Valley of Tears


Hotaru, Akio, Yoshi, Yama

Date: December 8, 2015


A team of genin are charged to take care of some bandits in the Valley of Tears

"Valley of Tears"

Land of Earth

Far to the south, close to the border of the Land of Rain, a few rather vulgar individuals have taken up residence along the path. Thinking that the Four Swords would distract Iwagakure enough for them to make a pretty penny off distrupting The land of Earth's trade, they have destroyed many trader's livelihoods and have ended many innocent lives. The fact that such an unskilled group of bandits could have done this is rather embarassing by Iwagakure standards. It is in a small valley that is one of the many chokepoints leading into the Land of Earth that these bandits occupy, and cause mayhem. This valley? It's called the Valley of Tears. It already had a terrible reputation for hosting law breakers over the years, and now this group has to go and further sully this place's reputation. A group of three bandits with rather large and heavy metal spiked clubs are waiting for an ambush right now! Just waiting for the opportunity to ruin someone's day… Fortunately… Team 4 is on the job! Consisting of Akio and Hotaru, they are perhaps the best team of Genin in all of Iwa! Maybe not, but they have Yama! Kaneko sadly was recovering at a hospital after a spar. The oldest academy student in all of Iwa! That much is for sure.
Akio was made the leader of this mission in order to better build up his leadership skills, and everyone in the group was asked to follow his lead. The group is staring out at the very entrance to the valley, likely in hiding positions.
"We're right at the place where everyone usually gets attacked, according to this map." She says, holding it against a tree for everyone to see. "So… do we persue them, or do we wait for them to get drawn out by someone?"

Akio looks around at the area they are in before glancing at Hotaru. Then he walks slowly over to where she is for a moment. "Well. I am pretty sure we shouldn't just flatly pursue them or completely wait for someone else to draw them out. Best thing could maybe be… One of us henging into what looks like a weak and frail village person. Then the other two of us would wait in ambush." He waits a moment giving him time to think. "Yama I don't know your skills much for myself, but I think you being the henged one could work well. Then Hotaru could cover the area in mist as they jump out to attack and me being able to spot them using the earth can trap them all in metal. Any questions or suggestions?" He looked around obviously enjoying his idea.

"We pursue them! I will gladly place myself out there to see to it that they will get their comeuppance," Yama speaks in response to what's being offered. "Besides, if I place myself out there, they can be drawn out and attack them." He folded his arms. "I'd rather not see another innocent find their lives in danger. If I can help it, I will place myself at the forefront. I do not bother with transformation techniques. I don't know it, but I have skill in other areas. I'm not officially of Iwagakure yet. I don't have a headband to identify myself. If I walk alone, I imagine I can attract attention just fine."

"The Valley of… Tears? Am I really reading this right?" Yoshi asked loudly just to be heard over the din of all clattering wares and churning wheels from his perch atop the tarp covered mound. The only replied recieved is a cackle that bordered on the darranged, eliciting a quiet sigh from the dark-haired boy. He should've expected as much, or better yet, read the map sooner instead of leaving things to chance. Instead, his current would be traveling companion, caretaker, and constant thorn in his side has once again managed to lead the pair into potential trouble.
Grudgingly, Yoshi carefully navigated his way towards the front of the car to try and peer past the head of their mount. "Just you wait Yoshi my boy! The place might have a mighty bad reputation, but she's a right beauty and one of the better shortcuts!" The several years elder man called from the driver seat without so much as taken his eyes of the road. Yoshi offers no further input on that point, choosing instead to dawn his goggles and keep a sharp eye out on the road once they crested over the final hill leading into the valley.

One of the bandits roosted from a perch high above tapped his comrade's shoulder. Clearly, these individuals were all about the brute force. All three of them were larger than the average individual, and they all wore really wide grins. No wonder they had such large clubs! Guess some people can only make a proper living preying on the fears and lives of others. "Yo, look. There's one. Wow! Look at that! It's some old man and a kid!" One of the bandits, sitting cross-legged would stand up, raising his club overhead. "Yeah. Doesn't get any easier tha' that." The last of the three giant bandits simply utters a single word. "SMASH!". Why… That's exactly what he intends to do too. The largest and most stupid of the bandits would grab a particularly large rock, and throw it over "SMAAASH!" Seems like that would be the first thing Yoshi had to deal with… That boulder, if it doesn't land on top of him, would likely crush him.

[NPC System]: SMAAAASH roll(s) Boulder vs Yoshi and Friends from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 21. - Rolled by: Hotaru

That would definitely be heard by Akio and his team, at least, the giant man suddenly rising up from the cliff and throwing a large boulder would for certain catch their attention. Hotaru, after all, is very attentive to the fact that someone just unwittingly spiked their chakra to raise a huge boulder overhead. "… What was that?" She asked, blinking. Then she looked out around a tree… "Uh… A-akio-kun… Looks like they were drawn out of hiding…

COMBAT: Hotaru focuses 2427 stamina to turn it into 3000 usable chakra!

Akio just stares at the man that stood up with the boulder. "I see Hotaru….all that planning and this happens…. Alright Hotaru. Could you cover the area in mist until we can make sure the people they are attacking are safe? Yama. You can go do what you do. Take the people captive if you can. I will be right behind the two of you providing support and trying to keep an eye on the area around him using the earth he has. "Lets go." Then he would move out sending a quick pulse of chakra through the ground and the buildings to try and see how many people are right next to boulder man and to see who is being attacked by the smashing boulder.

COMBAT: Akio focuses 2204 stamina to turn it into 2500 usable chakra!
RPCOMBAT: Akio defends against with a TREMOR-SENSE…16
COMBAT: Yama attacks target 1 with INTERRUPT with a roll of: 34
RPCOMBAT: Yama counters with BURST-IMPACT…27

Yama looked up towards the voice coming from the cliff and was met with a boulder quickly approaching. "Our cover has been detected already? Then now is the time to fight! They have made themselves known to us as well!" He went out and placed himself between the boulder and its intended course. When it came close enough he drew back his fist and slammed it right into the boulder to force it back in the opposite direction. "Return to sender! We do not want this gift!" He laughed aloud at his own, terrible joke.
"Alright, next part of the plan is up. Let's get this place covered in mist. I'll follow after the boulder to get to the men up ahead."

RPCOMBAT: Yoshi defends against with a PERCEPTION-III…49

The driver chances a glance up at his cohort, and for the second time finds himself surprised by Yoshi. Even with his eyes blocked out from the world, the way the boy continiously scanned the area for any signs of trouble unnerved the man. Just a smidge. But like always, after their first encounter near the border of the Land of Earth and that of Stone, the man started to shrug it off with every intent of letting Yoshi open up on his own. "…!! No…"
The word was spoken softly, but the underlying tone of horrow rang clearly in Yoshi's ears. A sharp glance down followed by one further up the side of the valley leaves the boy bugged eye behind his goggles as well. A second later, he's shoving the already crumbled up map in hand inside his shirt, then calmly standing up to facing the boulder. Scenario after scenario play through the boy's mind, blinding him of the merchant's shouting after some measure of composure returns to the man's heart.
Smash it?
Slash it?
Take over?
Save self?
Fingers twitch at his side from indecision, but never fear. He would nev — "What in the world!? Yoshi! Did you see that just now?!" The merchant calls out after seeing Yama knock the boulder right back up the side. The twitching stop, and with an uncharacteristic amount of calmness, Yoshi dropped down into the passenger seat at his confused cohorts side. "We need to leave. Now." Yoshi states.
"Ri-right." And with that and the crack of the reigns, their beast of burden is pushed into a run.

The three lugs see the merchant caravan begin moving fast, and would attempt to prepare to chase. "Ooooy! Oooooooooy! They're gettin' awaaaay!" One of them said, smashing his feet into the ground. He would look at Yama and become terribly angry. "You stopped me mate's boulder, eh? I'mg going to have to whip out the old bone and smack you with it!" Course, he was talking about his giant club! He would jump down, bringing club overhead to strike Yama with. A powerful blow! Yet, he might just miss altogether… "WOOOAH! I JUMPED FROM TOO HIGH! I CAN'T STOP! AAAH!
The second one, the one who spoke proper english grabbed his giant club and ran down the walls at Akio. "I'm going to hit you because I don't touch ladies. It's improper. I hit on men! Literally!" He raised his club up to smash down on Akio The kind of blow you better not get hit by. Seriously. These guys are 100% muscle.
"Huh… hrm… SMASH?" Guess that just leaves another boulder. He raises it up over it's head and attempts to crush the little-lizard… "SMAAAAASH!"

[NPC System]: Same roll(s) Diving Club Strike vs Yama from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 23. - Rolled by: Hotaru
[NPC System]: Kume roll(s) Wall Running Club Strike vs Akio from 15 to 40 and get(s) a 23. - Rolled by: Hotaru
[NPC System]: Hame roll(s) SMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH vs Hotaru from 20 to 45 and get(s) a 44. - Rolled by: Hotaru

RP: Hotaru transforms into LINES-OF-PURPOSE.
RPCOMBAT: Hotaru defends against with a WATER-CLONE…54

Hotaru's first act was to cover the merchant's escape… For her, that was bathing them in the most thick mist she could. That should keep them from following them too closely. "First… I'm doing as I'm told." Hotaru would glance at Akio, as she slowly taps into her bloodline in order to maximize her effectiveness. Two lines of scales begin to form from either eye that travel back behind her and flow down her neck. Focusing lines almost. Black scales would begin to coat the edges of her face as she focused a fair bit of chakra into this technique… Then it was the huge boulder hurdling towards her she needed to dodge. Or she didn't. She just smiled as she was suddenly flattened, water bursting out where Hotaru was just a moment ago. "Geeze…" Hotaru would say as she channeled chakra behind a tree, where she actually was. "I… I need to… Learn how to dodge…" She would swallow rather fiercely as she focused her chakra using a single seal to continue the formation of the mist, while her other hand grasped and held onto the cane that made it possible for her to walk at all…

COMBAT: Hotaru attacks target 1 with HIDDEN-MIST-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 33
COMBAT: Hotaru attacks target 2 with HIDDEN-MIST-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 30
COMBAT: Hotaru attacks target 3 with HIDDEN-MIST-TECHNIQUE with a roll of: 33
RPCOMBAT: Akio defends against with a CRUMBLE…26

Akio watches the man run him through and then Akio slowly crumbles into rocks and dirt. He seeing Hotaru work with the mist would make sure to have more of his chakra flowing through the ground so he could keep up with everyones position on the battlefield. From his position he focused for a moment before looking at the one who attacked him. His first action was him breathing a blast of hot air into his face hopefully blinding him temporarily before he set his hands onto the ground and had metal binds come up around all the attackers. Hopefully that would allow them to quickly be dispatched. "Hotaru. Ready holding them down if you can. Just in case some avoid mine."

RP: Akio transforms into BURN.
RPCOMBAT: Akio defends against with a TREMOR-SENSE…35
COMBAT: Akio attacks target 1 with SEAR with a roll of: 23
COMBAT: Akio attacks target 1 with BRANCHING-METAL-BINDS with a roll of: 38
COMBAT: Akio attacks target 1 with BRANCHING-METAL-BINDS with a roll of: 35
COMBAT: Akio attacks target 2 with BRANCHING-METAL-BINDS with a roll of: 39
[NPC System]: Kume roll(s) Covering My Face from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 20. - Rolled by: Hotaru
[NPC System]: All Three Bandits roll(s) Tense from 15 to 40 and get(s) a 27. - Rolled by: Hotaru
RPCOMBAT: Yama counters with BURST-IMPACT…17
RPCOMBAT: Yama took 850 damage.
COMBAT: Yama focuses 2124 stamina to turn it into 2500 usable chakra!
COMBAT: Yama attacks target 1 with STEEL-VICE with a roll of: 28
COMBAT: Yama attacks target 1 with SOFT-PAW with a roll of: 24

"Why did you jump from so high?! You idiot!" Yama shouted at the thug as he positioned himself to knock him back from where he came, but alas, the force of his body was much greater than that of his fist for now and it all came crashing down on him, club and all. Yama was filled with piercing pain, but his fury was greater than the hurt he endured. Latching onto the bandit, he rose up with him in tow and locked his arms around him to send him crashing back to the ground and follow up with another punch to return the favor of the pain he just felt.
His attention is divided momentarily as he watches a boulder roll down the hill again. He isn't sure who it's headed for exactly as his attention returns to the bandit he's attacking, but he hopes that the boulder hurts no one. Given that a mist is beginning to rise on the field, he'd have to say that things are going successfully so far.

"Whoooo-wee~ A good thing those Iwagakure ninja showed up, or we'd be in a heap of a mess!" The merchant exclaims as he pushed his horse to pick up the peace. He did not dare take his eyes off the road to see if they were being pursued, so the pensive look from Yoshi would go unnoticed. "… How do you they were these… Iwa.. nin?" Yoshi asks still in that eireely calm tone. Noticing this perhaps, or simply for some other unknown reason, the merchant turns to his partner to speak, but his eyes are refocused sharply to the forefront as mist began to surround them.
"Oh you — BAH! What's the big idea blinding uh-…. Wait… This can work!" Yoshi gives the elder man a dubious look that only grows in its intensity as began slowing the cart down. Genuine panic began to take route in the boy's heart, but he refused to let it show in his heart. "Have ya gone senile old man? We're supposed to be escape'n! Not-…"
"Kid. If there's one thing you aughta learn in this life, it is that lives are far more importent than any trinket you can buy anywhere. Now c'mon. Let's get out of this death trip and find a place to lay low 'till those ninja are done with them bandits." He says, finally slowing the cart to a stop before giving Yoshi a long, hard look. Yoshi stubbornly held the man's gaze from behind the goggles, but ultimately grudgingly agreed to the man's wishes. Boulder? Tree? Cave? Bushes? Whatever the duo can get away with hiding behind without completely losing sight of the cart in the thick mist, the duo take cover without another argument breaking out between them.

[NPC System]: All Three Bandits roll(s) Tense from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 24. - Rolled by: Hotaru
[NPC System]: All Three Bandits roll(s) Tense from 15 to 30 and get(s) a 25. - Rolled by: Hotaru

Seems like the three bandits quickly get wrapped up in metal. The smartest one got a blast of hot air to the face, and the most average of them all got further clamped and punched rather harshly. Though, they were all tied up it seems. "Smaaash?" The least intellectual of the bunch would struggle against the binds, but he wasn't strong enough to break metal. The other two would be struggling themselves. "I say, this isn't good at all… We're caught. Again… Who were we caught by last time?" The other sensible bandit curls his lips in a smile. "Amegakure ninja… Heh… That was a year of pain… Eh, but this is our first offense here, so we won't be in jail too long again. Then we can go back and make a decent living as right-going plunderers and looters! Ehehe…"
Seems like the action is over, and the Iwagakure-nin of team 7 and the student of the semester Yama had properly taken care of these rather simple bandits. Guess that leaves checking on the integrity of the merchant and the kid being his companion.
"Akio-kun. We're done. Should I send a flare out to tell the Chuunin to get help and bring these ones back with us? … Actually, I will! I predicted you would tell me to do so, of course! That is why I am a genius, of course!" She squeaks happily as she takes the flare and places her hands on a seal, breathing out basic fire to light the ignition cord. Then she moved back "Oh… I guess we should also see if those people need help." The flare zoomed into a sky a moment later, bursting in a puff of white smoke.

Akio was in fact going to say something to Hotaru before she spoke up happily. "Yes Hotaru. I think that is a good idea…' Though she had already sent up the flare. "Alright Hotaru. Yama. Lets make sure everyone is alright, and well. He leaves a little binding around them that would be easy to reinforce if something was to happen before going over to where the people from the cart ran too. "Hey you can stop hiding now. The bandits are taken care of. The two of you alright?" He may have known where they were standing and how they stood, but he couldn't tell how injured they were if they were at all.

"Make sure everyone is alright? Thank you for asking! I took a body and a club, but I'm alright. Noting a little bit of work a medic can't patch up," Yama smiled brightly. "So, what did you think about me and that boulder?!" He approached the people in hiding, completely absorbed in himself. "Of course the two of them are alright, they had us to protect them!" No, this guy totally wasn't bleeding from the wounds he sustained from that club while saying this, but he appeared to be fine…? "Tell me the truth, the both of you are fine, yes?"

As Yoshi slowly began to lose track of how long the two remained crouched and waiting for trouble, the merchant gasps at his side, resharpening the boy's attention on reality. "Look! Its clearing up my boy!" He laughs and claps Yoshi lightly on the shoulder. "I told'ja boy! Everything was gonna work out alright." Yoshi raises up his goggles just so that the merchant could definitely /see/ the flat look in full. "You…" He sighs heavily and shakes his head in exasperation. "Nevermind." He adds in a murmur before standing up and dusting himself off.
Almost as one, both turn to the sound of new voices, and after a moment's pause the merchant risks a glance past their cover. Seeing it to be only a pair of Iwa shinobi in pint-sized form, the older man gives them both a sceptical look before grinning and motioning for Yoshi to break cover as well. "As fine as the iron sand up north my friends! You guys did a heck of a job keeping the crazy in check!" The merchant exclaims. Meanwhile, Yoshi balantly ignores both the merchant and the shinobi after studying the latter briefly, choosing instead to check on the cart. A few goods were missing things to the tarp tearing off in one place, so it is that the moroose boy gets to work on quietly finishing. "Eheheh… Don't mind him! I'm sure he's just as thankful for the help on the inside as I am on the out and in!" The merchant adds.

Hotaru would likely be hanging in the far back, tapping her cane rapidly. "Your thanks isn't needed anyways." Hotaru would wave her hand dismissively, before drawing her hand back and looking at it. Trying her absolute best to act like a snotty noble kid. Kaneko wasn't around to bap her into complacency, so… This was how it was going to go. "Besides. We have a job to do. Don't let a little kid demoralize you, because he hasn't learned his manners." The Lizard-eyed Watanabe narrows her eyes at the child. It does bother her when someone isn't polite to her.

Akio doesn't pay attention to him and just looks at the old man. "Well it is a good thing you both are safe either way. We would do it again in a heartbeat." He takes note of how Hotaru is being and steps towards her. "Right Hotaru? We would help both the man and the kid again if they needed it." He smiles slightly before looking back to the old man. "So where were you headed?"

"Excellent! The both of you are fine and the boy is clearly disturbed," he pointed out Yoshi's lack of response to the events that transpired. "I would take him to the nearest purified spring and cleanse him in it. That is evil at work inside him. Anyone in their right mind would have been in fear! Complete fear!" He speaks to the elder. "But, I think all this concludes our work here. Leader!" Yama called on Akio. "Is our work done here, yet? Or do we still have work to do? What more dangers must we face?!"

Yoshi never slows in his work, or any signs of even having heard the comment from the girl. The merchant had this particular knotting style, and the boy was determined to get it down this time. The merchant, however, is less inclined to let the biting comment go so easily, warranted though it may have been. Fortunately, the only thing Hotaru has to worry about is a narrow-eyed look of disappointment leveled her way briefly. Yama isn't exactly safe for the older man's look as well for calling Yoshi disturbed, but it is much milder in intensity. Seems the old man may yet share a similiar view point in that regard.
"Just to the nearest village down this road, wherever that may be!" He admits with a chuckle. "Me and the boy here are a little new to these lands, so we're on uh.. what'chu call it… pilgramage? No, that's not right." He shakes his head lightly before starting to rub his chin thoughtfully. "Hmm… suppose 'getting a feel of things here' is as good as explination as—"
"Done." Yoshi interjects rather loudly as he hoped off the carts wheel. After a bit of curt hand dusting, Yoshi yanks down his goggles, then makes his way back over the group. Or more specifically, to Hotaru, seeing as she sounded the bossier and Yama pretty much declared himself not the leader despite being older. The merchant looks on curiously until Yoshi surprises him by pulling out a hankerchief wrapped about sizeable bundle from shirt. The man's eyes widen further as Yoshi presents the bundle while completely bowed at the waist, mask most of his face beneath a curtain of brown hair in the process. "It isn't much at all, but please accept this for saving us, and… and to finish escorting Hiraku-san to his destination." He says calmly.
"Wha-What?!?" The merchant exclaims.

Hotaru stood there with her hand on her hip as Akio and Yama talked a bit more, and she ignored them. Oh yes, did she. Not to be rude, but she was actually starting to get a little homesick. Hotaru needed Kaneko! The team just wasn't complete without her, and she certainly wasn't happy about Akio getting official leadership role. -She- was the master of Ninjutsu and the strategic overlord of Iwa! Huff…
Still, she would have never predicted that the kid wasn't exactly ignorant, he was just showering her with a gift. An unexpected development. Hotaru held onto her cane to keep upright as she reached out to take the bundle. "Is… This… a gift?" She asks, with a grumble. "W-we can't… accept this… As my father always says, The gift of a merchant's continued business with Iwagakure is greater than any gift they could possibly give…" Yet, he was bowing all properly. Kids these days never bow. It's a dieing art. "… O-okay…" She says as she too bows. "T-thank you….."

Akio looked over at Hotaru and Yama for a moment. And as he gives that bundle to Hotaru, Akio frowns slightly. He then walks over there now to say something as well. "Well. That was a nice gesture." He doesn't say anything about Hotaru accepting it or not as she is the one being given it….though if it is a group thing or for her should probably be figured out. He holds back though. "Well if you two want to head to Iwagakure itself we are heading back now that we are finished. You could come with us there. If not we will surely see you some other time." He begins walking over to where Yama is. "Alright we can head out now. Hotaru you ready?"

Yama looks at the offering that's been presented to the shinobi. He was confused. "NO!" He shouted loudly. "We shouldn't take it. We receive compensation from the village after our contract has been fulfilled. Let them keep their funds for themselves," he offered to the team he was with. "That way, the man can support himself once he's been escorted to his destination."

Yoshi doesn't lift his head from the bow until he sensed Hotaru do the same. At least that was his originally intent, but hearing of their simply heading back to Iwagakure in particular, the boy flinches as if slapped by the word. Upon seeing the boy's reaction, Hikaru silently makes a number of thoughtful yet frustrated faces before finally letting out an exasperated sigh. "You at least have to stick with me 'till the next safe crossroads my boy." Hikaru states in a tone that brokered no argument, eliciting another flinch from the dark-haired boy.
"… H-hai, Hikaru-san." Yoshi says reluctantly as he straightened out once more. "Then that settles things." He murmurs, rubbing his forehead with two fingers. "… I believe you got the wrong idea my friend. That money is not mine, but of that boy over there. And while I have half a mind to agree with ya, what Yoshi decides to do with his own things is of no-ones business but his." Yoshi looks up sharply, completely shocked. Hikaru spares the boy no words or even a glance, but presses with a defeated grin. "I'd just accept and move on! But, that's up to you young folk to figure out. As for this village of yours, well… If its pretty much the next closest thing anyways, I see no reason why we can't travel together!" He exclaims with somewhat forced cheer as he strode to his cart. Yoshi watches on mutely, still a little shaken to the point the trick up his proverbial sleeves drop. After a moment's pause however, he turns and bows curtly to the others, then immediately after makes his way over to hop in the cart, signaling the driver onwards.

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