Date: January 31, 2015
A class of Suna students has been kidnapped just outside of Suna and held ransom for the release of a non-important weak prisoner. The exchange is made but not all of the students are returned as promised. A battle ensues but the exchanged prisoner escapes. What further problems await with this new development?
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Youth Kidnapped Army - Unfair Prisoner Exchange"
Just outside Suna
A letter was received at the gate to Sunagakure and immediately rushed to the administrative office. Only a short time later the most readily available were quickly gathered at the gates along with a man in chains. Tall with dark eyes and malevolent eyes the man is a far cry from the last time he'd been seen in public. Arika would most certainly recognize him as the man who had tried to kill Jiro before in the training grounds. A pair of guards are with the man and one of them is waiting for the rest to arrive.
The day itself, besides the apparent bad news, is not a bad one. Mid-day with decent temperatures that don't make people feel like they're cooking from the inside out. There's a soft breeze that helps only slightly with the warm-ness but it's not something bad enough to start kicking up a dust storm either.
Arika shows up at the gates. Well, she'd rather get experience and be of some use than anything. The girl narrows her eyes a bit at the man in chains, but doesn't say much to him. The girl just wonders what's going to happen to him and turns to the guards to see what exactly is going on.
As ordered Ayumu arrives at the gates yawning with budding tears in the corner of his eyes. "Ohayo~ Or, wait.. well, either way greetings all." The Iga chuckles and waves casually. Because, you know, there was no need to be so tense around a guy that obviously needed more than just two shinobi guards to watch over him, right? Ayumu nose twitches, and after a few moments of sniffing at the air he turns abruptly to regard Arika. "Mah-ee… You on this detail as well youngling?" He asks, managing to sound both pleased and midly annoyed.
With the other two now gathered at their meeting spot one of the guards steps forward and bows, "Thank you both for coming. I apologize for having to pull you in so suddenly but we just received a very distressing letter at the administrative center." He pulls out the letter and holds it up so he can start reading, "To Sunagakure - We have taken captive a class of your Students and are demanding a trade be made for their return. One Mesao Yoppa who is wrongfully imprisoned. Bring him to the coordinates listed and do not attempt to pull any tricks or the Students will die. If you fail to show by sunset we will kill a Student every hour."
The note goes away as the guard looks grimly between Arika and Ayumu. "This is the man they mention and while he is not a truly dangerous person he has a history of abusing those under his watch. The class they mentioned was on a field trip out to the rock cliffs with a Chuunin instructor who we can only assume was killed in the process. There are a total of six children." The guard looks back at Yoppa before looking to the two shinobi once more, "It's been decided that we will meet their demands. This man is not enough of a threat to sacrifice the lives of six Students. You will be helping us to keep guard and making sure nothing goes wrong."
"He was /not/ wrongfully imprisoned! He got just what he deserved!" Arika huffs loudly, glaring at the man in chains. "He hurt Jiro-kun and made him starve and everything!" She narrows her eyes at Yoppa, but doesn't attack him. Wouldn't do any good. Especially when it's mentioned that students were captured. What if Jiro was-… Her glare immediately turns into a frown, the girl scared for her friend. "Who were the student that got kidnapped?" she asks, not sure if she wants to know the answer.
Beyond a brief moment of mild surprising being elicited from the Iga, Ayumu's reaction is nowhere near as powerful as Arika's. Granted, the girl had her reasons, a history to be exact, so naturally there would be a difference. Though those sightless sea-green orbs of his shifted and remained on the prisoner, Ayumu remains alert for any signs of Arika making a rash decision; such as trying to execute the prisoner on the spot.
Not that she was truly capable of such… Yet.
"Arika-san, I think the more prudent questions would be if we should expect a double cross. Shinobi children may yet fetch a pretty yen or more… Or perhaps—" Ayumu pauses abruptly and looks away sharply. ".. Nevermind. Shall we be leaving immediatly, and what formation shall we be using?"
Hiei shows up at the front gate clad in all of his gear. He pauses to listen as the group is briefed on the situation. He had heard about children getting kidnapped, and being that he has a soft spot for kids himself, being a father, it only made sense that he would offer his help. Afterall, with Kumo being allies with Suna during this war, he wanted to show that he wished for that alliance to continue even after current events.
Stepping forwards, he glances over at Ayumu and smirks faintly as he gives him a friendly pat on the shoulder@. "Cousin-in-law." Offering a two fingered salute before he looks to the guard. "Yotsuki Hiei reporting in." Unlike normal, he has all of his skin covered because of the sun, he'd normally walk around with his large arms bare. "Arika." He nods his head slightly to the youngest shinobi present before looking back at Ayumu and raising a brow slightly at the notion of a double cross.
What an awkward question, but one that apparently they were prepared for in their own way. After all, need to make sure they get them all back right? The other guard pulls out a slip of paper and reads off the list of names. "Satsuki Yamaro, Mochio Mameda, Amaro Jiro, Garima Besika, Raseto Linda, and Panero Bread." (I've exhausted my name making skills). The guard puts the list away then before turning to eye the prisoner carefully. Sure he may not really be much of a danger but he's still a prisoner for a reason.
When the Raikage shows up the lead guard bows deeply to him, "I was told you had offered your assistance Raikage-domo and we are very glad for the help." He turns to regard the whole group before he nods to Ayumu's words, "Yes, that is one thing we are very aware and fearful of. It's why we've asked for more than just the normal guards to help with this. If something goes wrong we'll need all the help we can get. Unfortunately anything larger than this could scare them away. We are not aware of what their actual numbers are." It had all been rushed and not on their term in the slightest. "We need to move out. It's going to take us about an hour to reach the location with the prisoner in chains. Any questions can be answered on the way." With that he starts walking out the gate, the prisoner behind him and the other guard last in that line.
The prisoner himself only stands there and sneers at the group, looking like he's the king of the fricken world for getting released like this. He says nothing though as the names are read off one of his eyebrows raises slightly at one of those names. Oh good.
"It's a good question…" Arika pouts to Ayumu. Then she peers to Yoppa. "And how come people are going to such lengths to get him? Why's he so important, anyway?" her questions persist, even after they start to move. Arika, being Arika, takes perch on Hiei when the Yotsuki arrives. Who cares if he's the Raikage? He's a wonderful ride and very high up, too… Literally. When the guard says Jiro's name, her grip on Hiei tightens a bit… Probably more than could be considered comfortable for a normal kid. And definitely stronger than a normal kid. Her eyes shadow over slightly and she grumbles, "Should just kill these guys…" though her words are quiet so only Hiei could probably hear.
Though some part of him sensed Hiei well before the man came into view of the others, the pat on the shoulder still causes Ayumu to tense up in response, as well as cut to Hiei abruptly. "Mm.. Just don't say that around Shun-kohai." Ayumu smiles grimly. It seems whatever hang ups the woman had with the Raikage hasn't entirely faded away yet.
The easy-going air about the Iga comes and goes in a matter of seconds. Ayumu had turned to Arika meaning to admonish her at first, only to belatedly see the wisdom in her words. If any of the students were someone they knew, it would be good know, rather than be surprised by such information later. And perhaps, JUST perhaps, knowing what clan or just a surname might prove invaluable. Ayumu starts to bow his head in apology, only to be caught off guard by the list of names. He straightens out and wipes his face clear of shock and.. agitation.
Arika's murmured words are noted, but it is Hiei that earns Ayumu's attention next. "Well you heard the man. Get to henging, unless you're planing to scare them off?" It is a half-hearted joke, and probably an unappreciated one given the state of things. Still, there is no sign of regret in the Iga, and before long he follows along aftr the guards.
Hiei doesn't seem to be fazed by the fact that Arika jumps onto his back and perches on his shoulder. Apparently, it's been done before. Listening to her soft words, he reaches up and pats her gently. "Stay calm. I heard it too. I'm sure your friend will be fine." Because if he's not, they're going to need buckets for the clean up afterwards. He raises a brow slightly when she tenses, identifying her increased strength for someone so small. "Quite a grip you have there."
Hiei comments to Ayumu. "Actually, I'm hoping to run into her while I'm here. There are some things I need to say to her." He was well aware of how Sachiko's sister felt about him. She sulked all the way through their wedding, and she pretty much hated his guts. Fortunately for him, he now knew why. He gives Ayumu a look when he mentions henging that was pretty much 'Ha-Ha'. Hiei rolls his shoulder. "Heh. I would, but it would disappoint the girl." He hooks a thumb towards the smaller shinobi riding on his shoulders. He falls into step behind the group as well.
The trip to the meeting point is completely uneventful discounting the slow pace. When they finally arrive the area appears completely empty save for a single man sitting atop a tall rock. The surrounding area is littered with similar rocks of varying sizes that could easily hide anywhere from a single person to a dozen men. Once they're there the more astute shinobi would start to notice things. Arika's air currents would inform her of a group of people behind a rock near where the lone man is, most of them short in stature and likely the students. Hiei would be able to see that there are indeed more men hiding behind rocks, some of them not to far away as they occasionally peek out. Back-up or a trap? Ayumu's creepy enhanced organs would inform him of various weapons sliding free from behind all those rocks, never a good sign.
The lone man walks towards the shinobi with his hands clasped behind his back. He gives them a look over with an easy, supposedly disarming smile before his eyes fall on Yoppa. "Well, it seems everything is in order." He says simply before motioning over his shoulder. From behind one of the rocks the students are brought out, herded by two men armed with swords. They look relatively unharmed but very frightened and indeed the Chuunin teacher that was with them is missing. "Send Yoppa-sama over to us and we'll start sending the kids over as soon as he starts walking." Just one problem with that though, there's only five students. Jiro is missing.
Arika senses the kids and points them out to everyone just before they're brought out. And once they are, her eyes narrow, counting them all. The girl, from Hiei's shoulder, stands up and points down accusingly at the kidnappers. Her voice is, though definitely one of a nine year old girl, filled with a lot of rage…. "Where. Is. Jiro-kun?" she asks the man. "We're not gonna give Yoppa to you guys unless you have /everyone/." Okay, that may sound kinda funny since she's a kid, but her tone is dead serious. And if they don't give up Jiro, they're gonna have one angry little genin…
Ayumu is still sort of scratching his head over what is said by Hiei by the time they arrive at the meeting point. Of course once the team arrives he is quick to focus on the mission. Without weaving a sign or giving any warning the Iga tunes in to sensory organs nestled amonst his hair. What he senses comes as no surprise to him in the least; barring the one thing.
"Arika-san.. Calm thyself." Ayumu states in a tone that brokered no argument. It is a first. Immediatly after, Ayumu refocuses his attention back on the speaker and smiles politely. "My.. comrade does have a point. Our believe the deal did include Jiro-san. A total of six students, not just five… Or am I mistaken?"
Hiei had noticed the men behind the rocks, and now he did notice that Jiro wasn't among the children present. He reaches up and places Arika down onto the ground before lightning sparks in several places on the parts of his skin that is exposed as he prepares his body for combat. His battle sense kicks in, heightening his awareness and increasing his reaction time as the adrenaline hits his system. He extends his fingers before curling them up into a fist and back again as he takes note of the position of both hostiles and friendlies. He doesn't act until there is reason to, but he is ready to throw down if the word is given. While Ayumu does the talking, Hiei extends his other senses, looking to see if anyone had any nasty surprises in store.
When the man speaks the guards start preparing to send Yoppa across when Arika has her say. The head guard double checks the kids and frowns deeply. Not good. "The deal was all the students for Mesao Yoppa. Where is the other student?"
The man seems perplexed at first until one of the 'guards' around the students say something to him and he becomes suddenly enlightened and nods, "Oh /that/ one. I'd nearly forgotten about him. No I'm afraid he's staying with us. You see, he attacked us a little while ago and he killed one of my men trying to get these kids free. He's going to remain with us for insurance." The man walks up to the group of students and pulls out a long dagger, "Now are you going to send over Yoppa-sama or do I need to start spilling young blood?"
The guards are at a loss for a moment but finally the head one says softly, "Please don't do anything rash. Let us at least get the students we can and go from there." With that he returns to the other guard and Yoppa to give the prisoner a shove to get him moving. "Fine, send them over." To their credit the men do allow the kids to start moving once Yoppa does. Time seems to slow as the kids and Yoppa cross in the middle and the man looks sideways at them, but in the end it's just a trick of the mind and he doesn't do anything except keep going. The kids break into a run the last little bit and the guards usher them back and quickly takes them away, leaving the other shinobi to remain if they wish.
Arika calms down… sort of at Ayumu's words. Really, she's barely managing to suppress her anger. As soon as she's put down by Hiei, she also starts to gather her chakra. A surprising amount for her, for those moderately sensitive to chakra. When the thieves talk about how they're basically going to hold Jiro hostage, she doesn't do anything except wait. And once the kids are back near the guards, she immediately attacks, a gust of wind blowing strongly over the entire ensemble across from them, probably sending dirt and sand into people's eyes, too. "GIVE JIRO-KUN BACK!!! YOU GUYS GOT NO RIGHT TO TAKE HIM!!" she yells, removing a kunai from her pouch and throwing it at Yoppa. "Especially /you/." The last words, of course, are directed at Yoppa.
Ayumu nods in a calm and sagely manner, though largely through sheer force of will. While he did not know the thief as well as Arika did, the boy remained a shinobi of Sunagakure. Plus, he hadn't finished studying that particular subject yet! The nerve of the kidnappers complaining over spilled blood. Why, if he wasn't such a gentleman, Ayumu would be strangeling them himself.
Allured by the electricity in the air, Ayumu regarded Hiei seemingly from the corner of his eyes. Great. Two hot heads. A sigh escapes his lips before his focus shifted to the guards briefly, then towards the kids and kidnappers. Ayumu grimaces, for the agreement to the addendum left a sour taste in his mouth. Still, he doesn't voice his opinion; but instead, began to slowly amass his chakra. The wind and earth shifts about the Iga, but otherwise, no visible signs of his intentions are noteable. Before he can enact a plan or even speak for that matter, Arika acts at both the worst and best possible moment. He'd have intercepted the Kunai if not for the delays caused by his own efforts. So, he turns to Hiei, willing the man to act in some way.
When Arika launches her jutsu Hiei is a little surprised by it. He raises a brow slightly and when she launches her kunai, he is already gone. From the casual observer's point of view it looks like he was standing next to the small genin and then…he's not. Once the dust clears, he has the kunai firmly grasped in an outstretched hand as he walks back to the group. "I understand how you feel, Arika. But they still have Jiro, and until we locate him, a direct attack could result in his immediate death. Now, I can sense someone with a low chakra signature, as if they're unconcious there.." He motions towards one of the farthest large rocks. "I'm willing to bet that's where he is." His voice is low, but Ayumu and Arika can still hear him. "I propose a two-pronged attack. Ayumu and I will distract them, while Arika makes a beeline to where Jiro is. There are a significant amount of people here than we can see plainly. Any one of them could slit his throat as we attack, which is why it would be better for someone to be in a position to get to him quickly once we decide to fight." He comments as he offers Arika back her kunai, hilt first. He then turns to look at the three in front of the boulder. "Because unless you have orders to bring back prisoners…none of these men are leaving here alive." There was a hardness to his voice as he spoke that last part.
The guards and the children are now well gone, the two men somehow managing to carry all five kids between them before disappearing back the way they came. At least the majority of the students are safe at the cost of only one measly prisoner. Of course this was going to cause some major rethinking of venturing outside with students in Suna, considering people like these folks are around for some reason.
The attempted attack does not go unnoticed by the men, nor does the man stopping the kunai from really going anywhere. The man who was speaking just continues to smile that evil little smile before he turns back to Yoppa and uses a wind imbued sword to sheer off his shackles. A few more words pass between them before the man glances towards one of the rocks further away and Yoppa's eyes follow his with a rather demented look in them. Yoppa quickly makes some handseals and vanishes into the ground while the speaker turns and waves a 'moving out' finger in the air.
Once the signal is given most of the weapons are put away and the men all start walking in the direction away from the Suna nin and Raikage. A few remain further behind the others with their various weapons still out, including a pair of bowmen, watching to make sure those silly shinobi don't try anythingsilly. As the groups all come out from behind their rocks a very unconscious, battered and bruised Jiro can be seen being carried by a man that is in the lead of the departing forces.
Arika takes her kunai back, but doesn't really listen to Hiei while he speaks. "They're getting away!" she whines, kunai sharpening itself with wind. She … really doesn't care that she's going to get hurt, though. With a bit of chakra, she's already sprinting towards the unconscious Jiro, apparently intent on taking him back to Suna no matter what. If anyone tries to stop her, she is not hesitant to use that kunai on them…
Ayumu's heart doesn't come close to slowing until he can fully register Hiei's presence once more. Of course even then, the Iga doesn't come close to relaxing until the guards and children are out of immediate sensor range. A sigh of relief is followed swifly by a sharp look towards Hiei as he spoke. "We will at least require one or two alive, Hiei-san, if only to make certain that man has no other supporters.. or avengers." Ayumu states calmly but quietly. His words have hardly left his mouth however when Yoppa decides to disappear underground, making things somewhat tricky. Ayumu is tempted for a moment to try and call off the plan. The murderous scent wafting off the duo however promised such an endeavour would only end in tears.
"Heh.. Here goes nothing." A familiar sign is followed by several Ayumu's poofing into existence nearby, obscuringly the originally, or so he hoped, long enough to merge with the sand and pursue Yappo if possible. If not, then he'd sneak behind the group while his clones bull rushed them screaming childish obscenties!
Hiei watches as they just…pack up and leave. He frowns deeply before glancing at Ayumu and then Arika. "Forget everything I just said. Jail this inmate, now I'm incarcerated off." With a look towards the departing forces, his body is suddenly surrounded by a light blue aura. He forms a seal as two more of him *pop* into existence, both also with the aura around their bodies. He looks over at the clones before he says, "Gentlemen, execute Delta formation. I'll take the package." The clones nod in unison just before all three of them vanish in a gust of wind and dirt.
Moving at hyper speed, the first clone inhales and then exhales as fireballs fire out in front of the man carrying Jiro. He tries to create a dust cloud as a distraction before the second clone exits the cloud and tosses it's arm out to the side, attempting to execute a Lariat on the same man. Seconds after this, the real Hiei emerges. If the first two attacks are successful, he'll attempt to catch the boy from the (hopefully) falling man and then tucking him under his arm like a football, race back towards where Arika and Ayumu is. It would take timing, and a lot of speed to pull it off.
Needless to say they weren't completely expecting an attack but were ready for one. When Arika starts moving the two bowmen nock and release an arrow each at the girl and prepare to fire a second round when the shadow clones of Ayumu poof into existence and start charging. They definitely look like more of a threat then one little girl so the archers turn their attention there instead. Speaker man is the only other close one to the shinobi trio and has the only chance of catching the real Ayumu stalking them. As for Yoppa, he is unfortunately gone in a hurry. When the Ayumu clones come the other men with their weapons still out charge in as well, swinging wildly at the crazy clones.
As for the one carrying Jiro the poor guy doesn't even know what hit him. Literally. What did hit him? He'll never know now. The Raikage would be able to catch the student and return him to the area of the others but it does not go unnoticed. The speaker calls out an attack order and the rest of the people turn around to start charging back, although they are still a little distance away.
When the arrows come, Arika just runs past the men, avoiding the arrows altogether. Her intent right now is to catch up to the man taking away her friend. Fortunately Hiei manages to get to Jiro, so she skids to a halt and focuses on getting rid of the annoying archers. Her rage is just barely contained, though her eyes definitely have a shadow in them. With a quick movement, Arika throws two kunai at one archer and a third at the other before moving over towards Hiei to make sure that Jiro is okay and not too broken or anything.
The Ayumu clone trio are /not/ to be trifled with. This is especially true when the trio become a posse of fifteen, though that number is quickly cut down in half by arrows, or — as the axe man later found out — by axe after being replaced. What few remain after all is said and done launch kunai after kunai, masking their solid brethrens real attacks in the confusion. The most accurate of the bunch are tagged with explosives set to detonate near or in the faces of one of the melee fighters. All in tall, two for the archers, four for the rest.
Meanwhile, Ayumu grudgingly breaks off pursuit of Yappo. As much as he wanted the man, his speed outstripped his own. That left only the speaker to try and sneak up on instead…
Hiei skids to a stop a ways away from the approaching mob, who now know that he's retrieved Jiro. Hiei motions to one of his clones to come back to him. Once they get out of the way of the mob before they make it back to Hiei, one of them is dismissed with an audible *pop*, as Hiei turns to Arika. "He's going to be fine, but he needs a medic-nin. I'm going to have my clone take him back to Suna if that's alright with you, Arika." He looks up to notice the group coming towards him before he passes the boy to his clone and then turns to face them. He shrugs out of his coat and tosses it to the ground before the aura around his body fades. He wouldn't need it for this, it was much more fun this way. Reaching behind him, he draws his katana and wakazashi named Fukushu and Saiai respectively. Forged from chakra metal from the mines of the Land of Wind, the weapons are Hiei's trademark after all these years. "Arika, we have business to finish here. Ayumu says that you need only one or two alive to question afterwards." He spins the blades in his hands. "They should have brought more. This will end too quickly. However the man that took your friend is yours to do with as you wish. It's only right." He doesn't rush out to meet them, instead allowing them to come to him as he stands with the swords held slightly away from his body.
The archers curse the little brat that gets away and both turn to follow her while drawing out another arrow. When she comes at them it catches them both by surprise and neither is able to avoid the kunai(s) meant for them and they go down in pain, if not exactly dead yet. But then Ayumu's clones throw their own kunai and the archers become no more. The four other kunai find marks of their own and leave a handful of men down as well as one without any face left.
The others close in on the three shinobi with a variety of weapons while a handful remain behind to watch. One of those is the speaker who, after saying something to one of the others near him, turns to leave. He starts hopping from rock to rock as he attempts to make his escape. Meanwhile, back at the ranchThere are a half dozen or so people with weapons and they split off to take on the shinobi two a piece. These guys aren't very skilled from the looks of thingsfodder, really. Still they do have weapons and nothing can be taken all that lightly.
'Okay' can be a heavily relative term but even considering the situation the boy hardly looks okay. Beaten, bruised, and bloodied with the possibility of who knows how many broken bones or worse. His clothes are fairly well shredded from weapon attacks that have since dried up and reopened with all the various jostling. The reason for his unconsciousness could be any number of possibilities but none of them are very good. He really barred somebody off. He's rather wisely taken back to Suna by the shadow clone.
Arika hesitates a bit, but nods to Hiei when he says he's taking Jiro back. At least her friend is okay, right? The girl focuses more, now, and getting away from the attackers. The man with the mace and the man with a nail in a board are both avoided, then Arika forms two kunai of pure wind to throw at the pair. It's not very stable, though…
Ayumu held back a curse as he rose closer to the surface. What arises from the sand however isn't a man, but some form of red-haired, multi-eyed /thing/ barely a few feet behind the speaker. Without warning or provacation, the creature sends out hair bundled into tendrils after the man, seeking to imprison and skewer the man. No vitals are hit, but without a doubt, the man would be in a great deal of pain if he cannot escape.
The clones meanwhile try their best to avoid the man's slash attacks, but one inevitable goes down upon misreading the attack. Two left for the distraction team…
Hiei moves to a position that places him back to back with Arika..or rather back to leg. There is a smile plastered on his face as he waits for the attacks to come to him. And then he immediately regrets drawing his blades. These men had no real skill. He whirls around, blocking one attack behind his back with his wakazashi, while blocking another with his katana. He flicks his wrists as both blades glow neon blue as he strikes out at the very men who attacked him first. Then he aims a downwards strike towards another before he comments, "Disappointing." He sheathes both blades and then lifts his bare fists instead. Meanwhile, his clone is moving at all possible speed back to Sunagakure. After it's mission is done, it will dismiss itself.
The two men going against Arika are surprised at the verocity of the little munchkin when she manages to not only avoid their attacks, but sticks them with some extra sharp kunai. It's enough to have them drop for the moment. Hiei's folks are a lot worse off since they eat a couple of blades and are much more on the dead side. Meanwhile when the one clone poofs the two men both focus on the other shadow clone on that end, both attacking once more in almost perfect unison.
Once the guys around Hiei and Arika go down they're replaced almost immediately. This time however the folks don't seem to be complete pushovers. One rushes Hiei with a speed that, while not rivaling the Raikage's own, is still fairly impressive as he brings a heavy two handed sword down towards the lightning man's head. Arika gets to deal with a different type as one of the other men that was hanging back makes a few quick hand seals and sends out some sharp wind at the girl.
Speaker man is caught but not before he lets out a surprised cry. It's enough to garner the attention of the last man remaining with the others and he quickly jumps up to a rock, then up in the air to make his own handseals and send a barrage of fire towards that /thing/ holding the speaker.
The sudden rise in enemy skill means that Arika gets a few cuts. This doesn't make her very happy… She narrows her eyes a bit, tapping into the chakra reserves of the tailed beast insider her. A purple cloak of chakra then surrounds her, the girl gaining a tail as well. Well, it looks more like a tentacle, actually… With it, Arika attempts to sweep the bad guys off their feet in the literal sense, then two purple 'kunai' form, aiming to pierce her attacker.
The remaining clone curses his luck but charges the nearest man attempting to tag team him. A slider under one blade is swiftly followed by slide beneath the other. Before the two can properly recover the clone undergoes its own transformation into a hairy, multi-eyed beast of disgustingness! It gives them no time to question or respond before snapping its jaw open and unleashing a wave of tendrils. Its intent: Capture and drain them of their precious chakra.
Meanwhile, the original tenses up and starts to look sharply in the direction of the others when the barrage of fire draws his attention away. Ayumu escapes by the narrowest of margins. "Arika.." He shakes his head sharply. Focus first, worry later. He raises an 'arm', causing the coat to follow the same motion. Merciless tendrils spring out to capture the man as he landed, imprisoning him like the speaker.
Hiei was actually having a little bit of fun. Right after he sheathes his swords, the man swings that big sword towards him and Hiei lifts his hand and allows the sword to strike his palm. He halts it's progress cold as he closes his fingers around the the metal. His hand is unharmed as lightning sparks around his hand and wrist. He shakes his head slightly before pushing the blade to the side and sending a palm strike towards his chest and follows that up with another strike as he attempts to pop the man's head off his shoulders like a grape. He is aware of the sudden influx of chakra from Arika and all he does his nod as he glances over at her. He had a suspicion on what she was. Good on her for learning control at such a young age.
Wind baddie seems impressed that the little girl dodged his attacks, a brow quirking in intrigue. When that purple chakra starts oozing from her that intrigue turns to curiosity, then disgust. As her attacks come he neatly jumps away from the swiping tail and moves aside from the first kunai. The second one hits him however but it doesn't do much more than chain him off. Another cutter is sent her way followed by some wind bullets, none of which are pleasant things.
The poor sword and axe man that were attacking the clone nearly die of a heart attack when it so suddenly changes form. There's no chance of them escaping when it wraps it's hairy self around them. They are well and truly stuck. The fire baddie does his best to evade the attack coming at him as well but it is to no avail as he can't move fast enough while still in the air and he gets caught as well.
Hiei's opponent seems impressed when his blade is stopped, while not so much terrified as one might think he'd be. When his blade is pushed aside he allows it's weight to help pull him away from the first blow from the Raikage but it also puts him ever so slightly off balance for the second attack. He manages to jump away before the full attack is realized however and manages to keep his head fairly well attached. The swordsman shifts his stance before darting in again, bringing the blade around in a horizontal slice before letting the momentum bring it up and down in another arc from above.
Arika manages to get out of the way from the wind bullets, though it was a close call, for sure. She lashes out again with the tail-tentacle, intent on knocking the man over again. Once that is done, regardless of success, Arika uses the wind chakra she has to try and cut the man up. Of course, she's getting tired and it's difficult to focus because she's in pain from earlier injuries.
Ayumu doesn't stop with just imprisoning the Speaker and his fire spewing ally. He draws them across the sand and rocks until they rested right before him. At that range he could continue absorb their chakra without much effort on his part until only a sliver remain. Only then will the prison shift into a more maneuverable cocoon for transport. At some point his focus becomes divided once more between his current catch and the battle still waging elsewhere. Tempted as he was to try and rejoin the fight, the Iga would leave monitoring Arika to his clone and Hiei for now…
The clone tenses up and looks sharply away from its catch. After a lengthy pause it begins dragging its catch along behindn him as it made its way towards Arika and Hiei.
Hiei was aware that he and Arika were getting overwhelmed at their current position. However, while he had no concern for his own personal safety, he was hell bent on protecting the genin next to him, it was the reason why he took up this defensive position in the first place. The swordsman would swing at Hiei only his sword would just barely cut him across the abdomen. But he was still moving as would be apparent to the wind user. The wind user and the swordsman would experience the optical illusion of both Hiei and Arika fading away from afterimages as neither Arika nor Hiei was in the spot where they previously were. Releasing the back of the girl's garment, Hiei would frown towards the swordsman before he does a string of handseals, stopping when lightning begins to flow down his arm and into the first two fingers on his right hand. Using the more powerful version of this particular technique, he flings his fingers towards the swordsman as a large bolt of lightning flies from his fingertips. His body vanishes as he moves at top speed, appearing in front of the swordsman, like all up in his personal space, before driving his elbow towards his forehead.
The Wind Baddie is even more displeased as the girl avoids one of his attacks and that other damned fool got her out of the way of his first. What's wrong with these people, interfering in the battles of others! The man starts to prepare another attack and doesn't catch the tail until it's nearly on him. It not only disrupts his own attack but it puts him off balance enough that he can't avoid those incoming sharpened air, one of which neatly cuts through a vital point and puts him down.
Ayumu and his clone have their folks pretty well wrapped up. The fire breather and the speaker are both unconscious before long and become his prisoners. The other two don't have much to begin with and are pretty much trashed at this point.
The swordsman does have a moment of confusion when his opponent vanishes and his sword bites deep into the ground where the man /should/ have been. The man yanks his sword out of the ground but isn't in time to avoid that lightning bolt. It zaps the man and he lets out a violent string of curses before using his sword to block the elbow. That done he jumps away from Hiei and…turns to run!
Arika trembles a bit, getting tired after the long battle. She had used up a lot of energy, and the chakra cloak around her was starting to bubble away, taking most of her injuries with it. The girl obviously needs to rest, but she's not badly injured, at least. Hopefully Hiei or Ayumu don't mind her piggy-backing again. The girl almost plops down where she stands, then realizes that's a bad idea because fighting is still going on…
Hiei pauses to look at the exhausted Arika. He smiles at her and reaches out to ruffle her hair before he turns towards the retreating swordsman. Hiei's eyes go cold. "Where you going?" He forms handseals before he extends his hand out to the side, palm side facing up. Lightning begins to pool in the palm of his hand before it flattens out into a disc shape and begins to spin rapidly while expanding in size. At the end, it resembles a whirling buzzsaw blade made of pure lightning chakra. Hiei takes aim and then holds the attack above his head before spinning around and launching it like a discus at the retreating man's back.
That about cleans it up. The retreating man doesn't even look over his shoulder as he tries to use that there speed to outrun anything that might be coming. But, you know, it was a bad idea. He'll look back on it in regret, mostly because it chops him in half and his upper half is looking back at Hiei. But with that death there is no one remaining that is in any kind of fighting shape. If they aren't dead they're pretty much bleeding out except for those two that Ayumu managed to capture. And of course the one that got away at the beginning, off to do who knows what other bad things.
Arika peeks up at Hiei when he ruffles her hair, too tired to complain. Instead she scrambles to climb onto his back, missing the guy getting chopped in half, fortunately. And then she's clinging to Hiei and using his shoulder like a pillow. Zzzzzz… Such an uncomfortable pillow… But it's still better than trying to walk back to Sunagakure by her own power.
The clone had sensed enough. And seeing as how its 'prisoners' decided to expire, it cancels the jutsu holding it together. The knowledge recieved from the clone sends a jolt through Ayumu. "Just in time." He murmurs as he completes the final arrangements on his captives cocoons. The temptation to summon another clone to help comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Admittedly, he would rather carry two grown uncouncious men over Arika. The Kami only knew how fiesty she was asleep! Unfortunately, if push comes to shove the man grudgingly accepts the burden from Hiei and moves on without a complaint.
"Ready to go, Cousin?" He calls out.
Hiei snorts as the man is cut in half and then looks down at the shallow cut across his abs. He sighs. "Ruined my favorite shirt." It was going to leave a faint scar, but eh, chicks dig scars, right? At least his wife did anyway. A quick check on Ayumu to make sure he was in once piece and Hiei tosses him a thumbs-up. "I got her. Let's ride." Man the Iga have some weird techniques. Not for the first time, he idly wonders which one of his parents that his son Shun would take after. When Arika climbs up onto his back, he makes sure she's comfortable before turning to walk back towards Suna. She fought hard, and earned the rest. Now he would go check in on the young Jiro before retiring to his room in the inn with a bottle of wine. Cause…no sake. He promised.
With the students rescued the mission is a success. Sure it would've been nice to also keep the prisoner but in a situation like this a half dozen young lives is worth much more. Plus they got someone else to fill his cell. Two of them actually. They may not be the man himself, someone important enough to them to risk themselves for, but it's something.
The students were returned to their homes immediately upon their arrival at Sunagakure, all except Jiro who was taken straight to the hospital by Hiei's shadow clone. After everything that's happened there is likely going to be much digging and many questions asked as to what happened. And even more importantly, what's /going/ to happen with Yoppa on the loose.