The Usual Suspects - Two Birds, Both Dead


Rockpath (emitter), Hiei, Naruko, Hige, Zankuro, Toshio, Atorei

Date: April 3, 2015


A team made up of both Konoha and Kumo shinobi chase after the Hawk Brothers, who lie in neutral territory as they set up a filthy business.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"The Usual Suspects - Two Birds, Both Dead"

Between the Land of Fire and Land of Lightning

The Hawk Brothers… They're known for being able to summon and work very well with Hawks via a summoning contract, as well as their powerful combination attacks. The two have been seen in a neutral territory between the Land of Fire and the Land of Lightning, so the two nations decided to work together to take out these criminals that had escaped Kumogakure's prison. Messenger Hawks were sent out from both villages, calling shinobi from both lands for the mission. The information given was a location on where to meet, a rundown of the brother's abilities, why they were convicted, and that the two should be taken back alive. If they die, though… Well, it's just more scum off the earth.
The Team Leader (likely the highest ranked shinobi from each party) would have a full map to the location and details of what they expect to face off against. 'The brothers have managed to establish a brothel in the neutral territory, but this room is filled to the brim with women trained in both assassination and melee combat.

Once word reaches his desk about the Hawk brothers, Hiei volunteers to lead the Kumo forces himself. It's not often that the Raikage gets to go out on missions, so he was taking the liberty of doing so this time. Once again, orders called for the perps to be returned alive, if possible. That was..unfortunate. At any rate, he is present at the meeting point where they are to meet up with the leaf shinobi. He is atop his warhorse Snake Eyes while he thinks about that brothel that the brothers seem to be hiding out in. Dangerous'd be just like at home.

Hige had been on his way to training when word had come of the mission and for him to lead it. Great. Well at least Kumo would also be present so there was a silver lining. After a quick trip home to prepare he'd met the others and they'd taken off. He wasn't one to normally take a horse himself and so he'd run the whole way, more comfortable with his feet firmly planted on the ground and Konsho beside him. Thankfully he'd left the horrible vest behind. Once they arrived at the meeting point Hige's mouth twitched into a wide grin at spotting Hiei. "Hey Hiei." He offers in greeting to the Raikage as they near. "What are you doing out here? Couldn't find anyone else to take care of business?" He asks.

Toshio been on his way to train with Hige when word came of a mission. So he decided to join. He did go home briefly only to present to Konsho a doggy version of the Chuunin vest! "Here ya go Konsho." He says as he offers to help the dog into the vest, the vest signifying the dog as a chuunin of Konohagakure as well as being comfortable and fashionable!
Fortune is good. Even so, he comes seconds away from tossing the missive regarding his assistance on a mission into the nearest trash bin. All he wanted to do was sleep for a week, not go murder hobo on some semi-random chums! Alas, honor and… well, other stuff kind of forced his hands, so the irritable chuunin went along on horse back. Renting the horse dipped severly into his savings, but it was worth ever cent. Kind of. Mostly. Okay, so by the time they finally arrive at the meeting point, he's walking all kinds of funny and seemed more concerned with trying to fix the issue over greeting allies or going over plans.

Atorei was told to go along because.. well.. he's a genin. Someone has to do the grunt work right? Besides, most of the people were use to his nature and simply ordered him about. So off he went, the uchiha teen walking along with the rest, or running if appropriate, he'd absently tug on one of his gloves as he walked, watching the others while going but keeping otherwise quiet on the way there.

Hiei smiles when the Konoha shinobi show up. He dismounts his horse and walks over to the group. He grins and pats Hige on the arm. "Hey. Good to see you. Nah. I decided to get my hands dirty. I get so bored sitting behind a desk all the time." He then turns to Hige's group and introduces himself. "I'm Yotsuki Hiei. Raikage. Nice to meet you all." He then turns back to Hige. "Since I'm the only cloud ninja here, I formally submit myself to your command, Inuzuka Hige." He offers a small bow as he speaks. "So, lead on and I will follow." However, he does take the time to prepare his body for combat. Lightning sparks along his skin as he looks around.

RPCOMBAT: Hiei defends against with a PERCEPTION-III…51

Hige's eyetwitches as Hiei bows to him and he grimaces a bit. "You've got to be kidding…" he starts, then stops as he regards the Raikage. Greeeeat. If he did something stupid and Hiei got hurt he'd never hear the end of it. From all sorts of people. Foremost of which will probably be Michiko. "Alright then. According to the map we were given the brothel isn't far. Let's try and get a look and see what we can see." With that he turns to start walking towards the small village housing the brothel, pausing once it comes into view and finding a corner to half-hide behind. "So, you have anything else to add that we should know about your escaped prisoners?" Hige asks, glancing over at Hiei briefly before looking back to take in the building as well as any obvious guards.
With the presentation of the vest the pup yips excitedly, stepping into it as it's put on with his tail wagging crazily. He bounces a little once it's on, making sure he can move okay in it, then gives an excited thankful yip to Toshio.

RP: Hige transforms into KONSHO.
RPCOMBAT: Hige defends against with a INUZUKA-SENSES…44

"There ya go! Can you move good?" He asks, having studied Konsho for a few days and wanted to make sure it fit snug and comfortable. When it is perfect he smiles as he looks to Hige and the man he is with. "So what is the mission, Hige?" Toshio asks curiously as he watches the little dog bounce about more.

RPCOMBAT: Toshio defends against with a PERCEPTION…25

RP: Zankuro transforms into BULK.
RPCOMBAT: Zankuro defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…38

Zankuro grunts then sighs in relief as one final tug seems to do the trick. With that out of the way, he gives the giant of a Kage a haphazard salute and starts to open his mouth to say something, only to hesitate. There was something important he was forgetting. But what? What could possibl — 'Horse!' And with thought in mind, he quickly dashes after his ride before it decided to stop grazing and move on elsewhere. The Sarutobi misses quite a bit as a result, but not the part about a brothel.
Curiosity piqued, Zankuro slid his way gradually closer to Hige and Hiei and tried to not look conspicious about it. Of course they move on to actual mission details following that point, deflating him. Then a thought occured to him. Zankuro attempts to claps a hand on the boy's shoulder and says, "Hige-san, if you require anyone on point once we're inside, I'll gladly do so." Turning back, it is more than obvious the Sarutobi was serious. Both chakra and muscles were prepared for whatever may come.

RP: Atorei transforms into SHARINGAN-II.
RPCOMBAT: Atorei defends against with a PERCEPTION…40

Atorei's eyes get REALLY wide at seeing Hiei. T-t-the Raikage?? He almost passed out when Hiei told Hige that he was simply part of the team. A glance between them and he'd make sure there was always someone between him and Hiei, keeping out of sight as much as he could. Scary!! Atorei would keep up with the others as they'd approach the site, glancing to Hige at his question, but doesn't comment as it wasn't for him, instead, that surge of chakra used to enable him to see with that enhanced sight, gathering himself for the potential combat ahead.

It took awhile but eventually Matatabi did end up showing up… In the form of a black haired Naruko, citrine and deep blue eyes without any pupils, and a long flaming blue and black tail dancing behind her. It had been a long time since Matatabi had been able to see personally beyond the walls of Kumogakure. This was going to be a good opportunity to do so while investigating everyone else. She did promise Hiei that she would be on her best behavior. Matatabi would never lie. Bend the truth a bit but never lie…. Matatabi loomed by Hiei's side, eyes narrowed down upon the Konoha shinobi to whom she merely grimances and shakes her head. "Raikage-san, Kumo should be able to stand on it's own feet. What is the point of these little boys helping along side you? From a foreign village of all things?" It was a weird thing to think about not making a whole lot of sense to the beast. Nevertheless she did investigate Hige a bit more intently. "The boy and the Dog that Naruko was quite fond of…"

RP: Matatabi transforms into NIBI-ONE-TAIL-FORM.

The brothel looks… Surprisingly warm and inviting. Of course, if it looked odd, then it probably would have been reported earlier… those who left and were normal travelers typically go there to have some fun for a night and leave with little money on their person. It's only natural to assume all of it had gone to … well, the girls there aren't cheap… It'd only be those with experienced eyes that would notice the shadow, though stronger hearing might clue some in on the larger than normal hawk that is flying around the area. A scout summon.

Hiei replies to Naruko. "Because Konoha are our allies. And I am invested in their shinobi's growth. Since Hige is a new chuunin, it stands to reason that he needs experience leading a group. I intend to allow him to have that experience. Which means that both of us will follow his orders to the best of our ability. Simply because one can do something on their own, doesn't always mean that they should."
He then gives Hige his attention. "The Hawk brothers are called so because of their fondness for using Hawk summons. They also use combination attacks and jutsu. It is extremely powerful. Beyond that, I know as much as you do. They were apprehended before my time as a Jounin and I was not privy to their information."
As they move closer towards the village and the brothel, Hiei wordlessly taps Hige on the shoulder and points skywards, indicating the large scout hawk. He glances back at the group, watching them all transform into different forms and in Atorei's case, initiate his sharingan. He watches the possessed Naruko transform as well, but he decides to hold off on his. Who knows, he may not even need it. He does close his eyes briefly and stretch out his other senses, looking to get a bead on the brothers themselves.

RPCOMBAT: Hiei defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSITIVITY…56

"Ah, no Zan, I don't need you trying to flirt with all the girls and doing something stupid." Hige says bluntly without even looking at the Sarutobi. His eyes flick over the building as he watches for a short time, then lets those eyes drift skyward at Hiei's touch. "Well…I think it's too late to go for the surprise tactic." That becomes even more true once Matatabi arrives. If she isn't a beacon of 'something not right' then there what is? His eyes look over the girl in her new form, a small frown forming at her words before his eyes shift to Hiei. Someone will need to explain that later. But if Hiei isn't sending her away then he'll avoid doing so as well.
"Remember we're to take the brothers alive if possible. His assassin's weren't mentioned in that so do what you have to. Just remember, if you leave them alive it could come back to haunt you." With this he looks to Zankuro and lets his eyes rest there a moment before his focus returns forward.
"Zankuro, you take Atorei and Toshio and go around the back entrance. Don't let anyone out that way as you make your way in. Watch for the brothers, don't harm any civilians." He nods for them to go get into position, giving them a short time before he glances at Hiei. "Alright then. Hiei and…whatever your name is inside of Naruko…we're going in the front." With this he gives a bit of a grin as he looks to Hiei, head tilting slightly to one side. "You want to knock, or should I?"

"So I go with you guys." Toshio says as he goes with atorei and zankuro. "So Anyone know anything about these brothers other then they have some hawk summoning contract?" He asks curiously as he walks with the two.

"Party pooper.." Zankuro murmurs. As he started to avert his gaze, a shiver goes down Zankuro's spine as Naruko — Matatabi approaches. Even if the beast was keeping its chakra in check or had little access to it at the moment, the feeling of close proximity with it set off warning bells in Zankuro his head. His eyes are upon her within seconds. Unlike Hige, he doesn't regard her entirely with suspicion or concern, but curiosity and puppy dog love. Her words however struck him hard enough to reconsider regarding her without apprehension.
He is unfortunately not given enough time to worry or wonder long before his name is spoken. Zankuro hesitates for a moment upon recieving the orders, and looks to the building again. The back entrance was an obvious choice, and more than likely guarded if not boobie trapped. "Heh… Boo-er, I mean, alright you two. Let's move out." He states, motioning for the others to follow after him. "Not a clue, man. Though unless that place has weirdly vaulted cielings, we may have an advantage so long as we keep the fight inside. But first-…" Zankuro henges into his twelve year old self bearing a book bag. Nothing says inconspicious like a kid trying to sneak into a brothel. >.>

RP: Zankuro uses HENGE.
COMBAT: Zankuro attacks target 1 with STEALTH-II with a roll of: 34

Atorei watched Zankuro change into.. a kid? That won't work. He'd glance to Toshio and give a small shrug, shuffling on his feet as he'd avoid looking at Matatabi completely. That's a SCARY thing!! Shaking his head, he'd head for the back, glancing at the others then the back entrance, flexing his hands a little. Alright. He can do this. Honest. He can do this. With one last breath taken, he'd start for the door, the kid ignored as.. well.. it's a kid. With a backpack.

Stealth wasn't on Matatabi's agenda. Punishment was more like it. Anyone willing to associate themselves with a brothel needed to be liberated… A member of the hawk shinobi or not. "I recommend knocking the door down and burning everyone inside alive," Matatabi's suggests to both Hiei and Hige as they would eventually begin narrowing in on the front door. Matatabi listened to Toshio's comments with a slight frown. "Are you leaf shinobi hard for hearing? We have as much information as we will have," Matatabi then shrugs her shoulders and scoffs. "The civilians here are just as guilty as the criminals we are looking for,"

RPCOMBAT: Matatabi defends against with a CAT-SENSE…57

Naturally, the back door is locked and looking rather rusted over at the hinged. That being said, it's not likely the team is going to be able to get in silently. As the teams are assigned by Hige, the one heading towards the front would have no resistance. It's almost as if the entire place is just begging to be discovered… Or the people within are extremely confident. Scents of alcohol and sounds of happiness (both the normal and the … other… kind) could be heard for those with extremely good hearing. Inside would be a bit darker than normal, making it harder to see.

Hiei looks at Hige and nods once. "I'd be delighted." He glances over at Matatabi. "Our orders are to leave the civilians out of it. It's not our place to judge who gets to die and who doesn't." He then lifts his foot and attempts to kick in the door using his considerable strength. Afterwards, he would take point by stepping through the doorway. "I can sense two large chakra signatures in here. The Hawks are here, we just have to get through the riff-raff to find them."

COMBAT: Hiei attacks target 1 with PHYSICAL with a roll of: 26

Hige trails just after Hiei, his senses open as he and Konsho move along. Matatabi's words are simply met with a look as Hiei reaffirms what's already been said. While he doubts he could subdue the creature himself he'd be bushed if he let it kill any civilians that could be avoided. He waits for Hiei to destroy the door, again following him in before looking around and hopping up on a table. "If you don't want to die I suggest you leave now." He growls loudly, letting his claws and fangs grow as well as allowing lightning to flicker around his frame. "We're here for the hawk brothers only. Anyone else," he motions towards the destroyed door, "there's your exit. I suggest you use it." With his size alone he's not exactly causing any fear, but hopefully with the elongated features and lightning he can get the civilians out. Nothing like just going in and breaking stuff, right? Konsho is already sniffing around for the brothers, the pup drifting around people silently and stealthily.

"Yea….That makes no sense, why are you a kid?" Toshio says as he looks to Zankuro, seeming confused before looking about. He simply remains alert as he tries to keep an eye out for these hawk brothers. When the strange woman thing becomes something else, he just raises an eyebrow. "Definatly weird." He mutters to her.

"Its called improv. You guys were supposed to follow my lead, but sense that ain't the case — " *Poof* And so the Sarutobi returns in all his glory. In hopes of avoiding future trouble, Zankuro does try to simply open the door first. After that falls through he takes a step back and rub his chin thoughtfully. If only he had thought to seal away some acid vials… and Hige did say they were to actually go inside, instead of just watching the door. Which may or may not have been the better choice.
"Hmm… Bit of a change of plan guys. After I break down the door, Me and Toshio will do the sweep while Atorei remains behind to cover the back. Alright?" He waits just long enough for an answer, then motions for the others to step away from the door. Following a silent prayer for there being only a body guard behind the door, Zankuro flashes through a set of hand signs, takes a breath, then belches a fireball with enough driving force to fell a tree. Maybe even three trees! If nothing doesn't come flying out at them immediatly after, Toshio is motioned inside first, followed by the fluff meister.

[NPC System]: Zankuro roll(s) Comet from 13 to 29 and get(s) a 27. - Rolled by: Zankuro

Watches Zankuro, giving a small nod as the chuunin reverted back. At least it wasn't creepy having a kid around. Tilting his head to the side, Atorei would flash through hand seals as Zankuro did, a swarm of Atorei, fire clones, launching into the blazing opening to clear the initial area. Once done, they'd poof, letting the other two in as Atorei would step off to the side, throwing out a scroll that seemed to fuse to the wall with chakra as Atorei charged it and let him hide behind it, the scroll taking on the look of the wall.

COMBAT: Atorei attacks target 1 with MULTIPLE-FIRE-CLONES with a roll of: 68

"Hmph…" Matatabi scoffed after both Hige and Hiei mentioned sparing the civilians… It was one of those moments that she truly wished she could do something more about the situation. While technically she could it wasn't going to be a positive situation. " With that she merely crosses her arms along one another, settling behind Hiei and sniffing the air soundly, keeping her ears open as well just in case someone said anything interesting about the 'hawks' she was sniffing them out, curious if anything would point her and the right direction, followed by a swift snatch up.

RPCOMBAT: Matatabi defends against with a CAT-SENSE…46

Before Hiei, Matatabi, and Hige can actually enter the compound, a loud screech from the hawk would sound, alerting those inside if Hiei's door-kicking didn't already. Said hawk would proceed to swoop down and claw at those remaining outside while the people within would come to attention. As noted, there were a few customers who were clearly drunk. The bar tender appraised the three who entered, his eyes focusing on Matatabi and narrowing. At some invisible signal, people start to leap into action, hidden knives appearing in hands and being thrown at the trio.
The back comes in with a big BANG as well, meaning that the guards of the brothel are all scrambling a bit as they seek to take out the intruders. They use swords and spears to attack the two who actually entered.

COMBAT: Hiei defends against SHARP-II(47) attack from Rockpath with a LESSER-LIGHTNING-BLOCK…53

Hiei watches as the bartender gives a hidden signal and all hell breaks loose. When the knives are thrown at him, Hiei frowns slightly and catches it in mid air, just before it would have impacted between his eyes. He growls lightly as he bends the knife in his fingers and tosses it to the side. "Baka. We just want the Hawks. There's no need for the bulk of you to die. However, since it appears you've made your choice. I will now kill you all without hesitation." Hiei darts forwards as he flings his arm out to the side, attempting to impact one of them around the neck. He then spins around and aims a lightning infused palm strike towards another one's chest…right where the heart would be. "Matatabi…don't hold back." It they were going to be idiots, then they were going to lie in the bed they made.

COMBAT: Hige defends against SHARP-II(40) attack from Rockpath with a FOUR-LEGGED-DODGE…53

Hige is expecting a volatile reaction what with the information they were given. He did expect some to take the chance to flee, however. Hopefully at least a few would be smart enough to do so. The boy drops to all four and launches himself away from the attacks, whistling softly as a code to Konsho. The pup launches himself up into the air as well and then both start spinning, a dervish of claws, fangs, and death. Together they aim for the bar and the people there with the knives, coming down to crash into it and those around.

RP: Hige transforms into KONSHOS-BOND.
COMBAT: Hige attacks target 1 with GATSUGA with a roll of: 45
COMBAT: Hige attacks target 2 with GATSUGA with a roll of: 53
COMBAT: Hige attacks target 3 with GATSUGA with a roll of: 36

COMBAT: Toshio defends against SHARP(34) attack from Rockpath with a DODGE…20
COMBAT: Toshio loses the roll and sustains 298 damage.

Toshio grunts. "That does it." Toshio says as he forms a few hand seals of his own. "Fire element great fireball technique!" He calls as he spits out a large fireball to try and back up Zankuro's fireball. "I am going to take a wild guess, that they like these brothers." He says sarcastically.

COMBAT: Zankuro defends against SHARP(37) attack from Rockpath with a INTUITIVE-ACTION…29
COMBAT: Zankuro loses the roll and sustains 263 damage.
RP: Zankuro stops using HENGE.
RP: Zankuro transforms into GATE-OF-HEALING.

Grinning weakly, Zankuro gives Atorei one last nod before focusing back on what lay beyond the doors. Already he can hear guards rushing towards them, forcing the duo to confront them in a corridor. A curse slips out as a spear slashes through sleeves and flesh. "That does — oh!" Zankuro leaps further back to make sure Toshio had plenty of room to work with. "Heh… Might wanna be careful though. We don't wanna burn up in here ourselves." Zankuro raises a balled up and focuses inwardly for a second. Moments later, he snaps the hand to the side, knowing the first to gates were unsealed. Without missing a beat, a shuriken is launched towards a recovering guard neck, followed by a barrage of fire balls aimed precisely to hit what others remain.

COMBAT: Matatabi defends against SHARP-II(39) attack from Rockpath with a BIJUU-TAIL-BLOCK…52

That moment where everyone thinks your idea is cruel and awful but ends up being necessary and truthful. There is a feeling of europhria based on Hiei's words, as well as instant irritation as the hawks attempt to sweep down at them and even more attacks flood from the buildings interior. The cleaving hawk was simply met with a swish of the jinchuuriki's tail. It was now time to get her hands a little dirty though. That dangerous cloak began to envelope along her left hand forging the cloak into flames, from which she shoves into her mouth….Processes it…and then bleches a condensed sphere of fire right into the crowd/direction of those protecting 'Hawk" the explosion would be enough to put a hole in the fall from the resulting explosion. "You don't have to say that twice,"

COMBAT: Rockpath defends against LARIAT(29) attack from Hiei with a DODGE-II…37
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against LESSER-LIGHTNING-SOULSTRIKE(32) attack from Hiei with a DODGE-II…36
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against GREAT-FIREBALL-TECHNIQUE(28) attack from Toshio with a DODGE-II…52
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against DECISIVE-ACTION(39) attack from Zankuro with a DODGE…25
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 314 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against COVERING-FIRE(46) attack from Zankuro with a DODGE-II…51
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against FIRE-ORB(48) attack from Matatabi with a DODGE-II…55

Chaos ensues in the building, and many of the customers are scrambling to get away from the crazy shinobi! They don't get a good look at the different faces due to the darkness of the building, which might be a good thing. Though they also get to see a demonic Naruko-Matatabi in there… Likely giving the poor bystanders nightmares.
The ones who are actually with the Hawk brothers are an assortment of 'escorts' and the other staff who work there. They show amazing agility and flexibility, probably thanks to their job, and the bartender grabs a sword to strike Hiei with a few times. A waiter also attacks Matatabi, but she Rams right into him with that destructive fire orb, turning him to ask. Hiei's strikes don't really get through, but his fire leaves a mark on the area, and a few are left in a panic.
Zankuro's gang gets to continue dealing with the spear and sword bearers, only one going down thanks to Zankuro's intense flames that he sends them. Ow! They glare at the team, charging in stupidly and head on.

COMBAT: Hiei defends against SWORD-STRIKE-II(32) attack from Rockpath with a DODGE…49
COMBAT: Hiei defends against SWORD-STRIKE-II(28) attack from Rockpath with a DODGE…29

Hiei crouches slightly when the bartender comes for him with a sword of all things. The Kumo master swordsman just smirks although he makes no move to draw his own blade. That'd just make things too easy. He sidesteps his first strike and then rotates his shoulders to avoid the second, though it's close enough that a sliver of his hair is cut off his head. Hiei frowns and flexes his body for a moment before he steps forwards, attempting to drive a lightning infused elbow towards the bartender's head, then he spins around and lifts a lightning infused knee towards the small of his back, looking to break something.

COMBAT: Hige defends against SHARP-II(27) attack from Rockpath with a EVASION…33
COMBAT: Hige defends against SHARP-II(41) attack from Rockpath with a FOUR-LEGGED-DODGE…62

Hige avoids the attacks from whoever it came from by moving neatly aside with Konsho. Whoever attacked him also gets the boy of dealing with a boy, his pup, and their lightning. As the element focuses into his claws the boy slashes out as does Konsho, hopping up to slash the nearest bad person with his own lightning claws.

COMBAT: Toshio counters against a SHARP(34) attack from Rockpath with a FIRE-CLONE…28
COMBAT: Toshio loses the roll and sustains 430 damage.
COMBAT: Toshio defends against SHARP(28) attack from Rockpath with a BODY-FLICKER-TECHNIQUE…32

Toshio tries to form a clone but isnt able to, getting stabbed in the shoulder and leg. When they go to try and finish him, he flickers out of existance and appears a short distance away, grunting as he forms more handseals to fire another fireball into the group.

COMBAT: Zankuro defends against SHARP-II(43) attack from Rockpath with a INTUITIVE-ACTION…54
COMBAT: Zankuro counters against a SHARP-II(31) attack from Rockpath with a DECISIVE-ACTION…37

Zankuro cheers inwardly when one of his attacks finally strike home. His relief is a short-lived one. More guards are already take the place of the old. Their numbers should've gave him pause, and yet he stepped forth to meet their challenge. After sidestepping the first target and help guiding him past, for one brief instance the Sarutobi experienced a moment of clarity. Positions, future actions, exact numbers — they all flew through his mind. A kunai leaves his hand in such a fashion that it seems an after thought, distracting if not burying itself in the neck of the swordsman that thought to loosen his guard for a powerful strike. In the next instance, oil orbs soaked in flames are sent racing down the hall towards the remaining guards. Just as soon as a path is opened up, Zankuro is rushing onwards.

Matatabi wasn't really interested on going about so many people…. The best plan of action…at least for her was to blow them all away in one shot…ANd that's exactly what she was going to do. Once again she began to focus chakra along her palm, this time it was a lot larger than before. She opens her mouth, the skin along her jawline rupturing and splitting out in a pool of blood so that the bone could become elongated and eat the sphere of fire. Smoke plumed from her nose while her body became larger as well. ffinally she vomits up the mass of the sphere, spewing it into one corner of the room, probably to take the foundation of the building as well… "If you are all going to follow after the bigger prey.. I'm going to stay up here and make sure no one else comes this way," Matatabi states, amongst the falling debris.

COMBAT: Rockpath defends against DEVASTATING-LIGHTNING-ELBOW(46) attack from Hiei with a DODGE…41
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 560 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against LIGHTNING-KNEE(41) attack from Hiei with a TENSE…12
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 960 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against LIGHTNING-CLAW(57) attack from Hige with a DODGE-II…40
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 464 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against LIGHTNING-CLAW(48) attack from Hige with a DODGE-II…51
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against GREAT-FIREBALL-TECHNIQUE(25) attack from Toshio with a TENSE…9
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 441 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against DECISIVE-ACTION(37) attack from Zankuro with a DODGE…34
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 236 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against FLAME-BULLET(38) attack from Zankuro with a DODGE…27
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 572 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against FLAME-BULLET(37) attack from Zankuro with a DODGE…26
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 564 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against ULTRA-BIG-BALL-FIRE-ORB(80) attack from Matatabi with a THE-PINNACLE…71
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 1118 damage.

The nearest (two) baddies that Hige had to face off against were actually escorts. The two ladies scream as they're aimed at with the Lightning strike, scrambling to get away, but failing. The wounds appear behind slashed or not-there clothing, and they end up looking a bit miserable. Apparently they're not as trained as the other women, who come racing towards Hige and try to deliver killing blows to the Inuzuka. Hiei, too, is able to deliver final blows to his own opponent, even though the man tried to dodge. It's … more than difficult to face off against the Raikage, and his opponent dies just from the intensity of the lightning strikes. He had gotten a bit too cocky with his movements, and look where that landed him! In … well, probably hell. Matatabi leaves his mark as well. The giant orb of fire not only hits a single enemy, it turns him into ash. Then absorbs a few other guys. It's probably only because Hiei and Hige are allies that it doesn't hit them!
Toshio and Zankuro do well on their end, too, of course. Giant fireballs just make any terrible battle better. Especially when said fire is on your side! With the initial stream of guards down for the count, the team can continue onwards for the two brothers. Interestingly enough, there are loud screeches echoing outside…

From the look on Hiei's face, it's safe to say that he's not kidding around anymore. "The brothers are further in, I'm going to see if I can lend the other team a hand." And with that, he takes off into the bowels of the brothel. If anyone steps up to him in challenge, he will take them down without any hesitation. Male or female. He reaches behind him and draws his katana. Apparently the Raikage means business now.

Hige looks to the Raikage as he takes off but doesn't stop him. He's fairly certain the others can take care of themselves for now at least. He's more worried about the noises he can hear from outside. The boy runs out the destroyed door and looks skyward, hoping that the brothers aren't trying to make a retreat with their contract.

Toshio begins to head deeper into the brothel, opening doors to look for the hawk brothers. "Sorry." "Excuse me." He says to a few doors but on just gets a confused look. "Get that goat back on the farm! Gross!" He yells as he heads towards the screeching. "Maybe they shoulda bound mice to themselves, makes it easier to hide." He says sarcastically.

COMBAT: Zankuro heals Zankuro for 201 with MINOR REGENERATION.

Zankuro nearly stumbles twice over smoking and sometimes still rolling and screaming corpses of the fallen. He expected at some point to see half-naked patrons come screaming out of their rooms at some point, but that doesn't honestly happen until Toshio tosses open the wrong doors. Perhaps the Hawk Brothers sprung for sound proofing?
"Hah, maybe Toshi. But kind of cool it with the bursting into doors. Your already mentally scarred for life, so don't make it physical too." Zankuro warns, managing to sound joking and serious almost all at once. If Hiei doesn't beat them to the punch, Zankuro would signal for Toshio to hold for a moment and wait until the other group got closer before considering kicking down the door or not.

The Raikage just charges in towards the back, making his way to the duo who wants to keep looking around. Whoever's in the back, the poor people are generally naked or half-naked and doing things that small children should … really never see… Most of them are just normal folk, but a few of them are actually a part of the Hawk Brothers' team. Those that are generally end up throwing knives at those who have intruded upon their privacy.
Hige's instincts are fairly spot on. Giant hawks are circling down to land on the ground where two figures are. He might be able to notice them, considering he's got that ability to smell things from a mile away. Naruko-Matatabi has been left to guard the shop and make sure no one escapes, though most of the people who fought back are either crispy crisps or slice-and-diced.

Hiei rushes through the building, making his way towards the back door. When he meets up with Zankuro and Toshio, he states. "They're not in here. We covered the front and you worked the back, and if we haven't found them yet, then they must be outside. He moves past them both at that point and out of the back door, moving quickly to go around the building and back towards the front.

COMBAT: Zankuro successfully interrupts attack number 1: SHARP from Rockpath against Toshio with a roll of 34 vs 18.

Well hand. "Naruko or whoever you are. Tell them the brothers are escaping out here." Hige calls over his shoulder before he takes off on all fours towards the figures, followed by Konsho. As they near the pair leap into the air, spinning and trying to hit the brothers or the birds of they're close!

Toshio looks to the man with the sword and simply shrugs, before looking to Zankuro. When the man gestures to follow the stranger with the sword, Toshio nods as he goes about following. When the giant hawks appear, he forms a series of hand seals and spits a large fireball at one. Roast chicken anyone?

COMBAT: Zankuro defends against SHARP(19) attack from Rockpath with a IRON-SCROLL-TECHNIQUE…28
COMBAT: Zankuro defends against SHARP(18) attack from Rockpath with a IRON-SCROLL-TECHNIQUE…21

"Well hello O-feather!" Thinking quickly, Zankuro swings his scroll about to intercept both weapons. Instead of sinking in as one may expect, the blades bounce harmlessly off its surprisngly steel-like side. "Wrong room, heheh." And on that note, Zankuro is quick to close the door, hopefully with Toshio being on the right side. Just as soon as its closed Zankuro immediatly summons some rope from his scroll and starts binding the door. It may not be enough to slow them down, but hopefully —
"Eh, wha, well, we — " The rest dies in Zankuro's throat. For one, you do not question a Kage. Secondly, the man was on a mission; a mission to pluck some feathers. And third, well, Hiei only really stuck around long enough to convey the message before moving on towards the back. After taking one last glance at the door, Zankuro motions for Toshio to follow after the Yotsuki. QUickly. Zankuro would soon follow though, only after the door is a good fifteen feet behind him that he turns about and makes a conscious effort to try and keep up.

There wasn't a whole lot of reasons to follow Hige's orders. The other group had already ran out the otherside of the building, it wouldn't be long until they figured out where the other two was going. With that logic Matatabi chased right after Hige, applying just support for now as she gathered her bearings and considered just where the brothers would be heading.

COMBAT: Rockpath defends against GATSUGA(36) attack from Hige with a EARTH-BARRIER…49
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against GATSUGA(38) attack from Hige with a EARTH-BARRIER…53
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against GREAT-FIREBALL-TECHNIQUE(33) attack from Toshio with a WATER-RIBBONS…58

Hige was dashing to four figures, two of which were giant hawks. The two hawks narrowed their golden eyes at the shinobi before glancing to the Hawk Brothers. "Take care of the pests before you ask for our help," one hisses, the two giant birds taking off. The brothers grunt and nod, a barrier of earth stopping both Hige and Konsho easily. "Kid… You picked the wrong folks to mess with," said one as the other dealt with fire. Water whips lash out to 'catch' the jutsu, entwining and dissipating Toshio's fire completely. Then they grin. "Such easy prey… We'll take care of them easily…"
One brother forms handseals, and the whole ground between the brothel and the brothers turns into pure swamp, trapping any who fail to avoid it. It covers an extremely wide range, too….

COMBAT: Hiei defends against SWAMP-OF-THE-UNDERWORLD(53) attack from Rockpath with a HYPER-SPEED-BLINK-DODGE…78
COMBAT: Hiei successfully interrupts attack number 2: SWAMP-OF-THE-UNDERWORLD from Rockpath against Toshio with a roll of 89 vs 80.
COMBAT: Hiei defends against SWAMP-OF-THE-UNDERWORLD(80) attack from Rockpath with a DISPLACEMENT…80

Hiei arrives outside just in time to see the hawks give the brothers their marching orders. He frowns slightly as he sees the jutsu take shape. He's seen it before…the Silence brother Yuuma had used it on him and his team. It wasn't going to happen again. So Hiei shows those gathered why he is the Raikage, moving at speeds that would put the Reizei to shame. He moves so fast that he creates multiple copies of himself as afterimages, throwing the jutsu off as it begins to form around him. Toshio would suddenly find himself several feet from everyone else as Hiei snatches him up so fast that the displacement of air sounds off like a small explosion.
As Hiei places Toshio down gently on his feet, he pats him on the shoulder. "You're alright. Unfortunately, I'm not fast enough to get to everyone. I hope your team is as good as they think they are." He draws his second sword and then slams the two hilts together while twisting them. There is a click as the hilts lock in place, creating a sword staff from the chakra swords that he carries. "If I were you, I wouldn't underestimate us, Hawk Brothers." He points the blade towards one of the brothers as a large bolt of lightning lances off the tip.

COMBAT: Hige defends against SWAMP-OF-THE-UNDERWORLD(58) attack from Rockpath with a FOUR-LEGGED-DODGE-II…75

Hige and Konsho smash into the wall and immediately stop, jumping back a short ways though the boy remains on all fours. His feral eyes scan the brothers as one makes hand seals and as soon as things begin to change the boy and pup are again in the air, leaping to get out of range and landing on the rooftop of the brothel instead. A low growl erupts from Hige's throat as his eyes narrow at the brothers and he hops down from their perch.
They pause only a moment, letting the Raikage and brothers talk it out while their eyes search for a weak point. For now they just decide to move. The duo dart forward, avoiding the swampy ground and moving under and around Hiei's lightning bolt as it passes. The duo then surrounds one of the brothers in a blurring run, attacking from all sides as they try and tear bits of his flesh off. They might be a little angry with it all.

Toshio doesnt know how he will react to the jutsu but it would seem he didnt have to react. The Raikage moves him and he grunts once placed down. "Thanks, Raikage-sama." Toshio says. He then gasps as he see's the jutsu try to take Konsho and Hige, he growls. "Leave the dog alone!" He yells as he forms hand seals. Multiple Toshios form and one begins running after one of the brothers. Another forms hand seals and spits out a giant fireball.

COMBAT: Zankuro defends against SWAMP-OF-THE-UNDERWORLD(78) attack from Rockpath with a TENSE…8

Unfortunately, everyone wearing Konohagakure's banner are not as good as Hiei hopes that they think they … are. One in particular did not have the fortune of reflex or a Kage to save his butt, but only his own guts and skill. It isn't remotely enough. Heck, Zankuro is so exhausted by using just the first two gates on top of all that running around that he did not even catch the ground shifting states until his face is buried in the muck. Valiantly did the Sarutobi struggle, rendering his situation worse by the second. When all that remains is his face above the swamp he finally stops and just tries extremely hard not to twitch a muscle.
"Well thisss.. is not good." He murmurs in defeat.

RP: Matatabi transforms into NIBI-TWO-TAIL-FORM.
COMBAT: Matatabi defends against SWAMP-OF-THE-UNDERWORLD(76) attack from Rockpath with a SPECTRAL-DODGE…51

Matatabi was suddenly pulled into the earth as she began to run right after the brothers, even after sprouting out her second tail for extra propulsion she was simply unable to keep up. "Flock it…" Matatabi curses under her breath struggling against the rock, pumping her body with even more chakra in order to break free. If there was something Matatabi hated more than anything else it was being held against her own will.. From her human lips escaped the loud roar of a raging jinchuuriki If those idiots didn't let go….things would get worse.

COMBAT: Rockpath defends against LIGHTNING-STRIKE(68) attack from Hiei with a WATER-CLONE…64
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 682 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against SWIFT-WOLF-FANG(61) attack from Hige with a WATER-CLONE…59
COMBAT: Rockpath loses the roll and sustains 649 damage.
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against FIRE-CLONE(23) attack from Toshio with a WATER-RIBBONS…70
COMBAT: Rockpath defends against GREAT-FIREBALL-TECHNIQUE(36) attack from Toshio with a WATER-RIBBONS…73
COMBAT: Rockpath attacks Toshio with NIN-SPAR with a roll of: 23

For those who were trapped, they would experience a force that began to crush them… slowly… But surely. The force came from the earth itself as it attempted to 'gulp' Naruko and Zankuro into the depths of hell itself. Those that were able to successfully avoid the swamp find themselves face to face with water clones that fight the shinobi. The man who controlled them was actually a bit late in replacing both himself and his brother with them and got some very bad scratches and lightning shocks, but he was alive and still kicking. Enough that the water clones were still up and moving.

RP: Hiei transforms into LIGHTNING-AURA.
COMBAT: Hiei defends against MULTIPLE-WATER-CLONES(65) attack from Rockpath with a BREVITY…55
COMBAT: Hiei loses the roll and sustains 1146 damage.

Hiei was moving towards the brother's location when he is met with water clones. They bombard him heavily, causing the Raikage to falter a few steps. The damage dealt was significant, but Hiei compartmentalizes the pain. He had plenty enough time to hurt later. Right now there were two brothers that needed some attention. He pffts. "Those aren't clones. This is a clone." He makes a single handseal before a shadow clone appears next to him. Both Hiei's bodies explode in a light blue chakra aura. Hiei says to the clone. "I got the left one. Take the right one." The sword staff crackles with electricity, so much so that it seems to hum at at a high frequency. The clone catapults himself skywards, flipping in midair to deliver a lightning infused kick towards one of the brothers. Hiei follows up with a high speed slash towards the other.

COMBAT: Hiei attacks Rockpath with KAGE-BUNSHIN with a roll of: 88
COMBAT: Hiei attacks Rockpath with HIGH-FREQUENCY-SHARP with a roll of: 88

COMBAT: Hige defends against MULTIPLE-WATER-CLONES(49) attack from Rockpath with a FOUR-LEGGED-DODGE…42
COMBAT: Hige loses the roll and sustains 1184 damage.

Hige and Konsho had finished their attack but it hadn't been enough to take the man down. Unfortunate. While they prepared again the water clones appeared and rammed into both boy and pup, knocking them back a distance and doing some unhealthy internal damage. Hige's growl is guttural as he returns to all fours one again, looking over to Konsho only briefly to check on the pup before they both charge in. The boy goes for one while the pup goes for the other, the duo following up on Hiei's own attacks by slashing with those lightning claws almost as soon as Hiei swings.

COMBAT: Hige attacks Rockpath with LIGHTNING-CLAW with a roll of: 35
COMBAT: Hige attacks Rockpath with LIGHTNING-CLAW with a roll of: 41

COMBAT: Matatabi defends against DEVOURING-EARTH(48) attack from Rockpath with a TENSE…9
COMBAT: Matatabi loses the roll and sustains 1371 damage.
COMBAT: Matatabi ESCAPES from Rockpath's stun!
RP: Matatabi transforms into NIBI-MINIATURE-BEAST-FORM.

Nothing was more infuriating than being stuck in the jutsu and then feeling the earth crush against her flesh. Matatabi groaned in pain, magnified by her anger, and thus she began to release much of that pent up energy, breaking free from the earth and leaping out onto the open ground. This released matatabi was much different than previously however. She was on all floors, flesh melted, gone, Replaced with blue and black flames, two twin tails hovering behind her. Size wise she was also much much larger. About a large the length of a house. This wasn't the complete power of the beast however… Forming orbs of blue with her tails she chucks them out towards her opponents, pretty much like honning missles which would avoid the melee fighters and hit the brothers seperately.

COMBAT: Matatabi attacks Rockpath with NEGATIVE-HEATSEEKERS with a roll of: 63
COMBAT: Matatabi attacks Rockpath with NEGATIVE-HEATSEEKERS with a roll of: 61

RPCOMBAT: Toshio defends against with a BODY-FLICKER-TECHNIQUE…15
RPCOMBAT: Toshio took 400 damage.

Toshio gets hit back and he growls as he watches his friends get slammed about. "Leave them alone." He says as he forms more handseals. He then spits out another fireball, following by shuriken behind it.

The two brothers each end up dealing with things that are coming at them in pairs. They didn't expect for the Raikage, for they finally recognized him as such, to come at them, and both end up getting a grievous wound. One Hiei gives a brother broken ribs, and the other gives a nice slice down his chest that honestly probably killed him right then and there. Hige and Konsho probably aren't helping with matters, as neither are able to perform the jutsu that would get them out of the way. Matatabi's misses are even worse, as the bijou's fire-chakra both poisons their systems and burns them to a crisp. In the end, Toshio's attacks aren't even needed since the two are ash and dust.

Hiei stares at the two brothers for a long moment with a scowl on his face. He then does a quick check to make sure everyone is ok. Especially Matatabi. If he was irritated, then his job wasn't over yet. For the moment, he doesn't release his transformation, but he does take out some bandages to bind some of his wounds. Afterwards, he holds his hand against his ribs. He was definitely going to need a medic after this one.

Hige wipes a bit of blood from the side of his mouth, speaking of his internal injuries. The trip home wasn't going to be pleasant. He didn't even have anything to bandage. The boy pushes himself back to two feet before crouching next to Konsho and checking him over. The pup was a little beat but in better condition than the boy. "Sorry about the whole 'capture them alive thing' Hiei." He says finally. "You can tell Michiko that one was my fault." He goes about then checking on the others. Breaking Zankuro free and binding some of Toshio's wounds quickly. Some of his attention is always on Matatabi as he doesn't know what to expect next with a transformation this far out.

Matatabi was incredibly pissed off. Even after the explosions hit their mark she was tempted to push things along even further, compact them down deep into the the ground like soil. She heaves for that moment, paws digging deep into the earth, her claws anchoring while a massive orb of fire began to take form along the front of her jaws. Slowly it begins to increase in size until there is suddenly a slight hiccup and it stops… Matatabi's gags briefly, firing off the mass of energy into the air following an earth shattering shriek. "It works both ways then…." The beast's bodily flames appeared to eat at it's shape, burning away until limbs began to melt off and fade into nothingness. What was left was a simple golden haired girl with long locks of golden hair, whiskers about her cheeks, some shhredded clothes and a pair of blue eyes… "Free bird… that actually worked" o.o The beaming light of day blinded her briefly before she looks up to take a glance at everyone. Her body shutters, fingers curling up in the dirt beneath her. "It looks like I made it back after all…"

"I am fine…I think they hit me in the head or something cause everything looks funny." Toshio says as he rubs his head, eyes closed. It is when he opens them that people are in for a change. What was once blue green is now bright red, with a single dot around the pupil. "You alright Hige? Konsho?" He asks as he turns to look to Hige now.

RP: Toshio transforms into SHARINGAN-I.

The area itself, once people start to look around, is in ruins after Matatabi's burst of energy combined with the roar. The structure couldn't support itself, and many who were still … having fun … within its walls get buried alive. Poor saps… Not that they didn't deserve to die, and there are certainly worse ways. Since the team doesn't have much to collect, they can either try to 'clean up' some of the destruction, or they can go back to their respective paths after recovering. Regardless, the mission itself is complete, and the prisoners were handled.

Hige looks over to Matatambi as the creature builds up it's ball of fire and his body tenses. But then he blinks at the hiccup and the following transformation as Naruko returns as herself. Konsho gives an excited yip though he sounds tired and beaten for the moment. "Someone is going to have to explain this to me. Later, not now." Hige's to tired too. That battle took a lot out of him. From the destruction and death inside the brothel to the brothers of ash. Hige sighs softly, "Yeah, we'll live. And you always look funny…" he trails off as he looks to Toshio and blinks. Then blinks again. "Uh…" he lets out uncertainly. "They must've hit you really hard you clanless freak." He lets out a soft chuckle as the realization dawns on him. "You aren't as clanless as you think. Still just as bad looking though." He reaches out to try and ruffle Toshio's hair. Konsho takes the oppurtunity to go over to the Raikage and try to leap up into his arms for pets and a chance to lick the man's chin affectionately. The pup sure likes Hiei.

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