Date: October 4, 2016
In the wake of the assassination of a diplomat from a moderate faction of Jashin worshipers that arrived in the Land of Lightning a few months prior, tensions within the village were quite high. A diplomatic team lead by Nariko hoped to assuage the tensions within the village, but it was the very arrival of the shinobi that sparked conflict between a few of the Jashin faithful and the non-believers within the town.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Tides of Blood - Anarchy in the Streets"
The Jashin Enclave
The Moderate Jashin Cultists that are nearly finished with their coastal habitation have fair reason to be angery right now. Persecution is starting to drive them to their limits, even despite the fact that they have yet to have been forcefully asked to leave, the cultists find the pressure almost unbearable. With the recent news that a fellow cultist was killed in cold blood on the streets of Raiun as a lesson to their kind, the tension was as thick as butter.
Yet, that didn't stop the normal activities of the village. It was just like any other town filled with people. With farmers sowing the fields to eek out a living, and even a bustling city center. There is an easy way to tell someone from the Jashin cult apart from other travelers though. It was forms of dress, primarily. The cultists seem to never wear clothing upon their chest, save for the women, and scars seem to be a sort of a status symbol. Everyone who has joined the cult seems to have white hair… Hair so white it almost looks like snow. Don't forget that it seems every one of the cultists, even the young children, have a serrated weapon of some sort whose purpose was to draw blood for their rituals.
Yet, the most peculiar part of their culture was their rituals however. While steeped in myth, the main branch of this cult are known to revel in the blood of human sacrifices. This moderate branch has proven that they have done away with those sacrifices and seek to only sacrifice animals and draw their own blood in order to better fit into the places they go, and Kumogakure has allowed visitors in the village for the first time since they've arrived. There were many different places for people to explore. The Taverns served specific kinds of wine that dulled the senses a little differently than normal alcohol, and the rooms were actually rather inexpensive too. There were eating establishments set up for enjoyment, and the cultists certainly knew of more pleasant ways to clean the blood off their skin after their rituals are over. A unique style of hotsprings, no doubt!
Rita seems to have taken to the taverns primarily. A socialite like her was well adapted to get the blood flowing. This was actually her last stop before taking a boat to Demon Country, which was upon the last continent of the known shinobi world she had yet to actually go to. The last place she needs to go before she settles down. Who is Rita? Why, only a world famous ruins hunter. She happened to be on the small end as far as height went, only about 4'8", with a rather youthful disposition. She was wearing a sporting red kimono, cut right above the knees. Goggles adorned her heads, and there were many ribbons hanging off her form. It was almost silly looking to a point. Either way, the girl seemed to rest her head against the table of the bar, which seemed to be a popular stop for wanderers. Likely because it was one of the few establishment that still kept their doors open to outsiders after the Raiun killing. "Wow… You said… You made this sake out of -blood-? That's… That's tripping~."
The bartender was like the other cultists that walked around the town casually. He did have bleached white hair, and he did carry a nasty looking weapon upon his back. "Oh, yeah. It's a bit higher in alcohol content. It's the human blood." - "What!?" Rita said, nearly falling off her seat. "Y-you use human blood!?" - "No, that's what I tell everyone to get a rise out of them. Goat's blood… You outsiders…" The bartender 'tsks' as he shakes his head, cleaning his glass. "You just don't understand us. You never will. That's the stereotype of breaking away from a religion that murders people for fun…"
While those whom gather in the tavern get themselves drunk with exotic foods and alcohol, there was actually a different group that might have been arriving at this time through the perimeter. It was the shinobi group who had likely come to attempt to quell the tensions building within the town. Rather than come by force, a select few shinobi whom were both diplomatically minded and able to hold their own. With an exception, for security purposes. Sakuya, of course, is attempting to rehearse to the group just how they were supposed to act. "Alright… One more time." Sakuya slipped a pair of glasses, round framed, upon her head as she attempted to read the small writing upon the dossier. "This is purely a diplomatic mission. That means we're pleasant with everyone." Sakuya knew Nariko already knew all of this. It was simply something the other shinobi of the group needed to realize.
"The cultists might appear threatening, but that is simply a result of the religion they branched off from. Try not to glare at them, because that is a symbol of challenging a member of this faith to a fight…" Sakuya would continue listing off the regulations, almost in a droning fashion. It was Zuzu who bit her on the shoulder to get her attention. "That'sssss enough. Ten times is enough. We understand. Don't breathe the same air as them." - "Zuzu… That isn't the point…" Sakuya sighed as she slipped her glasses off the bridge of her nose. The intellectual look wasn't her favorite, so she tended to read and stuff the spectacles into her outfit as soon as possible.
The destination of the diplomatic team is to reach 'Jashin Tomoyo', the leader of the peoples who had arrived to the coastal area. He was situated, usually, inside a central holy building. That building was clearly visible from the shinobi's vantage point. Everything seemed calm, even if there were a lot of angry faces going about their businesses
Walking with the group of Kumogakure shinobi was the Yotsuki known as Nariko. She had come aong at the request of Sakuya and nodded as Sakuya gave directions. She didn't exactly say much as this was mostly Sakuya's call. "Basically, if you weild weapons, keep them sheathed and if you need to look somewhere, look up and not directly at them. And, try not to punch something first." She looked to Sakuya. "Correct?" She tilted her head and put her hands on her hips.
Why was the People's Militia there? Simple. The group was built with the idea of helping villages deal with monsters. Either internal or external. When men become monsters, it's coin that usually decides which face is the right one. But for those who live by that coin, they have to know how to be where it's best to be, to make the coin. As such, Taishou, with a band of about 10 men, was inside the tavern. The men were modest drinkers, the teen they all seemed to look to for orders keeping a tight leash. While hardly a true military unit, they did at least have the same seal on their shield to show they worked together. The teen himself carried a x-bow and for those who could sense such things, a chakra not typical to most people. Either way, the group was watching, waiting and ready, without necessarily being engaged yet. The offer to the leader was turned in, they would help the Jashin. It was the choice of leadership to accept it.
Along with the group from Kumogakure is Hiei himself. He's clad in his matte black battle armor. It covers every inch of him, and has mesh at the joints for easy movement. A mask covers his lower face and his snow white hair is tied back into a ponytail. He had decided to come on this trip to serve as a bodyguard of sorts for Nariko and Sakuya…not that they really needed it. It was mostly an excuse to see this cult for his own eyes. He had read countless reports as well as had Sakuya give him an oral account of the situation, and he wanted to be on hand for this one. He has instructed everyone to simply refer to him by his first name, and not his title of Raikage. Icy blue eyes take in the surroundings as the group enters the village. His hand rests casually on the hilt of one of his chakra blades as he moves along with the group. He snorts faintly when Sakuya talks about not making eye contact. Like he'd cower before these losers. However, in the spirit of 'diplomacy', he would at least make an attempt to curb his Alpha mentality. For Nariko's sake. "Nice place. Smells like blood." He idly comments.
Taro was nearby and closest town happened to be over in the Land of Lightning area. What this meant was Taro was walking through this village and just stepping towards the tavern. A moment later he was inside. The town/village itself would simply be used as a resting point for a bit since it was the closest and he needed a quick break. His travels right now were taking him just overall around the place as he had a few things to do gathering information. Land of Lightning being connected to the coast meant that he even sorta could find info in these small towns he stopped by on its outskirts. But only one way to really see if he did or not. Of course as he walked inside his first step would be casually walking over to Rita and greeting her. "Mind if I join you for a drink?" He said with a small smile. He being out and about basically meant he was fully combat prepped. Two swords and a Fuma Shuriken on his back. One that might be taken off for him to sit down.
Tension bred conflict, and conflict spilled coil as often as it spilled blood, there wasn't a shortage of mercenaries within the region looking to take on small contracts and Suizei was among them. While on his travels through the region it would be difficult for the man not to notice the gathered Kumo forces departing in a similar if not the same direction he was. Lingering behind the diplomatic team, Suizei takes an alternate route, one that resulted with him taking longer to reach the settlement but it would only take him an hour or two more. "Not sure what they are doing in the region, this region isn't that rich to pay for that kind of support.. are they contracted by the Lightning Daimyo to wipe them out?" Moving a hand up to the side of his head, Suizei starts to scratch at the side of his head with some notable annoyance showing. It wasn't long before muttered insults escape from under under his breath as he began to survey and study how the settlement was laid out to gauge how the wealth was concentrated.
Sanda really has to wonder why on earth she's being put on diplomatic missions, especially considering her relatively sharp tongue (in the figurative matter, unlike Sakuya's snake-like forked tongue). The Hizumu keeps her arms crossed over her chest, taking a bit of a more aggressive stance just to probably keep some of the Jashin cultists at bay. Admittedly, her team had been assigned to watch this group several times prior, so they are probably used to Sanda's presence. She isn't exactly used to their strange rituals, though.
"Che… They're creepy enough that not punching them is actually difficult…" the Chuunin mutters softly under her breath in response to Nariko. "But let's just get this over with. Hurry up and go home." She obviously wasn't the happiest to be around here >.>;; She was probably just picked because she happened to be a name that showed up in the Jashin patrols prior.
Sakuya would raise a thumb in confirmation to Nariko as she winced in pain from Zuzu's bite. "You've got it." Sakuya says as she takes a deep breath. "Especially right now… Right now, they are quite tense. They literally tried to reach out to Raiun, and their diplomat was killed. They're not happy, at all. Just to repeat one last time, the mission parameters are to attempt to quell them by giving them our reassurances. To prevent violence while we take a look at the root cause of why the Daimyo's religious officials seem to be involved in foul play… S-sorry…" Sakuya slipped her hands to her face. "I've repeated myself plenty already. I'm just worried. I've read the books detailing the religion they came from… It's… not a family-friendly sort of religion."
Having Hiei arrive in battle armor seemed to cause a few of the Jashin to scatter, quite warily. One guy seems to rush off to the central monastery. The streets of the town were full of people whom seemed filled with anger, or filled with despair. No one had a smile on their face today. Perhaps Hiei might find some aspects of the village interesting. While not exactly in the spirit of Kumogakure, there would be many cultists in their back yards, wrestling or fighting. The smell of blood was clear in the air, because most of the cultists wrestle with their serrated blades. Drawing their opponent's blood is apparently a victory condition, and an offering the God of Death.
Suizei, whom seemed to blend in well enough, managed to get a few glances here or there. The economy of the people of Jashin isn't that different from usual. Personal wealth is personal wealth. The ruling class isn't very wealthy, either. In all honesty, the village wasn't actually built in any specific pattern. The tavern, however, was actually quite close to the central religious building.
In the Tavern, it was a much more merry sight. Rita was looking a tad tipsy as she adjusted her goggles, a slight blush on her face as 'Taro' sits down. Taro. >:I Coming in here and sitting down like he didn't know her. How could he miss her? Goggles, Blatantly Colorful Kimono. Very, very bright personality? It's obviously Ashura (Amaro) Rita, the greatest ruins hunter known to the shinobi world! She would raise her fingers and poke the side of Taro's head. "Taro, you're… Heh… You've got to try the Blood Sake… It's made of people~~~!" Clearly, Rita wasn't afraid to show that she actually knew Taro as a friend. Whatever things that he had said in the past didn't seem to matter. Rita forgets everything after a while. "It took you too long to get here… You were supposed to… Say goodbye! On my last trip! A trip to Demon Country… Feels like I'm missing someone though. Nnnh… This stuff… It's so strong…"
"Demon Country you say? I recommend against that. Our Old Faith reside there…. It's very dangerous." The bartender managed to note with a small smile. "I was a member of that faith. I killed ten people before I couldn't take it anymore. Why would Jashin make us kill in his name? Death isn't limited to combat. Death happens naturally!"
Meanwhile, within the church building itself Tomoyo was thinking long and hard about bolstering his forces. "Normally, I wouldn't let outsiders even attempt to ask me to assist us." Tomoyo, with red eyes and white unkempt hair, looked out the window of the monastery that symbolized their religion. The first building that was erected in this town was the wooden cathedral that Tomoyo stood upon. "Especially… Assist us on the inside. I'm afraid that given the recent events a few of the villagers are starting to… lose their faith. They've been considering returning to the barbaric and false scriptures of Old Jashinism. If a revolt does break out, I might need help to repress it before too many lives are lost… Precious lives. That is why, I humbly accept. I ask your men to keep casualties to a minimum. Try and force them to the ground…"
Suddenly, an adept of Jashin would break through the door. "TOMOYO-SAMA! IT'S THE RAIKAGE." - "The Raikage?" The large man would rub his chin as he looked at Taishou. "Apologies, Taishou-san. Having the Raikage visit is quite an honor. Likely a sign that he's either here to oust us, or here to negotiate our place in the Land of Lightning." - "Tomoyo-sama! H-he's in combat gear!" - "Hmm… That's not a good sign… Make preparations to evacuate. PREPARATIONS." The elderly priest would ask of his disciple.
Nariko looked to Hiei and his garb. "Guess I should've stipulated garb." She mutters softly and then shrugs. She looks to Sakuya and nods. She tilts her head when Sanda talks softly. "Alright, I kind of agree. Let's try to handle this matter as quickly without any delay and harm to either party. She moved her hands up to her head and looked to Sakuya. "Ready? Lead on. Do we know where this person we are looking for is?" She asks as she begins walking into the village.
Taishou got summoned to the church and went with two other men. The three were there listening to the leader and a small nod would be given at his statement. "We can do passive submission as necessary too." Then the adept would break in, reporting the Raikage was there. Great. Shifting on his feet, Taishou looked between the adept and the leader. "My men will help assist with evacuation as necessary. This is what we're here for." Taishou shakes his head. "I won't seek to intrude apon the contact. Afterall it could still be peaceful. I'll get my men to start helping immediately." He would head out with the two men that came with him from the church. Immediately one is sent to the bar to get the group there, the other goes for the reserves. 20 men against the Raikage? They didn't stand a chance. But Taishou was willing to put his men on the line to help the people that hired him. That's how they made money and that's how they stood up for the people who couldn't stand up for themselves. Or in this case, needed assistance in staying true to the faith.
Hiei watches with a detached expression as people scurry away from him. Great. They know him on sight, and he's never even been to this part of the Land of Lightning. He heaves a light sigh and continues following the group, though he does comment to Sakuya. "I think we got it, Snake. You don't need to drum it in so much." Even though his posture is relaxed, he is on alert. His eyes are searching for a sign of an ambush or foul play, and his senses are open for chakra use of any kind. "I find this whole situation a little humorous." He comments to Nariko. "A death cult that values life. Except for watching goats fly, I think I've seen just about everything at this point." Even though there is a mask on the lower part of his face, his voice is clear and easily understood. "Perhaps the armor doesn't send the right message, but we live in dangerous times. I take nothing for granted."
Taro looked at Rita with a raised brow. Gosh she was hammered. "I don't know. I think I need to be in my right mind for travels." He chuckled.a bit before ordering a… Lighter drink if there were some. If not then just some tea or water. "And truthfully. I don't think I want to try human. At least I don't feel the need for such a thing yet." He didn't think it was actual people either so he was just… Joking a bit about it. "And yes it took me a while, but I am here. And I am going to say goodbye to you." He smiled lightly. "And no you aren't missing anyone." He frowned slightly. "Seriously. At least I hope not." He stated
Traveling to the tavern before the religious focus point, Suizei contains his murmuring to evaluate the patrons and the servers. "I'm starting to guess this lead was a bust.. Everyone can use a 'hand', but this lot seems like they could hardly maintain a few sellswords for very long without suffering." The sight of a fussy drunk and the outlet of such frustrations wasn't something new, though it did draw his attention while most of the inhabitance were more mannered. Settling down at the bar.. safely a distance from the pair, Suizei motions to request a drink though when he speaks his tone is lowered, 'What kind of rivals does this kind of extended family have?' Shifting a hand to the inside of one of his wide sleeves, he draws out a few coins to purchase an unordered drink and sets it down. 'I noticed a small strike force bearing Kumogakure's sigil moving in this direction.. Just a helping hand that's a bit curious to this settlement's troubles.'
Sanda wore garb that was … Not at all armor. Not in the slightest. It was actually clothing that, in this current time, would seem more appropriate for a male or some sort of worker of the fields. Not even shinobi garb! Black pants that are a bit loose, a shirt with a jacket over it, and her hitai-ate used as a belt. "… Judging by the reactions, do I have to assume that word wasn't sent beforehand?" Sanda would ask as she glances around. People were a bit on edge and didn't seem to realize that they were supposed to be a diplomatic force … "This mission already feels like it's going south…" she says with a sigh.
Sakuya would swallow. Hard. Whenever you see a group of people shifting around suddenly, you can always expect trouble. Knowing what she does, it's hard to let her guard down and relax her shoulders. Zuzu would coil up Sakuya's waist, and eventually around her shoulders as he leans his head in and whispers. "I offer my help, willingly. You shouldn't shudder so much, my partner." The snake flickered it's tongue, tickling Sakuya's ear. "I won't let you die. So look forward confidently."
Sakuya's lips contorted, pursing together. Eventually, however, she steeled her expression. Showing fear to these people was a bad idea. "I'm actually glad you are in combat armor, to some extent. Maybe it will deter aggressors." Sakuya says as she tugs at her collar a few times. "I think so too, Sanda… I don't know… Suddenly… I can sense movement. A lot of movement…"
Aside from the shuffling of people that occured when they witnessed a shinobi dressed in battle gear, the streets seem rather… bare all of a sudden. It seems word was spreading quickly. In fact, the Kumogakure shinobi might notice some of Taishou's people struggling to get people to pack their valuables and prepare to move away. The path towards the monastery was rather easy to get to.
"Gosh, Taro… It was just a joke… It's goat's blood, not -human- blood. That would be… illegal! … You're a lightweight…" Rita would settle her forehead against the wooden counter of the bar. "I'm probably not missing anyone… n'… I'll be fine, Mr. Barkeep. I've been the plenty of inhospitable places… Like… The Land of Wind! In-hos-pit-able…." Rita seemed almost ready to fall asleep, just as Suizei appeared before Taro and herself. Somewhat. As Suizei sits down and not-orders himself a drink, Rita would have to clearly recommend that Suizei get… acclimated to the drink she was partaking of. "Hey! Give him the Blood Sake! It's good~~! Trust me. Just cause my friend here is a light weight doesn't mean you have to!~
Just as Suizei requests his drink, a local moves into the bar and sits down beside another. "They're making us pack up and leave." Said the one that had just sat down. - "Are you kidding me? They are? Just cause some man walks in with a bit of plate on his body?" He drew a knife and slammed it into the table, standing up. "HEY! YOU LOT! WE'RE BEING TOLD TO PACK UP AND LEAVE! ISN'T THAT OUTRAGEOUS? You know, because the teachings of Jashin are clearly about BENDING OVER AND TAKING IT IN THE BACKSIDE." It seems many of the local patrons were stirring at this sudden outburst. Many sympathized. "Once they've kicked us out of here, We'll have no where to go but the frozen waters of the north. Is that how we want to praise Jashin and raise our children? Dying in the $#@^in' cold!? Well, I'm not leaving. I refuse." The man would pull out his knife and point it at the three individuals at the bar. "You know what? I think we should just make them leave… This's our land now!" It seems there were some in the tavern that agreed.
"Jashin won't mind if his adherents spill a little blood today!"
"Thank you, Taishou. We'll pay you accordingly. If Kumogakure attacks us, we'll… We'll find another place to go. We've done so many times, searching for a promised land." Tomoyo raised his hands to his face, his voice mumbling in a prayer. In the next few moments before the shinobi from the Hidden Cloud entered the building, he drew a blade and cut his finger. Upon the window-sill he started to draw an ornate symbol of fortune. Pleading to his god to prevent 'senseless violence'. He would, of course, would walk over to an axe. Not a wood-cutting axe. It was a large double-bladed great-axe that seemed stained with red blood. He hoped he would not have to use it today. He hoped that the Raikage was not here for his head… He waited, with the axe over his shoulder as he gazed at the entrance of the temple's door, his gaze dropped to the floor.
Nariko had come dressed somewhat fancy and yet somewhat not fancy. She continued to walk with the group. While she noticed people scattering she didn't seem bothered by it. She looks to sakuya as she talks to Sanda and then looks to Hiei. Her arms still rested behind her head as the group walked.
The people's militia, at least by the symbol on the shield, worked to get people ready to go. They weren't leaving yet, but the 20 men were tight on making sure no one gave them trouble. A blade was never drawn, but shield smacking someone did wonders for attitude if it was needed. Taishou briefly would make an appearance, studying the kumo-nin, then move on, he had a group to lead and most of his time was busy in getting people organized. Fortunately none of his men were left in the tavern. Unfortunately for the few outsiders in the tavern, none of his men were left in the tavern. That is how the day goes.
Hiei would eye the stranger with the shield briefly, assessing his threat level before he would step forward in front of the group. His attention is briefly averted over to the tavern, but he would quickly place his gaze back to the door before grasping it and yanking it open. If they're double doors, he would open them both before stepping in after allowing the group to enter first, the hem of the black hooded cloak he wears swirls around his feet from the wind as he steps in afterwards, immediately moving to the wall and leaning against it. His gaze would move over the people inside, including the man with the bloody axe. He stares directly at him for a moment before his gaze moves away and he crosses his arms over his chest in a leisurely fashion. This was the diplomats' show. He was just here in case things went south like Sanda mentioned before.
Taro raised a brow towards Rita before chuckling. "Yes. And I was joking as wel." He then frowned just a tiny bit as she seemed uneasy. "I hope you aren't going to get sick on me." He chuckled lightly and leaned his head down to check if she seemed sick at all. Of course not long later Suizei showed up. And well he mentioned Kumogakure being here and that got a bit of a sigh from Taro. He hoped that they wouldn't recognize him at all. But he doubted he would get that lucky. Of course maybe he wouldn't get the chance to see because either the people in here were wanting the three of them to join them or they were thinking of them like evil outsiders as well… Just great. "Hmm? Do you think we are with those people out there?" He asked of the Jashin folks.
Soon a smile crosses the man's lips at the inebriated suggestion. Lifting his hand, Suizei waves slightly towards Rita before looking back to the server to question 'Blood Wine'. Before he could be served though the drawing of the knife stole his attention. It wouldn't be long before the knife was pointing at him though he didn't show much fear, his hands move to his side, picking up his water skin and uncorking it. "You don't just wave a knife at a sell sword and have them run away. They are a sell sword, they are used to that.." Shaking his head gently, he slowly brings the water skin up close to his lips, preparing to drink. "You pay them to cut down those who paid them or hire other groups to handle the first. Friend.. lower the blade and think. Wouldn't it be better to act like you are leaving then ambush them or even kill the ones who hired them then move back in? No contracts, no sell swords." Taking his eyes from the man largely, he lifts the container and starts to drink from the water deeply.
It was as soon as Hiei had entered the building, Tomoyo's axe buried into the wood of the temple before his hands slipped together palm to palm. He then seemingly bowed the upper half of his body in short order. "Greetings, Kumogakure-shinobi. Please, do not take offense to the fact that I am armed. The very fact that you have revealed yourselves to me is actually a sign that you do not intend to actually chase us off. For this, I am grateful. This means that your presence here is for another reason." Tomoyo raised his head. "I submit myself before you in the presence of our god. There can be no higher honor to a non believer. Please, tell me why you are here." The man seemed very open, despite his low voice and the clear tense look of her heavy musculature. Perhaps this Tomoyo was a priest, but he was also a former warrior from the looks of it.
Sakuya found the man to be quite intimidating. Just like last time. Sakuya would, as soon as she entered the building, fan out around the room to take an angle on Tomoyo. She was called here because of her research, more than her fighting ability and diplomatic skill. Nariko had the spotlight at the moment. The temple itself, aside from the gash on the floor where Tomoyo's axe fell, was actually quite humble. Wooden walls and paper windows. There were channels running along the floor to catch blood and funnel it to a certain spot. «He's very tense, Ssssakuya. It appears that he speaks with honesty. However… I can feel the vibrations outside… There is clearly something happening. Ach! Right there… Yes… That was the sound of metal hitting glass~. Perhaps a bar brawl…?» It seems as if the Kumogakure shinobi would be spared from the action for a short while yet.
It was because the fighting started in the bar. "He asks… He asks if we think they are the people out there! The other is all 'cool' and 'composed'. Thinks he can't be touched. Let me put it in words you filthy non-believers can understand. You don't belong… If Tomoyo won't fight back. We will!"
There was one other bar goer other than Rita, Taro, and Suizei. He looked like a young man on a mission himself, sitting in the back of the tavern, he was the closest to the upstart faithful of Jashin. In fact, said upstart looked over at the Jashin faithful, and walked over to him…
"W-what're you gonna do? I din du nuffin!" - "You exist. Scum." The Adherent raised his blade and plunged it into the young man's chest. The boy looked mortified. "B-but… UGhH-" The serrated blade was twisted, cutting the man's voice short as he slowly bled out. "… This is the last straw… Tonight's sacrifice… isn't going to be animals!" From then on, the people in the tavern started to draw each of their weapons. Their intent was forcing everyone out that wasn't an adherent with brute force. The People's Militia had not yet reached the tavern to oppress any dissenters, which made for a small cascade effect.
It isn't Taro that the rebel-rousing Jashinist goes for after making his speech. It was Suizei. He was the one that seemed sure was intentionally tracking on his afternoon. "Let me explain to you. We of the faith don't run. We don't resort to petty tactics. We are warriors, and… I never hired you. Why should I care!? Haha!" The man wielded something that almost resembled a flamberge. It was a longer blade, straight unlike a katana, with the same serrations that it seems these people are fanatic about. Even though his blade was long enough to cleave all three individuals, he truly only aimed at Suizei. Doesn't mean it's reach wouldn't strike Taro or Rita. It certainly does. Two long strokes. Rita was sitting right beside Taro, twisted around on her seat and looking a little distastefully at the situation. She seemed to ignore the incoming blade, and as she raised the blood wine to her lips, the large blade happened to absolutely shatter the bottle. All the wine seemed to spill all over Rita's clothing, prompting the girl to roll right onto the ground before the second swing came in. "Are you serious!? This is actually happening? I thought I was just experiencing a v-vision!"
It's not like the Adherents stuck around the bar. Those that were spirited to go out and defend the village from the Kumogakure shinobi and expunge all the foreigners would flood outside of the tavern, yelling for people to join them. That is to say, there were quite a few 'foreigners' on the streets. Anyone without white hair seemed to be a clear target, and before long there would be blood on the streets as the more defenseless visitors of the city were being targeted.
Nariko stepped inside when Hiei opened the door. When the main dude talks to her and Sakuya she tilts her head, dropping her hands to her side. "Greetings." She walks further in. "I would expect nothing less from a group of people that have been on edge for some time due to killings of their people." She looks to Sakuya and then back to the main person. "We have come here to discuss with you terms of what you expect from the Land of Lightning. We just want to know what you want and expect by residing here."
Hiei replies to Tomoyo. "Wasn't particularly worried. I never sensed any killing intent from you." He then falls silent, allowing Nariko to fulfill the purpose she came for. But the commotion outside draws his attention as he comments to Nariko and Sakuya. "Do what you came to do." He leans towards Sanda and lowers his voice. "Keep an eye on them. I'll be right back." And with that, he would slip out of the door silently.
Moments later, he would move towards the tavern until he sees the group of people pouring out of it…and they don't look happy. For the moment, he doesn't do anything..afterall, they weren't attacking him. Instead, he sighs and murmurs to himself. "I know fear can be a path of a motivator, but this is ridiculous." Those who can tell such things can feel his chakra begin to flood his body…not a lot of it, but enough to know that he's preparing himself just in case.
Taro was standing there with a very obvious frown and he would just sigh before pulling his swords free. "Fine. Bring it on." He stated quickly before stretching some. The guy when attacking would find that the first swing that came towards him while hitting that bottle of wine it also encountered Taro's sword and he rushed inwards to stab the man with the other blade. The next swing would be easily blocked by the dual swords. "Rita." He said quickly. "I am getting you out of here. You aren't in a state to fight." He would try to pick her up and rush outside with her. His goal simply finding a sorta safe spot or at least an open one so that he can more easily protect her. A bar is not good for that sorta thing. This of course did have him end up in the midst of everything and this also would bring him within sight of Hiei himself.
Moving the waterskin down, Suizei forces the water he just took in out forming a rapid moving barrier in front of him though it would only slow the rapid slashes aiming at his chest, each which draws blood and forces the man out of his seat and onto the ground. Curling an arm up and against his chest, Suizei starts to pant, trying to catch his breath while the pain surged from the messy cuts while listening to the rant. Electricity flickers through his legs causing him to burst away suddenly, moving a fair distance away and bringing his back to the entry way. Quickly bringing his hands together, his blood left his hands slick through it didn't seem to limit their functionality. "If you want blood, stand still.." is said bitterly when his hands part causing cords of lightning to rapidly surge across the bar, some of them not seeming to be well aimed, striking posts, walls and ceiling.. the true goal would be found out in a short time, Suizei was attempting to destroy the supports and bring the upper floor(s?) down upon the crazed zealots in the bar though the drinking partners risk being part of the destruction.
Sakuya would nod her head when Nariko mentioned that his people had likely suffered before. Tomoyo crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I expect little, shinobi of Kumogakure. My people came here in an attempt to find a place to worship in peace. We paid taxes, but the biggoted buddhists want us gone. I sent one of my most loyal to propose peace to the head of religion in your land, and he did not seem to share my sentiments…." Tomoyo seemed bothered all of a sudden. Hiei had suddenly left, and the ruckus seemed to increase. "…. Something is happening. I can feel the violence outside.
"There is… a sharp increase in the amount of activity outside. Sakuya says as she looks at Nariko with a slight worry. She would go out to engage the thirty or so cultists who decided to adopt their old faith if ordered, but otherwise would not move from her spot. Zuzu seemed to protest. "They are killing people, likely. A real sign that the situation is a lot worse than previously thought… Sakuya seemed to move towards the door, as she focused upon it for a short while. Using a sense she is not used to takes a while, but after a moment she is able to see the people moving around outside in her own special little way. She could see Hiei standing there on the other side, for instance. She could see, for a short distance beyond the wall, individuals moving towards the Raikage. She would create a hand-seal as she saw this, contacting Hiei as she warned him. «Raikage-sama, Watch your back!»
Tomoyo would narrow his eyes as he looks towards the entrance. "Truly, I didn't expect this to happen. We've been through so much, but we've always maintained our faith. Do you wish to postpone this meeting, nameless shinobi?"
Rita would indeed be in Taro's arms, with a smug look on her face despite being drenched in powerful ale. "Taro-kuuuuun~. You picked me up bridal-style! Haha… Marrying is for chumps. Put me down…" Rita would bring the bottle of bloodwine to her mouth once more. Yet as she tipped it back nothing came out. "What the…" Rita shook the bottle as nothing came out, as her eyes glanced to the fact that half the bottle had been shattered earlier. "Oh.. What a pain… It's empty… Let's go back and get some more, I'm sure that guy has cooled off at this point." Rita would wave her legs in the air as she groaned, as her head turned towards what appeared to be the Raikage. "… OH! That's who I forgot!" Rita would poke Taro's head as she pointed at Hiei. "Him… I needed to tell him where I was going." Isn't that exciting? A re-union of sorts! …
That Re-union would likely be cut short. Suizei would cause the tavern behind Taro and Rita to collapse to some small extent. His quick thinking burned away the foundations, and caused a collapse on the individual who wanted him dead… It practically stunned him long enough for Suizei to leave. Hiei, of course, received the message from Sakuya. There was not only someone behind him who saw his battle armor and Hitai-ate and knew to attack him, but someone from the front. "TRAILIT! YOU'RE NOT SENDING US AWAY! WE'RE STAYING, TRY AND MAKE US!" The individual from the back attempted to land a vicious blow with a curved serrated blade upon Hiei's shoulder. The one from the front had a measily dagger… Taro wasn't immune either. Ever seen a serrated yari before? Well, he does now. A man seemed to charge at the shinobi carrying some bar drunk, aiming the tip of his spear into Taro's side…
Nariko crosses her arms on her chest. "Well,I guess I'll go talk to them then." She tilts her head to the side. "If you wish to postpone this meeting then we can postpone it." She looked towards Sakuya as she leaves. She didn't come here to fight, thats why she had the shonobi with her, so she would stay inside and let the people fight. She did however make it to the door to yell out to Sakuya and Hiei. "Sakuya, Hiei, I'll leave the fighting to you guys. Your choice."
"<I am aware. But thank you, Sakuya.>" Hiei would send back telepathically to the genjutsu using snake girl. "No need to trouble yourselves. This situation is well in hand." He draws his katana in flash and with a twirl, he deflects the attacks aimed at him. Hiei begins to channel his chakra directly into his armor, causing it to glow briefly as his physical attributes are enhanced as he visually tracks all of the attacking group and moves. Fast. He would attempt to attack them all, aiming for vital areas before he would end up standing in front of Taro and Rita accompanied by a gust of wind just as he's sheathing his sword. "Marrying is for chumps. Interesting sentiment. Hello Rita." His gaze moves to Taro as his fingers curl around the hilt of his sword, though he doesn't draw it again. "So..any idea what caused the riot?" He asks Taro directly. Suizei is given a sparing glance before his eyes move back to Taro, his expression is difficult to read mostly because of the mask that covers his lower face.
Taro looked at her with a raised brow. "I didn't say I was marrying you now did I?" He chuckled. "But I am carrying you because you are completely drunk and need someone to keep an eye on you." He stated before trying to set her down about the same time she noticed Hiei. Of course this also meant that Suizei had dropped the building and then Hiei and Taro were being attacked. Taro being busy setting Rita down meant he was a bit slower to block the attack and he sorta softened the blow before it hit his side. "Uggg.. Gosh." He stated before shaking his head some. Hiei was much swifter than he was and quickly handled a few of them assuredly before stopping in front of him and Rita. "What caused the riot? You did. They saw you and your forces nearby and supposedly they thought you were going to force them out because you were in your armor. Then because we are not like them they turned their sights on us and anyone not of their kind. They want us all dead." He stated quickly. "For now I am going to help you out if you don't mind. I would prefer not dying today and I am sure the same can be said for Rita. Though.." He looked at her. "She is a bit…. Drunk."
Looking at the building, or rather the ruins, in front of him, Suizei settles, sitting down with a wince. Moving his hands to his sash, he pulls out a thin kit and unfolds it to begin pulling out a disk container filled with a powder to scoop it into his fingers. Forcing the powder into the wounds, he starts to tense and cursed through his closed teeth though the benefit was the bleeding lessened to a trickle. Closing the kit, he begins to focus for several seconds, on blending chakra to be accessible. "At least he didn't cut too deep.. avenue, still burns to breath.." Looking over towards Taro and Rita, he wasn't quite sure if he should get close when the Raikage was already close by. "..Lovely, this is going to be a warzone already. This trip was a waste."
Hiei outclassed the cultists be leaps and bounds. The one that attacked Taro, dead. The two that attacked him? Also dead. There was no possible way individuals of their level could have saved themselves. Three down. Twenty seven to go. Yet, at this point it was actually too late for anyone who hadn't the strength to fight themselves. It was pointless murder, to sate the nerves of a few people who lost their way. A tragedy, but at least Kumogakure's shinobi had remained untouched…
"Yo, Hiei! No need to worry about me." Rita said as she dusted off her wine-stained outfit. "I'm absolutely fine! I'm -not- drunk enough to not defend myself." At the mention that it was Hiei himself that spooked the cultists into action, Rita would laugh a little. "Aaaahaha… That's… That's Ironic! Pretty sure Kumogakure didn't come here to start a riot…" The brown haired sprightly woman would brush her hand through her hair and walk over towards the Raikage. "Good to see you! I'm sorry Kumogakure couldn't contain my greatness. Places to go, people to meet… You're not… Roaded or anything, are you?" Actually, Hiei being here is actually a sobering sort of event. While she sort of had trouble standing up right, her cheeky smile and unshakeable positivity seems set aside…
Sakuya would open the door, given that Nariko appeared safe in the presence of the cult's leader. What she came out to see wasn't anything entirely spectacular. She walked up along side the Raikage, and pulled a scroll out of her Chuunin outfit. She unrolled it across the ground, and in a puff of smoke, her very large metal bow appeared from it, as well as her quiver of various quarter-staff length arrows. Sakuya was tracking the many people whom seemed to be finishing up rounding people up for the kill, or fighting people who were able to fight. "I'm no sensor, but I'm picking up everyone's heat signatures. There are over two hundred people in this settlement, and there appears to be about 15 people whom are actively inciting violence."
Sakuya crouched down as she raised her bow up, grunting to lift the heavy metal. "What are your orders, Hiei? Kill, or capture?" It seems that a group was actually approaching the group of shinobi, and the wanderers. They seemed armed with the same serrated blades that most individuals in this village are. Most of them are covered in blood. Zuzu would begin to coil down Sakuya's leg part.
Hiei asides to Rita. "Roaded? No. Slightly disappointed? Perhaps. We'll speak of it when..as your friend put it, we're not in a war zone. Who knew my armor would cause this much trouble? Perhaps I should have showed up in the nude…" He turns his back to Taro and Rita. "Alright, Taro. Don't get yourself killed. I don't care what she says, if one hair on her head is harmed, I'm holding you personally responsible." Instead of drawing his swords, he flexes as he steps forwards. "Capture. These poor saps have no idea we came here to help, not hurt them. Unfortunately, I've killed three on reflex.
Hiei asides to Rita. "Roaded? No. Slightly disappointed? Perhaps. We'll speak of it when..as your friend put it, we're not in a war zone. Who knew my armor would cause this much trouble? Perhaps I should have showed up in the nude…" He turns his back to Taro and Rita. "Alright, Taro. Don't get yourself killed. I don't care what she says, if one hair on her head is harmed, I'm holding you personally responsible." Instead of drawing his swords, he flexes as he steps forwards. "Capture. These poor saps have no idea we came here to help, not hurt them. Unfortunately, I've killed three on reflex." Lightning begins to pool into the palm of his hand before he releases a shockwave that would impact their nervous systems and render them stunned. "They break easy, so be careful."
Taro looked at Rita with a frown and sorta sighed a bit. Yeah should've expected such a thing anyhow. But for now he would just ignore it really. As things continued he would ready his weapons and he waited to begin fighting some folks. "Hiei. I don't plan to get myself killed and I don't plan to let her get hurt either. I plan to send her off on the next step of her journey in good health." He said honestly before sighing. "Why do they have to make life so troublesome." He just went right to work and would slash at anyone near to him. A few cuts here and there if he hopefully could.
Staying off to the side, Suizei watches and observes the confusing relation revealing itself between the trio which is starkly different from how the Cloud forces were reacting to the Raikage. "I'm starting to wonder if I didn't drop that building on my own head.." Watching the lightning surge from Hiei while Taro's blade continued to dance, Suizei used this as a chance to grow some distance between himself and the others present. Leaving the direct conflict zone, he begins to round the buildings before weaving between their side stretches. Making his way towards the religious focus point, the church of sorts, he begins to listen and look through the area attempting to see if there were other instigators there or worse, if some where actually preparing to engage Kumo forces head on.
Rather easily, Hiei would send his shockwave out. Those Jashin warriors that had spotted them were running quite quickly towards Hiei. "DIE, DIE, DI-" In just moments, however, the genjutsu shockwave caused their eyes to blank, and the three cultists would drop to the ground, rolling a distance forward as their weapons dropped to the ground. From a nearby alley, Taro would find a few more cultists, whom would clash against his blades, but in the end be struck shallowly. Definitely not enough to kill. It was when a more advanced heretic jumped upon the rooves that things got a little more interesting. "You're no match for my god!" Raising his blade, he would penetrate his own shoulder, drawing his blood before slipping the blade to his tongue and tasting the blood. This activated… some ritual, a partial version of the ones touted in the Land of Demons. The man's body turned entirely black, and would jump down from the rooves as if prepared to engage.
Sakuya was not exactly proficient against multiple targets, like the Raikage most certainly appeared able. The order was, of course, capture. Zuzu and Sakuya would be engulfed in a cloud of smoke after making a seal, henging them together. Before the smoke even cleared, Sakuya slithered her way out of the could rapidly and coiled up the man's form, squeezing him tight and limiting his mobility from the shoulders downward. Sakuya's lower body had been replaced with a thick writhing mass of serpentine coils, and as the man seemingly struggled, Sakuya placed her hands into a seal and prepared genjutsu to disable the man completely.
Rita watched the entire debacle, standing there as she spend that time that the 'real' shinobi were fighting to wonder how she should apologize to Hiei for… Well… running away. It was going to be a very awkward meeting, but… A few things needed to happen. Taro needed to be pardoned, too. As it all happened, she would look over to Suizei, whom seemed to stay out of the fight himself. "What? You're surprised? Don't you know he's the most powerful person in the Land of Lightning? He's not even breaking a sweat….. …. Huh?" Suizei was off. Perhaps he was doing the smart thing, honestly. Scouting the enemy. What he found was that the rest of the individuals who had attempted to cause trouble were now all finding the center. The last seven warriors who were not incapacitated…
Yet, it seems as if Tomoyo had found this slaughter to be enough. As the cultists jumped upon the rooves and off onto the ground to surround Hiei, Sakuya, Taro, and Rita, Tomoyo landed behind one of his own devout, and sunk his massive axe into him. Cleaving him in two. "Enough… There has been enough bloodshed. You children. We've been given an opportunity of reprieve. Yotsuki Nariko has given us her promise that she will talk on behalf of us. Now quit this childish game, or I'll sacrafice you to Jashin myself…" Tomoyo looked over towards Hiei with an apologetic look, his brown robe being brushed by the wind as his followers seem to stop. "You came on good terms, and blood was drawn. Ten innocent people were put to the sword." Tomoyo raised his axe and threw it at Hiei's feet, planting it within the range of his hand before he dropped to his knees and bent at the waist. Presenting his neck, it seemed. "In return for the lives lost, take my life as an appropriate punishment." - "Tomoyo, you fool. You'll burn in eternal agony if you let a non-believer take your life!" - "All who rose up against our doctrine will burn in eternal agony…" He retorted…
Hiei looks down at Tomoyo and sighs. "Get up. I'm not killing you. And aside from three people, I haven't killed anyone else. You're right..there is enough bloodshed. Oh..hold on a moment." He looks up at the guy who stabbed himself and seemed to be changing. As he cups his hands together, a ball of lightning grows between his palms until it's the size of a basketball. "No, I'm not a god. But then again…neither are you." He thrusts his arms forwards as a ball of lightning shoots out for the guy on the roof. He looks at Tomoyo. "We're just knocking them out for their own good. We're trying not to kill anyone else..which is harder than it sounds. If you can get your guys to stop attacking..that would be great."
Taro of course didn't care if they lived or died. They were…. Enemies of his. They threatened his life and he had no reason to let them live. But he was not going to kill them if it seemed the others didn't want to. Plus it would be better that way as it would allow Rita to not risk injury. "This insane world. This is almost too much." He stated quickly before just shaking his head some and turning to face Hiei as well. "I guess you and Rita should talk. Since I have had plenty of time for that myself." He said before putting his swords away and walked towards a spot to sit down at. He could either wait or just…. Avoid it all together depending on what happens. Things he was used to.
Suizei was left with one one thing to do as he watched one of the men mutilate themselves onto to change their state because of it. Staying out of sight the best he could, he moves a hand into his sash to exchange the kit for a book and pen. Starting to make rapid cliff notes his pen would stop, not only at the act of murdering one of their own. "Wait.. just what's going on here? Who's really in control of these fools?" With the notes only half finished Suizei slips the book into his overcoat, slipping it against his skin and out of sight. Slowly leaving his place of watching for another, he attempts to draw close enough to listen to what was being said. With Hiei still using notably strong Lightning ninjutsu on the other hand.. he made it a point to keep out of sight, while also to keep his hands free of any weapons to not seem as if another combatant just yet.
Tomoyo grabbed his axe and stood, recognizing Hiei as a benevolent ruler. Yet, Hiei did deny him death as compensation for the lives his people took. He instead launched a punishing attack at one of his people. "I understand… You should have at the very least used that attack upon me, but your decision is one I respect." Tomoyo, seeing that his people have been incapacitated, runs his hand through his white hair. "Far too much for an old man like me to handle…"
Sakuya had moments to unlatch from the man she had incapacitated, and to think she was about to bombard the man's mind with visions of great pain. The girl taking the shape of a lamia would find herself slithering around the side of a wall as she grumbled a little. "A-a little warning, Raikage-sama, please?"
Rita would scratch her head a moment. Suizei was gone, and she was sobering. What a day. "… It's the insane parts of the world that make it so exciting, Taro… I've been in many really dicey situations which have made my blood pump again and again. Isn't that the flavor of life though?" Half-liddely, her eyes still seemed burnt out due to the alcohol despite the adrenaline running through her system. She seemed to look at Hiei, blinking a moment as she fried his opponent. "The places you go. The people you meet. They tend to change you, better or worse. Whatever happens, it builds character… Makes you a more well rounded person… After seeing this, I'm excited to go to Demon Country!" She will definitely need to tie up loose ends, however. The Raikage deserves to know where she is going, but it seems in the meantime… Aside from the individual whom transformed shaking rapidly as eletricity courses through his system and brings him close to death, that things have calmed down…