai's horse trained to follow. As she moved along, she would idly comment, "I think all this unluckiness is your fault, Yasujiro-san. You've been facing bandits since I've met you!" Ryouji somehow gets left behind because his horse is a bit untrained and it wandered off…
The horse followed, but Jukai wasn't really paying any attention to where the horse was going to be honest. Since Michiko was taking the lead now, he figured she had the trail well in hand. He was more worried about what was happening to his poor Chou. He swore that if they harmed a hair on her head they would all pay dearly, and in ways that they would not enjoy. It would be slow, it would be painful. Jukai could be a sadistic bastard when it came to people hurting Chou. "I don't think now is a good time for playful banter," he says as she leads them on. "I'm not in the mood for it this time." Indeed, with Chou in the mix, and on the receiving end of the bandits treachery, as he long feared she would be, he was much more serious than he would normally have been in this situation.
"Well that sounds like a reasonable request…but I've never painted anything with my hands bound like this…so unless you'd like a piece that is severely diminished in its value, I must ask that you unrestrain me…" Chou lifts her bound hands, so that they may see them. "You may even search me if you'd like. You will find that I keep nothing but my supplies on me. Inks, parchments, unmarked scrolls, some oil paints…nothing of course that would give me any advantage over you and your…company." She ticks her head slightly towards the two guards. She glances around and hmms thoughtfully, "No canvas to work with? Eisel? Water? A pallet? You are really pushing my abilities to the test if you think even I can work with so few provisions…" She just had to buy some more time, even if shinobi weren't to her rescue, she just had to observe to find when their defenses are at their weakest. Of course, that would take much longer than a rescue, but she was prepared to wait if need be.
A small sigh from the woman and she cuts the bindings on Chou's hands with an easy slash of her sword. "Of course. We have a few supplies in the back, which you have access to." Chou would notice that there's really no escape route aside from the entrance of the cave she was kept in. And the guards at the 'door' would keep a good eye on her to make sure she wouldn't escape.
"My apologies, Yasujiro-san. It was a simple observation," Michiko says, continuing on the horse. Eventually they do get to the entrance of the cave, the whole journey taking about a half hour. Upon seeing the pair coming into view, the guards throw their spears. It's really obvious the two are coming…
Jukai is acutely aware of the fact that they will probably face danger before they reach Chou. Whoever had taken her had been stealthy enough to avoid detection by a sensor ninja. That said, he saw the spear coming and did what he could, creating a haze of superheated air around his body, and that of the horse. It didn't stop the spear, which sliced into his side with annoying voracity, but that's alright. He was aware that he was caught as soon as he saw the spear. He couldn't move fast enough to avoid it while trapped on a dastardly horse. What the haze did, was allow him to fall off the horse while vision of him was hopefully briefly disrupted by the superheated air. He moved behind the animal and began focusing his chakra to prepare for a fight.
Chou would turn her wrists and breathe out a soft sigh of relief. She nods and glances over at the back to start gathering and setting up her supply. She glances over her shoulder at the woman when she notices something out of place. "Are your companions out there alright?.." As she retrieves her paint brush and inks, she smiles to herself. This seemed like a quaint time to help the shinobi that are helping her. She closes her eyes and gradually starts to build her chakra, keeping its swelling slow to not seem too out of place. Once she's prepared, she dips the tip of the brush into her special ink and begins to carefully paint. It takes some time and she isn't quick about rushing her work, but eventually she is done painting a large hyena with its muzzle curled into a wicked sneer and broken shackles still clinging to its paws. Her smile only grows once her brush leaves the canvas and the creature leaps out and grows to a more life-like size. "I believe you will like this…wildlife is my favorite subject to capture…"
The bandit leader gets distracted by the commotion outside, leaving her vulnerable to the hyena. A quick movement means the hyena only gets a small scratch, though it's deep. Quickly, the leader uses that same sword to slash at Chou, the sword coming in at a wide arc. The two bandits outside of the cave throw more spears at the rescuing duo.
Michiko quickly forms seals to create an earthen wall to block the spears attacking her. Then she attacks one of the bandits with fire, two bolts going at him in rapid succession, though they look rather weak.
Well, here we go again. This time the spear sticks right into him, sending Jukai sprawling back just a bit. He staggers until he gets his cane in place, and then reaches up to pull the weapon out. "That's just annoying," he says, shaking his head a bit to clear it. He really needs to start practicing more so he can get rid of the rustiness. Focusing on the two bandits again, he made several signs and then blew out a cloud of ash towards them before he moved, with some swiftness, and lots of wincing, behind the cloud, aiming to smash a chakra enhanced fist into the stomach of the one that kept throwing spears at him.
The hyena snarls and quickly whirls around, not letting the bandit leader get away. It leaps up to try and snap its jaws around the leader's hand as the sword comes right towards Chou, which leaves her free to focus on drawing on her canvas. It overshoots the jump and poofs away beneath the blade, but the sword keeps going and is able to slash across her back and leave a deep slash. Chou lurches and has a hiccup in her stroke, but she smirks to herself when it just adds a large, spiked notch in one of the ram pair's horns. She shifts to the side to let them come charging right off the page in an attempt to ram the bandit leader against the cave wall. "I was hoping I wouldn't get harmed…but I suppose it cannot be helped…"
The first bandit faces Jukai, and he finds himself blinded by fire in addition to that injury. Then there's the chakra strike, which hurts a lot… Owww…He strikes out with his leg, trying to sweep Jukai off his feet so that a swift kick could land in his stomach. The other bandit attacks Michiko with two throwing Kunai, the throws swift. The bandit leader finds herself stabbed by the horns, blood dripping down her stomach where it was sliced. She manages to dance back, away from the attacking ink. Then, thanks to the reach of her sword, she's able to slash twice more at Chou.
Michiko creates another barrier of earth to take the first throwing knife, disappearing in a poof of smoke so a log can take the second knife. Since she's away, there's a barrage of fire bullets at the bandit.
Hit and hit. Well, it was a start, but he was certainly going to have to try a lot harder with these guys if he was going to get anywhere. He wanted to break out some abilities, but he dare not do so. The haze around him stopped the leg sweep, but the kick broke through to take him in the stomach and the air wooshed right out of his lungs. Needless to say, that was annoying. He doubled over, but still managed to make a series of handsigns, going for the same attack pattern he had used before. Well, if nothing else it would paint him as a one hit wonder when it came to abilities.
Chou tries to lift her free hand to make the seal to prepare herself for the replacement technique, but the tip of the sword drags across her back again. Two bloody gashes cross her back, and some tattered cloth from her dress dips to the floor. Her brush drags down across the canvas, but with a flick of her wrist she manages to salvage the stroke to create a large constrictor. She ducks to let it leap over her shoulder and coil around the bandit leader's neck, squeezing with all of its might. "You…are becoming…a thorn in my side…it is time…that I really attempt to finish this…" She glares at her canvas as she drags her brush over it, forming it something far different than before. An unimpressive seal of some sort, but when she retrieves a match from her blouse. She drags it across the rough wood of the eisal, igniting it before she brings it up to the seal. After it's lit she ducks around behind it, covering her head as three fireballs combine into one massive one that head right towards the woman.
The first bandit that attacked the pair finds himself badly burnt by Michiko's fire, and then it combines with Jukai's fire, which leaves him a roasted dead body. The second bandit sees his companion go down and seems enraged by this fact, which means he ends up getting hit by fire too. Also a punch. So much pain, it leaves him gasping for air when it strikes him. He recovers quickly though, barreling into Jukai and then Michiko in an attempt to get 'revenge' for his comrade. They must have been really close… He even aims a kick at the girl towards her shin. The bandit leader is also very unlucky. She gets a snake coiled around her, which is extremely distracting even if it's only made of ink, and she ends up getting burnt by a lot of fireballs. So much pain… The bandit leader again tries to strike Chou with her sword, though it's really nothing fancy. By now it's just desperation that drives her.
Michiko finds herself being barreled into, which knocks her back a little bit. However, most of the attack seemed to be aimed at both her and Jukai, which weakened the overall effect of said attack. The girl turns with the momentum, using it to get some aim as she launches another firebolt at the rude bandit.
The bandit charged both Jukai and Michiko as his friend went down. All it did was run into a wall of haze, though, which in turn left an opening for Jukai to attack, although horribly. That could be attributed to the fact that he was a cripple and was injured himself, but really it was just because he wasn't very good with that particular attack, which only served to annoy the freaking heck out of him. And piss him off because he needed to get past this guy so they could get to Chou. He was worried about her.
Chou keeps her brush at the ready, knowing that she did not need the canvas but the ink to create what she needs, but the act of pure desperation is enough to slash through any defenses she could have prepared. She grimaces and glares at the woman before she attempts to hastily grab some premade tags that bear the same seal as she drew before from the inside of her blouse. She runs up to the leader in an attempt to get in close enough quarters to place the three tags onto her. She then retreats and tries to focus on maintaining her breathing. She really hoped her rescuers were having an easier time with their targets than she was with hers. "I…can see why…you led those two…but if you lower your blade now…we can both be spared…I will insist to the Shinobi here to retrieve me, to let you flee into the forest…as long as I am safe…their mission objective would be successful, despite any bandits that managed to retreat…"
The first bandit gets badly injured by Michiko's fire and ends up passing out from all the damage. He twitches a bit, but is otherwise still. As a result, most of Jukai's hits don't even matter because they swipe at air when the bandit collapses. The Leader of the group eyes Chou a tad warily, knowing that two shinobi are just outside the cave. She holds her sword point at Chou and, without a word, nods and starts edging toward the cave entrance. She, on the way out, pulls something from her pouch and throws it down on the ground, creating a cloud of smoke so that no one can see her escape. Hopefully she can use this to rest and recover.
Michiko finds herself blinded by the smoke bomb, but she can at least tie up the bandit who fell to the combined attacks of herself and Jukai once the distraction clears away. She uses rope from her pouch and just ties the goon to the back of her horse for now. "Did anyone need healing?" She offers, getting out some simple antiseptic and bandages. It's not much, but it's something!
The bandit went down. Jukai went forward, staggering on his cane and dripping blood. He's completely ignoring Michiko as he approaches the smoke bombed area that is the entrance to the cave. There's only one thing on his mind, and nothing is going to stop him now. "Chou-chan!" he calls into the cave, a not worry in his voice. "Chou! Please tell me you're alright!" He staggers and slips, falling over with a groan. That hole in his gut isn't exactly feeling all that great. "Michiko-san, please see to Chou-chan first, alright?"
Chou waits for the smoke to clear, making sure the bandit leader feels like she has plenty of time to make her retreat before she starts to stagger towards the cave exit. She looks at Jukai and kneels down before she smiles at him in regret. "I'm here Jukai-kun, and I'm fine…I will need to be stabilized some and perhaps an admission to the medical center wouldn't hurt, but I'm fine…Are you ok? Your cane isn't damaged is it?" She glances over at it in an attempt to get some of the focus off of her. "There was one more bandit that is not in your custody…the Kumogakure shinobi should be made aware of her for future incidents, but in exchange for her to give up her struggle I allowed her to retreat…She is badly injured, she would need a lot of time to recover so there should not be any fear of anymore attacks for a short while at least…" She looks up at Michiko and forces a smile, "You're Michiko-chan? It is…nice to meet you…Jukai-kun has told me a little about you…I-I'm Sabishi…Chou…."
Michiko nods to Jukai, saying, "Of course, Yasujiro-san." It's his request, so she might as well do as the 'customer' says without arguing. The girl is a bit more concerned about him, considering his injuries, but she approaches Chou and patches her up a bit. "That should at least stop some of the bleeding until we get back to the village. And it's nice to meet you, Sabishi-san. I've hear a bit about you as well," she says in a friendly tone. She then stands, walking over to Jukai and giving him some first aid as well, finally performing some on herself so everyone isn't in danger of bleeding out or something. "Can we all ride?" she asks, wanting to get the pair back to the hospital quickly.
Jukai gives Chou a look that she will recognize in regards to the bandit leader. A look that tells her a certain alternate persona may be making an appearance and ending the bandit leaders life before she has a chance to fully recover from her wounds. He says nothing of it, however, and just looks her over. "My cane is fine. I slipped in my haste," he admits with a sigh. He waits for Michiko to finish with Chou, and then with himself, before he climbs to his feet with a wince. "I really am sick and tired of the bandits in your land, Michiko-san. You should tell the Raikage to openly wage war on them and get rid of this filth." He reaches for Chou's hand so he can start leading her towards the horse. He wants to get her back as quickly as possible so she can rest and heal up. His worrying hasn't been abated.
Once Michiko is done patching the worst of her wounds, Chou leans forward and softly kisses Jukai's forehead. "You should be more careful, I cannot be helped if you break your leg trying to rush to me. Thank you though…I did not have to suffer here for very long because of you and Michiko's lightning fast aid…" She rises to her feet when Jukai helps her up. "It would not have been so much trouble if I had been more aware at the waterfall…you and her both have my apologies." Her eyes clench shut and she hisses in pain as she gets on the horse. She wasn't unused to riding, but she still dreaded the ride back. Though it'd be faster, the bumps along the journey would be a little agonizing in her current condition.
Michiko nods to both and then kinda nods a tad sheepishly. "Yes, the bandits are just bad because a lot of our energy has been focused on the larger threat at hand, Yasujiro-san." She gets the pair quickly back to the village so they can heal and she can make the report. As a note, she tries to make sure they aren't jostled too badly on the ride back, the pace as fast as possible so they can still reach the village at a decent time and not hurt anyone further.