Date: Unknown (log received December 29, 2010)
As a form of good will, Tosai and this team have been sent to the small village of Nabekama, in the Kyuusen Territory. Only sent to re-establish communications of a mission request, the three-man-cell’s arrival is met immediately with a strange case of theft!
"Trouble in Nabekama!!!! Part 1: Re-establishing Communication"
Hananosei Forest [Fort Kyuusen]
The tall hardwood trees rise up from the cool forest floor. The broad leaves in the canopy, shading the fern covered ground where the wildlife is active. Squirrels, chipmunks, and other critters scurry about, collecting nuts and fruits among the lower bushes and ferns. In some of the shadows of the forest, more hostile creatures lurk. With careful searching, you may find yourself face to face with the yellow eyes of a wolf ready to strike.
The Village of Nabekama, just outside of Fort Kyuusen, has called forth to Leaf Village, for the tracking down of something very precious. No details would be given before hand, but only because of ever changing situations within the neutral territory. Apparently, these factors had put a very strong obstacle in negotiations. Thus, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, would send a pigeon to Kusagakure, dispatching need for volunteers for what would be ranked as a D level mission. The mission, would be to contact Nabekama's elders, and continue negotiations, as both a sign of good will, and healthy business.
Tosai, in his waiting for the next tournament match, had needed a distraction. His thoughts of the events between he and Reizei Setsiro, had left him an emotional wreck, impatient, and wondering yet still, what had went wrong. So, the mission, would be for him, a way to drown himself in work, in hopes that his thoughts would pass.
He needed to get away. As a Chuunin, he was granted the permission to pick any available ninja he wanted to that could help ease the difficulty of this mission. The previous mission negotiations had led to both a need for tracking, and a possible need for protections. Two kid came to mind, though one of them was picked only out of curiosity. Aburame Ketsuki, and Tsukiko, would be sent notices to meet in the Valley of Grass. They would be order to pack for a long trip, as well as prepare themselves for camping and settling outside. Once they would arrive, they would find Tosai, waiting and ready, with his own smaller backpack and a myriad of scrolls.
Tsukiko looked forward to the trip and to the mission. When her own tournament matches had ended, she enjoyed the chance to rest and relax, to explore the village of Kusagakure… but soon, she got restless. It wasn't home.. so it didn't have the comfort she wanted. She could not afford to shop any more and she could only watch the flowers for so long. She packed for the mission and set out, anxious to see how her skills in the tournament would bear out for missions. She arrives and stands alert, "Tosai-sama." She greets her friend and mentor.
Ketsuki arrived with simply a backpack upon his shoulders, it would be a nice break away from the craziness that the tournament caused to take place in the village. So many shinobi wandering about bragging and showcasing it was quite bothersome. "Tosai-sama you called for me?" He said as he dropped down to the ground cross-legged. "We are going on a mission I understand?"
Looking up to Tsukiko, Tosai would give a half hearted smile, his mind in thought and his temperament still cheerful. "Tsuki-chan.. Hey! You don't have to call me -sama.. Yeesh.. At the rate you're going, we might end up the same rank." He would stand to his full height, and say, "Are you set and packed? We are going to be doing a lot of traveling." Tosai would be asking these things, just when Ketsuki would come along. "Aaah.. Yes I did. And the same goes for you.. -sama isn't quite needed. It makes me feel old. Now if you need to call me /something/, -sempai is fine, or even -san."
He would call the two over, and move to one knee, before saying, "But to continue what I was saying earlier to Tsuki-san, expect at least 2 days travel if we move fast. Straight line formation with Ketsuki-san and his Kikaichu taking point, and myself as rearguard. Tsuki-san.. I am familiar with your abilities enough to know that you can sense things pretty well. Cover our flanks." Tosai would then move to stand, and say, "I picked you both, only because there is a possibility that we may be tracking something down. You both have pretty good sensory abilities, both skillwise and through your unique talents. This mission may be a chance for you to cultivate you them more. My challenge to you both, even as we move, will be to try and eliminate any blind spots. I am the only person here who doesn't have away of seeing behind myself, so this will be an assistance to myself as well. Am I clear?"
Tsukiko nods, "Hai, Tosai-san.. I was trying to stay professional." She listens to the explanation and instructions. She looks to Ketsuki and nods to him. "We get to be teammates earlier than I thought we might. Would you wear a bangle from me?" She asks this to both ninja. "I don't have the senbon to cover the whole journey, but when we get closer I can start keeping an eye out all along our trail." She offers both of you a coin sized mirror bangle.
Ketsuki nods to the instructions given by Tosai. Upon being handed the bangle he takes it, "What is this for?" He says curiously as he looked at it intrigued as he rose to his feet. He shrugged and attached the bangle to his hat and nodding. "I'm ready when you are."
Hearing the question, Tosai would take the bangle and wear it, only to say, "Tsukiko has a couple of techniques which make use of the properties of mirrors. If it reflects off of these bangles, she can spot it quite easily. This is what I believe is called the Mirror Sight technique, right, Tsukiko-san?" Tosai would let the two exchange whatever before saying, "Okay then.. Lets go.. Onward you two!!" Once Ketsuki, and then Tsukiko head forward, Tosai would follow suit, keeping an eye on the trail, and guiding as needed to Nabekama.
The trail wouldn't be that harsh, and within a day and a half, the three man platoon, would find themselves outside of the small village, just as dusk came in. Even at night, the village would be filled with lights, stands set up in places as well as fireworks, the obvious preparations of some kind of festival. The only thing that would be out of place, is the obvious lack of people. The village would be quiet, except for some shouting and movement just within the town square. There, a rather disturbing setting would seem to unfold. The shrine of the Bear Spirit, had been in shambles. What remained of the destruction, had been surrounded by men of the village guard, who would seem to be investigating into what happened. The elder of this village, a small man with thick glasses and some white garments, clean and priest like, would sit on the ground crying. Meanwhile, a woman, would have been barking orders rather wildly.
"Not a good sign at all.", would be said by Tosai, as he then look to his group, saying, "Looks like something’s been stolen. Tsukiko.. That older man seems to need a kind voice. Would you?", with a smile. Meanwhile Ketsuki, would also seem to have instructions as well. "Ketsuki-san.. I am sure you may be capable of some sort of clue finding. I want to know what we are dealing with. See if something small may be being overlooked." He would then look to the woman which had been seeming to bark the most orders. The woman, was a tall one, only a few inches beneath the large Akimichi's height.
"I am sorry, but the Festival of Bears has been canceled, due to theft. But please, do not fret. Find settlement within one of our many wonderful inns until we announce its continuation, and we will be ever so grateful." The line would be said by the tall woman, as if it had been repeated a thousand times. The same woman also had now been currently sporting a light armor, worn over long and tailor sleeves, and wide hakama. All seemed made of the finest silk, and infused with a hint of gold thread. Tosai would bow slightly and say, "I am sorry ma'am.. But we are not tourist." "Nani?", would be words of surprise from the woman, as Tosai would introduce himself. "I am Akimichi Tosai, of Konoha." "Aaah!! So you got our letter then?" "Yes… However, it seemed that at some point, communications were cut." Sighing, the woman would seem to ease her tempermant just alittle before then saying with understanding. "Yes… Well, I am Kuma Ainu, head of the village guard, and daughter of the village elder.. That crying man over there." Tosai would nod and move in closer to the broken shrine. "Aaah… I have brought two genin with me as help for the predicament, however—" "..Is that all???" "Excuse me?" A small grunt would be held in by the woman as she would seem to look away to the two small kids. Tosai would seem to blink a few moments before he would sigh, saying, "I see. Well.. You may have to give us, Kuma-dono. This mission, because we could not establish proper communications, turned to one of good will. We came only to see how things were, and re-establish a dialect. Of course, from you reaction, I suppose the conditions may be much worst.”
Tsukiko steps over to the elder while Tosai speaks to the matron of the village. She kneels respectfully across his crying apparatus (whatever that may be) from him. She bows slightly to show respect, "Elder, we are here to help. Can you tell us anything of what has happened? Or can I help with your ceremony, perhaps?" Out of paranoia, she peeps through the mirror senbon she left at the village entrance, watching over the small group and peeps both behind her back and behind Ketsuki's.
Ketsuki stands at Tosai's side patiently and silently listening to the conversation between the two. While the distraction of the conversation may have caused most to be unaware, insects were crawling out from Ketsuki's pant legs. A few dozen kikaichu would swarm the area gathering visual evidence, tasting bits of residual chakra in the air. Ketsuki, by this point, was no longer paying attention to the discussion between the two older people. His eyes looked about. He would take note of the broken shrine. His thought process was interrupted as he heard Tosai say that conditions may have been much worts and just then his Kikaichu would return from their sweep of the immediate area.
"It was /horrible/!!!!", would be shouted by the old man, as his short arms and legs would began to flail about, causing him to roll backward once. He would be seeming to go into panic, screaming, "Spirits!!! Spirits!!!!", his face twitching out of pure fear. Meanwhile, Kuma Ainu, would shout out, "Calm down, To-san!!" The scream would come off rather angrily, as a tick would slowly form on the woman's forehead. "There is no such thing as spirits, you hear me!!! We were simply robbed.. That’s all." Tosai would raise an eyebrow, as he would say, "A robbery? So that is why we were called? Do you know what was stolen?" The woman of the village would seem to pause for a moment, shaking her head annoyed, before the old man would say, "Omocha!! My poor Omocha!! The spirits have taken her!!! And now, the village is doomed!! Doomed!!"
Tosai would sweatdrop, along with the woman who had been the Elder's daughter, before asking, "Who is Omocha?" "Omocha, was my fathers pet koala. She was the mascot for the village, and even proclaimed as the reincarnation of the Bear spirit that protects this village." Just then ,the old man would scream once more. "The Spirits are angry!!! We have disrespected the pre-", would be shouted before it was soon cut off by, "Be quiet, To-san!!!" The woman would sigh, and say, "The letter for negotiations was requesting Konoha's aid in being a guard for the village while the festival was going on. Kyuusan, as you well know, Akimichi, is a neutral area, devoid of any protection from the ninja villages. And since very few ninja clans exist around these parts, we are often at risk of being invaded by barbarians and bandits from miles around. We only had been in need of protection… until now."
Nodding to it all, Tosai would say, "I see. So be that as it may, you are now asking that we find this, koala?" The woman would have a frustrated pause. She would have this for a while before saying, "As much as it pains me to say, this village's main income from the year, comes from this festival. Many people are scared to come and spend, and enjoy themselves, only because they cling much to the old traditions. They, like my father, believe that the theft of the 'Bear Spirit', is a bad omen. I also have to admit, that until now.. The old man has kept that koala as a pet. I would hate to have to deal with his unhappiness." Tosai would sigh. He couldn't stand this woman's heartlessness toward her own father. However.. This job, wasn't depending of his own feelings.. They had work to do.
"Well, Kuma-dono.. You can count on us to dig into the mystery behind this. Until otherwise, this is recognized as a D Rank mission. We will make sure to share with you, any findings that we and my /skilled/ Genin can come across. Until then, leave the scene of the crime untouched, and make sure to keep things as quiet as possible, as to not scare the village any further. Okay team. We leave!" At the emphasis of the word /skilled/, Kuma Ainu would seem to frown, before rolling her eyes as they left. “Hiring them may have been the worst idea ever.” Tosai would have bowed to the woman before leaving, not caring is she returned the gesture. His own annoyance was kept hidden. Besidee that, the time needed to gather clues had been done. His team had been doing its own work.
Once they arrived to the inn room, Tosai would then say to his team, "So… what have you two found?"
Once in the hotel to where the three could discuss in private Tsukiko offers. "I saw something outside the gates. I couldn't get a clear view, but it was big and fast.. I couldn't follow where it went. It might give us a place to start." She looks to Tosai a moment before looking to Ketsuki, curious what he and the bugs found.
"I don't think it was human, the thing that stole the koala." He held up the two hairs, the grey being the first that he would hold forward. "I think this might be the koala's hair." He held up the long rough looking black hair, "But this one I'm not sure." He paused for a moment, "That’s not all though my Kikaichu seemed to have found a strange source of chakra around the shrine…" Three kikaichu would fly from beneath his clothes before the others, they were glowing white a very strange glow. "There may just be something to this whole ghost thing, I mean I've never seen anything like this before." He said in reference to the Kikaichu.
Tsukiko's observations, would come across as very weird. Something large. He had wished that they had been able to pursue whatever it was, however, the chance had slipped. "Hmmm.. I wouldn't think that the perpetrator would have decided to return to the scene of the crime so soon. This might end up being easier than I thought. I just wish that you could have gotten a better look at just what it was, Tsukiko-san. Maybe we could have gotten more detail." Tosai would stand and move to a nearby window, lowering the blinds, before then sitting in between Tsukiko and Ketsuki. He would sit out a few snacks, seeing as how they had now been at their leisure. The spread had been only things like dumplings, rice balls, and a few sticks of dry fish.
Just when he would finish however, Ketsuki's words would prompt him to listen. "You don't think it was human either? I see. Was it the claw marks on the shrine, or the level of destruction?" When Tosai would hear the reasons, looking to the gray fur, he would then say, "Hmmm… I see.. That would be the fur of Omocha, the village pet. Notice the length.." Tosai would take both pieces of fur. He would smell the gray one.. It gave nothing of a human touch beyond the smell of incense, as well as a slight blend of fruit and perfume. "It smells only of being well kept. Obviously, Omocha was very much a treasured creature."
However, before he could get a whiff of the other, Ketsuki would have more evidence to support his claim. The weird energy his bugs gave off would cause Tosai's eyes to widen. He didn't know much about Kikaichu at all. However.. He did know that this glowing, was not normal. He would look to the boy, and say, "Wow.. that is indeed a weird discovery. I don't know of any animal in the world that would give off a chakra like that naturally. Unless we are looking into something like a Bijuu, which I doubt, this, may no longer be a D Rank mission anymore. I am highly doubtful that we may be facing a ghost however. Anything the undead give off, would probably be more dangerous to your Kikaichu, as well as us. Then again, I am not an expert."
Tosai would look to the other black, more coarse fur, once again, and sniff. His eyes would widen, as he would then try sniffing it once more. He would look again to it, as it would began to glow, just like the Kikaichu had. Before long, the fur, would fade mysteriously in the palm of his large hand, to nothing!! Just when the black fur samples would disappear, the Kikaichu who had sampled chakra from the scene, would start to glow less and less, and before long, return to normal. Tosai would blink twice, and offer, "…", before shaking his head. As odd as this occurrence had been, his earlier discovery, had been the most off-putting. "The fur.. It didn't have a smell.." He would move to a stand, suddenly turned ro thought. He would grab a riceball, and nervously munch on it before saying, "Okay.. with what we know tonight, I suggest that we sleep on it for tonight. To ask you both the try and solve something like this right after travel, would be cruel of me. So eat up, and get some sleep, and tomorrow, we will come up with a strategy for this… weird situation."
Tsukiko would leave a bangle on the doorknob outside the quarters to spy and watch the hallway. She nibbles on her riceball as she listens to the two, wishing she could understand the chakra the way the other two did. After dinner and discussion, she sleeps uneasily, curious and confused by the findings so far
Ketsuki picked up a rice ball nibbling on it as he listened to Tosai speak about the hair, however when it disappeared his jaw dropped bits of rice falling from it. "That was strange." He said picking the rice off his clothes and then making his way to his bed. As he pulled the covers over himself he mumbled, "I'm telling you, its ghosts." He would close his eyes and drift off to sleep.
"Probably so, Ketsuki.. But I just can't seem to be a believer at this point. Get some sleep." Tosai would began to pace, moving out the porch as the other two would seem to sleep. Looks like the big lug had night watch by default. They weren't in no immediate danger. Tosai was still quite awake at this point though, his thoughts racing.. You don't see anything like disappearing fur everyday. He would look on the view of the city as it would still show with the bright lights of a festival. He still questioned things but for now, he would keep his peace. Tomorrow was another day.