Date: August 6, 2014
Michiko is on patrol when she encounters a stranger being robbed by bandits. Naturally, she steps in to help, and the pair take care of the enemy.
"Unusual Encounter with a Moon"
Amagumo Bridge [Land of Lightning]
The Amagumo bridge traverses a massive gorge, with all the water of the Raiun falls inside of it. The cacophony of the roaring water is deafening on the bridge, and the wind causes it to shake disturbingly. It is constructed of cord and wooden planks. It is supported on either side of the gorge by two trellis like constructions of wooden poles,that hold the cords high to keep the bridge from sagging too much in the middle.
To the northwest lies the massive city of Kumogakure, just across the plateau from the swinging bridge. To the south, the trail down towards the ferries begins, heading down the mountain in a wide path, strewn with rocks but easy to navigate.
South - (S) [Mountain River Trail]
North West - (NW) [Outside Kumogakure]
With the Chuunin exams still going on, every Shinobi in Kumogakure has been busy. Extra security to the already rather strict measures are being enforced, multiple patrols sent out per day. Michiko has been itching to do something /other/ than spar, and so she signed up for one such patrol. As a genin-almost-Chuunin, she was the only one sent out on this evening patrol, and the route was only to the bridge and back. Even so, there could be a bandit or two lurking around, so Michiko's senses were up high.
The genin approaches the bridge, which still bears the marks of Hiei and Kasuya's earlier battle. Maybe less so thanks to time and repairmen, but there are definitely a few char marks from lightning and maybe some holes as well. The girl is especially cautious here, as anyone might make the bridge a target. It is a good source of traffic on busy days, Afterall!
Just on the other side of the bridge is a commotion of sorts. A young man, leaning upon a cane, is being accosted by a group of four thugs that think they have found a tasty treat in the form of Jukai. The young man doesnt seem overly put out by them as he refuses to give over anything on his person. If one gets tok close he thwaps them with his cane but he isnt doing much to defend himself at the moment. He is in trouble though.
The four bandits think that their numbers are good enough that Jukai would easily give out his cash and valuables. But as the young man is extremely stubborn, they start getting irritated. "C'mon, mister, just give us yer cash and we'll be on our way. No harm done!" one, likely the leader, says. He's got a gruff voice and seems to be a bit older than the others. Another bandit moves a bit forward, though hesitantly because of the cane being swung about.
Michiko sees the commotion up ahead on the other side. She inwardly groans at seeing it. Four bandits against herself and a cripple doesn't seem very promising in terms of odds. But they don't seem like their shinobi, so maybe she stands a chance? She focuses some chakra and makes her way over, trying to remain hidden from view of the bandits.
She might be surprised to find that the cripple has a decently sized chakra about him. Strange that he isnt using it, no? As the Kumo nin draws closer he looks towards her and then back towards the bandits as one tries to close in on him. He thwaps at it with his cane, trying to keep it back. "I will give you nothing. Picking on someone who is crippled does not mean you will get what you wish."
Two of the bandits get a little cocky. They duck in and try to shove Jukai around, the first even sending a punch aimed toward the man's gut. The other two mostly stay back for now. They must be the smart ones. Or they're just not willing to do grunt work because they're a bit higher in the pecking order. The leader says, "I didn't wanna do this to ye, mister. But ye left me no choice in th' matter!"
Michiko dashes in as the bandits start attacking, sending three blazing firebolts at the bandits. The first two are really meant for the attackers, but the third is aimed at the ones who are just standing there. "Excuse me," she calls out to the unfamiliar person. "You might want to get away a bit from the flames." That chakra source… It's coming from him? She thought it was someone else and not the man with the cane… But you can never judge a book by its cover, is what she knows.
Jukai gets bowled over, but manages to avoid an attack thanks to a clone. Then he is getting hit again. Maybe he should actually do something. So, he does and makes a giant fist out of chakra formed around his hand. With that in place, he swings it at the two guys nearest to him, hoping to catch them off guard if he can do so. If nothing else it might intimidate them a little bit.
The bandits near Jukai are easily able to block the attacks aimed at them. They seem unfazed, grinning evilly at the man. "Nice kick, it was weak!" one taunts, taking the opportunity to send a kick at the cripple's leg. The other bandit finds himself getting burnt rather badly by fire. To take it out on Michiko was a bit risky with her distance, so he faces Jukai. The bandit launches a punch towards Jukai head and a knee is supposed to land on the man's stomach. "Stupid…" the bandit growls under his breath.
Bandit leader and second in command see Michiko and are likely able to better attack her. The second in command throws two kunai at the girl while the leader, more confident in his skills, attacks her. A sweeping kick, low, to knock her off balance is followed by a punch. Seems these guys don't use their chakra!
Michiko sees the Kunai coming from a good distance away. She makes a few quick handseals, ending it with a sharp stomp to the ground. This causes a barrier of earth to appear. It holds steady against all the attacks and the girl easily sends three more firebolts after the attackers. "Bandits… They just can't learn their lesson…" she sighs. "And if it's not them, it's animals, of course." A minor complaint, but a complaint none the less…
Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. He manages to get hit again before Jukai is able to escape with a couple of clones going poof. He starts moving towards Michiko as fast as a wounded leg can take him. If nothing else she seems the lesser of two evils here. Attacking isnt going to get him anywhere at the moment and he is getting his butt kicked. The best thing he can do is get away for the time being.
With their quarry gone, the grunts look… Well, they look lost. They're glad the attacks went through until the guy disappears in a poof of smoke! It gives him ample time to run over to Michiko. The bandit leader fares well against the firebolt, dodging out of the way! The other isn't as lucky. That fire of the genin's is fast and powerful, and it hits him good. He grunts in pain, rolling on the ground to put out whatever flames there are. It's not enough to knock him out or kill him, though, and now the bandits are ANGRY. Cautious too, though, and they are taking their time about attacking.
Michiko glances to the guy she just saved. "Are you hurt?" she asks. She just saw him get punched, so that wasn't pleasant… The bandits are taking their sweet time to attack, so the girl takes the opportunity to do a bit of healing magic on Jukai. That is… Lots of bandages! And an ice pack or two.
He made it to the Genin safely and moved to stand slightly behind her, using her as a bit of a shield. "I will live. You people should police better, though." He doesnt object to her going about healing him. If nothing else it will help him to get by and only a fool would say no to such a thing. "Before I was injured I would have wiped the floor with these fools. Now I can barely defend myself."
The bandits see Michiko is healing Jukai, and they aren't afraid to take advantage of the fact. Especially since Michiko has injured one of their own pretty badly. The bandits all start throwing Kunai at the pair, most of the attacks aimed at Michiko, the perceived bigger threat. The leader calls out, "Saved by a girl! Yer pretty useless, aren't ye, ya cripple!" He seems pretty determined to bring morale down while the goons he controls just focus on attacking.
Michiko winces as the first Kunai slices through her arm, giving her a nice scratch. It's painful, but only for a second, and the girl quickly forms a few handseals to make another barrier of earth. It blocks the rest of the Kunai easily. Then she peers at the enemies… Hmmm… A few more hand seals and Michiko makes the earth under all the bandits start to swirl, the dirt softening and hopefully entrapping them. If they fall victim to it, it would be an easy matter of attacking them with flames, which is exactly what comes next.
"Gender doesn't matter much when it comes to being a shinobi," Jukai points out as they come after the two of them. She'd left herself open by working on healing him. Not that he particularly cared if she got hurt. She was serving a purpose by getting these guys off of him, that was true, but at the same time, if she died along the way it wouldn't bother him. All shinobi from these villages deserved to die. That was just the nature of the beast. Of course he wasn't going to go around telling everyone that. Especially when he could use them.
The bandits came at them, and he poofed in a cloud of smoke, appearing off to the left of where he'd been a few moments before. Focusing his chakra to his fist, and holding it flat, he swings a giant chakra hand at his foes, hoping to catch them at the same time that the girl does. Might as well be coordinated.
Well, most of the bandits weren't expecting to be hit by a giant whirlpool of earth! They can't move now, and the large flame bullet that Michiko used against them is super effective. It does loosen the hold the earth has on them, which means they can counter attack! Well, three of them can. One of the bandits is so injured that he's moving to flee. The burns on his body are bad, and Jukai's punch only made his injuries worse. The first guy huddles his way to some nearby bushes trying to stay out of sight. The second in command was crafty, able to dodge all the attacks aimed at him. He grumps a little and then tries to knock his entire weight into Jukai, which, if successful, would knock him off-balance and leave him unable to attack or defend.
The leader and remain grunt focus their own attacks on Michiko. First the grunt goes in, ordered by his leader, and aims a swift attack at the girl's legs. This would hopefully sweep her of her feet in the literal sense while the leader aimed a powerful blow at the genin's head. If it hits, it's gonna HURT!
Michiko sees the guy trying to escape. She can feel his movements through the earth. But the attacks against her have priority! First few seals make a nice earthen dome around her, giving the girl protection from the leg attack. However, the dome is weak and crumbles when it's hit, meaning she is forced to make another barrier of earth, this one strong enough to take that powerful blow that might have knocked her head clean off. What she does is send three firebolts, two for each attacking her and one for the guy in hiding.
The barreling attack catches him off guard, flattening him to the ground. The punch, though, serves to cause some rather immense pain to flare through him. He squirms a little bit on the ground, but being who he is, refuses to give up. Of course he's not going to go and chase down the guy that's fleeing. He's more interested in the one that's trying to punch his guts out through his spine. That just can't be allowed to happen, after all. There's much too much to do!
Grumbling about the inhospitability of the place, he once again forms a fist of chakra and punches it at the nearest bandit. If nothing else he's persistent. Being a crippled former shinobi, though, or pretending to be, should make him weak and so he's playing to it regardless of the fact. Though, he is a former shinobi so he still has some bite.
The bandit who was trying to flee won't be fleeing no more. He gets burnt badly by the firebolt Michiko sent his way. In fact, he's dead as a doornail thanks to that move. His companions don't seem to notice, though, too busy ducking and dodging the flames that are coming towards them. Michiko is certainly keeping them on their toes, and both firebolts have hit their mark! It leaves one badly injured, but the leader still looks alright. Breathing heavy, but alright.
The second in command looks triumphant, leaving his guard down to the strikes Jukai sends his way. Both punches hit just as he opens his mouth to gloat, cutting off his air and making him cough blood. Seeing that all three 'allies' are in rough shape, the bandit leader calls the fight. "Retreat! All yer behinds better get moving quick or we'll leave ye behind!" With that, he throws a smoke bomb at both Michiko and Jukai so he and his two remaining allies can escape.
Michiko hears the retreat signal and is tempted to chase after the gang. But that blasted smoke bomb makes her eyes water and the girl is coughing uncontrollably. Well, at least she won against the bandits, so that was something. She waits for the smoke to clear, removing some bandages to wrap up the shallow cut that was on her arm. "Are you alright?" she calls over to Jukai.
"Idiot," Jukai says as the man spits up blood. His gloating had nearly cost him his life with just two hits from the former Chuunin. Instead of being victorious, he was now a pathetic loser, even though he'd been one his whole life to be certain. All bandits were pathetic losers. He tensed when a smoke bomb went off near him, causing him to choke and gag on the smoke as the bandits made their escape. He didn't care about them though. Let them run off and hide. It was all they were good for anyway.
When the smoke cleared he heard the girl call out and ask if he was alright. "Never better," he said with blatant sarcasm. Of course he wasn't alright. He was a crippled man who'd just been forced to fight some rather tough bandits that really wanted his money. It was right then he wished Chou was there. He always worked better with her. "Your bandits pack a punch here."
Michiko looks apologetic. "I'm sorry you ran into the bandits, sir. I have a few bandages and ice packs with me, if you would like those?" she offers. The girl dusts herself off as she stands, giving Jukai a respectful bow. "Where are you from, if you don't mind me asking. I don't think I recognize you…" She shakes her head a bit. "Anyway, we should get back to the village. I can escort you, if you don't mind."
"I won't argue with some help in the wound department," Jukai admits. He fumbles around for his cane and then sits himself up once more. He hadn't been beaten that soundly since he was in the Chuunin exams, and even then he hadn't taken as much damage as this time around. Of course, when you're holding back that's what is going to happen. Shaking his head, he watches her as she approaches. "I'm from the Land of the Moon. I'm wandering the land with a friend, an artist. I'm just ahead of her, seeing if the place is safe." When she draws closer her offers his hand. "Help me up?"
Michiko nods and goes over to give him both bandages and ice packs, assuming that he knows better on what to do with them in terms of where to use them. She takes his hand, pulling him up with a few good tug or three. "Oh, I see. That's… A place I don't know much about, admittedly." She'll have to read up on the place later. For now, though… "Let's get back to the village, like I said. Your friend, I hope, will know to find you, unless you need a messenger hawk?" She's a Kumo-nin. This guy was in danger. And as a Kumogakure Shinobi, she is extremely suspicious about this guy. The chakra levels and the skill level don't match up at all. And even if he is crippled… She should report him to Hiei. But there's no reason to show her true feelings. Right now all he would hear in her voice is a mixture of concern, politeness, and respect.
Jukai applies both the bandages and ice packs before she helps him to his feet. Leaning heavily on his cane for a bit, he waits a moment before he starts walking with her towards the village. "It's a long way from here." He doesn't wear a headband of any sort, so he's not advertising as a missin nin, or as a ninja from Getsugakure. The only sign of his home upon him is the moon that hangs from his necklace. "She'll find me. She always does. I'm just her scout for a place to sell her art. I mostly just write while she sells." He wanders along with her. "You needn't worry about me. I'm retired from the life of a shinobi. Used to be one but I got severely injured to the point where too much strain will make me useless. Still have the ability to defend myself, but I prefer not to."
Michiko nods to the explanation, offering Jukai a small smile. "I see. I hope you have a nice stay in Kumogakure, then. May I know your name?" she asks politely. This guy was giving her a bad feeling, but she still isn't sure what… Something about him makes her … anxious. The two would walk back to the village without further incident while conversing, the walk to the village not very long. It was a short patrol cut shorter by the bandit encounter. She should have chased after them, but keeping an eye on Jukai was a more pressing issue in her opinion.
"Yasujiro Jukai. I'm sure you'll find some record of me retiring somewhere. They always know these things everywhere you go, even though it's been a few years since it happened," Jukai says as they step along the road. He keeps pace with her, despite his wounds and limp. "Just wish people could be more peaceful. It would make retirment more enjoyable. That and I wouldn't have to worry about people bothering Chou and I." He grumbles to himself. It's probably the fighting that's turned him into a sourpuss. "What's your name, by the way. You did pretty well back there."
"Iwata Michiko," starts the girl. "Shinobi of Kumogakure. And self-appointed book worm." She finds herself at the gate and says, "I'm going to go file a report, Yasujiro-san. It was a pleasure meeting you. The hospital is just that way." She points in the general direction. "I'm sorry I can't lead you there directly, but feel free to ask for directions. I'll see you around, Yasujiro-san." And with that, she would make her way to the Raikage's administration building. Before she was ten steps away, however, the genin would reach into her pouch and remove a book, flipping to a page and continuing on with whatever she was reading earlier. That would explain the book worm title, maybe?
"Nice to meet you then, Iwata-san. Good to see some people still help others," Jukai says with a slight bit of attitude. Maybe he's had some experiences where people didn't help him in the past? Likely considering the fact that he's a cripple. She points him in the direction of the hospital and he nods his head, moving in that direction while she heads off to file her report. He might be wearing a few bits and baubles of shinobi gear, leftovers from his past, but he certainly doesn't carry himself like a shinobi anymore. More like a grumpy old man.